Wednesday, August 16, 2006
One of the major problems [although NOT the only problem] with having sex outside marriage is child abuse. Sex causes the conception of children. In order for a child to develop properly, he needs a loving, stable, safe environment. If his parents are not married, it’s very unlikely that he will have that. Very likely he will simply be killed before he is born. At this point over a third of unwed pregnancies end in abortion, compared to a small minority of pregnancies during marriage. If he is lucky enough to be born alive, he will very possibly be poor. About 1/3 of children in single parent families are poor. Even if the child is given up for adoption at birth, very often the adopting parents will not give the same level of care that an intact biological family would give. Having myself been born out of wedlock and adopted as an infant, I unfortunately have first hand experience with this.
Similarly, divorce has catastrophic effects on the children involved. “The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: The 25 Year Landmark Study” by Judith S. Wallerstein explains in great detail the emotional problems and mental anguish suffered by children who grow up in divorced homes. The father often disappears or provides the children with minimal emotional and financial support while he goes on to establish a new family. The mother is busy working and seeking a new mate. The children are basically abandoned; the unwanted products of a relationship which failed. The younger they are, the more they are affected. Their pain is translated into anger and sadness which may lead to self destructive behavior for decades afterwards and also poor choices in their own relationships.
Studies have shown that children living in single parent families are far more likely to suffer from many social and economic problems compared to children in intact families.
If a child is conceived today in the United States, he has about a 25% chance of being aborted before birth. If he is born alive, he has a greater than 50% chance of being raised by a single mother or experiencing a divorce during his childhood. This is virtually a holocaust for American children. And it is a very new situation caused by the decline of morality in society. Fifty years ago, unwed mothers and abortion were rare and divorce was uncommon.
Premarital sex and divorce are not merely personal life style choices. They are really abusive acts which may have a destructive effect for generations. This is the indirect child abuse which has become acceptable in American society, when people decide to consider only their own shortsighted needs. Think of the new, small helpless people who depend on you.
From all the above, the divine wisdom of traditional Jewish moral values is very clear. Let's hope more people rediscover them.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 10:51 AM