The price of sexual freedom

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The Independent Online
From Dr Patrick Dixon

Sir: Your editorial (8 March) on my book The Rising Price of Love misquotes me. The contribution of Aids care to the estimated annual cost of the sexual revolution is not £710m as stated, but a mere £200m of the £9bn total - but £9bn is enough to run 10,000 primary schools a year or a quarter of the health service. We can argue over figures, but the breakdown of stable relationships has been traumatic for many adults and children. "Sexual freedom" also has an obvious price tag, which is rising.

You conveniently ignored most of the book. The greatest human costs are personal and can never be measured: chronic ill health, the loss of one's own life, infertility, emotional distress to adults and a broken generation of children to name but a few. Something has to change and the pressure for a new sexual revolution is growing.

There is no evidence that sexual freedom has made our nation more content and fulfilled than a generation ago - indeed the reverse. The agony columns are a daily display of sexual frustration and heartache. Yet romanticism is still very much alive, the unshakeable belief that long term happiness is possible, based on the daily experience of many for whom this is true.

The values of the Sixties, Seventies, Eighties and Nineties now look old and tired, and are likely to be discarded by a 21st century generation, who have counted the cost and want to be part of a different kind of world where relationships are worth far more than money, possessions or sexual adventure.

Yours sincerely,


London, W5