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‘How Far Is Too Far?’: Sexuality and Sexual Violence on Christian Campuses [Sojo.net]

8 Jul

‘How Far Is Too Far?:’ Sexuality and Sexual Violence on Christian Campuses [Sojo.net]

Kris here. A friend of mine who’s done climate blogging for Think Progress and worked at the Center for American Progress currently writes and edits for Sojourners, “a national Christian organization committed to faith in action for social justice.” Of late she’s been working on a thoughtful and thorough series on sexual violence in Christian communities, and the responses thereto from leaders in those communities. Her latest piece focuses on Christian college campuses. Click through above for the full story (and to check out the rest of her work). Here’s an excerpt:

Confusion about personal boundaries arises in part from confusion among Christian young adults about sex. And for more sexually conservative campuses, the inclination to relegate sexual violence under a broader taboo on sexuality can leave students ill-equipped, naive, or downright misinformed about healthy sexual interaction.

And while a positive ethic of holistic purity does not itself equate to silence and blame, the rigidly simplified yet obtuse connotations that the term “purity” too often compounds the issue.

Davelaar pointed to one such brand of “purity culture” — one “that tells women they are ‘damaged goods’ for having sex” but “tells men they ‘made a mistake, and just do better next time’” — as a main culprit in distorted notions of sexual health and identity among Christian young adults.

“Most students who wear purity rings have sex,” she said. “But they still wear them. It’s hard to ‘fess up’ even to each other that they’re having sex. If they can’t talk about that, they definitely can’t talk about sexual violence.”

Danielson agreed.

“Thoughtful sexuality is hard. I see students saying, ‘we want to have sex honorably and we don’t know what that looks like,’” she said.

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