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
Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
10 years 1 month 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.


Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Long before Pope Francis earned the nickname, St. John Paul II was known as “the people’s pope.” St. John Paul II recognized the value of modern travel and mass media in spreading the Gospel and a global message of good will.
The EditorsMarch 22, 2018
Retired New York Auxiliary Bishop Gerald T. Walsh distributes Communion during a Mass on the March 17 feast of St. Patrick, patron of the Archdiocese of New York, at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)
“It is clear that what matters to Pope Francis is the transformation of individuals and communities through their attentive and communal participation in the sacramental mysteries."
Surveys suggest that younger Americans are turning away from religion, but they may not have been properly introduced to the church in the first place.
Robert David SullivanMarch 22, 2018
Photo: R2W FILMS
A feel-good film that actually reaffirms one’s faith in humanity
John AndersonMarch 22, 2018