‘Sex Out Loud’ also covers information about chastity

By Amanda Graf

“Ask a Sexpert.”

“This is What a Feminist Looks Like.”

“Get Wild. Get Crazy. Get Educated.”

These and more explicit slogans were broadcast across T-shirts during Sex Out Loud, the sexual education fair at the Illini Union on Wednesday.

Kathleen Crane wore a light pink shirt with the message: “Virtue is Sexy.”

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    “The sexual act is meant to be nothing less than the number one symbol that God has written himself into our lives through the gift of creation,” said Crane, a missionary with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. “You’re saying no to sex now so you can say yes to sex later.”

    Among the tables at Sex Out Loud – which promoted safe-sex education, pro-choice legislation and an end to sexual violence – was a group of students supporting abstinence, chastity and specifically the “Theology of the Body,” the teachings of the late Pope John Paul II on human sexuality.

    “Chastity is what we are called to as people,” Anna Keefe, junior in LAS, said.

    Keefe was among the students involved in ministries at St. John’s Catholic Newman Center, 604 E. Armory Ave., who organized the pro-abstinence table.

    Keefe said she thought the fair promoted promiscuity and that there were people on campus that needed to hear a different kind of message.

    Elizabeth Carsley, junior in LAS, said she is not a Christian, so the idea that chastity is God’s will for humanity is not very applicable to her life. Carsley believes it is an individual’s right to choose whether or not they abstain from sex, but she said she was glad both sides of sexual education were presented at the fair.

    “Sex Out Loud is suppose to talk about everything that has to do with sex,” said Amy Kunkel, senior in LAS and a member of the Feminist Majority, the group that organizes the sexual education fair. Kunkel said she has no opinion on what people do with their bodies, but said “abstinence is another part of sex.”

    The pro-abstinence pamphlets said chastity is based on respect of sexuality rather than a restriction of personal freedom.

    “It is not saying that sex is bad, but rather that it is so good that it is something to be experienced within a relationship of love, respect and maturity that is affirmed within the bounds of marriage,” the pamphlet read.

    Kristen Rains, University alumna, former president of the Feminist Majority and former Daily Illini employee, said she thinks abstinence-only education is repressive because it is typically only directed toward women.

    “Personally, I didn’t want to admit them,” Rains said about the pro-abstinence group. “I feel like abstinence only is anti-women, anti-feminist.”

    Dawn Eden, author of “The Thrill of the Chaste,” came from New York to promote her book and support the students presenting the idea of chastity at Sex Out Loud.

    “It’s very exciting for me because it’s real grassroots social activism,” Eden said.

    Eden said John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body” teaches that sex is a physical act that has spiritual implications and the two cannot be separated.

    “Everything you do with your body effects your soul,” she said.