Chapter Six “Sexuality: Energy for Relating with Others” Section One: “Understanding Sexuality” (Pages 105—109) 1. What are two lessons about sexuality that can be found in the Bible’s Book of Genesis? Genesis teaches that we are created as sexual creatures by God for relationship, to love and be loved, like God. It also teaches that our sexuality is good and blessed. 2. What is the Song of Songs? What is its attitude toward sexuality? The Song of Songs, from the Hebrew Scriptures, is a collection of wedding feast songs written for a husband and wife to sing to each other. It affirms the goodness and lifegiving nature of sexuality and sees the sexual attraction of lovers as beautiful and good. 3. What did St. Paul say about how we should treat our body? The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and we should use our body for love, for the glory of God. Conclusion: Sexuality is integral to being human and being made in God’s image. It touches every facet of our lives and is the immensely powerful energy behind all our relationships. The Christian tradition affirms the goodness and life-giving nature of sexuality, as well as the great value of the human body. (CCC #356—361, 2331, and 2334.) Section Two: “Valuing Ourselves as Sexual People” (Pages109—115) 1. How do the media discourage us from being comfortable with our body? Most advertising takes advantage of our need to feel attractive by equating our attractiveness with the products being promoted. Some examples of how the media discourage us from being comfortable with our body include when they tell us there is always something wrong with us unless we buy their product, when they promise us a gorgeous body if we do buy their product, or when they try to convince us that what we are currently wearing will not make us attractive to the other sex, but what they sell us will 2. Briefly describe three disorders that give evidence of our society’s obsession with bodily perfection. The disorders of anorexia nervosa, and bulimia are characterized by a pathological fear of gaining weight. With anorexia nervosa, this fear leads to faulty eating patterns, malnutrition, and excessive weight loss. Persons who have bulimia tend to go on eating binges and then induce vomiting to avoid weight gain. Another related disorder is hypergymnasia, the tendency to exercise excessively and dangerously to stay thin. 3. List seven habits that can promote a healthy body. • Eating three healthy meals a day, including breakfast • Avoiding fats and junk food • Concentrating on grains and high fiber foods • Exercising at least several times a week • Getting adequate sleep—seven to eight hours each night • Not smoking • Avoiding alcohol, or drinking in moderation 4. Describe the notion of masculinity that probably encourages domestic violence and abuse. Men are in control, competitive, and dominating. Men should be tough, not tender and emotional. Above all, men should not be needy. 5. In what sense was Jesus a whole sexual person? Jesus was a whole sexual person because he transcended sexual stereotypes and used the full range of his intellect and emotions in loving others. Conclusion: Valuing ourselves as sexual persons is one of the many factors upon which a healthy expression of sexuality depends. It requires having a positive body image and appreciating our masculinity and femininity, our whole self. Jesus is a fitting model of sexually whole person because he transcended sexual stereotypes and used the full range of his intellect and emotions in his relationships. (CCC #2332.) Section Three: “When Sexuality is Distorted” (Pages 115—118) 1. Why is rape so harmful? Rape is so harmful because it is a violent act that robs the victim of her or his rights and dignity as a human being. It is about violence, power, and domination, not about a sexual relationship. Besides the physical harm and violation of rape, it frequently leaves long-term emotional scars that damage the victim’s capacity for trusting, intimate relations. 2. What is lust? Lust is the desire to use another person as a non-person, as an object for one’s own pleasure. 3. How does pornography deprive its users, rather than offer sexual fulfillment? Pornography deprive its users of sexual fulfillment because it reduces sexuality to a depersonalized, secondhand experience of genital sex. It tries to substitute mental pictures, photographs, computer games or movies for human love. In the process, it cheapens and dehumanizes sex, leaving its users empty and deprived of the real relationships that the sexual drive is meant to lead to. 4. What is the message behind advertising that uses sex to sell products? “You as a person are not essentially worthy or appealing to others, but you will be if you have this product.” 5. What is a serious consequence of teenage pregnancy ? That the teenage mother and father are usually too young and immature to assume the enormous responsibility of bringing up a child. Conclusion: Sexuality is intended to bond us to others in love. When the power and energy of sexuality are expressed in unloving and uncontrolled ways, sexuality becomes distorted and destructive to the individual and to society. Some of the consequences of distorted sexuality that we find in society include rape, lust, pornography, selling through sex, and teenage pregnancy. (CCC #2351—2356.) Section Four: “Chastity” (Pages 119—121) 1. What is chastity? How is it expressed for married, celibate, and single people? Chastity is a virtue that involves the integrity of a person, the keeping of one’s sincerity and honesty in body as well as in emotion and word. It also means showing passionate love for ourselves, other people, and God, but in different ways depending on whether we are married, celibate, or single. For married people, chastity is expressed in a permanent, genital commitment to their spouse that is both exclusive and sensual. Celibate people express chastity through a permanent, non-genital commitment to God and to the world. Chastity for single people means a temporary, non-genital commitment of love to themselves, God, and others. 2. What is sexual intercourse meant to express and celebrate? Sexual intercourse is meant to express the love married partners have for each other and to celebrate the sharing of their whole lives. Conclusion: The Christian vision sees sexuality as best expressed through the virtue of chastity, understood as keeping one’s sincerity and honesty in body as well as in emotion and word. Chastity is expressed in different ways depending on whether we are married, celibate, or single. Sexual intercourse celebrates the shared life of two people who permanently commit their whole selves to each other.