Evangelicals' Sex Talk Has Hidden Agenda

Despite racy rants, they push abstinence, anti-gay views: author
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2008 7:50 PM CDT
A U.S. map shows state by state breakdown of federal dollars for abstinence education.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Sex is no longer taboo for the religious right—but the evangelical sexual revolution is no liberation movement, historian Dagmar Herzog argues in her new book, Sex in Crisis. Instead, Herzog asserts that “evangelicals, over the last couple of decades, have beaten liberals at their own game by adapting liberal rhetoric for conservative ends," writes Louis Bayard in Salon. He thinks, however, that Herzog has overstated the case a bit.

Conservative Christians now talk about women’s rights and sexual pleasure, and some even endorse somewhat kinky acts within marriage. But they do so while arguing for abstinence-only sex ed and condemning homosexuality. Bayard wonders whether evangelicals have really “changed our national conversation about sex,” considering America’s high teen pregnancy rates—and whether Herzog glosses over legitimate concerns about adolescent sexual activity.