Down through the centuries, musicrnfrom popular to opera has revolvedrnaround love. Love lost. Love gained.rnEndless love. Falling in love. Unrequitedrnlove. Sometimes naive, corny, andrnsentimental. Occasionally erotic in anrnamorous, lighthearted way. But loe,rnnevertheless. Until recently, song lyricsrnwere never mean, grotesque, or disrespectful.rnI’he music did not remind yournof a grand mal seizure. Certairrly lovernwas not reduced to crotch-grabbing,rncruel images of caged, raped, or batteredrnwomen and of ripped genitalia (a la 2rnLive Crew).rnHow ironic that the 60’s generation—rnmy generation—which once proselytizedrn”Make love, not war” now admonishesrnits voung to “have sex, not love” and tornequate love with a glove, sex toys, andrncondoms; these, Ms. Gebbie, are thern”negative” images; these, Ms. Elders, arernthe “criminal” messages. Too many psvchologists,rntoo many grownups in general,rnhave forgotten what it was like to be arnchild. Never mind whether it was thern195()’s, 60’s, or 30’s. Just a child. We allrnhad hormones, you know. Today’s kidsrndidn’t invent them. But that first exposurernto sexual topics, if I remember correctly,rnwas not about our hormones.rnBefore I knew where babies comernfrom, before I knew about menstruation,rnbefore I knew about the sex act, before Irnneeded a bra, my little friends and I fantasizedrnabout love. Paul Newman wasrnhandsome; we weren’t interested in hisrngroin. And from the teenage years onrninto young adulthood, flirting was fun;rnconversation was the means of exploringrnthe first exhilarating feelings of attraction;rnand those initial fleeting momentsrnof physical intimac were exciting. Wernwere in love with being in love. An offcolorrnjoke, if it was clever, drew a smile.rnThe details of people’s sex lives did not.rnThev were private. A person’s virginitvrnintensely so.rnBecause of my recent book, I receivernall kinds of adolescent tests and surxeysrnin the mail—some anonymously, somernnot. One of the most recent, from Nebraska,rnasks youngsters, among a longrnlist of provocative questions, what theyrnthink about when they think of sex. Forgettingrnthe inappropriateness of such arnquestion for a moment, I wonder howrnmany wrote “love.” Or “caring.” Orrn”warmth.” Or “tenderness.”rnI was not raised a FundamentalistrnChristian. But ever since my book wasrnpublished—which struck a particuladvrnsensitive chord among the orthodoxrnChristian community, as well as withrnother religious groups—I think I betterrnunderstand why those sneeringly referredrnto as “religious” these days get bent outrnof shape when the topic of teaching evolutionrncomes up. It’s not merely thatrnthey are offended that humankind mayrntechnically at some point have had somernclose relatives among the simian family,rnalthough no direct proof of that theoryrnhas ever been confirmed. What reallyrngets under the skin of orthodox religiousrnparents is the suggestion, frequentlyrnpassed along with this theory, that humansrnare reallv just advanced animals.rnDon’t get me wrong. Anyone whornknows me will tell you that, left to myrndevices, I would take home the entirerncontents of the animal shelter. But humansrnare not animals. And animals,rndespite some similarities, includingrnemotions and the rudimentary ability tornplan, think, and make decisions, are notrnhumans with fur. Humans are not at thernmercy of their instincts and emotions.rnAnimals are. Animals, including thosernspecies that mate for life, do not eontemplaterntheir own existence.rnAt the heart of the resistance byrnorthodox religious people to today’srngovernment-mandated sex training isrnthat children are being encouraged tornconsider themselves as animals, withrnslightly more complex brain functions, ofrncourse—i.e., animals cannot be trainedrnto use a condom. But the fact is, animalsrndon’t need condoms. Nature did notrnconstruct animals in such a way thatrn”promiscuous” or indiscriminate sex isrngoing to hurt them. The purpose of sexrnin the animal kingdom is reproduction.rnPeriod. To animals, procreation is ofrnserious interest only when the female isrnin heat. In humans, procreation is of seriousrninterest mainly when two peoplernare in love.rnLove is most fulfilling when it involvesrnloss of self to another person. For thatrnreason, sex tends to fall short of expectationsrnif its sole purpose is self- (much lessrngroup-) gratification, when it becomes,rnin effect, a sporting event. It is this pointrnthat is at the core of what is called thern”sanctity of the family.” Sex, the mostrnintimate way possible to express love onrna physical level, is an intensely privaternmatter.rnWhich brings up the other source ofrnobjection among orthodox religious parentsrnto the eurrentlv voguish sexualrnteachings: the rejection of a “privacy ethic”rnby sex educators. Look at the surveysrnand the distribution of sexual paraphernaliarnto young, impressionable children.rnWhat is the message? It is that yournwon’t have any problem with this “unlessrnyou have something to hide.” And alsornthat nothing is private. Not even “whatrnyou think about when you think of sex.”rnNot your bowel habits, either, if you readrnthe sex surveys. And when you move onrnto some of the drug and alcohol surveys,rnand even to some so-called academicrntests, like the Metropolitan AchievementrnTest put out by Psychological Corporation,rnit is clear that the details ofrnyour family life are not private—andrnshouldn’t be. Do your parents do suchand-rnsuch? Do vour parents have thisrnor that in their homes? If you believernthe literature, the purpose of this information-rngathering is to construct arncurriculum that will instill ethical values.rnIsn’t it ironic that we once had socialrnsanctions that worked in this country.rnThat kept behavior within tolerablernlimits and the libido in cheek. Whenrnadults, not adolescents, held cultural authority,rnyoung men were actually taughtrnthat certain behaviors are unacceptablernaround women. They were taught attentivenessrnand courtesy and to avoidrnfoul language. They weren’t given lamernexcuses about their sexuality peaking atrnthe age of 17.rnSimilar codes of conduct were taughtrnyoung girls. You didn’t go alone to arnman’s room, much less at all hours of thernnight, and expect no consequences. Yournwere taught what it meant to conductrnyourself in a dignified fashion. Yourndidn’t even consider going to bed with arnfellow on a first, second, or third date.rnYou didn’t go braless in tank-tops, wearrnskin-tight skirts, fishnet hose, and spikernheels, get your legs shaved by a bunch ofrndrunken sailors, and then turn aroundrnand complain about being sexually harassed.rnBearing a child out of wedlockrnwas disgraceful and showed a lack ofrnself-discipline and character.rnThen the mental “health” experts andrnthe courts came along and in just 30rnyears managed to remove the stigmarnfrom behaviors that, today, are completelvrnout of control. No law againstrn”sexual harassment,” no sex ed course,rnno “deadbeat dads” legislation is goingrnto bring back the morality and sense ofrnprivacy-in-intimacy that was once passedrndown from generation to generation—rnvalues like modesty and chastity, whichrnparents are no longer permitted to passrn44/CHRONICLESrnrnrn