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I've always respected the thought process that most of you fellow L.O.ers have even if I don't agree personally, so I want to put this question out for debate.
In Canada, our Supreme Court has just ruled that Swinger clubs should be legal, and there is a push to legalize Polygamy. The thrust of the argument for this is that: consenting people should have the right to do what they want with who they want when they want, as long as it doesn't effect other people. On the surface I can understand it, but I think perhaps we are missing some long term effects.
Perhaps it is my older age (37) than most on this forum, or perhaps my Christian background, but I look at this liberalization and I see problems especially for the children of such "open" parents. There was another thread about "Woman marries Dolphin" that was too me, sensational but sad. How far will we go? How far is far enough? At what point should society say morality matters? Will there be a cost for this liberalization on families?
I don't care about what people do in their bedrooms, but I do care about their children, should I?
Last edited by Diggums Hammer; January 14th, 2006 at 17:47.
"A love for tradition has never weakened a nation, indeed it has strengthened nations in their hour of peril."
Sir Winston Churchil
Okay, here's my two cents..
People have assumed that children who grow up in 'open' marriages, or gay ones, or heck, outside of marriage altogether will come out wrong, because those types of relationships are not conducive to producing healthy children.
Noone's stopped to consider that maybe the reason children who come out of these relationships are troubled is because society is so unaccepting. The children of gay parents are going to get the crap beaten out of them at school, the children of swingers are going to suffer ostracism and, as this thread demonstrates, pity..
Anthropology tells us that, around the world, healthy children can and have been raised in almost every concievable situation. What has been proven to hurt children is the feeling that their society hates them, or considers them different, or thinks their parents were wrong for adopting/giving birth to them.
Thus, it's a self fulfilling prophecy.. As long as these types of relationships remain 'wierd', they're not going to be conducive to childrearing. If they ceased to be 'wierd' however, and are accepted by society, there's no evidence of any personal or social problem which will convince me a child can't be raised successfully in an open marriage.
I tend to agree with Mantis (which seems to be happening fairly often lately!) Children in traditionally polygamous societies turn out fine, it's just children of polygamy in societies where it's illegal or frowned upon who may not fare so well. Remove the stigma and you remove the damage.
Personally I think people should be able to do whatever they want with sex and relationships except have sex with those unable to consent (mentally disabled people, children or animals.) Other than that I say it should be open slather. Society won't collapse, it will just change. Some things willl be worse, some things will be better. I don't think a human society can collapse through pure decadence, I think that's a victorian prejudice from times where sex was severely demonized.
On a somewhat related note, the current Australian government (who are obsessed with some mythical idea of "family" that seems to come from the 1950s) have just made it mandatory for couples seeking divorces to go to government "relationship centres" where caseworkers attempt to save their marriage. Their justification for this monstrous intervention of the state into the private life of individuals is the "think of the children" argument. Ironically I think all it will do is discourage couples from marrying in the first place. I have a friend who grew up in a household where his parent's love had slowly turned to indifference and then into dislike because they were catholic and decided to stay together despite no longer loving one another "for the children." He ended up as a drug addict and was the most unhappy kid I knew. Kids can sense stuff like that.
What I think we should do is focus on what's important for survival. We should be striving for austerity in our consumption not our sexual behaviour. Unbridled consumerism actually has the power to destroy the whole earth, unlike gay marriage
I agree wholeheartedly with robotnik except on divorce. Yes there are cases where people just need to break up and get it over with, but there are really stupid reasons, and it does effect the kids. So what Austrialia is doing actually sounds cool. One reason for that might be becuase the divorce rate was in the 80's even like 10-15% now its up to 50%. Thats just people giving up.
As far as sex goes. If she/he/it/they can defend themselves and can consent for themselves, you two (or more) can make each other happy however you want. Its not my business. But the same rules apply. Personnally, I like the old courting idea, between me and a member of the opposite sex, in my case a girl. But I'm not going to force somebody else to do things my way, its their choice.
Three Companies of the 26th Vinancium
143rd Airborne Badgers (99.9% done)
159th Corsair Rifles (35% done))
69th Armored Wall Busters (95% done)
Total 197 men, 12 tanks, 4 Heavy Artillery Pieces
I must agree with Mantis and Robotnik on this one too. I don’t think sexual liberalisation necessarily has any negative influence on children. I grew up in what I believe is one of the most sexually liberalised countries in the world, if not the most liberalised. We have a legal (and thriving) porn industry, legal prostitution, and no law prohibiting any kind of sexual behaviour apart from paedophilia and non-consensual sex.
