Thursday, April 27, 2017

Sexuality And Korean Culture

A priest writes an article in With Bible magazine, on seeing the body and sex in a new way. He begins the article with insights he gained from watching a popular TV show on the romantic life of the young. For many of the young romance means the sexual embrace, a very natural expression of love.

Talking about sex was taboo, consequently little was said about the meaning and value of sexuality. However, the change to openness has not been all positive but often cheapened and made light of sexuality. As one of the entertainers said it is a game. The increase of abortions and unmarried mothers is a result.

With the economic improvement of society, we had the movement towards birth control:  " Boy or girl, two only and raise them well" or "A daughter well raised is worth 10 sons." These and similar slogans have weakened the understanding of sex: the unity of the spouses and raising of children. Another influence was the mass media.

In Hollywood movies and foreign dramas, the meeting of male and female in short order are in bed together. This message was seen with disapproval by the elders but with the repetition of this type of meeting of the sexes, it was taken for granted. This is the way people live and without criticism, was accepted as a cultural norm, spreading quickly in society. "In this area, society and the mass media most of the time provide depersonalized, recreational and often pessimistic information." This was the opinion of the Pontifical Council for the Family (1995).

Twenty years later we see this situation in Korea. We have been overcome with the popular culture and now we are exporters to the rest of the world. 

Pope Paul VI in Humanae Vitae #22: 

 "We take this opportunity to address those who are engaged in education and all those whose right and duty it is to provide for the common good of human society. We would call their attention to the need to create an atmosphere favorable to the growth of chastity so that true liberty may prevail over license and the norms of the moral law may be fully safeguarded.
 Everything therefore in the modern means of social communication which arouses men's baser passions and encourages low moral standards, as well as every obscenity in the written word and every form of indecency on the stage and screen, should be condemned publicly and unanimously by all those who have at heart the advance of civilization and the safeguarding of the outstanding values of the human spirit. It is quite absurd to defend this kind of depravity in the name of art or culture or by pleading the liberty which may be allowed in this field by the public authorities."

What do parents need to do to block this influence from the mass media? First of all, it requires an interest on the part of parents. Society does not make this easy because of the need for both parents to work to educate the children. Nowadays with the smartphone, the children are accustomed to enjoying the new way of being part of the world. The structure of society needs to be changed.

Parents have not been educated as children in the area of sexuality which makes it difficult for parents to know what to do. They need to know what the children have been exposed to and spend time with them explaining the meaning of sexuality if not the mass media will be their teachers. The church also needs to been involved and continue speaking about the Christian meaning of sex and its value in our life.