Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Stop Child Abuse



















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.

26 comments:

Avi said...

From all the above, the divine wisdom of traditional Jewish moral values is very clear. Let's hope more people rediscover it.


There is nothing divine about it. It's a bunch of old men who made up the laws, and there is nothing really Jewish about it. All people pretty much have the same concept of family life. You can see it in Italian families as well as many others who believe in a stable family life. You like to give credit to people who write books telling other people how to live.

jewish philosopher said...

Gentiles have copied a lot from us through Christianity and Islam. In other societies, killing unwanted infants was universal as was legal prostitution. (The oldest profession.) Judaism taught the world about the sanctity of life and marriage.

Jewish Atheist said...

Single-parent poor homes are indeed a bad thing. However, Orthodox Judaism is not the only way to prevent it. Education (regular and sex-ed) and access to contraception (including the pill, condoms, and the morning-after pill) are equally (or at least very close) effective at reducting unwanted pregancy.

There aren't too many educated women who understand and use birth control who end up impoverished single mothers.

Although I do agree that Orthodox Judaism is relatively effective.

Jewish Atheist said...

(Oh, and Judaism's original idea of the "sanctity" of marriage including buying pre-teen girls from their fathers as well as polygamy.)

jewish philosopher said...

It would be nice if contraceptives were a solution, however they don't seem to work too well for some reason. That's why I'm here, actually.

In cultures which practiced polygamy and child marriages, Jews did as well. Why not?

Avi said...

In cultures which practiced polygamy and child marriages, Jews did as well. Why not?

Of course they did well, they were trained at home never to utter a word of disagreement to their husbands who were after all their masters. Or maybe their husbands just beat them into submission.

jewish philosopher said...

First of all, regarding polygamy and child brides, I believe that these were seldom practiced by Jews and were rabbinically discouraged in most cases. However, on the other hand, if a 10 year old girl and an 18 year old boy want to get married, or if a woman wants to marry a man who is already married, if it is a mutually consenting and committed relationship which is considered to be normal in that culture, I don't necessarily see a problem with it.

About beating Avi, I think I'm calling your wife and reminding her to give you one tonight.

david said...

As usual we can rely on Avi to always come in with his crappy attitude about everything.

Anonymous said...

david said...
As usual we can rely on Avi to always come in with his crappy attitude about everything.

That crappy attitude does not come easy. I have to work hard at it.It takes a lot of work and practice to be that way.

Goatboy said...

Not only is this post ill-informed clap-trap, it is also sanctimonious, self serving, dangerous and overly simplistic.

Another example of religion fuelled bigotry.

Hey-ho.

jewish philosopher said...

Goat, thank you for the insightful comment.

Goatboy said...

You are most welcome.

Avi said...

About beating Avi, I think I'm calling your wife and reminding her to give you one tonight.


Jacob, please dont. I get too many of those already. Now you got me scared. Gotta go hide in the basement.

Cameron said...

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.


- Then it wasn't yet a child - it was a fetus, blastocyst, or what have you.

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.

- Without access to where your stats come from (and you have a history of making them up on the fly) I'll simply concede the point, though it strikes me as too high by half (if half of all marriages end in divorce, less than half of those will take place while the kids are still kids).


This is virtually a holocaust for American children.

- Once again, you trivialize the holocaust with your choice of words. Kids being raised by one parent instead of two is simply not a 'holocaust', virtual or other.

And it is a very new situation caused by the decline of morality in society.

- I'd argue that it is an improvement in the morality of society. Kids are no longer forced to live in families where the parents are homocidal to each other. Marriage is no longer a chatel contract. Biology is no longer destiny. Etc.

Fifty years ago, unwed mothers and abortion were rare and divorce was uncommon.

- Unwed mothers were stored in institutions, and frequently seperated from their kids. Divorce is necessary to prevent adultery, spousal abuse, suicide and homocide.

Premarital sex and divorce are not merely personal life style choices. They are really abusive acts which may have a destructive effect for generations.

- There is nothing intrinsically immoral about pre-marital sex, or divorce. Nor do I think that most people I know raised in single parent households would consider themselves the victims of 'abuse'.

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.

- If you think divorcing parents are not absolutley FIXATED on the fate of the kids you are sorely mistaken. With a divorce rate of 50% doesn't it seem clear that human nature isn't life-long monogamy? Given that fact (one that holds true across religious affiliation, i.e. being a practicing Jew is no panacea for saving ones marriage), isn't it better to allow people the right to move on when it is clear that the marriage isn't working rather than force them to stay together 'for the sake of the children'?

As for your entreaty against pre-marital sex, I'm afraid I'm all in favour of it. Sex with modern contraceptives is both safe and responsible, and with experience comes wisdom.

jewish philosopher said...

Cameron, I have no idea who you are, but thanks again for your input.

The vast majority of divorces occur within the first decade of marriage, meaning that any children of the broken home are still minors.

In my dictionary, virtual means “resulting in essence or effect though not in actual fact”, holocaust means “great destruction resulting in the extensive loss of life”. I chose the words very precisely.

Regarding the immeasurable harm done to children by divorce, I can only ask you to read Dr. Wallerstein’s study and then tell me exactly which points you feel are inaccurate.

Let me add however that I am 100% in favor of divorce in cases of physical or sexual abuse or infidelity. In fact, however, such cases are unusual. Most divorces are caused by people being a bit unhappy and imagining that can they do better (which is generally not true).

Contraceptives are great in theory. In practice they just give people a false sense of security. Witness the huge number of unwanted pregnancies.

