This article is by Sun News editorial writer Conlan Salgado.
There is a new study published by Shamus Khan and Jennifer S. Hirsch about sexual assault. It was carried in Columbia University’s magazine, the Spring/Summer 2020 issue. There is also a book containing the results and the solutions offered by these two professors at Columbia University. I happened to notice the article, and I read it to understand what new discoveries had been made and new solutions had been offered. The article gave the impression that many more problems have been discovered by the study and none of them solved; the social sciences though have been at that for years. Of course, there were solutions offered in the text (dialogue form) of the article, but I do not think that any of them are new solutions, or even helpful ones. For instance, the litany of problems begins with the very title of the study, “Sexual Citizens”. I don’t understand such a title; we already have hyper-sexualized citizens. A rather disturbing study of 2017 showed that, across Europe and America, the average number of sexual partners a man has in his lifetime is six and a woman generally seven. Men and women apparently agree, however, that seven is the “ideal number” of sexual partners to have in one’s lifetime, though certain countries have even higher preferences. In conventional French extravagance, the citizens of that country believe the ideal number of sexual partners is 10. And here is little ol’ me being raised to believe one should have only one sexual partner his entire life, and she ought to be one’s wife. Broadly too, the study found that 30% of people maintain that too many sexual partners (whether that be all at once or over a lifetime, I can’t say) may terminate a relationship. Let’s say it in the more disheartening way though: 70% of people don’t believe that having too many sexual partners is a relationship terminator. Remember now that “too many” indicates an excess beyond the ideal number, which was seven. Therefore, 30% of women would consider terminating their relationship with a man if he “had” more than seven sexual partners. But let us examine what Professors Hirsch and Khan meant by sexual citizenship: “Sexual Citizenship refers to people’s right to say yes to the sex they want and no to the sex they don’t want, as well as their understanding that other people have an equivalent right.” They talk about sex as if it were food on a dinner table: “Do you want the sex? No, I don’t want the sex. Does Cindy want the sex? How about you pass the sex to her.” The study then explores what may be the cause of supposed rampant violation of sexual citizenship rights. Professor Khan reveals an important discovery: “that often (though not always), people committing assaults thought they were having consensual sex.” What the hell? How does anyone, even a raping psychopath, think he is having consensual sex when he is sexually assaulting another human being? And this study was an examination of college sexual assaults primarily, which means they were studying college boys and girls. How does a college boy, who must possess a basic level of social functionality, come about thinking that his sexual assault is consensual? We ought to dwell on this issue a bit more. Professor Hirsch offers a solution for this problem too. She says, “Who taught him to ignore women? What kind of family raised him, and what kind of school system failed to educate him to hear women’s voices, to be so unaware of the power he deployed in that situation?” No, no, no, Professor Hirsch, it is not the kind of family that raised him, it is the lack of family that raised him. There are fourteen million single family homes in America, and 83% of those households are occupied by single mothers. Incidentally, regarding Professor Hirsch’s comment about hearing women’s voices, many young men hear primarily females voices in the home growing up because of the increasing crop of single mothers. The divorce rate in America is lurking about the 50% mark. What do these two statistics, about single homes and divorce rates, indicate exactly? They indicate that the majority, the majority of young people have been systemically taught by their parents’ actions not to respect the needs of their “sexual partners”, whether those needs are financial, emotional, or physical. How can I say this? Well, the number one cause of divorce is Infidelity; then follow, money issues, lack of communication, constant arguing, and weight gain. Money issues is the second–most common cause, which is disconcerting. I guess when both spouses said, “For better or worse,” money was not under that marital umbrella. Also, why exactly would one person marry another unless one knew, unequivocally, that the other was going to communicate? And if one thought the other was indeed a good communicator, yet he turns out not to be as such, perhaps the marriage was too soon, which means both spouses might simply have been too immature for the whole affair. Well, at least the marriage affair. As for constant bickering, clearly couples don’t bother discerning whether or not they will be companionable, which is a minor plus when one intends to spend a lifetime together. Weight gain is slightly humiliating. One would divorce his spouse because he/she got fat? I can only figure that those marriages are formed purely on appreciation for the body, and when bodies go to pot, so does love. But all of these facts were brought up merely to prove that young people are taught, by the actions of their elders, that one’s own sexual needs are the most important aspect of any relationship. Those who cannot communicate cannot give emotional support; those who argue are not selfless; and, those whose love is lost by marital blubber are capable of having only a physical relationship not a soul relationship, not even a mental relationship. This is the most important observation I have made; sexual assaults take place because young people, especially young men, seem to have been taught that purely physical relationships are tolerable, even to be encouraged. Well, isn’t abuse of the body to be expected when a young person is taught by his culture that body pleasure is the highest consideration in a relationship? Why is it so shocking that a young man would think that fulfilling his pleasures at the expense of his partner is all right? He has been shown that by his mother, his father, his girlfriends, his brothers, his sisters, his teachers, the movies, the music. Sex is an act of love, or it should be, and love is a sacrifice of one’s own interests and needs in order to fulfill another person’s needs. When that understanding is prevalent is when sexual assault will go away. It will not fade because young men are taught by their school teachers that women have a right to safe sex, because a young man who sees his father or mother contradict in action what his teacher espouses in words is far more inclined to emulate his parents’ actions than his teacher’s words. Sexual assault will fade when young people, not merely young men, are taught that the primary purpose of sex should not be self-pleasure, or for the increase of popular “status”, but to express a deep love, a soul love, for the person who is loved. When love and sex become privileges inherent to deep relationships, and not mere past-times, then sexual assault will fade.
[Note: the book by Hirsch and Khan, Sexual Citizens: A Landmark Study of Sex, Power, and Assault on Campus, was published by W.W. Norton & Co in Jan. 2020]