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Author Topic: Sexuality & religion; asking for resources
tekaine
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Hello there. I am writing an essay on the effects religion has on sexuality worldwide, and am at a loss as to any online sources there could possibly be on this topic. I know it's a pretty broad area, but two hours of extensive searching via MSN and Google yielded only subjective pages (most of these being predominantly based in Christianity and its many Western counterparts) which I cannot cite for credit, seeing as how this is a research essay and not presenting argument.

If anyone could possibly link me to either a better search engine or any sophisticated, objective, scholarly sources on the issue, I would be most grateful.

Blessed be.

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~There *are* intelligent non-humans on Earth. And we haven't even tried extensively to talk to them yet.~


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Heather
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Honestly, if you're writing an essay, not an encyclopedia, you are going to need to narrow it down to one culture, religion (organized or no?) or time period. You simply are. No one has yet written a BOOK on that broad a topic, because it isn't doable.

Once you narrow down appropriately, you'll find that finding resources becomes a lot easier. It'll also make it easier for someone to suggest resources.

And hitting the library is smart: using the web as a sole source for research isn't academically viable, nor is it sound.


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Gumdrop Girl
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this should help some http://www.scarleteen.com/forum/Forum19/HTML/000210.html


have you considered actually interviewing a clergyman? the internet isn't the best place to do research unless you're *really* well-versed in distinguishing good info from crap. you must at least have some grasp of that since you found ST (we're quality ) but otherwise, it might just be a better idea to try to track something down at the library. something of the hardbound with pages variety.

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tekaine
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That's the thing... the essay is to be about 20 pages long, so I figure I've got plenty of space to explore at least four different religions. I've already got one down, since there's plenty of information apparently on Christianity and its dealings with sexuality, but I'm looking for some vastly different religions now.

I am sort of taking an encyclopedia stance on this, that I need to be able to discuss in detail what and why. I have indeed done searching at my school's library, but it doesn't have much specifically on any religion and sexuality. The area I live in is very conservative (part of the reason I chose such a topic, lol... I fail to understand why everyone's so held in thrall by simple taboo) and doesn't embrace 'controversial' issues publicly.

If I knew a way to get hold of a Muslim clergy member, for instance, I would love to do that interview. Or a Buddhist (harder since they don't have a clergy that I know of), the views of a more well-known cult, or even a modern druid or wiccan (we don't really have those around here, not in the open). I'm more aimed toward non-Western religions since most people in the class I'm writing this for (have to do a condensed presentation too) don't know much about any other faiths but their own.

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~There *are* intelligent non-humans on Earth. And we haven't even tried extensively to talk to them yet.~


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Heather
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As Buddhists, no we don't have clergy, but we have monks and we have leaders of Buddhist communities and temples. But there are slight differences in terms of approaches to sex between different kinds of Buddhism. Zen Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism, for instance, apporach sexuality a bit differently.

So, if you search the web for Buddhist communities, sanghas or temples, you may be able to find someone. Do bear in mind though that most Buddhists don't call or consider Buddhism a religion.

Approaches in Wicca or neo-paganism also vary A LOT. However, in most bookstores, you CAN find plenty of resources.

I'd also suggest going to a public rather than a school library.

I srill gotta say, 20 pages to encompass an in-depth look at the effects on global cultural sexuality with four major spiritual approaches seems like you're going to be doing some serious Cliff's notes here. With that approach, what might be easiest is instead simply outlining what four major "religions" sexuality beliefs simply are.


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GrayDancer
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I'd highly recommend Thomas Moore's "the Soul of Sex" as a good resource--he talks of many religions, and would be able to give you both good info as well as pointing you in other directions.
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Gumdrop Girl
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quote:
Originally posted by Miz Scarlet:

I'd also suggest going to a public rather than a school library.

lexington's a pretty big otwn, right? have you got a university somewhere in there? university libraries are the best research resources around. i've been to too many public libraries where the selection was paltry ;(

what grade are you? 20 pages seems like a lot for high school. heck, i just finished a 30 page beast, but i'm in graduate school. and no, i never wrote anything that massive before in my life (studying sciences during college helped with that).

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tekaine
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College student, lol... didn't want to make it seem like I was bragging or anything. The library of which I spoke was the community college's library, which I am told is a small replica of UK's library. It seems that I was told false in that they really have nothing for me, although now that I have a few solid titles to look for I'm going to try again there for convenience's sake.

It is a fairly good sized town, I suppose, but conservative nonetheless. (They're trying to kick all of the strip clubs out of town, but that's beside the point.) It looks like a trip to the UK library (sort of dreading it, first time I will have used it for a resource, being a freshman as I am, not too familiar with it) is what I have left to try. The bookstore idea was a good one too, the only problem with that is that I am literally out of money till Dec. 29th so I can't bring the books I find home with me.

Pretty pickle it is.

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~There *are* intelligent non-humans on Earth. And we haven't even tried extensively to talk to them yet.~


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KittenGoddess
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quote:
Originally posted by tekaine:
It looks like a trip to the UK library (sort of dreading it, first time I will have used it for a resource, being a freshman as I am, not too familiar with it) is what I have left to try.

Ask the librarians. Seriously.

