The POWER and STATISTICS Podcast! Science Shouldn’t Be That Hard

by | Apr 1, 2021 | Podcasts | 29 comments

Podcast: How Emerson Eggerichs Gets Statistics Wrong

Let’s talk power, science, and statistics!

They say that 68% of statistics are made up on the spot–and unfortunately, when you look at the way many of us evangelicals handle stats, it would be easy to believe it. 

Today we’re taking a bit of a romp on the podcast, starting with introducing our new series–sex advice through the ages! Then we’re going to look at how our views of power can cause people to ignore data and slant statistics to show a particular viewpoint. This one’s going to be a wild ride!

Or, as always, you can watch on YouTube:


Timeline of the Podcast

0:42 NEW SERIES! Sex advice through the ages
5:02 Why Sex ISN’T about Power w/ Keith
8:15 Why Keith doesn’t believe in hierarchy in marriage
14:23 Is there an agenda with gender difference emphases?
17:36 How we NEED to handle research better w/ Becca & Connor
23:10 Basic stats 101 session (this should be obvious!)
29:30 Can we PLEASE raise the bar for research?
35:30 How we see stats being portrayed without intellectual honesty
39:30 Umm, you can’t just throw out survey results you don’t like?!
49:53 RQ: *TW* Rape in marriage situation
53:45 RQ: Healing after being used only as a sexual release vessel
1:00:20 Our patreon!
1:01:20 Positive endings!

Let’s Talk Power

Keith and I open the podcast looking at how in antiquity, power dynamics during sex seemed to matter as much, if not more, than gender dynamics.

Then Keith really shared his heart about how the “power” conversation when it comes to marriage seriously bothers him. It’s like all we look at is Ephesians 5:22, ignoring Ephesians 5:21 (submit to one another) and even the Golden rule (do unto others as you would have them do unto you!). And maybe one of the reasons that we stress gender dichotomies so much is that if men can see women as “other”, then it’s easier to treat women in a way that the men wouldn’t want to be treated, and ignore the Golden Rule, because, after all, they’re women. They’re different. They’re not like us.

That’s where things go wrong!

Let’s Talk Statistics

From there Connor, Rebecca and I moved into a discussion of statistics, looking at something that a number of readers brought up in relation to last week’s podcast on Emerson Eggerichs’ sermons and how he treated abuse. The problem? This claim:

According to John Gottman’s extensive research, 85 percent of husbands eventually stonewall their wives during conflict.

Emerson Eggerichs

Love & Respect, p. 60

He makes it repeatedly in different places, including this podcast clip we highlighted last week:

(these clips are super short; like 10 seconds long)

But let’s listen to what John Gottman actually says:

Do you notice a difference?

In this blog post, Eggerichs actually presents the statistics both ways!

For example, as a researcher I later learned that 85% of those who withdraw and stonewall during marital conflict are the husband……

(several paragraphs down)

Back to the research that found 85% of men withdrew and stonewall during conflict. I am part of the 85% and Sarah felt unloved when I did this and she certainly did not feel respect for me.

Emerson Eggerichs

Why Is Love and Respect Gender Specific?

Hopefully you’ll pick up on the problem! If not, listen in to the podcast!

We also go over some of the issues with Shaunti Feldhahn trying to show gender dichotomies (men are one way; women are the other) when her own research did not find it.

Seriously, I find this so depressing. Why did no one see this sooner? Why did no one speak up and say, “ummmm…you’ve got that stat backwards.” Why is the evangelical church doing this so badly. We simply have to set the bar higher. We simply have to change the conversation. This isn’t okay. 

Let’s Talk Power in the Bedroom

Finally, we answered two reader questions that were inspired by our treatment of the obligation sex message and the consent message in our book The Great Sex Rescue.

Recently I was relaxing and enjoying a bath and a couple of alcoholic drinks at home. I think I drank too much, too fast. Anyway, I wasn’t feeling well and unable to walk. My husband helped me to the bed and that’s the last I remember before waking up the next morning. When I woke up, my lower abdomen was achy. I soon realized he had sex with me. I ask him questions about what happened. He responded with, “I took advantage of you.” He was very proud of it. He’s my husband, so I don’t want to call this something that it’s not. However, I feel very hurt and violated. I don’t know how to feel about it. He did apologize later, but I just don’t know how to move forward. Why would he do this to me and be proud of it?

