Event: Sextravaganza!
When: September 15, 2012
Time: 3:00 - 7:00 pm
Where: Orson Spencer Hall (OSH 260 Central Campus DriveSalt Lake City, UT

Description: Sextravaganza will be a sex-positive extravaganza exploring sexuality and its relation with religion. There will be three speakers (Dr. Lisa Diamond, Greta Christina, and Dr. Darrel Ray), a panel discussion, and then a book discussion. Be sure to RSVP on our facebook event page here.


3:00 - Dr Lisa Diamond
4:00 - Greta Christina
5:00 - Dr. Darrel Ray
6:00 - Panel Discussion (feat. the three speakers).
6:45 - Book Signing

*Note: This is not the official schedule in terms of time, but it will follow in this direction.


Dr. Darrel Ray (Keynote)

Bio: Dr. Darrel W. Ray is author of four books, two on organizational team issues, The God Virus: How Religion Infects Our Lives and Culture which explores the social-psychology of religion and his latest book, Sex and God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality. He has been a psychologist for over 30 years, practicing counseling and clinical psychology for 10 years then moved into organizational psychology and consulting. He has been a student of religion most of his life and holds a MA degree in religion as well as a BA in Sociology/Anthropology and a Doctorate in psychology.

Abstract: Dr. Ray will speak about his new book Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality, with an emphasis on Chapter 10, which is about how the Pope views human sexuality. Each species has a unique reproductive strategy. Human sexuality is different from other species but not so different that other species don't share key strategies. Even those strategies that are "most human" are shared by other species. Unfortunately, the Pope's view of sexuality is almost diametrically opposite of what we humans are really like. As a result, the Pope would have us acting like animals rather than humans.

Greta Christina

Bio: Greta Christina has been writing professionally since 1989, on topics including atheism, sexuality and sex-positivity, LGBT issues, politics, culture, and whatever crosses her mind. She is on the speakers's bureaus of the Secular Student Alliance and the Center for Inquiry. She is editor of the "Best Erotic Comics" anthology series, and of "Paying For It: A Guide by Sex Workers for Their Clients." Her writing has appeared in multiple magazines and newspapers, including Ms., Penthouse, Chicago Sun-Times, On Our Backs, and Skeptical Inquirer, and numerous anthologies, including "Everything You Know About God Is Wrong" and three volumes of "Best American Erotica."

Abstract: The sexual morality of traditional religion tends to be based, not on solid ethical principles, but on a set of taboos about what kinds of sex God does and doesn’t want people to have. And while the sex-positive community offers a more thoughtful view of sexual morality, it still often frames sexuality as positive by seeing it as a spiritual experience. What are some atheist alternatives to these views? How can atheists view sexual ethics without a belief in God? And how can atheists view sexual transcendence without a belief in the supernatural?

Dr. Lisa Diamond

Bio: Dr. Lisa M. Diamond received her undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago in 1993 and her Ph.D. in Human Development from Cornell University in 1999. Her research interests fall into two areas: (1) adolescent and young adult social and sexual development, particularly the development of female sexual identity and orientation over the life course; (2) the formation, functioning, and psychobiology of adolescent and adult attachment relationships, with special attention to the health-protective and emotion-regulating functions of these relationships, as well as dynamic systems models of coregulatory processes in such relationships. She is the recipient of grants from the W.T. Grant Foundation, the National Institutes of Mental Health, the Wayne F. Placek Foundation, the Templeton Foundation, the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, and the Foundation for the Scientific Study of Sexuality.

Abstract: Advocacy for same-sex marriage and for queer rights more generally have often implicitly relied on a set of arguments that revolve around the seeming moral superiority of committed, monogamous, practically chaste same-sex partnerships, and which challenge the Bible’s supposed denunciation of same-sex sexuality by parsing religious texts to prove that queers, too, belong in God’s big tent. In this presentation, I will argue that both of these strategies, although potentially effective in the short-term rhetorical battle over whether queer individuals deserve civil rights, have detrimental long-term consequences for the longer-term fight over sexual freedom and autonomy. This is because efforts to argue that same-sex partnerships are “just like” heterosexual partnerships, and hence deserving of the sacrament of marriage, and arguments that queer individuals are just as spiritual and devout as heterosexuals, essentially confirm the harmful notion that these are the criteria on which sexual freedom ought to be based. This approach fundamentally marginalizes queer individuals who choose not to maintain long-term, monogamous, religiously sanctioned marriages, or who choose to reject the moral necessity of religion. Although it may be politically dangerous, in the current cultural context, to argue that single, promiscuous, polyamorous, kinky, atheist, “depraved” queers deserve their civil rights just as much as “upstanding,” monogamous, religiously devout same-sex couples, in the end the former argument is the only effective long term strategy for securing true sexual freedom.