Flunking Sainthood

Flunking Sainthood


Sex & Young Adults: Thoughts from Guest Blogger Michael F. Duffy

posted by Jana Riess

0664233376.jpg

College and young adulthood: an exciting time, a confusing time. One of the most exciting and confusing aspects is sex. How far is too far? What is “moral” behavior — and how do we define what we mean by morality? Is sex just for marriage? Or is it OK if you “really love the person”?

Michael F. Duffy has written a helpful and useful guide to sexual decisionmaking for young singles, primarily aimed at people in their 20s and 30s. Here’s his short take on his new book, Making Sense of Sex.– JKR

“Making Moral Sense of Sex”
by Michael F. Duffy

  • Emily receives an erotic text message. It’s an invitation to have sex with . . . well, with someone she sometimes has sex with. She enjoys, for now, these times of sexual pleasure without emotional involvement.
  • Mark says “I love you” and his girlfriend of two years says it back to him. He reminds her of the first time they had sex, a year ago, and she teases him about their upcoming weekend together.
  • Rob walks Carrie home the morning after a great party. They met, danced, went to his apartment and had sex. They may not see each other again, but they both enjoyed their encounter.
  • Josh receives a call from his fiancée, Katie. They have been waiting until they are married to have sex, and they talk about their mutual eagerness for their upcoming wedding night.

A booty call, a relationship of love and trust, a hook-up, a marriage: any given young adult might well see one of these contexts for having sex as the most appropriate one for her or his life at this moment. The contexts that grab headlines, of course, are those that appear to be the most casual, but these don’t even begin to capture the variety of points of view on appropriate sexual behavior. And, of course, many, perhaps most, young adults will change their mind more than once on this often confusing issue.

I teach a course on sexual ethics at Hanover College in Indiana. I also teach a section on sexual ethics in my introductory Theology and Ethics courses. Since all of my courses are purely discussion courses, I typically discuss issues of sex rather intensively with a hundred or so students each year, and these discussions often continue years into the future. In Making Sense of Sex, I have tried to pull together twenty years of discussions with college students and others in their twenties and thirties about the moral issues surrounding sexual activity, analyze these issues so they can be seen as clearly as possible, and then pose to the reader questions about how she or he will live.

Given the right setting–one of respect and trust and confidentiality–I have found most young, single people to be eager to discuss sexuality and to make good and healthy decisions for themselves and for others. They want to think and talk about issues such as the impact of sex on later relationships, the use of birth control, the pros and cons of viewing pornography, and the relevance of power to consent. As is true of most human beings, I think, they want to make better decisions tomorrow than they did yesterday. Making Sense of Sex is my small contribution to this process of understanding ourselves and committing ourselves to live the best sexual lives we can.



Advertisement
Comments read comments(2)
post a comment
Lisa

posted March 18, 2011 at 2:34 pm


Kudos to you both, Jana and Michael, for promoting and providing a safe place for young people to discuss sexuality and sex. I think it’s unfortunate that our society has such a hush-hush attitude about such an important subject.



report abuse
 

Nessa N

posted February 24, 2012 at 11:00 am


This sounds like an interesting book to read. I came across this trying to do a blog on young adults’ sexuality for my Publishing class.



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

Another blog to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Flunking Sainthood. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here is another blog you may also enjoy: Fellowship of Saints and Sinners Happy Reading!!!

posted 3:12:01pm Jul. 05, 2012 | read full post »

Thank You, Flunking Sainthood Readers!
OK, I admit it. I have a Google Alert on the title Flunking Sainthood, so that the search engine lets me know when there are new reviews or discussions about the book. In the last few weeks it has been exciting -- and humbling -- to see the many different kinds of people who are reading and talking

posted 12:41:10pm Jan. 25, 2012 | read full post »

NYC Conference on Mormonism & American Politics, February 3-4
"First Mitt won Iowa, then he lost Iowa? That's a classic Romney flip-flop." --Stephen Colbert     Working with the theory that there hasn't been nearly enough attention to Mormonism and politics this year, what with it being in the news every single day and all, Randy Balmer and I

posted 11:09:19am Jan. 23, 2012 | read full post »

Writing Retreat
Friends, I will be offline until January 23 for a writing retreat. I'm bringing my computer, but the place where I am going doesn't have email access

posted 8:47:20pm Jan. 14, 2012 | read full post »

Fun with the Book of Lamentations
Actually, no. That title was just a teaser. There really aren't any fun moments in the Book of

posted 11:33:13am Jan. 13, 2012 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.