As we talked about in The Great Sex Rescue, marital rape is a thing. It’s okay to name it. And too often our evangelical resources don’t talk about this properly.

We also talked about this reader question:

I’ve worked through the orgasm gap and sex as an obligation with my husband, but recovering from the pain and betrayal of being used this way has rocked my core. How do we heal and come back together? It hurts. Badly.

And we ended with a wonderful testimonial from a guy for whom The Great Sex Rescue and the recent podcasts have totally changed how he sees his wife and totally transformed his marriage. I posted it on Facebook and it got a ton of traction! Here it is–it’s long but worth it.

My wife and I grew up hearing that teaching you describe in your podcasts and vlogs. My wife came to me one day and told me , “I feel like your prostitute that you just get to use.” I was so taken back by this. We love the Lord; we were doing everything we could to have a great marriage. We were taught that in order to have a great marriage we need to have sex, a lot of sex.

And my wife, bless her, never said no to me. She made herself available to me in the middle of the day sometimes while the kids were all occupied. I never really took into consideration how this would make her feel. I thought it really was all about my release. I am crying as I write this because of the heartache I now feel for my wife. It was never about her. It was never her wishes or her pleasure. We were marching to the beat of my sex drive that never once seemed to be content.

We would have intercourse on Monday but if she needed time to herself Tuesday, I reacted as though she did not love me. I would get angry, I would use mean words (I’m in tears still), I would accuse her. We were on the hidden sexless marriage path and didn’t even know it. And I was soon to graduate into a sexless marriage for myself.

I regret to confess that even when she was on her period or recovering post-partum, I would use the advice from Sheet Music and request stimulation for my release. This was so wrong of me. I thought that my wife was here sent by God as a reward for my faithfulness to Him and that He sent her to me so that I could be happy. I never realized how awful this must be to live with. I never thought that she can love me, and I can love her, and she can take 3 months to recover from a baby and that’s ok. I thought that any, ‘no’ was in essence a rejection of me and our marriage.

I can see all these things now because one day a year or so ago my wife stumbled on your Facebook page. We read your letter to Focus on the Family (and at the time I was in a statistics class for college) and saw that you didn’t have data, you had DATA! A lot of it. And they were simply ignoring you. This was a big concern to us because we spent most of our engagement listening to podcasts at a cafe and talking about them. This was in an effort to remain pure in our relationship and we learned a lot. As we followed along, I began to see we have a problem.

Then a couple of months ago as the Lord as softening my heart my wife said those words to me, “I feel like your prostitute”. I prayed about it and asked the Lord to help me. Then a beam of light came through to me in the form of a vlog called “Duty Sex isn’t Sexy”. That impacted me so deeply because it was that one that I realized ‘oh my God my wife is not enjoying sex!’ This, of course, was a big problem for me. My wife and I have been listening to all vlogs and podcasts about orgasms and sex that we can. One thing we wish that we would have heard more of in our pre-marital counseling is how she can be stimulated instead of ‘well just go stick it in there and that consummates the marriage’. Not the exact words but the essence of it. We reflected recently on our honeymoon and realized that my wife, who was raised on purity culture, dealt with vaginismus and we were not able to have sex for a couple of days into our honeymoon.

I have been doing a lot of reflecting and came to this conclusion: I feel that your family and the work you are doing saved my marriage. I cannot thank you enough. I feel so fortunate to have the Lord correct me through your work, your daughter’s rants (LOL), and your husband’s gentleness. Please don’t ever stop your work. Husbands, especially christian husbands who were raised on the purity message, need to hear this. There is SO MUCH wrong with how conservative christianity has approached sex and pleasure for women. So, thank you Sheila. Thank you for showing me what it means to be a good husband. I realize now that I am more attentitive to my wife in the bedroom, I am more attentive to her overall. I cannot stop crying because of how fortunate and thankful I feel for this. My children get to grow up now in an environment where mom and dad really do like each other and like being around each other.

The Great Sex Rescue

Now Available!

What if you’re NOT the problem with your sex life?

What if the things that you’ve been taught have messed things up–and what if there’s a way to escape these messages?

Welcome to the Great Sex Rescue.

Things Mentioned in This Podcast:


On Emerson Eggerichs, Statistics, and Power Podcast

Did you see the problem with the stonewalling statistics? Why do you think evangelicals get stats wrong so much? What do you think about power and marriage? Let’s talk in the comments!

