Australian Family Association (NSW)
PRESENTATION TO SEXUAL INTEGRITY FORUM
PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA
8-9TH AUGUST 2005
Sexual Integrity and the Natural Family FOR Society
By Mary-Louise Fowler
After decades of seeing public monies wasted on the agendas of fashionable social ideologies, we are here today to put the case for common sense and the restoration of the primacy of the Natural Family.
There is nothing more important than to understand the pivotal role that the Natural Family plays in the proper ordering of a stable, happy and prosperous society, and further, to see clearly the essential steps needed to be taken if we are to restore the primacy of the Natural Family and foster its progress.
Family and Society
The great qualities of Truth, Beauty, Goodness and Unity are lived in that microcosm of society known as the Family. From there, these qualities radiate to the whole of society.
If families are well governed (and by this I mean self-governed by a sense of self-mastery and internal order) then the whole of society is well governed.
If there is respect in the family, then the whole of society is respectful.
If generosity is lived in the family, the whole of society is the beneficiary.
Fidelity, modesty, honesty, temperance, self control …the list goes on…..
These virtues, which as I see it are part of living Sexual Integrity, are first learnt in the intimacy of the Family, and if they are practised diligently throughout one's life, lead to true prosperity and social harmony.
Isn't THAT what we want for our Nation? For each other? For ourselves?
Living Sexual Integrity - What does it mean?
To live 'sexual integrity' implies living according to the truth as revealed in the very essence of human sexuality i.e. the complementarity of the male and female genders.
It is clear that male and female humans not only look different, but are in fact different.
Living 'sexual integrity', as opposed to following a unisex trend, recognises, values and fosters the uniqueness of men and women. It is not about men and women in opposition to each other. It is not about domination versus submission. Rather it is about cooperation and companionship.
What then is 'sexual integrity' when applied to the sexual union?
The very design of the female and male bodies speaks of complementarity and union. They are designed for each other.
However this union is not just a matter of physical design. This union is designed to give joy and to give life. It is a mutual and intimate gift of self that continually fortifies the male-female bond and in so doing creates a suitable environment for welcoming new life and forming a family.
Thus the joy and the life-giving force of the sexual union are intrinsically linked. This is the truth embedded in the sexual union. This relationship is so powerful, and of such great importance as a social good that it has been formalised as the 'institution of marriage'.
This 'joy' and this 'life-giving force' should be treasured. It is not something that should to be frittered away and spent on a momentary passion. In fact when the 'joy' is separated from the 'life-giving' potential of the sexual union, what we have is a rupture of the integrity of the union …… and as we have seen since the advent of the "free love" sexual revolution of the sixties, this has lead to the sexual union being used as a recreational past-time. This loss of the value of the union has ultimately permitted its degradation.
Thus the sexual union expressed within marriage for the benefit of the spouses and open to its life-giving potential is the cornerstone of 'sexual integrity'.
Woman and Man
Sexual identity is something that is encoded in our gender makeup. However apart from some gender identity anomalies which I am not qualified to address, sexual identity which is surely part of sexual integrity, can be fostered, thwarted or distorted by a variety of other influences.
If we want women to BE women and men to BE men, then we must discover what it is that fosters sexual integrity. This raises some serious questions. What is it that fosters true male and female identity and what is it that fosters the essential complementarity between men and women?
There will be influences that are beyond our control. So let's cut to the chase - what are the influences that are within our grasp?
What influences are positive and therefore deserving of promotion?
What influences are negative and therefore deserving of demotion?
Fostering Sexual Integrity and the Natural Family
As mentioned earlier, the sexual union expressed within marriage for the benefit of the spouses and open to its life-giving potential is the cornerstone of 'sexual integrity' and the cement of the life-long union which is fundamental to the health and happiness of the family.
Therefore it stands to reason that anything that encourages marriage and family and all that goes with it - fidelity, commitment, sacrifice, generosity, frugality etc should be promoted with all our effort.
Reserving the sexual union for marriage only, is also part of sexual integrity. Therefore, despite the difficulties, because of human weakness, of living chastity, fostering an environment that reduces temptation must also be promoted.
As a society we should do all we can to promote stable married and family life founded on fidelity, commitment, and equality.
Spouses should enjoy proper dominion over their household by means of a reliable income; employment conditions should recognise that the family occupies the focus of the employees' lives, and that its needs must be carefully weighed to create balance - the demands of the workplace should not habitually be all consuming.
We should insist that education at all levels supports marriage and family values; public policy should foster and reward intact marriages and families.
In all this, the role played by the media, the arts, and entertainment industries is absolutely vital. We must encourage those who work in these industries to act in the interests of marriage and family, with truth and integrity.
Forces that Militate against Sexual Integrity
For years radical feminism ravaged women's understanding of what it is to be a woman. Women were set in opposition to men. Instead of complementing men, women competed with men.
Women came to despise all that was seen as the woman's domain - bearing children, creating a happy and well ordered home, attending to the needs of others with affection and care.
Women embraced contraception and pushed for abortion to be more available. They wanted the sex, but not the children.
This rupture in the integrity of the sexual union began an avalanche. Sex, once separated from its true purpose was also emptied of meaning.
With conception removed from the equation, sex could be had on a whim, and rather than being an act that transmitted love, it became an act that satisfied an urge.
The sexual union in this light has become akin to an animal act. But emptied of meaning it will never satisfy and so women and men are set apart, with devastating consequences for each other and the family.
It is not surprising then that society is saturated with sex. Having lost its meaning, humanity seems to be constantly straining to make sense of it.
We have gathered together over these days to start along the path that will lead to the restoration of all that was lost. Let us with all our effort, work to re-establish truth, beauty, goodness and unity. Let us restore the dignity of motherhood and fatherhood and the primacy of the family. Let us work together to restore Sexual Integrity for the good of the family and society.