Do cultural norms overpower sexual attraction?

Sexual attraction is surely one of the strongest forces intrinsic to humans, but is it possible that the external force of cultural trends can suppress, or even eliminate it?

This is one of the tangents my year 12 class and I found ourselves on today during a discussion about themes of identity and family in a play we have recently seen.

We noted that, with the exception of a minority that feeds the pages of New Idea magazine, sexual attraction between consenting, adult family members, in Australia, is rare. We could be led to believe that this is because it is fundamentally immoral, but historically and cross-culturally this is not seen to be the case.

Marriage of first cousins is, in fact (and unbeknownst to me until today) legal in Australia, the UK and 19 states of America. It is however, highly stigmatized. My class and I noted that this cultural stigma is so powerful that if we were to meet and be attracted to someone, and later find out that they were actually our cousin, the attraction would immediately subside.

I found it interesting to read that the “practice of marrying your siblings is now archaic (not to mention extremely icky)” and I wondered where this ‘ickiness’ comes from.

Of course genetic concerns regarding procreation play a role in the social stigma, but I found it interesting to consider the idea that a person’s sexual attractions can be curbed or influenced by the trends of their culture.

 

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So… I wrote a book.

UntitledSome of you have been faithful followers of my blog for a couple of years now, and you may have noticed that my posts have become a bit less frequent over the last year.

It’s because I was writing a book.

It has been my absolute privilege to have co-authored the book PURE LOVE – Pursuing Purity in a Sex-Obsessed World with my senior pastor, Timon Bengtson.

We are so excited to be able to present the Christian community with this resource that takes an honest, biblical look at many aspects of our sexuality and that calls Christians to a radical standard of purity.

As a high school teacher I am so passionate about helping to inspire and equip the next generations to live out their calling to not only glorify God with their bodies, but also to be freed from the enslavement of sexual sin to discover the joy-filled life that God has for them.12071576_10153360242288143_1168645822_n

If you live in Australia and would like me to personally post you a (signed or unsigned) copy of the book, I can do so for AU$20.30.

If you live overseas and would like a copy, you can purchase it on Amazon or Book Depository or download it from Kindle.

Would love to hear from any of you who would like to read it or have already read it!

God bless you as you seek to exalt Him in all areas of your lives.

Love Sarah

How ‘gay’ is killing creativity

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A while back I was horrified when one of my female students yelled across the classroom to one of the boys, ‘You should be gay!’ The boy, somewhat taken aback, asked her why.

‘Because you’re into music stuff and choir and all that,’ was her response, and a part of me cried inside for the ignorance and judgmental nature of teenagers.

A big part of my grief was this: that our incessant need to label people and define them by their sexuality is killing creativity in boys. Things that were praised in bygone eras, acting, music, composing and self expression through writing and poetry, have become defining symbol’s of a man’s sexuality. So many talented boys, growing into men, are afraid to express themselves lest their sexuality be called into question.

It is a tragedy for the arts, and a tragedy for humanity.

We’re reading To Kill a Mockingbird in year 11 at the moment, and Scout’s comment is really resonating with me: ‘I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.’

We need to stop defining people by their sexuality, and even more, we need to stop using these labels as a derogatory way to cut people down.

As Australians, we’re not great at celebrating talent, but we need to change that. Let’s start with letting boys be creative, lest we kill the passion of our future Mozarts, Shakespeares and Da Vincis.

‘Never Been Kissed’ and making wise choices about sexuality.

Free-Vector-Graphic-Art-Kiss1Drew Barrymore’s film, ‘Never Been Kissed,’ came out in 1999, my first year of high school. That movie was one of the big hits amongst teenage girls that year.

I remember my girlfriends and I being enthralled by the love story, and even re-winding and re-playing the scene when the heroine finally gets kissed.

Years later, however, I was horrified when I watched it for the first time as an adult, and as a teacher.

The main plot line involves a reporter going undercover as a student in a high school and ending up with a crush on her English teacher. He clearly reciprocates and makes a poor effort at concealing his feelings for her, until the end when he finally finds out that she is, in fact, an adult.

Now, I am sickened by the way in which the young teacher was mesmerized by his student. It makes me wonder how I could watch it, so unfazed, as a teenager.

It reminds me of a statement I heard recently: ‘There are legal ages for sex for a reason.’ Adolescent brains aren’t developed enough to deal with many aspects of their sexuality.

As a teenager, I somehow missed the inappropriateness of the film’s central love affair. Something that probably should have bothered me seemed romantic. As an adult, it all looks quite different.

It is important that we, as adults, protect our teenagers from making poor choices, until they are old enough to choose wisely.

‘Mummy Porn’ and Thinking You’d Have Known the World was Round.

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Since Fifty Shades of Grey we have seen an explosion in the acceptance and embrace of what has become known as ‘mummy porn.’

Followers would like to see this as a feminist sexual revolution. I was reading an article in the SA Weekend Magazine, in which they interviewed Holly Hill, author of The Velvet Pouch, which has been labeled as daring, controversial and risqué.

Ms. Hill rejoices that “eBooks have provided three main things: anonymous purchase, closet-enabled reading – no one knows if you are looking at porn or algebra notes and eBooks also cost less. That means that people can afford more risky – and risqué- reading material.”

She’s hoping that her book will “help more women realize that the girl with the slutty clothes or the gorgeous sex worker or the flirtatious secretary isn’t the enemy, rather she is a celebration of our gender and part of our repressed selves.”

While I found these comments appalling and completely misguided as to what is actually healthy both for women and society, the real kicker was that she compared herself and her followers to those who believed that the world was round when everyone else was saying it was flat.

Seriously? Far too many people these days are claiming that their ‘revolution’ (which in reality is the equivalent of promoting that the world is triangular) is akin to the great awakening and discovery that the world was round.

Revolutions don’t always mean progression or discovery of truth. Just look at history.