March 25th, 2008

“A healthier, less puritanical culture”

Just read an article in the TV Guide on sex on TV. (It included the amusing line about a teen show having a sex scene “your grandmother is too young to see” ) One of the people interviewed praised the growing amount of smut on TV with the comment “The more comfortable we are talking about sex and portraying sex, the healthier we are as a society. We’ve been far too puritanical as a culture.”

When did the idea get started that puritanical cultures were unhealthy? Didn’t that come from Freud and his repression theory? Hasn’t Freud been discredited psychologically for some time now (among psychiatrists)?
What evidence do we have that more puritanical cultures were unhealthy? Are we assuming that all cultures in the past were unhealthy? What about the fact that the only cultures in the past that have been very open about sex – the word decedent comes to mind – were gigantic empires spiraling their way down into destruction – such as Babylon and Rome.
What constitutes a healthy culture? What does a healthy culture entail? Would it be one where children have sex, abortions are high, many marriages end in divorce, many families are being raised by single mothers, family itself is not valued, and suggesting that people should write decent books for kids – or even that there is such a thing as decency at all – gets people all hot and bothered?

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