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« Cheating explained…finally! | Main | The Fear Factor »

August 18, 2008

No free love

Swingtown02 In today's BreakPoint commentary, Chuck Colson talks about CBS's summer series Swingtown, set in the 1970s, and its "tragic illusion" of guilt-free, risk-free extramarital sex.

The New Republic sums up the appeal of Swingtown: “Think of it as a foxy summer fling—except, you know, without the real-life burden of gut-wrenching heartbreak and [disease].”

But such risk-free flings are only an illusion. Maybe Boomers like to look back at those care-free days before the AIDS virus. But even before AIDS, there were unwanted pregnancies, abortion, divorce, shattered families, broken hearts, and ruined lives. But don’t expect the producers of Swingtown to show you that, or to bring up the modern-day explosion of deadly sexually transmitted diseases—like HPV-related throat cancer—that can be traced all the way back to, yes, the sixties and seventies.

CBS may not be mentioning it, but it's making headlines elsewhere. Just this month, an anguished oral cancer patient named Stephen Reynolds wrote in the Reader's Digest:

What is the virus that causes cervical cancer doing in my throat . . . threatening my larynx and my life? According to Dr. [Maura] Gillison and others, the answer goes back to the late 1970s, when the medical community began to notice the spread of HPV. "It is linked to a change in sexual habits," she says simply.

The brutal fact is, because Reynolds had oral sex with multiple partners decades before his young son was born, he may not live to see that son grow up. Tragically, statistics tell us that more and more Boomers are finding themselves in the same position. HPV is not just a danger to young girls anymore.

And it all goes back to that nostalgia-inducing time of free love . . . that wasn't so free after all.

(Image © CBS)

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