Tuesday, April 10, 2007

What the New York Times Can Teach You About Sex Today

I spoke this morning at the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University at the first conference of the University Consortium for Sexuality and Research Training. I reviewed the research about how religion affects sexual attitudes and behaviors as well as the importance of sexuality researchers to reach out to faith communities. I was warmly received, although I seem to be the only presenter who didn't have a power point.

I told the conference that sexuality researchers can play a vital role in providing information to clergy, congregations, and denominations as they address sexuality issues. I also talked about attacks on sexuality research by the Religious Right (most of the senior researchers in the room had been on a list by the Traditional Values Coalition for defunding), as well as the Religious Right's distortion of sexuality research findings to support their conclusions. I also told them that itt is critical that research about sexuality be translated for both the public and policy makers.

Today's New York Times does just that. The Health Section of today's NY Times focuses on sexual desire, sexuality and aging, and sexual pleasure. It's all online and I think you will enjoy reading it.

The A section of the paper also includes a feature on the situation I've blogged about before at the church in San Diego which is trying to develop a policy for dealing with sex offenders AFTER a person with this history has come to the congregation. I'm quoted fairly extensively in the article, and was able to make the point that congregations need policies BEFORE a crisis. Unfortunately, my book for congregations, "A Time to Heal", isn't mentioned, but I hope you will get a copy to help your congregation avoid front page New York Times stories. Nevertheless, it's the first national print article I know of about this issue, and I am happy to have been included.


Isaac said...

Hey Debra -- thanks for pointing the NYTimes section out. I'm gonna blog about it later today.

Would you happen to have that list of the Traditional Values coalition's targets for defunding? Would be interesting to analyze more in depth. I checked out their website, and it seems to be tucked away somewhere out of the public view...


Anonymous said...

Three cheers for the powerpointless presentation!!

Lester said...

I have and continue to experience efforts by UU Churches to include me - a registered SO - in their congregation. The UUA has policies and contracts -- well intentioned -- but, in my opinion unsuccessful. A person - whoever - when they join a group - a tribe - want to be a contributing member of that tribe. They want not merely to be accepted and catered for,..."You can come if..." but also to give to the group. To be a "free-rider" and not to be able to serve( e.g., the grounds or the pledge committee) deprives one from re-establishing a feeling of self-worth and creating self-esteem which are so necessary for a successful recovery. Until a policy can be developed which meets not only the Church's needs for safety but also the ex-offender's needs - which go beyond merely be allowed to attend services with an "escort" I think the Church is cloaking itself in a mantel of undeserved self-righteousness.