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REVIEW: Adam and Eve after the Pill Revisited

By John M. Grondelski

Mary Eberstadt reprises her successful Adam and Eve after the Pill with this follow up that shifts the focus from the micro to the macro level, from the sexual revolution’s corrosive impact on individuals and families to its debilitation of families and society. Well documented and based on revised, previously published articles, this book articulates a coherent account of social and institutional decline, both secular and sacred.

“Sexual asymmetry” is pro-life writer Erika Bachiochi’s term for the phenomenon that women are profoundly more implicated in the consequences of sexual intercourse than men. Roe’s solution is that abortion balances that asymmetry by allowing women, like men, to walk away from those consequences: children. Bachiochi challenges an “equality” that makes women model men, and Eberstadt argues that the abortion “resolution” is a lie, leaving women disadvantaged by still letting men abandon fatherhood.

It is that abandonment of paternity that Eberstadt argues has affected society in three ways: Americans are losing father, Father, and fatherland.

Fatherless families are documented wellsprings of multiple forms of social deviancy. Children deprived of stable families made of a mother and a father—to both of whom they are related—are poster cases for social problems. Contraception further compounds the problem; such families are smaller, automatically limiting the number of people with whom a child’s normal socialization and interaction would lead to healthier outcomes. Eberstadt argues that, lacking a sense of belonging at home, many seek ersatz substitutes in identity politics.

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