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Article: Sex revolution robbed us of fertility

September 14, 2007

Angela Shanahan / The Australian:

Despite the media’s discomfort, the fertility crisis in the West is a moral problem and, of course, only moral leaders such as Pope Benedict XVI have the guts and authority to enunciate it.

The truth about declining fertility is not all that complicated. It is the inevitable result of a so-called sexual revolution that broke the nexus between sex and having children, and has skewed our relationships, particularly marriage, forever.

What the media coyly refer to as private morality — also known as sexual morality — is having all too public social consequences.

On average, women in Europe will now only bear 1.5 children each, and in some places it is down to 1.2. The enlightened West can’t produce enough children to fuel its economy or maintain its culture.

In western Europe nothing will change this short of some great and terrible upheaval, such as another war. No amount of economic fiddling with family tax rates, no amount of child care or incentives for women to work, not even the threat of cultural extinction as a result of mass migration from Africa and the Middle East, will change it.

(…)

Among the childless, men seem to fear that marriage will push them into more of a provider role. They harbour strong doubts about the ultimate value of a relationship — whether it will be lifelong — and are less likely than women to yield to normative pressure from parents. What exactly was the word the Pope used: selfish?

This is much more a picture of reluctant youthful grooms being dragged to the altar than of reluctant New Age feminist brides not wanting to be tied down with an uneven share of the household chores and child care, which is what feminist academics claim is the motivator for the new non-marriage relationship.

In fact, it emphasises how little our sexual expectations have changed — because women still want stability, marriage and children — but, at the same time, how badly the new sexual norms are treating women.

Who now quotes with approval the original shallow feminist rhetoric, when women thought that armed with the pill they would hold all the cards, that they would not be tied down and would be free to act just like men? The experiences of women such as the one who sent me that letter belie all that propaganda.

Full article here.

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