What (almost) nobody wants to know about sex
In 1935, English novelist David Lodge reflected: "Literature is mostly about having sex and not much about having children. Life is the other way round." Today, the role of sex is still twisted. Ask Google "what sex is all about," and you would be hard pressed to find any discussion of the children who may come from conjugal love-making and the responsibility of the couple involved in the act.
I find this highly disturbing – one of the reasons, I would say, why we continue to have churches and temples. Without getting into the sticky debates surrounding religion, politics, and personal freedom, I think it is worth airing a too easily forgotten and neglected aspect of sex in today's world. Let me state up front that, as a man married to a woman, having children, and loving my family, I align without hesitation with the belief that life is sacred.
Biology keeps reminding us that sex is primarily for the creation of babies. That the pleasure side of consensual sex dominates the functional cannot be denied, but it is the functional side of sex that must form the habits we adopt and the priorities we set in matters of sex. For the sex act implies the generation of a new human life. The rejection of this natural result of sex, however rationalized, does not alter the reality or the importance of this essential fact of life.
It is natural to disregard this detail of love-making, but it is unnatural to pretend it doesn't matter. In a real sense, it is a form of malice to reject willfully the natural product of copulation when it is "unwanted" or is an "accident." It may come as a surprise, but it should be a welcome surprise.
We all know or should know that the natural consequence of conjugal love-making is the likelihood of becoming parents. The couple involved in this wonderful human role should be prepared to welcome and care for the new life they bring forth. I find the absence of this essential aspect of sex from typical sex education unjustifiable.
A healthy society does not ignore basic facts of life, regardless of its level of technology and sophistication. The stakes are too high. In the case of sex, the stake is children and their well-being. A society that takes sex seriously is mindful that nothing can ever change every woman's and every man's responsibility toward children, beginning with those generated from their own loins.
The great human drama of returning a human life in one's image, from the union of a man and a woman, is rightly sanctified and celebrated in virtually all cultures by the rite of marriage. It is a rite that recognizes that children are not accidents and have a natural right to live and share the life of the family and the society they enter. Such a basic fact of human life demands acceptance of possible parenthood by every member of society past the age of puberty.