“Sexual revolutions have long-term, devastating consequences for culture and civilization.”

Doug Mainwaring
Written by Doug Mainwaring

FLASHBACK: 1930s anthropologist finds sexual hedonism destroys civilizations

J.D. Unwin observed that when strict prenuptial chastity was forsaken by a society, a type of ‘human entropy’ — a gradual descent into disorder — set in.

August 25, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — An Oxford University social anthropologist’s decades of work have shown that there is a direct correlation between unbridled sexual freedom and the demise of cultures. He did it nearly 100 years ago, long before the sexual revolution exploded in the western world. 

The work of J.D. Unwin in his 1934 treatise “Sex and Culture” is prescient. His findings have turned out to be incredibly predictive, having been affirmed by the history of nations over the course of ensuing decades.   

Unwin observed that when a society forsook strict prenuptial chastity, a type of “human entropy” — a gradual descent into disorder — set in. Monogamy, belief in God, and rational thinking disappeared within three generations of the shift toward greater sexual freedom. He concluded that sexual revolutions have long-term, devastating consequences for culture and civilization.

The Oxford researcher, who died in 1936, looked at 86 societies and civilizations — stretching from the ancient Sumerians, Babylonians, and Romans to Polynesian and Micronesian societies to the Dakota, Hopi, Chickasaw, and Crow Indian tribes of North America — to determine if there is a relationship between sexual freedom and the flourishing of cultures.

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Why Sexual Morality May Be Far More Important than You Ever Thought

In a lengthy blog piece titled “Why Sexual Morality May Be Far More Important than You Ever Thought,” Christian author and speaker Kirk Dunston has distilled Unwin’s massive study, conducted over a lifetime.

“Increased sexual constraints, either pre or post-nuptial, always led to increased flourishing of a culture,” while “increased sexual freedom always led to the collapse of a culture three generations later,” explained Dunston. “The single most important correlation with the flourishing of a culture was whether pre-nuptial chastity was required or not.”

“The most powerful combination was pre-nuptial chastity coupled with ‘absolute monogamy,’” noted Dunston. “Cultures that retained this combination for at least three generations exceeded all other cultures in every area, including literature, art, science, furniture, architecture, engineering, and agriculture. Only three out of the eighty-six cultures studied ever attained this level.”

“When strict prenuptial chastity was no longer the norm, absolute monogamy, deism [religion], and rational thinking also disappeared within three generations,” wrote Duston. And if total sexual freedom was embraced by a culture, that culture collapsed within three generations to the lowest state of flourishing,” and was usually conquered or taken over by another culture with greater social energy.

Contradicting science and rational thinking with full support of governments and education

Dunston wondered, “How are we doing as we enter the second generation since our own sexual revolution at the end of the 20th century?” 

His conclusions reveal how closely Unwin’s findings have been predictive of the unraveling and weakening of American and European culture since the start of the sexual Revolution:

  1. As predicted, absolute monogamy has already been replaced with modified monogamy. Common-law relationships are becoming the norm. Although divorce occurred prior to the 1970’s, the mainstream of our culture still maintained the view that marriage should be for life, and common-law relationships were regarded with some distaste. That has clearly changed. Those who actually practice life-long commitments in marriage have become the minority, with couples born prior to the sexual revolution much more likely to maintain a life-long commitment in marriage.
  2. Deism [religion] is already rapidly declining, exactly as predicted. Prior to the 1960’s, a combination of rationalism and a belief in God was the norm for mainstream culture. Not only has belief in God greatly decreased since the 1960’s, but there has been a trend to remove the concept of God from government, the educational system, and the public forum. Those who still believe in God sense a strong societal pressure to keep deistic [religious] beliefs private. In its place, is a surprising rise in superstition, classified by Unwin as a “monistic” culture, two levels down from the rationalist culture we had prior to the sexual revolution. There has also been a huge increase in the percentage of the population that classifies itself as non-religious, a symptom of the lowest level of Unwin’s categories.
  3. The swiftness with which rational thinking declined after the 1970’s is astounding. In its place arose post-modernism, characterized by “scepticism, subjectivism, or relativism” and “a general suspicion of reason”. But it gets worse … post-modernism is giving way to “post truth”. In direct contrast to rational thinking, a post-truth culture abandons “shared objective standards for truth” and instead, stands on appeals to feelings and emotions, and what one wants to believe.  People can now “identify” themselves as something which flat-out contradicts science and rational thinking and, in many cases, receive the full support and backing of governments and educational systems. Not only do people feel they have a right to believe what they want, but any challenge to that belief, even if supported by truth and logic, is unacceptable and offensive.

