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Recently, we have seen numerous celebrities, talented men with once stellar reputations, fall into disgrace due to credible allegations of serious sexual misconduct. John Lasseter, Charlie Rose, Jeffery Tambor, Kevin Spacey, Al Franken, just to name a few. You probably know the stories.

What is going on here? Why is the public “fall from grace” so immediate, total, and seemingly unredeemable?

The drama of these stories goes to the deepest core of individual character. This is about sexual integrity, a topic rarely discussed and not well understood.

A general understanding is that integrity is a function of whether a person’s words and actions align. Going deeper, we can say “when a person’s thoughts and actions align.” Applied this understanding to sex might imply that practicing sexual integrity involves living your sexual life in alignment with your sexual values.

However, our values can be flimsy, shaped by our experiences, our environment, or even by convenience. We want to live a certain kind of sexual life, so we simply shape our values to fit our preferences.

But pursuing a sexual life in alignment with flimsy sexual values sure does not sound like integrity. That’s because sexual behavior has a direct, deep, profound and lasting impact on other people. So, with sexual integrity, we need a more concrete, more reliable, more absolute reference point. Can you help us?

With some precision, how would you define “sexual integrity?”

What is the underlying reason(s) that public allegations of serious sexual misconduct can destroy an otherwise impeccable career?

What do the stories of these public figures tell us about the relationship between sexual integrity and reputation? Sexual integrity and character?

How could the concept of sexual integrity affect how you interact with your friends, coworkers, or significant other?

Please share your thoughts below

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Chris Noble
Chris Noble
1 month ago

“living your sexual life in alignment with your sexual values” seems like a definition of “sexual integrity” that kicks the can down the road. What if your “sexual values” are to have as many sexual partners as possible? To me, elements of sexual integrity are honesty with sexual partners, not taking advantage of sexual partners, concern for their welfare, and responsibility for the children that result from sexual relationships. The “marriage oath”, ever since antiquity, in polygamous and monogamous cultures alike, as always been about these issues.

Chris Noble
Chris Noble
Reply to  Andrew Love
1 month ago

Seems like you and I agree Andrew. The only point you make that I would take issue with is “helping them to form a vision for their sexuality that conforms to their deeply held beliefs”. Some deeply held beliefs are destructive. Encouraging someone to re-examine their beliefs is sometimes necessary. You express sexual “wholeness” as 5 virtues to my slightly-different 4, but the differences are superficial… with maybe the exception of “grace”, which I have not viewed as a virtue the way your other four are. If you mean grace in the religious sense, my understanding of the term is… Read more »

Chris Noble
Chris Noble
Reply to  Andrew Love
1 month ago

Amen!

Roger Wetherall
Roger Wetherall
3 months ago

Sexual Integrity is the ability to control and direct one’s own thoughts in a way that our higher spiritual mind is in control of our bodies. It is the foundation for all other forms of integrity as it gives one the power of self-awareness, discipline, and self-control; rare qualities in the world today.

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