Who am I? An illiterate peasant of the Middle Ages was better equipped to answer that question than many people in advanced societies in this century. He may only have lived until age thirty — but he spent his days among family and in towns, practicing a shared faith, and thus developed a vivid sense of those to whom he was elementally connected, not just in the course of his life but before birth and after death. Every one of the assumptions he could take for granted is now negotiable.

— Mary Eberstadt, Primal Screams: How the Sexual Revolution Created Identity Politics

I don’t think Eberstadt intended this little aside to be representative of her argument, which is that many of the social pathologies that plague us are traceable back to the detrimental effect of the sexual revolution on the family. One can certainly see how people with a weak sense of self could be attracted to fringe cults like gender-fluidity and ethnic pride out of a desire to belong to something, anything, although I don’t think that this is necessarily a rational response to circumstances. Sometimes people are just bored, stupid, or malicious, regardless of how well they’ve been raised. As long as we’re wishing upon a star, sure, it would be nice to make single-parent homes, divorce, and abortion rare and generally unnecessary. But as the above paragraph starkly illustrates, there’s always a trade-off. As long as there’s any freedom to choose, some people will choose unwisely and suffer for it.