“Unwin’s three main predictions — the abandonment of rationalism, deism [religion], and absolute monogamy — are all well underway,” noted Durston, “which makes the ultimate prediction appear to be credible … the collapse of Western civilization in the third generation, somewhere in the last third of this century.”

Evidence of the destructive trajectory of the sexual revolution is everywhere, leading to a great cultural unraveling: the increase in children born out of wedlock and more than 60 million unwanted babies aborted. Every letter in the acronym LGBT — a movement that continues its ascent in popular culture and political power — stands for a peculiar type of rejection of science and nature visible in the complementarity of man and woman. The immutable definition of marriage has turned to dust, and now “some men have cervixes” and “some women have penises.” The number of religious believers has dropped precipitously, accompanied by a corresponding rise of the “Nones,” those who have no faith. And now chaos — the end product of entropy — is increasing in very real ways due to Antifa and other groups bent on anarchy.

God’s moral laws regarding sexuality protect us

Unwin’s “research provides strong rational justification for the inference that God’s moral laws pertaining to our sexuality, although they may restrain us from some immediate pleasure, protect us from enormous long-term suffering while maximizing our long term flourishing,” concluded Durston.

By Doug Mainwaring


This started in the ‘60s. So if my math is correct we are at the end of the third generation (as traditionally understood). This would explain the insanity we are witnessing.

Brooke McCormick
A lot of the societies that where mentioned in the article where destroyed by either getting to big and imploding in on themselves such as with Rome or they where overtaken and destroyed by conquering nations/tribes. None of the downfalls has anything to do with sexual freedom. If you study history you would learn that. Also most people need to learn correlation does not causation

The Roman Empire became both sexually and morally degenerate which eventually led to its downfall.

Brooke McCormick
No the issue was Rome got to big and became corrupt.

Paul Knutson
It was the start of the fall.

Brooke McCormick
No the start of the fall was actually the corruption in the government and the over expanding size not to mention that there was a split in Rome that cut it in half

Paul Knutson
Corruption begins in the heart. Sexual immorality is corruption of the heart.

You ignore the most basic element to society – ethics. That was the point of the article. Sex without love, life and total commitment equals selfishness. For causation, look at Europe. They are not having babies and they lack rationality to the point of welcoming sadistic invaders who multiply for the express purpose of civilizations jihad. The lack of discernment is glaringly obvious for those with eyes to see.

That was the point of the article. Sex without love, life and total commitment equals selfishness. The anthropologist never described love as a component of marriage. The idea does not appear even once in a book that is nearly 700 pages long. Rather, the author says that “When absolute monogamy is the rule, marriage is a means whereby a man secures domestic labor and heirs of his blood.”

Its true , when society engages in libertinism, divorce, abortion, contraception, homosexuality etc society goes downhill and collapses. It is for this reason that it is reasonable for governments to curb vices against sixth commandment as it to preserve itself. Marriage is only between one man and one woman for life for procreation. Monogamous

Brooke McCormick
Ok you use the Bible how about when the Bible states that polygamy is ok such as with multiple people in the Bible. In fact it is perfect ok with god at times.

Yes, there is polygamy in the Bible. Every place in the Bible you see it, the relationships are a mess and strife torn in every case, no exceptions. So the Bible shows the ugliness of it, showing that it is not ideal. The very first mention of a man having two wives in the Bible is Lamech. That same Lamech is from the cursed line of Cain. Genesis 4 verse 19. Lamech the great, great, great grandson of Cain.

What did Jesus say? He’s God, right? All we can do when it comes to the Old Testament is trust in God’s plan. As a Christian I’ll stand by what Jesus said; marriage = one man, one woman.

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Doug Mainwaring

Doug Mainwaring

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