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Founder of To Love, Honor and Vacuum

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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  1. Jo

    A couple of points:
    1. The “51 percent control actually is 100 percent control” thing feeds right in to the “You’re just not respecting your husband enough” mindset as well. Because really, it’s always the HUSBAND who gets to decide if he’s being respected enough, and if he’s not, which really means ***if he THINKS he’s not***, then he can simply claim he has no obligation to love his wife the way he’s commanded to.
    2. For the reader who has been rocked to her core, I want to point out that forgiveness, even quick forgiveness, does NOT preclude the imposition of consequences. God forgives us as soon as we confess, but that forgiveness most certainly does not mean all the consequences will be wiped away, either instantly or in the long term. So she can forgive her husband instantly, but then she also needs to know that certain consequences may have to occur to help her heal. And ideally, her husband would know this too, and he would be eager to show true repentance by abiding by the consequences that he has, as Becca so rightly pointed out, reaped from his behavior.
    3. Perhaps so many of these marriage and sex authors are reluctant to change their minds and their messages because they feel it’s tantamount to saying that God and His Word are wrong. After all, if you’ve spent your life teaching X, ***because you believe the Bible teaches X***, then if you say you were wrong to teach X, maybe you’re concerned people will think the Bible teaches error. And what these authors and preachers aren’t realizing is that it isn’t the BIBLE that’s wrong. It’s misunderstanding the cultures the various Bible books were written in and were written to (as y’all pointed out today) and therefore misunderstanding the original intent of the message. It of course also doesn’t help if the Bible has been translated with a thumb on the scale to keep those traditional power structures (as you also mentioned today) in place.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Great thoughts, Jo! Completely agree.
      I also think for #3 that people are honestly trying to prove an agenda. I suppose it’s because they think the Bible teaches it, but I have to think it goes even further than that because of how fast and loose they often play with statistics and science. I think they aren’t open to hearing about other possible interpretations or ways of seeing the world, which is problematic. I mean, maybe they are–but I just don’t see evidence of it.
      And this isn’t cancel culture either. If any of them stood up and said, “Yeah, I was really wrong to teach X, I’ve now learned that Y is true, and let me tell you all about it,” I would shout it from the rooftops and try to send eyeballs their way! We need to make it NORMAL and ACCEPTABLE in the evangelical tradition for people to change their minds with evidence. Jesus said that by their fruits we would know them. So when we see something has bad fruit, we should be allowed to say, “okay, we’ve been doing something wrong, let’s re-evaluate and get back to Jesus” without this being a huge big deal. It should just be normalized.

      • Jo

        I wonder if part of the problem with regard to marriage and sex research is that so much of it is done with a secular viewpoint, and the Bible’s base message of “lifelong monogamy or else celibacy” is contrary to the assumptions of secular research.
        Perhaps we then throw in a little of the biblical counseling assumption that “the Bible has all you need” and so decide to completely ignore secular research? But as C. S. Lewis so famously pointed out, “When [Christianity] tells you to feed the hungry it does not give you lessons in cookery.” He goes on at the end of the same paragraph to say, “[Christianity] was never intended to replace or supersede the ordinary human arts and sciences: it is rather a director which will set them all to the right jobs, and a source of energy which will give them all new life, if only they will put themselves at its disposal.” (second paragraph of chapter 3, “Social Morality,” in the book “Christian Behavior,” book 2 of Mere Christianity)
        We don’t need to throw out secular research entirely, but we do need to use it—and any specifically Christian research that we might do—correctly. We may have different applications based on such research, but completely ignoring the conclusions, especially when they’ve been replicated, seems foolhardy at best.

  2. Melissa W

    “51 percent control actually is 100 percent control” – this right here is the underlying belief system that informs how they interpret and then ultimately apply the Bible. They have a deeply held belief (or maybe it’s actually an idol) that in relationships there is a certain amount of power that has to be divided up in such a way that one person has more while the other has less. Someone has to be in charge. It isn’t just in their marriages and homes but also their churches or any other organization or business they are in or run. Ultimately it is a power and control idol and a failure to truly trust God with their lives and the people and things in their lives.

  3. Boone

    I recently handled a divorce for a young woman that was the victim of marital rape. She had taken her migraine medication and gone into a deep sleep. She woke up the next morning in a sticky mess with her husband laughing and bragging about what he had done. The were several other factors involved in the split but this is what sent her over the edge.

