Sunday, July 15, 2018 |
Department: Collateral Damage —
Topic: Prudence —
More Evidence the Hookup Culture Is Human Malware
by Nancy R. Pearcey
Another cultural icon bites the dust.
We typically picture the movers and shakers in Silicon Valley as brilliant if geeky walking intellects hunched over their computers inventing new gadgets.
But recently Vanity Fair published a book excerpt by Emily Chang1 revealing that Silicon Valley is as sexually debauched as Hollywood, politics, and the media. The titans of the tech world—entrepreneurs, investors, founders of companies—regularly host drug-fueled, sex-laced parties.
Women in the tech industry often feel compelled to attend to get ahead in their careers. But the reality is that joining the party often stalls their careers, as they are reduced to sex objects instead of respected as competent professionals.
These women face a Hobson's choice: they lose professionally if they don't attend the sex parties, and they lose if they do. But since either way it was their choice—they "consented"—their objections are dismissed.
Chang's book fuels the post-Weinstein wave of outrage. Yet merely exposing scandals may not "produce a revolution or a reckoning or a sea change in attitudes," warns Jim Glassman, former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.2
For real reform, we have to dig deeper. A hedonistic ethic pervades all our public institutions. Universities hold sex weeks where porn stars are speakers and sex toy companies display their wares. Students attend workshops with titles like "How to Have a Successful Threesome" and "How Many Licks Does It Take?" (on oral sex). The message is: Don't be boring. Be like porn stars.
It should surprise no one that the hookup culture is metastasizing on campuses. The rules of the game are: no love, no relationship, no commitment. You are supposed to be able to walk away from a hookup as if it never happened.
Before reaching campus, students are primed by high school sex education courses that typically focus on the physical: on the mechanics of sex and the avoidance of disease and pregnancy. These courses reduce the meaning of sex to a how-to manual. Many students even say the programs make them feel pressured into having sex. In one study, teens reported that they felt more pressure from their sex education classes than from their girlfriends or boyfriends.3
Other segments of adult culture are complicit in sexualizing children at ever-younger ages. Dolls for little girls have morphed into "tramps" wearing fishnet stockings and red-hot lingerie. Corporations produce slut-style fashions all the way down to infant clothing that says "I'm Too Sexy for My Diaper." Advertisers use sex to sell products, filmmakers use sex to entice viewers, musicians film raunchy videos.
Emily Chang reports that the tech titans of Silicon Valley are self-congratulatory about their sexual experimentation, priding themselves on being bold and unconventional. But in reality they are following a script that was given to them. They are falling for a sales pitch.
A society's view of sex reflects its deeper commitments—its prevailing ethos or worldview. The sexual liberation ethic stems from an underlying idea that the world is a product of blind, material forces. As a recent New Yorker article put it, "the loyalty oath of modernity" is that "nature is without conscious design . . . the emergence of Homo sapiens was without meaning or telos"(purpose).4
And if the human body is said to have no meaning or purpose, neither does sex. On one hand, that means we are free to make up our own rules. On the other hand, it means that under all the hype about being bold and experimental is a fundamental despair—the belief that sex is insignificant in a literal sense: signifying nothing. As a drummer in Austin, Texas, told Rolling Stone, sex is just "a piece of body touching another piece of body"; it is "existentially meaningless."5
This outlook is deeply dehumanizing. No wonder many people keep grabbing at more—and more extreme—sexual experiences, while finding less genuine fulfillment.
And no wonder those with power feel entitled to use other people for their own gratification.
Sexual exploitation is unlikely to stop with drug-and-sex parties in Silicon Valley—unless we are ready to rethink fundamental convictions. As I put it in my book Love Thy Body, at the root of moral issues is the question: What kind of cosmos do we live in? Are we products of blind material forces? Or does the natural world reflect some kind of purpose—and behind it, a Person who loves us and has a purpose for our lives?
A society's worldview ultimately determines whether it treats the human body as just another piece of matter, or whether it grants the body value and dignity, imbuing sexual relations with the depth and significance we all long for.
—This piece is a slightly edited version of an opinion column that originally appeared on the Fox News website on January 6, 2018. It is available at foxnews.com/opinion/2018/01/06/silicon-valleys-drug-fueled-secret-sex-parties-one-more-reason-to-hate-hookup-culture.html.
Nancy R. Pearcey is Professor of Apologetics & Scholar in Residence at Houston Baptist University. She is the author of several books in addition to em>Love Thy Body, including Total Truth (2005), Saving Leonardo (2010), and Finding Truth (2015).
More on Prudence from the Salvo online archives.
Column: Casualty Report — Salvo 35
Germs of Promiscuity
Sexually Transmitted Infections by Marcia Segelstein
Column: Undercover — Salvo 34
Mastering Modern Love
How Chastity Orders Your Relationships & Liberates You for Love by Terrell Clemmons
Department: Blip — Salvo 44
In the Wasteland, A Garden
A Review of Love Thy Body: Answering Hard Questions About Life and Sexuality by Nancy R. Pearcey by Terrell Clemmons
YOU SHOULD SUBSCRIBE!
Salvo subscribers have full access to the online archives!
Salvo magazine unblushingly offers an honest, rational, and respectful perspective to hard questions about SCIENCE, SEX, and SOCIETY.
Full access to the Salvo online archives. Only $15.99.
Get 4 issues + full access to the online archives. Only $29.99.
Consider ordering a bulk subscription for a reading group or a small group!
The Current Issue—Summer 2018
A Salvo Fake Ad
Visit the blog of Salvo author Robin Phillips
Salvo 44—Spring 2018
Grounded Faith: Sinking Roots for Youth Ministry in an Age of Advanced Skepticism by Terrell Clemmons
Spit Marks: The Afterlife of Those Popular DNA Tests May Surprise You by Paige Comstock Cunningham
The Unthinkable Universe: It Strangely Points Where Materialists Dare Not Boldly Go by Regis Nicoll
Silicon Debauchery: More Evidence the Hookup Culture Is Human Malware by Nancy R. Pearcey
Salvo 43—Winter 2017
A Boy's Life: 5 Recommendations for Shielding Our Sons from the Anti-Culture—And Setting Them Towards Manhood by Anthony Esolen
Optimal Optics: Evolutionists Don't Know a Good Eye When They See One by Jonathan Wells
Up for Grabs: In Science, When 'Anything Goes,' Everything Goes by Denyse O'Leary
Revolution 101: How the 'New Civics' Is Fomenting Civil Unrest by Terrell Clemmons
Salvo 42—Fall 2017
Engendered Confusion: The Chaos of Postmodern Sexuality by Laurie Higgins
Zombie Killer: The "Icons of Evolution" Have Joined the Ranks of the Undead by Denyse O'Leary
Mutant Destruction: Does Cancer Really Innovate? by Jonathan Wells
The Darwin Tales: It's Time to Remit Darwinian Storytelling to the Annals of History by Terrell Clemmons
Eye Openers: Eight Common Factors for Atheists Changing Their Minds About God by Matt Nelson
Tuning Out the Universe: How Naturalism & Post-Fact Science Ignore the Evidence We See by Denyse O'Leary
Improbably So: Fine-Tuning Is Unlikely, but Unlikely Things Happen All the Time by Tim Barnett
Deep-Seated Rights: What They Are & Why You Have Them by Steve Jones
4 issues of Salvo PLUS full access to the online archives!
• Give a Gift Sub
• Manage Sub Account
• About Salvo
• The Fake Ads
• Login for Full Access
• Touchstone Magazine
• The Fellowship of St. James
All material Ⓒ 2017. Salvo is published by The Fellowship of St. James.