Friday, August 26, 2011

Why Conservative Views on Sex Are Harmful

Besides the already necessary and controversial rights people have to their own bodies (regardless of issues of abortion, STD's, sex education, gay rights, contraceptives, and rape), there is one fundamental issue that needs to be addressed regarding Conservatism and sex. As I personally study Anthropology, I am aware that one of the most obvious anthropological markers regarding human sexuality involves fetishism. Note, when I say sexual fetishism, I do not condemn unique desires; I am using this as more of an anthropological term rather than the colloquial term. Fetishism is generally thought of with the idea of possessing and committing "weird" erotic acts and fantasies, S & M, and bondage, etc., but the term has many meanings. In this sense, this idea of fetishism in a world of sexual repression has to do with more harmfully deviating from normal boundaries and developing intense biological and psychological responses out of a sense of desperation and lack of identity. People must understand that sexual fetishism, sexual violence, and seemingly strange erotic behavior actually arise from sexually repressed societies. Many people (especially Conservatives) think that the more we recognize sex, the more crime, violence, pedophilia, and general disturbances will surface. We must understand that this is absolutely not the case.

When societies do not treat sex as a controversial subject, people are more apt to view it as a normal part of life. Repressed societies that regard coitus as sinful and not normal cause people to act out their already biologically-instilled desires, but in harmful ways. Now re-imagine those places again and evaluate their market for sex workers and sex slaves compared to the more sexually liberated countries. It is not a new idea that more repression leads to more violence. Our negative attitudes toward sex coupled with our biological desires to procreate can lead to very dangerous and confusing activity, thus we have created numerous subcultures of sexual fetishism. People regard sex as something non-important and unnecessary. Yet, think about how many have KILLED over sex from the issue of cheating spouses to domestic violence. I am not saying those repercussions are in any way, shape, or form right, I am merely pointing out that sex IS important and IS a major aspect of our lives whether we like it or not. Acting as if it is not and should not be significant is exceedingly detrimental to our society. Our bodies do not have an agenda.
And now, as I know this will come up, people may be inclined to say that sexual violence has risen in modern times compared to earlier times. Let this be clear: though the statistics may show that a larger number of people have reported sexual violence, think about a.) how much bigger the population is now, and b.) how likely it was for people to report sexual violence in earlier times. I understand many do not really understand this concept, but (since women are the largest group of sexual violence recipients) we must remember that women did not have rights like men did. Back in the “golden days” women had to prove that they were raped. Husbands were legally allowed to rape their wives, and the law had more concern over men who were not their husbands, specifically strangers (acquaintances did not matter very much either unless there was a great deal of physical damage) raping and beating women. If a woman was raped but did not have physical wounds, it did not matter. Therefore, it was very unlikely for women to report rape as, oftentimes, they were the ones viciously blamed for it. Not to mention also that at certain points in history, it was not necessarily considered rape to be with a child, and the likelihood of same sex couples or same sex abuse victims to report any kind of violence was slim due to our wonderful society’s oh-so-lovely “compassion” we have toward other beings.
So, basically, the answer is no, sexual crime has NOT increased with our increase in acceptance and education, and it is completely ignorant to think so.

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