Sexuality & Family

The second pillar of a decent society is the institution of the family, which is built upon the comprehensive sexual union of man and woman. No other institution can top the family’s ability to transmit what is pivotal—character formation, values, virtues, and enduring love—to each new generation.

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If sexual attraction is one powerful force that God built into the world to counteract the individual’s inclination to self-absorption, then the combination of technological and cultural assaults on this urge doesn’t threaten only the formation of families, the basic unit of society. It also threatens something even more foundational: the nature of the person as a social being.
“My book is based on a series of dangerous ideas that have led us to where we are now. Beginning with the insidious theories of John Money, these ideas progressed through the fields of psychology and psychiatry and eventually infiltrated our educational and legal systems—corrupting many of the country’s most powerful institutions.”
What the sexual revolution began by upsetting gender roles and obscuring the necessary link between marriage and procreation, the reproductive revolution continues, shattering our conceptions of motherhood and fatherhood and severing the bond between parents and children.
Social capital has been studied by a variety of scholars across the political spectrum for decades now. But one area that deserves more focus from policymakers is the crucial formation we receive in earliest years of life, ages zero to three. As attachment theory suggests, the care and support we receive—or don’t receive—during these years play a vital role in our ability to attain and preserve social capital throughout our lives.
On both a social and individual level, we should structure our work in ways that leave margin for relationships, allowing us the space to respond to the unpredictable needs and gifts of the people we encounter in our homes and communities.
Prioritizing support to homemakers who care for children and the elderly is not only the right thing to do—it’s also a smart economic decision for the federal government.
In our cultural moment, an embodied, relational feminism—one that does not see sexual difference as a threat—has to be reactionary; it is counter-cultural by default. Those hoping to realize that vision need to be against progress, but also for something more stable and enduring: a feminist movement that recognizes and embraces the limits of our nature, as well as norms that steward that nature; that guard it from pathological excess and enervation.
People of all faiths have heard enough talk about children’s “bodily autonomy,” or their supposed ability to express informed consent. As we are witnessing, mothers and fathers remain a powerful bastion of reason in our new post-gender turn, because they display with and in and through their bodies the reality that Roe sought to hide or ignore.
June 24th is the feast day marking the birth of John the Baptist, and it is also the anniversary of the Dobbs decision that overturned Roe v. Wade’s false declaration that there is a constitutional right to abortion. John the Baptist is an appropriate hero of faith for us this month: he began his life as a witness for the sanctity of unborn life, and ended it as a martyr for marriage.
Any talk about masculinity today can easily veer into predictable patterns: a left that paints with uncritically broad brushes, and a right that gets defensive and in the process dumbs down its beliefs. But Richard Reeves’s book Of Boys and Men avoids predictability, blending statistical insight and easygoing wit to craft a fruitful exploration of male malaise.
Parenting is peaceful in the deepest meaning of the term, which is when we understand, embrace, love, and find joy in one another as gift. By emphasizing the peace of parenthood, we might provide a useful corrective to the prevailing cultural narrative that views the enterprise with such ambivalence. While familiar notions of parenting as happy, rewarding, stressful, or intense tell us something, they don’t quite capture the whole story.
Over the past several decades, our civilization has experimented with a number of alternatives to faithful marriage. Yet the evidence is abundant that from a personal as well as a public perspective, we are most likely to flourish when faithful, monogamous, natural-law marriages are plentiful and the norm.
If The Nursery is a tale of motherhood, it is only a half-truth. Yes, giving birth to a child will leave you sleep deprived and emotional and physically scarred. That’s only half of the story.
A woman can only navigate a world that demands self-ownership and self-authorship by neutering herself. What makes a woman’s body distinctively womanly isn’t a high femme presentation but the potential for biological hospitality and self-gift.
The “equality” that uncritical feminism proposes and that women settle for is the equal opportunity to be like the worst kind of man. And everyone benefits, it seems, except women themselves.
A coherent account of creation, givenness, human nature, and personalism is directly responsive to each flaw and harm generated by the Sexual Revolution ideology. The notion of being a human person means something substantive about who I am, how I should act, how I deserve to be treated, and how I must treat others.
An honest reckoning with women’s interests today calls on us to reject the cyborg vision of sexless, fungible homunculi piloting re-configurable meat suits. The cyborg era began with women, and women must reclaim the power to say “no.” In its place, we can pioneer a new but ancient moral consensus. We can lead the charge for solidarity between the sexes.
For stay-at-home fatherhood to be a palatable option, our culture must value parents caring for their children at home as much as it values parents making money outside the home. The occasional stay-at-home dad will be respected only if the culture already respects the stay-at-home mom as much as the girlboss.
Micah Watson and Ryan Anderson look back on his Piers Morgan interview, how the debate on same-sex marriage played out, what that might mean for our debates on transgender ideology, the nature of political discourse in America today, the future of the conservative movement, and what to look for in the next decade.
Reconceiving of marriage in terms of “self-expression” has been a terrible, value-laden mistake, betraying the pretensions to liberal neutrality. Plural marriage is inferior for raising children and for maintaining marital harmony; but most of all, in today’s climate, it creates a culture dedicated to adult sexual self-expression rather than the good of children and deep love.
If a neighborhood is regularly filled with “For Sale” signs and moving trucks, how can we form the bonds that lead us to love our neighbors, to chat with them on porches and sidewalks, to celebrate their new babies, to bring them meals in times of need? Communities are made of people; they must be made of the same people, the same families, over generations, if local communities are to thrive.
“Stigmarketing,” which is appealing to claims of stigma to motivate social change, has become the backbone of legal efforts toward that end. Stigmarketing capitalizes on gay–straight differences, and the way these disparities can be measured by the absolute surge in research on “minority stress theory,” or MST.
Conservatives should oppose “gender-affirming” surgeries with a positive account of human freedom ordered towards the goods that make freedom a blessing rather than a curse.
Our culture has shifted drastically, but children haven’t changed. In fact, they continue to be victimized by practices and policies that prioritize adult desires above children’s rights. It’s past time to start putting them at the center of our national conversation. That begins with clearly and courageously defending children’s rights by shaping culture, reforming law, and rethinking our approach to technology.

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