Category : Men

(CT) Evangelicals and Domestic Violence: Are Christian Men More Abusive?

So, what does the science tell us? Are some forms of evangelical Protestantism bad for marriage and “good” at fostering domestic violence?

The answer is complicated, since some research suggests that gender traditionalism fuels domestic violence. For example, a study in the Lancet found that domestic abuse was higher in regions across the globe where “norms related to male authority over female behavior” are more common.

In general, however, the answer to these questions is “no.” In my previous book, Soft Patriarchs, New Men: How Christianity Shapes Fathers and Husbands, I found that women married to churchgoing evangelical men—compared to women married to men in other major religious traditions or women married to unaffiliated men—report the highest levels of happiness. Their self-reports were based on two markers: “love and affection you get from your spouse” and “understanding you receive from your spouse.” This same demographic of women also report the highest levels of quality couple time.

My newer book Soul Mates: Religion, Sex, Love and Marriage among African Americans and Latinos, co-written with sociologist Nicholas Wolfinger, reveals similar findings. Men and women who attend church together are almost 10 percentage points more likely to report that they are “happy” or “very happy” in their relationships, compared to their peers who attend separately or simply don’t attend religious services at all. On average, then, evangelicals (as well other religious believers in the United States) who attend church regularly enjoy higher quality marriages compared to their less religious or secular peers.

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Posted in Evangelicals, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Men, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Violence, Women

(NR) David French–Can We Be Honest About Men?

Given the reality of male human nature, I can think of few cultural messages more destructive — more enabling for sexual predators — than the sexual-revolution ethics that urge indulgence, that often describe sexual relationships as the object of human interaction. It’s as if the sexual revolutionary looks at original sin and says, “Yes please.”

I know the sexual revolutionary objects to my critique. He rightly says that he doesn’t believe that “anything goes.” He erects moral walls against exploitation — the most prominent is consent. But if men fail (and they too often do) when the moral codes are more strict and the call to live a higher purpose is more pronounced, why do sexual revolutionaries believe men will fail less when the moral codes diminish and sexual freedom is considered part of their life’s purpose? Do they not see the linkage between handing out condoms by the armload — and celebrating “sex weeks” in college — and the number of women who feel used, abused, and exploited?

Much of the modern moral struggle is the war between entitlement and obligation. Raise a boy to live for himself, with a sense of entitlement, and he will often unleash that enormous inborn energy in the most destructive of ways. Raise a boy to live for others, with a sense of obligation, and that same energy can build a nation and sustain a culture. We can’t make a perfect world, but we do have a choice. Better or worse? It’s time to recognize and respond to human nature, or — despite the best of intentions — we will continue to choose to be worse.

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Posted in Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Men, Sexuality, Theology

(Sunday [London] Times) New Bill could allow unmarried men and women to enter civil partnerships

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Posted in --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Men, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Women

(CC) Ruth Everhart-18 ways churches can fight sexual assault in 2018

11. Invite a victims’ advocate to lead an adult education class or series…

14. Preach a sermon or series on biblical texts of terror, such as Tamar’s story…

16. Speak about sex from the pulpit in a frank and forthright manner without using code words or making inappropriate jokes.

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Posted in Men, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Violence, Women

(1st Things) Ramona Tausz–C S Lewis’ Love Story

Although Shadowlands glosses over some of the problematic implications of Lewis’s marriage, it nonetheless presents marriage as something holy, sacred, and desirable—something that can’t be attained through the mere sanction of the state. “Marriage isn’t just a legal contract,” Lewis instructs Joy. A civil marriage, the play tells us, is not enough; to be married “properly,” a couple must be wed “before God.” For this treatment of holy matrimony, Shadowlands is to be commended—as it is for its celebration of old-fashioned romance. Joy and Lewis’s attraction for each other is not based on sex alone, but on genuine friendship, good conversation, and intellectual compatibility. Their relationship is not the shallow fling of young lovers (Lewis and Joy are middle-aged when they meet, Lewis in his fifties and Joy nearing forty), but something deeper. Shadowlands offers a lovely picture of romance as it ought to be: love and trust between friends that develops into a genuine longing for union.

Today, when hookup culture has nearly destroyed romantic relationships, and the gravity of divorce is so often dismissed, Shadowlands at least requires us to ask questions about the goodness of marriage and the consequences of sundering it. If you are in Manhattan anytime between now and January 7, it is well worth journeying to Theater Row to ponder them yourself.

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Posted in America/U.S.A., Church History, England / UK, Marriage & Family, Men, Religion & Culture, Theatre/Drama/Plays, Women

(NYT) Stephen Marche-The brutality of the male libido–We can keep dancing around it, but in this post-Weinstein area, we need to examine the ugly+dangerous sexual nature of men

The men I know don’t actively discuss changing sexual norms. We gossip and surmise: Who is a criminal and who isn’t? Which of the creeps whom we know are out there will fall this week? Beyond the gossip, there is a fog of the past that is better not to penetrate. Aside from the sorts of clear criminal acts that have always been wrong, changing social norms and the imprecision of memory are dark hallways to navigate. Be careful when you go down them; you might not like what you find.

