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Author Topic: fornication past and present  (Read 5471 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: January 09, 2004, 09:55:10 AM »

Our society is so full of people who lose their virginity before marriage and sexually cohabit before marrying (doing this is even "virtuous" by today's standards. Think of all those who go to "clubs" - I use that term lightly - and amidst alcohol and often bad music choose a partner JUST FOR THE NIGHT) that it's almost become socially unacceptable - at any rate weird and nearly eccentric - to wait until marriage or to show no interest at all in the sexual act. Now I'm asking those who know what it used to be like, to tell me just about when society became so sexually active. I used to believe essentially that until a generation or two ago, it was abnormal to fornicate, that clean-living people waited until marriage. But my readings show that this may not have been so, that even in conservative Victorian times, there was a double standard and hypocrisy: men (at least WASP men?) may have lost their virginity as a matter of course before marriage, whereas women who did so were "dishonoured", at least in the bourgeois and upper classes. Where exactly does the truth lie? Was fornication anywhere nearly as common say, at the end of WWII as it is today? Is the "Sexual revolution" really a revolution, or just a social acceptance of what was already common? I constantly hear of people in once predominantly (allegedly) Bible-believing countries fornicating as if they feared none of what the churches taught.
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« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2004, 01:11:52 PM »

Quote
Our society is so full of people who lose their virginity before marriage and sexually cohabit before marrying (doing this is even "virtuous" by today's standards. Think of all those who go to "clubs" - I use that term lightly - and amidst alcohol and often bad music choose a partner JUST FOR THE NIGHT) that it's almost become socially unacceptable - at any rate weird and nearly eccentric - to wait until marriage or to show no interest at all in the sexual act.

Sure seems that way, doesn't it? Or at least, unlike 50 years ago, the entertainment, pharmaceutical and condom industries WANT us to think so. Party on and keep up with your peers so you keep buying our products. A vicious circle - movies and TV that make you want to have sex RIGHT NOW!, and products whose makers promise you can do it without consequences, and if that promise is broken, there's the abortion industry. All feeding off each other. Ugh.

Of course interest in the sex act is perfectly healthy - it's what's being done with that by mainstream society that's gone off.

Quote
Now I'm asking those who know what it used to be like, to tell me just about when society became so sexually active. I used to believe essentially that until a generation or two ago, it was abnormal to fornicate, that clean-living people waited until marriage. But my readings show that this may not have been so, that even in conservative Victorian times, there was a double standard and hypocrisy: men (at least WASP men?) may have lost their virginity as a matter of course before marriage, whereas women who did so were "dishonoured", at least in the bourgeois and upper classes. Where exactly does the truth lie? Was fornication anywhere nearly as common say, at the end of WWII as it is today? Is the "Sexual revolution" really a revolution, or just a social acceptance of what was already common? I constantly hear of people in once predominantly (allegedly) Bible-believing countries fornicating as if they feared none of what the churches taught.


I'd like to know that too - what was it REALLY like pre-1970? (AFAIK, for most people, 'the Sixties' were really just a continuation of the Fifties.) My guess is at least lip service was given to Doing the Right Thing, even though it often wasn't done, which wasn't talked about in polite company, and there was that sick double standard.
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« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2004, 05:39:18 PM »

Quote
that it's almost become socially unacceptable - at any rate weird and nearly eccentric - to wait until marriage


This is what gets me.  My roommate is a great guy - except for this.  He said he read that orgasms are healthy - reduce the risk of cancer, and so one should have them frequently (with someone or by oneself).  He thinks to not is just repressing yourself or going against human nature.

Anyway, I think it's part of the curse of the information age.  Temptation has just increased exponentially.  It's tough out there.
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« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2004, 07:38:48 PM »

I think the rising marriage age(at least in the West) is also playing a huge role  in pre-marital relations. When, in history, was it common for people to get married at 30 years old and up? Sexual desire is quite strong in a person's twenties and this desire was formerly satisfied and sanctified through marriage. Now, for people in their late teens and twenties who are unmarried there is no holy way for that desire to be expressed. With the media onslaught of sexual imagery and the redefining of sexual norms through the same media and modern psychology, sublimating that desire is one hell of a battle.

