24 August 2018
World Meeting of Families

Conlan (Accord Dublin), “Sexual intercourse without love creates loneliness and insecurity”

“Unfortunately, some people think that sexual intercourse is the way to find intimacy; but sexual intercourse without love often creates loneliness and insecurity.” This was said by Anita Conlan, coordinator of the Catholic marriage counseling service Accord Dublin school team, who spoke this morning at the panel session dedicated to Relationship and Sexuality Education in the Light of Amoris Laetitia, in the context of the World Meeting of Families, underway in Dublin. After highlighting the importance of paragraph 284 of the Apostolic Exhortation, Conlan pointed to the need to “let young people express their doubts about their sexuality:” “All relationships, independently from sexuality, have the same expectations and the same need for intimacy.” According to the expert, “many people are wrong in thinking that what male adolescents need or expect from relationships differs from the needs and expectations of young women.” She, then, focused on the social context. “Often people, who think they are ‘progressive’ ask that teenagers be given clear information about ‘safe sex’ as if that were the only thing that matters.” However, the formator warned: “taking the sexual act out of context and making it the most important aspect of a relationship is as useless and dangerous as sometimes not providing any practical information.” Finally, Conlan emphasized that younger people are better able “than most parents to use technology; so, it is very easy for them to discover the pros and cons of contraception and safe sex. Yet, if you ask them what intimacy means, they have difficulty explaining it.”