Goals for 2100: Reduced Emphasis on Sex

10Sep07

The 20th century, especially but not only in its second half, was a time of great liberalization of sexual practices. This liberalization had some benefits. It also brought some undesirable side effects.

A reasonable goal for the year 2100 will be to achieve more balanced and constructive outcomes in this area. One step in that direction will be to grant people greater freedom to vary in their attitudes and practices toward sex, according to their ages, beliefs, physical and mental conditions, priorities in life, and other characteristics — indeed, to accord respect to those who honorably decline to exploit every sexual opportunity.

Another step will be to place sex in context by encouraging friendships among people, so that they need not expect the persons with whom they are romantically involved to provide everything that they could get from a broader set of positive relationships.

Enhancement of positive relationships among people in various contexts (e.g., workplaces, communities, schools) may also moderate the general interest in sex: people do sometimes use sex as a way to get affection, when they might instead be getting that (often, in a more reliable form) through participation in a socially healthy environment.

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