4th Campus Talk: Building Intact Families in a Sexualized Culture
Saturday April 13th we held our 4th Campus Talk. It was by far the biggest event we’d ever held and perhaps, also the most powerful.
Students, professors, faith leaders, and civic leaders came from across the country to attend. As the speakers discussed the interrelated topics of family breakdown and fatherlessness, diluted intimacy in relationships, human trafficking and sex trafficking, and pornography, all were in shock and awe. Many had never known how these various fields were actually part of the same issue, and felt empowered to speak out in the future. Many civic and spiritual leaders affirmed that they would be taking what they gain back home with them to share it within their own circles.
Here is a summary of what was discussed:
Vice President of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation Lisa L. Thompson stated clearly: “Talking about human trafficking without talking about prostitution is like talking about slavery without talking about the cotton fields. You don’t do it.” And prostitution, she and Melissa Holland of Awaken Nevada showed, is not something that is chosen, but rather forced upon people through abusive families and a sexualized culture. Pornography is often used to “educate” women being trafficked and prostitutes on what fantasies they are supposed to fulfill. Those same pornography videos are often nonconsensual, and instead women are coerced into doing the acts which are then recorded and sold.
Dr. Timothy Rarick showed through his years of study that those women who fall victim to sexual exploitation overwhelmingly come from broken families with abusive or absentee fathers. Their vulnerabilities and insecurities are then exploited by traffickers and pornographers, who then propagate the abusive culture through pornography and the sex trade (both legal and illegal). As a society then consumes the culture of callousness and sex, it is primed to be more permissive of sexual abuse, and more its people increasing attempt to reproduce what is seen on the screen.
This preoccupation with sexuality leads people away from understanding and cherishing human virtue and value, and relationships decay more quickly, producing more broken families. These broken families produce the children who are vulnerable to be exploited by the sexualized culture, and the cycle continues. Thus human trafficking, prostitution, pornography, and casual sex are interrelated aspect of the sexual exploitation machine that is devastating our world.
The vicious cycle can be broken, however. Dr Raricks research shows clearly that when families are kept intact and both parents are engaged in their children's lives, there is little sexual predators can do to entice or exploit those children. The most important factors in prevent sexual exploitation were not outside forces, but the rather inside out approaches that strengthen the family. Dr Sandra Lowen made the case for healing and growing to maturity of heart, character, and love prior to entering into romantic relationships.
Taken together the presenters gave a clear message: Become mature individuals capable of loving selflessly, create families that support emotional growth and sense of self worth in children, and this in turn will combat the sexual impropriety, abuse, and exploitation that runs rampant. The solution begins and ends with a loving family.
Afterwards participants, speakers, and organizational leaders came together to declare their shared determination to create a new cultural movement that supports sexual integrity and the family.