Three 20-something women trying to figure out what it means to be lay, Catholic, and modern all at once.

February 3, 2009

Secular Sex

I need help! 

My self-declared atheist student, a fine young woman who just got into MIT early decision, has started to confide in me and come after school to argue philosophical and religious points back and forth - the confiding and bantering I equally enjoy.  She has recently come and confided that she is worried that our generation is using sex to express the fact that they are profoundly lonely and that they feel it's the only way to experience intimacy.  She says that some of her friends (which may in fact be her) think that they want to have sex just to say that they aren't a virgin before going to college, some of them admittedly don't want to feel anything and are numb from depression, and others just want to see how it is with someone they like or wouldn't mind giving it a go with.  She is concerned, and wants advice.  She also asked me to help her craft a non-religious argument as to why premarital sex is "bad," or at least harmful for the parties involved.  Now, in our sexual ethics course we have covered this head to toe with psychological statistics, philosophical reflections, and science to back up the Church's claims that the best sex takes place in the safe and intimate context of marriage.  But this doesn't seem to be enough for her.  Can you please help me (by tomorrow afternoon), formulate a strong argument for her?  She desperately wants to know.  And please pray for her.  She is too smart not to be a follower of Christ...she has the intellectual capacity to be a doctor of the Church, but she is still resisting grace.  She is so special; I just love her.  Okay, thanks! 


Edith Magdalene said...

Wow -- a challenge and a blessing. I'll be praying on this one and think about tonight -- I'll pass on the request to some people who might also be helpful. In Corde Regis

Shannon said...

check out it may have something.

Edith Magdalene said...

From a family member:

Look at the writings of a woman named Jennifer Roback Morse. I heard her speak before, and she speaks on this topic with a ton of force and persuasion. Here's a link to a small article she wrote I have to work, but direct your friend to her name and see what you all might find.

Agatha Magdalene said...

I know she's an incedibly intelligent young women, so arguments will have some sway with her, but I wonder if she needs something that strikes at a more emotional level. I'm not sure what, but it seems like a profoundly moving poem or story might affect her in a deeper way than an argument would.

She's already made a several huge steps. 1) she comes to you, beggin you to convince her. 2) She's right in thinking that the hook-up culture stems from a deep loneliness or depression--which is not right!

I'll have to think of a poem or story that might suffice. I always think first of The Waste Land--which has so many sexual encounters that leave those involved completely empty, and the narrator still searching for something more real and true. You've given her Eliot before, right? The episode in part 3 (lines 216-255) between the typist and the clerk: Ah! It's enough for you to never ever ever consider casual sex again.

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