One thing seems obvious: the root of contraception is not human nature, or nature in general. The most basic rule of Mother Nature, the most primal drive in all living things, the fundamental nature of every biological being, is procreation. Making allowance for occasional oddities and pathologies in individuals and small groups, any culture-wide trend away from procreation must be seen as a trend away from biological nature. It is for a good reason that those parts of the body are collectively called the reproductive system (duh!) - contraception just ain't natural.
But, might there be some natural process that, in the right circumstances, works against the general rules of nature? The periodic self-destructive behavior of lemmings comes to mind. These small rodents, apparently driven by population pressures, instinctively strike out on a search for fresh living space, always transversing any rivers and lakes that block their downhill course, until they perish in great numbers by drowning in the ocean. Well, that's only partially true, and partially mythical. In response to high population density, some lemmings do migrate, and may swim across bodies of water seeking new habitat. But mass suicide is not their game. Like other living things, lemmings generally try to keep on living. (Read more here.)
By way of rough analogy, we seem, consciously or subconsciously, to be driven by perceived population pressures, by the conviction (and fear) that our numbers are too great. Even if not entirely natural, there is a certain logic in what follows. If we humans have procreated too much for our own good and the good of our fragile earth, then contraception may be seen as a good thing, and abortion as a repugnant but necessary fall-back procedure, and homosexual activity as benign and perhaps even noble, since it dissipates sexual energy with no threat of adding to the crisis. Those who have moral reservations about such practices may nonetheless have a vague anxiety and uneasiness about human population growth, which tends to quell their opposition to the moral disarray.
The sixty-four dollar question, the question which demands to be openly addressed, is this: Are human population levels really out of whack? Are we really too many in number? Or is over-population merely a deeply entrenched myth, with no factual basis?
There may be another question as well. If human population is out of control, then who or what ought to be controlling it? Individual families? Governments? A world government? A population control agency? But, first things first. First, the sixty-four dollar question...
(To be continued.)