The Fate Of Culture In J. D. Unwin’s “Sex And Culture” -- By: Daniel Janosik
CAJ 10:1 (Spring 2012) p. 33
The Fate Of Culture In J. D. Unwin’s “Sex And Culture”
If the British anthropologist J. D. Unwin1 is correct in his assessment of society, this present generation in the Western world may be the last one. In his book, Sex and Culture, professor Unwin studied eighty “uncivilized” cultures and compared his results with sixteen “civilized” cultures extending over the last 4,000 years. He found that when strict heterosexual monogamy was practiced, the society attained its greatest cultural energy, especially in the arts, sciences and technology. But as people rebelled against the prohibitions placed upon them and demanded more sexual opportunities, there was a consequent loss of their creative energy, which resulted in the decline and eventual destruction of the civilization. Remarkably, he did not find any exception to this trend.
From the rise of divorce, the breakdown of the family, and the re–definition of marriage itself, to the rampant increase of internet pornography
CAJ 10:1 (Spring 2012) p. 34
and the growing danger of pedophilia, American culture is fragmenting at an alarming rate. Why has there been such an outbreak of sexually deviant and sexually destructive acts? Will we heed his words as a nation, rise above this unraveling of our moral fabric, and find healing, or will we continue our race to the ocean, lemming–like and filled with fury and futility? What will the future hold if we cannot reverse this trend? There are some answers in Unwin’s prophetic work, even though it was written two generations ago. It is time for a change of direction.
Unwin concluded that the fabric that holds a society together is sexual in nature. When life–long heterosexual monogamous relationship is practiced, the focus is on the nurture of the family and energy is expended to protect, plan for, and build up the individual family unit. This extends to the entire society and produces a strong society focused on preserving the strength of the family. However, he found that when sexual opportunities opened the door to pre–marital, post–marital, and homosexual relationships, the social energy always dissipated as the individual focused more on self–gratification rather than societal good. In the end, the energy level reached such a low point that destruction from within, through anarchy, or destruction from without, through despotism or from an invading force with greater social energy, was inevitable.
Unwin also believes that this process of degeneration will take place within three generations of a society’s movement away from absolute monogamy. If this is true, then our culture in the West is now gra...
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