There is controversy stirring over an article in the LDS Church publication the "Ensign." The featured article for the March issue tackles "What is the Lord's Standard for Morality," The article just released has fired up LDS marriage and family therapists, some who say takes women back 35 years with this one simple article.
One major point causing concern is something referred to as the "rape mentality" many are saying is portrayed in this article as the standard for behavior. But that's not all, the therapists we spoke to say the overall tone of the article creates fear instead of a healthy conversation about human sexuality which is an important part of life from beginning to end.
The talk in question was given by Tad R. Callister an LDS general authority at BYU Idaho. He says, "Our dress not only affects our thoughts and actions, but the thoughts and actions of others." He goes on to say, "the dress of women has a powerful impact on the minds and passions of men, if it's too low, too high, too tight it might prompt improper thoughts in the mind of a young man striving to be pure."
The talk went unnoticed until it was printed in the church publication the "Ensign." LDS therapists nationwide took to their blogs outraged by the "rape culture" ideology where women are responsible for a man's sexual actions.
Kristin Hodson and Alisha Worthington are sisters, active LDS members and therapists who deal with sex issues. They say this talk not only belittles women but men. The women believe, "it lowers men down to not much more than an animal, just walking around with these lustful thoughts and breaking out like the Incredible Hulk and attack a woman if she is dressed in not the right way." They say the message of fear and strict standards for women are not based in evidence, but based on cases in the Middle East where women who are dressed literally from head to toe are sexually assaulted and raped on a daily basis.
In the article Callister says that, "in the end most women will get the type of man they dress for." This is the wrong message according to therapists who work with women on issues of self-worth. Hodson says, "it's a very confusing line for women - they need to dress sexy enough to attract a man, but modest enough not to induce lustful thoughts."
The article explicitly states there should be one voice on the issue of morality and parents, counselors and teachers should not be considered.
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