Sex and Religion

Finding Religion and Spirituality in Population, Gender, Sexuality, and Reproductive Health Advocacy in the Philippines.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Psychological Incapacity in the Family Code (Article 36)

Wife Battery and Psychological Incapacity Under Article 36 of the Family Code:Issues in Feminist Legal Advocacy
By Atty. Carolina S. Ruiz-Austria
(Executive Director, Womenlead Foundation, Inc.)

While it became hotly debated and touted as the de facto divorce law in the Philippines Article 36 otherwise known as the provision on psychological incapacity in the Family Code, has also been a source of both boon and bane for women’s rights advocates engaged in litigation.

For battered wives trapped in abusive marriages, the legal remedy of Article 36 that went beyond the simple “dissolution of the marital obligation to live together” (under the conventional law on legal separation) was a welcome development.

Article 36, by providing the nullity of a marriage ab initio (from the very beginning), was literally a liberating prospect for abused wives as well as legal advocates for women’s rights.

On the other hand, beyond the practical remedy of having a marriage declared null and void from the beginning came issues that feminists engaged in legal advocacy often eventually deal with: What premises are the law grounded on? What does the law say about the relationship between women and men? What are we as advocates, saying about the abused women in intimate relationships (specially wife battery) when we file a case for psychological incapacity?

Read more here.

Prof. Carol belongs to the Magdalena Batch of HAIN's Religion, Gender and Sexuality (RGS) Workshops. She is also a Senior Lecturer of the UP College of Law and maintains a blog tackling women's issues (

Friday, July 28, 2006

The Family Code of the Philippines ONLINE

Read the Full Text of the
The Family Code of the Philippines
Executive No. 209 (July 6, 1987)
Sponsored by: The ChanRobles Group

Why bother?

Well, some RGS participants feel that some provisions in the code has to be revised to be more sensitive to gender and sexuality issues.

If you feel the same, please feel free to post a comment or email one of us (pick from the list at the left of this blog), we'd appreciate that!

RGS Kabandana Batch (June 2006)

Saturday, July 22, 2006

DSWP, PLCD, THEIA-I issue statement on DepEd Sexuality Modules

Sex, Lives and Lesson Guides:
The RHducation of the Filipino Youth

The CBCP strikes again! Alleging that teaching students about reproductive health will make the youth sexually adventurous and that such education is the sole responsibility of parents, the CBCP succeeded in blocking the integration of the Department of Education’s (DepEd) Lesson Guides on Adolescent Reproductive Health into the high school curriculum.

Not content with this, the CBCP strikes again with its last pastoral letter, article 22 of which states:

“We are deeply troubled by attempts to legislate or make as state policy ideas that tend to weaken or even destroy cherished religious values regarding the nature of life, the nature of marriage as union of man and woman, child bearing, the values formation of children, etc. Such ideas are part of an orientation that is fundamentally secularistic and materialistic, separated from their religious and moral roots. We find them in pending bills about population, marriage and family, reproductive health, and sex education in schools. The Filipino family is ill-served by these developments. As the foundation of a civilization of life and love, the family is most seriously threatened. Therefore, Catholic lay groups as well as our Bishops’ Commission on Family and Life have made many public interventions about these and they continue to do so.”

Dowload the complete statement here.

Or right-click the link below and click "Save Target As..."

Shared by: Vanessa T.P. Dugenia (DSWP)

Friday, July 21, 2006

DOH issues Memo on IUD: NO BAN

Dear everyone who supported the campaign to resist the banning of the IUD, Our efforts have born fruit. Yesterday, 19 July, the DOH, through Usec. Nieto issued a memorandum clarifying that the DOH has not banned the IUD and that the IUD is recognized as among the "legally acceptable" and "medically safe" Family Planning methods. Attached is a copy of this Memorandum (see downloadable image below).

This campaign generated wide support among Reproductive Health providers and the community. Letters to DOH were signed by 86 health practitioners and 491 IUD users. The IUD issue was also featured in several news articles and radio programs ((PNGOC Media Contacts), such as: DZRH by Ruth Abao, the first to feature the IUD campaign in May through an interview with Junice; PDI - Edwin Fernandez, Sunday, 18 June ("Study IUD use before banning it, DOH urged"); and Radyo Magazine (Fe Nicodemus) 1278 khz AM, 17 June ("Babaeng Migrante May Kakammpi Ka?" hosted my KAKAMMPI).

On behalf of the RHAN Medical Committee and all of RHAN, the RH advocacy team of Likhaan would like to thank everyone for your courage and steadfastness. May this success be the first of many.

Mabuhay tayong lahat!

Junice, Lalen, Joy P, Betong and Tish
Likhaan (short name of Linangan ng Kababaihan, Inc.)
92 Times St., West Triangle Homes
Quezon City 1104 Philippines
Tel: (63 2) 926-6230
Fax: (63 2) 411-3151

Shared by:Atty. Russel Solitario (PNGOC)
RGS June 2006 Batch (Kabandana)

(Click image to enlarge)

Study IUD use before banning it, DOH urged

June 18, 2006 / By Edwin O. Fernandez / Philippine Daily Inquirer

COTABATO CITY—Health practitioners and at least four legislators are urging the Department of Health to hold public consultations before it decides whether or not to ban the use, importation and sale of intrauterine devices (IUD).

A pro-life party-list group, the Abay Pamilya Foundation (APF) has sought a ban on IUD use claiming that it is an abortifacient and poses a serious threat to women’s health.

