Sexuality and Christianity: Understanding the Attitudes and Negotiations of Young Adults in the UK
Christianity has historically incorporated numerous strands of thinking on sexuality; in some cases, problematizing sexuality through the endorsement of celibacy and asceticism while at other historical and contextual moments, marriage and procreation become ideals. (Price 2006) Contemporary Christians negotiate many sexual scripts (including ‘secular’ ones), but ‘appropriate’ Christian sexuality is still usually defined in terms of monogamy, the containment of sex within marriage and
heterosexuality. This chapter will explore the attitudes, beliefs and practises toward sexuality of young Christian women and men aged between 18 and 25 and living in the UK, based on a qualitative and quantitative research project entitled Religion, Youth and Sexuality: A Multi-faith Exploration, which utilised questionnaires, in-depth interviews and video diaries. The chapter will consider the variations in attitude between young people from different Christian denominations in relation to three themes: sex outside of marriage, celibacy and monogamy.