Ever since rumors about Monica Lewinsky first swept across Washington, polls have revealed a curious fact: most Americans don't care whether President Clinton had an affair. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, is adultery still considered immoral, or is it just part of the fabric of American Life?
Historian Elaine Tyler May of the University of Minnesota tells Jim Fleming that a very high percentage of Americans believe adultery is wrong, but that half of us know someone who's done it. Also, Catherine Texier was born in France but married an American and had two children. The marriage ended when she discovered he'd been having an affair. Texier tells Judith Strasser that the French attitude toward infidelity is more realistic than the American. Texier has written a memoir called "Breakup."SEGMENT 2:
Literary scholar Catherine Wallace is the author of "For Fidelity: How Intimacy and Commitment Enrich Our Lives." She tells Steve Paulson why she thinks adultery is always wrong, and why sex outside of a long-term, commited relationship demeans the participants. Also, Deborah Blum, a journalism professor at the University of Wisconsin and author of "Sex on the Brain," tells Jim Fleming that monogamy is extremely rare in nature, and that in the animal kingdom, monogamy does not mean fidelity. Prairie voles, she says, will only sit with their partners, but they'll sleep with anybody.SEGMENT 3:
James Sears is a professor of curriculum studies and higher education at the University of South Carolina. He tells Steve Paulson that limiting sex education to health courses or gym class is a big mistake. He thinks sexuality education ought to be woven throughout the curriculum -- in history, literature and art classes.Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 98-08-23-A.
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