It's time for the evangelical church to realize that the way we talk about sex and lust and porn poses a danger to women, as the Atlanta shooting all too horrifically showed us--and 8 people, including 7 women, died for it.
Apparently the shooter has said he had a "sex addiction" and the spas were "a temptation ... that he wanted to eliminate." This language sounds a lot like how Every Man's Battle describes the temptation to lust.
Defeating lust involves "bouncing your eyes" away from women. The 1st step is to "make a list of your greatest enemies." Among your potential enemies? Female joggers, or a "female co-worker who tends to dress a little suggestively." Or women at the beach.…
And how do you defeat porn? You transfer your sexual energy to your wife, according to the book. And "Your wife can be a methadone-like fix when your temperature is rising." She's a drug to satiate your sex addiction. If you don't have a wife? Then it's much harder.
Women are either enemies or methadone. Never are they talked about as people made in the image of God. They exist to either tempt men or rescue men. Even the descriptions of women in Every Man's Battle are dehumanizing: "My eyes feasted on this banquet of glistening flesh."
It is not too much of a stretch to see why someone steeped in this kind of language could see women as the enemy--especially certain races of women who are often fetishized in pornography. And when they're the enemy? Then you have to defeat them, with any means necessary.
But it's not just Every Man's Battle that talks about women that way, though it may be the worst. In our new book The Great Sex Rescue, we looked at how the best-selling evangelical sex & marriage books treated sex & women, and it's not pretty.
Women are told that they can't say no to sex. Sheet Music tells women to give husbands hand jobs or oral sex during their periods so that he won't watch porn, or hand jobs during her postpartum phase. Love & Respect tells women he has a need you don't have & you have to fill it.
The Act of Marriage disparages Aunt Matilda, who hates sex because her husband raped her "kicking and screaming" on her wedding night, and has done so ever since. But the book calls the rapist husband "equally unhappy" as his rape victim wife.
Our evangelical resources treat sex as something men need and women have to give. Women's needs and desires are not considered. Love & Respect doesn't even mention that sex should feel good for women too. Neither does Every Man's Battle. Sex is all about men.
Is it any wonder that men grow up with entitlement towards sex, and anger towards women who won't give it to them? Until we start talking about sex being MUTUAL, INTIMATE, and PLEASURABLE for both, rather than as a male entitlement, we'll create a culture dangerous to women.
I feel like I am one of the few marriage authors calling out this dangerous teaching. I so appreciate the support of so many advocates--but I call on publishers & marriage authors to repent of what they have said, and to share healthy, dignified messages instead. THIS MUST STOP.
For more on our survey of 20,000 women, and how evangelical books affected their marital and sexual satisfaction, see The Great Sex Rescue.


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More from @sheilagregoire

14 Feb
Here’s an example of man pushing back against my thread. I’d like to respond to some of his points:

Re 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 and why it should not be used to tell women they need to have sex on demand:
Biblically, sex is INTIMATE, MUTUAL, and PLEASURABLE. The whole point of 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 is mutuality. And sex is about intimacy; God describes His relationship with us in sexual terms.
Therefore, any interpretation of 1 Corinthians 7 that says to women, “You need to allow your husband to use your body on demand, no matter what you are feeling,” is completely unscriptural and taking that out of context to weaponize it.
Read 11 tweets
13 Feb
We're all bemoaning the celebrity Christian culture that led to the Ravi Zacharias & Carl Lentz (& so many more) sex & sexual abuse scandals.

But what if the problem is not just--or even mostly--celebrity culture?

What if it's the evangelical view of sex?

A thread.
Yes, celebrity culture gave these men (and so many others) more access to victims, and it gave them cover for what they were doing.

But it was not celebrity culture that taught these men to objectify women. Our evangelical culture did that all on its own.
Take the Every Man's Battle series of books: Every Heart Restored says: "Because of male hardwiring, men don't naturally have that Christian view of sex."

EMB says: "We find another reason for the prevalence of sexual sin among men. We got there naturally--simply by being male."
Read 19 tweets
11 Feb
Here’s my problem with the #TheWisdomPyramid : He says that books are higher than online resources.

But in our survey of bestselling evangelical resources for our upcoming book The Great Sex Rescue, it was the books that called women methadone for their husbands’ sex addictions.
It was books that said about sex, “if your husband is typical, he has a need you don’t have,” denying women’s sexuality (Love & Respect).

That book also said sex was about a husband’s “physical release”, rather than also about deep intimacy and knowing.
It was books that said that women had to give husbands oral sex & hand jobs during their periods & postpartum phase, because it was a difficult time “for him” (Sheet Music).

It was a book that called a rapist “equally unhappy” to his wife, his rape victim. (Act of Marriage).
Read 7 tweets
17 Jan
One reason I find Ken Ham from Answers in Genesis so dangerous to our children:

In this age when too many Christians are believing conspiracy theories, Ham marinates kids in conspiracies from the very beginning when teaching young earth creationism.
He teaches kids: You cannot believe scientists or teachers or leaders. They are all trying to lead you astray. Only we, who aren’t actually scientists, know the real science.

(When kids grow up and learn science, they feel they have to abandon God).
From very young ages, then, our schooling of kids is predicated on conspiracy theories.

Think how much the church does this! Even with biblical counselling—you can’t believe anyone secular or medical. They are trying to lead you astray. You can only believe the Bible.
Read 4 tweets
29 Oct 20
Apparently Every Man's Battle has a new edition out this year--a 20th anniversary edition that they have revised.

Here's what I hope they took out (a thread):
I hope they repented of calling women "methadone-like fix when your temperature is rising"--

Women are not methadone.

Women are people. Whole people. We are not sexual receptacles, as we are called in the accompanying book Every Heart Restored.
I hope they repented of the pornographic description of the jogger in the intro--"As she approached on my left, two tiny triangles of tie-dyed fabric struggled to contain her ample bosom. My eyes feasted on this banquet of glistening flesh..."
Read 14 tweets
28 Oct 20
Can I we talk about orgasms, and the numbers 48 and 33?

A thread.
In our survey of 20,000 married (predominantly Christian) women, we found that 48% of women almost always or always reach orgasm during sex, while 33% never do, rarely do, or do so intermittently.

(for numbers geeks who are bugged right now, the other 19% reach climax often).
I'd like to say two things to that 33%.

First, you are not alone. So many women struggle with this! Orgasm is complex. There's a mental component & a physical component, and sometimes things don't line up well.

You are not broken. You aren't missing a "pleasure gene".
Read 7 tweets

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