When I first visited the USA in 1980 I was shocked to discover I’d arrived in Victorian England circa 1870, only with shinier toys. When I moved to California permanently in 1991 I was saddened to discover my original assessment still pertained. As the perpetual outlier to social trends in the OECD (highest healthcare spend but outcomes near the bottom, worst outcomes for primary & secondary education, highest rate of gun violence, etc.) the USA retains its outlier status when it comes to typical moeurs. This is because the USA is also the most religious of the OECD nations and religiosity is strongly correlated with sexual repression and other deeply dysfunctional attitudes. Over a long period of time attenuation is possible — the USA is, after all, less of a sex-fearful culture than it was in the 1950s — but change happens exceedingly slowly.

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Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

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