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

First published in 2008, Donna Freitas's Sex and the Soul revealed what college students - at institutions large and small, public and private, secular, Catholic, and evangelical - really think about sex, dating, religion, and spirituality. Based on face-to-face interviews with students across the country, Sex and the Soul achieved national acclaim, illuminating the as-yet-unexplored struggles of college students navigating the lines of faith and sexuality. Now, in this updated edition, Freitas reflects on the hundreds of conversations she has had with students since the book was first published in an all-new afterword, and offers practical advice for young people struggling with issues of sex and spirituality and for the adults giving them guidance.

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 self-described 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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