The ultimate solution to the sex problem in America must be a religious and ethical one, Professor Joseph Fletcher of the Episcopal Theological School told the most crowded Law School Forum of the term last night at Rindge Tech.
Fletcher was one of three speakers on a panel devoted to the topic of "Sex Standards in America." His colleagues in the discussion were cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead and psychiatrist Gregory Zilboorg. The meeting was moderated by Professor Kirtley Mather.
Fletcher, who was the last speaker, said that the elimination of fear as a restraint in sexual promiscuity mainly through modern methods of contraception and venereal disease control makes necessary the substitution of personal devotion and intuitive morality as more positive motives against a spread of illegal sex relations.
Social Conscience Needed
"Fear is a discarded crutch, and social conscience must take its place," he said, adding that "in the final analysis, character determines sexual behavior."
Earlier in the evening, Miss Mead had discussed sex standards from a cultural viewpoint, with especial emphasis on the family arrangement. She said that in this country "we still have a basically puritanic attitude to sex, using it as an end to marriage, but never for its own sake."
She went on to point out that the modern American marriage, which has in recent years become "dangerously terminable," places an enormous burden in the proper use of sex to make it enduring.
The audience filled the Rindge Tech Auditorium. As usual, part of the program was recorded for a re-broadcast over station WHDH Sunday night.