The BYU School of Family Life has created a website to increase healthy sexuality among members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Marriage and family therapy professor Anthony Hughes and his students created Covenant Intimacy Conversations to provide resources for those seeking to educate themselves or others on healthy sexuality within a gospel framework. It contains articles to help inform people of all ages, from children to re-marrying adults.
“This is really important because there’s so much that’s encompassed in healthy sexuality that people don’t understand, and it plays such a role in children trusting their parents and trusting themselves as they get older,” said family life senior Maddie Olson, who helped create the website.
Hughes said it began as an effort to provide educational material for parents looking to teach their kids about sexuality. But as they conversed with people and developed it further, he and his students realized they would have to help parents address their own issues surrounding sexuality first.
“In the Church, there’s a lot of negative connotations of sex,” Olson said. “Maybe Church leaders don’t want to talk about it because it’s wrong outside the context of marriage. What’s misunderstood is it’s a really good thing within the context of marriage.”
Paige Gifford, also a senior majoring in family life, agreed. “Sex is really beautiful, and we should talk about it more so people don’t think it’s some scary thing.”
She said the team collected research from databases and integrated church publications and conference talks into the articles they wrote to create a more holistic view of sexuality.
Hughes said they also got special permission to use resources on healthy sexuality from the Church website so people could find them more easily.
“Our religion and our gospel is very, very sex-positive,” Hughes said. “There are actually a number of quotes from current and past apostles on healthy sexuality.”
The website benefits adolescents and young single adults as well. Gifford wrote an article called “Rethinking Modesty,” which she said could lessen judgment within the Church.
Other articles cover topics such as protecting children from pornography, balancing boundaries with teenagers, and finding sexual fulfillment in marriage.
The group also has Instagram and Facebook pages that connect people with the website and information.
“The website is beneficial for all people regardless of political stances or how loose or lenient or conservative you want to be in your own sexual life,” Gifford said. “I just think it’s really good information that anyone can be blessed by.”