Why So Much Sexual Harassment and Assault?

Once the Harvey Weinstein story took off concerning sexual harassment and assault, accusations began flying at every turn. Beyond Mr. Weinstein, additional accusations have poured out in the entertainment industry, some even against big name stars. But we are seeing effects not just in the entertainment business; we see it in sports, politics, the financial sector, big business, and just about everywhere else we turn. So, what is going on?

Why So Much Sexual Harassment and Assault?Of course, American society was founded upon a Christian worldview that affirms that sexual harassment and assault are wrong. That notion is based on the biblical teaching concerning the dignity of man. In previous times, pretty much everyone acknowledged this truth – to the extent that it has been universally enshrined in our legal system as a crime. This does not mean, of course, that there are not cases where people look the other way or refuse to enforce the laws, but at the very least there has been a consensus that it is wrong.

Zoom forward to our current day. Popular culture is no longer dominated by Christian worldview beliefs. Naturalism now has that distinction. Naturalism is the belief that the natural universe is all that exists, and that there is no God. As such, God is no longer looked to as the source of moral beliefs, and no one exists to define morality but human beings. Beyond that, since man is necessarily nothing more than a naturally evolved biological animal, it is natural and normal that we act like animals. Sexual activity in general is, thus, seen to be natural and normal, with no particular moral restraints imposed upon it.

So, what does this naturalistic worldview thinking lead to? It leads to a belief that morality is defined by human beings based either upon personal preference or power. There is no other possibility.

On the side of the sexual harasser, this leads to a mentality that “it is okay as long as I can get away with it.” In Naturalism there is no objective moral code, so individuals can make their own morality.

On the side to the one being harassed we see attempts to stop it. Obviously, no one wants to be sexually harassed or assaulted. However, personal preference can only go so far in mitigating that kind of behavior. To actually stop it, the person who might potentially be attacked must gain enough power to stop the attacker. What we see happening now is exactly that dynamic.

Of course, Christians have always rejected this kind of behavior because of our understanding that God considered it sin. That belief restrains this kind of behavior for Christians. But based on a naturalistic point of view, sin does not exist. What this means is that now the restraining factor must be some external force. In the past, those who were the victims of sexual harassment might not have considered themselves to have the power to stop it. Now however, those who have been powerless in the past have managed to gain enough power in society to fight back. They have gained it by getting into more powerful positions and by changing the narrative concerning the topic of victimhood in society. So the remedy now being pushed is not about moral beliefs, but about power.
Of course, stopping this kind of behavior is a good thing no matter the reason for it. That said, when morality is defined by relativistic thinking, as it is in the case of Naturalism, there is nothing to stop it from coming back just as soon as the power pendulum swings back. The only permanent solution is a change of heart as people come to know a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. 




Freddy Davis is the president of MarketFaith Ministries. He is the author of numerous books and has a background as an international missionary, pastor, radio host, worldview trainer, and entrepreneur. Freddy is a graduate of Florida State University with a BS in Communication, and holds MDiv and DMin degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a popular speaker, particularly on the topic of worldview and its practical implications for the Christian life. He lives in Tallahassee, FL, with his wife Deborah. 

You may also contact Freddy at Leadership Speakers Bureau to schedule him for speaking or leadership engagements.

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