When it comes to good PR, 2012 has been a great year for Christian sex. Between Mark and Grace Driscoll's new book Real Marriage and Ed and Lisa Young's Sexperiment, married sex has assumed a central place in the public spotlight and in our daily conversations. It is affirmed by visible evangelical pastors and exalted as the glue that holds our marriages together.
These books and others have encouraged candid conversation about sex. Younger Christians now talk about sex openly and in a way that might make their grandparents blush. Yet with all this talk about sex, with all the teaching and writing about sex, are we really getting to the core issues of Christian sexuality? Does the sheer volume of conversation necessarily entail substance?
Mary Eberstadt's new book, Adam and Eve After the Pill: Paradoxes of the Sexual Revolution (Ignatius Press), addresses these questions, though indirectly so. Throughout the book, Eberstadt pieces together the societal fallout of the sexual revolution. Examining the consequences of sexual liberation for women, men, and children, she systematically catalogues a whole host of social ills ranging from out-of-wedlock pregnancy, to divorce, to addiction to pornography. The result is a concrete set of "empirical evidence" with which the culture must reckon.
Eberstadt presents the data in a short and digestible format that will hopefully equip more lay Christians with the sociological arguments for biblical teachings on sex. Because she chose this more accessible format, Eberstadt (admittedly) sacrifices the time and space that a comprehensive study of the sexual revolution deserves. At times her summaries seem reductionist, giving only a nod to complicating factors such as affluence, individualism, ...