  4. Chris

    “There’s lies, damn lies, and statistics “ or another good one from a prof of mine in university “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal can be seductive, but what they conceal is vital” or as the great Yogi Berra once said “90% of this game is half mental”
    I consider myself more of an egalitarian with one exception: life and death. There was a great movie made in the late 1950s about the Titanic called “A night to remember “. In it there is a very touching scene where a young couple with small kids on board is having a discussion about what to do. Its clear from the context that they love each other and respect each other deeply. But at one point the wife tells him that she and the children will not be getting into the life boats without him. Its a very touching scene. But he then “orders” her to get in the life boat while he stays behind. These kind of circumstances are extremely rare thank god.
    On a different note, Sheila I followed the link the other day to the 9 thoughts that can change your marriage page. I was surprised to see Shaunti Feldmans endorsement! Have you two ever met or spoken in light of whats been said in the great sex rescue?

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Shaunti did issue a statement about the book, and I issued one in return (I like to her statement in mine). It’s just a sad story all around. I wish that it was easier to change your mind and say, “Hey, I got stuff wrong in the past!”
      Even today I heard that David E. Clarke, a prolific marriage counselor and author, has come out saying he now supports divorce for abuse. He used to be very adamant that you couldn’t divorce for abuse. So that’s great change and growth, and I applaud him for it. I wish more authors would follow suit and correct where they may have gotten things wrong.

  5. Whitney

    I am curious now what John Gottman would have to say about EE’s misuse of his research. Has it ever been brought to Gottman’s attention? Is there any recourse for people like Gottman to stop people from misusing their research?
    On a separate note, I was really intrigued by the hidden sexless marriage section of TGSR. Particularly that sexless marriages don’t “just happen.” That’s the prevailing belief on a sexless marriages discussion forum I participate in, that the low desire partner just out of nowhere shuts off the sex. And this is a board with both Christian and secular viewpoints. I also find that sex is something talked about as a must-have in relationships WITHOUT addressing the underlying issues around why it’s gone! So frustrating. Thank you for speaking of it in a way that addresses the underlying issues.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Yes–what we definitely found is that only looking at frequency means that you miss the bigger story. Frequency is a sign pointing you to the bigger story. If someone doesn’t want sex, the answer should be to ask, “why?” And then deal with the why, don’t try to just address the frequency in isolation, or you will only make the problem worse.

      • Jo

        Of course it’s much easier to simply count frequency of sex, especially compared to, say, rating it on a scale of one to ten. “Yes, we have sex about twice a week” is much easier to call to mind, compared to saying “Well, the last ten times we had sex, I’d rate those encounters as 4, 3, 6, 9, 10, 5, 2, 5, 4, and 1, which gives a running average of…4.9 for my most recent sexual activity.”
        But I think it’s pretty fair to assume “frequency of sex” ACTUALLY means “frequency of the man’s orgasm,” because the high rate of male orgasm in any sexual activity more or less matches the frequency. All we have to do to verify this is to ask, “What do people mean if they say they had sex ‘twice’ last night”?
        Would men count “frequency of sex” as a valid measure of marital and sexual satisfaction if they were in the 48-percent cohort that orgasms every or nearly every time? Or, worse, in the cohort of 18 percent that NEVER orgasms? That is, if we swap the male and female orgasm percentages, I’m A HUNDRED percent sure that men wouldn’t like to talk frequency if they were in the boat women find themselves in.
        Just sayin’.

        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          Excellent point! And, yes, I think you’re right. Frequency of sex = frequency of man’s orgasm.

    • Chris

      “sexless marriages don’t “just happen.” “
      I agree…..sort of. I am sure there are a million reasons why marriages become sexless. Some don’t even involve anyone doing/not doing anything wrong. Life can just happen. Babies are born, need a lot of care, mom gains some weight, doesn’t feel sexy/wifey anymore, doesn’t want sex. Then you add in enough time to this and honestly, the “why” doesn’t matter anymore. Notice I did not say “the why didn’t matter” (past tense) but rather the why “doesn’t” matter as in present and future tense. There may have been a lot of good reasons why at the time the sexlessness started but once that situation goes on long enough it becomes a habit and the damage has been done both to the relationship and the spouse who has the sex drive. Physical exercise, prayer, and just good old fashioned “getting over it” (though age makes it easier) are the only things the drive spouse can do.
      So I agree that more often than not there are reasons why a marriage can become sexless, lets not be to hasty to assume that there is someone to blame like the more obvious reasons of porn use, past abuse, etc.

