Re: virus: Sexuality
Wed, 11 Sep 1996 22:48:47 -0500 (CDT)

On Wed, 11 Sep 1996, ken sartor wrote:

> At 07:56 PM 9/10/96 -0500, wrote:
> >I suspect that the spread of memes incompatible with monogamy would
> >contribute.
> >
> >There is at least passive advertising [evangelism?] against monogamy on
> >US public TV--skim the reviews, or actually watch, the 'soap operas' and
> >'sitcoms' on ABC/NBC/CBS/Fox. I'd hate to say this would never tip a
> >borderline case over the edge, in a (sub)conscious analysis.
> >
> You bring up an interesting point here - advertising (evangelism?).
> But - it seems to me - virtually _ALL_ of the advertising for sexual
> pleasure up until 30 years ago has been strongly negative, and
> much of it still is. No other activity has been as scrutinized
> as sex. Both presidential candidates are against it outside
> marriage (well, i think that's what they *say*). Some churches are
> against it unless it can lead to procreation (Catholicism comes to
> mind). Many (most?) other churches are against "deviant" behaviors
> (say oral sex, anal sex, homosexuality, etc, etc) (even in marriage).
Wait a minute. [Restrict to US, for now.] What about 1969
[Woodstock]?? That didn't come out of nowhere, and it aggravated a
fairly major cultural split between the US and Europe, that was largely
inobvious before. I would conjecture that the preparation for that
[possibly unintended] would need to start circa 1945.
Also, I don't think congregrations without members under forty are
spreading their memes that effectively. [I have a number of main-line
Protestant denominations in mind, for high incidence of this problem in
the US.] Several Protestant denominations officially lack such
prohibitions--Presbyterians come to mind immediately.

> So, if there is a war against monogamy it seems to me that it is
> only a response against centuries of anti-sex propaganda (lead, it
> seems to me, by the church).
That is the proximate cause.

> A key question in all of this seems to be: would we be better off if
> there were no attempts to restrict our sexual behaviors? Does this
> restriction help us retain something useful now that pleasure and
> procreation can be effectively separated? Is [serial] monogamy really
> something to be strived for, special in some way to our species, and
> thus a reasonable default state?
> Or, is the repression of sexual energies actually harmful? Could
> some (a little or a lot?) of the anti-social behaviors we see today
> be due to unnatural suppression of these energies (ok, i don't
> really believe this, mostly since men are primarily the violent ones
> and under most future circumstances i can imagine most of these
> people will have trouble finding women to partner with anyway).
There seems to be some tie-in between sexuality and the normal sleep
cycle; it is a distinct critical component, besides Type IV and REM. If
the linkages for this component are lacking, suppression would cause
problems like what you describe.
[Technical: are you equating repression and suppression? These have
distinct meanings for me. I equate repression with subconsciously
handled, and suppression with consciously handled.]
Restrictions to avoid social entanglements may well be beneficial
long-term, even in the face of short-term physical drawbacks.


/ Kenneth Boyd