A Sexual or Asexual Public Square?

Several weeks back there was a bit of a dust-up in conservative Reformed Protestant circles over the following simple question: Does being a man or a woman have any ethical significance for the way we live together in civil society? Despite the success of feminism in radically reworking gender roles . . . . Continue Reading »

What the White House's Opposition to “Conversion Therapy” Means

In early April, the Obama administration responded to an online petition calling for a “Leelah’s Law” that would ban “conversion” therapies. The petition, launched in response to the suicide of a child born a boy and given the name Joshua Ryan Alcorn who felt himself to be a girl and called himself Leelah, conflated therapeutic practices aimed at treating gender dysphoria and those aimed at sexual orientation change. In response to the petition, the White House added its voice to a growing chorus of opposition to such therapies while doing little to clarify the petition’s confusion: “We share your concern about its potentially devastating effects on the lives of transgender as well as gay, lesbian, bisexual and queer youth,” wrote Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to Obama. “As part of our dedication to protecting America’s youth, this administration supports efforts to ban the use of conversion therapy for minors.” Continue Reading »

Public Chastity, Private Chaos

Americans’ public and private lives are on a collision course. Our social system—the one we publicly engage daily—still unwittingly encourages and rewards chaste behavior (though perhaps not speech). Privately, our lives bespeak an emerging chaos, regardless of what we personally hold to be good or true or ideal. In other words, American life is becoming sexually bipolar. Continue Reading »

The Complementarity of Man and Woman

The brilliant lay philosopher of Judaism, Dennis Prager, has written lucidly about the utter distinctiveness of Judaism among the nations of its time in its understanding of human sexuality. Prager writes: The gods of virtually all civilizations engaged in sexual relations. In the Near East, the . . . . Continue Reading »

Man, Woman, and Public Policy

Our topic is sexual identity and the meaning of gender in elite public discourse. Few topics are more important, for what is ultimately at stake is nothing less than how we raise our children and what kind of people we wish to be. Yet it is also a dangerous, almost forbidden, topic. To say anything . . . . Continue Reading »