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ReVisioning Sexuality: Relational Joy and Embodied Flourishing

In: Journal of Youth and Theology
Authors: Kate Ott1 and Lorien Carter2
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  • 1 Associate Professor of Christian Social Ethics, Drew Theological School, Drew University, Madison, NJ, USA, kott@drew.edu
  • | 2 Associate Professor of Practice, Brown School, Washington University, St. Louis, MO, USA, lcarter@wustl.edu
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Abstract

Sexuality and relationships are a major aspect of teen development. Youth Ministry programs that embrace relational joy and embodied flourishing promote healthy, holistic sexuality for the teens they serve. Yet, many youth ministry programs treat sexuality as a risk (or sin) to be reduced or about which to remain completely silent. Sexuality is part of our created goodness that youth need help to understand and embrace. Faith leaders can influence how teens understand their sexuality and relationships, either as a positive dimension of joy and flourishing or as an inhibitor to health and thriving. In addition to this theological conversation, this article describes increased risks to adolescents who experience high levels of disapproval from families and faith leaders with regards to their sexuality and suggests specific ways to integrate healthy and holistic approaches to faith-based sexuality education that cultivates joy and flourishing related to teen sexuality and relationships.

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