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How Society Works

How Society Works

The Body Language of Belonging

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Today’s findings are body-speak for man’s deepest need: the need to belong, and remind us of the famous sociological phenomenon, the Roseto Effect.  Roseto, Pennsylvania, was a virtual transplant of a people and culture of the town of Roseto in southeast Italy.  It kept the old country patterns of tight family and extended family ways of life , leading to a total integration of the generations, predictable habits of work, play, family and worship; interdependence on each other in times of need, marriage within the culture.  They belonged intensely to each other. And despite breaking all the dietary rules for cardiovascular health they had outstanding heart health, no crime and no requests for welfare assistance. They belonged intensely to each other and had a way of life that protected that belonging.  As one author pithily nailed it: “In short, Rosetans were nourished by people.”

As time went on, the more American they became, the more Rosetans’s health resembled the rest of the country.  Said differently, the less they belonged to each other the more their bodies revealed the stress. 

For both poor and rich the secret of a good life is the same:  base life on the important relationships of family and community rather than on “the task”.   The pursuit of close relationships yields plenty of tasks — the Rosetans of Pennsylvania worked harder and longer than did their neighboring towns; but the modern way of the pursuit of tasks for the goods they give (grades, degrees, fitness, income, property) does not yield close relationships.  To paraphrase a sacred text “Seek first the kingdom of closeness and all these other things will be added unto you.”

Traditional Italian life and Spanish life used to be quite similar in patterns of ‘people-belonging.” But modern Spain has made a Faustian bargain. Today, virtually all mothers, no matter their income level, return to work at month four.  Many deliberately avoid getting too attached to their newborn because they do not want to experience the wrenching anxiety that sudden separation will visit on them and their babies.  

What a Faustian bargain:  work for its own sake. Their household gods have certainly been replaced by a new religion.  Such a culture cannot replace itself. It is in a downward spiral. 

But maybe family love will be rediscovered by some divine intervention will intervene and let people discover close family again, especially in the newborn infant.  It certainly won’t be a government program.  

For the good of the child, the future of the world,

Pat Fagan, Ph.D.

Faux Belonging

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To belong deeply some others is man’s deepest need.  It lasts beyond death.

First and foremost children need to belong to both their parents and thrive most when those parents belong to each other and to their children. Then  life is good, no matter the material circumstances.

In this week’s findings we see, yet again, the negative relationship between cohabitation and belonging.  It is a major disruptor of marriage and a predictor of instability in marriage if one has had more than one sexual partner. These data are getting old now. By the mid 1980’s Larry Bumpass (U Wisconsin) and Jay Teachman (then U Maryland) began to put their finger this bad news.  Since then the work of many but especially Scott Stanley has unpacked what is happening even when cohabitation results in marriage: “sliding not deciding”.  

In the absence of a moral or cultural authority the data make little impact and people suffer, none more than the children of the cohabiting couple. Twenty-five years into the future these children in their turn are much more likely to repeat the pattern.

Cohabitation is faux belonging and helps build a faux society with more and more faux relationships. 

For the good of the child,

Pat Fagan, Ph.D.

The Natural “Centrality” of the Male — Again

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The Marxist Feminists by seeking the weakest spot by which to collapse society, found it in the “patriarch” (the father of the family, i.e. the married father, or more precisely in the potential “patriarch”. Remove him and society and its institutions would gradually collapse.  Monogamous marriage is their main target.  Lenin removed it immediately (1919), but Russian Communists, now with a society to run, restored it in 1929 because of the social chaos it had brought with it.  However, for purposes of destabilizing US society, this was a brilliant insight, not recognized by opponents of Marxism, even among those believed in the sacredness of marriage and family.  That the role of the father was not fully grasped until these deconstruction effects began to be seen. If anything, traditionally that central role was given to mother, not father. But many mistook the natural emotionally-deeper bonding of children to mother,  to be the relational core of family bonding.  Father is, not because he is stronger, but because he is weaker and more vulnerable.

The female, the mother, has nature pulling and pushing her into deep relationship with her children. For nine months she gets to know her baby in her womb with increasing intensity. The catharsis of giving birth yields its own bonding. Breast feeding for the months that follow increases the bond, even as the child’s experience lays down the foundations of the erotic in the adulthood.

By contrast the male, the father, gets little help from nature.  His bonding is principally an act of the will, of virtue, of good habit. It can be strong, very strong and has huge effects but on the anthropological level the bond with mother wins out, noticeable on the battlefield and in the celibate priest’s relationship with his parents. The bond with mother is stronger.  

Thus, the father’s relationship to his wife and to his children is the lynchpin in the family and society, not because of an inherent male strength but because of an inherent male weakness. His attachment is the treasured glue that makes the family whole, because the father-family relationship is the more breakable one (and the one most often broken). Thus, his role is the keystone that supports the “arch” that is the family, and, given society’s dependence on the family, the keystone that holds society together. The father’s embrace of monogamy is the dynamic that yields a strong culture of love, and commitment.  Without it we get poverty, violence, abuse, educational failure, crime depression, anxiety. Furthermore, these deficits compound when the brokenness is repeated generation after generation — as has been the case with the Black family.

A strong marriage is thus the core strength of family and therefore of society.  Each sex has a unique contribution, mother more anchored in the bios, the father in the will (only because of the relative absence of the bios). Hence the married father is the lynchpin of the family, of the community, of the culture. Remove the male and the structure begins to collapse, no matter how great the female.

The male’s centrality lies in his relative vulnerability on matters sexual, to sex without the acceptance of its burdens and duties — to the child and its mother.  The erotic is his weak spot. The female knows this and in turn is tempted to use her attractiveness to him to gain attachment or control – two very different temptations, stemming from two very different characters.  The Marxist Feminists realized the potential of male vulnerability for their ends and set it as their main tool. Hence the easy alliance with other groups on all aspects of easy sex: contraception, especially outside of marriage, abortion, gay marriage, sex ed groups (especially SIECUS and its affiliates in the realm of sex education).

Today the breakdown of the family is far advanced as the following chart on the most broken makes clear:

The implications for the society are enormous.  As all cultures evolved, they did so around the transmission of sexual mores. Their biggest function is to keep sexual expression within marriage — in slightly different ways in different cultures, but always within the marriage form of that culture.  The mechanism of enforcement is the taboo. But the US culture today, defanged with the erosion of almost all taboos, instead of being a culture that preserves the family, instead presents constant dangers through the mainstreaming of divorce, serial cohabitation, out of wedlock births, abortion, hook-ups, and pornography, all with debilitating consequences in the formation of the emerging generation.

The rescue of society must have at its center the rebuilding of the male as the center of the family.  When that becomes a cultural movement America might be saved. Otherwise its unravelling will continue. It cannot but.  However Americans are practical, “can do” people, so the chances of this happening are good.

Keep this in mind as we celebrate the 4th of July.  We need a new generation of “Founding Fathers”. 

For overviews of the research on each of these issues, see and for more charts on the same see: charts see

A Child’s Capacity to Feel Good on Father’s Day

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Father’s Day celebrates the relationship between a father and his child(ren), a relationship that is very generative —-of good or evil, of love or hate — depending on the relationship. Some are blessed with great fathers, e.g. John Paul II and Therese Martin.  Others are cursed with fathers who generate hate, as was the case for most of the founders of The National Organization of Women (NOW).  I have read the biographies of six of them and the pattern is the same in all. Each had fathers whose treatment of them and their mothers would generate hatred of them in any human being. The same holds for Shulamith Firestone (not a founder of NOW but maybe even more intellectually influential in the long run).

While the erotic nature of male and female is nurtured at the breast of the mother, its capacity to unfold that eroticism in a flourishing heterosexual relationship is found in the relationship with the father (for both son and daughter).  The sexual choices that the child’s parents made (sex within or outside of marriage) have a huge amount to do with that peacefulness — not everything to do with it, but much to do with it — as this chart from the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent to Adult  Health shows:

Here adolescents rated the warmth of their relationship with their fathers (in 1996).  The numbers speak loudly for themselves. Living with one’s biological father in an always-intact married family makes a huge difference.