So much easier to turn aside. Professionally, too, I have seen just how profoundly men don’t want to talk about their own gendered nature.

In the spring, I published a male take on the fluctuations of gender and power in advanced economies; I was interviewed more than 70 times by reporters from all over the world, but only three of them were men. Men just aren’t interested; they don’t know where to start.

I’m working on a podcast on modern fatherhood, dealing with issues like pornography and sex after childbirth. Very often, when I interview men, it is the first time they have ever discussed intimate questions seriously with another man.

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Posted in Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Men, Sexuality

(CT) When It Comes to Sexuality, ‘We Can’t Simply Review the Verses Anymore’ Pastor Todd Wilson wants to recover the deeper theological and moral meaning of being made male and female

Sexuality is one of the touchiest subjects in the church today. From same-sex marriage to the transgender phenomenon, the issues can threaten to overwhelm our pastoral and theological resources. In the midst of this turbulence, Todd Wilson, pastor of Calvary Memorial Church in Oak Park, Illinois, wants to seek out the solid ground of the Christian tradition. His book Mere Sexuality: Rediscovering the Christian Vision of Sexuality invites evangelicals to see the theological and moral significance of humans being created male and female. Derek Rishmawy, a PhD student at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and CT columnist, spoke with Wilson about this vision.

In a world that recognizes so many variations of sexuality, what does it mean to champion “mere sexuality”?

The “mere” is a play on C. S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity. It’s not Baptist, Presbyterian, or Anglican Christianity, but the convictions most Christians at most times have believed. I’m trying to capture what most Christians at most times have believed.

In my time as a pastor, I’ve been confronted with the reality that your average, Bible-believing Christian lacks a deep understanding of the theological vision of sexuality given in Scripture. We don’t see male and female sexuality as theologically significant in their own right. And as a result, their moral significance in the context of marriage is not obvious. But there really is an aesthetic beauty and coherence to the logic of male and female in marriage. And while I’ve seen a number of books giving the “biblical response” or the “pastoral response” to our sexual controversies, it struck me that the theological response was missing. We can’t simply review the verses anymore; we need to see the logic of “mere sexuality” behind the verses and have it take hold of our imagination.

Why have evangelicals lost appreciation for the deep logic of “mere sexuality”?

First is the loss of functional biblical authority. It’s not that evangelicals don’t affirm the authority of Scripture. But sociologist Christian Smith talks about the problem of “pervasive interpretive pluralism”—the suspicion that the Bible doesn’t speak decisively on some important issues. That erodes people’s confidence in the Bible’s ability to shape Christian ethics.

Second, the younger generations of evangelicals have essentially had their basic moral intuitions radically refashioned. Ever since the sexual revolution, we’ve had those intuitions about sexual intimacy—and especially same-sex intimacy—rewired. What was instinctively wrong for our parents’ generation seems perfectly normal to someone in their teens or 20s.

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Posted in Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Men, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture, Women

Zambian Anglican Church denounces Gender Based Violence

The Anglican Church has encouraged its members to seriously speak against Gender-Based Violence (GBV), corruption and political oppression.

Zambia Anglican Bishop and Primate of the Council of Anglican Province in Africa (CAPA), Albert Chama said this at the just-ended two-day Anglican 2017 high-profile Provincial Synod held in Gaborone.

The Central Africa Province Synod consists of Anglican bishops from Botswana, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe and convenes every three years. The main aim of the meeting is to deliberate on diocesan matters in the region.

“Our continent of Africa has been gripped with fear, deaths, ethnic divisions and many more evils one can think of.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anthropology, Central Africa, Ethics / Moral Theology, Men, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality, Theology, Violence, Women, Zambia

(SI) Bruce Arena’s New Legacy and its Impact on the Future of the USMNT in Soccer

Bruce Arena will always be the coach who took the USA past Portugal and Mexico and into the quarterfinals at the 2002 World Cup. He’ll always be the coach who launched so many legendary careers at the University of Virginia and who managed MLS’s two great dynasties in D.C. and Los Angeles. He’s among the most pivotal people in the history of U.S. soccer. He’s on its Mt. Rushmore.

Christian Pulisic is 19 years old. He’s the face of the American game’s new era, which is now kicking off a bit earlier than most would’ve preferred. Pulisic wasn’t yet born when Arena coached D.C. United to the first two MLS Cup titles, and he probably doesn’t remember those giddy days in South Korea a few years later. That temporal disconnect highlights the strain Arena’s legacy now faces following his failure to qualify the USA for next summer’s World Cup.

The sport has grown. American soccer isn’t what it used to be, and that’s not only a good thing but a testament (in part) to Arena’s contributions. But the years are flying by, and the number of people reading about Arena’s accomplishments eventually will surpass the number of people who remember them. Charlottesville, RFK, Jeonju and Carson will fade away, while Tuesday’s nightmare in a place called Couva, Trinidad, will resonate. That’s the unfortunate, uncompromising nature of sports and an inevitable consequence of the passage of time.

