Why is there so much about sexuality and intimacy?
Part of the independence that comes with becoming a young adult is the freedom to explore one's sexuality with others in ways that were not available as children or youth. Along with this comes a need to understand—often for the first time the responsibilities that go along with our freedom. In discussing these responsibilities, we sought to recognize that young adult communities are likely to be places where people meet others who share their values, and where intimate and romantic relationships often flourish.
Many young adult communities have struggled with setting appropriate boundaries around sexuality. At times, relationships that began in good faith between leaders and group members have unintentionally led to damage to groups and individuals. At other times, leaders have consciously or not used their leadership role to seek relationships with other members of the group; this has led to difficult situations and sometimes the dissolution of entire groups. We have also seen instances when lack of forthright attention to sexual ethics and boundaries has led to the development of a sexualized culture that turns people away.
We also understand that sexuality and power are too often tied together in our society, giving us as people of faith the responsibility to examine that connection. Because of this, and because issues surrounding sexuality are often complicated, the members of the Working Group felt strongly that we needed to discuss issues of sexual ethics thoroughly. In developing this Code, we chose not to separate out those issues, but to understand how sexuality (and thus sexual ethics) operates at multiple levels of our being. We have sought to address these issues in a straightforward and healthy manner, recognizing both that sexuality is intimately connected to spirituality and power and that sexuality is a vital part of human wholeness.