Every human life has value.

I found these short clips from the Theology of the Body for Teens series:

    TOB segement for guys:

    TOB segement for girls:

The world today, which sees authentic masculinity and femininity as antiquated, sexist ideals, may look at these videos and think: Why the separate advice for guys and girls? They should not be held to different standards in that way. Men and women equal and the Church’s teaching on sexuality should apply to everyone equally.

However, sexuality refers to who we are as human beings – male and female. It is true that men and women are both equal their dignity as persons and deserve equal respect in that way. But we are profoundly different in how we are created biologically, emotionally, spiritually and we were created to compliment each other with our sexual differences.

Suggested:
Woman: God’s Masterpiece: Understanding and Living the Feminine Genius (Audio CD)
Winning the Battle for Sexual Purity: Straight Talk with Men about Love and Life (Audio CD)
MALE AND FEMALE: THE SEXUAL SIGNIFICANCE
The Collaboration of Men and Women in the Church and in the World
The Art of Manliness
The Privilege of Being a Woman
Alice von Hildebrand on Feminism and Femininity

Teach you’re youngsters:
The Princess and the Kiss
The Squire and the Scroll

TOB Tuesdays

January 27th, 2009 at 11:51 pm
6 Responses to “TOB Tuesday: We Were Made Male and Female
  1. 1
    bmmg39 Says:

    I guess you can count me among those who are highly skeptical with respect to gender differences.

    People, and, it seems, especially Christian conservatives, cling to the idea that boys are all horny devils and that it’s pointless to try to control their urges, while girls are all sugar and spice and everything nice. When a boy and a girl have sex, one common assumption is that he must have pressured her until she finally capitulated so that he would like her or so that other boys in school would want to go out with her. Quite often, the girl, indeed, wants to have sex, not so that she can receive love in return, but rather because she simply craves sex. Other times, and not rarely, it is the girl who is doing all the initiating and pressuring.

    The stereotype is that girls have sex to get love in return while boys show love to get sex in return, but most people in real life aren’t like that.

  2. 2
    Chelsea Says:

    I do not disagree that as the times have changed many women are becoming more aggressive sexually, but I don’t necessarily think that means that much has changed in the heart of these women. While such women may not have been pressured or seduced by a man in these situations, they have been heavily pressured by a society that encourages women to be “more like men,” if you will pardon the expression, in their pursuit of success and pleasure in the areas of business, academics and, yes, even sex. I speak from experience. And while I told myself (and others) at the time that I acted the way I did for my own pleasure or sexual gratification, I later realized that I really was acting out of a desire for attention and affection, especially from men. I have no doubt that the majority of women who have now become the sexual aggressors are doing the same, though perhaps more subconsciously than before.

    At any rate, there is a big difference between what you bring up and what I’m talking about here with regards to sexual difference and authentic masculinity and femininity. They may not pertain to every single man and woman in every situation, but generally speaking the “stereotypes” you talk about with regard to men and women and sexual intercourse do in fact take place (though, again, perhaps more subconsciously now than ever before), however, they are fallen manifestations of the fundamental differences that exist between the sexes and no Christians I know consider such them to be representative of authentic masculinity and femininity. In fact, our goal is to call men and women away from such distortions into the light of Christ and the true meaning of human sexuality.

    We cannot deny sexual difference, it exists and we’re reminded of it every day – all a man has to do is look in the mirror to know that he is “different” than a woman and vice versa. What we have to learn is what these differences are and how they are meant to be lived – before we screwed everything up by our Original Sin.

    See: Who Will Man be for Woman and Who Will Woman be for Man? Part One and Part Two.

  3. 3
    bmmg39 Says:

    “…[women and girls] have been heavily pressured by a society that encourages women to be ‘more like men,’ if you will pardon the expression, in their pursuit of success and pleasure in the areas of business, academics and, yes, even sex.”

    That’s just it. I think that argument starts springs from a false assumption: that men act “a certain way” with regards to those things. When women are promiscuous or invade the privacy of men by placing their hands on them in a non-consensual way, they’re not acting like men; they’re just acting like jerks. To call it “acting like men” is a direct affront to all of the men who DON’T act that way. Most men I know don’t vaguely resemble the sitcom characters written by self-loathing males — the ones who care about nothing but beer, baseball, and b–bs. Such writers are their gender’s own worst enemy, since they try to convince everyone that “this is just how all guys are” so that they aren’t criticized for their own huge flaws.

    “I speak from experience. And while I told myself (and others) at the time that I acted the way I did for my own pleasure or sexual gratification, I later realized that I really was acting out of a desire for attention and affection, especially from men.”