Unmarried guy in his mid twenties,

Me
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« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2004, 07:52:04 PM »

I think the rising marriage age(at least in the West) is also playing a huge role  in pre-marital relations. When, in history, was it common for people to get married at 30 years old and up? Sexual desire is quite strong in a person's twenties and this desire was formerly satisfied and sanctified through marriage. Now, for people in their late teens and twenties who are unmarried there is no holy way for that desire to be expressed. With the media onslaught of sexual imagery and the redefining of sexual norms through the same media and modern psychology, sublimating that desire is one hell of a battle.

Unmarried guy in his mid twenties,

Me

Bingo.  I think that is one of the major factors.
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« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2004, 07:54:38 PM »

Sadly, marriage has become a meaningless institution in our society.  We know that divorce rates are sky-high, but what about marriage rates?  Statistics Canada reports that Canadians are marrying, on average, later in life than ever: men at 34 and women at 32.  When people marry, they do so after several sour relationships, after bad sexual experiences, and after overcoming fear of commitment.  Marriage also comes after “the wild oats” have been sown, and the couple have got being single “out of their systems,” by pursuing all kinds of selfish activities.  We are often told that marriage is pointless and meaningless (“We don’t need a piece of paper from the city hallGǪ”).  We see people co-habitating for years and years, who are ostensibly married yet steadfastly refuse to make the relationship “legal."  What value is there in being married?  Our society’s jaded tell us there is none, other than state recognition for fiscal reasons.  And, because marriage as an institution is so devalued, it seems there’s nobody but homosexuals left (surprisingly enough) who care enough to defend it.  With few willing to defend marriage, it has become increasingly vulnerable to attack.  And that is “marriage” the institution, not “marriage” the sacrament I’m talking about.  “Marriage the sacrament” is still around, just it seems nobody mentions it much, or even considers it.
Orthodox Christians and Roman Catholics are certainly aware of the Sacraments, but how many can say they truly understand how these Mysteries bring us closer to God?  Marriage seems to be one of the more abstract Mysteries in this regard. Most of us require some explanation as to how this works.
The Orthodox Church believes marriage to be a form of asceticism, such as monasticism.  Why?  Because marriage requires dedication, faithfulness, vigilance, sacrifice, and discipline, as well as prayerful worship and attention to the will of God.  Bishop Kallistos refers to "askesis" as "voluntary self limitation," and the married among us know well what that means (especially those with children).  As married couples, we are like monks but with a different askesis.  We know that the monastic lifestyle leads many to theosis; therefore, marriage can also lead us to theosis through its unique forms of askesis.
We also believe that through uniting in marriage we become a “composite” individual representing the fullness of God’s image.  Just as God is three persons with one essence, so we are two persons in one image (the image of God) when we are married.  We are “united” in marriage, which mysteriously unites us in the image of God, and therefore brings us closer to God and His likeness.
The Church also tells us that God is creative. Certainly, God created all of existence, but that statement is not enough. Bishop Kallistos Ware has said that God not only created the universe, He continues to create the universe every moment in time.  And, Bishop Kallistos continues, if God was to ever stop exercising His creative power, the world would collapse into the void of non-existence.  So too do married couples create.  Married couples are a conduit through which God exerts His creative power.  Through marriage, we participate with God in creation.
The children who arise from this sacred union of man and woman are then to be raised with love, kindness, affection, patience and mercy by their parents.  Just as God is a loving parent to us all, so too do we mimic God when we raise our children.  The challenges that we face - man and woman together - while raising our children, provide ample opportunity for us to try behaving more God-like, and perfect ourselves and our Godly image.  This, then, is the “askesis” for married couples.
This is not a bunch of meaningless mumbo-jumbo, or a timely conservative response to a contemporary issue. These are the original, unchanging Christian teachings regarding marriage. Unfortunately, though, these ideas are relatively unknown and seldom practiced, and many non-Orthodox Christian groups entirely disregard them. Still, they are the teachings of the ancient, original Orthodox Catholic Church, and as such are the standard by which our beliefs and practices concerning marriage have always been measured.  Being original teachings, they are the foundations of all Christian understanding of the sacrament of marriage.  If, for some reason, this one sacrament is devalued in our society, then by extension this is surely an indication of how Christianity as a whole is devalued.  
Now is the time for Christians to shed their ignorance of their faith.  Christians must support their faith, promoting Christian ideals and morality, rather than passively allowing their Christian faith and their Christian teachings to be distorted, devalued, and denigrated.  We can start by preserving our sacramental life, beginning with marriage.
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« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2004, 08:54:54 PM »

