The phenomenon of sexual immorality afflicting the Philippine society these days is appalling. From the reports of various media entities, we get the sensation of being flooded with all types of human depredations: Rape. Incest. Homosexuality. Pedophilia. Prostitution. Sexual molestations and violence. Pornographic films and publications. And what really grates the mind of the decent and grips the psyche of the nation is the realization that the victims of sexual degradations are getting younger and younger.
On the part of the victims of sexual assaults, the crimes inflict deep wounds in their personality, and the scars thereon remain, making them wounded individuals for life—unless their life is altogether ended. On the part of the criminals, in a sense, they can be considered as victims too. They may be amoral or abnormal, under the influence of drug or the bind of alcohol. Many of them are wounded persons themselves who have lost their bearing, abetted by a false sense of “sexual liberation” brought about by the so-called “sexual revolution” started in the 1960s. A good number of them were also victims of sexual violence when they were still young.
When people are “liberated” from the sound and standard sexual mores, they become libertines and fall into a new form of slavery—slavery to their unbridled lust and desire. In their twisted understanding, they see individuals as stripped of their humanity and thus considered as commodities for hire, chattel for sale, objects of sexual satisfaction. When sex is remove from the realm of the family and the sphere of social mores, and instead considered as a “recreational activity”, then the nation is really in big trouble. Sexual immorality is infallibly accompanied by heinous crimes that necessarily generate social disorder.
That is why it is not enough for a nation to simply work for material gain. Economic prosperity is not an automatic guarantee of moral rectitude and social order. It is imperative that hand in hand with economic well being, the government should promote the common moral welfare. The truth is that the national moral fiber is the firm and lasting strength of a nation: Prosperity and poverty come and go, but the moral bearing of a nation remains.
What is the underlying cause of the present phenomenon of our present sexual decadence? It cannot be simply because people are poor. We are in fact told that a good number of sexual crimes are perpetrated by the wealthy and affluent. It is the fault of a big population—again? It is rather strange that the number of people is always used as a scapegoat to explain every actual and conceivable social malady in the country. Is it then progress whereas sexual crimes seem to be rampant in more developed western societies? But genuine progress precisely promotes education and civilization, not degradation and moral corruption.
Whatever the cause, an important factor in this sad phenomenon is the spread of a certain “culture” which has penetrated many areas of individual thinking and social behavior. Today’s “liberated”, “consumerist” and “instant gratification” mentality is definitely corrupting many, the youth in particular. Sex is offered for sale, for entertainment and recreation. This complete separation of sex from marriage, this amoral use of sex independently of conjugal life ultimately leads to the breakdown of personal responsibility and relational accountability. When men and women, including boys and girls, are looked upon as instruments of self-gratification, stripped of human dignity and looked upon as sexual commodities, society is in big trouble. This is the exact paradigm where persons are abused, violated and exploited, and which certainly are not the premises of social peace and order.
We can also pinpoint concrete social factors that bring about the dismal failure of the political authority to uproot the social plague now affecting the country: Availability of drugs. Unregulated use of alcohol. Glamorization of violence.
Solution: Back to God! Back to family life! Back to Filipino values! Whenever people do exactly the opposite, then their own misery and pain, their own undoing and desolation are assured. This is the lesson of history.
20 October 1999