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Gender and Sexuality News Roundup (9/4/19)

September 4, 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

In Mississippi Delta, Catholic abuse cases settled on cheap, Associated Press (Michael Rezendes)

“The IHOP in Southhaven, Mississippi, was an unlikely place to settle a sex abuse claim against the Catholic Church. But in January a white official from the Franciscan religious order slid into a booth across from a 35-year-old black man and offered to pay him $15,000 to keep years of alleged abuse by another Franciscan secret…the amount of money…the Franciscans offered is far less than what many other sex abuse victims have received through legal settlements with the Catholic Church.”

Inside The Metropolitan Community Church, Which Has Been Telling LGBTQ People God Loves Them For 50 Years, The Daily Beast (Robert W. Fieseler)

“The 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots was the rightful heart of this summer’s World Pride celebrations. But a lesser-known 50th anniversary predating Stonewall, a golden jubilee year for a gay group that went all but unmentioned at World Pride, had arguably as great a foundational impact on national and global queer politics: the October 6, 1968 founding of the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC, for short) in Los Angeles by an activist minister named Troy Perry.”

Two more victories for religious liberty, ERLC (Casey B. Hough)

“It is interesting that in both cases, those who were targeted by these spurious applications of nondiscrimination laws were Christians. Yet, the decisions of these cases will not only work to protect Christians, but all people in society. If a government can compel a Christian business owner to promote a message that is contrary to their sincerely held religious beliefs, then it is also possible to imagine that the government could force a Kosher deli owner or Halal butcher to cater an event that requires them to serve pork.”

Encouraged as sisters in faith, The Lutheran World Federation

“Churches should be bolder and elect women as well as men to leadership positions, because “we, the women, belong there as their sisters, wives, mothers.” This was one of the conclusions of a panel discussion by participants of the summer academy on gender in Hermannsburg and Hanover, Germany, organized by the Evangelical Lutheran Mission in Lower Saxony (ELM) from 20 – 25 August. Ten women from seven countries (Brazil, Central African Republic, India, Malawi, Peru, Russian Federation, South Africa) serving as theologians or lay leaders in their churches gathered for the event. Based on the encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman in John 4, the theme of the conference was “Overcoming boundaries”.”


Secular Trends on Gender and Sexuality

Oak Park Schools Gender Identity program angers parents, ABC 7 (Carlos Granda)

“A new program started this school year at elementary schools in Oak Park [CA]. The district says it’s to target bullying. It’s a gender diversity program that uses books that talk about a boy who wears dresses, and a child who doesn’t feel like a boy or a girl…It starts in kindergarten through fifth grade and some parents feel the children are too young for these complicated subjects. Lester Kozma says at this age kids still believe in fantasy worlds.”

Idaho must pay for transgender inmate’s surgery, court rules, CBS News (Caitlin O’Kane)

“Inmate Adree Edmo has been living as a woman for years, but has been housed in a men’s prison, CBS Idaho affiliate KBOI-TV reports. Deborah Ferguson, an attorney representing Edmo, said in January that her client was at risk of self-harm if the surgery was postponed. Edmo, 31, was diagnosed with gender dysmorphia in 2012. Ferguson argued that the state’s refusal to provide the surgery was unconstitutional.”

Straight Pride Parade’ in Boston draws counterprotesters and heavy police presence, NBC News (Nicole Acevedo)

“Since plans for the event were announced in early June, organizers have come under criticism. Some critics said that parade organizers are white supremacists whose intent was to bait members of the LGBT community in one of America’s most liberal cities. The planned parade route through downtown Boston alarmed Emerson College President Lee Pelton, who earlier this week sent a campuswide message to students calling the event “a perversion” and a “desecration of beauty, truth and generosity.””

There’s no one ‘gay gene,’ but genetics are linked to same-sex behavior, new study says, The Washington Post (Lindsey Bever)

“There is no one gene that determines a person’s sexual orientation, but genetics — along with environment — play a part in shaping sexuality, a massive new study shows. Researchers analyzed DNA from hundreds of thousands of people and found that there are a handful of genes clearly connected with same-sex sexual behavior. The researchers say that, although variations in these genes cannot predict whether a person is gay, these variants may partly influence sexual behavior.”

For Those Who Don’t Identify as Male or Female, Growing Acceptance—and Accommodation, The Wall Street Journal (Janet Adamy)

“A growing number of states and companies are allowing people to designate their gender as “X” instead of male or female on driver’s licenses and other forms of identification. The changes are a response to transgender Americans who don’t identify as exclusively male or female and others who feel binary gender categories don’t accurately describe them… A Pew Research survey earlier this year found that about a third of Gen Z and a quarter of millennials know someone who goes by gender-neutral pronouns.”

Americans Have Shifted Dramatically on What Values Matter Most, The Wall Street Journal (Chad Day)

“The values that Americans say define the national character are changing, as younger generations rate patriotism, religion and having children as less important to them than did young people two decades ago, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey finds. The poll is the latest sign of difficulties the 2020 presidential candidates will likely face in crafting a unifying message for a country divided over personal principles and views of an increasingly diverse society.”