There clearly is much room for improvement even in the intact family.  Back in the Bush II Administration, the Dept of Health and Human Services (HHS) sponsored a fatherhood ad campaign in conjunction with The Ad Council.  It had big effects.  My brother-in-law who was a shipping broker in New York City told me of one pretty powerful effect:  within a year or so most married financial services professionals (finance, shipping, wholesale, insurance) who used to treat clients visiting New York to dinner, as standard practice, ceased doing so because, as a result of the campaign, it became a cultural norm in NYC that fathers should be home for dinner with their children rather than out on the town with clients. What an impact!

That  Administration’s Secretary of HHS was Dr. Wade Horn, a clinical psychologist who knew his “stuff” and knew, more than anyone else in the history of HHS, how to wield his power for good.  But he ran up against the hatred of NOW (remember those foundresses) and hate drives out love. Another project he wanted to pull off was a joint project, not with the Ad Council this time, but with the National Council for Family Relations (NCFR), the publisher of the premier research journal, the Journal of Marriage and Family. A deal was struck to build a publicly available database of findings on the effects of marriage on children and on society.  It was moving forward when suddenly it was derailed by an internal revolt within NCFR: a coterie of radical feminists put an end to it.  The details of that revolting incident have never been made public, nor a great investigative story ever pursued by any of the top newspapers or magazines. It still awaits an enterprising reporter (and editor).  

The influence hate-inspiring fathers continues down through the generations as does the influence of self-sacrificing fathers in the continuing battle between love and hate.  in what family structure does hate most reside?

Consider the following:

When I (an older white male) feel slighted by a the somewhat over hostility of a young black woman (e.g. in the manner of response at a retail store) I immediately think of what she likely endured in her family of origin, given the unprovoked slighting:  she likely was raised in the family structure to the extreme right and likely carries the sexual scars for the rest of her life, depriving her of the capacity to form a loving, enduring relationship with a man who could become the loving father of her children.

We see all around us the battle between love and hate and the body count mounts.  While all of us blessed enough to celebrate Father’s, let us remember that many (most?)  US children cannot. Let us pray and work to have the nation challenge itself to give to every child its universal, most basic of human rights, the father it needs: a loving father, in a loving marriage.

In the end only love makes the difference we all say we want.

For the good of the child, the future of America,

Pat Fagan

PS: If you know of stories of great fathers do send them or the link to them to MARRI. Stories of fathers who generate hate will be occasionally useful too, though we need much more of the good kind.

The Men Women Desire: Emasculated or What?

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A few months ago while testing my thesis, with an audience of students, about the centrality of the “patriarch” (as defined by feminists) to the thriving family and society, I was struck by the response of one male undergrad.  He said that should he speak the way I had spoken he would likely get fired from a job or, at minimum, run into trouble with the HR department.  (He was a full-time student in his junior year).  I was taken aback and asked the other young men (all full-time undergrads at The Catholic University of America) if they knew what he was talking about. They did and agreed with him.

With this I realized that radical Marxist feminist ideas have already penetrated universally and deep — deep even into the hearts of the best of young men, raised (most likely) in good, intact Catholic families.  These young men were in many ways the “cream of the crop”.  They were good men: friends, who loved and played sports, looked forward to finding the right girl, valued chastity, worshiped more than weekly, went to confession often, prayed daily, studied hard and helped others get through difficult exams.  Yes: “The Cream of the Crop” — yet already afraid of being manly men and scared soon to be such in the workplace.

Given that, I have since put the following question to a number of audiences:  “We have women’s study centers/departments/institutes in colleges all over the country (644 in 2014);  what do you think would happen if we were to propose similar ‘Men’s studies Centers’ ?”  The response is always the same: not just protest, riots!

One could say our ideas are now ruled by academic dominatrices who demand male submissives, nowhere more clearly illustrated than in the American Psychological Association’s new guidelines on “Toxic Masculinities” in which the traditional man (read “married and religious’) is assumed to be domineering and violent.

Earlier this week a director of coaches from a Christian sports organization described to me his concern that a significant portion of the teenage boy is organization deals with are afraid to commit — and committing is key to sports.  They are soft.   Most are from economically comfortable families in a high-income part of the country.  Further, it is the mothers (not the fathers) who voice anxiety about their boys and demand a difference: they are sending their disengaged boys to the care of masculine men — sports coaches — to make men out of them, and often show anger when the project seems not to bring about the expected change, and instead further highlights their sons’  weak stance on life.

Emasculated males, disgruntled, anxious, and increasingly angry females!

The more the coach and I probed this the more we concluded that the Christian vocation of following Christ (becoming His disciple) and becoming totally self-sacrificing, was absent from the modern “Christian” discourse about marriage.

We live in a world of unrivaled comfort.  The ordinary college grad (despite debts, etc.) lives as gentry never could even dream of for most of human history, and many young, just-married couples live better than most kings have.  On the scale of the human historical experience we are the most pampered generation in all of history (despite the levels of abject poverty — which by the way are constantly dropping, globally, with talk of total elimination of this abject poverty, worldwide, by 2050).  Prosperity always breeds softness unless a demanding vocation is expected by the culture and is personally embraced.  Christian churches no longer present such a demanding vocation in marriage.  It too has become soft.

[Even thought this blog is written for all readers — Jews, Muslims, Hindu, Confucian, Shinto, secular and SBNRs (spiritual but not religious), in this day of mass media all from these religious groupings are aware of what a Christian is supposed to be.  They also have similar teachings, for the natural family requires self-sacrifice, sometimes heroic, and in all cultures that heroism is most honored.  Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends” evokes universal agreement.]

With that explanation I now zero in on the problem of the  Average American Male (who still is “Christian”):

The fully mature Christian man (deliberate follower of Christ) has come to grips and is at ease (though he struggles and suffers) with being one who gives himself totally for his wife (first) and his children.  Everything he does is for their good. However, such a man has one big need: a woman who has embraced the same vocation:  to sacrifice herself totally for her husband (first) and then her children (not the other way around), and everything she does is dedicated to that. This is her way, this is her husband’s way, of following Christ.

But, when prosperity is combined with a feminist culture these norms are now avoided by Christians and instead pacts (compromises) with social and material comfort are negotiated, nowhere more than in marriage and family life.  And the children suffer: boys become soft and girls come to despise them.

By the way: in today’s culture, which of these two — boys or girls — are called upon to be strong?

The correction needed involves a massive amount of rebuilding of marriage and family.  Even in the intact, weekly worshiping family there is a huge amount of brokenness (revealed in softness) and outside of marriage, many, many times more.

But this crisis is beginning to provoke great responses all over the place as Americans awaken to the fact that we are experiencing a catastrophe in civilization. Should this young generation survive and thrive they will truly be  “The Greatest Generation” for no other has ever confronted anything like this family situation in all of human history.  Even the best of parents wound their children in some way. Today’s parents do so in degrees offspring have never experienced before.  Though this is not fully their fault, it is fully their burden.

There are two responses constantly beckoning.  They come from two very different parts of the human heart and lead to two very different destinies in human relationships: ‘anger and power’ or ‘love and sacrifice’.  The first can win temporary battles but only the second survives to win the war — a war not over for any until the end of each of our times— on the deathbed.

One of these myriad good responses is a work by Dr. Rick FitzGibbons, an APA-award-winning family psychiatrist who, later this year, will release Habits for a Healthy Marriage (Ignatius Press), filled with the distilled wisdom of 40 years of clinical experience.  It is destined to become a classic because he lays out for every modern couple, the next steps to take, no matter where one is starting from on the road to becoming a great couple — the couple their children need them to be, and the couple they have always wished they could be.

Can enough people (enough Christians) find the source of hope and confidence to start this journey?  For without such widespread hope the burden is frightening — and, not surprisingly, suicide is increasingly seen as the easy way out.

The finding of this hope is the pivot on which the future of our civilization now rests, a hope strong enough to draw all into committing — committing to the work Fitzgibbons lays out so that couples all over the country are talking to each other, about how to turn emasculated young sons into courageous, self-sacrificing mature men that young women will desire to marry. (The answer lies deep in their marriage.)