      • Jo

        No one else has responded, so I’ll open my big mouth…
        When you said, “Babies are born, need a lot of care, mom gains some weight, doesn’t feel sexy/wifey anymore, doesn’t want sex,” you mention things that change about the wife. Which sort of implies that husbands are static and don’t change over the course of time and the marriage.
        Clearly, that concept simply isn’t true. Husbands get beer bellies and have receding hairlines. Maybe women are more forgiving of the inevitable physical changes for the half of humanity that doesn’t push brand-new human beings out of a very sensitive body area. (But I would urge caution even in assuming women don’t care about this issue, as lots of women are plenty stimulated visually, despite the “expert” opinion to the contrary.)
        I’d like to challenge all the men lamenting a sexless marriage to really, TRULY evaluate whether or not they’ve changed, and I don’t mean physically. Do you REALLY still act the way you did during the friendship-dating-engagement arc? Do you REALLY spend as much time talking and listening, even about the “small” things that happen in her day-to-day life? Do you still show interest in her hobbies, friends, job/schooling, joys, frustrations? How much are you still pursuing her?
        Or do you feel like you don’t have to keep doing those things, that you only did them to win her, and now that you have her, you can just stop doing them? Should I even have to say explicitly that if that was your idea, tactic, and strategy in the run-up to your wedding, then how can your wife feel anything other than that you lied to her? You weren’t really interested in her as a person. You don’t care about her life, what she’s going through. She will most assuredly know that all you care about is getting your physical release. Gee, thanks for reducing her to a sex doll.
        Gentlemen, despite what’s shown over and over in books, on TV, and on the big screen, most women do not enjoy getting naked with complete strangers. The woman’s mantra is generally “No sex with strangers,” even if the person who doesn’t know her is her husband. I’m guessing she knows an awful lot about you. What do you know about her?

  6. Kya

    I did some quick internet research on marital rape laws in the good ol’ US of A, and apparently marital rape has been illegal in all 50 states since 1993 (yay!), though different states prosecute it differently. Sadly, there are still states where marital rape, though illegal, is treated as a less serious crime than non-marital rape.

    • Bre

      Yeah..sad isn’t it? One of the most heartbreaking things for me is that I thought that marital rape was total bull…poop…even though the church I grew up in never taught on sex, I never was submerge in purity culture, and my mom (who was Christian but never went to the physical church except for a brief period of two years in the last few years) was very open about answering my questions and never actually sat me down for a “sex talk” never said anything about sex in marriage. (aside from sex only belonging there, even from a logical, secular viewpoint on disease, pregnancy, and strong relationships) never said anything about it. I just somehow came up with it on my own from a combination of woman’s “submissive” role in church and marriage and my own teen (mis)understanding of the Bible. It took a freshman class on /sociology of children and families’ for me to realize why this was so wrong and all awful. Even the secular focus on sexual pleasure, dating, love, and “my happiness” is very new. It’s so sad and disgusting to see that, while our society has its good points, it’s been so, SO wrong in many major ways. It’s also sad that a lot of these laws and ideas came from Christian influence in law. While I don’t think that that is necessarily wrong, as there needs to be some foundation to law and ideology and going with something that says there are rights and wrongs and that all human lives matter…but good Lord, has our early theocracy(s) and misunderstanding/ weaponizing of the Bible (and proof-texting for our benefit) led to some AWFUL stuff.

  7. Susanna

    I’m obviously 100% with you on the misuse or disregarding of survey stats.
    Question: when Shaunti’s research showed a “libido reporting gap” between men and women (a greater number of men reporting higher male libido than women reported), how would you have preferred she handle this?
    Obviously not ignoring those women who said they also have a high or equivalent libido! But it does seem possible that men aren’t really telling their wives how often they actually want sex, and therefore women perceive their libidos to be more similar.
    One can’t assume that, of course. Just curious how to further tease out those discrepancies.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I think the big thing is not to assume that men are right–especially since so many women said they have the HIGHER libido. It’s very unlikely the person with the higher libido is wrong about that. You may be wrong about the shared libido, but you’re not likely to be wrong about the higher one. The fact that she dismissed higher libido wives entirely, even though they were a large proportion, is really wrong. Why didn’t she talk in For Men Only about how a significant number of women feel deprived, too? That’s really the issue.

