What are we doing to our guys?

I’ve posted about this before, but something recently made me think of it again and I thought I should revisit it…

1,600 Christian guys filled out a modesty survey taken several years ago by The Rebolution (http://www.therebelution.com/) The results were fascinating:

– 71 percent of the guys surveyed feel that lines of undergarments visible under clothes cause them to stumble

– 52 % feel that wearing a semi-transparent shirt over a camisole was immodest

– 70% of guys feel it’s a stumbling block if even an inch of skin shows between the shirt and pants/skirt

– 60% feel spaghetti straps are immodest

– 65% feel that strapless dresses are immodest

– 57% feel that showing a bra strap, even unintentionally, is a stumbling block

– 64% feel that it’s a stumbling block when a woman reaches under her blouse to adjust a bra strap

– 47% feel that jeans with worn marks across the bottom or hips are stumbling block

– 71% feel low riding pants are a stumbling block

– 71% feel that skirts that come above the knee are immodest

.
From the comments section, written by a 24 year old man who took the survey:

Sisters in Christ, you really have no concept of the struggles that guys face on a daily basis. Please, please, please take a higher standard in the ways you dress. True, we men are responsible for our thoughts and actions before the Lord, but it is such a blessing when we know that we can spend time with our sisters in Christ, enjoying their fellowship without having to constantly be on guard against ungodly thoughts brought about by the inappropriate ways they sometimes dress. In 1 Corinthians 12 the apostle Paul presents believers as the members of one body – we have to work together. Every Christian has a special role to play in the body of Christ. That goal is to bring glory to the Savior through an obedient, unified body of believers – please don’t hurt that unity by dressing in ways that may tempt your brothers in Christ to stumble.

To see all of the results: http://www.therebelution.com/modestysurvey/

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13 Responses to What are we doing to our guys?

  1. Wow . . . I did go to the survey and notice that the largest percentage of men who responded to this survey were in their teens and twenties. It was quite revealing (no pun intended). I’m 60 now and totally out of the loop on stuff like this. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Brian says:

    Rina, I don’t know what to think about this survey but it does remind me of a story. Our church is notoriously cold. Someone asked in our small group one time why do they keep the church so cold. One person said the reason why it was so cold was because it forced the girls to cover up. I, myself, thought it was because of the older people having hot flashes but that was beside the point. Finally one Saturday night I just outright asked an employee of the church why they did keep it so cold in there and she said it was because no one was for sure how to work the central air unit so they just set it low and left it there.

    • Rina says:

      LOL, Brian! That would be a pretty good trick, keeping the temperature cold! I wish churches WOULD do something like this! One of the men who took the survey actually wrote about how church was one of the HARDEST places for him to be – and how church SHOULD be one of the safest. I couldn’t agree more!

  3. Hi Rina, I got to thinking about this whole topic last night and one of the issues that come up regarding a survey of this type is that it’s tend to blame women for the proclivities of men (especially young men) in this area. In our culture at large, most women will wear whatever they want to wear and most aren’t Christian. I think a telling question that the survey should have included (didn’t check it so don’t know if they even asked) is how often the respondents viewed porn on the internet or elsewhere since it is so prolific in our society. Porn is a HUGE problem in our culture and clearly has an effect on how men view women in general (even regular, normal women in our society). To blame women because of the way they dress as causing men to “stumble” is not fair and avoids the real issue. I’m not saying it doesn’t cause some men to stumble but the real issue here is totally avoided.

    The Apostle Paul clearly stated in I Cor. 10:13 that “no temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” Most of us nowadays don’t that to find “a way out” when temptation strikes (and that is the case in many areas and not just the sexual arena–take overeating, for example, or gossip). We need to stop playing the “blame game” when it comes to this issue and all of the other issues we conveniently “ignore” or blame on someone or something else.

