gail Hanson's picture
gail Hanson

Sexuality, commitment, marriage, divorce

multi-contributor blog about
sexuality, commitment, marriage, divorce

SinglDad and others with opinions, let's take the gloves off and have a discussion about these issues. They are foundational to parenting, as sex (uniting sperm and egg) is what causes children. Can we try it, and see if we can keep it respectful, both of one another's reasoning skills and emotional responses? I think that reasoning and emotion are both valid modes of response to this core issue. I don't think we need to use any biological terms, either scientific or vulgar, as what I would like to be discussing is the social and relationship context of sexual activity. I would also like to include ideas about discussing the context of sexual activity with our children. I posit as a basic idea that educating our children is an "early and often" point, like Mayor Daley said about voting.



SnglDad's picture
SnglDad

  Sex has as much to do with parenting as a car manufacturer has to do with how the new owners take care of their new car. Most anyone can have sex and create a new life. Unfortunately it has proven time and time again that being able to produce a child is no indicator of how one will care for a child. So I would say, sex and sexuality are not foundational to parenting.

  Commitment is something we hope to attain, but few ever do attain true commitment. The only commitment that a child needs is a commitment from an adult that the child will be raised in a loving and secure home. The idea of the nuclear family is a nice thought, but so is winning the lottery

  Marriage could be grouped with commitment, but I will address marriage separately. Marriage is not the end all of our existence. Marriage will not define us as people, nor will it define us as parents. There are many marriages where alcoholism and abuse of all natures takes place. The fact that the people are married has absolutely nothing to do with how they will conduct themselves, as people, or as parents. People are people, a marriage certificate will not change them. What will change them is not filed with the records department, instead, it is found within themselves. They need to have a true desire to want to change.

  Divorce often effects children more than any adult should allow it to. Parents fight over material things, and mixed in that fight more often than not are the children. Divorce is a battle where adults act out their frustrations, and play petty games, all the while the Lawyers get richer. The true casualties are the children. Children with little, to no life experience in this area. Divorce is not part of parenting. But it can be a test of your ability as a parent.

  The foundation of a home is strong. Many times in disasters we see homes destroyed or even taken away by wind or water. The one thing that remains to let us know that there was a home there is the foundation. The things mentioned above are not what I would consider foundational. The strongest foundations are not pieced together, but are one solid structure. My foundation which I choose to build my relationship on with my children is love. No matter how strong the storm, or how high the flood waters when the storm has passed we will still have a solid and stable foundation on which to rebuild.

gail Hanson's picture
gail Hanson

Would you agree with this idea? When one has sex with another person, one is nominating them to be a parent. Whether they achieve the status is like winning the lottery, a matter of chance, with odds affected by things like contraception, maturity of reproductive system, and health.

I don't want to make my entry really long, so

stephy's picture
stephy

No I would not agree. Happily sex in the 21st Century is is an experience which can be enjoyed without fear of parenting [unless that is what you want] . Contraception has come a long way.
 I understand that if you have religious convictions, then you may be tied down by what you choose to interpret from the Bible.
I am not advocating sleeping around, but nor am I advocating marriage. I do not run with the celibacy before marriage lobby although I agree with  fidelity in a loving relationship.

gail Hanson's picture
gail Hanson

Would you agree with me that until recently, through evolutionary history, that when one had sex, one was nominating the other for parenting?  And don't think I'm dragging in "your" notion of evolution.  I do believe that evolution led to current organisms, including us.

stephy's picture
stephy

How far back down evolutionary history do you want to go? Even in early times, people were having sex with very little successful means of contraception and it was just like playing Russian Roulette for them. The only way for a woman not to get pregnant was to either abstain or let the man take his pleasure in 'other ways'. If you mean did they nominate a partner to be a parent then I guess you must mean in a metaphorical way. I would still say no.

SnglDad's picture
SnglDad

 Gail, you asked for the gloves to be taken off. Now you are more concerned with not making a long entry. To have sex with another person is not to nominate that person to be a parent. It is simply nominating that person to be a sexual partner. I have addressed all your other questions. Would you agree with them?

gail Hanson's picture
gail Hanson

I'll give them a shot, but I prefer to make my own entries short--my own limitation, not meant to be a criticism, sorry if it was taken as such. And perhaps I will spend too much time on things that are "a nice thought." but that is how I think. Would you agree that people who tend to take good care of their cars are also more likely to research the safety, and maintenance and repair history of car manufacturers? I have no basis for this pure speculation. It just seems sensible to me that those characteristics would go hand in hand. I would be willing to forgo the "foundational." I think it is important to parenting in the same way as all teaching. Teaching children a context for sexual behavior is important, just as teaching them hygeine, nutrition, goal setting, and social skills are important. And teaching goes better if example matches precept.

thanks for the opportunity to clarify my fuzzy thinking and sloppy self-expression!

gail Hanson's picture
gail Hanson

So what is an appropriate social or relationship context for sexual activity with a real-live person of the opposite sex?

stephy's picture
stephy

Mutual attraction and chemistry, respect for each other, and the knowledge that you are harming nobody else with your sexual activity. I do wonder why you specify someone of the opposite sex though! 

gail Hanson's picture
gail Hanson

Because babies never result from unassisted homosexual activity.  And I am not saying that homosexuals are not fit parents. I'm just saying that, the number of parents who became parents because of homosexual activity alone,added to the number that became parents because of celibacy alone, that number is statistically insignificant.  Even if you believe in the Immaculate Conception and the Virgin Birth.   Less than three out of tens of billions.

SinglDad made a good point about commitment--that what a child needs is parental commitment to the child.  

 

I suggest that respect for each other is important, but all you can be sure of is your own respect for the other.  That behaviors that would lead you to believe that the other respects you (and I admit, marriage is one of those behaviors) can be feigned. 

And feel free to bring up your own sidelights to expose these topics, anybody.  I don't have a script here.  Just thinking outloud--in ASCII

Back to the statement that contraception has come a long way. That is very true. And I am willing to move on from this idea of "nomination", its not the only important thing, but I think you guys have proved my point. It may not be the process of nomination that you would have chosen, as the people doing the nominating only have to have the qualification of being fertile. Nothing about emotional maturity or commitment. Just any two fertile people can nominate each other. The only two contraceptive strategies that are 100% are no intercourse and abortion. So women can erase their nomination, but men are more limited about taking it back. A woman can unilaterally decide to abort. If she wishes instead to abdicate as a parent-in-the-trenches, one who rears the child, then the biofather only has the options of either rearing the child himself, or vetoing or agreeing to the adoption. Vetoing the adoption would only re-confirm the nomination. If the woman wishes to accept the responsibility, then the bio-father is most likely going to have some parental responsibility. That may be all I have come up with on the subject, but who knows where my mind will take me next?