Michael Haycock is a rising senior at Yale, ostensibly graduating in political science but finding out how much he can skew that major toward religious studies. He maintains a personal blog, Not a Tame Lion.
Having seen a comment recommending Kathryn Soper’s article as an excellent example of a discussion of LDS modesty and standards (especially with regards to dress and other topics related to sexuality), I decided to check it out. What I found, while insightful in some ways, was disappointing in many more.
Of course, her subtitle makes it obvious that her focus is speaking about young women, and that she does well, pointing out that sexual desire is not the only instigation for sexual activity, but rather that intimacy, joy, fulfillment–and that ever-so-vague thing “love”–can also work towards fueling interest. While this is important to recognize, I think the things she dismisses show more about her conception of sexuality than her attention to a few nuances–and are symptoms of a perception that colors and damages our cultural, and Mormon, ideas of gender stereotypes, gender relations, and the complex issues of chastity and sexual impropriety. Continue reading