"Sexuality isn't complex. God made man and woman to be united as one. Sin makes sex complex."

This statement was directed toward me on the forum for "A Christian and An Atheist" Podcast. The author was a rather hard-nosed Christian, a characterization he would probably embrace. Here is a reprint of my refutation:

Interesting. Apparently you haven't examined the topic very thoroughly. Allow me a moment to briefly expound on the complexity of sexuality:

First there is gender:
  1. Gender defined by our external genitalia
  2. Gender defined by our internal genitalia (internal & external can be different.)
  3. Chromosomal gender
  4. Psychological gender identity (not necessarily in sync with any of the above)
  5. Medically assigned gender (often performed on hermaphroditic infants and on adult transsexuals)


Then there are gender roles, which are dictated culturally. These can be rigidly enforced (e.g., Pakistani honor killings) or more flexible (e.g., raising an eyebrow at a female welder).


Then there is sexual orientation
  1. Opposite sex attractions
  2. Same sex attractions
  3. Bisexual attractions


Then there is sexual behavior
  1. Partner acquisition/dating/mating behavior
  2. Sexual practices
    • Masturbation
    • Petting
    • Oral-oral stimulation
    • Oral-genital stimulation
    • Anal stimulation
    • External genital stimulation
    • Internal genital stimulation
    • Coitus
    • Any variety of technological practices (e.g., toys, phone sex, Internet enhancements, etc.)
  3. Sexual frequency
  4. Number of partners/frequency of changing partners
  5. Monogamy/non-monogamy
  6. Kinks of limitless variety (most legal and ethical, some neither legal nor ethical)


Then there is the cultural presentation of sexuality through media (print, music, movies, theater) and cultural events (e.g., proms, weddings, etc.)


Then there are attitudes about all of these things
  • Individual attitude
  • Family attitude
  • Cultural attitude (both within the larger culture and within individual subcultures; e.g., a reproductive bias regarding sexuality)
  • Legal attitude (e.g., abortion)
  • Religious attitude


I have only scratched the surface. Sexuality is indeed one of the most complex elements of human functioning. It involves biology, psychology, sociology, communication, power, economics, secrecy, openness, law, politics, and religion. Is it any wonder that most of the radio airwaves are taken up by songs about sexuality, that sexuality has defined the religious debates in the US more than any other topic, or that we are so enamored with sexual scandal?

Views: 222

Tags: Christianity, Freethought, Sex-ed

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Comment by HotMess on May 24, 2009 at 1:36am
Sin makes sex a lot more fun, though ...

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