Authentic Human Sexuality: An Integrated Christian Approach, By Judith K. Balswick and Jack O. Balswick alt

Authentic Human Sexuality

An Integrated Christian Approach

Third Edition

by Judith K. Balswick and Jack O. Balswick

Authentic Human Sexuality
  • Length: 304 pages
  • Published: September 03, 2019
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 7232
  • ISBN: 9780830872329

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Sex pervades our culture, going far beyond the confines of the bedroom into the workplace, the church, and the media. Yet despite all the attention and even obsession devoted to sex, human sexuality remains confusing and even foreboding. What, after all, is authentic human sexuality?

That is the question Judith and Jack Balswick set out to answer in this wide-ranging and probing book. Informed by sociology, psychology, and theology, the Balswicks investigate how human sexuality originates both biologically and socially. They lay groundwork for a normative Christian interpretation of sexuality, show how authentic sexuality is necessarily grounded in relationships, and explore such forms of "inauthentic sexuality" as sexual harassment, pornography, and rape.

Since its first publication, Authentic Human Sexuality has established itself as a standard text at numerous colleges and seminaries. Now this third edition features updated theological and social science research, insights from current neuropsychological evidence, and an expanded biblical model of authentic sexual relationships, along with updated discussion of sexual minorities, same-sex attraction, and LGBTQ issues.

A new generation of students, pastors, psychologists, and sociologists engaged in counseling will be indebted to the Balswicks for this study of an endlessly fascinating and perplexing facet of human identity.

"Authentic Human Sexuality is by far the best book I've read on this topic in decades. Seminary educators at the forefront of marriage and family research, Jack Balswick and Judy Balswick bring decades of social science and biblical wisdom to their analysis of today's sexual norms. Exploring a wide range of contemporary issues—including sexual orientation and gay marriage, singlehood, cohabitation, marriage, and divorce—the Balswicks evaluate each according to its impact on human flourishing, especially concerning children. Their content on sexual harassment, porn, and abuse is indispensable. Significantly, Authentic Human Sexuality also offers a robust critique of male dominance and its affront to human flourishing and authentic human sexuality. Whether pastors, students, or just life-long learners, readers will value this careful review of the ethical and spiritual issues Christians face in discerning the meaning of authentic human sexuality and how it shapes our communities."

Mimi Haddad, president of

"Authentic Human Sexuality is an impressive, valuable resource for students, professionals, and all who are interested in keeping abreast of the ever-changing social issues regarding sexuality while holding solidly to biblical truths. The statistics are current, the approach is a Christlike open-arms warmth, and the content is engaging. This book is essential to understanding human sexuality in today's world."

Dr. Clifford and Joyce Penner, authors of The Gift of Sex and Restoring the Pleasure


List of Figures

Part I: The Formation of Sexuality
1. Authentic Sexuality: God’s Good Gift
2. Human Sexuality: A Sociocultural Context
3. Human Sexuality: An Interactive Developmental Model
4. Sexual Minority Identity Formation
5. The LGBTQ Community: Christian Responses

Part II: Authentic Sexuality
6. Sexual Beings in Relationship
7. Sexuality and Singleness
8. Premarital Cohabitation: Pathway Toward or Alternative to Marriage
9. Marital Sexuality: Maximizing Sexual Fulfillment

Part III: Inauthentic Sexuality
10. Infidelity: A Broken Covenant
11. Sexual Harassment: Uninvited Eroticization
12. Sexual Abuse: A Violation Deep Within the Soul
13. Rape and Sexual Violence: Abusive Power
14. Pornography and Erotica
15. Sexual Addiction, Sexual Compulsivity, and Hypersexuality

Part IV: Conclusion
16. The Sexually Authentic Society
Subject Index
Scripture Index


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Judith K. Balswick

Judith K. Balswick (EdD, University of Georgia) is a licensed marriage and family therapist who has been in practice for over thirty years and has taught for over twenty years in the marriage and family therapy program at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. She is author or coauthor of The Family: A Christian Perspective on the Contemporary Home, The Gift of Gender, Mothers and Daughters Making Peace, Raging Hormones, Life Ties, Then They Leave Home, Family Pain, Relationship-Empowerment Parenting, The Two-Paycheck Marriage, and A Model for Marriage: Covenant, Grace, Empowerment and Intimacy.

Balswick has served on the editorial board of Marriage and Family: A Christian Journal and has contributed articles to that journal and to several others, including Family Ministry Journal, American Journal of Pastoral Counseling, Journal of Psychology and Christianity, and Marriage Partnership.

Jack O. Balswick

Jack O. Balswick (PhD, University of Iowa) is senior professor of sociology and family development at Fuller Theological Seminary. He has twice received an American Senior Fulbright Scholar Fellowship. He is author or coauthor of seventeen books, including Men at the Crossroads, The Family: A Christian Perspective on the Contemporary Home, The Gift of Gender, Social Problems: A Christian Understanding and Response, Relationship-Empowerment Parenting, Authentic Human Sexuality, The Reciprocating Self: Human Development in Theological Perspective, and A Model for Marriage: Covenant, Grace, Empowerment and Intimacy.

Bakswick authored or coauthored articles in over seventy professional publications and has presented papers at conferences around the world. He has also been associate editor of the Journal of Marriage and Family, Family Relations, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, and Review of Religious Research.