Repression

(Reblogged from March 17, 2010)

re·press (ri pres’), v.t. to check or inhibit.

Repression. Its something that liberals like to bring in almost any instance where some kind of sexual activity is being condemned or a call for self-control is being made, usually by the religious right. “Repressing our desires is bad.” “Repressing sexuality is lying about who we are.” “Limiting our sexual expression does more harm than good.”

These are the typical responses. The most recent one I heard was in a comment about on article on pornography that went something like, “repressed societies have more violence.” What I logically assume comes after this is a “so, we shouldn’t dissuade pornographic use or any other type of sexual repression.”

But is repression really as bad as all that? Does it breed violence? Is it a lie about who one is? By no means. I think the word repression has a bad connotation to it. It sounds too much like oppression, a word that people do not like. Rather, judging from the definition of repress at the top, I think a better word choice might be self-control. Either way, there are benefits to this practice.

For one, self-control, is not so much about limiting, but truly respecting and understanding freedom. We are free to do all things. It does not mean, though, that all things are beneficial. We are free to look at pornography all day, everyday. We are free to have contests to see which guy in our group can have sex with the most different women in a single week. We are free to drink as much alcohol as possible, and then free to hop into a car and drive as fast as we can down Main Street. Just because we can do something or want to do something does not mean that we should do something.

And in fact, some behaviors, such as pornography are very addictive, and so, by not exercising self-control, one can come to the point where they could not exercise control even if they wanted to. Indulging is not always good. The sexual revolution has screwed us over so bad. On demand birth control, on demand abortion, the exponential increase of sexual images on television, movies, billboards, magazines, books, and street corners have lead us to believe that we are entitled to sex whenever, with whoever, as long as both parties are willing, and in some cases, the willingness doesn’t have to be a prerequisite. And what have the results of this non-repressive behavior been? Prior to the 1960’s syphilis and gonorrhea were the only two major STDs. Today STDs have rapidly multiplied into HIV, chlamydia, HPV, bacterial vaginosis, genital herpes, PID, trichomoniasis, chancroid, and over 20 others. The effects of these diseases range from discomfort and nasty-looking outbreaks to infertility and death. And all of this in the name of sexual freedom.

Then there is the divorce rate which has skyrocketed since the sexual revolution began. Probably because of the eradication of inhibitions to commit adultery. “What? You should be able to be married to whoever you are in love with. If it’s not your spouse, you should be able to get divorced and marry the one you love.” Maybe. Maybe not. But how has this affected children. Children have had to live in split households, not being able to see what true sacrifice and love means, not seeing people work relationships out. Not having the influence of both a father and mother on them. Maybe you are one of those children. Maybe you turned out “just fine”. But think of how your life might have been different if your parents had worked it out. Suddenly sex isn’t only affecting you. Its affecting families. One’s lack of self-control might destroy their own family, and it might destroy someone else’s. But sexual freedom is most important. I keep forgetting about that.

The point is, our culture has degraded sex into an act where we come together, mutually (usually) derive pleasure from each other, and then leave. We ignore any emotional, physiological, psychological, or moral consequences. Whatever feels good is good. Not feeling good is bad. So feel good! Yet, it clearly has not worked out to make our society better, but has created more brokenness! Part of our human dignity is derived from the fact that we have the freedom to make choices. God was so good in giving us that ability. But all choices are not equal. Some choices diminish that human dignity, and the sexual revolution has made those choices prevalent. Just think about this: we want people to be repressive when it comes to robbing banks, when it comes to bad driving, when it comes to lying, when it comes to violence. Why? Because we sense that an excess of freedom in these areas is not a good thing. Well folks the same is true with sex, only its a lot harder to exercise self-control in this area, for what I think are obvious reasons. It doesn’t mean that we should give up or not try very hard.

Conclusion: We’ve come darn close to having absolute sexual freedom in our nation, and things have gotten worse, none of the promises from it have come to light. So why not see where exercising a little self-control, and respect for human dignity gets us, for say, the next 50 years, giving both “revolutions” and equal amount of time to change society. And let the best man win.

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