Professors and staff bring Christian perspective to sex ed

The Sex Ed event is part of Calvin College’s 2017 Sexuality Series. Photo courtesy

This article previously stated that the film “Over 18” will be shown on Oct. 18. It will be shown on Oct. 19.

Sex Ed, an event in the Sexuality Series on Tuesday, was dedicated to having Christian professionals help navigate the audience through questions and answers about the body and sexuality.

Chaplain Mary Hulst opened the Sex Ed event with an introduction speech about why Christians, particularly at Calvin College, should participate in conversations about sex and our bodies.

In the event’s introduction, Hulst referenced 1 Corinthians, the Apostle’s Creed and the Heidelberg Catechism as evidence that biblical Christian faith should engage in discussions concerning sexual issues and topics.

Hulst expressed that events like these are important because as Christians “we believe in the resurrection and that these bodies will be raised just as Christ was raised.”

Daniel Hickey, a junior English major, expressed similar feelings about Christians partaking in conversations about sex.

It feels important that Calvin, as an institution that claims to uphold the integral importance of human bodies within its theology, is starting to provide students with opportunities to talk openly and learn about sex,” Hickey said.

“Even if attendees didn’t agree with the positions of the speakers, the dialogue was key,” Hickly continued. “Because, if we value our bodies, and accordingly view sex as important and good, then we ought to be as well informed as possible.”

The introduction was followed by a series of small breakout groups with a variety of topics. Breakout topics included everything from a conversation about STD’s to virginity and modesty.

Each breakout group had a different guest speaker and each attendee had the opportunity to attend two separate breakout groups of their own choosing.

Bryan Fowler, a freshman computer science major who attended the breakout “God’s Not a Prude,” expressed his gratitude to Calvin “for not shying away from topics like these.”

Amanda W Benckhuysen, an Old Testament professor at Calvin Theological Seminary, led the session “God’s Not a Prude.”

Following the session, Fowler said, “I broadened my horizons during the session. I hope Calvin continues the Sexuality Series. They [Sexuality Series events] would be beneficial to people questioning their sexuality or any sexual related topics.”

In the breakout talk “Virginity & Modesty,” Elisha Marr, Calvin sociology professor and the director of gender studies, insisted that she was not necessarily there to provide the answers.  Rather, she said, “I want you leaving here think about, based on your beliefs, what sources you can consult.”

While some questions may have been left unresolved, presenters like Marr accounted for this.

The next Sexuality Series event, “Over 18,”is a documentary about the numerous effects of pornography. It will take place in the CFAC recital hall on October 19.