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Gender and Sexuality News Roundup (10/9/18)

October 10, 2018

One mission we have at CBMW is to help Christians think through secular and ecclesial trends on gender and sexuality. Through this work, we pore over a lot of news reports and articles as we attempt to wade through the ceaseless flow of information on the web. In our weekly Gender and Sexuality News Roundups, we aim to distill some of the more pertinent information for you.

The articles below are from a wide variety of sectors and publications, organized generally into three categories. They are presented in aggregate, not necessarily endorsed.

If you see an article that you think should be featured in future CBMW News Roundups, you can send it to: [email protected] with the subject “News Roundup.”


Ecclesial Trends on Gender and Sexuality

The Whole World Groans, First Things  (Michael Hanby)

“We seem to have lost our capacity to think and speak about “LGBT identity” without capitulating to it. One needn’t even mention the campaign of Fr. James Martin to adopt LGBT nomenclature and amend the Catechism. The mere idea of heterosexual “orientation,” as one of two species of the genus sexuality, is already “gay,” since both “species” presuppose that sexual desire and identity are only arbitrarily related to a meaningless biological substrate. This same dualistic understanding is the premise of the revolution in assisted reproductive technologies and the normalization of surrogacy.”

Vatican Denounces Accusation Against Pope but Confirms Key Point, The Wall Street Journal (Francis X. Rocca)

“A senior Vatican official on Sunday denounced what he called the “monstrous accusation” that Pope Francis ignored reports of sexual misconduct by a favorite U.S. cardinal, but he also confirmed that the cardinal had already been under disciplinary measures when the pope took office.”


Secular Trends on Gender and Sexuality

More US teens are rejecting ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ gender identities, a study finds, CNN Mercedes Leguizamon and Brandon Griggs)

“More teenagers are identifying themselves with nontraditional gender labels such as transgender or gender-fluid, according to a new study.

“The research, published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, found that almost 3% of Minnesota teens did not identify with traditional gender labels such as “boy” or “girl.” That number is higher than researchers expected. A UCLA study from a year ago estimated that 0.7% of teens identified as transgender.”

Capitulating to Bullies: Brown University and the Transgender Lobby vs. Science, Public Discourse (Julian Vigo)

“Over the past month, transgender advocates have attacked a Brown University researcher, Lisa Littman, for her article, “Rapid-onset gender dysphoria in adolescents and young adults: A study of parental reports” published in PLOS One. Littman, Assistant Professor of the Practice of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Brown, looked into the phenomenon of rapid-onset gender dysphoria (RGOD) examining how social media and online videos affect adolescents’ identification with a transgender identity.”

Nobel Peace Prize Goes To Denis Mukwege And Nadia Murad For Fighting Sexual Violence, NPR (Emily Sullivan)

“It is believed that some 3,000 Yazidi women and girls remain enslaved.  Murad, who is in her mid-20s, has spoken extensively about her experience, despite the immense shame her culture associates with rape — many Yazidi survivors refuse to be named. As NPR has reported, health authorities administer so-called virginity tests to some Yazidi women who return from captivity. Officials say they’re voluntary and are done at the request of a victim or by the court, but some health groups call them traumatic and medically useless.”

Family structure matters, but can we do anything about it?, Vox (Matthew Yglesias)

“This impact is a lot stronger for boys than for girls, which makes me think it’s probably the same role model effect that the same team found for inventors: Girls are more likely to grow up to be successful innovators if they live in a city that has a disproportionately large number of women innovators. Except instead of girls benefitting from having adult women innovators ambiently present in their lived experience, boys benefit from having responsible, married dads ambiently around in their lived experience.”

Five-Year-Old Allegedly Sexually Assaulted In School Bathroom Because Of Secret Transgender Policy, The Federalist (Bre Payton)

“The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Education has opened an investigation into a Georgia elementary school for its handling of a sexual assault that allegedly took place in an elementary school bathroom after a district-wide policy was enacted allowing male students to enter the girls’ bathroom.”

Supreme Court moves right, but how far, how fast?, Chicago Tribune (Mark Sherman)

“A potential early test is two cases involving state efforts to strip public money from Planned Parenthood. The justices are considering appeals from Kansas and Louisiana. Lower courts have blocked the states from going forward. The court could announce Tuesday that it has rejected the appeals, if the justices voted that way in their private conference Friday. But they also could defer action to allow Kavanaugh to weigh in.”

