I believe there are irrefutable laws that govern our universe. These laws keep the planets in their proper orbits, govern the lifespan of stars, and continue expanding endless galaxies. I also believe there are universal laws that govern this planet and the people on it. Whether one chooses to obey these laws or not is irrelevant to the fact that these laws exist. And while one may exercise his right to defy these laws, he cannot alter the natural consequences of that choice.
For example, there is a universal law of gravity on this planet. I may insist that this law does not apply to me-that I am not bound by it. I may even demonstrate my defiance by climbing to the top of a 20 story building, standing at the edge, and leaping off. As I fly through the air, the exhilaration of complete freedom, the incredible “rush” fills me to overflowing and I shout, “See, I told you. The law of gravity doesn’t apply to me!” Some observers on the ground may even buy into the charade-“Look, he’s flying, he was right!” And then, with the predictability of the sun rising in the east and the waves crashing on the shore, the inevitable happens-choice meets consequence; universal law claims her own.
We see this blatant and arrogant disregard for natural laws all around us. We are immersed in a global economic crisis because governments and some citizens violated the law of the harvest, the laws of productivity, frugality, integrity and simplicity. Yet nowhere do I see natural laws more arrogantly and irresponsibly defied than when it comes to mainstream sex education and our children. When I say “sex education,” I refer not only to the curriculum in our public schools, but to the greater influences of sexualized TV, movies and Internet pornography. Research shows that a majority of teens consider the media their main source of information regarding sexual issues.
When it comes to “sex,” what does mainstream-prime-time-celebrity-ized media teach our young people? To put it simply, “Sexual intimacy is a normal, natural urge that should be readily and fully expressed between consenting individuals-if it feels good, then just do it.” And then they quickly add, “But do it safely.” In other words, there are no set universal laws governing human sexuality. It’s simply freedom of expression, personal preference and individual choice. But what is the truth? Are there natural, irrefutable laws that govern sexual intimacy? Is there a factual “science” behind sex that Hollywood, pornographers and other profiteers don’t want our young people to know about?
The Science of Sex
There is not room in this blog to discuss all of the spiritual and emotional/psychological aspects of human sexuality. For example, you cannot place a condom on the human heart. There are myriad consequences both spiritually, emotionally and physically when one chooses to ignite the power of sexuality. In this blog I want to focus on brain science. For more than a decade, I have devoted much of my professional life to the study of human sexuality and the effects of sexualized media and pornography on the human brain. Remarkable neuroscientists and psychologists have been gracious enough to place me under their tutelage and guidance. After years of study and professional interaction with these renowned individuals, I wrote my first book on this topic titled, The Drug of the New Millennium-The Brain Science Behind Internet Pornography Use (available at amazon.com).
While the brain science of sexual intimacy could fill hundreds of blogs, allow me to share just a few of the facts.
Our Creator intended sexual intimacy to be extremely powerful. The programming is built into our very DNA structure. Like other forces in nature, there are natural laws that govern human sexuality. Like the law of gravity, the use of sexuality brings consequences-both positive and negative, constructive and destructive-the results of individual choice. To understand how the natural laws governing sexuality work, let’s consider what happens in the brain when an individual becomes sexual.
In sexual process, the brain releases powerful neuro-chemicals. Depending on the circumstances and how the individual chooses to use these chemicals, the results can be glorious or disastrous.
1. Dopamine: During sexual process, the brain releases a tidal wave of dopamine-our own natural “pleasure drug.” This “drug” creates a very powerful dependency. This can be a healthy dependency between two life-long committed individuals, or it can be an addiction dependency on pornography, illicit affairs, one-night-stands, etc. In addition, when dopamine is present, the “limbic system” or pleasure/reward center of the brain takes over and pushes the frontal lobes or logic center of the brain out of the way. If the individual is not in a safe, responsible situation, he or she can make some really stupid or even devastating choices. With “right-use” dopamine brings wise choices, healthy pleasure, connection, joy and fulfillment. With “wrong-use” it triggers foolish decisions, powerful addiction, loss of freedom, and “drug highs” followed by depressing, hopeless lows.
2. Oxytocin: Known as the “bonding chemical,” oxytocin floods the brain of new mothers and fathers bonding them to their newborn children. When couples hold hands, embrace and kiss, oxytocin releases and begins forging a powerful bond. During sexual intimacy, oxytocin bonds individuals together with the same kind of chemical power that bonds a mother to her newborn child. This bonding process is a wonderful gift in a committed, life-long marriage. But imagine what happens when this bonding chemical is released during illicit sex or pornography viewing. Who or what are the individuals being bonded to, and how difficult will it be to sever that bond after the “rush” is over?
These are just two examples of the many neuro-chemicals released during sexual process. These chemicals were divinely designed to create marvelous “natural” consequences that are an unmatched gift and blessing. But, used outside natural limits and boundaries, they wreak havoc on societies, families and individuals. If you doubt it, just look around at the tidal wave of consequences. Blatantly obvious examples are the celebrities of sexualized Hollywood and pornography who portray themselves as role models for the “do whatever feels good” approach to life-“There are no universal laws” they scream as they fly flippantly through the air. But inevitably, each in turn break themselves against the solid rock of irrefutable natural laws. And as we witness their chaotic and disastrous lives, we wonder, “Do they really have the answers about sex?”
If we’re going to be truly effective in the sex education of our young people, then we need to have the maturity, integrity and intelligence to “tell the whole truth.” Yes, they need to make their own choices. But along with all of the glamour, glitz and “brain rush” of sexualized media, let’s teach our young people the true “science of sex” so they can make an “informed” decision. So they can know in advance what to expect should they choose to “leap defiantly off the edge,” or harness the power and joy that come as a natural consequence of “right-use.”