Religious leaders today have a special responsibility to help adolescents achieve moral,spiritual, and sexual health. A new faith-based approach to adolescent sexuality grounded in developing the moral agency of teenagers is urgently needed. We call for faith communities to move beyond silence about sexuality or a fear and shame based ethic that is only based on rules and prohibited acts. Young people pay too high a price when those in religious communities ignore their responsibility to help them understand, affirm and embrace their sexuality.
As religious leaders, we want young people to learn about and understand their own sexuality, not primarily from their peers or the media, but from their parents, religious institutions, sacred texts, and school and community programs.
Download and read the Open Letter to Religious Leaders on Adolescent Sexuality.