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Religious Tolerance logo

About human sexuality


Topics of concern to many believers & secularists.

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There is an amazing diversity of beliefs about human sexuality among Christians, Jews, Muslims, the followers of other faith groups, and those who are not affiliated with any organized religion. Many faith groups seem obsessed with sex and gender matters.

bulletOn matters related to human sexuality, Americans tend to be polarized between social and religious conservatives and liberals/progressives.


Beliefs about human sexuality differ widely and are generally influenced greatly by an individual's religious affiliation:

  • Followers of the liberal wings of all religions generally hold beliefs which are largely based on scientific studies.

  • Secularists -- Agnostics, Atheists, Free Thinkers, Humanists, NOTAs (None of the Above; unaffiliated with a religon) etc. -- hold beliefs similar to liberals.

  • Followers of the conservative wings of all religions generally base their beliefs about sexuality upon their interpretation of passages from their holy books.

bullet Conservatives from all religions tend to agree that only opposite-gender sexual behavior is moral, and then only between a man and a woman who are married to each other.

bullet Religious liberals are also largely in agreement among themselves, and tend to value sexual behavior as acceptable if it is consensual, at a low risk for unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted infection (STI) transmission, if the persons are sufficiently mature, and perhaps if it occurs within a committed relationship. 

bullet Almost all groups disapprove of sexual behavior that is non-consensual, manipulative, forced, or unsafe. However, there were once profoundly misogynistic religious traditions that required women to submit to being raped by their husband.

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Topics covered

bulletDefinitions of terms:
bulletA glossary of sexual terms

bulletSexual terms related to abuse of children and youth
bullet Teachings by various religious groups about human sexuality and engaging in sexual activity:
bulletWhat did Jesus say about sex?

bulletHow Christians' derive their beliefs about sex

bulletChurch and Sexuality: A very turbulent relationship. An essay donated by Dean Akrill

bulletChanges in beliefs concerning women, slavery & homosexuality

bulletTeachings of the Roman Catholic Church

bulletMeanings of the Greek words "Pornea" and "Akatharsia" in the Bible

bulletWhat  the Bible says about:

bulletSame-sex marriage

bulletEight biblical marriage/family types

bullet Comparing beliefs of four Christian denominations, Buddhism, Islam, and Judaism concerning specific sexual acts

Beliefs of two more faith groups: one liberal & one Neopagan. Summary. Openness to sexual discussion by evangelical Christians

bullet Preventing and ending pregnancies:
bullet Preventing and ending pregnancies using birth control (a.k.a. contraception) or abortifacients


Reducing the U.S. abortion rate by reducing unwanted pregnancies:

bullet Emergency contraceptives (EC), a.k.a. The "Morning After" Pill
bullet An essay donated by Bjorn Philip Beer: "A hard pill to swallow: Catholic contraception policy"
bulletAll aspects
bulletPagan & Christian beliefs 400 BCE -1980 CE

bulletEvolution of Roman Catholic positions: Overview

bulletCurrent Roman Catholic church teaching

bulletExceptions to the Roman Catholic ban on abortion

bullet Cases where the Catholic ban on abortion may cause, rather than prevent, death

bulletCurrent Christian beliefs

bulletJewish beliefs
bulletChild sexual abuse:

bulletChild sexual abuse by clergy

bulletSex offenders: retributive justice may increase danger to society

bulletWhat faith groups can do to alleviate child sexual abuse

bulletHow children disclose sexual abuse

bulletBooks dealing with child sexual abuse

bulletSee also ritual abuse and Satanic ritual abuse hoaxes.
bulletOther sexual topics:
bullet Asexuality


bulletCastratism: Catholic policy on castrating choir boys, ~1500 to 1903 CE


Circumcision:  The health benefits of circumcising males


bulletHomosexuality menu - all aspects

bulletBeliefs of various faith groups

bulletSame-sex marriage

bulletThe HPV vaccine and cervical cancer

bulletMasturbation - all points of view

bulletPre-marital sex

bulletTantric sex

bullet Being transgender, transsexualism and gender identity
bulletSafer sex: Conflicts; the truth about safer sex
bulletDifferent beliefs about condoms

bulletCondom wars Disagreements over the effectiveness of condoms

bulletObjective information on condoms

bulletResolving these differences in belief (Being written)

bulletMisinformation about sex-ed in Uganda
bulletSex and the Internet
bullet 2000 to 2012: An attempt to create a safe place for kids on the Internet. (In three parts)

bulletWomen's issues:
bulletOrdination of women

bulletStatus of women

bulletRape during wartime
bulletYouth issues:
bulletConflicts and consensus on youth sexuality

bulletResults of some studies of interest to youth

bulletSexual Abstinence/ virginity pledges

bullet Sex education in schools
bulletComparing adolescent pregnancy and abortion rates: U.S. & Europe
bulletHuman sexuality in the media

bullet Reference material:
bullet Books discussing human sexuality. Books interpreting sexual passages in the Bible

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All information is general in nature and is not intended to be used as a substitute for appropriate professional advice. If you have any questions of a medical or legal nature, we strongly recommend that you contact a physician, sex information center, or lawyer.

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  1. "American Religious Identification Survey," by The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, at:

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Copyright © 1997 to 2019, by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2019-MAY-11
Author: B.A. Robinson

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