Presenter: Lawrence Siegel, M.S.

Description: This course will offer an introduction and overview of the complex relationship between religion and sexuality.   This complex relationship has been a source of stress and conflict for millennia and has been most often based on varied and conflicting opinions about what different religious traditions does and does not say about sex and sexuality. Participants will explore a number of challenges that contemporary sexual culture poses for those struggling to understand traditional religion and how they might regard such issues of sexuality as marriage, sexual identity, pleasure, reproduction and contraception, and gender roles. Participants will also explore how sex-religion conflicts often present themselves in therapy and develop strategies to best address them within the individual’s or couple’s value systems.

Learning Objectives:

Describe basic tenets of sexuality among world religions

Describe how 3 world religions view gender roles and sexual identity

Analyze how conflicts between sex and religion are expressed in sexual and relationship    problems

Apply understanding of religious sexual tenets to a sex therapy approach

Activity Schedule:

1 hour: Introductions and personal understandings of sexual tenets participants’ their own religion

1.5 hours: Gender roles, sexual identity, relationships, and pleasure as seen through the lenses of  Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and other world religions

1 hour: How sex and religion conflicts are expressed in sexual and relationship problems

30 min: Integrating clients’ religious and sexual views in developing effective sex therapy strategies