SEXUALITY, MORALITY, & DIGNITY

by Joyce Dowling

I was watching the movie "Kinsey" about the man who created the first scientific study on sexuality, and decided to check out some facts on the internet. I ran across a story that explained how we should not talk about sexuality because it creates an amoral society. The proof of this according to the article, which was from a well-known source, is the high divorce rate and the acceptance of sexual relationships other than one man and one woman in monogamous marriage. It says the solution is to stop talking about sex and to talk about love. I certainly do agree with this last bit - LET'S TALK ABOUT LOVE.

People feel loved when they are shown that they are cared about and have worth. Are people who are attracted to the same gender, who don't fit usual stereotypes, who look different from us, or who like to touch themselves also worthy of love? I'm not the only one who thinks that they are. And isn't it loving and caring to give them a vocabulary for their own body parts and functions so that they can communicate and ask questions about them? How loving is it to purposely withhold that information?

Teaching comprehensive sexuality at age-appropriate times throughout life is an act of caring. As a parent and educator, I know that children often younger than age 5 are curious about their body parts, want to know where babies come from, and how they and their families fit into the larger world around them. Educating with thoughtful, age-appropriate information is caring and loving. As we grow older, our bodies change and medical and other scientific discoveries are made, so there are many new things that can be learned. Comprehensive sex education does not have to include positions or pornography as some may claim, but useful information about our bodies, our health - both physical and psychological, and discussion of societal issues that impact this very important part of our natural being.

Supporting the wide variety of families and providing them with a caring network is my idea of "family values." That includes an honest education in sexuality to maintain our dignity throughout life.

More information about this kind of family values is available from Faith Development in Families and information about a lifelong, comprehensive sexuality curriculum can be found here.

Kinsey's books are "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male" (1948) & "Sexual Behavior in the Human Female" (1953). The Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, which promotes interdisciplinary research and scholarship in the fields of human sexuality, gender, and reproduction, was founded in his name by his students.

Kinsey, the movie from 2004, was written & directed by Bill Condon & starred Liam Neeson. I also found this piece of trivia interesting.: Cole Porter wrote the song "Too Darn Hot" for the Broadway musical "Kiss Me Kate," which premiered in 1948, the same year as the publication of Kinsey's book "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male". The song contains the lyrics "According to the Kinsey report / ev'ry average man you know / much prefers to play his favorite sport / when the temperature is low." The Ella Fitzgerald recording of this song is played on the soundtrack. When MGM produced its movie version, Kiss Me Kate (1953), the same year as the publication of Kinsey's "Sexual Behavior in the Human Female", the film's censors changed the lyrics to "According to the weather report...," a sign of how much more controversial Kinsey's work was after the second book than the first. - Check out the other trivia at IMDb.


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