Whence comes this confidence to commit to such a marriage—– to commit for the rest of the game, the rest of the battle, the rest of the war, the rest of life.

The true answer needs to be seen by many, widely known, believed and tapped into, deeply.  Quiet prayer leads to the source..

For the good of the child,

The center and future of civilization,

Pat Fagan



Who has the Best Sex?

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“Who has the best sex?

“Who has the best sex?

Those who have the best and most united relationships!

Who has these relationships?  

Those who worship God as He asks, weekly or more!  

Sex is all about life and love. Life (existence) and love are of the essence of God.  The closer man is to Him the more he thrives. That is good spiritual direction. It is also good social science!

The great paradox in the social sciences today is that most social scientists in the academy seem to make the universe orbit around sex but refuse to go where the data on “the best sex” lead: to the intact married family that worships God weekly.  The most recent work of one of the world’s leading sociologists, Brad Wilcox of the University of Virginia, and the team of social scientists he pulled together from BYU and Georgetown, have given the academic world yet another major lesson in the fundamentals of sex, of living and of thriving.

By writing in the New York Times and in the team’s new report, “Ties that Bind”, released this week at The Brookings Institute, many more “in the middle or to the left” should see these data. This should help change the debate on campus.  

My way of summing up the report is that across families of the world there is a  J-Curve pattern in the results: at the lower end of the ’ J’ lie the better results of united “progressive” couples while the best results, lying at the upper end of the J, are those of the united “traditional” couples, especially on matters of relationship quality and sexual satisfaction.  

On this cluster of issues, the data is constant.  I presented to a college audience in Princeton (the posters “Who has the best sex?” drew a great crowd) in the early 2000’s.  There I used similar results — from “Sex in America: A Definitive Survey” (1994) which drew its data from the National Health and Social Life Survey (U. Chicago and SUNY). The results then: ose who were virginal at marriage and worshipped weekly (a rather traditional group) reported the greatest sexual satisfaction in a similar J-curve fashion.

Mapping America, MARRI’s own project, shows national demographic correlations on myriad outcomes, to be seen in the report “Sexuality” with a sub-section reporting ten different sexual outcomes, this time with four different levels of worship (weekly, monthly, annually, none). On all ten outcomes the “most traditional” do best. And, by and large, the more frequently people worship, the better they do.

Life, love and the Creator go together!  This is something all cultures have embodied — universally. The force of natural law, and the suffering its violation will entail, will bring many back to sanity.  You cannot fool mother nature. However, as an old teacher of mine used to say: “The school of experience is a great school, its fees are mighty high.” Let us go for the gold and follow the data – to the best sex, the best relationships — all to be had by those who marry and worship God weekly!  

For the good of the child, the future of the world,

Pat Fagan 

Sex Gone Wrong in a Culture Gone Wrong: Fertility and STDs

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We have a drop in birth rates (and religious practice) and a rise in STDs.  Let the data do the talking.

But it is very hard to find this data.  Try Googling or try searching from CDC’s main page.

But when you find the page it is a treasure trove (for the few STDs they report on — we have many, many more). For the few (the bigger, well known ones) here are two very good and related sites are:

It is no wonder CDC “buries” these data (even though they are visible if you know where to look).  STDs were one of the original disease targets of public health, but CDC now resides over multiple epidemics but keeps rather silent on them. Until AIDs came along there was a norm of “tracking and then informing” those likely to have contracted the disease from the now-identified partner.  But relative silence on, and abandonment of informing those infected by STDs are the prices we seem willing to pay for our sexual revolution.

The biggest basket case of them all is Washington DC which leads — by far — on HIV, Gonorrhea, Syphilis and Chlamydia.  All this in Congress own front and back yard! Talk about burying your head in the sand!

Contemplate and weep for the child who was meant to be,

Pat Fagan, Ph.D.


The Intellectual Service of the Marxist Feminists of the 1960s: Identifying the Core

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As I have said many times, Mallory Millett’s 2014 essay “Marxist Feminism’s Ruined Lives” is the most important reportage of the 20th century because it leaves for history an insider’s view of the work that is by now well on its way to brining down Western Civilization.   These highly intelligent and highly educated women were hellbent on completing Marx and Engle’s work by doing what so many (Lenin and Stalin included) could not do: destroy the family and religion, the two biggest obstacles to international materialist socialism.  These women burrowed deep to find the ‘epicenter’ of society’s functioning and found it in the marital/sexual act of intercourse, where new life and the next generation of a society begins.

The question then became how to harness this insight to their own ends, the takedown of society, which Lenin had concluded would not be done by the proletariat in the West, who were too comfortable to rise up against their capitalist bosses. They deduced that the way to takedown marital sexuality (the core of a stable society) was to corrupt it. And who is more corruptible, the husband or the wife?  The husband! The male and goes outside of the home more and can be tempted more. Specifically, he is weak when it comes to sexual temptations.

They identified this fulcrum on which society is balanced – or teeter-totters.  Corrupt the male and the family will fall.  Infidelity is the big destroyer of marriage and family, of courtships and engagements, of friendships between a young man and his ‘girlfriend’.

They identified this as the foundational weakness to be exploited. 

Just as the most important virtue in life is not chastity but love just as the most important aspect of sexual intercourse is not its enjoyment and the unity it brings between a loving man and woman but instead, the child it brings —its ultimate long-term, “strategic” purpose in the order of nature and creation.

However, one does not get love if chastity is absent, just as one does not get the child if the sexual is corrupted.

Motivated by a desire to destroy, the Marxist Feminists identified the way to destroy — corrupt the male and do that by placing sexual temptation all over the place.  Men are suckers for it and fall easily, and with them not only the family but also the worship of God.  For the young man who decides to pursue all those beautiful female bodies (sex objects) cannot simultaneously approach the Divinity — unless it be to repent.  Thus, the feminists figured out how to kill the two birds (family and religion) with the one stone (sex gone wild).

The saints have often pointed towards chastity as the foundational, but not the most important virtue. Love is the most important.  For the sake of all they love — their girlfriends, wives, and families, the men who are going to be husbands and fathers have to step up to the plate to save their marriages, their families and their children’s futures.

For men it takes a special courage to talk this way in male settings and a special wisdom to talk compellingly.  But these ways have to be found and cultivated. Peace and prosperity depend on it so much more than they depend on a great economy and a great army, for both of these will become instruments of oppression, not freedom, as the sexual goes really wild.

All men and women and children thrive on love.  It is the great source of sacrifice, joy, hope, energy, good health, courage and determination to live life to the fullest.  But love —which is easy for everyone to talk about — is not enduring or possible without chastity or purity sustaining and protecting it.

All data, be it mathematics, physics, chemistry, or biology need context and framework to be interpreted and understood.  The experience of life (the idiosyncratic data we all report from our experience) needs context and framework to be understood.  Great religions and philosophical frameworks have been constructed over millennia to give such meaning.  The most all-encompassing of these is Christ’s framework.  He is either the greatest man who ever lived or the greatest charlatan, given his claim to be God.  I go for the greatest who ever lived — given the fruit He has borne and the fruit of the lives of those who follow Him most closely.

On matters sexual He was radical and changed the sexual paradigm forever for humanity.  There are least three ways He flagged this change … revealing man more fully to himself as it were.

  1. He said “There is no divorce” among those who believe in Him.  Those baptized into the family of the Trinity cannot divorce, once fully joined, because the Trinity does not “do division”.  Unity is Their essence.  How did his apostles react to this?  “In that case it is better not to get married.”
  2. He heightened the bar still more with “You cannot look at a woman lustfully, but you have already committed adultery with her in your heart.”  And when he lists sins (seemingly in order of gravity) murder comes first and adultery just behind it.  (More murders are caused by adultery than anything else, so being in the #2 spot might make sense).
  3. He heightened the bar still more with “celibacy for the kingdom” for the few who can take it.

One could sum up all this teaching pithily: His followers are all called to celibacy… a few for life… the majority until they are married.  And even then, the difference is not as great as it seems.  The celibate Christian “gives up” all persons of the opposite sex.  The married give up all but one.

