The New Yorker has a fascinating article about differing views on human sexuality between conservatives and liberals. While there’s not much too terribly new in it (we already know liberals take a realistic approach to human sexuality that emphasizes family planning where conservatives want to dominate human sexuality through fear and misinformation), it’s well written and has some interesting insights. Here are a couple of excerpts:
[Social scientists and family-law scholars] Regnerus and Carbone and Cahn all see a new and distinct “middle-class morality” taking shape among economically and socially advantaged families who are not social conservatives. In Regnerus’s survey, the teen-agers who espouse this new morality are tolerant of premarital sex (and of contraception and abortion) but are themselves cautious about pursuing it.
Evangelicals are very good at articulating their sexual ideals, but they have little practical advice for their young followers. Social liberals, meanwhile, are not very good at articulating values on marriage and teen sexuality—indeed, they may feel that it’s unseemly or judgmental to do so. But in fact the new middle-class morality is squarely pro-family. Maybe these choices weren’t originally about values—maybe they were about maximizing education and careers—yet the result is a more stable family system.
For too long, the conventional wisdom has been that social conservatives are the upholders of family values, whereas liberals are the proponents of a polymorphous selfishness. This isn’t true, and, every once in a while, liberals might point that out.
Anyway, if you want a great overview of the opposed views of human sexuality, this article is well worth reading.