This is the third and final part in a series of articles addressing sexuality in our culture and how the modern view of it causes a lot of problems. For part one, CLICK HERE. For part two, CLICK HERE.
Turn on your radio, listen to any rap song. I can almost grantee you that it will mention sex and women at least once. I know that most music does this, save for Christian or classical music, but from what I’ve heard, rap music excels in the area of promoting sexual activity and disrespect for women. Going off of songs I can think of off the top of my head, calling women vulgar names and viewing them simply as objects to fulfill man’s pleasure, seem to be the primary things talked about. Many songs, that I wish I had never heard, even go into details about sexual acts the men will do to the women.
Music isn’t alone in this. Movies and video games seem to promote this as well. Whenever there is a virgin male in a movie, they are often laughed at and seen as being lesser of a man. One scene from the 1985 John Hughes’ coming-of-age comedy, The Breakfast Club comes to mind.
In this scene, a group of high schoolers are sitting in detention and the subject of someone being a virgin comes up. One of the younger characters comes up with a story about a girl that he had sex with. As the scene progresses, the character admits that he made up the story because he didn’t want people to think that he was a virgin. It is very obvious by the tone of the scene and how the characters react that he was viewed as lesser of a man because he was a virgin. When the truth comes out that he was not only a virgin but had lied to make himself seem more manly and more desirable to the females in the room, he is humiliated.
Although dated, the attitude in this scene accurately describes how most people in today’s culture view sex and virginity, especially among males.
In high school and college, I remember hearing guys talk about who they slept with, how many they slept with, and many other details. It was obvious that it was a way of showing off how much of a man they were. Just like in The Breakfast Club, any guy who is found out to be a virgin is laughed at, made fun of, and belittled. This ridicule and desire to belong are undoubtedly what leads to young men having premarital sex.
These cultural and societal pressures and teachings need to be changed. One of the best examples of how to change and counter these teachings is by teaching young men the right things. I have had the opportunity for three years now to work as a boys counselor at a church camp. When I worked with older guys in high school and middle school, I bring this subject up. People might get upset about hearing this, but this is a very real subject that these young men are dealing with every day at school and in their personal lives. They are at the age where they are dealing with that cultural pressure like the kid in The Breakfast Club was. They hear today’s music, and they see people like James Bond on TV and movies. They are being inundated by culture with what it looks like to be a man. They are being fed all these lies. They need to be taught the truth. Knowing the scientific facts, what the Bible says, and the consequences of doing these things could save, not only them but their girlfriends, from potential future pain and regret. The campers I worked with are always shocked when I bring this subject up, but it gets their attention, and they listen intently. Many have expressed gratitude to the other counselors and I who address the issue because they are not used to authority figures being real with them and acknowledging that they know that they struggle with these issues and me. Over the past few years, I have had several former campers contact me about this subject. Some come to me because they felt comfortable talking to me about things they were struggling with, others ask for advice, and others share how they were glad that we discussed those things because it helped them to avoid certain situations.
At the camp, one of the main leaders, a pastor, and school teacher sat down to have a talk with the middle school and high school guys. This man, whom I have a lot of respect for, is a manly man if there ever was one. He is a United States Marine, a farmer, a metalworker, a cowboy, and rocks an awesome mustache that could give Tom Selleck a run for his money.
“The lines of manhood have been blurred. Society tells us what is what it is to be a man. How many women you can have, how many women you can bed in a month, ‘That’s a man!’ No, it’s not, that’s a wimp. It’s a man who can walk away from it.”
I absolutely love that, and it is so true. A man is someone who can stand up and walk away from temptation. A wimp is someone who caves under pressure. My friend gave the example of Joseph from the Hebrew Old Testament.
“Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce Joseph, and Joseph went the other way. That’s a stud. A stud is someone who can go the other way and not fall into temptation.” He looked around the room at each of the young men, “Hold your ground when everyone else is going the other way, to me, that’s a man. That’s far more manly than anybody doing the other stuff”.
He mentions how society and culture teach men that women are objects to meet their sexual needs. “Men should respect women and defend their honor, not disrespect them or dishonor them”. It is not respectful or honoring to women for men to have sex with them if they are not married to them. It is not respectful or honoring to women for men to want them to wear revealing clothes. Real men should know better and promote purity and modesty. Sure, men are visual creatures and have urges and desires, but that doesn’t mean that they should act on these urges. After all, people have violent urges, that doesn’t mean that they should act on those. Self-control is crucial.” Self- control is saying no when you want to say yes. Self-control is when you know something is wrong and you say ‘I’m not going to go there’. We need to recognize our weaknesses; we need to use some self-control. If you know something is an issue, don’t go there, or protect yourself from that.” Put yourself in a father’s shoes, would you want another man doing those things to your daughter? Would you want your daughter dressing like that? Would you want to hear your daughter called those vulgar names and men talking about having sex with your daughter? The chances are, you wouldn’t want any of that. If you wouldn’t want any of that happening to your daughter, why would you be the one to do it to others’ daughters?
I write all of this, not to shame anyone, but to educate on the biological, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects and consequences of what our society teaches about sex. I write this in hopes of helping people avoid the pain and regret that so many in this world experience. That pain and regret are unnecessary; people do not need to put themselves through it. Flee from temptation, stay pure, respect and honor those of the opposite sex, your future self, and their future self will thank you.
I want to end with this quote from my friend who talked to the boys at that camp.
“Right and wrong don’t change. There are lines in the sand. God has put those lines there and he has said, ‘do not cross this line’. But, being man, being the base sinner that we are, we tend to want to dance up to the line but not cross it, and we call that okay. ‘I want to get as close to sin, I want to get as close to being immoral as I can be, and not yet be immoral. We tend to push the limits sometimes. What happens is, each generation does that and the lines move. We move them, and our government legislates morality and it moves the line. The government and society says ‘it once wasn’t okay to do this, but now it’s okay’ and everybody goes to the line. In each successive generation, there is more that is accepted, more that is condoned, more that is signed off as being okay. Man is signing off on it, our Supreme Court says it’s okay or it’s not okay. Therefore, we start to gravitate towards the line again, and the whole time, we’ve crossed them. You are no longer dancing up to the line, you crossed it a long time ago. Satan likes to blur the line, and he redraws the line using our government, using our legislation. We as creatures of habit tend to go to the line. We need to go the other way!”