Thus, the virtue of chastity is central to Christian life and was one of the most obvious markers of the early Christians compared to those “pagans” around them.

Christian sexual education and formation is all about forming men and women who can live this way as adults.  Among many of its benefits, this way this gives mature adults the probability of the greatest and most enjoyable and most frequent enjoyment of the sexual!   The poor youth of today are sold a “pig in a poke” with modern sex ed.  Sure they “enjoy” it while young (though the data indicates many are depressed by it), but they are washed up and even disinterested by the time they are in their thirties just as mature Christian adults are coming “into their own” a few years into marriage.

So, the Christian understanding of sexuality is superior in its human fruits (stable marriage, happier, healthier children, and better sexual enjoyment, greater income, health, education, longevity and happiness).  The sex ed needed to pull this off is totally different from that pushed by the secularists, e.g. in Fairfax County, Virginia, one of the Left’s experimental counties which constantly “pushes the envelope” so that they figure out how to promote the next stage across the nation.

Furthermore, this form of sexual education and formation, is far superior in all its outcomes than anything the Left can show.  The differences in outcomes are so huge the argument for the Left’s sex-ed cannot be based on outcomes and they avoid such comparisons like the plague.

This battle area is the fight to the death or to life: the death of society or the life of our families and futures.  Politics and policies are fine, and that work must be done, especially the work of preserving our freedoms to have our own form of sexual education (the superior one) for our children —- but the most fundamental work is at the level of the school: in the classroom and in the home.  It is here the hearts and minds (and sexuality) of our children are shaped.  It is here the growth or collapse of society is forged.

That we can identify this so pointedly, we have to give thanks to Mallory Millett, Kate’s sister.  It is worth re-reading her recounting of the opening of the meetings of those who founded NOW (the National Organization of Women),

Let me quote a longer excerpt than I have in the past:

It was 1969. Kate invited me to join her for a gathering at the home of her friend, Lila Karp. They called the assemblage a “consciousness-raising-group,” a typical communist exercise, something practiced in Maoist China.  We gathered at a large table as the chairperson opened the meeting with a back-and-forth recitation, like a Litany, a type of prayer done in Catholic Church. But now it was Marxism, the Church of the Left, mimicking religious practice:

“Why are we here today?” she asked.
“To make revolution,” they answered.
“What kind of revolution?” she replied.
“The Cultural Revolution,” they chanted.
“And how do we make Cultural Revolution?” she demanded.
“By destroying the American family!” they answered.
“How do we destroy the family?” she came back.
“By destroying the American Patriarch,” they cried exuberantly.
“And how do we destroy the American Patriarch?” she replied.
“By taking away his power!”
“How do we do that?”
“By destroying monogamy!” they shouted.
“How can we destroy monogamy?”

Their answer left me dumbstruck, breathless, disbelieving my ears.  Was I on planet earth?  Who were these people?

“By promoting promiscuity, eroticism, prostitution and homosexuality!” they resounded.

They proceeded with a long discussion on how to advance these goals by establishing The National Organization of Women.  It was clear they desired nothing less than the utter deconstruction of Western society. The upshot was that the only way to do this was “to invade every American institution.  Everyone must be permeated with ‘The Revolution’”: The media, the educational system, universities, high schools, K-12, school boards, etc.; then, the judiciary, the legislatures, the executive branches and even the library system.

It fell on my ears as a ludicrous scheme, as if they were a band of highly imaginative children planning a Brinks robbery; a lark trumped up on a snowy night amongst a group of spoiled brats over booze and hashish. — I dismissed it as academic-lounge air-castle-building. 

The real men are those who step up to the plate on this, and take the education of their boys back into the home, while their wives take over the sexual education of their daughters.  It is very late in the game but not too late!  Many are beginning to realize the depth of the revolution that has overtaken America,

For the good of the child, the future of all nations,

Pat Fagan

Great Mothers Lead — But Where Are the Fathers?

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Ana Samuel, inA Message to Mayor Pete, writes about the penetration of the radical effort to distort the sexuality of every child in America.  It is brilliant in its appeal and argument ,and wonderful in its recognition of the dignity of every person in the LGBT movement.  It says, from a mother’s perspective, everything I see, think and feel from a from a therapist’s point of view and from a social scientist’s knowledge of the data in these fields.  What is happening— these are my words, not hers— is child sexual abuse perpetrated by government (state and local) through our educational system, across the nation. It is corrupting almost everything it touches: education, medicine, college tenure, research publication, journalism and even the clergy.  It flies in the face of what the data say, and instead of leading children in the ways of a thriving adulthood is deliberately sacrificing their health, happiness, income and education on the altar of an anti-human, ideology, that has nothing to do with the dignity of each person, including the dignity of the lesbian woman, gay man, or transgendered person, behind whom they hide.  These folks and their children are also pawns sacrificed on the very same altar. 

It is wonderful to have a brilliant, articulate woman and mother defend our children.  But are there any men around?  Do men still protect their children, or do they now leave it all to the women and hide behind their skirts?  Men need to step up too.  Or have the radical feminists succeeded in their goal of  eliminating “patriarchs”?

Comments welcome from men (and women) after you have read this brilliant piece.

May her work thrive.

For the good of the child, the future of our nation,

Pat Fagan, Ph.D.


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The way to rebuild our nation is to do what all good men have always done — raise their sons to be great husbands and fathers.  However, today fathers do not have culture helping them (and that has always been the main way sexuality was taught), but instead, an anti-culture is their enemy in this task.  Now, for the first time in history, fathers have to do it all themselves. The alternative is to leave their sons as prey for a predatory culture and agenda.

As his newborn son is placed in his father’s arms for the first time, the young father (even if he cannot formulate the words) says to his son, in his heart:

I give you my heart always and give you my time early in your life—  to bind you to me with affection (when it is easy to do).  On this foundation we will build the rest. Nothing else compares to this, not a successful business, nor great honors —-nothing else — except loving your mother.

My greatest task is to make a great husband and great father of you.

I will teach you what paths to walk so that you will desire to be good.

In your growing years I will be your guardian and protector.

I will protect you from sexual abuse.

I will teach you how to protect yourself from sexual abuse.

I will protect you from pornography within our home.

I will teach you how to protect yourself from pornography anywhere you come across it.

I will teach you how to treat your own body.

I will teach you how to regard the bodies of women.

I will teach you how to listen carefully to women and hear what they mean .

I will teach you how  to treat all women, so they will know you are a man of good intentions.

I will teach you how to spot and win the sexual battles that will take place inside your head and your heart.

I will teach you why you should not masturbate. (Your wife will thank me — without ever telling me).

I will teach you how to have the sexual control you will need for your marriage bed.

I will teach you how to date well, and how to select and court a great wife from among all the beautiful women you will meet.

My little one, because of all of this you are going to make a great man of me.

To put this into practice, men must take sex-ed out of the schools and bring it back into the home, where it belongs. In the beginning it will be one father at a time but eventually all of society will adapt around this strategic shift.  By exercising this basic natural right, every father will cause society to rearrange itself around his actions — in ways that restore social order.

The solution is simple though taxing: Fathers raising their boys to be great husbands and great fathers.


There are phases to this formation by the father of his son’s sexuality. 

In December I introduced the notion of the phases of a boy’s development, with an eye to the father’s role in the sexual formation of his son.

There are many ways of looking at these phases and many ways of adjusting them but for the purposes of the father taking care of his boy I will use these six:

The first is infancy to toddlerhood – up through age three.

The second is the young boy – up to age 7.

The third is the boy coming into his own up to age 11/12.

The fourth is the young adolescent boy undergoing the changes of puberty, up to age 15.

The fifth is the boy’s transition into young manhood up to age 19.

And the sixth is the young man’s arrival at his own stage of total responsibility and freedom.

The age ranges are flexible and will change, boy by boy, given the multiple factors in play: physical growth, neurological growth, hormone differences, and basic temperament, sibling order and relationships, the home environment of peace vs. stress, and the level and depth of religious practice and whether it is rule-based, or person-affection-based.