    CZ, I won’t ask for details here because they’re no one’s business but your own. I will, instead, talk about my own experience. In sixth grade, we got the “birds and bees” education day in school. I distinctively remember not understanding everything I was hearing, but figured, “This doesn’t really have anything to do with me, anyway.” I obviously understand the content now, but it bears the same irrelevance for me. I was NEVER a horny teenager, and so it rankles me when people justify raising their sons and their daughters differently by saying, “Come on, Bri! You remember what it was like at that age!” because at that age I was mostly rejoicing that I wasn’t being harassed by other students anymore. Loneliness was welcomed when it should have bothered me — but, at any rate, I was never fantasizing about scoring with a cheerleader.

    In college, my great hope was NOT to French-kiss and NOT to do anything else pertaining to sex even if I were in a romantic relationship, let alone doing that stuff OUT of one. I hoped to find someone to walk around campus with, swishing through the leaves and scrunching through the snow, listening to music while holding each other, holding hands, and kissing on the cheek. Even at my fairly reserved campus (comparatively speaking), I was way out of place, given that the thing to do was to make out randomly with strangers or acquaintances at parties. I’m not condemning anyone here; I’m just stating how I didn’t fit it. College wasn’t a happy time and in the decade-plus since then I’ve continued to feel out of place; I’m just better at expressing it than I was before (thank you, Internet). But I really don’t want to go on living in a world if everyone who sees me walking in the shopping center is subconsciously misdiagnosing me as a “typical horny male.”

    As a men’s rights activist, I also emphasize that the whole idea of gender differences is used to disadvantage men and boys in so many issues facing them:

    STATUTORY RAPE: a man committing it against a teenage girl is seen as a predator. When the “hot female teacher” commits SR against a teenage boy, people will say how “lucky” he is, since that’s “every boy’s dream.” (Really?)

    SEXUAL HARASSMENT: ditto. men are rightly condemned for being frisky in an uninvited way against women, while men who complain about women’s advances are called wimps. “Just enjoy it,” they’re told. “It’s not like YOU touching THEM.”

    DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: Men victimized by women’s violence are again told that it’s “just different” when women hit, because men hit “to enforce the patriarchy” while women hit because “they’re just very emotional” or “it’s the best way to get men’s attention.”

    PARENTHOOD: The family courts routinely stack the deck against fathers, sometimes choosing to place children in the “care” of mothers who’ve been proven to be abusive and/or neglectful, under the argument that they’ll still be the better parents than “some man.” Stay-at-home-dads watching their children at a playground will face accusations of being child-molestors. After all, they’re in public place, watching children; they must be pedophiles.

    EDUCATION: Those correct in pointing out that boys are often short-changed (just as girls often are) will turn around and suggest the exact wrong things: to have girls sit quietly behind desks and read, while turning boys’ classes into LORD OF THE FLIES, since boys “can’t be expected to sit still.” Boys’ classes should be filled with constant confrontation, with the teachers getting in their faces. I wasn’t the best student, but I would have HATE HATE HATED school if that were the environment there.

  4. 4
    Chelsea Says:

    By using the term “act more like men” I mean act more “masculine” not act like jerks. As I wrote in this post, men are by nature more external, more “project oriented.” They tend to solve problems, penetrate, explore and act on their environment. Unlike women who are, by nature more receptive. Masculinity in and of itself is not bad. Indeed, it is in fact a great gift given to men (thanks to, not only their very bodies, obviously, but also the typically larger doses of testosterone in their systems)! It is, however, the fallen side of this gift, this externality, that, as Fr. Loya explains, manifests itself in control, domination, violence, etc…

    You’re points about today’s societies idea of gender differences and how men typically act is exactly what I’m talking about with how they tell women they should act – it’s wrong! And I rejoice in the fact that you realize this and that you never lived this lie in the first place. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a sexual difference that is right and good (holy even) when it is lived as it’s meant to be lived! As a loving God created it to be lived.

  5. 5
    Paladin Says:

    Hi, bmmg39,

    I can agree with your frustration about shallow stereotypes–gender-based, or otherwise–but I’d gently caution you against setting up stereotypes (about “conservative Christians”) of your own.

    I can, at least, speak as one who was in the same sort of mindset as you, back when I was in college (at a very “liberal” liberal arts college–one of the worst possible places to receive formation in sanity, much less sound Christian ethics); not only did the view of “men and women are fundamentally equal, save for some ‘plumbing’ differences!” make me feel “tolerant and fair-minded”, but it also made me quite popular with many of my friends–most of whom were secular feminists… the very people who would have had my head on a stick if I’d held orthodox Christian views about gender, mind you!

    I’ll let you ask about details (it’s far too long to expound, here, in one post), but here are the things I finally found to be true (mainly through application of Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, along with sane reason):

    a) men and women have *fundamental* differences that cannot be equivocated; these differences include *spiritual* ones as well as physical and emotional ones.

    b) men are “hard-wired” for leadership, especially with regard to the family. Don’t misunderstand me: I specifically insist on an Ephesians 5 model of “leadership” (yes, the “wives, be submissive to your husbands” Scripture which sets secular feminists–myself included, in years past–into hysterics!). Our model is Christ, Who showed that the model of leadership is “not to lord it over others”, but to lay down our lives in service for our brides (cf. Matthew 20:25-27). If you’re fighting against the “man using his leadership authority to dominate his wife and gratify himself”, you might be surprised to find that the Catholic Church agrees with you, and has fought that battle for far longer than we’ve been alive.

