The consequences of sexual repression
I said repeatedly that simply saying you don't believe in a god is not all their is to atheism, and that you must reevaluate your perspective on everything else that was influenced by religion throughout history. Sexuality is one of them.
Oddly in the United States, there are differing legal ages for marriage and differing legal ages where a person is considered mature enough for consensual sexual activity. Not many people know much about those laws, nor do many of them follow those laws.
Unfortunately, too many humans are driven by the instinct to engage in sexual activity for pleasure alone, ignoring the long-term consequences of their actions. Typically this occurs in young people who do not understand the price of immediate gratification without planning: sexually transmitted infections (STI), pregnancy, financial and social costs of raising a child for sixteen to twenty years.
Young people are deliberately kept ignorant of this information, but why? What is it that compels parents to be so embarrassed about discussing this topic with their children? The law? The dread of realizing their children are growing up and they can no longer live vicariously through their innocent children? I don't have children myself so I don't know, but I do know that our planet is vastly overpopulated.
Why is there resistance against reproductive education? Religious organizations want this because empathy for starving unwanted children fuels their stream of income from donations. Free-Market Capitalists want this because overpopulation, especially lacking skills, keeps the cost of labor down. Government social services, law enforcement agencies as well as their private contractors want this for profitable prison labor and job security. Not to mention the health care industry, pharmaceutical industry, wedding planning industry, toy industry, etc. Basically, the term "economic growth" has nothing to do with economic sustainability, but simply an increase in the number of consumers as rapidly as possible.
This rapid increase in consumers is fueled by ignorance plus sexually explicit or implicit mass media that venerates having as many children as possible without showing the true consequences. All those romance movies and children's stories about princesses and their knights in shining armor. Then it becomes "nights in white satin" followed by trips to the Food Bank for about a decade.
Sexuality apart from gender-role distinctions and reproduction
Bonobo Chimpanzees have distinguished themselves from other primates as their sexuality appears to serve a more prominent social role, such as resolving disputes, strengthening social bonds among other things. The Evolution Library at PBS.org has more info on the Bonobos. Wikipedia has an extensive entry on animal sexual behavior research which continues to raise questions about what is considered appropriate in nature.
The arbitrary lines between heterosexuality and homosexuality are fading rapidly with each new generation. There may come a time when sexual preferences between males and females becomes a non-issue, and related derogatory terms fade from our lexicon.
What remains are the health risks of promiscuity in the denial of proper education and protection through contraception. Businesses and religious groups are fighting the portion of the law that mandates birth control and contraception be provided under health plans.
Disinformation and distorted thinking
The drive to maintain the status quo is characterized by lobbyists in federal, state and local governments pressing their agenda to strike down health care reform that provides birth control, yet supports insurance coverage for Viagra; the pressure to remove explicit books from the public and school libraries while allowing similarly harmful but implicit materials; making unsubstantiated and ill-informed claims in the main-stream media that attempt to relate homosexuality with bestiality; educating children toward roles of dominance, submissiveness, other forms of social stratification and hierarchy and dependency with an emphasis on gender, race and socioeconomic background.
You can thank those that gladly claim credit for creating our "civilization."