An entire generation of people are encountering crippling sexual
shame and pain as they wrestle with their sexual desires and
interests,in a world for which they were unprepared.
For decades, sexual education in the United States and elsewhere
has been shaped and influenced by moral and religious forces.
Abstinence-only education, where students are taught that abstinence,
and choosing not to be sexual, is the best, safest option is only one aspect.
Abstinence-only sexual education has been largely discredited and shown
to have the potential to actually increase problems and risk of engaging
in sex without condoms or preparation.
Does Religion control
promiscuous sexual behaviour?
Casual sex, homosexuality, birth control, abortion are usually subjects to avoid bringing up over family dinner. A new study suggests that a person’s views on these subjects predict their religious beliefs.
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania found that conservative views on sex and reproductive rights are associated with greater religiosity.
It’s not too surprising that a dude who thinks abortion is evil would express stronger religious convictions than a man who supports reproductive rights.
Nor is it shocking that a woman who finds casual sex immoral would identify as more religious than a lady who is down with one-night stands.
What’s most interesting here is that more conservative views about sex were far more predictive of religiosity than even attitudes against anti-social behaviors like lying, cheating and stealing.
As the paper puts it, “these findings run counter to the view that religiosity has a fundamental connection with cooperative morals” (i.e., beliefs about not screwing over thy neighbor).
The dominant evolutionary theory regarding religion is that it thrived because beliefs in invisible, rule-enforcing agents increase believers’ compliance with cooperative norms.
This compliance provides an advantage to groups or individuals, and that these advantages have been crucial for the evolution and current ubiquity of religiosity and large-scale cooperation.”
This study raises the possibility that religion’s rise is more accurately attributed to its support of certain reproductive strategies.
For those pursuing committed partnerships, higher fertility, and cooperative parenting, both sexes’ interests are threatened by promiscuous sexual activity. for men, it’s primarily the risk of cuckoldry. For women, it’s primarily the risk of mate abandonment.
Beliefs that reduce these threats also advance the reproductive interests of commitment and baby-minded folks.
On the other hand, those pursuing a more promiscuous reproductive strategy benefit when sleeping around carries little stigma or social costs.
If you live a lifestyle where a stable marriage and lots of children is important to you, belonging to a church mitigates some of the risks that go along with that lifestyle. It makes religion an attractive tool.
But if you’re, say, a college student who likes to party and isn’t planning to get married or have kids for a long time, all you’re getting from a religion repression of your sexual needs. Religion is a passion-killer.
This study doesn’t definitively prove a causal relationship, let alone a causal direction. A more plausible explanation is that reproductive strategies influence religious beliefs, rather than that religious beliefs influence reproductive strategies.
This doesn’t settle the matter once and for all, but it’s a strong sign that at least some of the causality goes from lifestyles to religion.
This is highly heretical. The suggestion is that our religious beliefs are a result of sexual motivation rather than spiritual or intellectual enlightenment. It’s also bad news for non-believers who think they’ve rationalised their way out of the God doctrine.
That sex drives both belief and reason is potentially offensive to most people. But it certainly isn’t the first time our motivations have boiled down to sex.