Women's studies professor encourages 'holiness in a hookup culture'

Published: Monday, July 23 2012 10:00 a.m. MDT

Our take: Candi Finch, a professor of women's studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, says that, "Western culture has stopped protecting its girls." Through sexually-oriented clothing, images and behaviors glorified in mainstream society, Finch writes that the shift has caused young women to view traditional "marriage-only" behaviors as casual and no big deal. Studies have shown that a child's initial perspectives on such behavior are heavily influenced by what they see in their parents, media images and through the boundaries that are set for their expected behaviors.

A few months ago I heard an eye-opening presentation by Dr. Joe McIlhaney, a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist, who came to speak to our college students at Southwestern about what he has observed over his lengthy career caring for girls and women. His conclusion?

Western culture has stopped protecting its girls.

He argues that we have abandoned our protective role for young women, especially in regards to guiding them in male-female relations, romance, love, sex, marriage, etc. Young women are made to grow up much too quickly --clothing stores are advertising push-up bra bathing suits to seven- to nine-year-olds, 12-year-olds can buy shorts with "sexy" written across the back of them and Hollywood programs geared to teens and young adults often glamorize the idea of young women who are sexually aggressive and loose. Have we lost our minds?

It was heartbreaking to hear from Dr. McIlhaney about the impact, both physically and emotionally, that America's sexual culture is having on young women. The back cover of Dr. McIhaney's book "Girls Uncovered" states, "Our daughters live in a culture that sees sex as both a sacred right to be exercised with anyone, at any time, and also as 'no big deal.' This culture of 'hooking up' among teens and young adults is no longer a secret." And, it is having disastrous and long-term effects on our young women.

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