Hook up Sex:Pride and Predjudice and Porn

My favorite deacon and I often are asked by teens and young adults how is it  possible to live a chaste life in sex saturated culture.  It is assumed that dating is for sex and not for finding a spouse.

Mark Mitchell over at Front Porch Republic has an excellent assessment of our morally bankrupt culture. H/T Joe Carter on the First Thoughts blog.

“Nevertheless, the advent of the so-called hook-up culture has fostered expectations among young men that encounters with co-eds naturally lead to no-strings-attached sex. Sex is not preceded by an altar, commitment, “I love you”, or even a decent conversation. In a hook-up culture anonymous sex is not a scandal but, it would seem, the ideal, for when sex is depersonalized, it cannot lead to the complications associated with affection, vulnerability, and the desire to sacrifice for the good of the other person.

Yet appearances are deceptive, at least according to Gail Dines, author of Porn Land: How Porn Has Hijacked our Sexuality. In the same NPR program, Dines argues that women who participate in the hook-up culture experience higher rates of depression, higher incidence of alcohol abuse, and significant decreases in self-esteem. In short, “the hook-up culture is not working well for women.” It’s hard to imagine how participating in an activity where one is merely an object to be stripped and used would not lead to bad results. That the woman can tell herself that she is using the man in the same way he is using her seems to offer little effective consolation.

According to Dines, the hook-up culture is a natural outgrowth of the culture of pornography, which in recent years has gone mainstream. Dines argues that pornography fundamentally changes the way men think of sexuality, and if this is the case, there is good reason for concern. The average age of a boy’s first exposure to porn is eleven, and according to Dines, pornography is the leading form of sex education in our society today.

Pornography teaches young men to view women as depersonalized sex objects, and because pornography seems to create an insatiable desire for increasingly extreme forms of objectification, the hard-core pornography common today and readily accessible to anyone with access to the internet is shocking for its level of violence and degradation. According to Dines, hard-core porn is a staple on many college campuses and there is little stigma attached to consuming it.”

But what does the hook up culture and porn have to do with  Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice? Mark Mitchell ties it in right nicely.

Excerpt

Try, for instance, to imagine Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy (Lizzy and Fitz no doubt) hooking up. It is impossible. Given who they are and the value they place on propriety, constancy, amiability, and marriage, to imagine them participating in the hook-up culture is to debase them. It is to seriously damage their integrity as persons. How could it do anything less?

Excatly. Austin and her characters understood what our supposedly enlightened society refuses to face.  People are not objects to be used.

Do read the entire article here.

About Susan Kehoe

I am the wife of a Catholic deacon living in Des Moines Iowa. My husband Larry was ordained in 2006. We have two children and five grandchildren.. Our daughter and her family live in Ireland, and our son and his family live in Franklin Massachusetts.
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