Romania’s marriage referendum fails due to low turnout, Politico (Anca Gurzu)

“A referendum in Romania seeking to restrict the definition of marriage to between a man and a woman failed Sunday as voter turnout remained too low for the vote to be valid.”


Gender and Sexuality Miscellany

What Does It Mean that Women Will Be Saved through Childbearing? 1 Timothy 2, Crossway (Denny Burk)

“So, in both 1 Timothy 2 and Titus 2, Paul declares that wives have a God-ordained role to play in caring for children and the home. This is not claiming that a woman must have children in order to be saved. It is not even teaching that a woman must be married to be saved. But for those women who are married, God assigns a special responsibility to care for the home. A wife’s fulfillment of this role will be one of the evidences of perseverance in the faith. Salvation is future in this verse: “She will be saved.” Thus it is not entry into salvation that is in view but the future consummation of salvation. Women who embrace their God-ordained role while continuing in the Christian virtues of “faith and love and holiness, with self-control” will find themselves saved on the last day.”

A One-Question Quiz on the Poverty Trap, The New York Times (David Leonhardt)

“All else being equal — income, race, educational outcomes — children who grow up in neighborhoods with fewer two-parent families fare notably worse.

I want to highlight this result because I think that my half of the political spectrum — the left half — too often dismisses the importance of family structure. Partly out of a worthy desire to celebrate the heroism of single parents, progressives too often downplay family structure. Social science is usually messy, with correlation and causation difficult to separate. But the evidence, when viewed objectively, points strongly to the value of two-parent households (and, no, the parents don’t need to be heterosexual).”

What the Kavanaugh Conflagration Was Really About, (Denny Burk)

“Social conservatives like myself place a high priority on getting the right Justices on the Supreme Court for one simple reason—Roe v. Wade. There are other issues that social conservatives care about that involve the court, like marriage and religious liberty. But for us, legal abortion transcends those other issues. Since 1973, Roe v. Wade has presided over the legal killing of over 60 million human beings. That is the holocaust times ten. The numbers are just staggering, and for that reason, many of us believe that it is the greatest human rights crisis of our time. Why? Because in our country it is legal to kill people in the womb at any time from zero to nine months gestation. That is what Roe and its companion decision Doe have given us.”

Keeping Technology in Its Proper Place: An Interview with Andy Crouch, Institute for Family Studies (Alysse ElHage)

“And the major decision in the design of the smartphone was really embodied in the name that Apple gave it, the iPhone. It was not the we-Phone. Think about the way that television was portrayed when it was introduced into American households. We have photographs from that time, which are kind of iconic, of the whole family sitting around and watching TV. And in retrospect, that probably wasn’t such a great idea. But on the other hand, think about how communal that picture is of the family, at least the nuclear family, all having an experience together, sharing it in one room, sitting on a couch in physical proximity to one another, laughing at the same jokes, and so forth Now, every member of the household can have their own TV and their own device that is attuned to their particular desires. This is just one more step in a roughly century-long process of dissociating ourselves from one another. And I ultimately think that means dissociating ourselves from ourselves. Because I don’t actually think we know ourselves until we know how we are known by others. And we find ourselves in relation to others, especially in the primary and formative context of the family. And the earlier and to the greater extent you introduce the smartphone into that, the more you disrupt that process of knowing and being known.”

Free eBook: ‘Happily Ever After, Desiring God

“We believe that God designed marriage not as a trial to be endured, but as a pointer to and catalyst for your greatest joy. God didn’t design marriage to be your storybook ending, but a fresh beginning, to help get you ready for the true “happily ever after” when together we see our great Bridegroom face to face. The thirty devotional readings in Happily Ever After have been assembled to to shape, challenge, and inspire your and your spouse’s (or fiancé’s) vision of marriage.”

Sasse: Kavanaugh vote not a choice between ‘believing our daughters and protecting our sons’, NBC news (Video)

“The MeToo movement doesn’t belong to politicians. The MeToo movement has elevated our consciousness and our awareness of sexual assault and sexual violence against women. And we must not give back the important ground in this movement by authorizing this media circus to stand in for generations of stories and tragic pain. And no matter how much cable news screams this, it would be an egregious offense against the cause of women to call this one “up or down” a proxy for the validation and validity of claims of sexual violence.”

Policing the Christian Language Police, (Colin Smothers)

“Is it really the case that this is just a battle over words per se and not about what these words reveal about how we all construe reality and, ultimately, what we all believe to be good and true and beautiful about reality?”

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