The danger of compartmentalizing sex


We compartmentalize sex. 

From our overall health and well-being as humans.

We compartmentalize sex.

From what it means to be a “good person” in regard to sexually respecting others.

We, as a society, compartmentalize sex.

Why does this matter?

It matters because it means that in many religious teachings or spirituality classes the topic of sex is outright neglected, considered an inappropriate topic, or taught only through the lens of moral judgment. 

It means that the group of 13-year-old girls I conducted a workshop with at the end of January had received a lot of “girl empowerment” messages, but these positive messages were disconnected from their development as sexual beings or finding their voice in sexual situations.

It means that when teen boys and young men are trained in the morals or values of “how to be a man,” they are usually missing training on how to actually respect another person and honor their needs, particularly young women in a sexual situation.

It means that many of our teens and young adults do not learn that “being a good person” or “being kind to others” is deeply important in sexual interactions.

How does this impact our society?

Listen to the context of sexual assault story I heard recently was possible.

A woman in her mid-20s was out drinking with her friends and was being pressured by a man and his friends for sex. When she realized she was in an unsafe situation, she found two male security guards and called her boyfriend on her cell phone. But one of the security guards took her phone and told her boyfriend, “Don’t listen to her, she’s just drunk.” She ended up being raped that night.

I bet those security guards think of themselves in general as “good guys.” They have dinner with their mom once a month. They look out for their little sister. They hope to never raise a hand to a woman.

But they probably didn’t receive training about what it actually means to respect and look out for a women’s best interest when it comes to sex.

We need to stop compartmentalizing sex. Its integration is vital to our health as a society.

~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego Sexologist, Keynote Speaker, & Sociologist