Though most of the focus will be on the dynamic between father and son, the strongest and deepest dynamic that will form the boy’s sexuality is the relationship between the father and the boy’s mother. That relationship is the sexual relationship in the family. Though his parent’s physical sexual relationship is beyond the boy’s direct knowledge and happens behind the closed door of the bedroom, the relational and spiritual dimension of their sexual relationship is on full display in family life and conveys powerful messages that continually shape the hearts of their children who “absorb” the parental relationship in its peace and joy or stress and conflict. The father’s greatest “tool” in forming his son’s sexual relationship is, first, to do all he can to make his wife very happy (no matter what external stresses life visits on them). 

Likewise, his mother has a powerful impact on her son’s long-term sexual development.  If she conveys the message that she is blessed to have his father as her spouse and if she does everything in her power to make their marriage a very happy one for her husband, then the boy will have inbuilt criteria (likely unconscious) for selecting his wife.  Having experienced marital happiness in his family’s home he will seek the same for himself.

Therefore, through all the delving into the phases of forming the sexuality of his sons, it is to be taken for granted that the father’s first task is to take great care of his sexual partner, his wife, the boy’s mother.  Nothing he does is more powerful in his son’s sexual formation. The state of their marriage, the fullness of their sexual relationship, is the state of the soil in which the young plant (their son) thrives or wilts. The greater their ease with each other the greater his potential ease with matters of the heart, with his sexuality and the greater the “dis-ease” between mother and father, sexually, the greater the dis-ease of their children with matters sexual.[1]

All children need a good marriage between their parents and have the universal human right to such. Though they have a right to this love, it cannot be enforced because it is a gift from each parent to the other.  One could say that marriage is “well directed sexual fulfillment over a life time,” the benefits of which flow over to the children.

Times of crisis demand getting back to basics. Our search for the most basic issues in our national crisis has brought us to the sexual formation of the boy by his father. And even here, marriage is foundational.


Well begun is half done.

The foundation of a boy’s sexuality is his earliest relationship with his father. If this is warm, affectionate and enjoyable their journey together is off to a great start.   The demand on the father is one of time and possibly of temperament. Giving his time to his son is his greatest gift, always.  The more and the earlier, the better.  As the child reacts with joy and laughter the father is naturally encouraged and rewarded.  The embrace and horseplay that father and child engage in develops his son’s trust and confidence. 

The task is friendship, the method is play: Anything and all that the son enjoys with his father. It can be tiddlywinks or football, drawing or singing, reading or baseball, fishing or hiking:  whatever brings joy to the child in playing with his father.

Also, this early stage is the time that deep friendship is most easily formed.  It will yield fruit in mid-childhood and adolescence when that friendship will be tested by the strains of that age. 

With such a friendship in place the later phases will be handled with much great ease.  Without it a boy is much less likely to listen or want to listen to his father about matters sexual.  The sexual is all about intimacy.  So too is the affection of a father for his son.  On this intimacy, or ease of relationship, rests the later capacity of the father to broach the topic of sexuality in a framework the boy trusts — his father’s closeness to him.  A distant father will not have authority with his son on matters sexual.


From age three onwards the infant gradually becomes a boy.  The difference is most noticeable in his play.  All children love to play. Most boys like ball games: Kicking and throwing. They love horseplay (as long as it does not get too overpowering… a judgement-call by the father, child by child). The goal is confidence in Dad as source of fun and protection. The horseplay is for the enjoyment of the child– not the father. It really helps consolidate the boy’s sexual identity as male when done with common sense.  If a son knows that his father revels in his presence and in playing with him, the father has given him a great gift… “I am lovable” and “I believe in myself because he believes so much in me.”

The observant father now will begin to spot the different temperament and inclinations of his children (and draw upon his wife’s observations as well). These inclinations and strengths need his father’s affirmation (be they quarterback-football or tiddlywinks or drawing).  To be affirmed in his strengths by his father is one of life’s great experiences for a boy. It lasts a life time and shapes his relationships and his professional (work) life for years and years to come.

Gradually, over the next years the father tells his children about his own inclinations and gifts: What he enjoys doing, what he is good at, what he likes in his hobbies, his friends, his fellow workers (learning about people and life). What he loves about his life: His wife– their mother, his children, and his friends. He does this not to boast but to illustrate to them that it is good to revel in the gifts life has granted him so that they too will revel in the gifts life has granted them. All this is goes deep into them by his own reveling in their gifts. This way he nurtures a deep self confidence in his children, which is the foundation of a great sexual relationship with his spouse later on—twenty years or more after this phase.

Children love to be read to, and the books the father chooses will have quite an impact on them.  If he knows books, he can direct their reading. His wife also plays a big part here. If they don’t know books they can use  “A Mother’s List of Books[2] which contains hundreds of books that are interesting (they have to be enjoyable for the child) yet model good character (or at least not undermine it as most modern children’s books do, especially on the role of the father).  If you do not believe me: Go and check out the books in the children’s section of your local public library.  The tentacles of NOW reach deep into all crannies of child formation including this one… and have for a long time.

If you are ever in doubt, classic fairytales are another good bet. Young children love them— that is why they have survived.

Though they love having stories read to them they are absolutely taken with stories their father creates for them— no matter how corny, no matter what his level of skill in creating or telling them. What they love is the love he is showing them. They will ask for more and more. And father can compose the outlines as he travels and works.

During this phase another great theme and attitude is laid down by the wise father (and mother): modesty. 

Father will lightly form their attitude towards the bodies of others: Privacy of all in the bathroom, especially those of opposite sex. Boys do not enter their sisters’ bedroom, nor girls their brothers’. None enter their parent’s bedroom. Even with parents present, they knock and wait to be invited. 

Modesty in dress within the home is another “mindset” to be cultivated: no bare-chested boys for instance.  Modesty in your sisters dress is ensured by mother with a firm nod from father where needed.  (Adolescent girls seem to be clueless about the effect their bare flesh on boy’s imaginations.  When adult women do it, it is really a form of sexual harassment of men and their imagination). 

A boy learns from his father that nobody else ever touches the private parts of his body… except Mother or Father when ill or the doctor in his office. No one else! And he is trained that he should tell his parents if anybody tries . Anywhere! Anyone! Father or Mother or both will deal with that person. And if an adult is the one who touched them his parents will ensure that person goes to  jail. And they will make sure their child knows that they are never at fault or guilty in such a situation. It is always the adult, never the child.  It is a pity, but in this day of sexual license and sexual abuse parents have to both protect children more and teach their children how best to protect themselves.

The boy is taught by his father to treat his own body well: Not touch his penis except at toilet and washing. He learns to keep it private: Hence these parts of the body are called “private parts.”  (This is laying the groundwork for teaching him about masturbation when he is comes into puberty.  Self-control during puberty, in turn, is remote preparation for the male being a great lover of his spouse later on. This is not neurotic anxiety but quite the opposite: It is preparing his son to be great in bed — without talking about it at this too early stage).

It is a pity, but during this phase fathers now have to begin preparing their sons to handle pornography — by shunning it the first time they see it and coming to him with any question the experience provokes (and there will be all sorts of questions).  Father gets across that the body is sacred —-  always sacred, but that some wicked people exploit this.  He lets his son know his confidence in him that his son will know when a picture is not right, and  that he should always feel free to come to  him – or his mother – for they are the experts on the body. Again, with the breakdown in sexual mores and taboos this initial education in pornography is now needed as early as eight years of age… maybe even sooner!  It is a judgement call best arrived at by discussion between both parents.

Somewhere along the way… listening to his questions about babies and where they come from— father or mother give enough information to satisfy the questions asked, but do not go overboard. A light touch builds confidence in the son— confidence in approaching his parents on these issues— that father (or mother) will be his guide on this and he can always come to his father with any questions.

During this phase wise fathers and mothers keep the coming adolescent years in mind and prepare for them by making friends with other families they really like.

When children are young, they make friends with ease. Put them together and they play easily. Wise parents avail of this phase so that their children have good friends BEFORE they reach their teenage years.  Then when puberty hits, they have the friends of early childhood as their peer group in adolescence – all from good families, families who help each other through their children’s adolescent years. These early friendships will transfer easily to the teenage years and from these will grow many of the deeper friendships that emerge in adolescence, and among whom mixed groups will be natural  among the brothers and sisters of those they played with in single sex groups during this phase two.

