According to a recent report issued by the State Department, the United States has been ranked as one of the worst countries in the world for human trafficking. In an interview with Fox News, the United States Institute Against Human Trafficking (USIAHT) co-founder Geoff Rogers said that “a multitude of kids” are being sold as sex slaves today in America, and that these children are American-born, with 50 percent to 60 percent of them coming from the foster care industry.

“The United States is the number one consumer of sex worldwide,” Rogers said. “So we are driving the demand as a society.”

In a recent opinion piece for Fox News, writer Carol Roth chided the magazine Teen Vogue for surreptitiously endorsing prostitution as a career choice for young women. Earlier this month, the Christian Post featured an article about a mother in Washington state who was physically removed by police from a public library that was hosting a “Teen Pride” event. The woman reported that she witnessed what amounted to hours of child “grooming,” with free exhibitor items that included condoms, sex lubricant and bookmarks shaped like penises that carried lewd messages.

In recent months, we’ve been treated to a proliferation of news stories addressing the phenomenon of so-called transgender children and “drag kids,” as well as an increase in the incidence of individuals being prosecuted for crimes related to pedophilia and for the possession of child pornography.

Some may recall the recent heartbreaking news story about a Noa Pothoven, the 17-year-old girl in the Netherlands who opted for suicide earlier this month after years of mental anguish following repeated rapes as a child. At around the same time, a very telling article surfaced featuring a former Children of God cult member who didn’t believe that the late actor River Phoenix’s childhood with the sex cult was to blame for his death.

Phoenix died of a drug overdose at the age of 23, and he readily admitted that he was around 4 years old when he first had sex while in the cult. Might his use of the extremely dangerous drug cocktail that killed him have had something to do with emotional scarring?

The former cult member said in the article that “[I]t would be a causal fallacy with not enough information to infer that a few formative years were damaging enough to cause a drug overdose as a young adult.”

I beg to differ.

Over the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to do extensive research on an unrelated project pertaining to unresolved trauma, particularly in children. After consulting with quite a few mental health professionals and researchers, I was horrified to learn that seriously traumatizing a child is a remarkably easy thing to do. For a young child, something as seemingly innocuous as a cross word from a teacher having a bad day or a health-care provider with a poor bedside manner can result in years of neurosis. More systematized trauma – such as that associated with having a drug addicted or alcoholic parent – can lead to crippling mental and emotional conditions that often lead to profoundly tragic outcomes.

Leaving aside religious arguments and standards of morality, the central problem here concerning our collective moral deportment is that we as a nation have bought into the fallacious premise that morality in general and sexual morality are not only matters of choice, but that this choice is a personal liberty with which no one has the right to interfere.

Here, I would use the emerging controversy over vaccinations as an object lesson. While I fully comprehend the misgivings harbored by those who have become suspicious as regards vaccination programs, the fact is that compulsory vaccination programs came about as a result of public-health concerns. In the effort to maintain a population free of life-threatening communicable diseases, one cannot have a segment of that population refusing to take available precautions to prevent such diseases.

Similarly, we as a nation can no longer afford to abide significant numbers of individuals engaging in behaviors that pose a public-health threat.

In my column of May 29 in this space, I outlined the methods the political left employed to break down sexual mores and to sexualize children during the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s. These are still very much in play, and the game has escalated.

The permissiveness and moral ambiguity that has taken hold in America since the Sexual Revolution now amounts to a major public-health concern, even if it is not recognized as such. This is not only because sexual libertinism can give rise to sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies (although this is certainly true), but because it strikes at the heart of families. In so doing, it has manifested mental and emotional dysfunction on a dizzying scale.

A recent study claimed that diagnoses of major depression have risen by 33 percent since 2013 alone. This rate is rising even more rapidly among millennials and younger people. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the suicide rate for white children and teens between 10 and 17 was up 70 percent between 2006 and 2016. While nonwhite children and teens tend to kill themselves less often than white youth, the rate of increase among them was even higher, at 77 percent. Finally, the epidemic of illicit drug use we have seen over the last 50 years can reasonably be factored into this picture as an effect of the overall societal malaise.

Numbers like these reflect a decline in social cohesiveness in this country, and this can be most closely observed in families, which have been the primary and intended target of the political left since the middle of the last century. There can be little doubt that a divorce rate that skyrocketed to 50 percent in the decades following 1970 contributed to the dysfunction in children who were raised in broken homes.

I don’t expect too much buy-in to these concepts just yet, because if science’s understanding of the human brain and mind is in its infancy, its understanding of unresolved trauma and its effects is in its embryonic stage. As such, and because aspects of this phenomenon are part of a politically driven program of social engineering, the average citizen is simply not aware of the ramifications.

We can only surmise that, as with other deviant practices the political left has sought to legitimize and protect, the ostensible choice of children to engage in sex with adults is going to be framed as a right that should not be interfered with and that, ironically, opposing same will make child-hating bigots out of those in opposition.

In my view, it is time to rally to the defense of our children, the toxic invective of leftists be damned. As I write this, there are already public policy organizations claiming that adult/child sex is not harmful to children and pushing for the “normalization” of pedophilia.

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