Written by Alexis Goodman

Want to make yourself a pariah? Suggest fidelity as a solution to many of the problems we see around the world; or better yet, go one further and suggest abstinence. Nothing sets off the alarms for the sexual libertarian gurus of our time like the word “abstinence.” Abstinence, for them, is synonymous with ‘bondage’ and ‘slavery.’ Even those who state they are “religious” push back against the so-called “purity culture.” Antiquated and fear mongering, abstinence is considered to be followed perpetually around by white supremacy, male dominion over women, and trauma.

During President Trump’s time in office, he attempted to institute a vision of abstinence into the Title X Family Planning Services, it sent a large swath of the population into a frenzy, with claims that he was putting “ideology before public health”, initiating a “domestic gag rule”, and that this vision would “violate ethical principles.”

Considering the premises of sexual libertarians, it’s not too hard to imagine why they consider abstinence to be so offensive. [perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]What is difficult to understand is why fidelity is so triggering. [/perfectpullquote]

Fidelity, unlike its perceived “evil” sister abstinence, is not prohibiting all sex. No, it is merely prohibiting unmarried, unfaithful sex. And yet, with the overwhelming influence of the sexual libertarians, this word ”fidelity” is slowly coming to have as much of a negative connotation as abstinence.

Fidelity during the AIDS pandemic

Edward C. Green campaigned for fidelity programs in order to fight the AIDS pandemic that created turmoil globally from the 1980’s to late 2000’s. Individuals from around the world were dying at alarming rates because of infectious sexually transmitted diseases. The widely accepted practice for cutting the number of deaths was the distribution of condoms.

The director of Harvard’s AIDS Prevention Research Project, a conductor of research in Africa and Southeast Asia, and a member on the UNAIDS committee and the Presidential Advisory Council for HIV/AIDS, among other organizations, Dr. Green accepted his fate of alienation once he began promoting fidelity as the solution to AIDS. It began when he noticed that Uganda was seeing an unprecedented drop in their AIDS mortality rates. In response, he wrote reports covering their programs that pushed “fidelity and delay of sexual debut” and stated that he, “could sense the excitement among Ugandans that these efforts were paying off.”

Dr. Green wrote, “When I finished in Uganda, I wrote my report…I sensed there might be some political or ideological resistance to my findings, but because the epidemic was ghastly and most people in AIDS work mean well, I didn’t worry too much about it.”

He worked with two other epidemiologists that concurred with his findings and wrote, “…we had similar stories to compare. They too had thought the world would welcome their findings. How could the world not? After all, our evidence showed we could prevent AIDS in Africa far more cheaply and successfully than anyone had dared imagine. We could stop the holocaust.” But the “aids establishment” as Dr. Green refers to the vast majority of organizations driving the effort to stop AIDS, concluded that teaching abstinence and sexual fidelity was the wrong approach and began pushing condoms and “sex positive” messaging in its place. Dr. Green continued: [perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“These guys felt we were witnessing one of the greatest violations of human rights of the century: we knew how to prevent AIDS and yet we weren’t taking action.”[/perfectpullquote]

Fidelity could have saved countless lives, and yet the Western world shunned the concept because as Representative Chris Shays said, “asking an African to abstain is like trying to repeal the law of gravity.” As racist and shocking as this comment is, it is one that the Western egalitarian countries have unknowingly put upon themselves as well. “We can’t abstain from sex” or “We aren’t capable of disciplining ourselves sexually.”

Unwin had it right

Social anthropologist, J.D. Unwin, caught on to the necessity of fidelity and monogamy when he wrote, “Sex and Culture” in 1934. In this book, Unwin analyzes 86 different cultures and societies to determine what causes a society to rise to economic and intellectual climax, but then collapse. Dr. Unwin’s conclusion: The more a society engaged in sexual restraint, the more opportunity for flourishment within that society.

The powerhouse cultures were those wherein pre-nuptial strictness was observed as well as absolute monogamy. These cultures left other cultures behind in every single arena, whether that be: the sciences, arts, architecture, literature, etc. When that combination was abandoned, the culture was seen to collapse within three generations as the society resorted to base needs and desires with little interest in anything else.

