10 Dec, 2019 America’s Hidden Strength: My “One and Only” (O.A.O.)
The greatest generation valued marriage and commitment which is America’s hidden strength majorly lacking in today’s generation. Know how to get it back.
contributing writer ~ Dr. Joe Malone
This is a friendly message to the Millennials and Gen Z as we remember another Pearl Harbor day. How will your generations respond if you ever face similar challenges? Recently, our family and social structure have changed radically. My parents grew up during The Great Depression in the Oklahoma Dust Bowl, and then my father fought in World War II. Their youth was a baptism in fire.
Nevertheless, my dad came home from the Pacific and married mom soon after returning. They were wed for sixty-three years before my father passed away. Their hard work and that of many other couples like them built the US into the world’s foremost industrial power. Nowadays couples even getting married at all is happening less and less.
The Greatest Generation
After dealing with such daunting circumstances, it is no wonder they became known as “The Greatest Generation.” This generation’s greatness and ability to overcome rested on two massive cornerstones that were much more prevalent in those times. First, there was a widespread and stronger reliance on God. The second was the much higher marriage rate and resultantly lower out-of-wedlock birth rate. Their relationship philosophy was something called O.A.O, which stood for my One and Only. This is how they viewed their commitment to each other and from that their commitment to their children. They lived to give us kids a better life than they had, and they made that clear both through their words and their actions.
The Way We Were
In recent times, some within the world of academia and elsewhere in popular society, have tried to rewrite history to deny and edit out this greatness. They claim that this is all just nostalgic, wishful thinking and that we never were a stable, family-based nation. Well perhaps they never experienced this in their family of origin, but I have to refute them. I know it is true because I was there.
Things have changed since the 1960s. At that time, seventy-five percent of the American people over 18 were married. By 2011 less than half of families were composed of married couples. Also, like my parents, they married earlier. In 1960 around seventy percent of 20 to 29-year old’s were married while by 2009 only about twenty-five percent of this age group was wed. Additionally, the continued high divorce rate, abortion, the rise of people never marrying and rising out-of-wedlock births have created a society having fewer and fewer intact, two-parent families. This has been bad for America.
True Love is True
One would think there is not much further potential for harm. Not so, recently there has begun a push to show that science proves that humans are naturally promiscuous. Polyamory and consensual non-monogamy are said to be human’s true sexual nature and should be pursued so as not to go against our innate impulses. They recommend this especially for women who they assert have not done so in the past because of the social construction of the female sex role which they view as repressive and otherwise negative. They also promote hookup culture on college campuses. There are even authors who say hooking up is a beneficial practice for college women to not get distracted by relationships and to get ahead in their educational preparations for their future professions.
As a specialist in physiological science, I can emphatically say they are wrong and God’s design for relationships is best. Traditional courtship and marriage are proven by science to create the best human outcomes.
If a “Pearl Harbor” Happened Now?
What would have happened back in the 1930s and 1940s if our society had been practicing polyamory and consensual non-monogamy? Imagine facing The Great Depression and WWII with American people who were focused on their own individual pleasure. Where would we be today? Hopefully, the Millennials and Gen Z won’t ever have to face their own Pearl Harbor-like disaster.
But it is not too late to do something about this crippling culture. By re-applying Biblical principles and honest, cutting-edge science we may yet be able to live up to the inspiring example of “The Greatest Generation.”
Dr. Joe Malone, a physiologist, holds a Ph.D. in Health and Human Performance with a minor in neuropsychology and a specialization in sexual health. He has taught for many years at Middle Tennessee State University and has guest lectured at Vanderbilt and Princeton. Dr. Malone served on the CDC Initiative for STD Prevention for the state of Tennessee. He is also the founder of Sex IQ.
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