I do agree that monogamy is against human nature. Human nature is often bad. We must use our minds and our free will to improve ourselves.

Goatboy said...

"Most divorces are caused by people being a bit unhappy and imagining that can they do better."

Where the hell do you get this crap from?

"Contraceptives are great in theory. In practice they just give people a false sense of security. Witness the huge number of unwanted pregnancies."

90% of unwanted pregnancies are the result of not using contraceptives.

"I do agree that monogamy is against human nature. Human nature is often bad. We must use our minds and our free will to improve ourselves."

How about using your mind to ceheck your facts before blogging?

jewish philosopher said...

Goat, thanks for another inspiring comment.

As far as reason for divorce go, I'm basing my post on Wallerstein's book, but you might want to click here as well.

As far as contraceptives go, when have there been more unwanted pregnancies, before or since the birth control pill came out?

Cameron said...

Without question - before the pill.

Going back through history, contraception was something sought after in every civilization. Now that the pill has arrived (as well as condoms, etc.) I think there is little doubt that there are fewer unwanted pregnancies.

Consider as well that the nation with the LOWEST abortion rate is Belgium - a secular country that makes sex education (not abstinence) a priority.

Comparing religosity of a nation to its abortion rate is also illuminating as there appears to be a negative correlation between religiosity and abortion - i.e., the more religious your country is the higher the abortion rate.

Interesting eh? It strikes me as simply a reflection of religious objection to contraception leadng to more abortions, but perhaps you have a different take?

jewish philosopher said...

The problem with birth control is that before before birth control women said "I don't want to have sex; what am I going to do with a baby." Since birth control, women say "No problem, we've got birth control." But then people regularly forget use it or don't use it correctly, or the condom breaks or whatever. The net result is probably worse.

How many abortions does Saudi Arabia have? And from what I understand, in the former Soviet Union [not all that religious] abortion is the primary birth control.

Eshet Chayil said...

I had a whole idea of what to say as a comment on this post and then I read the comments and I'm sitting here with my mouuth kinda dropped open. I think some of you people need a new hobby. Bitter, bitter, bitter.

jewish philosopher said...

It's a contraversial topic.

Anonymous said...

Hey guys could you go back to whether it's uniquely jewish I'm under the impression that all anciant middle easten cultures placed a high value on fidelity to marrige and were severly opposed to premarital sex. This seems to me to be the important Q for this blog

jewish philosopher said...

Actually, I think in non-Jewish and non-Jewish influenced cultures, prostitution has been unanimously practiced and condoned.

Above Rubies said...

As one who is becoming (more) religous, and accepting Judaism as an educated adult, I almost completely agree with everything in the post. Most people I know who divorce do so under the false hope of finding chemistry or "happiness" again. To but it bluntly, they're bored. There is divorce in Orthodoxy, but it tends to be over really huge issues-like physical/emotional/substance abuse. Marriage is a covenant-I believe more to Hashem than to the spouse. Our culture is lazy and always chasing rainbows, and it's gotten us in a lot of trouble.

The sexual revolution pretty much destroyed our society. Men and women are wired in a completely different way. It's lovely to tell women that they have the freedom to be promiscuous, but most women can't handle it-most feel distrubed/used/lonely after such instances. When women waited until marriage(basically out of fear of becoming pregnant and the scandal it would cause by not being married) these accidents didn't just happen. One can't get preganat when not having sex. Birth control, although effective by educated, responsible people-can give a huge sense of false security.
Within marriage, no one is forced to give birth to 13 children. When it comes to to the health of the mother-whether it be emotional or physical-any wise Rav I know would give permission for birth control.

There is a whole society of young women who feel pretty bad about themselves-and are looking for men and sexual liasions to take the place of love-the same girls who feel they are too young to get married at 25 because secular society tells them to put a career first. Those women grow to be 35 and still unmarried, facing infertility issues if they do find a husband. This is a huge epidemic. I think some of the bloggers who posted negative comments have probably run away from Orthodoxy for what they feel are very valid reasons, but are forgetting that keeping negiah is not to keep women controlled and submissive-it is to treasure and protect them. If we taught our girls to wait until marriage for sex, I believe that we would be raising much happier women. I reccommend picking up a copy of "A Return to Modesty"

Nice Jewish Guy said...

Oh, for crying out loud.

I don't know what kind of sources those divorce statistics are from. I thinbk it is a gross overgeneralization to say that most divorces are capricious in nature. It's never a decision undertaken lightly.

First of all, if a couple has no kids, and they're miserable, and they can't or won't resolve them, why should they be miserable with each other if they both think they've made a mistake?

I'm divorced myself; I won't get into the reasons behind my split, but I assure you they weren't for no good reason. And being divorced, and dating, I have come into contact with a very large number of divorced people; you'd be amazed at how many Jewish, ORTHODOX people have gotten divorced over alcoholism, mental illness/instability, infidelity, homosexuality, anger issues, gambling addiction, physical abuse, and any combination of some or all of the above, and other issues. It's not just people thinking they can do better or get someone more attractive. You'd be blown out of your socks if you knew how many people with these stories are out there in the frum world, JP. Do you know anyone who is divorced?

jewish philosopher said...

In the Frum world, divorce is usually because of more serious issues, however not always. A rabbi in Monsey who handles local gittin told me recently that he often sees divorces here for reason which wouldn't have happened in Europe.

For more details on this issue, I urge you to get a copy of Dr. Wallerstein's eye opening book.

Do I know anyone divorced? Well, I divorced my first wife 15 years ago.