Thanks for that  Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2004, 09:11:43 PM »

I happened to read an article about this subject today.
"U. of C. sex study sees love, loneliness"
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-0401090398jan09,1,5066692.story

It makes you wonder what the future will be like.
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« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2004, 01:25:53 AM »

I happened to read an article about this subject today.
"U. of C. sex study sees love, loneliness"
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-0401090398jan09,1,5066692.story

It makes you wonder what the future will be like.

Natasha, could you paste it in?  We don't want to have to register for the Tribune.  Thanks.
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« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2004, 01:50:19 AM »

Quote
I think the rising marriage age(at least in the West) is also playing a huge role  in pre-marital relations. When, in history, was it common for people to get married at 30 years old and up? Sexual desire is quite strong in a person's twenties and this desire was formerly satisfied and sanctified through marriage. Now, for people in their late teens and twenties who are unmarried there is no holy way for that desire to be expressed. With the media onslaught of sexual imagery and the redefining of sexual norms through the same media and modern psychology, sublimating that desire is one hell of a battle.

Unmarried guy in his mid twenties,

Me


These are precisely my sentiments, also as an unmarried guy in his mid 20's.
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« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2004, 03:19:13 PM »

Thanks for that  Smiley

Thanks for the thanks!  Spread the news to your local politicians, who may think that same-sex "marriage" is ok.
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« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2004, 03:55:17 PM »

aha - like Montreal I believe . Strange people
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« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2004, 08:53:44 PM »

Cut-n-pasted for ya  Wink

U. of C. sex study sees love, loneliness  
Fri Jan 9
 

By Peter Gorner, Tribune science reporter

The typical Chicagoan is now single for about half of his or her adult life, a shift that has had a major impact on cultural institutions and the ways people interact, University of Chicago researchers reported Thursday as part of a broad look at sexuality in the city.

   

While people of other generations tended to marry shortly after entering the work force and remain married to the same spouse, today's marriages occur later in life and often are briefer. That trend has led to new ways of coping, such as elaborate networks in which singles search for companionship and sex.


"Chicagoans are destined to spend half their lives as single people, and half their single years will be spent alone," said sociologist Edward O. Laumann, leader of the research team. "Yet, we already know that sexual well-being is very much associated with happiness and the quality of life. The implications for the future are troubling."


The survey also found that sexual opportunities are different for men and women and are defined by racial group, neighborhood and sexual orientation. African-Americans who live on the South Side generally do not look to West Side neighborhoods for partners, for example, and people on the North Side rarely go to the South Side.


Society in general has not caught up with the changes in sexual partnering, the results indicate. For instance, gay men and gay women who are victims of domestic violence have few resources available to them.


The researchers call the Chicago Health and Social Life Survey the first representative sampling of the sex life of a major city. For the survey, 50 interviewers from the university-affiliated National Opinion Research Center conducted in-depth personal interviews with 2,114 men and women, ages 18 to 59, in the city and nearby suburbs.


The researchers also talked to 160 community representatives, including police, social workers, clergy and others.


The information was kept confidential and the team had no difficulty getting people of different cultures to respond, Laumann said.


The survey found that, on average, Chicagoans stay married for 18 years, cohabit for 3.7 years and either are unattached or dating the rest of the time.


