Where the 73 Report comes short

Given our recent discussion, here is a rather interesting article from E J Graff at American Prospect. This is an article that could not have been written 40 years ago, demonstrating why the church will need to return to the 73 Report. The older dichotomy of behavior and orientation (or “homosexuality” and ‘homosexualism”) is simply more fluid.

Specifically, where the 73 Report posits a fairly set of discrete (male) behaviors, the article above notes a far more fluid approach to sexual relations among women. This gender difference alone merits more attention. Underneath, however is the wearing away of the notion that sexual behavior itself is discrete; I do or I don’t. I suspect this is a remnant of the older culture, where sexual activity away from marriage was less prevalent. Today for young adults, it would be the rule.

Secondly, with the fluidity in mind, in this age we see sexuality as permeating a person’s life, and this extends to our children. A model of sexual behavior that is shaped by discrete adult acts begins to unravel here. When does the person’s action cross a line? For the Christian this is going to be ambiguous. If anything our present understanding, embedded in a notion of social construction, moves closer to the very conservative understanding: the personal is the sexual.

There’s more to think about.

Update: for a traditional but sympathetic note, Neil de Koning is about as good as it gets.


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