Spirituality and Sexuality on Campus

Tonight, I gave a presentation to a group of students and staff at Santa Clara, regarding recent research on the relationship between spiritual practice and sexual decision-making in the lives of college students. No one who works with the current generation of college students will be surprised to learn that to a person, and irrespective of political or ecclesiological orientation, everyone was totally tuned in. So many wanted to stay and continue the conversation that we added on an extra 55 minutes. The crux of the conversation was the contemporary "hookup culture" in college life, its characteristics, causes, and spiritual challenges, and what sort of horizon for adult Christian faith and sexuality lies beyond it for these students, and for all of us in American Jesuit higher education. It was another reminder that today’s Catholic college students want to learn to pay attention to their lives--in ways both practical and theological. Tom Beaudoin
9 years ago
Tom, coming from a perspective of great concern about the sexual activity among students at Catholic colleges, I find your post heartening. The more Catholic colleges pay attention to the research that you cite, linking strong religious beliefs and practice to more careful decision-making, the more we hope to see efforts to address the epidemic of STDs and the high rates of sexual activity, contraceptive use and abortions in ways similar to anti-alcohol abuse programs. I would be interested in dialoging further with you (offline) and others about the available research, which the Cardinal Newman Society is presently collecting to encourage this sort of discussion.

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