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Does Casual Sex Empower Women?

  • Jim Daly Jim Daly is president and chief executive officer of Focus on the Family, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping families thrive.
  • 2014 May 01

Last month, a Duke University freshman made headlines because she chose to pay for her college education by appearing in adult movies. This young woman defended her decision to become a porn star via an article where she wrote, “I have never felt more empowered or happy… I am in control of my sexuality.” According to this student, it is “how the world should be.”

As Christians we obviously disagree this is how things should be – but sadly, her view on sex is how things are for far too many college-aged women.

Is hooking up part of feminism?

Last year the New York Times ran a sobering article, “Sex on Campus: She Can Play That Game, Too,” which summarized interviews with more than 60 women at the University of Pennsylvania. These students opened up about their decision to engage in casual sex.

Like the Duke freshman, many of the women at Penn talked about being in charge of their own sexuality. One is quoted as saying, “I’m a true feminist. I’m a strong woman. I know what I want.”

We are certainly seeing many women buy into the “sex-positive feminism” myth that says sexual freedom is an essential component of women’s freedom. They decry any sort of “judgment” society places on them for their sexual choices and revel in how “liberated” they purportedly are.

A different view

Ashley McGuire, a Senior Fellow at The Catholic Association, has a completely different view on the topic of hooking up. She shared her take and some of her research with in Focus on the Family’s new movie, “Irreplaceable.”

In this clip (which mobile device visitors can watch here) McGuire says, “I consider myself a feminist, and there is nothing that is more antithetical to feminist progress than the hookup culture. Because what it does is it puts women in a position where they feel the expectation to behave in ways they’re totally uncomfortable with.”

Why the alcohol?

The New York Times article states, “Women said universally that hookups could not exist without alcohol, because they were for the most part too uncomfortable to pair off with men they did not know well without being drunk.”

The fact alcohol plays a large part in the collegiate hook-up culture would suggest McGuire’s right – contrary to what they may say, women are feeling pressured into this type of behavior.

The NYT piece goes on to share some stories I just can’t repeat – suffice it to say many of these young women are being forced to perform sex acts, making numerous of these instances examples of rape and assault.

As McGuire summed up, “women are getting the raw end of the deal” when it comes to hook-ups.

The cultural impact of casual sex

Sadly, the cheapening of sex is having a long-term impact on marriage… which, in turn, negatively impacts parenting. It’s a tragic chain-reaction of events that work together to undermine the institution of family.

“Irreplaceable,” which will debut on May 6 in a one-night event, examines these trends. In our documentary, host Tim Sisarich travels the globe speaking with a wide variety of experts to better understand what cultural trends are undermining the institution of family. It’s an eye-opening film that will help equip Christians to better respond to these developments.

I hope you can join us next week. You can buy your tickets online at www.irreplaceablethemovie.com.

Learn about “Irreplaceable,” the one-night theatrical event showing on May 6

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