In February, a journalist from TCD’s University Times asked me a few questions on Irish youth and their position towards sexuality. Rachel Levin paraphrased our conversation:
Sociology Lecturer Craig Considine explains this silence. ‘Now that people are turning away from the Catholic Church, who is the authority on sex? Who has the credibility to advise? There’s a generational gap in sexuality. If the child goes to the parent for advice, all the parent knows is what they learned through the church, and seeing as now the Catholic church are no longer the voice of sexual morality in contemporary Irish culture, parents may not know what to tell their children. They’re avoiding it as they don’t know how to deal with it’.
With that in mind a new Amárach survey (results in Irish Times), commissioned by the Association of Catholics Priests, has found the Church’s teachings on sexuality have ‘no relevance’ to 75% of Irish Catholics or their families.
It appears that my comments were fairly accurate.
Perhaps, however, I could have been a bit clearer with my points on Irish adults and their views on sexuality.
The Amárach survey suggests that there isn’t necessarily a ‘generational gap’ as I emphasized. Indeed it seems that the Irish as a whole share generally the same opinion on the Church’s stance on sexuality.
What I was alluding to, perhaps not so clearly, in the interview was that the older generation (parents of youth) was more ‘indoctrinated’ (for lack of a better word) by the Church as it concerned proper sexual conduct. It appears, however, that the indoctrination tactics didn’t stick.
In this sense, the older generation had to de-indoctrinate while the younger generation wasn’t necessarily indoctrinated (as strongly) to begin with.
Then again I wasn’t even raised in this country. So what do I know!?
On another note, I’m interested to find out about the sample of the survey. What was the minimum age in which someone could take part? Was the 14-18 age range consulted? After all, this is the group which seems to be most susceptible to the hyper-sexualized culture permeating Western societies.
Nonetheless, I think I was on the right page in the interview with Levin. It was an important opportunity for me to practice my ‘on-the-spot- response to journalists and the like.