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Posted in America/U.S.A., Men, Sports

(Chic Tribune) Uncertainty in the air for Cubs after Stephen Strasburg forces Game 5

Everything began unraveling when [Joe] Maddon pulled Lester with two outs in the eighth after Murphy singled on his 55th pitch instead of letting the lefty finish the inning. Reliever Carl Edwards Jr. proved ineffective again, wildly walking the bases loaded. Then Maddon’s decision to bring in closer Wade Davis with a 1-0 count backfired when Taylor became the unlikeliest of villains with a 393-foot home run into the right-field basket.

“That ball had to be absolutely crushed,” Maddon said.

Crushed also describes the way Cubs fans felt seeing the Nationals celebrate. Faith still exists in Game 5 starter Kyle Hendricks, who will oppose either Roark or Gio Gonzalez, but the specter of Max Scherzer also looms.

“We’ll be fine,” Maddon said, smiling.

How fitting that a Cubs season full of so many fits and starts, amid so much inconsistency, now comes down to an outcome impossible to predict.

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Posted in America/U.S.A., Men, Sports

(NYT) Total Agony–How the United States Missed the World Cup, Minute by Minute

Posted in America/U.S.A., Globalization, Men, Sports

(1st Things) Mark Regenerus–The Death of Eros

The introduction of the Pill has not changed what men and women value most, but it has transformed how they relate. The marriage market before the Pill was populated by roughly equal numbers of men and women, whose bargaining positions were comparable and predictable. Men valued attractiveness more than women, and women valued economic prospects more than men. Knowing that men wanted sex, but realizing that sex was risky without a corresponding commitment, women often demanded a ring—a clear sign of his sacrifice and commitment.

Not anymore. Artificial contraception has made it so that people seldom mention marriage in the negotiations over sex. Ideals of chastity that shored up these practical necessities have been replaced with paeans to free love and autonomy. As one twenty-nine-year-old woman demonstrated when my research team asked her whether men should have to “work” for sex: “Yes. Sometimes. Not always. I mean, I don’t think it should necessarily be given out by women, but I do think it’s okay if a woman does just give it out. Just not all the time.” The mating market no longer leads to marriage, which is still “expensive”—costly in terms of fidelity, time, and finances—while sex has become comparatively “cheap.”

For every one hundred women under forty who want to marry, there are only eighty-two men who want the same. Though the difference may sound small, it allows men to be more selective, fickle, and cautious. If it seems to you that young men are getting pickier about their prospective spouses, you’re right. It’s a result of the new power imbalance in the marriage market. In an era of accessible sex, the median age at marriage rises. It now stands at an all-time high of twenty-seven for women and twenty-nine for men, and is continuing to inch upward. In this environment, women increasingly have to choose between marrying Mr. Not Quite Right or no one at all.

For the typical American woman, the route to the altar is becoming littered with failed relationships and wasted years.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Men, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality, Sociology, Women

(Globe+Mail) Margaret Wente–Why are good men so hard to find?

Spend a little time with single women in their early to mid-30s, and you’ll be grateful you’re not one of them. The relationship scene is even more dismal today than when I was their age. All the women want serious relationships that lead to marriage, but many of the men they meet do not. All too often a woman moves in with some guy, hoping they’re on the road to somewhere. Two years later, he tells her he’s not ready for marriage and kids just yet. Splat.

But wait. Hasn’t online dating made the mating market easier? Yes – for men. If you really want to hear a woman rant, just utter the word Tinder.

Single women are more equal and empowered than ever before. They have unparalleled sexual, reproductive and economic autonomy. In many ways, they’re doing much better than the men. (Just look at the lopsided university graduation rates, which are now around 60-40). And yet, large numbers of young women admit their private lives are a sad mess.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, History, Marriage & Family, Men, Sexuality, Women, Young Adults

Rafael Nadal wins the US Open for his 16th Major title!

Posted in America/U.S.A., Men, Spain, Sports

(NY Post) Larry Gelton–Is ‘Cheap sex’ making men give up on marriage?

The share of Americans ages 25-34 who are married dropped 13 percentage points from 2000 to 2014. A new book by sociologist Mark Regnerus blames this declining rate on how easy it is for men to get off.

Regnerus calls it “cheap sex,” an economic term meant to describe sex that has very little cost in terms of time or emotional investment, giving it little value.

Regnerus bases his ideas, in part, on the work of British social theorist Anthony Giddens, who argued that the pill isolated sex from marriage and children. Add online pornography and dating sites to the mix and you don’t even need relationships.

The result is “two overlapping (but distinctive) markets, one for sex and one for marriage, with a rather large territory in between comprised of significant relationships of varying commitment and duration,” Regnerus writes in “Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy” (Oxford University Press).

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Posted in --Social Networking, Anthropology, Blogging & the Internet, Books, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Men, Pastoral Theology, Pornography, Science & Technology, Sexuality