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This Is How Christian Sexual Morality Spread Worldwide

Image Source: PUWADON SANG / Shutterstock

What is the foreseeable future of romantic associations? Exploring the realm of polyamory as a potential avenue for sexual minority rights, Louise Perry, the author of The case against the sexual revolution, delves into the subject. While some proponents advocate for legal validations of their partnerships, Perry advises caution in completely dismissing the idea of monogamy.

Despite the prevalence of polygynous mating structures throughout human history, Perry contends that monogamy has emerged as a more stable and harmonious societal system. She points to the “Cinderella effect,” where households with multiple wives tend to experience conflicts, and step-parents are more inclined to mistreat their stepchildren. Perry also traces the historical origins of monogamy back to ancient Rome, a period with starkly different and harsh sexual morality, and to the rise of Christianity, which introduced revolutionary notions regarding sexuality.

While recognizing the drawbacks of Christian perspectives on sexuality, Perry suggests that the fundamental principle of safeguarding the vulnerable and restraining the powerful remains pertinent in contemporary times.

LOUISE PERRY: The emergence of polyamory as the next frontier for sexual minority rights appears plausible. Presently, marriage is rigidly defined in monogamous terms, prompting some advocates of polyamory to call for equitable legal recognition for their relationships similar to monogamous unions.

The emergence of polyamory as the next frontier for sexual minority rights appears plausible. Presently, marriage is rigidly defined in monogamous terms, prompting some advocates of polyamory to call for equitable legal recognition for their relationships similar to monogamous unions.

However, there is a potential risk in outright rejecting the monogamous model. Advocates of polyamory often cite the historical prevalence of polygynous structures within human societies. Approximately 80% of cultural records indicate polygyny as the norm, while monogamous systems only represent 20%. The uniqueness of the monogamous model deserves consideration.

Modern advancements have transformed our material circumstances significantly. From contraceptive methods to the management of sexually transmitted diseases to technological innovations like the internet – our contemporary world offers a plethora of opportunities for restructuring our societal norms. These advancements usher in new possibilities for relationships and partnerships.

The defense of polyamory often overestimates our ability to tame our primal instincts. Despite technological progress, our cognitive evolution lags behind. Our brains remain relics of our hunter-gatherer ancestry, limiting our capacity to swiftly engineer utopian societal frameworks.

PROGRAM MANAGER: “Salt Lake City, Utah, and the residence of Dr. RC Allred, a proponent of plural marriage and its practice and advocacy.”

PERRY: While individuals are free to explore diverse mating patterns, including polyamory, for society at large, particularly women and children, the monogamous system remains more desirable despite its imperfections.

PROGRAM MANAGER: “Monogamous America Anticipates the Response to the Question: How Many Wives?”

PERRY: Monogamy enhances societal stability, peace, and prosperity. A direct comparison between societies accommodating both monogamous and polygynous systems reveals noticeable disparities. Multi-wife households are more susceptible to conflicts, and stepchildren are at a higher risk of maltreatment from their step-parents. This phenomenon, known as the “Cinderella effect,” as delineated by Stephen Pinker, stands as a significant factor contributing to child abuse.

We have inherited the institution of monogamous marriage from ancient Rome, which paradoxically favored a monogamous model. Contrarily, Roman sexual ethics were characterized by cruelty and brutality. In a world where practices like prostitution were rampant, the sexual double standard thrived, permitting men to indulge in promiscuity while holding women to stringent expectations of chastity.

With the advent of Christianity in the 1st century AD, radical and revolutionary views on sexuality were introduced, advocating for chastity in both men and women and refraining from premarital sex – a concept previously unheard of for men. While this message was met with resistance during ancient times, it resonated for complex historical reasons. Consequently, Christian sexual ethics exerted influence over Europe and its colonies for two millennia.

Despite the gradual erosion of Christian ideals in the 1960s onwards, the process of de-Christianization continues steadily.

Feminist perspectives often wrongly juxtapose feminist ideals against Christian doctrines, assuming inherent conflict. Beyond the contrasting notions on gender and sexuality within Christianity, the fundamental principle of protecting the vulnerable and curbing the powerful endures as a profound and radical belief.

NARRATOR: Expand your intellectual horizons with insights from eminent thought leaders. To delve even deeper into the minds of prominent thinkers, consider subscribing to Big Think+ for your organization.

Image Source: PUWADON SANG / Shutterstock

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