Every now and then I think of my grandparents and great grandparents and what society must have been like for them. Things were different back then. People married younger and the divorce rate was under 15%. Babies born to unwed mothers was under 10%. And while unwed pregnancies were around 20%, 50% of those women married before the baby was born. Premarital sex was taboo and looked down upon. The majority of children were born into a home with their biological married mother and father, the majority of children grew up with both parents.
In today’s society the divorce rate for all marriages is around 50%. More than 40% of children are born to unwed mothers. Additionally, there are approximately 1.2 million abortions each year and 85% are committed by unwed mothers. Today, premarital sex is not at all taboo. Instead it is expected of teens and college students to be sexually active and to explore their sexuality. Today, less than half the children in America will spend their entire childhood with their married biological mother and father. The traditional family has crumbled and sexual morality is considered old fashion and out of date.
The difference of course is what was taught. Before the 1960’s, youth were taught abstinence before marriage. After that youth were taught the mechanics of sex, and now students are taught that whatever they feel and want is ok as long as the other person consents.
Today, I read about another side effect of this very change. A married mother of 3 sons has developed a ‘Yes to Sex’ app for college students. And it is doing well. Probably fearing that her sons could be accused of rape, Wendy Mandell-Geller found a way to get legal consent through smart phones.
The ‘Yes to Sex’ app requires prospective sexual partners to agree to consent for sexual activity, agree on birth control or protection or none, and agree on a safe word. No personal information or photos are required. Rather the app records verbal consent and stores these on the company’s servers for a year along with the date, time, and place of the sexual encounter. Each person must say aloud ‘I’m saying yes!’ followed by the safe words before sexual activity.
Recently an EDU version of the app has been added. This costs $5 a year and is to make consent compliant with Title IX, the same that assures schools and universities won’t discriminate because of sex but also has a lot of say about consent and sexual harassment– making the government a partner in consent.
Of course, the real solution to the rape culture and divorce, and single parent homes, and abortion is not apps and laws but a return to our roots and the morals taught to our grandparents.