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Suppose as a society we never have at any time in the past believed in or practiced “You shall not commit Adultery.” There never has been then any notion of sexual commitment between men and women. Suppose this state of affairs persists in the present and foreseeable future.

In absence of “You shall not commit Adultery”, the marriage institution automatically ceases to exist. If the mother of your child can choose to sleep with a total stranger today after having had sex with you the night before, you cannot reasonably commit yourself to her welfare. This is simple rationality. If the mother of your child owes you no commitment, you also owe her no commitment whatsoever. If she sleeps with a total stranger today you are well on your way to your own total stranger tomorrow.

In a world devoid of “You shall not commit Adultery”, sex is entirely transactional in nature and having a child does not induce any sort of family structure. In this transactional world, only women take care of their children. Men may support financially but do not stay around to develop any sort of emotional attachment. It is difficult to stay around to develop emotional attachment when the mother of child is legally deep in oohs and aahs with some other guy while you are in a bonding moment with your child.

In absence of family structure, it is difficult for civil society to arise, function, or be effective. Sure civil society still can arise to protect properties and lives, but that rich component — regulation of men’s access to women to whom they are not married — no longer can be a significant component of importance of civil society. Once this human interaction aspect of civil society is lost, civil society revolves primarily around security of inanimate things, loses life, and is a shell of what we know civil society to be in a world within which marriage continues to be celebrated on paper if not in attitudes.

A world governed by transactional sex is a world within which men and women spend lots of energies ensuring they get their fair share of available sex. A world focused on getting sex cannot simultaneously focus its energies on innovation, understanding the universe, making the world a better place etc.

When sex no longer is guaranteed within context of a family structure, sex becomes a source of status within society, meaning men will compete over sex. Men whose minds are preoccupied with securing sex and besting their male friends at securing sex cannot at the same time commit their minds to solving of complex problems of life in every sphere of human existence.

The reasoning here is simple. If there are lots of uninhibited women, capacity to identify such women and capacity to woo such women into bed translates into ability, ability that reasonably and rationally is envied by other men. If most women are looking for sex within context of relationships, a man who sleeps with lots of women takes advantage of women’s search for love, an ability that is not necessarily envied within populations of men. Women’s attitudes towards “You shall not commit Adultery” can create a society within which it is the man who thinks most about sex that is most respected within populations of men. If women create such a world they will not simultaneously earn the right to complain about its effects on society, themselves inclusive.

If all of society were to regard sex to be transactional in nature, the fabric of human society would be rent from top to bottom and life as we know it will totally cease to exist. We will be back in the stone age, treating each other merely as deserving of some sort of greeting (grunt), and having no incentive or desire to develop intimate relationships with any other person. Men and women who brag they are uninhibited sexually are able to do so because the vast majority of men and women are willing to commit themselves to marriage type relationships. If the whole world were to go transactional, being sexually uninhibited no longer would be fun. Sexual uninhibitedness is possible only as a “free rider” movement.

So want happens in a society within which sex is transactional in nature but some men do not get some. Well, since no woman can claim she is preserving herself for marriage — marriage does not exist — when a man forces himself on a woman he cannot be accused of taking forcibly what the woman was preserving for a particular man. There is no longer a particular man because there no longer is any concept of marriage. It is this notion of stealing what a woman is reserving for a special man that makes rape an act of stealing, an egregious attempt at forestalling of another man’s good fortune. Within context of a transactional worldview of sex, however, while rape is mistreatment of a woman, there is no stealing of her opportunity to offer herself to another man because a particular man does not exist. This implies the value of the hurt imposed by forced sex no longer is the same. Society then has to arrive at some new view or characterization of what a woman refers to as forced sex.

If “You shall not commit Adultery” remains on the books, but we collectively pay no mind to it, society will become exactly what it is today — a world filled with greetings (grunts) yet devoid of real intimacy or love. A world within which a woman’s desire to have sex or agreement to consensual sex becomes a matter of legal interpretation after the fact. The facts show we already are living as if “You shall not commit Adultery” no longer is a restraint to behavior in society. We can make it worse or we can make it better. The choice is ours to make. Let us not forget, however, that the world we step into tomorrow is created by all of the actions we took before we went to bed today and cascades of effects of all previous todays now characterized yesterdays.

Educator and Researcher, Believer in Spirituality, Life is serious business, but we all are pilgrims so I write about important stuff with empathy and ethos

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