Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

pp 1932-1935

Women, Sex, and Religion

  • Mary E. HuntAffiliated withWomen’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER) in Silver Spring Email author 
  • , Patricia Beattie JungAffiliated withSt. Paul School of Theology

Sex and religion have long been masculinist purviews. As women come increasingly into ownership of their own bodies, and as their voices increasingly shape religious discourse, judgments about what are healthy, good, natural, and holy expressions of sexuality are in flux. What women understand as “good sex” is beginning to emerge thanks to feminists in many religious traditions who have made it a research and action priority (Jung et al. 2001).

Feminism as a worldwide movement is largely responsible for this change. Feminism is the theory and practice of overcoming sexism as a part of larger efforts to dismantle the complex interstructured forms of oppression that include racism, economic injustice, ageism, ableism, and colonialism, as well as unjust discrimination based on sexuality and gender identity. Feminists in religion bring this analysis to their respective traditions, in order to reshape moral discourse within them. They also seek to reform public policy on the basis of the wel ...

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