When Christian Sexuality,
Teenage Sexuality And
Youth Ministry Don't Mix

Christian sexuality…in a general sense…means honoring God by what we do with our bodies because they are temples of the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 6:19).

But…have you ever wondered why Christian youth ministry, childhood sexuality and teenage sexuality are often a poor mix and…

(Click on the tabs below to open a panel. Reclick to close to minimize scrolling.)

Why youth ministry attracts sex offenders

The reason appears to be rooted in psychosexual development…or rather…in non-development, like those who engage in "pedophilia"...or "ephebophilia".

You may be surprised to find you already have an idea of the answer.

Because it is a common clinical finding that... sexually abusive youth ministers are at the same levels of emotional and psychosexual development as the kids they molest.

  And with this simple fact…you may conclude that a pedophile's psychosexual development has not gone beyond childhood sexuality.

An ephebophile's (eh-FEE-bo-file's) sexual development has not progressed beyond adolescence and they remain interested in sex with teenagers.

For example, one professed religious, recently released from a year in a Milwaukee jail, and now 80 years old, had continual sexual relations with two middle school boys. When asked why she did it she reportedly said "I thought I was in love with them."  Though she was 40 at the time, she was only 14 years old emotionally.


Even though pedophiles and ephebophiles cross  generational boundaries inappropriately and have their main emotional contact with children or adolescents, they are very good at staying within sexual boundaries! Believe it or not.

Now that sounds like a paradox doesn’t it? And it is.

They violate generational boundaries with drastic results…but they stay within sexual boundaries by choosing partners who are appropriate to their level of sexual development. And that’s what normal people do!

But, normal people by definition have developed…well…normally. Sex offenders have not. They are developmentally delayed or they are fixated at an earlier stage of development.

  Though they stay within sexual boundaries that are equal to their level of sexual development… these are not boundaries of Christian sexuality and are not what we mean by effective boundaries...that aim to protect people not harm them.

The harm sexual predators inflict on minors

The sexual boundaries of pedophiles and ephebophiles are not chosen, like other social boundaries, for their appropriateness.

To the contrary, ignoring or violating generational boundaries for sexual reasons actually has harmful psychological side effects…for the victims because...

these strict sexual boundaries that pedophiles and ephebophiles operate under give young children experiences they are not ready for and do not understand.

Ephebophiles… likewise… by seeking sex with teens interfere in normal adolescent development...because they separate the adolescent from  the adolescent peer group...where they learn important life lessons about the meaning and expression of sexuality.



The lessons the peer group teaches an adolescent

One of these lessons is that some parts of a committed relationship are public and some are private. In an abusive relationship the entire thing must be kept in the dark.

And when sex offenders interfere with the normal development of teenage sexuality…the abused adolescent does not learn important social lessons about intimate relationships -- how they are started, how they are carried on and how they are terminated.

For many victims later in life, this creates troublesome adjustment problems and intimacy difficulties.

Good boundaries in Christian sexuality…especially in ministry…protect both parties from any harmful effects. Good boundaries in ministry help to achieve the purpose of ministry…and there is only one…which is to bring both the minister and the people closer to God.


At least in the catholic church there is the canonical requirement for ordination that candidates be sufficiently mature. That means their social, emotional and sexual development must be equal to their chronological age.

When ministry involves Christian sexuality…as youth ministry must…pedophiles and ephebophiles do not have sufficient psychosexual maturity to minister to those in the crucial stages of child sexual development and teenage sexuality.

The best prevention against abuse in ministry is ministers who routinely evaluate themselves.  Sign up for our FREE newsletter..."The Boundary Hunter".

Return from Christian sexuality sex offenders to Christian youth ministry.

Or...



FREE Newsletter
"The Boundary Hunter"
Sign up now...


Email

Name

Then

Don't worry -- your e-mail address is totally secure.
We promise to use it only to send you
The Boundary Hunter
.