    Dr. Russell Moore (Dean of the School of Theology and Senior Vice President for Academic Administration at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he also serves as Professor of Christian Theology and Ethics) wrote an excellent blog post in July on the topic of porn and video games and it’s effect on men and you can read it at the following link:

    http://www.russellmoore.com/2012/07/23/why-are-so-many-men-hooked-on-internet-porn-video-games/

    Christian women should dress modestly but that isn’t going to happen any time soon in a lot of cases with those who choose not to dress modestly. And then there’s the whole culture of women out there who will dress anyway they like. For men to blame women on the way they dress is avoiding the real issue of what is going on. I Cor. 10:13 is and will continue to be in force until the end of this age. We have to take responsibility for our own sin and stop blaming others for it. ~Sara

    • Rina says:

      Sarah, I don’t think that this survey is aimed at blaming women – just giving women some valuable insight into things men struggle with. I can say that my husband doesn’t look at porn and strives to keep himself free from sexual sin, but the way some women dress DOES cause him problems! Does he have “a way of escape?” Yes. But sometimes, that way of escape has to involve him leaving the room or not participating in certain activities! Is pornography a problem? Certainly. Does that mean we have no responsibility in helping our brothers remain pure? I don’t think so. ‎As someone brought up in comments section on facebook, “different people have a different idea of what [modesty] is.” Perhaps a good starting point in defining modesty and determining how we should dress is that rather than relying on our own judgement (which is so different from that of a male perspective) we should take into consideration what MOST MEN struggle with and go from there. WE may not have a problem with sleeveless shirts, but if 60-65% of the men surveyed feel they are a stumbling block, we should at least consider re-evaluating our position on them. Am I saying women should never wear shorts or tank tops? I’ll answer that by saying, as I said before, that we should consider not just what WE (as women) think of the issue, but what men tell us they struggle with. From there, it’s up to each of us to decide how we can best love our brothers in Christ.

      “Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes! (Mat 18:7)

      • Thanks for your thoughts, Rina. I really do appreciate your explanation on this issue. I personally can’t solve the problem of how other women dress, and I think for far too long the church has ignored some of the major issues going today in teaching Christians how to live (well, it is our responsibility to read the Bible on a very regular basis and learn from God personally through it and through Him).

        It’s like I said in my earlier response that while I know that lust is a major issue for men, there is nothing I, personally, can do about that. I have never dressed provocatively in my entire life, and yet, having been single all of my life, know that how I dressed had little to do with the men I dated still wanting to have sex with me or lusting about having sex (Christian or otherwise).

        Also, from a review of those stats you gave from the survey it would almost appear that women should wear gunnysacks that cover from neck to ankle in order to prevent men from lusting. Just that one stat to the “bra strap inadvertently showing” as being a stumbling block to 57% of the respondents made me shake my head in wonder. Sexuality is blatant in our society and that’s not going away any time soon. And porn is prolific–not to mention the sexual stuff in movies and on TV and everywhere else.

        Also, I think this goes to a much deeper issue–where we place blame and how we ignore and avoid our own shortcomings and sins. For example, I mentioned overeating (gluttony) and gossip, two “sins” that are highly acceptable in a lot of Christian settings. I suppose we all have our pet peeve sins that we can rail about, but the truth is, it is between ourselves and God to deal with them. How society acts and reacts is not our problem . . . how we respond is. It’s called taking personal responsibility for our actions and not pointing a finger at those we think are causing the problems we have–whether it is lust or overeating or gossip, etc.

        Please don’t think I’m picking at you or what you have said. I do understand where you are coming from, but to say that women who dress in a certain manner is the main cause of men’s lust is like saying all of the myriad of food choices available in a cafeteria is causing people to overeat. Granted, I understand that men have a problem with lust but telling women “out there” how to dress (as every man has to deal with women in this world and not just in “Christian” settings) is not the answer. Men will lust whether a woman is fully clothed and practically naked. And people can overeat on healthy foods or chocolate. I don’t know, maybe I’m not making my point clear and I truly apologize if I’m not. We live in a society of great excesses, and we all stumble over them, but we need to turn to God to help in time of need, and not point fingers at what we perceive to be the cause.

