The Falcon   |   Volume 83, Issue 53

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A different approach to sex talk

Lisa and Mark McMinn answer questions pertaining to marriage and sexuality and disscuss issues on male and female stereotypes in the media and how they effect our perception on marriage.
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Lisa and Mark McMinn answer questions pertaining to marriage and sexuality and disscuss issues on male and female stereotypes in the media and how they effect our perception on marriage.
Photo credit: MARY CAMPBELL/The Falcon.

By , Features Editor

Published: April 24 2013

On Monday night students gathered in Upper Gwinn for the first event of the four-day series Let’s Talk About Sex: Faith and Relationships. The event is sponsored by the Offices of Student Life, Student Programs and Residence Life.

This is the first time the three offices have worked together to put on the event. It is also the second time men have been invited to attend it.

This year, Let’s Talk About Sex: Faith and Relationships has expanded not only in length, but also in content, bringing attention to marriage and relationship dynamics (hence the name change).

Attendees who were hoping to get right to the “sex stuff” found themselves hearing a message that focused on the hopes and fears of marriage.

“I thought it was awesome… Last year I felt that they idolized sex,” sophomore Alex Abate said.

Monday night’s talk was led by Drs. Lisa and Mark McMinn. Lisa is a writer-in-residence at George Fox University. Mark currently teaches psychology there.

A majority of the talk was focused on SPU students. The McMinns shared their findings, which were based on 547 responses to a survey made available to students in preparation for the event.

The McMinns’ findings revealed that both men and women of SPU rate “belonging” as their greatest hope for a marriage. Under belonging were the four highest rated aspects: being known and loved, a sense of belonging, growing old with someone, and companionship.

They said that the findings are contrary to the typical belief that it is only women who want commitment.

Besides the hope of belonging, the McMinns revealed that both men and women share in the same fear when it comes to marriage: fear of settling.

The talk continued with Lisa delving into the culture that surrounds how we perceive gender roles and what this says about how we view ourselves and what we expect in a relationship from the other person.

There was a lot of information conveyed over those two hours that covered a wide array of issues surrounding relationships and marriage.

The McMinns definitely set the stage for the subsequent talks that will continue this week.

“It was different than what I expected, but still interesting,” visitor Isaac Dowell said.

Yesterday morning’s chapel was led by Lisa and honed in a little more on sex.

“You are sexual even if you aren’t having sex,” said McMinn in yesterday’s chapel session, “Single and Sexual: What’s a Body to Do?”

Lisa revealed how sex goes far beyond just the act of intercourse and how greatly it affects everyone. Within that framework, she also addressed the sociological aspects that both play in and get played by sex.

She made four specific points, or as she called them, “conversation starters:”

• Our sexuality is not expressed only through sex, but in intimate friendships with those of our own sex.

• Sexuality allows you to respond to beauty.

• Humans long for physical touch.

• Being single and sexual means embracing what sex means for you now.

“It was a great resource we have at school. It was good to hear her opinion and how she left it open as to how we apply it to ourselves,” sophomore Bo Valencia said.

Tuesday night’s event featured Dr. Amy Frykholm, who discussed her book See Me Naked.

Her book contains stories of individuals she encountered that address the question, “What is the relationship between one’s Christianity and one’s sexuality?”

Frykholm argued that there is an ongoing tension between a person’s life story and the script they believe they must follow in it.

“What is my story, and if I were to tell it, where would I?” she said, ending her talk.

“The most important thing I took from her talk was to accept that everyone has a beautiful and different story, and we should share and celebrate them,” senior Hope Estes said.

With the three talks so far, Let’s Talk About Sex approaches the topic in a more general way, slowly honing in on the core of the issue.

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