Junior Ganymede
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Porn Holdouts, Priesthood Power, BYU’s Sex Ratio

February 28th, 2011 by G.

I interviewed for a temple recommend yesterday. There is a new question on pornography.

In an excess of bureacratic indifference or political correctness, apparently the interviewer asks both men and women about it. But we all know that its a man’s problem. Probably the biggest addiction problem in the church, my interviewer told me (obviously we need to step up our efforts to convert smokers, though I didn’t mention that in the interview–I try to keep the light laughter to a minimum for tactical reasons).

The truth is, the Sexual Revolution happened and men won. Our society caters to the natural male. So men in the church are like victors who are being asked to deny themselves the spoils. Or like 1930s factory workers who are being asked to reject Communism and uphold the capitalistic system. Its no wonder that LDS men have trouble. Fast Sunday is harder when there’s food all around.

But its important to hold out regardless. Communism is bad, even for workers, and so is pornography. The decent poor are the foundation of every social system, and in nowise do LDS men reflect better on the Church than in buying into and struggling to abide by a (correct) value system that doesn’t put their selfish interests first.

This induces a further reflection, however. The reason Mormon men can side with the Church is because we are convinced that the Church isn’t taking sides against us in the gender wars. The Church is preaching, we believe, eternal truths that just happen to line up with the female ‘side’ of the Sexual Revolution. It is therefore all for the good that the Church continues to preach and take actions that appear to be on the other side of the gender wars from time to time. Things like, say, an all-male priesthood.

One other thought: the Slate article I’ve linked to at one remove argues that sexual immorality is more prevalent where there are more women. Coincidentally, BYU has a severe imbalance between the sexes–there are more women than men–and has for sometime. This embitters a number of talented LDS women and frustrates what I admit is and should be one of the true purposes of the institution, which is marrying off LDS kids. Maybe it also leads to too many visits to BYU bishops’ offices? Perhaps this is one case where admission quotas would be a truly moral imperative.

Comments (12)
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February 28th, 2011 12:55:52
12 comments

Graham
February 28, 2011

Is it a new “official” question, or was it just something that your interviewer asked (maybe under the direction of the stake president)?


Vader
February 28, 2011

I was told by a fairly reliable authority some years ago that the demographics are reversed outside of Utah: Single LDS men outnumber single LDS women. I suspect the imbalance will take care of itself, to some extent, given time.

But perhaps not completely. The trend outside the Church now is for there to be significantly more female college students than male college students. Makes me wonder if your declaration of victory in the gender wars may be premature.


Vader
February 28, 2011

Oh, and:

1. “In an excess of bureacratic indifference or political correctness, apparently the interviewer asks both men and women about it. But we all know that its a man’s problem.”

It may be than it’s more a man’s problem. But it’s not nonexistent among women. The tendency, however, is for women to consume verbal porn rather than visual port (explicit novels and other writings.)

2. Stake presidents aren’t supposed to add their own questions to the temple recommend interview. The instructions are fairly clear on that, or were last time I saw a CHI. Admittedly some time ago.


MC
February 28, 2011

What precisely was the question?


john f.
February 28, 2011

I don’t think there’s a new question. I’ve given TR interviews recently and there was no new question in the list of questions. Skiing off piste in asking those questions violates the mandate of the CHI, does it not?

Nevertheless, I am aware of Church leaders who ask additional questions in addition to those listed in the official script. Perhaps this is an instance of that.

What was the question, exactly? I have heard of some BYU bishops who ask it this way: When was the last time you looked at pornography? Hopefully your interviewer did not have such little respect for you that he asked it that way.


Adam G.
February 28, 2011

I forget the exact wording, but its from the Church–its right there on the printed page in the handbook, in big bold type, and it says something like ‘oh, btw, when we asked about the Law of Chastity we meant pornography and masturbation too’


Vader
February 28, 2011

Given how easy it is to stumble across pornography while engaged in quite innocent web surfing, I’m not sure it’s an unreasonable question.

A lot depends on the personalities involved.


Adam G.
February 28, 2011

The trend outside the Church now is for there to be significantly more female college students than male college students. Makes me wonder if your declaration of victory in the gender wars may be premature.

This kind of imbalance is arguably what *drives* male “victory” in the gender wars.


john f.
February 28, 2011

Adam, are you saying that there actually wasn’t a question directly about pornography but it was just the chastity question and you interpreted it to refer to pornography? Or did your interviewer actually ask you a question about pornography? As I said, if so, then the new list of questions has not made it out here to the UK yet as I only have access to what I thought was the current list when asking TR interview questions.


RobH
February 28, 2011

We haven’t received any changes to our recommend questions here in KS.


Adam G.
February 28, 2011

John F.,
at the end of each of the bishopric and stake presidency interview, each informed me that there were two new questions and then looked down at their question sheet and appeared to be reading language in bold at the end. The two questions were about pornography and then about masturbation. One of them added an editorial comment that it was a clarification of the LoC.


WVS
February 28, 2011

“It may be than it’s more a man’s problem. But it’s not nonexistent among women. The tendency, however, is for women to consume verbal porn rather than visual port (explicit novels and other writings.)”

Once as a high councilor on my periodic bore the congregation assignment I happened to notice the paperback the ward organist had sitting on her bench. Yo.

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