British ethnologist and social anthropologist at Oxford University and Cambridge University, Joseph Daniel Unwin, studied 80 primitive tribes and 6 known civilizations through 5,000 years of history. He set out his study expecting to find evidence supporting Sigmund Freud’s theory that civilizations are essentially neurotic and destroy themselves by restricting sex too much. His findings startled many scholars – above all, Unwin himself – because all 86 demonstrated a direct tie between monogamy and the “expansive energy” of civilization.
Unwin had no Christian convictions and applied no moral judgment: “I offer no opinion about rightness or wrongness.” Nevertheless, he had to conclude,
“In human records, there is no instance of a society retaining its energy after a complete new generation has inherited a tradition which does not insist on pre-nuptial (sexual abstinence before marriage) and post-nuptial continence (marital fidelity).”
For Roman, Greek, Sumerian, Moorish, Babylonian, and Anglo-Saxon civilizations, Unwin had several hundred years of history to draw on. He found with no exceptions that these societies flourished during eras that valued sexual fidelity. Inevitably, sexual mores would loosen and the societies would subsequently decline, only to rise again when they returned to more rigid sexual standards.
“The evidence was such as to demand a complete revision of my personal philosophy; for the relationship between the factors seemed to be so close, that, if we know what sexual regulations a society has adopted, we can prophesy accurately the pattern of its cultural behavior…
Now it is an extraordinary fact that in the past, sexual opportunity has only been reduced to a minimum by the fortuitous adoption of an institution I call absolute monogamy. This type of marriage has been adopted by different societies, in different places, and at different times. Thousands of years and thousands of miles separate the events; and there is no apparent connection between them.
In human records, there is no case of an absolutely monogamous society failing to display great [cultural] energy. I do not know of a case on which great energy has been displayed by a society that has not been absolutely monogamous…
If, during or just after a period of [cultural] expansion, a society modifies its sexual regulations, and a new generation is born into a less rigorous [monogamous] tradition, its energy decreases… if it comes into contact with a more vigorous society, it is deprived of its sovereignty, and possibly conquered on its turn.
It seems to follow that we can make a society behave in any manner we like if we are permitted to give it such sexual regulations as will produce the behavior we desire. The results should begin to emerge in the third generation.
“Any human society is free to choose either to display great energy or to enjoy sexual freedom; the evidence is that it cannot do both for more than one generation."Joseph D. Unwin, Sex and Culture.
“While teaching kids the standard of marriage, the sanctity and mystery of the sexual relationship must be communicated with special care. A sexual relationship is something to be experienced only through marriage, and must never be violated at any time, before, during, or after marriage.
Children must be educated about the standard of marriage in a warm and loving environment, both in the family and at school. If the standard of marriage is taught in a cold and unloving atmosphere, it will become rigid and oppressive.” Sun Myung Moon
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