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Gender and Sexuality News Roundup (7/23/19)

July 22, 2019

One mission of CBMW is to help Christians think through secular and ecclesial trends on gender and sexuality. Through this work, we pore over a lot of different 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

What the Ordination Debate Misses: Laywomen in Ministry, Christianity Today (Wendy Alsup)

“Sure, many books address exegetical issues regarding women’s roles in ordained leadership but not the particular issues women face as they minister to other women. As someone on the national women’s leadership team for my denomination, I wanted to let church leaders know that there is a fully developed ministry philosophy that doesn’t focus on a woman’s stage of life or marital status but that is all about equipping women in discipleship in the local church.”

Liberal Conferences Explore Separation from The United Methodist Church, Juicy Ecuminism (John Lomperis)

“At recent annual conference sessions across the USA, several of our denomination’s most overwhelmingly liberal-dominated conferences, have officially begun exploring the possibility of splitting off from the United Methodist Church to form a new liberal denomination…The half-million United Methodists in these ten conferences include numerous traditionalist believers. “

Canadian Anglicans to Continue Same-Sex Ceremonies, Even After Failed Vote, Christianity Today (Kate Shellnutt)

“Though the Anglican Church in Canada last week failed to amend its canon to sanction same-sex marriages, in the wake of the narrow vote, dioceses have opted to continue with them anyway…On Monday, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, the Primate of Canada, read a statement to the delegation saying the bishops ‘are not of one mind’ on the issue, but that ‘we are walking together in a way which leaves room for individual dioceses and jurisdictions of our church to proceed with same-sex marriage,’ according to Anglican Planet.”


Secular Trends on Gender and Sexuality

The Future of the City Is Childless, The Atlantic (Derek Thompson)

“New York is the poster child of this urban renaissance. But as the city has attracted more wealth, housing prices have soared alongside the skyscrapers, and young families have found staying put with school-age children more difficult. Since 2011, the number of babies born in New York has declined 9 percent in the five boroughs and 15 percent in Manhattan. (At this rate, Manhattan’s infant population will halve in 30 years.) In that same period, the net number of New York residents leaving the city has more than doubled. There are many reasons New York might be shrinking, but most of them come down to the same unavoidable fact: Raising a family in the city is just too hard. And the same could be said of pretty much every other dense and expensive urban area in the country.”

Ashlyn Harris says Jaelene Hinkle was left off USWNT over her ‘intolerance,’ not religion, The Washington Post (Des Bieler)

“U.S. women’s national team member Ashlyn Harris took to social media Monday to address Jaelene Hinkle, who declined a chance to play for the U.S. team in 2017 because she said her Christian beliefs wouldn’t allow for her to wear jerseys designed to honor members of the LGBT community. ‘Hinkle, our team is about inclusion,’ Harris wrote on Twitter. ‘Your religion was never the problem. The problem is your intolerance and you are homophobic.'”

IVF Mix-Ups Have Broken the Definition of Parenthood, The Atlantic (Sarah Zhang)

“Until the advent of IVF, the mother of a child was unquestionably the woman who gave birth to that child. The ability to create embryos in a petri dish and then transfer them into the womb—any woman’s womb—made gestational surrogacy arrangements possible and introduced new nuances.* But occasional mistakes by IVF clinics have also created scenarios, like this one, of essentially involuntary surrogacy, which do not merely add nuance to traditional definitions of parenthood, but utterly confound them.”

Divorce Is Destroying the Finances of Americans Over 50, Bloomberg (Ben Steverman)

“There are few things more devastating than divorce. Even the very wealthy can find it financially draining, emotionally harrowing and just plain messy. Academic studies document serious health effects. A 2009 paper noted that recently separated or divorced adults have higher resting blood pressure. Last year, a German study found ‘divorce led to considerable weight gain over time, especially in men.’ Splitting up after age 50 — often called ‘gray divorce’ — may be particularly hazardous to your emotional and financial health, far worse than doing so at younger ages. A wave of new research is quantifying the damage.”

Mississippi gubernatorial candidate stands by refusal to allow female reporter to interview him alone, which she says is ‘sexism’, CNN (Devan Cole)

“A Mississippi Republican gubernatorial candidate on Thursday stood by his decision to deny a female reporter’s request to accompany him on a campaign trip unless she brought along a male colleague, a move that she says amounts to ‘sexism.'”

