Rethinking the Link between Sexual Repression and Sexual Abuse

During the pedophilia scandals within the Catholic Church, serious experts and peddlers of pop psychoanalysis alike claimed that the fault lay with Christian sexual ethics. Without healthy outlets for their libidos, the argument went, priests directed their passions toward children. Thus, a report published this summer by the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology described the perpetrators as “psychosexually immature, psychosexually maldeveloped, sexually deprived, and deeply frustrated.” In light of the recent scandals emerging from Hollywood, Naomi Schaefer Riley argues that these explanations can no longer be taken seriously:

[Can it be that] leading male actors are “sexually deprived?” . . . It is probably true that both the church and Hollywood had developed a “culture of secrecy,” but that seems to be where the similarities end. In [Hollywood] it seems that the ready availability of sex everywhere, the oversexualization of the culture, and the blurring of lines between children and adults—thanks, Roman Polanski—all seem to have contributed to the rampant abuse.

Indeed, the same seems to be true at prep schools . . . that have recently revealed widespread sexual abuse, much of which occurred in the 1960s and 1970s. These schools would not have been restrictive environments in the same ways as the church. For places in the middle of New York City, it would have been quite easy for male teachers to find women their own age. . . . Even where the student body was single-sex, the faculty was generally co-ed.

What distinguished these schools was not repression but a widespread atmosphere of sexual openness, including openness to sex with those who were underage. This is a culture that infected both religious schools and secular ones for decades. But while most of the culture has grown increasingly repulsed by these actions, Hollywood continues to exist in its own moral universe.

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More about: American society, Catholic Church, Hollywood, Religion & Holidays, Sexual ethics, Sexual revolution

The Reasons for Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Staying Power

Nov. 20 2018

This week, Benjamin Netanyahu seems to have narrowly avoided the collapse of his governing coalition despite the fact that one party, Yisrael Beiteinu, withdrew and another, the Jewish Home, threatened to follow suit. Moreover, he kept the latter from defecting without conceding its leader’s demand to be appointed minister of defense. Even if the government were to collapse, resulting in early elections, Netanyahu would almost certainly win, writes Elliot Jager:

[Netanyahu’s] detractors think him Machiavellian, duplicitous, and smug—willing to do anything to stay in power. His supporters would not automatically disagree. Over 60 percent of Israelis tell pollsters that they will be voting for a party other than Likud—some supposing their favored party will join a Netanyahu-led coalition while others hoping against the odds that Likud can be ousted.

Opponents would [also] like to think the prime minister’s core voters are by definition illiberal, hawkish, and religiously inclined. However, the 30 percent of voters who plan to vote Likud reflect a broad segment of the population. . . .

Journalists who have observed Netanyahu over the years admire his fitness for office even if they disagree with his actions. A strategic thinker, Netanyahu’s scope of knowledge is both broad and deep. He is a voracious reader and a quick study. . . . Foreign leaders may not like what he says but cannot deny that he speaks with panache and authority. . . .

The prime minister or those around him are under multiple police investigations for possible fraud and moral turpitude. Under Israel’s system, the police investigate and can recommend that the attorney general issue an indictment. . . . Separately, Mrs. Netanyahu is in court for allegedly using public monies to pay for restaurant meals. . . . The veteran Jerusalem Post political reporter Gil Hoffman maintains that Israelis do not mind if Netanyahu appears a tad corrupt because they admire a politician who is nobody’s fool. Better to have a political figure who cannot be taken advantage of than one who is incorruptible but naïve.

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Read more at Jager File

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel & Zionism, Israeli politics