        I’ve recently lost 45 lbs and still have another 50 to go. I got fat because I overate and there are a million reasons I can give for that–for example, all the excess and instantaneous food that is available at a moment’s notice in our society. And I can rail against our culture for making it so “accessible.” I can blame all sort of things for my shortcoming in this area (emotional eating is a big one), but the truth is, I overate because I loved the taste and feel of the food and found it comforting. Well, the result was not so great, was it? I can’t blame the food as it is just food. No, clearly I lacked discipline. While I have struggled with weight most (not all) of my adult life, I finally had to deal with my own sin in this area. And it’s a day-by-day struggle and it’s not easy. But everyday that I don’t give in, I find I get stronger and I’m better able to resist. So who’s fault is it that I got fat? It is mine, not all the food that is out there readily available to consume on a moment’s notice.

        I hope that helps some in understanding where I’m coming from when I say we each have to take responsibility for ourselves and what we choose to do when temptation presents itself, regardless of the type of temptation it might be (lust/sex, gossip, overeating, etc.).

        Anyway, thanks for letting me share my response. ~Sara

      • Rina says:

        Sarah, I apologize if I implied that women who dress in a certain manner are the main cause of men’s lust. That is NOT what I believe, at all! But I do believe that each of us plays a part, and we have a responsibility to the men around us, just as they have a responsibility to us. You mentioned overeating and I think that’s an excellent example. As you know, I also recently lost quite a bit of weight and I can say that had my husband not been willing to keep certain foods out of the house, it would have been MUCH, MUCH more difficult for me. Does that mean he was responsible for me, and the way that I ate? Of course not. But in a spirit of love, he recognized my struggle and did what he could to make things easier for me, and I love him for that. That’s the kind of spirit I think that women should operate in when we consider our code of dress (and our code of conduct!) I can understand where you shake your head about the bra strap showing, but something my husband says a lot, when dealing with things like this is: “it’s not my job to understand it, it’s my job to support you in it.” I think that’s a good place to be – especially with something like this… keeping a bra strap from showing really wouldn’t require any major effort or uncomfortableness on our parts, and it may be a tremendous act of love on behalf of our brothers.

        You mentioned that telling women how to dress is not the answer and that men will lust, regardless. I agree. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have ANY responsibility.

        Here are two articles, written by a friend of mine, that I think address the issue well:

        http://pursuingtitus2.com/2008/09/14/cooking-chicken-for-your-600-pound-uncle-or-do-you-wear-skirts-all-the-time/
        http://pursuingtitus2.com/2009/07/06/but-some-men-lust-after-nuns/

        I appreciate your insight, and certainly agree with you that the responsibility is not all ours!!!

      • Thanks again for your comments, Rina. You have a gem for a husband and if I ever get married (I haven’t counted that out) I hope I find one just like him. I’ll check out both of those articles (love the titles!!!) while I’m on the internet right now. And yes, I totally agree with you that each one of us, as best we can, should do to keep others from stumbling whether it is in the way we dress (as women, although I’ve known some women who have lusted over men in tight pants) and also by not encouraging people to overeat (like at pot luck dinners or dining out) especially those with weight problems (threw that example in since we both struggle in that particular area). I’ve really enjoyed our discussion on this very much!!! Now, I’m going to go read with pursingtitus2 has to say (and I can tell she has a sense of humor by those titles). Thanks again, Rina! ~Sara

      • Rina says:

        Thank YOU, Sarah! It’s nice to “sharpen iron” with someone else, and I appreciate the fact that we can throw things back and forth without offense!

      • Hi Rina, I just finished reading those two articles that you sent the links to and I LOVED them. I even put the “Cooking Chicken” one on my Facebook page (well, I have all of 25 friends on it but some of them I know would enjoy it very much) and I emailed the links to both of them to a good friend. Love pursingtitus2’s sense of humor, too. I’m going to keep track of her blog!!! Thanks so much for sending those articles and, I agree, it’s fun to be a part of “iron sharpening iron” with someone else and without offense, too (how often does that happen in the normal world???).

        Now be sure and tell us when your new baby is born as your reading audience is waiting with baited breath!! Thanks again, Rina! ~Sara

      • Rina says:

        haha, you’re not the only one waiting with baited breath!!! I’ll definitely post something as soon as I’m able! SOOO ready for this baby to come. 🙂
        Isn’t Andrea great? I love her blog.

      • You two are so sweet! I’m blushing over here. 🙂

  4. Pingback: A New Way to Be Modest! ;) | Rina Marie

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