Sex: the Drug that the Temperance Movement is Still Fighting

I had this thought today reflecting on the pro-life march that happened earlier: that the pro-life movement is connected or at least similar to the temperance movement in American history and that it is part of an outgrowth of the progressives and their ideals of the early 20th century.

Let me explain a little.

First, I have to say that I see a fundamental link between the social issues regarding abortion, contraception, sex-ed, same-sex marriage, transgender rights, and to a lesser degree pornography. There seems to be a similar intellectual connection as well as a connection between different groups holding these issues together. Yes, one can be pro-life and be for same-sex marriage, but that doesn't change the fact the pro-life movement bases its reasoning on theology; specifically theology relating to reproduction.

The way that this overall anti-sex-for-fun mentality is splintered does seem to be a major difference to the Temperance movement, but on the face of it there seems to be some similarities.

1) Both are rooted in religion.

2) Both try to control the behavior of the population by forcing them to act in a way that the proponents consider to be more moral.

3) Both grew from seeing problems in society and wanting to fix them.

4) Both led to political polarization and litmus tests for candidates for office.

5) Both are seeking to outlaw or ban actions that are not the root cause of the problems that they wish to fix.

I'm curious to know what you all think. Am I reaching for straws here or are there real parallels? I'm still doing some reading on the subject, but I think there's an argument to be made here.

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That's an interesting concept: the brain dead point.

IIRC, brain wave functions that would meet that criteria in a fetus, begin around the 25th week or so.

So, earlier than that, it would still be brain dead....and, therefore, "not alive".

That makes sense to me too.

6) Both are constipated.


Maybe I'm not reading correctly, but I look at both the temperance movement, and the anti-sexuality movement, as expressions of puritanical Christianity.  I understand the temperance movement as an attempt to lift miserable people above the horrors or alcoholism, which didn't work at all.  One interesting side effect of that movement was to destroy the apple industry and countless orchards, because hard (alcoholic) cider was the main purpose of apple orchards at the time.  Countless varieties of cider apples went extinct, but  fortunately we still have snacking or dessert apples.  Sorry for the tangent.

I think in general, Christians hate to see people have fun.  They hate alcohol, marijuana - not mentioned in their bible, sex in its many flavors, swearing, and where I grew up, dancing and card playing.  I don't have many of those vices, except for swearing and sex, but mostly swearing.  Next they will come after that one too.  Bloody hell!


Don't you know we all Pay for our Sins....


One thing to consider is that the temperance movement was, and to a certain extent remains, closely intertwined with the feminist (as in pro-female) movement. It's not just happenstance that the 18th and 19th amendments of the US constitution were added almost simultaneously.

There is a fairly large subset of women (I doubt there are many here) which hold quite conservative views on social issues, and one of the foremost of these regards sex and sexuality. 

My thoughts are that these are deeply intertwined, but I find your perspective to be a bit simplistic - only scratching the surface. While religion is often a part, it isn't a required part: Extreme feminists often hold quite similar views, but wrapped in different rhetoric (See: Feminism and transsexuality). It isn't about social control, but about separating the genders: Ensuring that males do not behave in an undesirable manner - essentially that fathers take responsibility for offspring. As for attempting to rectify perceived social defects I think that is pretty much par for the course of any political movement. When it comes to political polarization I find it to be inevitable when questions about values arise, and the gut instinct is to outlaw whatever one does not like.  


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