Summary: The Social Construction Of Evangelical Sexuality

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The Social Construction of Evangelical Sexuality
Kelsy Burke in her book Christians under Covers investigates various exclusive websites to demonstrate how some evangelical Christians have utilized digital media to discuss sex. Those websites develop people’s real world sexual practices and encourage them to explore sexual pleasure within a religious context. People follow Christian values that shape how they perform sex and provide them freedom to cross gender boundaries, while simultaneously perpetuating gender inequality.
Baym’s chapter “Communities and Networks” explore how people are socially organized online using common values, beliefs, and identities. In the virtual communities, Evangelical Christians share the most important belief:
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These websites influence how they understand marital sex and assure that God validates their sex life. Most people in the real world receive sources about sex from mainstream media or magazines. However, those sources that don’t align with religious values are filtered and disregarded by the Evangelical Christians. Mainstream sources do not portray Christian’s value, which is a heterosexual relationship between a married couple. Therefore, evangelical websites provide a source of support where members have common understanding and share advice that are religiously appropriate.
Our reality is generated based on social interactions and relationships with each other on a day-to-day basis. According to Berger and Luckmann, individuals in a social system generate perceptions of each other and these perceptions become accustomed over time. These websites discussed by Burke, are a result of social construction and this is because they are involved in social interactions with members of their community. Evangelical Christians interact with each other in the virtual community where knowledge of sexuality is negotiated, shared, and learned. They integrate what they learned online into practice and real life. The combination of modern and religious ideas forge a new perception of sex. Evangelical Christians are visiting those websites, reading posts, sharing or giving advice, passing and gaining knowledge where overtime, it constitutes as an institution
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Any kinds of sexual practices are justified as long as you are married. Men are able to perform pegging and cross-dressing because they believe God knows they are heterosexuals engaging in a monogamous sexual activity with their wife. It’s a form of inner justification where both God and them know that they are performing righteous behavior and following their religious beliefs. Men’s masculinity is more at stake if they express interest in non-normative gender behavior. Therefore, they have to be more active in proving themselves that what they do is justified. In the context of religion, their behavior is not considered atypical and their masculinity is preserved. However, “if the motivation is to satisfy a secret desire for homosexual activity then there would be a problem” (Burke, pg.151). Gender deviant activities are not sinful as long as it is heterosexual. Non-normative sex is an individual’s taste until the motive challenges heteronormativity. God detests homosexuality and people who are non-heterosexuals are excluded from having godly

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