    It took me a long time to read Ephesians 5 without going into what I’ll call a “liberal froth” over the supposed “male chauvinism”; but I also learned (eventually, from my holy and orthodox wife) that I was misreading St. Paul rather badly while “frothing”.

    Believe me: I know what it feels like, to be fervent and sincere in your desire to fight what you take to be unjust discrimination of women–and I can imagine that you might even feel exasperation at the intransigence, and even the seeming *ingratitude*–of Chelsea and other women who refuse to accept your “offers of equality. It’s not through any doubt about your sincerity–I believe you’re sincere, and I certainly was sincere, when I held those views–but it’s due to the fact that we’ve since questioned the axioms that support such “absolute gender equality”, and found them wanting. For me, it literally took *years* for me to get up the courage to question those “axioms” which had served me so well (and gained me a reputation as a “nice, sweet, sensitive, non-judgmental guy” at college… which had emotional “perks” to it!) for so long. But I’ve since found that the truth is far more important than anyone else’s opinions. Most of those friends (who held me in such “secular esteem”) haven’t talked to me for the better part of 20 years; but truth is still insisting on my attentions.

    Here’s my challenge to you: examine your starting assumptions–about leadership (the Church never confused this with vainglory or bullying), about masculinity (the Church never said that it required oafish self-service), about femininity (the Church has always known the clear difference between femininity and weakness), and about equality (which runs far deeper than mere mathematical or biological equivalence). Ask questions; I promise you polite answers which are as thoughtful as I can manage, given my own flawed human nature. Ask yourself *why* you find the idea of “gender non-equality” so repulsive (i.e. “What am I so afraid of? What bad thing(s) do I think will happen if absolute gender equality isn’t true?”). If you isolate them, then we can examine and discuss them.

    What do you say?

  6. 6
    bmmg39 Says:

    Hey, CZ, what’s the record for longest thread on RoaP? :-)

    I wasn’t accusing you of comparing men to (or calling men) “jerks.” That’s just something some others in the “gender differences” camp occasionally do.

    Paladin: “I can agree with your frustration about shallow stereotypes–gender-based, or otherwise–but I’d gently caution you against setting up stereotypes (about ‘conservative Christians’) of your own.”

    I apologize for seeming to stereotype conservative Christians. I have so many common goals with them (and on some days many would say I am one…other days not) and no offense was intended. Perhaps I should have written that the idea of gender difference is so strong within that community; not only is it held, but so fervently, as though challenging it is somehow blasphemous. Dennis Prager is Jewish, but he, too, mentions “boys and girls are basically the same” as his NUMBER-ONE example of higher learning having run amok. (This is why I can no longer listen to his radio program with any great frequency.) If a caller were to scream “Death to Israel” I think he’d get a friendly reception than those who call in and question DP’s views on gender.

    I only mentioned that because sometimes people (and I don’t mean Chelsea) bring God into that discussion as sort of a line drawn into the sand. When there’s a debate on corporal punishment, analogously, supporters will often back up their views by saying, “Hey, that’s just how I was raised,” almost to suggest that if you continue to disagree then you’re ripping into their parents. I worry that some are likewise trying to insinuate that if I think men and women are more alike than different then I must be attacking their religious beliefs, which I’m not.

    “If you’re fighting against the ‘man using his leadership authority to dominate his wife and gratify himself,’ you might be surprised to find that the Catholic Church agrees with you, and has fought that battle for far longer than we’ve been alive.”

    No, I’m not surprised. It has been my experience that, when that particular piece of Scripture is read, the homily will clarify/qualify exactly what it does and does not mean. (Usually said was something about the man and woman being subservient TO EACH OTHER, and to God.)

    “Believe me: I know what it feels like, to be fervent and sincere in your desire to fight what you take to be unjust discrimination of women…”

    While I obviously oppose women being discrimination against, my main point was that MEN and BOYS are often short-changed by the principles here, as I’ve written above. To answer your “challenge,” that’s one of the reasons why I’m troubled by that message: because I don’t seem to match the wrapping paper the “stereotype” [insert your preferred word here] lays out for men and boys, and, rather than re-assess their views when presented with people who “don’t fit,” defenders of that view simply reject our existence. Maybe that’s it.

    …but I’m a visitor here because of all the many things I agree with the host(ess) on, and am simply airing out my little disagreement here so others see where I’m coming from. Many on the left figure that we’re all minions who all think alike on everything, and so maybe talking about it when we don’t will dispel THAT stereotype. And our getting more traffic for our respective blogs can’t hurt, either…