apr 282010
 

I First Things mainummer kan man lese en interesssant artikkel om konsekvensene av kunstig prevensjon, som Den katolske Kirke reserverer seg mot, men der den (stort sett) ikke har klart å argumentere særlig fruktbart for sitt syn overfor samfunnet som helhet. Her er et nytt og lovende forsøk:

Economists and other social scientists have written extensively about the impact that contraception has had on modern sexual relationships. Almost without exception, the academic establishment makes the claim that contraceptive technology is a social good. By contrast, the Catholic Church (and until recent decades the Christian establishment generally) asserts that the practice of contraception is, in fact, directly contrary to the health of individual families and to society as a whole.

The difference between these two perspectives on an issue that is central to human sexuality—and therefore human existence—is striking. But meaningful debate between the two camps has been almost nonexistent. Certainly, part of the reason for this has been an unwillingness on the part of secular social scientists to engage in honest dialogue. But an equally large part of the blame for the nonengagement should be laid at the feet of Catholics. With a few notable exceptions, the Catholic perspective has not been taken seriously by Catholics themselves. Nor, in the cases when it has, has it been articulated using the language of social science, which is the language of the mainstream. As a result, the difference in viewpoint on an issue that is central to the human person is treated by our culture as a case of faith and reason talking past each other.

With this essay, using the language and tools of modern social science, I will articulate the position that contraception is socially damaging. I will also demonstrate that contraception is in fact a sexist practice. … …

… What are the social processes that should be logically included under the rubric of contraception? First and foremost, contraception divides what was once a single mating “market,” wherein men and women paired in marriage, into two separate markets—a market for sexual relationships that most people now frequent during the early phase of their adult lifetimes (I will refer to this as the “sex market”), and a market for marital relationships that is inhabited during the later phases (I will refer to this as the “marriage market”).

Obviously, contraceptive technology provides the assurance that participation in the sex market will not result in pregnancy. It therefore lowers the costs of pre-marital and extramarital sexual activity below the level necessary for a separate sex market to form. … …

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