Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Links of Note, Only Some of Which Are About Sex

I decided to go with that post title after the initial title, "Sex," shocked the unsuspecting undergrad sitting next to me in a computer lab on campus. Oops?

But on the topic of sex, or rather - sexuality, Feminist Mormon Housewives had a great post about how LDS teenage women are taught about sexuality. This post outlines some of the problems in the way these women are currently taught about sexuality and suggests ways to improve their education. The author goes to great lengths to avoid suggesting any changes that would mess with doctrine. While I don't agree with all her suggestions, there is something brilliant (and heart-breaking) in her plea that young women leaders no longer compare women who have had sex to damaged objects. Flowers with their petals torn off? Chewed gum? A board filled with nails? Pretty disgusting. It should go without saying that those object lessons are bad ideas.

One point really stood out to me in that post: it's not only emotionally scarring to a young girl to be told that rape survivors have lost their virtue - it's also doctrinally inaccurate in the LDS church and all of Christianity. But reading that post reminded me of a couple delightful posts from I Blame the Patriarchy, where we learned that insects who don't mate must be female, and  that starving female preying mantises until they killed their mates was once considered good science.

On another note (and the true reason I changed the title from "Sex" to something more inclusive), Womanist Musings has a great post up about Tyler Perry and the way black women are portrayed in television and film. The post doesn't exactly love Perry, but it points out ways in which what he's doing is incredibly progressive compared to BET and the white-infused world that is every other TV channel.


  1. I plan to talk to my future children as clearly, frankly, and early as possible (when they can begin to understand some basic things anyways, and move on from there). I would think that from an LDS standpoint, the best way to go about it is not to make it seem like some dreaded, awful, secretive thing, but rather be optimistic in how one talks about intimacy within marriage. I loved Elder Holland's talk "Of Souls, Symbols, and Sacraments" where he talks about the symbolic, sacramental, and unifying aspect of sexual intimacy within marriage. I feel it would be best, at least in my case and when the time comes, to emphasize how it can be something wonderful within the right boundaries of a committed relationship and how such a relationship makes a difference.

    I don't doubt that it will still be a little awkward, but perhaps due to my upbringing, I've never really been too shy about the subject. Though there is a need for sensitivity.

  2. Also:
    Wouldn't it be better, instead of trying to avoid or chastise oneself for having a sexual thought, to try to put a positive spin or outlook on it if singing hymns or trying to focus on other things doesn't work at first?

    A scenario. Say I'm a pubertal 13 year old deacon who happens to see a very attractive girl walk by and all of a sudden I've got these strange but rather natural urges that are accompanied by fantasies of a sexual nature. Would it be better for me to beat myself up about it, think, 'oh gosh, I really need to think about something else and repent, but what to think about!' [though of course you already thought about it so you can't change that]...
    Or would it be better to think, 'you know, the time will come when I can be in a committed relationship with someone I truly love and adore and I will be able to express my love and appreciation for my spouse in such an intimate way as well as have the opportunity to bring children of our own into this world'.

    Now granted, I'm not saying that every 13 year old is going to have such a train of thought, but I think trying to make something positive out of it, and teaching that, couldn't hurt. Any thoughts?