Families, communities and local religious organizations also were found to exert enormous power in the shaping of sexual relationships.


But the change in behavioral norms brought about by early sexual maturity, cohabitation, late marriage and prevalence of divorce have consequences for city-dwellers.


"Women often have a harder time remarrying," Laumann said. "Many already have kids, and men may not want to raise other men's children."


A man in his 40s will seek a woman who is five to eight years younger, forcing older women to change their strategies for meeting partners, Laumann said.


"Even though they tend to be conservative and less permissive in their sexual attitudes, they may find themselves going to bars by themselves," Laumann said. "That's not what they were doing in their 20s."


Sexual behavior is significantly limited by such factors as neighborhood, ethnicity, sexual preference and friends, the researchers found.


In heavily Latino neighborhoods, for example, the influence of family, friends and the church remains strong. However, among young upper-income people on the North Side, the workplace and college were the most important meeting places.


The survey uncovered the importance of an emotion neglected by previous researchers: jealousy.

   



"The rise in cohabitation has increased domestic violence because people who cohabit are much more likely to experience jealousy," Laumann said.

"Because of the lack of commitment in a cohab,' people enter it being a lot more mistrustful."

The researchers found that adultery breaks up Chicago area marriages at a rate of about 4 percent a year. However, when the adultery occurs among people who are living together but unmarried, the defection rate jumps to 15 to 20 percent.

"That means fighting increases, and with it the likelihood of physical violence," Laumann said. "These are fragile relationships, and domestic violence because of sexual jealousy is a problem in all the communities we studied."

For the survey, the researchers concentrated on four Chicago neighborhoods for case studies.

Included were questions about sexual partners, birth-control methods, lifetime sexual history, social networks, neighborhood characteristics, attitudes about religion, sexuality and sex roles and domestic violence.

The results of the survey will be published in a book, "The Sexual Organization of the City," to appear in spring. It represents the third part of a trilogy by the U. of C. team that began in 1994 with the national sex survey published as "The Social Organization of Sexuality."

That was followed by "Sex, Love and Health in America: Private Choices and Public Policies," published in 2001.

Other researchers welcomed the new survey, which was funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Ford Foundation.

"Just as in his previous work, Dr. Laumann is the new Kinsey," said Eli Coleman, director of the human sexuality program at the University of Minnesota, referring to the late Alfred C. Kinsey, the prominent sex researcher.

"Laumann provides us with the data to really understand the sexual behavior of people today. This is extremely important as we face the myriad sexual health problems in America," Coleman said.

Daniel Greenberg, a sociologist and sex researcher at New York University, has specialized in studying homosexuals.

"Laumann includes them in his research but also includes everybody else," he said. "The study of sex in a big city has not been done before. It's a major advance."




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« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2004, 05:28:15 AM »

Lust declared virtue, not vice

Lust has been wrongly branded a vice and should be "reclaimed for humanity" as a life-affirming virtue, according to a top philsopher.
Professor Simon Blackburn of Cambridge University is trying to "rescue" lust, arguing it has been wrongly condemned for centuries, the Sunday Times says.

His campaign is part of an Oxford University Press project on the modern relevance of the seven deadly sins.

The list of sins was drawn up by Pope Gregory the Great in the 6th Century.

OUP has commissioned books on each of the sins - lust, anger, envy, gluttony, sloth, pride and greed.

Controlling lust

It says Prof Blackburn is aiming to save lust "from the denunciations of old men of the deserts, to deliver it from the pallid and envious confessor and the stocks and pillories of the Puritans, to drag it from the category of sin to that of virtue".

According to the Sunday Times, Prof Blackburn has defined lust as "the enthusiastic desire for sexual activity and its pleasures for its own sake".

The philosopher says that if reciprocated, lust leads to pleasure and "best flourishes when unencumbered by bad philosophy and ideology... which prevent its freedom of flow".

He points out that thirst is not criticised although it can lead to drunkenness and in the same way lust should not be condemned just because it can get out of hand, the paper says.

