Sunday, June 14, 2015

Natalie Portman and Contraception

I devoted an entire chapter in my book to the fallout from the sexual revolution, in no small part launched by "the pill." I also recounted, near chapter's end how the pill was a root cause of negative effects on the family. Pope Francis summarizes:

“In our day, marriage and the family are in crisis.” The “culture of the temporary” has led many people to give up on marriage as a public commitment. “This revolution in manners and morals has often flown the flag of freedom, but in fact it has brought spiritual and material devastation to countless human beings, especially the poorest and most vulnerable.” The Pope said that the crisis in the family has produced a crisis “of human ecology,” similar to the crisis that affects the natural environment. “Although the human race has come to understand the need to address conditions that menace our natural environments, we have been slower to recognize that our fragile social environments are under threat as well, slower in our culture, and also in our Catholic Church. It is therefore essential that we foster a new human ecology and advance it.”

What I find both exciting and encouraging at present, however is that the discipline of social science, usually understood to be the preserve of progressive secular scholars, in following the data has corroborated the evils Popes Paul VI and Francis have considered. Recent research findings by scholars in the social sciences confirm contraception as the culprit behind the considerable rise in divorce and illegitimacy in the United States, both which in turn have spawned other societal ills such as increased rates of criminal behavior and high school dropout rates. No surprise, it turns out that the poor are especially susceptible to the harms caused by the American contraceptive culture. These findings are the studied work of secular scholars, most regarded as slightly left of center on the sociopolitical spectrum. More here and here.