    • Katydid

      Regarding Shaunti throwing out the 55%, when this kind of thing happens it creates false information. So many women who are actually higher libido seek help for their marriage only to encounter the inaccuracy of women almost always being low-libido. I’ve heard Christian authorities say there’s no such thing as men having a low-libido! By essentially lying she is preventing couples from getting accurate help and real advice.
      I think evangelical understanding of libido is just as “off” as their understanding of lust vs mere noticing. It’s kind of like when a husband normally would be fine with no sex on Tuesday because of life scheduling, but it is still possible, but if she has her period and sex is a flat no, he suddenly feels like he NEEDS sex. I think this is why some men increase in “libido” during post partum. Take something away and you want it more. Tell yourself no desserts and you’ll want every one on the menu and not feel satisfied by your meal.

    • Rebecca Lindenbach

      I’ll chime in, too, and say that I would have preferred she handled the women’s question the same way she handled the men’s questions in her book to women: report what the women said, even if she thought the men wouldn’t like it.
      In For Women Only, she didn’t hold back on telling women that men are all visual, men can’t help but picture hot women from their past, and men will never be satisfied with only looking at one woman for the rest of their lives and so wives need to be grateful that their men are trying, at least. Even though she also says throughout the book that this will be shocking, women need to have an open heart when listening because this will be hard, etc.
      So in For Men Only, to follow with the same pattern, she should have told men, “A lot of you may be feeling like your wife doesn’t want sex, but look! Women DO want sex! So have a conversation, and figure out if you’re actually on different pages or not because you may be married to one of the majority of women who says that they like to have sex as often if not more than their husbands do.”
      It would have been SO simple for Shaunti to have started a conversation of “Maybe we misunderstand libido, and we just need to communicate our wants better because we may have more in common than we think.” But instead, she discounted the majority of her survey respondents in favour of the minority that fit the agenda she already established in her previous, best-selling book (she mentioned them in her book, but the entire chapter is about why your wife doesn’t want sex). I think it would have been much more interesting to say,”Listen, men say X, and women say Y. So this is likely a communication issue for many couples. So why not talk about it? Why not make sure you’re on the same page?” I really don’t know why that would have been so hard.

  8. Anonymous for this one

    So, when I was steeped in these teachings I told my husband that he could have sex with me if I was ever passed out. He was like, “um, ok, I’m not going to be doing that.”
    In marriage there is implied consent. For example, he might gently awaken me with foreplay. It isn’t sexual assault that he, say, starts fondling me while I am asleep with the intent to awaken me to full consent and involvement because we have agreed upon a healthy level of implied consent. We enjoy waking each other up with a grope or with kisses and snuggles. But, that doesnt mean intercourse or sexually using a spouse without their knowledge!!
    But, yes, it is because of these teachings that I thought it was gloriously God-honoring to allow my husband to use me while incapacitated and he was rightfully disgusted at the idea that men would want to use an incapacitated woman sexually, wife or otherwise. This is clear rape culture in evangelicalism.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Sounds like you have a wonderful husband! But I think this comment shows us something important: The problem is not with MEN. When we’re pointing out these issues, it’s not man-bashing. Men are often amazing! Men are often quite aghast at what their wives believe/have been taught. The problem is with our evangelical culture, not with men.

  9. Alex

    I’ll admit I only listened to parts of this podcast, because I’m not really a podcast person. But anyway that beginning part where you guys were talking about how the Romans viewed power and sexuality made me remember something in from a human sexuality class I took about 10 years ago. So you mentioned how the Roman view was as long as you were the one penetrating you were still masculine. If I remember right the topic was on STDs and the professor was saying how sometimes health departments have had to make sure to address people who may be impacted as “men who have sex with men” instead of as gay. Now, my professor was a gay man himself. I was curious and asked him why these men wouldn’t just see themselves as gay. If I recall he didn’t really have an answer. Just that if the health warnings were for gay men this subgroup did not think it applied to them. Anyway, makes me wonder if this ancient Roman thinking is still lurking in our society. And if that is so how many other areas or our lives, sexuality, and relationships are still impacted.
    Though I don’t usually listen to podcasts I may need to check out those ones you said you have coming up about exploring historic views of sexuality. (Usually I prefer to read articles, as a busy working mom I can get these read faster and don’t need to worry about the kids hearing things that just aren’t age-appropriate yet.) I’ve been reading your blog for years and it was fun to know what you sound like.

