It can perhaps be said that the ‘Sexual Revolution’ which is still underway today, had its beginnings way back in 1960. It was then that the publisher of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Penguin Books, was charged with breaching the Obscene Publications Act due to the book’s explicit descriptions of sex and use of words which even today are published only on a restricted basis. The publisher was found ‘not guilty.’
Courts came to similar conclusions in USA, Australia, Canada and other countries and the floodgates opened. Now, it seems, with the advent of the internet, just about anything is possible. Adultery, incest, sadomasochism, sodomy, bestiality, violence – you can read, and see, all about it in the comfort of your own home on your computer. Yes, so long as the parties voluntarily consent, anything is possible.
But is it? Are these freely available stories, pictures, videos doing harm to growing minds? Is it true freedom to encourage harmful relationship attitudes?
First it was to give people the right to publish virtually anything. That’s freedom. Then it was to condone sexual behaviour in whatever form the parties wished. That’s freedom. Then to allow ‘no fault’ divorce. Then to allow pregnancy terminations. Now the world is in the process of redefining marriage. In Ireland it was the choice of the people, in USA, the vote of just five Supreme Court Justices.
What is the result? Young people expected to adhere to changed society norms, despite personal moral standards; relationships now often considered transient; many coerced, even forced by law, to violate deeply held beliefs and customs.
Does the individual’s right to these freedoms result in others being coerced or induced into behaviour they might otherwise reject?
Much good has resulted from the lifting of strict moral codes of the Victorian era but has it gone too far? Should unbridled freedom and the rights of the individual always take precedence? Do these freedoms to indulge personal desires encourage illicit behaviour?
Look at these statistics. The number of road accident fatalities per 100,000 population:
- Australia 7.8
- Canada 8.8
- United States 13. 9
- Russia 25.2
- Egypt 41. 6
These rates seem very likely to closely align with the strictness of road rules and their compliance by road users in each country. In our campaign for individual freedom should we really argue against Australia’s strict road rules and compliant users?