Photo courtesy of Olga Besnard / Shutterstock.com
“Why did Mike Ditka and Joe Paterno recommend the removal of facemasks from football players’ helmets?” asks BC professor, Tim Muldoon, “It’s because when I perceive I’m protected, I amp up my risk level. Same with contraception.”
That bang you just heard was reality, closing in on you.
Muldoon’s analogy is what my Auntie Lillie would have called “a spanking good telling” that delivers an inarguable truth to our got-contraception-now-go-have-sex culture; it’s the point Muldoon is making in Part III of his 5-part series on the McDonaldsization of Sex:
Natural sexual behavior is not fundamentally rational, in the sense that it always involves careful forethought and planning. It is rooted in desire and passion which, as Plato once observed, can be like a wild horse that must be tamed by a charioteer of a person’s will and harnessed to the tame horse of a person’s reason. Moreover, sexual behavior, like much human behavior, is fundamentally mimetic. People take their social cues in matters of sexuality from the people around them in a society. (For a scholarly discussion on this, see the work of the theorist René Girard. Overview here.) Following Freud, when primitive men competed for the sexual favors of women who restricted their access to sex, the men had to compete for women by developing communication patterns and sensitivities to their needs. The resulting dynamic was civilization. Women called the shots, and men became more humane.
In the contraceptive era, however, that dynamic has been reversed because contraception has made sexual access virtually universal. Men have little incentive to marry, rear children, or develop responsibility. Their competitive urges, instead of being directed toward marriage and family, are directed toward competition and violence. But here I depart from Freud, and I wonder whether sexual behavior, like aggressive behavior, increases in a damaging way with greater expression (a phenomenon known as the “catharsis hypothesis” or “ventilationist hypothesis,” both of which suggest that just “letting it out” is a good thing). If that is true, then the greater opportunity for sex guaranteed by contraception may in fact be feeding a cycle that is ultimately destructive for individuals and society as a whole.
There he goes. Another damn Catholic actually applying reason where society says it has no business going. Read the whole thing; pass it around; discuss it at lunch; send it to your pastor and your manicurist, and to all the folks you know who think smart Catholics should leave the church because the stupid Catholics will stubbornly, unreasonably cling to their teachings, and refuse to understand what “everyone” accepts — that we’re just animals and we shouldn’t be constrained to control ourselves, except when it comes to soft drinks.