Saturday, December 15, 2012

Is the Casual Sex of Today Like the Smoking of Yesterday?

Today we look back on the indifference to the effects of smoking in the '60s with amazement. Now we know better, mostly due to science.

I think future ages will look at us the same way when they think about the emotional effects of casual sex. And this change will also mostly be due to science.


John said...

There's reason to agree with this view. A lot of casual sex is about adrenaline. I wonder if we lose the ability to release enough oxytocin to form a strong pair bond. It's hard to balance a sex positive culture with the benefits of chastity.

Diane M said...

A bit of a tangent, but I dislike the use of the term "sex positive" to mean casual sex. I think we can be extremely sex positive and also talk about the benefits of love and relationships, etc.

Anonymous said...

It’s remarkable that smoking was acceptable because of, not in spite of, the “science”. My father, a physician, has told me even people in his field were not overly concerned by smoking. The science didn’t indicate a serious health crisis, even though we now know there was one. Yes, there were studies showing that smoking was very harmful, but “science”, the authority to which everyone appeals, had not declared smoking harmful. Our current view, that smoking is no brainer bad, was as much a triumph of common sense as a victory for science. The same goes for the view that casual sex obviously harmful, which has always been supported by common sense, even when the science indicated otherwise. Science shouldn’t be so quick to congratulate itself.

Kyactivist said...

To Anonymous:

You're not wrong, but it's important to distinguish from "science" as an empirical study and "science" as a community. I think Gruntled is referring more to the former than the latter, he is saying we look at smoking as bad because of the empirical studies on what smoking does to one's health, not because all scientists say it's bad.