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Jennifer Roback Morse: How the Sexual Revolution Empowers the State

March 25th, 2013

By Bre Payton

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Patrick Henry College
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Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse

In a guest lecture last week addressing faculty and students, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, founder of the Ruth Institute stated that the state’s power and responsibility have increased as a result of the sexual revolution’s key idea.

Dr. Morse prefaced this in her lecture in the Hodel Center Coffeehouse by explaining how she first became interested in the role of the family within the state.

In 1991, Dr. Morse and her husband adopted a boy from Romania. Within six months of adopting their son, Dr. Morse delivered a baby girl.

“He had been profoundly neglected,” she said. At two and a half years old, he could not speak a word in any language. “He did not respond to the sound of the human voice, didn’t know his name.”

The couple began taking him to a speech therapist after the child’s pediatrician pointed out delays in social development. The therapist suggested that they play peek-a-boo with him to help him to learn to make eye contact. Peek-a-boo terrified the boy.

His reaction to the game contrasted starkly with their daughter’s immediate delight with it as an infant.

“We saw that we had a controlled experiment,” Dr. Morse said. “We could see how a mother and a father made a difference in how a child developed.”

Without the family doing what only it can do, children do not develop properly, she said. The government is currently attempting to manage the consequences of the family falling apart. The fragmentation of the family is increasing the cost of government programs.

The increasing burden on the tax payer is the most superficial level of increased government as a result of the breakdown of the family. The next level of increased state involvement is when it involves itself in the family after it falls apart, she said. After a divorce, the state supervises the rest of the divorced couple’s contact and gets involved with the micro management of the household.

With the introduction of no-fault divorce came the presumption of impermanence, Dr. Morse said. This presumption has perpetuated the key idea of the sexual revolution – that it is legitimate to separate sex and child bearing from the institution of marriage.

With this separation, artificial insemination has developed and children have become commodities, she said. This philosophical shift is the most serious implication of the sexual revolution.

“We will be drawn to think that people are commodities and that’s how we come into the world,” Dr. Morse said. “This is a very serious violation in human dignity.”