Friday, June 06, 2008

Chastity


A friend of mine who is staying for a few days was talking about The Rule of St Benedict and said it is notable that he doesn't talk about chastity much at all, what he does talk about endlessly is the Divine Office and the reciting of the Psalms.

Raising one's heart and mind to, my friend said, is how Benedict allows God to control the passions.

Interesting?

6 comments:

Moretben said...

Interesting, yes: very Orthodox!

gemoftheocean said...

I should think not only control the passions, but to direct them properly.

Terry Nelson said...

John Cassian and the desert fathers, among others, would have filled in the void.

Roses and Jessamine said...

It doesn't matter anyway seeing as most men are feminised and most women masculinised.

Maureen said...

Re: feminized and masculinized

There's no lack of unchastity, so I scarcely think it doesn't matter. Unless, of course, you think mortal sins are generally no big deal.

However, I would point out that the Rule mostly talks about getting up at oh-dark-thirty to pray, after working hard all day and praying. I think the thorough occupation of one's time and energy would have just as much to do with the lack of mentions of chastity problems.

Roses and Jessamine said...

"It" meant sex.

I meant sex is not a massive issue in a metrosexual culture. Chastity is happening by default.

For me, a lot of myths abound in public perception about just how sexualised society is. There is an apparent veneer of sexualisation e.g. increased access to images and sex-talk on the Internet, sex education for primary school children, the trend towards couples living together or marrying later or not at all. But are people actually doing it?

In a 2006 report published in The Lancet, the World Health Organisation (WHO) found the following:
- Most people are married and married people have the most sex. Sexual activity in young people is sporadic.
- Monogamy is the dominant pattern in most regions. The reporting of mutiple partnerships is more common in men than in women. This may be explained in part by the tendency for men to over-report and women to under-report.
- Trends towards earlier sexual experiences are less widespread and less pronounced than supposed.
- School-based sex education has been shown to delay rather than hasten the onset of sexual activity.
- Trends in sexual behaviour are affected by shifts in poverty, education, and employment; shifts in the age structure of society; late marriages; increased migration; globalised mass media; and changes in government public health strategies.

Sexual behaviour has to be taken in context. It varies between genders, age groups, racial groups and religions. For instance, in Britain, WHO says, the number of men cohabiting is falling, while the number of women cohabiting is rising, which suggests more women are living with other women.

The WHO findings also suggest that whether women have sex or not depends largely on male initiatives. In Britain, male sexual behaviour has changed as notions of masculinity have changed. Younger men now engage in patterns of behaviour once considered feminine (preening, cosmetics, fashion, shopping, body worship, gyms etc.) As the feminine gains ground, the masculine decreases and so does sexual activity.

Metrosexuality is one effect of the shift towards the 'equality of the sexes' and a by-product of consumerism ~ men desiring to be or to be seen like 'successful' men in the media (Beckham, Clooney, Brad Pitt). That's a kind of narcissism, the desire for an idealised self. So if men are too busy looking in the mirror, they are not looking at women, or having sex.

Similarly, there is a trend for British women to avoid the feminine as they compete with men in the work force and education. Male dressing; dressing down; economic, social and sexual independence; late marriages; late pregnancies and women 'wearing the pants in a relationship' are all symptoms of this.

Are men and women becoming androgenous?