Monday, January 07, 2008

Sex Information at Church

I preached yesterday at Judson Memorial Church on Washington Square Park in New York City.

Judson has a long distinguished history on advocating for sexual justice. In the 1960's, their minister, Rev. Moody, set up the clergy consultation service to help women seeking abortions before they were legal. Over 1100 clergy participated before the Roe decision. In the 70's, Judson became known for its advocacy and welcome for LGT persons, and in the 80's, it was a major source of comfort and service for people with AIDS and their friends and families.

My message about sexual morality, justice, and healing was warmly received. Their senior minister, Rev. Donna Schaper said to me, "The Religious Institute represents the institutionalization of what we've been trying to do at Judson for a long time."

During the coffee hour, in addition to the usual type of questions, two people approached me with very personal questions about their own sexual functioning. I'm always struck when that happens because it reminds me how few sources there are for adult sexuality education -- and how I must be one of the only ministers anywhere who gets asked questions about orgasm, erectile dysfunction, and so on in the foyer!

I always recommend that people seek consultation with a good urologist or gynecologist. For a certified sex therapist near you, check out http://www.aasect.org/ which has a state directory on the site.

The Internet is home to some great sex education sites. For teens, I like http://www.sexetc.org/ . For young adults, check out http://www.goaskalice.columbia.edu/ For adults, I like http://www.sexualhealth.com/

Let me know what other sites you think are good for sexuality information. (Note please "information"...I'm guessing you can find erotica on your own.)

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I checked out sexetc.com to see if it would be appropriate for my 14 year-old. I am open minded but I think this is ridiculous. What did that site have to do with useful information about interesting issues regarding sexuality for a teenager?

Debra W. Haffner said...

THANK YOU ANONYMOUS FOR PICKING IT UP THIS QUICKLY. IVE CHANGED IT IN THE ORIGINAL SITE...I MEANT TO TYPE SEXETC.ORG

OF COURSE, THE .COM SITE IS NOT APPROPRIATE FOR TEENAGERS!

Steve Caldwell said...

Debra,

I would suggest using the adult or young adult Our Whole Lives curricula jointly developed by the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ.

It does cover many of the adult sexuality topics that you mention and it gets adults comfortable enough to start talking with themselves and others about these topics. It also helps them in finding resources in their community and online as well.

The sad thing here is the adult OWL program seems to be most underused portion of this lifespan program.

I suspect that many adults just don't see the need for age-appropriate comprehensive sexuality education for themselves. Apparently, sexuality education is something that only adolescents or children need.

Adult OWL also helps adults to see the connection between sexuality, their religious values, and their faith community as well.

Emily said...

The Marriage Bed (www.themarriagebed.com) and its discussion forums are great resources for Christians truly interested in married sexuality, and from member testimonials, has really had an impact on the sexual life of a number of married Christian couples. It is appropriate for adults that are engaged or married.