Parents who neglect to do this will realize their mistake when it is too late to do much about it and their children might have as friends teenagers the parents are not happy with.  But by then it is too late to do what could have been done with ease six or seven years earlier: Shepherding them towards good friendships with children whose parents know how to cultivate character.  This has nothing to do with family income or status, but with the character of parents who know what character is and how to form it in their children.

As one head master put it when describing the school, he was building: “We want the families you would like your children to marry into.” This same criterion is the one for parents to use in cultivating friendships between children.  It will make adolescence much, much easier — especially on matters sexual.

All of this preparation is background to the beginning of direct talk by the father with his son – somewhere around age 9 or 10. “The talk” has to be early enough so that his son gets the information from his father not from some boy at school.

In this talk the father initiates his boy into matters sexual, telling him about the sexual differences between men and women; about how babies are conceived (if the boy has not already asked about this).  And answering any question his boy asks.

All fathers and sons find it easier to talk about this without looking each other in the eye.  Many find it helpful to do it on a walk or on a drive in the car when eyes are aimed straight forward.  It is an anxiety provoking talk, especially in the beginning for father and for his son. Eyes forward helps.


The good father will help his son to see that that adolescence is the great transition from childhood to adulthood.  It is like an iceberg: Though much can be seen on top, the bulk of what is going on lies deep below the surface — for everyone involved, the teenager as well as his parents, teachers and friends.

It as a period of growing self-knowledge about his mind, body and emotions; of learning about learning; of choosing which skills to develop and of where this all fits in his future life.

Even more important, it is a period of learning about how to live well with others: Figuring out what makes some people good and attractive, what makes them comfortable to be with, as friends, as work colleagues, and as members of different communities — family, sports teams, religious groups, schools and clubs. In other words, figuring out the nature of virtue in others. 

With this sort of background already in place, the work of the father is made much easier as he gets ready for the more intense sexual formation of his son that is about to begin.

However, before he begins that direct formation, the good father will remind himself that he and his wife have already accomplished the deepest preparation of his son for good marriage later, by his mother bonding well with him as a newborn, and by him bonding well with his infant son. With these bindings, he and his wife have given him the foundation’s for intimacy, which is the sine qua non for true sexual capacity. This is their great accomplishment to date— giving him the capacity to belong to others by their belonging to him. This way they have already made him rich. With this ease and capacity, his son will more naturally select as a partner for life, someone who has the same capacity to belong — to give to him and to receive from him. Such a woman will be seeking someone like him while he is seeking someone like her. The complementary roles of his mother and father are what make such a search more likely to be successful. Other adolescents who have not experienced such complementarity between their parents will have greater struggles as they seek to find that other who will complement them.[3]

Having laid the foundation of a strong relationship, the son, as he undergoes the changes of puberty as he experiences a new strange unbeckoned pleasure – orgasm during sleep (wet dreams)– is now more likely to listen to his father as he introduces him to the nature and purpose of sexual pleasure. No one is better qualified to introduce him, because his father is the one who brought his son into existence through the enjoyment of that very pleasure.

Timing it as best he can, the father prepares his son for the changes he will soon undergo by pointing out to him that his interest in girls will also begin to increase. He will put that in the context of the massive amount of new learning his son will be acquiring over the next number of years, as he gets ready to be a competent adult. He will point out to him that during this period his brain will grow massively in size and in the interconnections that are both forming and reforming, growing and shedding, as new knowledge is acquired and old knowledge replaced and that, though this process will continue through the rest of his life, it will be particularly intense through the next 12 to 14 years, during which his son has the potential to become a great man by harnessing these changes, by being responsible to his future self, to his future wife (whoever she be), and to his future children (who are only thoughts in God’s mind at this stage).

The father will map out for him that during these 10 to 15 years he has the chance to develop strengths and to discover his weaknesses, to make friends, to form a few deep friendships, to explore the world, particularly those aspects of creation that he finds the most intriguing. Through this exploration he will discover his inclinations and gifts and gradually figure out a way whereby he can make a living—- how he can serve others in the way he wants to make his living by harnessing the gifts he has and treasures most.

During this period the father reminds his son that he will become increasingly aware of the two major dimensions of being a human being: That he is both spirit and body entwined and that one of his greatest challenges in life will be to bring harmony between these two dimensions; that he will find such harmony easy at times, while at other times difficult  and on occasion more like a raging storm; that he has to learn to sail in all these types of seas — all the time remaining captain, so that if he gets lost he knows where to find his compass and recalibrate by true north.

He will let his son know that from here on, as his son becomes more and more his own man, that these changes will bring joy to his father, even though a certain distance must accompany that joy, the distance of independence, of responsibility, a responsibility that the son cannot share, the responsibility of being the self he needs to become.  There may be occasional butting of heads but only to clarify issues at stake. 

Sometimes the father will tell his son these things face to face but sometimes in letters—for he knows that the value of a letter lasts a lifetime and can be revisited – even after his father has passed away.  For the son of a good father these letters will be a great treasure and may even serve his grandsons (human nature does not change).

So far, the father’s work is about the son’s development of his inner self as a competent man, capable of contributing significantly to those around him who will be sought out by others for the skills he has and the contributions he can make.

However, he makes clear that everything in life points towards being ready to give, even as his desire to receive will stay dominant— to receive income, promotions, praise, admiration, honors, enjoyment, friendship and even love, especially love. His father will point out to him the great human paradox: First we all want all these good things (income through love) but that they cannot be had only after we give, and that if he ever becomes a wise man he will know that it makes most sense not to think about the receiving but concentrate instead on the giving— giving where life beckons most. 

His father will remind him (gently but often enough so that it gets through) that life will keep being a major pain until he learns this solution to this universal dilemma. It is a lesson many fail to learn, or learn too late, but that great men realize this early enough in life to shape themselves accordingly.  He will urge his son to look out for such men and when he finds them to get as close to them as life permits and to imitate them in his own way.

PHASE 4: What a father might say to his young ADOLESCENT son about THE BEAUTY OF YOUNG WOMEN.

When you were born, I held you in my arms and made these promises to you:

I will teach you how to regard the bodies of women.

I will teach you how to listen carefully to women and hear what they mean .

I will teach you how  to treat all women, so they will know you are a man of good intentions.

Now, that you have become a young man your body can generate new life. Yes! You can now be a father. So, it is time for me to teach you all you want to know and all you need to know about this powerful new dimension of being alive.

Over the next few years we will talk about these issues at different times.  But the next lesson I want you to learn is that the world of women is both wonderful and dangerous and that you need to learn how to live in that world and assess these women. They — like men — can be angels or devils (most are somewhere in between). However, in our times, the number of dangerous women has grown (the fault of their parents), so you have to be wise or you will suffer much if you make wrong choices in this domain.

Most women are attractive, physically.  Furthermore, God also made it part of their nature that they devote time and attention to being so. Finding a physically attractive woman is easy and the woman you will marry will likely be quite beautiful. However, the much more important form of attractiveness takes real practice to spot and developing that ability does not come easily for most men.

Women, however, starting in their teens, seem to enjoy exchanging their assessment of males and, even though their criteria as teenagers are limited they become more serious about it as they mature, (while men become more silent) for they begin to realize that much depends on their ability to assess a man’s capacity to work and provide for them and their future children, and the level of respect he has not only for them, but for other women. Men don’t share comparisons of women this way.  They will about how a woman looks, but that takes no training, nor great intelligence.

Because you have to acquire this capacity, it is time for you to start, first by assessing the sisters of your friends and the friends of your sisters.  You can begin to spot and appreciate their virtues: who is kind; who is hard working; who is always cheerful; who takes care of her siblings; who honors her father; who is close to her mother;  who is prayerful (though that is hard to observe); who is modest in the way she dresses; who is even-tempered; who is punctual; who is prepared? 

