Sexual morality and civilization

I have not disappeared. Just really busy for the next few months on real life stuff. Will try to get out a post here and there sporadically for now. Aiming for every week but might be every 2-3 weeks at the moment.

It’s Good to be a man newsletter linked this gem by Unwin (on Kirk’s blog) on sexual morality and how it affects civilization. To quote the article:

Unwin’s cultural categories

Unwin described four “great patterns of human culture” and degrees of flourishing measured in terms of architecture, art, engineering, literature, agriculture, and so forth. The primary criterion for classification was how they related to the natural world and the forces it contains.[3]

  1. zoistic: Entirely self-focussed on day-to day-life, wants, and needs, with no interest in understanding nature. Described as a “dead culture” or “inert”.

  2. monistic: Acquire superstitious beliefs and/or special treatment of the dead to cope with the natural world.

  3. deistic: Attribute the powers of nature to a god or gods

  4. rationalistic: Use rational thinking to understand nature and to make day-to-day decisions.

Unwin’s degrees of sexual restraint

Degrees of sexual restraint were divided into two major categores—prenuptial and postnuptial. Prenuptial categories were:[4]

  1. Complete sexual freedom—no prenuptial restraints at all

  2. Irregular or occasional restraint— cultural regulations require an occasional period of abstinence

  3. Strict Chastity —remain a virgin until married

There’s also some variations/combinations of the degrees of sexual restraint in things like modified monogamy/monkey branching, modified polygamy, and others.

Obviously, rationalistic deist and strict chastity are the ones generally espoused by Scripture.

The results are what you would expect by a God that created the World with those principles.

  1. Effect of sexual constraints: Increased sexual constraints, either pre or post-nuptial, always led to increased flourishing of a culture. Conversely, increased sexual freedom always led to the collapse of a culture three generations later.

  2. Single most influential factor: Surprisingly, the data revealed that the single most important correlation with the flourishing of a culture was whether pre-nuptial chastity was required or not. It had a very significant effect either way.

  3. Highest flourishing of culture: The most powerful combination was pre-nuptial chastity coupled with “absolute monogamy”. Rationalist cultures that retained this combination for at least three generations exceeded all other cultures in every area, including literature, art, science, furniture, architecture, engineering, and agriculture. Only three out of the eighty-six cultures studied ever attained this level.

  4. Effect of abandoning prenuptial chastity: When strict prenuptial chastity was no longer the norm, absolute monogamy, deism, and rational thinking also disappeared within three generations.

  5. Total sexual freedom: If total sexual freedom was embraced by a culture, that culture collapsed within three generations to the lowest state of flourishing — which Unwin describes as “inert” and at a “dead level of conception” and is characterized by people who have little interest in much else other than their own wants and needs. At this level, the culture is usually conquered or taken over by another culture with greater social energy.

  6. Time lag: If there is a change in sexual constraints, either increased or decreased restraints, the full effect of that change is not realized until the third generation.(Note: I’ve added a clarifying footnote at the end of this article. See footnote #13)

God’s ‘curse of sin’ to the “third and fourth generation” in the OT Scriptures is looking more and more reasonable.

Obviously, it’s pretty clear to us in hindsight of both European and American culture when it stayed within the general bounds of Judeo-Christian morals flourished. However, as more immorality has become acceptable there’s clearly been the obvious downward trend.

Being that a “generation” is about 30-40 years and supposedly the 1960s-1970s is where most of the sexual moores and marriage were destroyed, we’re about 1.5-1.75 generations into the collapse. In another 10-20 years we’ll probably be seeing a generation that totally rejects God aside from the remnant. But the fields are always fertile for God to work with.

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6 Responses to Sexual morality and civilization

  1. Oscar says:

    Unwin was not a Christian, as far as I know, but his analysis coincides with Romans 1 as if he was inspired by it.

  2. Pingback: In Defense of Privilege: Part 2 | okrahead

  3. Maniac says:

    “In another 10-20 years we’ll probably be seeing a generation that totally rejects God aside from the remnant.”

    I’d be surprised if we made it that far.

  4. bee123456 says:

    Free copies of Unwin available here:

  5. Oscar says:

    I’m still hopeful of revival. The overturning of Roe v Wade is evidence of God’s continued mercy. Also, conservative Christians keep having more kids than other demographic groups in the USA, and the future belongs to those who show up.

  6. Pingback: Secular Morals Fail | okrahead

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