a bird and a bottle


Adolescent Sexuality Gets Blessed
February 16, 2007, 6:36 am
Filed under: feminism/s & gender, news, reproductive justice

Rev. Debra Haffner is at it again – helping give voice to the religious left. She is a signatory on the recently released letter (pdf). Other signatories include leaders of many Christian faiths and from Judaism (unfortunately, no Muslim leaders as far as I can tell). Though there are some statements in the letter with which I take issue (such as a strongly worded sentence stating unequivocally teenagers should not be having intercourse). But on the whole it’s pretty damn good.

Religious institutions must therefore be committed to helping young people develop their
capacity for moral discernment and a freely-informed conscience for responsible sexual
decision-making. The faith community can be a place where young people receive support and
guidance in how to discern their readiness for mature relationships.
Faith communities must recognize, however, that many adolescents will become involved
in sexual relationships during their teenage years. Adolescent intimate relationships, like those
of adults, should be based on shared personal values, and should be consensual, nonexploitative
and non-coercive, honest, mutually pleasurable, and protected against unintended
pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. All persons, including adolescents, have the right
and responsibility to lead lives that express love, justice, mutuality, commitment, consent, and
pleasure.

It’s a relief to hear a religious to voice to which I can really say “Amen!”

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2 Comments so far
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considering many biblical matriarchs and patriarchs were sexually active in their teens (that is, they were married off almost as soon as their hormones kicked in), this recognition seems long overdue.
then again, the judeo-christian tradition has rarely been a model for healthy sexuality. (do you know the one about the priest, the rabbi and the…?)

Comment by professorplum

Amen!

Comment by Denise




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