Are we seeing a similar pattern, today, as we focus on self and pursuing promiscuous sex? Optimists like Hanna Rosin claim, “The hookup culture that has largely replaced dating on college campuses has been viewed, in many quarters, as socially corrosive and ultimately toxic to women, who seemingly have little choice but to participate. Actually, it is an engine of female progress—one being harnessed and driven by women themselves.” Let’s dispense with the pretense that this is for progress and instead accept the possibility that common decency, and even our society’s survival, is being exchanged for our most base and animalistic desires.

The term “sexual integrity” is lumped in with the religious monolith and our deliberate and relentless chase for sexual freedom has culminated in experimentation in sexual tastes and desires, resulting in the inevitable normalization of things like polyamory and homosexual practices.

Infidelity on the rise

study performed in the U.S. found that one in five adults have engaged in a consensual non-monogamous relationship. In Canada, a study of 2,003 adults found that 12% idealized the thought of an ‘open’ relationship, and one-fifth of the participants had actually engaged in a non-monogamous relationship.

Many are saying monogamy in marriage, and the nuclear family, is what is failing us. One article wrote that letting go of monogamy can create satisfaction and “solidarity that comes from letting go of the assumption that one person can and should meet all of your needs.” And polyamory is being called the new sexual revolution. One lesbian wrote about her desire for an open relationship with her partner, but worried what that would mean for their seven year old son. In the end, she decided “Ultimately, our journey into ethical non-monogamy has been one of self-discovery, growth, and deepening love.” Her desires won out in the tug-o-war happening in her brain: son or sexual fantasies?

That term, ‘ethical non-monogamy’ has had a surge in Google search traffic by over 250%. The ethical part means every participant in the relationship has agreed to the multiple and interchanging partners. Not everyone is a huge fan of the inclusion of ‘ethical’, as one LGBTQ author put it, “They don’t like the term ‘ethical’ because it implies that non-monogamy is inherently unethical. Why else would you feel compelled to preface with ‘ethical’?” Adam Levine, famous American singer, agreed with this statement and said, “Instinctively, monogamy is not in our genetic makeup. People cheat. I have cheated.”

Once again, we have put upon ourselves the bondage of “We aren’t capable of disciplining ourselves sexually.”

Fidelity Month or Pride Month?

Jordan B. Peterson, in an interview, stated:

“We have pride month. Well, what are we celebrating? First of all, how about we don’t celebrate pride. Pride’s a cardinal sin. And you might say, “well they don’t mean pride. They mean – it’s a group of oppressed people and now they are just finding their identity and they are getting some security in that identity, and so what they mean by pride is security and not identity” It’s like, the word’s pride, that’s the word that was chosen, and its pride in relationship, as far as I can tell, to nothing but hedonistic self-gratification. It’s like, your identity is going to be your sexual desire? That’s your identity? Your sexual desire? So that means you’ve reduced your identity to the most immature and hedonistic part of you. The part that would exploit someone else for your own gratification for example. The part that would exploit you for your own gratification. And now that’s your identity. And now that’s what we celebrate. Yeah, no, that’s a very bad idea.”

The implications of identifying as your sexual desires will go over the head of many a sexual libertarian. [perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Pride is being exalted above virtue with an entire month dedicated to it. [/perfectpullquote]

Whether you are religious or not, the glorification of pride will lead to no good destinations.

Instead, this month should be dedicated to the virtue of fidelity. Championing loyalty and being faithful, this can be “a counterweight to the isolated individualism plaguing our country” and can work to overcome the base desires we have imposed upon ourselves. Practice fidelity not only within your marriage, but in everything you do. Be faithful to your commitments towards your children, your religion, and your community. Dr. Robert George, a professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University, among other things, is valiantly crusading for a shift from pride to fidelity this month. Why fidelity and not pride? Because it’s a virtue everyone can apply to themselves without having to dumb down their existence to their sexual desire and behavior.

To find more information and ways you can celebrate June as Fidelity Month:

Be a part of something important and help take back the month of June in the process!