As you assess them you will notice weaknesses. However, you have to simultaneously learn to see the good in every young woman. No matter what weaknesses you spot, you realize that every young woman is the apple of her parent’s eye (and especially of God’s eye: He has known each intimately even before they came into existence and continues to hold each one in the palm of His hand).  In other words, even as you develop the capacity to spot their virtues you also develop the capacity to see them as God’s beloved daughters.  This is a sure-fire way to learn to respect every woman.

The effect of developing this capacity to spot the virtues in a girl is that you will become more motivated to develop your own.  The woman you set your heart on will likely have been observing the brothers of her friends and the friends of her brothers.  It would be a pity if you were to lose the girl of your dreams because you failed to turn a significant weakness into a strength.

One such man I know was lucky.  In college he fell for a girl and asked her out on a date.  She – remarkably – told him to “Forget it. You arrive late to class, skip some of them, and, I am told, you lie in bed late, many mornings. If I were to fall for you and marry you, ten years from now I would be pulling you out of bed trying to get you to work. No way am I’m going out with you!”  He changed quickly and had enough time (they were sophomores) to convince her. Now they are happily married.  Most men never get such a chance —nor such a well-informed turn-down by such a savvy girl. But such turndowns happen all the time, silently.

Developing your capacity to assess the virtues of young women should motivate you to develop those capacities you need to replace the bad habits your brothers and sisters complain about.  If you are to become a man pleasant enough to be with for a lifetime, you will take care.

We will talk about this from time to time.

PS: A good father will bring up the issue of pornography often enough, will insist on certain times for use of the computer, refuse to give children access to computers with internet connections except in the “family space” designated; refuses to give him a smart phone (an internet connected computer in his pocket that is also a porn-shop in his pocket — too big a temptation for any teenager). 

A great father I know tells his boys they have his full permission to smash the smartphone of any kid who tries to show them pornographic pictures on his phone screen.  He tells them not to worry, that he will deal with the kid’s parents.

Wise parents also track (with software) their children’s computer use and let their children know they do this.  They tell them it is so powerful in its draw that we all need this sort of protection and that in their home it has absolutely no place and urge their children to develop the same attitude, reminding them that they want to protect their children’s ability to have great sexual relations with their spouse in the not too distant future!


You may remember my promises to you when you were a baby. Among them were:

I will teach you how to spot and win the sexual battles that will take place inside your head and your heart.

I will teach you why you should not masturbate. (Your wife will thank me — without ever telling me).

I will teach you how to have the sexual control you will need for your marriage bed.

The most strategic battles on matters sexual take place in your mind, heart and imagination,  just as they do still for me, and did for your grandfathers and all men who have ever lived. This is a battleground littered with fallen soldiers. Many men get wounded and pay a heavy price before recovering. Some men never recover. Some men cease to be soldiers and become “sexual terrorists”.

The sexual energy within us is much like the energy of the atom: it can be harnessed for great good. From it came you, your sisters and your brothers and all your cousins and all the friends you love to be with. However, like the atomic energy, sexual energy can also be massively destructive, as when children are aborted, spouses are unfaithful and marriages break up, when sexual abuse or deep marital conflict distorts the sexuality of adults and their children, who, when they become adults, in turn often damage others.

The prefrontal cortex in the two lobes of your brain do two different types of tasks: one side is oriented to being creative in the discovery of new things and in exploring the world; while it is doing that, the other side spots and avoids dangers. As you drive a car, you need both sides working well: the side that gets you to your destination and the side that avoids the accidents you or others could cause along the way if you did not brake, or turn, or signal at the right moment. You could say one side is liberal and creative, moving on to new goals while the other side is conservative: preserving the good you already have by keeping it safe. Every issue in life needs both these capacities. 

In matters sexual there is the creative dimension (winning the heart of the attractive woman and then having and raising children) and a protective dimension: avoiding traps and dangers: the wrong sort of women, the wrong places, books, movies — and of course, pornography.

But, the dangers are not always on the outside. Many of them pop up from inside: the images that jump, unbidden, into your imagination, or when a beautiful woman passes do you “look” at her (as opposed to seeing her), i.e. assess her physical beauty and even begin to daydream about her. You cannot avoid developing habits in this domain; the issue is which habits you choose to develop. This is a big fork in the road in the life and you are free to choose for yourself (and for your future spouse and children): letting “sex go wild” in your imagination or controlling it for its true purpose. Bad habits can grow from seemingly small habits: looking at an attractive woman a second time or, on the other hand, deliberately looking away and entertaining other thoughts and images. You will be tempted in many other ways in the years to come: watching movies that arouse you sexually (the directors know what they are doing — as do the actors and actresses); going to places or bars you know will lead to similar temptations; going to parties that lean that way.  The list will grow as you grow older.  

That you feel these attractions and sexual desires is natural – you are a man and your hormones are sending you all sorts of mating messages. But you have to decide — and decide early — you are going to enjoy these sexual pleasures only with the one person who will be yours for life, after you both have pledged yourselves to each other in matrimony.  

To so decide, and to keep your promise, will take training. But the benefits are great — and will spill over into many other areas in your life:

  • You will become prudent as you develop a sixth sense of when events are likely to lead in the wrong direction.
  • You  will develop the virtue of temperance as you deliberately grow the habit of not enjoying an innocent pleasure (like a good ice cream) so that you will have at your disposal the capacity to resist forbidden pleasures when they present themselves temptingly. 
  • You will gain wisdom as you talk these things out with someone you trust – me your father, or a good teacher, or a priest— someone you admire and can trust so that you can learn from them how to do battle and win, or learn how to heal the wounds from battles lost. These are people who love you and also understand this war (they have to fight it too) and will teach you how to move forward. 
  • You will grow in courage and humility as you talk about battles lost.  Catholic Christians have the added benefit of Confession – for this and other wounds in the battle for virtues.
  • You will grow in piety: having regular quiet time with God as you talk it all through with Him also.  For Catholic Christians it makes sense to talk it through with the Mother of God, and with Christ in the Eucharist. Everyone who comes to God reports great help in this area. 
  • You will grow as a friend – as you help your friends avoid situations before they develop and as you call on your friends when you need support for a battle that looms. That, by the way, is a great way to help them!

The wonderful thing about this battle is the joy and happiness it brings; losing the battle always brings sadness and a big letdown.  Beforehand, the temptation promises a false happiness that looks fantastic but afterwards leaves a bad taste.  It is a fool’s gold.  Did you know that the data show that those who are virginal when they marry, and who worship God weekly, have the best and most frequent sexual pleasure— in marriage, of course!! This is one of life’s biggest secrets. Virtually no one knows this.

These battles will come your way in your teen years.  I am sure they have already started or will soon. Twenty and thirty years from now you will still have to fight them —when you travel alone or when you are in business situations that could cause you temptations.  To be faithful to your wife and your children decades into the future, you need to start now.  It is wise to learn to battle from the beginning, and it is much easier. 

One area of battle for every male is the temptation to masturbate. Many moderns believe it is all right, but they are fooling themselves and ignoring ancient wisdom and modern research.  Pornography addiction happens only through masturbation. 

Masturbation, when practiced frequently, changes the mind, the imagination and the heart: the object of pleasure becomes an internal image, not a real person.  When this becomes habitual — as happens with frequent use of pornography — it can lead to a serious sexual disability — erectile dysfunction (ED) — which means that a man cannot fully satisfy his wife because he has lost hiscapacity to be aroused except by pornographic images. ED used to be an old man’s debility.  Now, because pornography is so widespread, so too is ED.  Viagra and other pharmacological props now have a huge market among young men who suffer from this psychosexual disease. You hear the ads all over the place.  Behind it all is ED.

Pornography is so destructive that boys and men can lose their natural interest in women — in Japan, which has a long tradition of pornography, a significant portion of single 30-year-olds have lost interest in the opposite sex. Married men can lose interest in their wives — and instead become obsessed with print and digital pictures, or only be able to make love to her by having these images in his mind.  By this stage they are in deep trouble in all the areas related to their sexuality: their intimate family relations, their friendships and their readiness to relate with God. The good news is it is possible to overcome this addiction, but it is better by far to take the path to becoming a chaste young man. 

