Exploring the Social Imagination

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Gendered Complementarity in the Social Imagiantion

If you read the writings of Russian born and educated Pitirim Sorokin, the founder of Sociology at Harvard University, you will find that his view of a sustainable society was due to the regulation of sexuality as the essential first mark of civilization. Exactly, and according to Sorokin, civilization is possible only when marriage is normative and sexual conduct is censured outside of the marital relationship. Furthermore, Sorokin traced the rise and fall of civilizations and concluded that the weakening of marriage between a man and a woman was a first sign of civilizational collapse.

It is not surprising to me as a Christian Sociologist to read this view and to understand the importance of it.  Even if I were not a Christian, just by reviewing histories of fallen societies, I can notice that whenever sexual deviation from the norm (normal as we find in set down by nature) societal collapse is not far behind.

There is such thing, even in nature for anyone who is a follower of Darwin, as gender complementarity. It means that each gender, as in physical sexual distinction between male - female, has certain properties within its gendered physical boundaries. A man is different from a woman in many ways and we can say the same about women being different from men in many ways: physically, mentally, emotionally, hormonally, socially and even philosophically. A man provides for society in a way that a woman cannot and visa versa.

One can note and sociologists and psychologists have observed that in homosexual couples, someone is the man and someone is the woman in terms of role dynamics. However, social dynamics between same sex couples, neighbors, co-workers is not the same as the playing of social dynamics between men and women.

Only through the play of social dynamics between men and women does society exist in a more favorable sustainability. Women, the natural birth-er of children, and nurturer by their instinctive hormonal program, bring to men, to society, an agenda for a more long term promise of tomorrow yet with an urgency to procure it today. Women bring this into marriage which they impart to their children which rests in the balance of counterpoint of engagement of social dynamics.

Take that away by decree that marriage is between anyone and anything, we will no longer be able to sustain society as we know it. Maybe some would say that Sorokin did not have enough imagination to consider that same sex, same dynamic interplay would be good for society. I think He did consider that.

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