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April 30, 2013 / Pastor George Fike

The Trouble with Velcro

A Retrospective on the Sexual Revolutionvelcro sandals

…the pill and the sexual freedom it provided to women are frequently blamed for what many believe are regressions in quality of life. Since the sexual revolution, out-of-wedlock births, sexually transmitted diseases, teen pregnancy, and divorce have all risen considerably. Since the 60s, marriage has declined by a 1/3 and divorce has doubled. During the 1960s there were only four big STDs, now there are twenty-four. Since the sexual revolution, children living in single-parent families has tripled.  Mary Parke, CLASP Center for Law and Social Policy, Policy Brief, Couples and Marriage Series, Brief #3, p.1, May 2003

I love my old sandals!  They’re easy to slip on.  When Pascal comes to me in the evening, demanding a walk, I can just slip them on, pull the Velcro straps around and take off out the door and around the block.  Well, that’s mostly true… lately they’ve been a little floppy.  The strap that used to fasten so tightly is starting to lose its stick-to-it-ness. (That’s the technical term.)  That’s the trouble with Velcro.  It seems the more you strap on and strap off, the more that adhesion wears out.  And now the straps coil up like Little Orphan Annie’s hair.  In the very near future, my sandals will end up in the trash can, useless.

The 1960’s brought us a lot of cool stuff: the birth of rock music (without the roll; that was in the 50’s), Johnny Carson, space exploration – you name it!  But accompanied by the groovy soundtrack of Woodstock and fueled by recreational drug use, the “free love” movement broke out like a virus.  And like a virus, it pervaded.  In the name of freedom, it was suddenly OK to not just be with the ONE you love, but to “love the one you’re with” – whoever that might be at the moment.  Or to be with however many you wanted – at the same time, or serially.  And like a virus, it crept through our society – aided and abetted by the popular media, taking one cell at a time.  How did it literally unravel the moral fabric of our society?

Sex is fun.

Yeah.  You heard it here first.  Sex is fun.

That’s not news to you?  Well of course not.  It sells beer, lingerie, even chewing gum.  Sex has been brought out of the bedroom and moved into the living room.  Our kids see it everyday.  (At least it’s not mom and dad!)  And it becomes so commonplace as to be boring.  It’s no wonder the expectation of every teenager is to lose one’s virginity as quickly as possible.  We have primed the pump with unbridled sensuality.  Our consciences have been dulled by the sheer repetition of suggestive, as well as graphic, sexuality.  Is it any wonder that our teens have followed the examples they’ve seen on TV and movies and are “hooking up” like there’s no tomorrow?  And here’s where the “velcro principle” takes over:

“…sex is one of the strongest generators of the dopamine reward. For this reason, young people particularly are vulnerable to falling into a cycle of dopamine reward for unwise sexual behavior—they can get hooked on it. But the beneficial effect of dopamine for the married couple is that it ‘addicts’ them to sex with each other.”  Freda McKissic Bush; McIlhaney Jr., Joe S. (2008-08-01). Hooked: New Science on How Casual Sex is Affecting Our Children (p. 36). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“While the hormonal effect of oxytocin is ideal for marriage, it can cause problems for the unmarried woman or girl who is approached by a man desiring sex. Once again, the warning is that a woman’s brain can cause her to be blindsided by a bad relationship that she thought was good because of the physical contact and the oxytocin response it generates. The truth about such a relationship may be apparent to parents or friends who are concerned about the girl’s well-being, but it takes wisdom and tact to effectively warn a young woman about a relationship others can see could be dangerous to her. Not all relationships, of course, are made up of a manipulative male and an unaware female, and our point is not to imply this. But young women especially need to be aware of the powerful bonding effect of oxytocin. When a couple is involved in even a short-term relationship and breaks up and then each moves on to a new sexual partner, they are breaking an oxytocin bond that has formed. This severing of the bond explains the incredibly painful emotions people often feel when they break up.  In addition, they cannot know that they actually are seriously damaging a bonding mechanism that they are born with, a mechanism put there to allow them to, in the future, have a healthy bonded marriage that is a stable relationship and provides a healthy nest for children that might be conceived and born into their home,…”

Bush, Freda McKissic; McIlhaney Jr., Joe S. (2008-08-01). Hooked: New Science on How Casual Sex is Affecting Our Children (pp. 40-41). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition.

So sex does its job of binding sexual participants to one another because, in the height of passion, there is simply no going back.  Once committed, the high of sex demands more.  But in a society where sex is celebrated more for the pleasure than for the partner, teens and young adults move from partner to partner to partner, sometimes concurrently. Strap on, strap off, strap on, strap off…  And somehow, sex no longer sticks and begins to lose its excitement.  The resulting disappointment leads to increased, risky behavior.

Can we close the barn door?  Unsure.  But the horses are already out.

More PG-13 stuff coming later…


One Comment

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  1. Lori Curd / May 8 2013 8:37 AM

    So true George!

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