Gender Theory: Responding with Love and Logic

Authored by Jason Evert in Issue #3.2 of The Catechetical Review

While camping at the World Youth Day vigil in Kraków this summer, I spoke with a young woman who was preparing to enter her first year of college at a prestigious university in California. She pulled her iPhone out of her backpack and showed me where her online college application required her to check the appropriate box to indicate her gender.

There were 18 boxes to choose from.

I read through the litany of genders, and noticed that two were missing: male and female. (Facebook—which invites its users to identify as one of 58 genders—at least offers them the possibility of choosing to be male or female.) The university application, however, did allow the incoming students to choose “cis-male” or “cis-female,” which means that the biological sex one was assigned at birth aligns with the gender one chooses as their identity.

What’s going on? Where is this coming from? In a sense, it could be said that Gaudium et Spes prophesied our culture’s sexual identity crisis by stating, “when God is forgotten the creature itself grows unintelligible.”

In order to offer pastoral care for individuals who struggle with gender dysphoria, it is useful to reflect upon the roots and ultimate goal of gender theory. Throughout its history, the Church has defended the truth of the human person from ideologies that aimed to separate the body and soul, including Gnosticism, Manichaeism, and Cartesian Dualism. In varying ways, each of these schools of thought pitted the physical against the spiritual, considering what is material to be inferior to what is immaterial. Similarly, gender theory promotes the notion that one’s gender is a reality that exists independently of one’s body, and it defines one’s true identity. In other words, one’s body is not a reliable guide to discovering one’s identity. Rather, the body is a collection of parts that may be augmented or even surgically removed if they conflict with one’s internal feelings.

The rest of this online article is available for current subscribers.

Start your subscription today!


This article is from The Catechetical Review (Online Edition ISSN 2379-6324) and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of The Catechetical Review by contacting editor@catechetics.com

Articles from the Most Recent Issue

The Kerygma: What It Is and Why It Matters, Part I
By Dr. Chris Burgwald
A Proclamation of Salvation Introduction Over the last several decades, theologians who focus on evangelization in general, and the moment of catechesis within it in particular, have given considerable thought and attention to the topic of the kerygma, and rightly so. The kerygma can be aptly understood to be the summary of the Gospel; and, as... Read more
El kerigma: Lo que es y porqué importa, Parte I
By Dr. Chris Burgwald
Free Introducción Agnolo Gaddi's Mercy Seat Trinity paintingDurante las últimas décadas, los teólogos que enfocan la evangelización en general, y en particular, al momento de la catequesis – que es una parte de la evangelización- han puesto esfuerzos considerables de pensamiento y atención al tema del kerigma, y con justa razón. El kerigma puede... Read more
RCIA & Adult Faith Formation: Mystagogy that Unveils the Mystery of the Church
By Dr. Christine Myers
It happens more than we like to admit: after a joy-filled Easter Vigil, many new Catholics skip out on the post-baptismal catechesis sessions. Our best plans for a riveting exploration of the rich theological and historical meaning of the sacred signs of our faith serve only a few. Like other RCIA directors, this trend in my own parish has given... Read more

Pages

Watch Tutorial Videos

We've put together several quick and easy tutorial videos to show you how to use this website.

Watch Now