Webinar: Wednesday October 22 @ 10:00GMT / 11:00CET / 12:00 EET
What can be done to reduce the male demand for sexual services? This was a question that I put to a group of five men as we met over dinner during the last EFN Bridge conference in Bucharest in 2015. Despite generating a lot of discussion, the conversation kept reverting to the need for men to reduce the demand simply by stopping buying sex and using pornography.
While encouraging men to curb their sexual appetites would go a long way to reducing the demand for sexual services, in the end it is only a reactive and negative response which evidently does not generate much interest. It also does not address the cultural dynamics that undermine masculine identity and sexuality, nor the socio-economic power dynamics that undergird the global multi-billion-dollar sex trade.
When it comes to combating the sex trade, are men only the enemy, or are they both actors and victims of a culture that endorses and embraces sexual violence?
This webinar serves to help the Christian community understand the cultural and socio-economic power dynamics that play into the male demand for sexual services. It shows how the gospel of Jesus Christ overcomes these power dynamics and points men to an authentic biblical masculine identity which is oriented towards social transformation. Moreover, the webinar is about embracing another story for men, a story in which men are not to be benched to the side-lines of intervention, but are brought right into the center where they can make a lasting difference alongside the many faithful women who serve in that space.
For many, this is not a story that is easy to embrace. For it is men who abuse, men who abduct, men who exploit, men who buy, and men who dominate the trade in human lives. Thankfully, not all men are like this, and many still have come to combat human trafficking as leaders, speakers, police officers, administrators, business managers and entrepreneurs. Still, it seems that violence against women is largely classed as a women’s issue, that too many men shy away from. As God’s people, can we find a way through the impasse and arouse the Christian community, both men and women, to make a stand together?
Stephen has spent the last six years researching the demand for sexual services in Spain. He is a Doctor of Ministry graduate from Fuller Theology Seminary in Pasadena, CA. Currently in Australia, Stephen is a sought-after speaker in schools and churches, giving presentations and seminars on the global sex trade.