arhyalon (arhyalon) wrote,
arhyalon
arhyalon

“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?

Granted, I would also agree that a culture that keeps its women bound up and out of sight is also not my idea of a healthy culture. Nor a culture that relies on fear to maintain its control.
 
And yet culturally – not individually – ancient Athens, where the women were kept out of sight, was a much healthier culture than Sparta, where the women had great power and freedom – if your standard for healthy culture is: it continues and does not fail due to lack of population. In Sparta, the sexes lived apart and seldom bothered interacting with each other.  Sparta fell because their population dwindled to the point that they could not maintain their style of life.
 
And yet, isn’t it possible to have a society that stresses the rights of the individual and yet does not encourage decadence? 
 
Makes me wonder:  what was so wrong with the Victorians again?
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