Sex and the Soul: Juggling Sexuality, Spirituality, Romance, and Religion on America's College Campuses

Sex and the Soul: Juggling Sexuality, Spirituality, Romance, and Religion on America's College Campuses

Sex and the Soul: Juggling Sexuality, Spirituality, Romance, and Religion on America's College Campuses

Sex and the Soul: Juggling Sexuality, Spirituality, Romance, and Religion on America's College Campuses

Synopsis

Today's college students are fascinated by religion but they are also more sexually active than previous generations. How do these young people reconcile their spiritual longings with sexual freedom on campus?
Based on dozens of face-to-face interviews,Sex and the Soulexplores the sexual and spiritual lives of today's college students. Donna Freitas crisscrossed the country, visiting a range of America's colleges and universities--from public to private, Catholic to evangelical--to find out what students had to say about these highly personal subjects. Their stories will not only engage readers, but, in many cases, move them with the painful struggles these candid young women and men face. Indeed, the book uncovers aspects of college life that may unsettle some readers, especially parents. Many campuses, for instance, are dominated by the hook-up culture of casual sex. Moreover, a surprising number of students see little connection between sex and religion. Indeed, these observations hold true even at Catholic schools. Only at evangelical colleges is religion an important factor when deciding whether or not to engage in sex. But Freitas's research also reveals that, even at secular schools, students are not comfortable with the prevalence of casual sex, and that they do want religion to speak about what they should do and who they should try to be--not just what they should avoid doing.
Sex and the Soulwill offer readers the chance to hear college students speaking honestly about extremely sensitive topics, in a book that will be of great interest to students, parents, clergy, teachers, and anyone who wants to know what's happening on today's college campuses.

Excerpt

On my many visits to college campuses—both religious and nonsectarian schools, both public and private—I have spoken with hundreds of students about their religious lives and their sexual habits. Their stories have lodged in my heart and my mind, and I have long wished for some way to convey them to friends and colleagues. Donna Freitas has done the work for me, and I am enormously grateful. In Sex and the Soul, we meet dozens of college students, and listen to them describe their sexual experiences and their sometimes halting efforts to connect those experiences to their religious and spiritual commitments. We meet Emily Holland, a 21-year-old married evangelical with a selfdescribed great sex life; Mandy Mara, a Catholic student who introduces us to the “yes girls” on her campus; and countless others.

In addition to the stories, I am also grateful for Freitas’s statistics. When I was writing a book about Christian sexual ethics, I was constantly frustrated by the paucity of informative data about unmarried Christians’ sexual behavior. Freitas has provided an eye-popping amount of statistical information about the sexual activities of American college students—statistics that are nuanced by inclusion of information about religious identification and religious practice—which is a huge gift to those of us who are interested in the intersection of religious identity and sexual practice.

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