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Sex = u + i² : toward a just Christian sexual ethic for engaging young people in the context of concurrent sexual partnerships.

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Concurrency studies reveal that concurrent sexual partnerships (CSPs) increase the rate of HIV transmission. Church programmes on HIV prevention for young people predominantly promote the moral-based message of sexual abstinence before marriage. These key issues motivate this study which seeks to find a Christian sexual ethic for young people aged 15-24 that is underpinned by the principle of justice to facilitate ethical discernment. The study focuses on Southern Africa with particular emphasis on Namibia and the Siyafundisa youth programme of the Anglican Diocese of Namibia. Through non-empirical research, the work of Margaret Farley on “just sex” is employed as a framework of analysis. Farley’s Christian ethic promotes justice in any love or sexual relationship, and suggests seven justice norms. These are do-no-unjust-harm, equality, mutuality, free consent, fruitfulness, commitment, and social justice. The study proposes the SAVE methodology as a holistic approach to HIV prevention that is consistent with Farley’s ethic. Further research in areas such as children’s sexuality and the use of faith communities as agents of a ‘theology of sex’ are proposed.


Thesis (M.A.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 2011.


Sexual ethics., Sex--Religious aspects--Christianity., Sex role--Religious aspects--Christianity., Theses--Theology.