Many within the Church claim they are not influenced by the work of Alfred Kinsey. Although most don’t want details, they acknowledge his aberrant thinking. They’re aware of his abuse of men, women, children, and science. “We want nothing to do with him!” they say.
Yet, earlier this year, one of my own denomination’s church publications quoted statistics from the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction at the University of Indiana. When I asked, “Why?” the answer was, “Where else do we go for statistics on sex and sexuality?”
This should give us pause. Why do we need statistics on sex and sexuality? What is their purpose? How are they used and to what end?
For the sake of dialogue, let’s assume that the Christian community has a valid reason for using statistics on topics of sex and sexuality. There is much to be considered.
First, how are such statistics gathered? Eunice Ray, founder with her husband Col. Ronald D. Ray of RSVP America (Restoring Social Virtue & Purity in America), told me, “There isn’t any scientific way, according to the Ph.Ds I know who have looked honestly at the subject, to accurately quantify the data gathered. It is subjective and not able to be duplicated. If you test physiological responses maybe, but simply developing a questionnaire and delivering it is problematic.” Ray quotes Abraham Maslow who once remarked to Alfred Kinsey that people who will talk with people “like us who seek statistics on sexual behaviors” are “off” already. Most “normal” people will not be questioned about their sex lives.
Second, can we correctly label data or statistics on sex and sexuality as “science”? If so, it should be able to be duplicated. Here, then, is the difference between “hard science” and “social science.” In the case of “hard science,” another researcher can duplicate the original and get the same results. This is most likely not true with “social science.” What is true, however, is that questions in any “social science” survey can be phrased in such a way to produce a particular answer.
Third, who are the “experts” on sex and sexuality? The truth about intimate matters was once the province of medicine and the Church. But, “social scientists” such as Mary Calderone, Lester Kirkendall, Dr. John Money, and others labored diligently to relocate the truth of such matters to another province or, at the very least, become the “go-to experts” for the Church. It was SIECUS and “sexologists” who encouraged churches and their educational outreach to speak of the “gift of sexuality” and encourage the “yeses” of a “Garden-like” sexual experience. We see something similar with abortion. The Church could never embrace abortion until social science disguised as true science denied God’s design for men, women, marriage, and the family. But the “scientific” code that made abortion legal is based on a social science that not only betrays a doctor’s oath to “to do no harm,” but opposes God, the Creator of human life. Today, there are church-going women who view their abortions as “a sacrifice I had to make for myself” and pastors who tell pregnant and frightened women that an abortion will “send their child to be with Jesus.”
In authoring The Failure of Sex Education in the Church: Mistaken Identity, Compromised Purity, I chose not to offer much in the way of statistical data. I do, however, offer history, explanation, and contrast between sex education and instruction in purity with the ultimate goal of encouraging God’s people to ponder, dialogue, and seek His Word rather than the opinion of man. For all who seek the hard science of medical data as opposed to social science, I recommend You’re Teaching My Child What? by Miriam Grossman, M.D., and How Teen Sex Is Killing Our Kids by Meg Meeker, M.D. A quick read of Dr. Grossman’s book Unprotected will also explain how “politically-correct” feminism, certainly not to be confused with hard science, has powerfully influenced both medicine and the Church.
We can gather statistics on how many people are divorced within a particular congregation, denomination, or community. That would be a civil, documented matter. But can we gather pure statistics on sexual behavior? If so, how? From what groups of people? With what kind of questions? To what conclusion?
Is there really such a thing as valid “sex research”? Perhaps the better question is: Why do we need “authorities” on sex or sexual behavior when we have God’s Word?
The Word of God says, “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ” (Col. 2:8). Jesus knows that our flesh is weak (Mark 14:38). Perhaps, for this reason, God does not turn our heads toward worldly “statistics” or so-called “scientific surveys,” but toward holiness, purity, and self-control. In what way does a sex survey or statistics on sexual behavior encourage holiness? In the 1950s, following the publication of Kinsey’s “scientific” report, husbands and wives began to wonder what they were missing. Church-going sons and daughters began to question their parents’ morality.
Today’s parents and pastors aren’t asked to do anything any differently than those in previous generations. We are to instruct children and congregations in the ways of the Lord and, in so doing, help young and old to resist temptations of Satan, the world, and our own sinful nature.
It is uncertain that we will be rightly guided by measurements and comparisons provided to us by sexologists. The words of social scientists come… and go. But the Word of the Lord is forever. We will be rightly guided when we fear, love and trust God who is the Creator of male and female, marriage and family. It is His Word that saves us and leads us away from the trips and snares of this present world.