Collateral damage effect upon individuals and society as a result of the change in sexual morals

by Matt Slick

Morals are the undergirding principles concerning right and wrong that help guide a person's beliefs and actions. Therefore, actions are the result of what we believe.  If a person considers lying to be morally wrong, he will either not do it or try to avoid doing it.  If a person believes lying is okay, then he will be far more prone to deceive people. 

Furthermore, we believe morals in sets.  No moral is independent of other morals because our morals come in packages that frame our worldview.  To change our morals is to change our worldview.  To change our worldview is to affect society whether it be families, commerce, business, or anything else moral worldviews affect.  Therefore, we have to ask, when a society becomes sexually permissive, doesn't this mean that other areas of sexuality will also be affected?  Of course it does.

The moral boundaries have been pushed outward in the past few decades enough so that previous sexual taboos are now promoted in mainstream culture as being normal.  A paradigm shift in morality has obviously been occurring for quite some time, and the cluster of sexually related issues and practices has also been affected.

Consider the following information-sample that documents the increase in harmful sexual practices due to the loosening of sexual boundaries that are no longer constrained by the bounds of traditional, heterosexual marriage.


  • "Report: Online Pedophilia up 300 Percent. Security vendor Panda Software Thursday announced a 300 percent increase in calls reporting online child pornography over the last three years."1


  • "There are an estimated 4.2 million pornographic websites, 420 million pornographic pages, 68 million pornographic search engine requests daily, 42.7% of internet users view porn, 100,000 sites offering illegal child pornography, average age of first internet exposure to porn is 11 years old, 10% of adults admit to internet sexual addition, 72% of males and 28% females visit porn sites.  There were 1300 hard core porn titles released in 1988 and 13,588 released in 2005."2
  • Cable and Satellite companies routinely provide pornographic options to view and there are entire channels devoted to hard core porn.
  • "According to pastors, the 8 top sexual issues damaging to their congregation are: 57% pornography addiction, 34% sexually active never-married adults, 30% adultery of married adults, 28% sexually active teenagers, 16% sexual dissatisfaction, 14% unwed pregnancy, 13% sexually active previously married adults, and 9% sexual abuse. More Sex, Please. Christianity Today International, Winter 2005."3

Pornography - Child

  • "Child pornography is one of the fastest growing businesses online, and the content is becoming much worse. In 2008, Internet Watch Foundation found 1,536 individual child abuse domains. (Internet Watch Foundation. Annual Report, 2008). (


  • Rise in prostitution:  A Google search for "Is prostitution on the rise" brings surprising results with titles such as:
    • "Under-Age Prostitution on the Rise"
    • "Liberia: Prostitution on the Rise"
    • "Teenage Prostitution on the Rise"
    • "Prostitution on the rise in Ireland"
    • "Prostitution on the rise in Samoa"
    • "70% Rise in German Sex Trafficking due to Legal Prostitution"
    • "Child Prostitution on the rise - YouTube"
  • Premature death among prostitutes: "Foremost among the health risks of prostitution is premature death. In a recent US study of almost 2,000 prostitutes followed over a 30-year period, by far the most common causes of death were homicide, suicide, drug and alcohol-related problems, HIV infection and accidents - in that order. The homicide rate among active female prostitutes was 17 times higher than that of the age-matched general population 4

Sex Trafficking

  • Millions of people sold into sex trafficking yearly: "Each year sexual traffickers lure, coerce, trick, drug, kidnap, and sell millions of vulnerable women and children into the multi-billion dollar sex trade. In their daily lives victims of sexual trafficking endure unspeakable acts of physical brutality, violence and degradation including rape by so-called customers and pimps; undergo forced abortions; acquire drug and alcohol dependencies; live in fear of their lives and in fear for the lives of their family and friends; suffer acute psychological reactions as a result of their extreme physical and emotional trauma; and contract sexually transmitted diseases which all too often bring life-long illness or hasten death. If they survive, the physical, psychological and spiritual impacts of these experiences on victims are devastating and enduring 5
  • One million children enter the sex trade annually: "UNICEF reports that across the world, there are over one million children entering the sex trade every year and that approximately 30 million children have lost their childhood through sexual exploitation over the past 30 years 6

Is there any doubt that when sexual morays are loosened, the collateral effect is profound?  People push the moral envelope in all kinds of ways.  "What can we get away with?" seems to be the mantra of liberal western culture with little concern for the spiritual, social, and health impact that moral degradation and its collateral effects necessarily have.  Unless the degradation is stopped, we will continue to slide into the abyss of decaying moral sewage and end up drowning in its own filth.

  • 1., March 31, 2005
  • 2.
  • 3.
  • 4. Canadian Medical Association Journal. 2004, July 24).
  • 5. Initiative Against Sexual Trafficking, Accessed October 31, 2007.
  • 6. Commercial sexual exploitation position statement. UNICEF UK. 2004, January 28).

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.