Something in our nature craves the constraints that produce the rewards an honour code confers.
A recent editorial in Canada’s National Post informs us that many indicators, such as a dramatically diminished interest in topless bathing in France, the bellwether of female sexual liberation, point to a return of relative conservatism in women’s attitudes to sex.
In North America, teens of all races and classes are starting sexual relations later than in the 1990s, and rates of teen pregnancy, birth and abortion are going down. Speculating on the causes for the shift, the editorial cites the birth control pill, fear of STDs and the dawning realization by western women that unbridled, indiscriminate sexual activity entails more lasting psychological harms than is warranted by its transient pleasurable gain. One could add to this list fears of privacy invasion by ubiquitous smartphones and other empirical dampers on promiscuous self-exposure.
But I think there is a “bigger picture” factor at work here as well: namely, the slow, tentative, fragile return of women’s lost sense of sexual honour.
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