A new report
says 110 million Americans now have an sexually transmitted infection
(STI; also known as sexually transmitted disease, STD), more than one third of the nation's population. There were nearly 20 million new infections in 2008 alone, and 50% of the new infections were to people aged 15-24. What does this signal about American culture?“The evidence is overwhelming,” says Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM). “The sexual revolution has been tried and shown to be an utter failure. The body count and the diseases continue to rise. Marriages and families are destroyed.”“The only ones who do not see this are the ideologists who refuse to see the empirical evidence. They are as willfully blind as the most hard-line Stalinists ever were. And they keep asking for more and more of the same.”Professor Emeritus of Philosophy Fr. James V. Schall thinks the hard questions about the sexual revolution are not being taken seriously. “[I]f 110 million Americans, about one in three, are inflected with ‘sexually transmitted diseases,’ we ask: What good then were the billions of dollars spent to prevent these very diseases? Were they misspent? Why did the preventive measures and cures not work?”“Moreover, not only are there these diseases with us but also the millions of abortions which are also the results of failed ‘sexual transmission’ techniques that were designed to prevent the conceptions of children? Contraception methods and sexual education programs have not worked. In fact, they seem to have made the problem worse. ““The one question we do not want to ask ourselves is this: Are the mores and laws designed to give us ‘rights’ and keep us healthy not themselves at the heart of the problem? It does not take a genius to figure out that ‘sexually transmitted diseases’ have something to do with the circumstances that surround sexual acts.”We have the solutions to these problems, says Fr. Schall, but our culture doesn’t like them. “We do know how to prevent these diseases and abortions. We do so by putting sex responsibly where it belongs, in the families of one wife and one husband and their children. We choose, in other words, what the wisdom of mankind has always told us: If you act outside of what is the good and purpose of anything, you will pay the consequences. What we have done is to try to deal with the consequences without admitting the cause. Thus, if we choose to look at our individual sexual ‘rights,’ but not our responsibilities, the figures for next years, as for previous years, will continue to go up from a third to a half and so on. These too are facts.”The following Aleteia Experts contributed to this article:
Austin Ruse is president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM).
Fr. James V. Schall, S.J. is a teacher, writer, and philosopher. Most recently, he was Professor of Political Philosophy in the Department of Government at Georgetown University, from which he retired in 2012.