Kate Ott (not me) is taking on a huge task that I don’t envy. Talking to parents about how to talk about sex. This is not your health class sex education. It is, in my opinion, the more important piece of that that many people on one side of the social equation believe that we should only discuss marriage and celibacy, and the other side of the equation that believe that we all ought to act like animals (at least mildly civilized ones). Yes, I am overstating both sides. Then again, both sides seem to do that when they discuss themselves and “the others”.
Ott is trying to bridge a gap that really needs to be bridged. Our kids are being left to, effectively, fend for themselves. Anyone who believes that there is a spiritual aspect to sex (which covers quite a number of faith traditions, not just Christianity) would benefit from Ott’s book.
I’d love to offer some quick tips from Ott’s book, Sex & Faith, but I won’t. Not because there aren’t any, but because there are so many. In a world that wants quick fixes, Ott does a good job of painting the picture for the reader, then bringing the reader into the picture. This requires patience on the reader’s side, but for something that is so essential, patience is good.
As a father of an adolescent, and two pre-adolescents, it would have been nice to have this book in my hands prior to my kids’ first foray in to sex education. That being said, it is helping me frame things in my own head, prior to discussing them with my kids.
Ott is not trying to, from my perspective, cram Christianity down anyone’s throat. In fact, she really does try to shy away from it. However, she still tries to tie faith with sex. She works at being open to non-Christian perspectives. In fact, her openness may actually put her in an uncomfortable position with those whose ecumenical positions are absolute.
Disclaimer: I received a e-text preview copy of this book, but received no other compensation.
Ott, Kate. Sex & Faith: Talking With Your Child From Birth to Adolescence. [S.l.]: Westminster John Knox, 2013. Print.