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Christian Sexual Ethics. Meghan Biba and Kaisa Newville. Outline. History of Christian Sexual Beliefs General Views on Sex Views on sex before marriage Views on sex positions Beliefs on chastity Views on contraceptives Abortion Homosexuality Current Christian Sex Ethics

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Christian sexual ethics


Meghan Biba and Kaisa Newville


  • History of Christian Sexual Beliefs

    • General Views on Sex

    • Views on sex before marriage

    • Views on sex positions

    • Beliefs on chastity

    • Views on contraceptives

    • Abortion

    • Homosexuality

    • Current Christian Sex Ethics

    • Comparison of Religious Ethics

    • Religion and Politics

Early christian views on sex

  • Christian sex views were established in the Middle Ages.

  • Early Middle Ages- Priests were allowed to marry and have children.

  • Adultery and fornication= death

  • Prostitution= a necessary sin

Early christian views on sex before marriage

  • Sex was not an option unless married.

  • Punishment for sex before marriage or adultery ranged from penance to death.

  • Certain sexual positions were even restricted after marriage.

Early christian views on sex positions

  • Christian Church listed which sexual positions were acceptable.

  • Most acceptable to least acceptable

    • Missionary (most natural)

    • Side-by-side

    • Sitting

    • Standing

    • A tegro (from behind)

  • No position was a sin but all besides missionary were considered morally wrong.

  • Anal and oral sex= sin because they were only used for pleasure.

Early beliefs on chastity

  • Celibacy was considered one of the ways to worship God.

  • Believed women could become “born-again” virgins by confessing their sins, performing years of penance and spending the rest of their lives in a convent.

  • Chastity Belt – worn over a woman’s vagina to prevent penetration.

Views on contraceptives

  • Less concerned about contraceptive's than present day.

  • Not a moral sin, but a moral issue.

  • Early contraceptives

    • Some reference of condom usage; early condoms made of animal bladders and reused many times

    • Later were made of linen

    • Most commonly people resorted to coitus interuptus (pulling out).

Views on abortion
Views on Abortion

  • Other religions of that time believed a mother could have an abortion and parents could even kill their newborns

  • Before Christianity- belief that fetus had no soul until 40 days. Could have an abortion up until then. Ok if the baby didn’t have human like features.

  • Murder

Views of homosexuality
Views of Homosexuality

  • Act against nature

  • Persecution

  • Evidence of religious leaders being homosexual

  • St. Thomas Aquinas- all acts other than vaginal intercourse is a sin

Current christian sexual ethics
Current Christian Sexual Ethics

  • Pre-marital Sex

  • Homosexuality

  • Abortion

  • Pornography

  • Masturbation

  • Contraception

Pre marital sex
Pre-Marital Sex

  • Sex is only acceptable with a marriage

  • Before marriage, affection is restricted to intimate touches that don’t cause temptation.

  • Sexual impurity can be forgiven through confession.


  • Views differ depending on denomination.

    • Judgmental, shunning anyone that struggles.

    • Preach acceptance and support gay marriage and clergy.

    • Love the sinner, hate the sin.


  • Most Christians believe it is murder.

  • Conception is when a baby comes to life.

  • Pro-life vs. Pro-choice


  • 70% of American men admit to viewing porn once a month.

  • 1/3 of viewers of online porn sites are women.

  • 1 of every 6 women is struggling with addiction to porn.

  • Different views within the church.


  • “Masturbation is a nearly universal act for guys and a common one for girls.”

  • Adultery

  • Addiction

  • Causes feelings of shame and confusion.

Christian sexual ethics


  • Why is this a controversial issue?

    • Sex is meant to create a baby.

    • Contraceptives stops Gods intentions for sex.

  • Becoming more acceptable.

  • Christian sexual ethics vs other religions
    Christian Sexual Ethics vs. Other Religions

    Religion vs politics
    Religion Vs. Politics

    • 26% of churchgoers listed religion as a top priority when it came to their political views.

    • Same Sex Marriage

      • 35% of churchgoers say that religion is a priority when it comes to their views on same sex marriage.

    • Abortion


    • Dickson, Adam. "Christian Sexual Ethics « The Progressive Prophet." The Progressive Prophet. 14 Mar. 2007. Web. 1 Nov. 2011. <>.

    • Gresh, Dannah. What Are You Waiting For?: the One Thing No One Ever Tells You about Sex. Colorado Springs, CO: Waterbrook, 2011. Print.

    • Morton, David. "Sex In The Middle Ages: 10 Titillating Facts You Wanted To Know But Were Afraid to Ask -" A Blog on Oddities: the Odd, Bizarre and Strange Things of Our World! | 20 Apr. 2009. Web. 14 Nov. 2011. <>.

    • Robinson, B. A. "Historical Abortion Beliefs of the Christian Church." Web. 20 Oct. 2011. <>.