Professor Blackburn is quoted as saying: "The important thing is that generally anything that gives pleasure has a presumption in its favour.

"The question is how we control it."


Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/uk_news/3387169.stm

Published: 2004/01/11 13:54:22 GMT

-¬ BBC MMIV

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« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2004, 11:17:07 AM »

Blackburn has a point.

Once heard Fr Leo (Schlosser), the hegumen of the Ruthenians' Benedictine monastery, Holy Trinity in Butler, Pa., say something very similar.

It just needs some refinement.

What Blackburn is saying applies to desire. Lust can be defined as the wrong use of that desire.
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« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2004, 11:38:11 AM »

Blackburn has a point.

Once heard Fr Leo Schlosser, the hegumen of the Ruthenians' Benedictine monastery, Holy Trinity in Butler, Pa., say something very similar.

It just needs some refinement.

What Blackburn is saying applies to desire. Lust can be defined as the wrong use of that desire.

Serge,

That is correct.  That is how i have thought of lust.  Years back, when I was a teen and in my early 20's it was an incredible challenge to hold it off.  

Lust is quality that is worshipped in our society today.  In some ways, it seems like a pagan god.
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« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2004, 11:40:05 AM »

I am a little confused that you read it so that it is compatible with the faith?

it says

Quote
Prof Blackburn is aiming to save lust "from the denunciations of old men of the deserts, to deliver it from the pallid and envious confessor and the stocks and pillories of the Puritans, to drag it from the category of sin to that of virtue".

Surely we are guided by these 'old men of the deserts' who well understand the matter. And when he says

Quote
Prof Blackburn has defined lust as "the enthusiastic desire for sexual activity and its pleasures for its own sake".

he says it should not be condemned because it can get out of hand, but the enthusiastic desire for sexual activity for its own sake is sin. Its promiscuity. Its adultery. The only right place for sexual activity is within marriage and in that context sexual activity is not rightly for its own sake, putting aside the issue of contraception etc, it is surely in a Christian marriage always also for the others sake?

I don't see how this can be read in a Christian sense. He seems to be trying to redefine lust as OK not saying that actually it is desire which can be neutral. The desert fathers well understood all of these categories yet they still define lust as sin.

Just my read of it.
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« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2004, 12:26:23 PM »

Peter,
My thoughts as well.

What we really need to figure out how to do is to reverse this later marriage trend.  I understand WHY society wants to marry later (not withstanding the selfish reasons of "sowing oats", etc.).  People want to be financially stable, which happens later and later in life because of education as well as a lower affordability of housing.  There must be a way to encourage the reversal of the trend but in the confines of modern society.  A big dilema.
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« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2004, 01:07:51 PM »

Peter,
My thoughts as well.

What we really need to figure out how to do is to reverse this later marriage trend.  I understand WHY society wants to marry later (not withstanding the selfish reasons of "sowing oats", etc.).  People want to be financially stable, which happens later and later in life because of education as well as a lower affordability of housing.  There must be a way to encourage the reversal of the trend but in the confines of modern society.  A big dilema.

I don't buy the financially well off bit-to be really stable, (define stable!) you're looking at getting married at least into your 30s-maybe around 40. Also, this is one negative effect of people taking more than 4 years to complete college, or putting off college for a while after they graduate from high school. And, I don't think people are willing to make the sacrifice of marrying early like people used to-they are indeed too selfish.

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« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2004, 01:29:00 PM »

Boswell,

Where do you live?  I'm only asking, because I happen to live in the BosWash megalopolis and I barely make enough of take care of myself, let alone a wife and children.  For people my age, the financial concerns are QUITE real and a definite factor in marriage.  Many of us were duped in college by credit card companies and came out of school much further in debt than we should have.  Or perhaps those jobs we thought were going to be there once we graduated weren't there anymore.  I'm thinking of my friends who went to school for computer science, only to come out after the dotcom bubble burst and who couldn't get a job.  Or someone could be like me and get laid off twice in as many years from a relatively stable career path (law library science).  

