Monday, May 31, 2010

More on the church and human sexuality...and Lionel Tiger

We can’t just assume that any effort by religious people to intervene in private sexuality is one of those bad things that we’re now rid of, without acknowledging the complexity of the reproductive urge and its relationship to the future and to social probity, and to taking care of kids. (Lionel Tiger, in an answer to McLean's interview, March 2010)
Tiger's view, then, is more complicated than mere dismissal of any intervention by the church, or by society, in such complex matters.
Sexuality, choosing a partner, the forces unleased by this drive in our natures...these are powerful forces, and humans generally have welcomed some intervention in their thinking, acting and deciding about how to participate in these issues.
However, this writer, still holds the view that the church has gone much too far, beyond a healthy human attitude, ethic and practice, and as a result, has generated much more "sin", shame, worthlessness, loss of confidence, alienation and ostracism, even imprisonment and suicide and murder, than a level that could be considered ethical, just and theologically integrous, as direct and indirect consequence of their ascribing "radioactivity" to human sexuality. The church originally seized upon such a position, partly in an attempt to gain control of its parishoners. And just how unethical is that, in the eyes of God?
So much of the public interpretation of "sexual abuse" comes from the perspective:
that "males want only one thing",
that male testosterone (excessive) is at the root of the problem
that females are the victims in all cases of sexual abuse, including legitimately, rape, incest and the cultural expectation in some antedeluvian societies that women MUST comply with the wishes of the male partner
that males want intercourse exclusively while females want relationship, and holding and nurture and being listened to and not necessarily sexual intercourse, and the stereotypes here are no more accurate than most stereotypes...only a portion of the reality of the situation;
that females are brought up to "please" the man and males are raised, on the other hand, in the absolute "rule" that the woman is the one making the final decision about sexual relations. (Sociopaths need not and are not part of our consideration here. They require special intervention.)
These myths require more detailed parsing and only through intense research will that parsing take place.

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