Darrow Miller and Friends

The Big Ideas Behind the Sexual Revolution

Last week, Everett Piper wrote a prophetic piece in the Washington Times on the current flood of sexual assault allegations making headlines daily. His comment about what’s behind this torrent hits the nail on the head.

Ideas always have consequences and lecherous behavior will always be the inevitable consequence of teaching lechery. For years our schools have mocked morality. Why are we now shocked to find we live in a society that has no understanding of personal morality? For decades, we’ve taught our children that there are no boundaries. Why are we now surprised to find we have raised young adults who behave as if there are no boundaries? Year in and year out we have taught our kids the merits of sexual experimentation, rather than the virtue of sexual restraint. And now we wonder why our country lacks virtue and our culture is void of sexual restraint? We act as if something has gone wrong but yet we continue to teach our kids to do what is wrong.

Yes, exactly. The daily news cycle is focused on consequences. But what are the ideas that are producing these consequences? Where did they come from, and who championed them?

Here’s a short list of some of the most infamous intellectuals and ideas behind the sexual revolution.

sexual revolution influencer Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin (1809-1882)

Darwin, the British naturalist, proposed that humans are not created by God in His image. Rather, we are highly evolved animals formed through an unguided, purposeless process of evolution. Animals mate and reproduce out of instinct, not morality, and the same holds true for people. This simple but profound idea undergirds the way sex is understood and taught in America’s public schools.

sexual revolution influencer NietzscheFriedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

Nietzsche, the Prussian philosopher, is most famous for pronouncing that God is effectively “dead” in the West, and we are better off without Him. We need to move beyond Christian notions of morality—including Christian sexual morality—and determine what is right and wrong for ourselves.

sexual revolution influencer Sigmund FreudSigmund Freud (1856-1939)

Freud, the Austrian psychoanalyst, taught that sexual repression, rooted in Judeo-Christian morality, accounts for nearly every psychological disorder. It is oppressive, rooted in fantasy, and must be discarded.


sexual revolution influencer Margaret SangerMargaret Sanger (1879-1966)

Sanger, the American birth-control pioneer viewed sex as a source of salvation. She wrote, “Through sex, mankind may attain the great spiritual illumination that will transform the world, which will light up the only path to earthly paradise.” For her, birth control was the means to this utopia, for it enabled sex without concern for reproduction, and contributed to curtailing populations she considered unfit, including blacks and other ethnic minorities. To advance her birth-control crusade, she founded the notorious organization, Planned Parenthood, which is behind the abortion deaths of hundreds of millions of children worldwide.

sexual revolution influencer Alfred KinseyAlfred Kinsey (1894-1956)

Kinsey, the American sexologist, founded the institute for sex research at Indiana University. Unencumbered from antiquated Christian ideas about sexual morality, Kinsey thought we should instead look to how people actually behaved sexually. If any person does it, it should be viewed as normal and acceptable. This idea contributed to the mainstreaming of adultery, masturbation, pedophilia, incest and homosexuality. His notorious research and experimentation techniques abetted the molestation of hundreds of children.

sexual revolution influencer Mary CalderoneMary Calderone (1904-1998)

A one-time executive of Planned Parenthood, Calderone cofounded the “Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States” (SIECUS) with funding help from Playboy founder Hugh Hefner. Today, SIECUS is the most influential organization shaping sex-education curriculum in America’s public schools. An ardent supporter of the sexual revolution, she wrote “A new stage of evolution is breaking across the horizon and the task of educators is to prepare children to step into that future.”

sexual revolution influencer Hugh HefnerHugh Heffner (1926-2017)

Heffner, the American founder of Playboy and pornography pioneer wrote, “Playboy freed a generation from guilt about sex.” Today, pornography is a $12 billion-per-year industry. In 2016, pornographic websites got more than 23 billion visits. The average age for first-time viewers is 11 and dropping, and addiction to porn, with all its ensuing pathology and brokenness, is skyrocketing.

These ideas have penetrated deeply into the culture. They are pervasive in our music, films, and novels. They are institutionalized in our educational curricula, corporate policy, government regulation, and laws. They’ve made significant inroads into the church.

Ideas have consequences, and bad ideas have very bad consequences. If we don’t like the consequences, we’ll have to discredit the ideas behind them. But are we? Hardly.

  • Darwin’s theory of evolution is uniformly represented as an indisputable scientific fact.
  • Our culture’s leading voices and gatekeepers agree with Nietzsche and Freud that Christian sexual morality is a harmful and repressive fantasy that needs to be discarded.
  • Margaret Sanger was recently honored with a statue in the Smithsonian Institution, in a display celebrating heroic Americans who fought for justice. Each year, Planned Parenthood gives the “Margaret Sanger Award,” its highest honor. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was a proud recipient.
  • Planned Parenthood receives more than $500 million in government funding each year.
  • The Kinsey Institute still exists at Indiana University.
  • SIECUS still drives the sex-education curriculum in our public schools.
  • Hugh Heffner was lionized as a great American in his recent passing.

Until we get serious about discrediting these ideas, we can expect much more of the same.

  • Scott Allen

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Scott Allen serves as president of the DNA secretariat office. After serving with Food for the Hungry for 19 years in both the United States and Japan, working in the areas of human resources, staff training and program management, he teamed up with Darrow Miller and Bob Moffitt to launch the DNA in 2008. Scott is the author of Beyond the Sacred-Secular Divide: A Call to Wholistic Life and Ministry and co-author of several books including, As the Family Goes, So Goes the Nation: Principles and Practices for Building Healthy Families. His most recent book is Why Social Justice is Not Biblical Justice. Scott lives with his wife, Kim, in Bend, OR. They have five children.