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The Hypocrisy of Sexual Outrage

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When it comes to sexual conduct, we pride ourselves that we have become more tolerant and less censorious that our forefathers. We are far more open or frank about sexual matters than they were. Children, so it seems to me, are force-fed sexual knowledge from an earlier and earlier age. We don’t believe any more in an age of innocence, as existing neither in fact nor as something desirable. A school teacher once told me that one of her young pupils, aged seven had come crying to her because one of his classmates had called him a virgin.Asked whether he knew what a virgin was, he replied, ‘I don’t know, but I know it’s something horrible.’Despite the fact that we pride ourselves on our enlightened, relaxed and liberal attitude to sexuality, one cannot help but descry the working of a kind of Second Law of Thermodynamics in regard to outrage over what we deem to be sexual misconduct. What we find outrageous might have changed, but the quantity of outrage is a constant.A school teacher on...

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