There is another practical reason to live purity: to gain that control of one’s sexuality that a married man needs so as to be able to do without sex for a while, for his wife’s sake: A wife, who for whatever reason does not want to get pregnant, has to be able to rely on her husband’s self-control during her peak fertility days. Many women do not have such husbands and as a result use contraceptives[1].  Thus, a husband who lacks self-control becomes a grave danger to his wife and his marriage. 

Purity of mind, heart and imagination results in a cheerful happiness that makes life worth living, a cheerfulness that is very attractive, and that good women spot quickly. Purity is a great ringer of wedding bells and a great aphrodisiac.

I hope you will come to me when you have questions in this area.  And I hope you begin to pray to your future wife’s guardian angel, too.  By the way, belief in guardian angels is universal.  It cuts across all levels of religious practice (including those who never worship), all cultures, and all religions. 

On every level there are very strong reasons for deciding to be pure and wholesome. Your happiness, your future wife’s happiness and your children’s happiness depend on it.

[1] Within the year we will have a series of synthesis papers on the psychological, sociological, demographic, biological and neurological effects of contraception. They are myriad.

Phase 6: Young Manhood.

My son, as a young man you are already master of your own ship and free to sail any sea and visit any port! But no matter what you do, the single biggest task ahead of you is choosing your wife, you companion for life.  She will have a huge effect on your life and what the sum total of it will be in the end.

Over the years we have talked a lot about matters sexual so that you prepare yourself to thrive sexually.  Once married you begin that wonderful sexual exchange.  Most moderns think they have to “try it out” first to see if they are compatible, but they have it all wrong.

In the chart below from a national federal government survey you see a pattern that has been replicated many times: sex before marriage is a threat to the marriage, and therefor to children and the future of society.  Because most moderns are totally unaware of this threat, and given its implications for the stability of marriage and family and its impact on the children of these men and women — and thus on all society — I think this is the most important chart in all of the social sciences. 

Add to this that those who enjoy the sexual the most are virgins at marriage who worship God weekly.  They have the most rewarding sexual relations,[4] and the most enduring marriages.  These insights have motivated me to raise you to be chaste.  Your future wife will be very grateful.

I assume you will select a chaste girl.  Anyone else is a big risk. But there are  other important criteria for selecting your future wife, and, though some think it too calculating to consider all the attributes you want in your wife, I don’t, because, done right, it gets you thinking the right way.  You can day dream about the physical attributes you desire but those attributes will likely fly out the door when you meet “her”. 

What do you want most in her?  I suspect the most important attribute is kindness.  A kind person loves in small details, and your life together will be made up of millions of small details with occasional big ones thrown in.  

The next attribute is ‘hard work’: Is she tough on herself when it comes to work?   Life is made up of loads of hard work.

Cheerfulness ranks very high.  To be with a cheerful person is always so much easier. And you will be with her for the rest of your life.  Better still: can she stay cheerful even when she suffers?

Kind, hardworking and cheerful!  That is a winning combination for a great partner — assuming you, too, are kind, hardworking and cheerful.  When you spot such a woman don’t waste any time: you will have lots of competition.  But make sure you see her in her family setting.  That is where her “ordinary self’ is most likely to be seen.  How she treats her family is how she will treat you, once the honeymoon phase has passed.

However, this first level of “filtering” is not enough.  You both will have to assess openly whether you are “in the same business”. What is it you both want to have achieved together by age 70?  And what do you want to be remembered for after you die?

The biggest issue for agreement is having children, for they will be your biggest, toughest project.  Bringing new persons into existence is the greatest thing you will do together, and it is the ultimate purpose of marriage. This used to be an easy decision for women in the past: culture shaped this expectation. Today women have professional choices and often have invested heavily in acquiring professional competence, and an anti-culture pushes in the opposite direction.  Women, today,  have more weighing up and deciding to do.  They can “have it all” if they live a normal length because early child birth gives both children and a long career later in life, whereas postponing child raising can lead to childlessness or a much smaller family than desired. Some women can manage both at the same time but normally with fewer children and more stress.  You need to discuss this before getting engaged.  Children are at the heart of marriage and you both need to agree.

How many children you have will be determined (all other things being equal) by the size of your heart and her heart.  However, all things are never equal, so each child is a new decision. And this gets us to the heart of sexual relations and the huge mistake most modern couples make: They choose to contracept as their way to decide the size of their family. But, given the evidence we now have on the effects of contraception, that is not only a stupid move, it is an anti-human move. And, given its effects on communications within marriage, it is bad for the children too.[5]  Also deciding to contracept is deciding not to talk about having children!  For many it is hard to break that silence…and they get into the habit of avoiding “tricky areas”, a real danger in marriage. (By the way both the pill and NFP have similar rates of success in spacing children). 

The best way to go is to enjoy sexual relations the way God made them: natural intercourse, fully experienced.  It is much more enjoyable, as long as you both are ready.  But it will get tricky for your wife if you, her husband, are not very attuned to her pregnancy desires.  Some couples want and are capable of having as many children as they can.  They don’t count the cost, are prepared to pay the bill and they just “go for it”.  But many couples are much more cautious or fearful.  As a good husband you will always be aware of your wife’s stance on having a new child and will conduct yourself accordingly. You both will talk about this a few times each month. At times (at her request) you will restrain yourself. Your wife will know she has a gift of a man who is concerned to never force sexual relations on her when she is afraid (for whatever reason) of conceiving another child.  And when you resume it is like a new honeymoon.  It really helps keep marriage alive.

The whole world knows that Catholics are supposed to practice sexual intercourse this natural family planning way, but what the world  does not know is that the biggest reason many Catholic women turn to the pill is they don’t trust their husbands’ ability to be self-controlled and not to “use” them!

The couples who control their fertility through bio-tracking and communicating about it are — rather naturally, over time, great communicators.  The acquired ability to communicate in this delicate area develops the ability in other critical areas.

Though sex is one tough area for young couples to talk about clearly, it has a rival: money.  It is will be very enlightening for you and your fiancée to make a joint budget, before engagement, on how you are going to use your combined monies, not just for the first year — that is easy when you are both working — but for the years you will have your first and second child.  Budgets are sobering and bring you right into the “non-romantic” part of life where unity is more difficult but also much more important.[6]  If you both agree in advance on your budget are off to a great start.  If you agree on both children and money have it made!  I hope you do this hard   work before you get engaged. You both will then have an enormous sense of “the freedom of togetherness” when you have it done.

Such togetherness and unity will determine the strength of your children.  No matter what else you achieve, nothing compares to bringing children into the world and raising them as strong adults.  Bill Gates’s three children are a much bigger contribution to the human race than is his Microsoft.  They are priceless, Microsoft is not. The market puts a price tag on it every day. It will disappear; they will exist forever, and their children and so on for generations to come.  You might achieve much more than Bill and Melinda Gates if you want to….with the right woman.  

Pat Fagan Ph.D.


[1] From Nat Survey of Family Growth in early 200’s: the rate of female homosexuality in adulthood was 2.5% for women from always intact families vs 7.5% for those in father absent families.

[2] This booklet is widely acclaimed.  It is authored by my wife, Theresa Fagan.   I know it is a plug, but it is a classic — owned and used for decades by thousands of mothers across the country.  Email her at for more details.  If there were a better book out there, I would plug it, but there is not!

[3] As I wrote this, a piece appeared in the Daily Signal on the first “non-binary” person in the U.S.

[neither male nor female]

. It teaches the same lesson but in a very different way. If you read the story carefully you will see that this man [he has “returned” to his original sex] had a father who was the opposite of what he needed. It is no wonder his sexuality went haywire. Given the level of breakdown in marriage in our day, more and more young people are at risk for similar distortions in their psycho-sexual development.

[4] Laumann, Gagnon, Michael and Michaels; “The Social Organization of Sexuality”  (1994) and Michael and Gagnon “Sex in America, a Definitive Study” (1994)

[5] And there is increasing evidence of biological harm to children — sometimes.

[6] In days of arranged marriages budgets were a key part of the negotiations.  The parents did the math.  Today young couples have to do that unromantic work.  Like of old, it is best done before the deal is struck. It is a key part of marital dependence on each other.