  10. Char

    So much gold in this podcast on so many different topics! I love when Keith rants. I really resonated with the part where he was talking about all the excuses people use to say that men holding 51% of the power is good. I constantly heard the “he has the harder job” excuse from people and was like – this is a stupid explanation. First of all, I have never shied away from a job in my life because it was harder. And secondly – let’s see how that argument sounds in another context. No black people can be CEOs – white people only. But hey, black people, you should be grateful because being a CEO is a harder job 😳. Like- what is this nonsense? That’s not a good argument for barring a whole group of people from having power and responsibility.

  11. Dorthea

    Another great podcast! I love it when Keith rants too and he does it in such a gentle way. Hearing all he said about Ephesians was validating as I’ve had so many of those same thoughts. Thank you!
    As I listened to your closing thoughts on how people can change their minds and it’s ok I thought we as Christians should not only know this but live it. It should be normal, I mean how else do we become Christians? Why did Jesus die for us if not to give us a way to change our minds? That is why the resurrection is such a big deal! We all get a chance to say I was wrong and I want to change. And just because you become a Christian doesn’t mean you automatically stop getting things wrong, it means you get to change your mind and that’s ok.
    That’s repentance.
    That’s humility.
    And that is something to respect.
    If these authors would only acknowledge they got some things wrong and showed sorrow for the harm they have caused they would be truly respected for their humility, not for the false front they’re working so hard to maintain. They would find forgiveness from many of us whom they have hurt and we’d be much more likely to respect them. I really hope they do, for their own sake.

  12. Mary

    You are truly doing God’s work.
    I am devouring your book and already started buying additional copies for friends even before I’ve finished it. That’s a first!
    I love that you address the misuse of statistics here. I think it reveals a deeper issue: when scientists look at statistics, they start with a question then look to the data to see *if* their hunch was right or not. Too many Christians start by *knowing* their position is right, and then assemble “evidence” to support it.
    We’ve seen this on countless issues, and until that fundamental lack of intellectual humility gets addressed, all the data literacy and statistics education in the world will fail to cause the change you are hoping for: a cultural shift where leaders openly admit that they were wrong.

  13. Anon

    I kind of wish I was more shocked by your RQ on marital rape, but sadly I’m not surprised that the husband treated it so lightheartedly, From memory, the law about marital rape was changed over here when I was about 17 – there was a highly publicised case where a man got away with raping his wife because marital rape wasn’t recognised. I remember hearing loads of sermons at the time stating that the woman’s ‘yes’ on her wedding day was all that was needed, and mocking the idea of consent within marriage, claiming this would mean the husband had to request formal consent in between every hug, kiss, hand hold etc. As a teen, it never occurred to me to question what these ‘Godly men’ were preaching…now, I feel a deep sorrow for their wives.
    Right now, I’m suffering from another autoimmune flareup, and the dividing line between what is pleasant and what is painful is very narrow. But no, my husband doesn’t have to keep asking for my consent every 5 seconds, firstly because I know he will stop IMMEDIATELY I tell him I’m not comfortable and secondly, because he is so focused on my reactions that he’s usually spotted the first sign of discomfort and stopped before I can even start telling him. I find it heartbreaking to think of those preachers from my past, who were apparently only able to think of ‘consent’ in terms of formal statements – it obviously never occurred to any of them that true consent means paying attention to the comfort and happiness of his wife and treating her accordingly.
    And what kind of man gains any kind of pleasure from having sex with his unconscious wife? That is an obscenity – completely opposed to the loving, mutual ‘knowing’ described in the Bible.

  14. Christy

    I want to mention how much I appreciate your focus on research, on finding the primary sources, and on holding other researchers accountable to correctly cite other’s research.
    As an author of multiple peer reviewed articles, I would never have my research published if I cited other articles, interpreted statistics, and manipulated data in the way that Eggerich and Feldhahn did in the examples discussed here.
    I also greatly appreciated the mention of understanding an author’s motivations and biases. In peer reviewed research, authors are required to disclose conflicts of interest. For example, research saying that e-cigarettes are healthy is funded by a corporation that manufactures e-cigarettes, this must be disclosed. We should hold our authors to the same standards.
    I’m very much looking forward to being able to read your peer reviewed literature articles in the future!


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