In fact, it's probably a good idea to email them ahead of time explaining what you're doing and letting them know when you'll be coming. Many librarians are thrilled to be asked and will be quite willing to help you out. They may even be able to pull some books or articles for you so that you can start right away when you get there. They'll also most likely have research tips and tricks that you'd never come up with on your own since they have better knowledge of the collection and research methods.

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wobblyheadedjane
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Also, especially for an academic paper, academic and peer-review journals are the way to go. They're shorter than books, usually have a narrower focus and it's easier to load up twenty sources for a research topic when 16 of them are 5-6 page journal articles.

I'd be willing to bet that there are many, many periodicals along the lines of "Humanity and Sexuality", and maybe even one or two with a specific focus on religion and sex.


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tekaine
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Thanks for all the great ideas, guys... I've emailed the library and will be going there tomorrow. I'm glad there are people out there that I can ask for advice when I've run out of ideas... (^__^)

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~There *are* intelligent non-humans on Earth. And we haven't even tried extensively to talk to them yet.~


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Cassiggity
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quote:
Originally posted by Miz Scarlet:
No one has yet written a BOOK on that broad a topic, because it isn't doable.

There are books that relate to it, though -
I used to sell a book called "The Sacred Fire" by Goldberg... it was more about the underlying sexuality in the history of religion, like a Freud for religion.

And the book that was required for my old school's religion & sexuality class was called "Religion & Sex - Studies in the Pathology of Religious Development"

Not like you want to buy textbooks, but maybe you can find them in a library or buy used on the net? I dunno, just a thought.


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ChitarraRegazza
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Internet sources can be quite useful and are academically acceptable, so long as the site is either a .edu or linked to from a .edu. The articles on those sites are refereed, so they're free of the aforementioned crap.

I'm presently taking a break (ahem)from my own impossible-to-research-in-the-library paper, so I feel your pain. Keep your head up!

-Catie


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KCallahan
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Uhm, I could give you the email address of my Comparative Religion professor. He's a great guy who has put on several religious diversity panels. He has contacts with most of the major religions, as well as smaller ones, like Scientology, etc. I'm sure he could definitely help you out.
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Beppie
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While I know you're just trying to help, KCallahan, we don't actually allow people to give out email addresses on this board- not their own, and certainly not other people's. This is purely for safety reasons- we don't want anyone getting emails from people they don't know, and whose identity they cannot verify.

Sometimes academics put their own contact details up on the web, and are more than happy for people to contact them regarding their area of speciality, and this could be an idea for tekaine in her search for info, but unfortunately, we can't post those details on this board.


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Ecofem
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tekaine, I know you're doing your report on the effects religion has on sexuality worldwide, but someone in the future to keep in mind for future comparative religion papers would be the sociologist Max Weber. He did some really indepth research on religion (died before he really got into studying Islam though) and although it is hard to understand in both German or English (argh!) it's some good stuff. I know of a little bit that he wrote about sexuality in religion (especially Puritan Calvinism) and could give you a link if you were interested.

As for sources, inter-library loans are excellent and surely can be conducted through your library to obtain those books you'd love to have but just can't find. So, in addition to the great advice others have said about trying uni libraries, asking librarians, and don't forget the wonderfulness of inter-library loans!

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"I'm a cunning linguist" ~Princess Superstar


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KCallahan
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...Oh, I am quite aware of that. I wasn't going to be posting my professor's information on here. Rather, I was going to contact the professor myself (and I'm sure his information IS online) and I could give that link here. I lurked here long before I signed up, and I've read the rules. Any contacting would be done within the limits of this board. I'm sorry if my post was misunderstood. Trust me, I've read the FAQ in detail and abide by it.
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tekaine
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Well, friends, I completed my essay at last- I covered basic ideas and ancient religious texts of Christianity, Buddhism, the Hindu faith, and Islam. Talked about these cultures' / religions' responses to sex for reproduction vs. recreation (LOL... this was the most interesting, to my mind), non-heterosexuals and their role in the culture / religion, STDs, and crimes related to sexuality. I found enough sources to push it up to the 18th page and didn't even have to go into the nonsense routine. Whew... I'm glad it's over with. I really appreciate all the great ideas I got here - it sort of restored my faith in the basic goodness of humanity, where I had doubts when I was assigned this darn thing. *winks* Now I have to study for a final, and I'll probably be disappearing from the boards for a while - not that I could possibly be missed.

Thanks again for all the positive vibes.

-T.

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~There *are* intelligent non-humans on Earth. And we haven't even tried extensively to talk to them yet.~


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lemming
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Yay! Just got my last final of the semester in last night, so I know how you feel!

Good on you.


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MarvellousPurple
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That sounds really cool. and it made me think--scarleteen doesn't seem to have many articles on religion and sex (though there's one about kosher sex by Hanne), especially not any broad ones like the paper you're describing. So, does anyone in charge here (Heather? think it might be a cool idea to maybe do an article along these lines? I'm hopefully not volunteering anyone for anything, it was just an idea I had. I'd be more than happy to help with anything, I'm on break with not a lot to do in any case.

And in any case, I'd be really interested to read the paper, if you could post a link or something. somehow. I'm a religion nerd.

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put your hands on the wheel, let the golden age begin
let the window down, feel the moonlight on your skin
let the desert wind cool your aching head
let the weight of the world drift away instead

these days, i barely get by. i don't even try.


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