Sexual relationships before marriage, cohabitation, and non-heterosexual relationships are harmful, according to a new initiative funded by the Hungarian government.
The Hungarian Society for the Science of the Family (Magyar Családtudományi Társaság) was founded on Febr. 24. Among its members are a Member of Parliament from the governing Fidesz party and the president of the Alfa Alliance, a radical Hungarian pro-life group. The scientific society receives funding from the Hungarian Ministry of National Resources and is sponsored by at least four members of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The meeting of the society was hosted by the National Institute for Family and Social Policy, a research center operated by the Hungarian government.
“Still too many harmful and untrue views are held on the themes of sexuality, sexual relations, marriage and the family in practically the entire society, and to change this would be worthwhile,” states the draft mission statement of the group. “What is at issue is not value pluralism, but the confusion between right and wrong, valuable and harmful, moral and immoral, humane and inhumane, liberty and lies.”
The goals of the organization’s predecessor, the Science for the Family Association (Tudomány a Családért Egyesület), were to “research in a wide-ranging fashion the themes of family, marriage and sexuality; to designate correct lines of conduct in these themes; to explore harmful processes; to develop and strengthen plans for the optimal reduction in harmful phenomena and for the optimal increase in beneficial processes; and to disseminate these results.” The new format of the scientific society will allow for expansions in this activity.
The Hungarian Society for the Science of the Family would undertake scientific work along explicit principles. “A healthy family, as defined in the moral sense, is a love community based on the marriage of a man and a woman, the members of which are the wife, the husband and any children they have, including adopted or step-children,” states the society’s funding document. As it goes on to point out, ethical, sociological, psychological and health reasons prompt one to suggest marriage instead of cohabitation and premarital sex. The same text also states that personhood begins at the time of conception.
The society’s founding statement contains digs at the media as well, urging changes in their approach to sexuality. The media’s representation of human beings is “scandalously primitive, deceitful, harmful and anti-culture,” states the document. “Instead of preparing for a productive course of life, with its recommended psychical and psychological health, and for responsible romantic relationships and future marriage, they encourage one-night stands and single, mixed single, bisexual and polygamous lifestyles. In the meantime, they present faithfulness and marriage as outdated, unhealthy and at times even laughable. Aspirations to one exclusive sexual partner does not even appear on their programs. They do this with impunity in the Europe of the 21st century, and therefore in our home country as well.”
The new civic organization has developed plans to train public school teachers to teach courses on family values. Mandated by the new national curriculum, which was made public just recently, in early February, school teachers will have to incorporate ten new educational goals into their teaching, such as morality, national consciousness and patriotism as well as physical and psychological well-being. Among these new areas are classes covering family life and family values.
As the new Hungarian national curriculum, developed by Hungary’s conservative government indicates, “the family plays an outstanding role in formulating the moral sensibilities, the self-knowledge, the physical and psychological health and the communal being of children and youth. For this reason, there is a societal expectation for educational-scientific institutions to play an amplified role in the raising of children and in conveying moral standards and harmonious family models.”
When fulfilling these societal expectations, any educational activity in the nations classrooms must be in accordance with the Hungarian constitution, points out the national curriculum. The new Hungarian constitution that had come into effect on January 1, 2012 prescribes protection for the foetus, defines marriage as a union between man and woman, states that the family is the basis of the nation’s survival and encourages the commitment to have children.