And lest we forget, for all the opportunity the east coast offers in terms of employment, its very crowded and its becoming increasingly difficult to find affordable, safe housing.  The fear among young people today of losing their homes is far more prevalent than it should be.  

Of course, faith can drive fear out, but faith is being driven from daily life.  Even a watered down Protestant faith that was prevalent in this country for 150 years has gone by the wayside.  While not the only reason, financial stability is definitely a real fear that keeps people from getting married.

I know it has for me.  Due to the aforementioned layoffs and subsequent pay cuts, I'm currently living in my sister's basement.  My girlfriend lives at home after a promise she made to her mother to not leave until she got married.  She's also in school and therefore has no income of her own.  Had I my own place and making much more money, I would definitely be married right now.  But as it stands, my own financial instability keeps me single and living in my sister's home gym.
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« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2004, 03:03:36 PM »

In the 19th century people married later exactly because of the financial constraints. Of course there have always been younger couples but among the artisan class and the clerical class people would need to have established some sort of financial basis before they could afford to marry.

Many also managed to control themselves enough such that they didn't all commit fornication all the time. There has of course never been some golden age of chastity but since the 60's we have entered a fool's gold age. I have no problem with people committing fornication, I understand the pressures, especially for those outside any church. But in the present age the promiscuous practice of every form of sexuality is part of the public domain rather than the private. It is imposed on us, it is propaganda. We are truly in the middle of a war of ideas.

This redefinition of the sin of lust as the natural process of desire is all part of it. The catholic journalist Christine Adone writes about the programme and says that she thinks about having sex 9000 times a day with 6000 men. This isn't desire, this is lust, and this is why the Fathers were quite capable of distinguishing desire from lust and yet still defined lust as a sin.

I am well aware that my desiring faculty should be turned towards God and the good. But we are never taught to 'lust' after God, however much we are taught to desire Him. There is a difference between an 'earnest desire' and 'a consuming lust'.

I note that the 'authors' are also redefining gluttony as merely a love of food, and sloth as a necessary remedy for busy lives.

This is the work of Satan!

PT
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« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2004, 04:06:51 PM »

I think there are a variety of factors at play in terms of later mariages and marriage failure rates:

1.  Financial/economic factors -- very different than in the past, and very real for most people in their 20s.

2. Social changes.  Not just the sexual revolution, etc., but the rise of pyschology during the same period, which has led to a much greater emphasis on self-knowledge, self-acceptance, self-satisfaction, self-esteem, etc.  It can be seen as selfishness, but the psych community tends to describe it as mental health and important to one's psychological well-being.  This has masive ramifications for one's entire life and, in this context, I think it makes it easier for people to call it quits on their marriage more quickly than might otherwise be the case.

3.  Flexibility and Age.  As you age, you get more inflexible.  That makes it harder to sustain relationships, which require flexibility.  The older one marries, in my opinion, the harder it is to have the kind of flexibility that you need to sustain relationships.

In terms of the increased premarital and extramarital sexual activity itself, I think that this is principally a product of the sexual revolution, together with the more contemporary psychological advice which advises that "suppressing" one's sexual urges is mentally unhealthy.
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« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2004, 04:13:21 PM »

I have discussed marriage with some of my unbelieving colleagues at work. Whereas in difficult times I have laid in bed thinking 'well this is it!' and knowing that it was an ascesis I could not avoid for the sake of my salvation, and certainly knowing that I couldn't break one set of vows and turn up at a monastery seeking to make another set. Whereas they were fairly clear in their minds that marriage/relationships were for happiness and if they didn't make them happy then they should be brought to an end and another relationship found that would make them happy.

I would suggest that the idea of marriage as ultimately and most importantly a source of personal happiness is a modern and post-christian notion, whereas the steady slog of most pre-modern marriages, often with real love but lacking the marketing tinsel of modern marriages, is much closer to the christian concept.