The ACLU and transgender ideologues are using public schools to usurp parental rights, Washington Examiner (Kaylee McGhee)

“Among transgender ideology and its advocates, there is one defining rule: What they say goes, and anyone who questions the movement must be silenced — even parents. Nowhere does this play out more clearly than in the public school system.”

University lowers entry score for female applicants in male-donimated courses, The Guardian (Lisa Martin)

“The University of Technology Sydney is trying to encourage more young women to study engineering, computing and construction degrees by adjusting year 12 entry scores for female applicants…“We’re not taking in underperforming students or doing tokenism here,” [Arti Agarwal] told Guardian Australia. “Nobody is getting a free pass … They all have to do all the degree requirements [and] internships.””


Gender and Sexuality Miscellany

Gender: Why “Self-Identification” Is Not Enough, Psychology Today (Michael Mascolo)

“Transgender people need and deserve compassion. The deserve the right to define themselves in terms of their experienced genders. A person who experiences discordance between their assigned sex and their social and relational sense of gender is likely to experience suffering from that fact alone. Such suffering is amplified by the many indignities and humiliations that such individual face in a society that finds it difficult to understand and accept people with transgender identities. We should do all we can to accommodate transgender individuals into society. But we must also embrace the complexity of the relations between sex and gender. If sex and gender are different, we can embrace gender without having to pretend that biological sex doesn’t matter.”

Pink and blue tsunami, Aeon (Gina Rippon)

“Like the deep learning systems powering artificial intelligence, our brains are scouring our world for the rules of the social game – and if that world is full of powerful messages about gender, helpfully flagged by all sorts of gendered labelling and gendered colour-coding, our brains will pick up such messages and drive their owners to behave ‘appropriately’… A gendered world produces a gendered brain.”

Rewriting the ‘Boy Genius’, The Atlantic (Lily Meyer)

“Contemporary fiction has a rich vein of women writers exploring the bravado of male artists in order to demonstrate the limits it imposes. This proves an effective way to undermine the myth of male genius; rather than condemn the trope outright, these novelists complicate it until it crumbles…Male swagger quickly reveals itself to be a trap: The more airtight an artist’s confidence, the more it seems to stunt his emotional growth.”

In the Face of Sexual Temptation, Repression Is a Sure-Fire Failure, Christianity Today (Rachel Gilson)

“In the end, sex is a gift, but it’s not the point. As Christians, we can mourn its loss or celebrate its presence. But when it moves to the center of our vision, either through indulgence or repression, we end up pursuing “Christian” goals through unChristian tactics. Jesus must be our vision, our great yes that balms the smaller no’s. Until he is enough, no other yes or no will be sufficient.”

Brad Wilcox and Eugene Scott: Marriage Matters in the Age of Trump, Faith Angle (Eugene Scott and Brad Wilcox)

“Brad, Eugene, and Josh Good discuss trends around marriage in the current political climate; how factors like class and race affect the health of marriages; economics and the importance of gainful employment (especially for men); the connection between marriage and economic mobility; the effects of delayed marriage among young people, and much more.”

Podcast: The Cultural Fallout From Identity Politics, Sex, And Dissolving Families, The Federalist (Staff)

“Is the rise of identity politics a direct result of the sexual revolution? Mary Eberstadt, Senior Fellow at the Faith and Reason Institute, joins Culture Editor Emily Jashinsky on the Federalist Radio Hour to argue that the collapse of the family unit leaves us lost and pitted against each other in new tribal ties…Eberstadt’s new book is Primal Screams: How the Sexual Revolution Created Identity Politics.”

I Couldn’t Live the Lie of My Sexuality, The Gospel Coalition (Jim Pocta)

“I repented and was able to love Linda as the man I was designed to be. I now get to be a real father to my three sons. The only reason I even get to write these words is the result of that story. And I do mean get to. What joy! I can rejoice in my story today—all of it—because Jesus’s fingerprints are over every page. I can embrace my story because I have been embraced by the Author of my story. To now get to go to my counseling office each morning and watch our Savior mend wounded hearts is “joy inexpressible and full of glory!” (1 Pet. 1:8). Indeed, “where sin increased, grace abounded all the more” (Rom. 5:20).”

Should Women Preach in Our Churches?, The Gospel Coalition (Kevin DeYoung)

“The heraldic event—no matter the platform provided by the pastor or the covering given by the elders—cannot be separated from exercising authority and teaching, the two things women are not permitted do in the worship service.”

Belinda Luscombe on the Art and Science of Marriage: Five Questions with Family Studies, Institute for Family Studies (Alysse ElHage)

“In the following interview, which has been lightly edited, Luscombe shares some of the insights from her book and explains how staying married through the good and bad times has helped her become better at loving her husband.”

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