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

By Donna Freitas | Go to book overview

NINE
Dividing Sex from the Soul
Why Religion Doesn’t Matter
When It Comes to Sex

I think people should understand that sex happens, basically.

student at a Catholic college


WHY CATHOLIC TEACHINGS ABOUT SEX
ARE SO MYSTERIOUS

Unlike evangelical students, whose concerns about sex are inextricably connected to their religious tradition and spiritual identity, most students at the spiritual colleges keep sex and religion separate. Religion is a concern, yes, but it is often a superficial one. Students are confused about how to relate sex and the soul—in their campus communities religion is a private affair and in their religious communities (if they still have one) sex is a private affair. So religious views about sex go unexamined. When prompted, some students can call upon a very limited repertoire of religious knowledge regarding sex. Religious teachings about sex may even tug at them vaguely in the form of guilt. But the pressures and stress related to sex that many students face have little or nothing to do with religious identity and everything to do with hookup culture.

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