It is through 15 years of slog that my wife and I have grown closer together and more solidly in love. If it had been a matter of personal happiness we'd have given up years ago.
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« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2011, 06:02:39 PM »

I have discussed marriage with some of my unbelieving colleagues at work. Whereas in difficult times I have laid in bed thinking 'well this is it!' and knowing that it was an ascesis I could not avoid for the sake of my salvation, and certainly knowing that I couldn't break one set of vows and turn up at a monastery seeking to make another set. Whereas they were fairly clear in their minds that marriage/relationships were for happiness and if they didn't make them happy then they should be brought to an end and another relationship found that would make them happy.

I would suggest that the idea of marriage as ultimately and most importantly a source of personal happiness is a modern and post-christian notion, whereas the steady slog of most pre-modern marriages, often with real love but lacking the marketing tinsel of modern marriages, is much closer to the christian concept.

It is through 15 years of slog that my wife and I have grown closer together and more solidly in love. If it had been a matter of personal happiness we'd have given up years ago.
people want to kid themselves that self-fulfillment as the goal of marriage isn't selfish, and therefor destined for disaster.
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« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2011, 06:07:32 PM »

people want to kid themselves that self-fulfillment as the goal of marriage isn't selfish, and therefor destined for disaster.

I bet you wanted to answer that post for 7 years now, but were waiting for the best moment...  Tongue
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« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2011, 06:08:51 PM »

Cut-n-pasted for ya  Wink

U. of C. sex study sees love, loneliness  
Fri Jan 9
 

By Peter Gorner, Tribune science reporter

The typical Chicagoan is now single for about half of his or her adult life, a shift that has had a major impact on cultural institutions and the ways people interact, University of Chicago researchers reported Thursday as part of a broad look at sexuality in the city.

  

While people of other generations tended to marry shortly after entering the work force and remain married to the same spouse, today's marriages occur later in life and often are briefer. That trend has led to new ways of coping, such as elaborate networks in which singles search for companionship and sex.


"Chicagoans are destined to spend half their lives as single people, and half their single years will be spent alone," said sociologist Edward O. Laumann, leader of the research team. "Yet, we already know that sexual well-being is very much associated with happiness and the quality of life. The implications for the future are troubling."


The survey also found that sexual opportunities are different for men and women and are defined by racial group, neighborhood and sexual orientation. African-Americans who live on the South Side generally do not look to West Side neighborhoods for partners, for example, and people on the North Side rarely go to the South Side.


Society in general has not caught up with the changes in sexual partnering, the results indicate. For instance, gay men and gay women who are victims of domestic violence have few resources available to them.


The researchers call the Chicago Health and Social Life Survey the first representative sampling of the sex life of a major city. For the survey, 50 interviewers from the university-affiliated National Opinion Research Center conducted in-depth personal interviews with 2,114 men and women, ages 18 to 59, in the city and nearby suburbs.


The researchers also talked to 160 community representatives, including police, social workers, clergy and others.


The information was kept confidential and the team had no difficulty getting people of different cultures to respond, Laumann said.


The survey found that, on average, Chicagoans stay married for 18 years, cohabit for 3.7 years and either are unattached or dating the rest of the time.


Families, communities and local religious organizations also were found to exert enormous power in the shaping of sexual relationships.


But the change in behavioral norms brought about by early sexual maturity, cohabitation, late marriage and prevalence of divorce have consequences for city-dwellers.


"Women often have a harder time remarrying," Laumann said. "Many already have kids, and men may not want to raise other men's children."


A man in his 40s will seek a woman who is five to eight years younger, forcing older women to change their strategies for meeting partners, Laumann said.


"Even though they tend to be conservative and less permissive in their sexual attitudes, they may find themselves going to bars by themselves," Laumann said. "That's not what they were doing in their 20s."


Sexual behavior is significantly limited by such factors as neighborhood, ethnicity, sexual preference and friends, the researchers found.


In heavily Latino neighborhoods, for example, the influence of family, friends and the church remains strong. However, among young upper-income people on the North Side, the workplace and college were the most important meeting places.