Women’s Sports Are Facing a Crisis. These Brave Athletes Are Standing Firm., The Heritage Foundation (Monica Burke and Nicholas Marr)

“The U.S. women’s national soccer team recently earned a historic victory on the world stage, but not all is well for girls who might want to follow in its footsteps. In fact, girls sports has become one of the most tragic battlefields of the culture war…This issue has united conservatives and progressives alike who believe that biological sex determines important social realities. Telling girls they must compete with boys and share locker rooms and bathrooms with boys is wrong, they say. It’s not fair, and it fails to account for the privacy and safety concerns many women have in intimate facilities. “

“Do No Harm”: Not As Simple As It Sounds, Public Discourse (Stephanie Barclay)

“The ‘Do No Harm’ Act would gut the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by removing religious liberty protections that result in ‘harm’ to others. That would be a mistake. Protection of any First Amendment rights inherently involves balancing competing harms on both sides of the ledger.”

When consent trumps morality, World (Kiley Crossland)

“News reports released last week revealed that for the past year, the American Psychological Association (APA) has had an active task force dedicated to advocating for individuals practicing what it calls ‘consensual non-monogamy’ (CNM), sometimes referred to as ‘ethical non-monogamy.’ The task force’s website claims polyamorous individuals often face social and medical stigmatization and need more support and inclusion. One study found about 4 percent of U.S. adults fall into this category.”



Gender and Sexuality Miscellany

He Said Yes!’, The Atlantic (Ashley Fetters)

“Ellen Lamont, an assistant sociology professor at Appalachian State University and the author of the upcoming book The Mating Game: How Gender Still Shapes How We Date, chalks this up in large part to resistance to changing gender norms. But, somewhat surprisingly, Lamont found in her book research that in heterosexual relationships, women disliked the idea of being the one to propose more than men disliked the thought of being proposed to by a woman.”

What It’s Like When Your Wife Is ‘Christian Famous’, Christianity Today (Maria Baer)

“By now, the church has come to recognize the challenges faced by pastors’ wives, a role weighed with expectations, attention, and personal sacrifice. But as women rise in prominence across areas of ministry, another question comes up: What about their husbands? There’s no template in our minds for what it looks like to be married to women in today’s generation of influential Christian teachers, writers, artists, and more.”

Economics, upward mobility, and the power of the intact family, Anchored (Colin Smothers)

“The Atlantic has a fascinating article in its August 2019 issue on world-renown economist Raj Chetty and the work he is doing on generational opportunity and the stalled-out American dream…You’ve got to read the whole thing for yourself, and then ponder with me the role the church might play to change our neighborhoods, towns, cities, and states to stem the tidal erosion around the natural family that is not only undermining our society, but also gutting the very institution designed for our greatest flourishing — both spiritual and material.”

Would You Attend a Gay Wedding?, desiring God (John Piper)

“My not going is not my drawing away from my child — but his drawing away from me. I am where I have always been: arms wide open to the home-coming prodigal, ready to forgive anything.”

4 ways to address sex work with your teens, ERLC (Brittany Salmon)

“This past Spring, Teen Vogue published an article titled ‘Why Sex Work is Real Work.’ This op-ed piece, authored by Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng, outlines an argument for why sex work should be normalized and legal. It is not surprising that an article like this has made it to our mainstream media. However, it is both shocking and appalling that this type of content was marketed toward minors.”

Women’s Ministry For The Church, For the Church (Allyson Todd)

“I believe women can and should do ministry. Women are called to obey the same Great Commission that men are called to obey. We are all called to make disciples and serve our churches, each of us according to the gifts God gives us. For anyone in ministry, there are difficult seasons that can be discouraging and make us feel that we’re not equipped to do the work we’re called to do. Because “women” and “ministry” can be such a delicate subject, the church sometimes avoids the conversation altogether. “

Marriage Means Community Engagement: A Response to Mandy Len Catron, Institute for Family Studies (Nicholas H. Wolfinger)

“Mandy Len Catron took a social science finding and ran blindly with it, leading her to come to the wrong conclusions about marriage and community engagement. Indeed, my data suggest that marriage seems broadly beneficial for community engagement. Married folks do spend less time with their friends, but who would expect otherwise?”

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