I was raised in what I suppose one would call a ‘closed’ relationship myself, but was early on confronted with sex through the mandatory mother-and-daughter talk and sex ed lessons in school (twice a year from age 12 and up) that taught me everything I ever needed to know about anything. Yes, we were even informed of homophilia and zoophilia, and the practical exercises in application of a condom on a properly proportioned plastic model were always such a laugh. Some would probably find this offensive, but I honestly don’t think it has made me a more unbalanced or mentally damaged person to be confronted with sex at even such an early age. Sex is a perfectly natural thing; legalising against it just makes it something shameful and taboo, and where does that leave children?
I agree with Mantis that feeling shameful or being harassed by others because of one’s parents’ relationship(s) is much more damaging to a child than learning about sexual relationships from an early age. All a child really needs is someone who loves it and whom it can love back unconditionally, and to feel protected and safe. In my opinion it’s perfectly alright for a child to be with two homosexual parents or parents who enjoy swinging in the weekend as long as they know to hug their child close and tell it that they love it as often as possible.
So many children are damaged from living with two strictly heterosexual, monogamous, normal, boring parents who just happen not to love their child. Children can feel such things, and that’s more damaging to them than anything else. As long as the people in a family love each other and their children, I don’t care at all what any number and variety of consenting adults get up to when they’re alone in their bedroom.
Last edited by Grephaun; January 15th, 2006 at 00:32.
"Girls are nice and cuddly on the outside, and freaky on the inside." ~ Lost Nemesis.
Knowing a few "swingers" here in the states, I can attest that I really don't see the problem. One couple I know quite well are wonderful parents, responsible citizens, and perfectly adjusted. Granted, the concept of sharing one's spouse or partner with another party is alien to me. It's not something that interests me or my wife, but the couple I'm writing of has very specific limits about what sort of relationships they will enter. They have a wonderful child who's quite young. How they will explain their lifestyle as he ages and catches wind of things, I don't know.
The other person I know engages in what he and his wife term "polyamory." They sometimes enter into more entangled relationships, and I've seen relationship fallout there. But they, too, have a terrific child who's more knowledgeable, creative, and aware than most children her age.
Bad parenting doesn't come from one's sex life, which is a personal liberty not defined by any natural law. One persistent argument made, one that appears above already, is that considering the rate at which heterosexuals and monogamists are divorcing, who can really say that that's so great? One might even argue that the divorce rate points toward a tendency for polygamy.
Centuries later, America is haunted by Puritanical ghosts yet is awash in messages that to be accepted one must not only be attractive, but sexy, and preferably young. It's this bizarre dual personality. Sex everywhere: magazines, billboards, fashion, music, television, and on and on. Meanwhile, people skulk about wagging their fingers at people who embrace their sexuality.
Sexuality should not be legally or culturally determined. It is determined personally.
I also think, at least in the US, conservatives wield the argument of a "sexually permissive culture" as another red herring, distracting from much more important issues than "My neighbor Sally is shacking up with another woman! How will I explain this to my child?" Health care, social security, foreign policy, that's what matters. Not the fact that a gay person wants legal and cultural legitimacy and the right to marry, or that these two adults want to sleep with those other two adults.
I remember some guy saying, and forgive me, but I can't remember the source, that the great victory of the American right wing has been to turn the argument away from economic issues, where they can't hope to win over the poorer majority because they aren't promising massive healthcare improvements, or better state schools, and over to social issues, where they can win.Originally Posted by DavidVC04
That's a bit to 'clever' for my liking, but maybe there's a grain of truth in it.
Both major parties claim wins where they can. A lot of it is marketing. The Democrats lag far behind the Republicans here. If you get the chance, read a book titled The Republican Noise Machine. It's written by a man who worked as a "conservative attack-journalist."
The sad thing is, I don't know if the left wing wouldn't do the same thing in their ascendancy. Hell, I'd vote for almost any government that was corruption-free, no matter the wing or issues. But power pollutes, and sometimes it seems that it's muddy everywhere I look.