When Dr. Janice Crouse addressed the World Congress of Families III in Mexico City in 2002, she made a lasting impression. One person in the audience who remembered her speech about the impact of feminism on the family was Mrs. Marcela Torres de Garrido, wife of the governor of Queraro and president of the State System of Integral Family Development (SEDIF). Mrs. Torres de Garrido invited Dr. Crouse to deliver the keynote address at the first International Family Congress in the state of Queraro, “With all Heart Because Your Family is Important,” held on October 7 and 8.
The state of Queraro, located two hours north of Mexico City, has a population of about 1.4 million. The rich history of the capital city, Santiago de Queraro, spans more than 460 years; many examples of beautiful colonial architecture remain. Among this history and beauty, though, is increasingly a need to strengthen the traditional family. Modern influences, like Hollywood movies, television, the Internet and advertising, have weakened the fabric of Mexican morality in ways similar to their influence on American culture.
Family remains an integral part of Mexican culture and it was highlighted as such at the Queraro conference. But those responsible for family development recognize the need to strengthen and restore the family to its central role in society. An audience of 3,000 people working directly with families social workers, government agency directors, state leaders and nongovernmental organization representatives gathered for the two-day conference and heard Dr. Crouse talk about the ramifications of promiscuous behavior.
Just as cohabitation has increased in the United States, Mexico is experiencing the same trend. Translation of “cohabitation” into Spanish is literal, “cohabitacn.” However, the colloquial translation is “unn libre,” meaning “free union.” But, as Dr. Crouse showed during her presentation, so-called sexual freedom is not free.
In 2004 in the state of Texas, a total of 114 women were murdered by intimate partners more than half by boyfriends. Dr. Crouse pointed out that when marriage’s moral boundaries are not in place, violence against women increases.
In the United States, the era of “free love” has left a legacy: 35 million children affected by divorce since 1970; 43 million abortions since Roe v. Wade; 10 million new STD cases a year reported among young adults; one-third of all children born out of wedlock; and 50 million women living alone. It is apparent that “free love” has an extraordinarily high price tag.
Dr. Crouse expounded on 10 truths about promiscuity. While the supporting data reflected information from the United States, the truths are universal. Promiscuity:
impairs the ability to bond; leaves women alone and lonely; increases poverty; increases the number of troubled children; provides a framework for abuse and violence; is financially devastating for women; sabotages relationships; weakens communities and nations.
Further, the sexual revolution has produced dramatic increases in STDs, of which women have been the primary victims; and, finally, promiscuous sex harms women.
After the presentation many people approached Dr. Crouse; two in particular touched her heart. A gentleman came up with tears streaming down his face, saying that he “never dreamed” he would live long enough to hear an American woman defend family, marriage and moral behavior. He has worked in an official capacity on pro-family issues in Mexico for more than 20 years and was grateful for the message especially because he believed that Mexican leaders needed to know that a professional woman from the United States shared their values and beliefs.
Then a young professional woman thanked Dr. Crouse for giving her generation a message extolling the virtues of morality, abstinence and fidelity. She, too, is concerned about the influences of modern culture and was so grateful to have solid information about the consequences of sexual freedom. She was committed, she said, to making sure that her generation of young adults in Mexico heard the powerful data that Dr. Crouse prepared.
Let us continue to hope and pray that the tide is turning in American and Mexican culture toward family, fidelity and purity. Since Queraro is the site of the Mexican Revolution, Dr. Crouse ended her presentation with a quote from G. K. Chesterton, who said, “If we wish to preserve the family, we must revolutionize the nation.” She added, “Today, at this important event in the city of Mexico’s independence a place known for its historic revolutions let the family revolution begin!! And, let it begin with us!”
Brenda Zurita is project coordinator for CWA’s “Crossing the Bridge” project a joint effort underwritten by the U.S. State Department enabling CWA to work with Mexico’s Red Familia (Family Network) to combat sex trafficking.
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