Each semester when students are making their schedules, one class remains at the top of the list for many. Family Sexuality.
The class focuses on the study of normal sexual development, stated the John Brown University Course Catalog. It discusses sexuality throughout the lifespan, considered from physical, social, spiritual, moral and theological vantage points.
“By helping students understand typical expectations and experiences of human sexuality, they will be able to recognize healthy and unhealthy sexuality in themselves and others,” it described.
The class has brought a new light to what sex and sexuality means for college students.
Nick Ogle, who teaches the class each semester, stressed the importance of the class set up so his students to grasp the recurring theme of intimacy. He noted that the class aims to reshape the way we view sex and sexuality.
Senior Lynea Brown found the class informative and helpful especially since she enrolled in the class before getting married this past summer.
“I took so much away,” Brown said. “I think maybe one of the biggest things through was that sex is a process and it’s about intimacy. I knew that anyway, but going through the class made me understand it even better.”
The class addresses the issue that sex and sexuality dominate our culture and as a result, there is a great deal of confusion regarding the terms and concepts associated with sex. The class aims to inform students on three crucial parts of sex and sexuality: the theology of sex and sexuality, marital sex and issues impacting sexuality.
For Junior Kat Hollingsworth, Ogle’s input has been her favorite part of the class. She says he makes a safe and light-hearted environment in order to talk through everything.
For Hollingsworth, the class has been a place to process how sex and sexuality is viewed in the world.
“It allows us to think and talk through something that was often considered taboo in the evangelical culture,” Hollingsworth said. “It also prepares you to talk through some things to help you with future marriage situations.”
Hollingsworth also noted some of the productive and unproductive parts of the class.
“It gives a space to walk through the spiritual journey of better understanding your sexuality and how God created you,” Hollingsworth said. “I think it can be unproductive if you are not fully committed to the process of working through it.”
She also noted that the topics discussed in class are heavy topics that can be hard to grasp and fully understand if you are not regularly working, writing and talking about it.
For Brown, the class portrays the meaningfulness and importance of our sexuality.
“So many evangelical Christians don’t even talk about it,” Brown said. “But then you have people going into marriage expecting what the media portrays and being sorely disappointed when they realize how much it isn’t like that.”
For Brown, the view of sex and sexuality the media portrays is harmful to a lot of people. She says this class takes sex off the pedestal the media puts it on and makes it more real.
“Sex is not what the media makes it out to be,” Brown said. “Yet, before taking Family Sexuality, that is kind of what I expected subconsciously… our sexuality is so much more than our ability to have amazing sex. It is about intimacy, not just physical pleasure.”
Brown, who is majoring in Youth Ministry hopes this class will help her as she ministers to a younger generation of students.
She sees the class as a source of information that she thinks high schoolers need to begin learning.
“I’m not saying that I need to teach high schoolers everything they need to know about sex. I think they need to begin to be given a view of sexuality that is different from what the media is showing them,” Brown said. “They are already being influenced heavily by the media. Why are we waiting around until they are ‘old enough’ or about to be married to begin giving them a healthy and holistic view of it? Teenagers need to be taught truth about sex and sexuality. I want to do that.