Permissiveness and perversity – two sides of the coin

by Melanie Phillips, Mailonline


Truly, it seems that scarcely a day now passes without our being informed of yet another celebrity accused of sexual depravity.


[…]  The real reason no one at the BBC did anything about Savile or Hall was not just the fear of destroying their lucrative stars. It was also that, especially during the Seventies and Eighties, sexual licence was considered acceptable and anyone who spoke against it was treated as a pariah.


This was, after all, what the sexual revolution was all about. All constraints on sexual behaviour were removed. ‘Lifestyle choice’ meant the right to have sex with anyone.


No one had the right to judge anyone else’s sexual behaviour. Those who warned this would unravel not just traditional morality but the very bedrock of decency and order were scorned and insulted.


This permissive attitude was extended to children, too. The young were greedily viewed as a huge consumer market, and so were cynically targeted by sexually suggestive pop lyrics, clothing and magazine articles.


At school, young children were subjected to grossly inappropriate ‘sex education’, which was a green light to sexual activity. Such lessons presented sex as a kind of sport, telling children in effect:


‘Here are the pleasures, here are the risks, now enjoy yourself but be careful.’


Accordingly, when 14-year-old fans threw themselves at pop stars and other celebrities, no one disapproved.


With the ‘rights of the child’ supreme, children’s homes couldn’t even discipline their young residents without being sued or prosecuted.


So children wandered out of these homes more or less at will to go on the prostitution game and fall victim to sexual predators.

And everyone carefully looked away from gay paedophilia; even to raise it as a problem was to be vilified as an anti-gay bigot. The legal age of consent thus fell into general disuse. In the past few days, there has been a hue and cry against the barrister Barbara Hewson, who suggested the age of consent should be lowered to 13 to end the prosecution of ageing celebrities for ‘low-level’ sex offences.


Read here

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