The survey uncovered the importance of an emotion neglected by previous researchers: jealousy.

  



"The rise in cohabitation has increased domestic violence because people who cohabit are much more likely to experience jealousy," Laumann said.

"Because of the lack of commitment in a cohab,' people enter it being a lot more mistrustful."

The researchers found that adultery breaks up Chicago area marriages at a rate of about 4 percent a year. However, when the adultery occurs among people who are living together but unmarried, the defection rate jumps to 15 to 20 percent.

"That means fighting increases, and with it the likelihood of physical violence," Laumann said. "These are fragile relationships, and domestic violence because of sexual jealousy is a problem in all the communities we studied."

For the survey, the researchers concentrated on four Chicago neighborhoods for case studies.

Included were questions about sexual partners, birth-control methods, lifetime sexual history, social networks, neighborhood characteristics, attitudes about religion, sexuality and sex roles and domestic violence.

The results of the survey will be published in a book, "The Sexual Organization of the City," to appear in spring. It represents the third part of a trilogy by the U. of C. team that began in 1994 with the national sex survey published as "The Social Organization of Sexuality."

That was followed by "Sex, Love and Health in America: Private Choices and Public Policies," published in 2001.

Other researchers welcomed the new survey, which was funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Ford Foundation.

"Just as in his previous work, Dr. Laumann is the new Kinsey," said Eli Coleman, director of the human sexuality program at the University of Minnesota, referring to the late Alfred C. Kinsey, the prominent sex researcher.

"Laumann provides us with the data to really understand the sexual behavior of people today. This is extremely important as we face the myriad sexual health problems in America," Coleman said.

Daniel Greenberg, a sociologist and sex researcher at New York University, has specialized in studying homosexuals.

"Laumann includes them in his research but also includes everybody else," he said. "The study of sex in a big city has not been done before. It's a major advance."
around the same time, "The Case for Marriage" came out.
http://books.google.com/books?id=tUJ55tuDMXEC&printsec=frontcover&dq=the+case+for+marriage+why+married+people+are+happier&source=bl&ots=8iiqqlK3N1&sig=Ca5iNHIhhsCup3jlf5T70ij-H4s&hl=en&ei=uY4nTYL3PIT-nAeA5cWnAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CCkQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q&f=false
recent follow up:

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/245649/case-marriage-editors
http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/245812/nrs-case-marriage-maggie-gallagher
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« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2011, 06:09:42 PM »

people want to kid themselves that self-fulfillment as the goal of marriage isn't selfish, and therefor destined for disaster.

I bet you wanted to answer that post for 7 years now, but were waiting for the best moment...  Tongue
LOL. no, just saw the title at the bottom of a thread and was intrigued.
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« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2011, 06:48:57 PM »

"Now I'm asking those who know what it used to be like, to tell me just about when society became so sexually active."

From the POV of American culture, our society underwent a radical change in the mid-1960s. There really is something to the "Sexual Revolution" that sets it apart from other eras. Seemingly overnight, America went through a radical cultural change: it was suddenly fashionable to be promiscuous. Previous to that, promiscuity was really looked down on. Pre-marital sex, unwed motherhood, abortion, deviancy--it was all there, but underground.

Two of the catalysts for this in the United States, as far as I am able to tell, were pop music (the British Invasion) and the introduction of radical Leftist thought into the academy (esp. scholars of the Frankfort School at Columbia University from which marxist social radicalism metastasized to the other universities), although in what proportion, I can't guess. This is just about the time the first wave of children from the post-WWII baby boom was going to college. Radical groups were everywhere: the SDS, the Weathermen, the Symbionese Liberation Army, etc. The whole emphasis was on throwing out the old culture and establishing a new one.

No one who wasn't there can imagine the degree to which events in the 60s changed American culture. Nothing else like it has ever happened in my lifetime. Imagine every recognizable cultural sign disappearing and being replaced by something else virtually over night. I don't know if I can express it very clearly. Probably ever thing you don't like about contemporary society has its roots in the 1960s.
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