Based on the APF proposal, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III asked Schering Philippines to submit a comment on the proposed ban. Schering is the leading manufacturer of copper T IUD.

Read more here.

Shared by:
Atty. Russel Solitario (PNGOC)
RGS June 2006 Batch (Kabandana)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

And Adam knew Eve: A Dictionary of Sex in the Bible

Author: Ronald L. Ecker
Electronic Edition ISBN 0-9636512-5-0
Copyright 1995-2006 by Ronald L. Ecker
All Rights Reserved

Read the online version here.

Uploaded by: Z

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Sex, Bishops, and Garci Tapes

By Carolina S. Ruiz Austria, Senior Lecturer, UP College of Law

On matters sexual, a dirty mind is deadlier than a well-informed one.Ignorance about sex may be the Catholic Bishops' preferred strategyfor protecting Catholic teen-agers but both history and evidence-basedresearch has consistently shown us that such a strategy has neverworked to actually protect young people.

Read more here.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

WPD Snapshots from PNGOC

World Population Day (WPD)
Emailed By: Russel Aleta Solitario of PNGOC.
12 July 2006

Last WPD (July 11) we were talking about the "timeliness" of the CBCP pastoral letter, releasing it daw sa araw na yun, naturally, panay yun ang pinag-usapan sa radyo at sa newspaper. I asked kasi some few friends from PDI to make an article and submit photos na sana ma-publish that day... but how do you compete with the CBCP? Kaasar...

Kanina (July 12) was the last day of the WPD activities at UP and RHAN Youth and PNGOC handled the film showing and FGD afterwards... Kahit may bagyo, almost 250 people came, mostly adolescents syempre in consonance with the theme Pinoy Youth (HS Students) with their teachers and from communities (ZOTO)..

Tapos may isang babae (Tita daw siya nung isang student) na nag punta nga dun upon learning na andun pamangkin niya tapos nag-ask about the activity, tapos kasi daw di sinabi nung school what was the activity about etc. tapos pi-null-out niya na yung pamangkin niya. She wasn't rude or anything but you could see her disapproval sa whole event... turned out pro-life pala...


Indulgence mga kapatid at mahaba ang email ko, Im actually sick and with fever, my eyes watery and I keep sneezing, mainly because of all the activities we conducted, the stress and the inconsistent weather pero I can't help but channel my remaining energy today and share all these things sa inyo because I know kayo yung makaka-intindi at makaka-relate to all of these...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Now, a birth control bonanza

As safer and more advanced contraceptives hit the market, women can tailor their methods to fit their lifestyles.

Date: Monday, July 10, 2006
Source: Los Angeles Times (US)
Author: Shari Roan

This is turning out to be a pivotal year in birth control.

In the last six months, the Food and Drug Administration has approved an oral contraceptive that eliminates a monthly menstrual period, and can prevent mood swings and other side effects. It also has approved two others that feature shorter periods. And soon it's expected to sign off on a yearlong oral contraceptive and a simpler version of a contraceptive implant.

Of course, there's no long-term data on the new methods -- and they aren't for everyone -- but doctors consider this new generation of birth control to be less risky and more sophisticated than the decades-old predecessors. And still in development are even safer, more advanced options -- with natural hormones and smoother delivery methods.

Read more here.

Read the article in the LA Times here.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Books on Religion, Gender, and Sexuality

For your inquiries, contact:

1. Sacred Rights : the case for contraception and abortion in world religion By: Daniel C. Maguire, New York, New York, University Press, Inc. 2003

2. Making Choices in Good Faith: a challenge to a Catholic Church’s teaching On sexuality By: Marilen J. Danquilan, Quezon City, Womanhealth, 1993

3. Sacred Choices: the right to contraception and abortion in Ten World ReligionsBy: Daniel C. Maguire, Minneapolic, Fortress Press, 2001

4. In pursuit of Love Catholic Morality and Human Sexuality By: Vinsent J. Genovesi, Quezon City, Philippine, Jesuit Communication Foundation, 2003

5. Negotiating Reproductive Rights: women’s perspective approach countries and cultureLondon, ZED Books, 1998

6. Experience and views of divorced Muslim women Jolo, Sulu By: Jennifer Saipudin Nandu, Manila Phillipines, Health Social Science Graduate Program, Behavioral Sciences Department, College of Liberal Arts, De La Salle University, 2003

7. Commandments of Compassion By: James F. Keenan, Philippines, Claretian Publications, 1999

8. Body Politics: essays on cultural representation on women’s body By: Quezon City, UP Center for Women Studies and The Ford Foundation, 2002

9. Virtues for ordinary Christians By: James F. Keenan , Philippines, Claretian Publications, 1996

10. Winning through participation: meeting the challenge of corporate change with the technology participation By: Laura J. Spencer , Dubuque, Lowa, kendall/ Hunt Publishing Company,1989

11. The Art of Focused Conversation: 100 ways to access group wisdom in the workplace By: Canada, Canadian Institute for Cultural Affairs, 2000

12. Holy Confrontation Religion, Gender and Sexuality in the Philippines 1521 0- 1685 By: Carolyn Brewer, Manila, Institute of Women’s Studies, St. Scholastica’s College, 2001

13. LADLAD an anthology of Philippine gay writing By: Danton Remoto , Philippines, Anvil
Publishing Inc.,1994

14. Conceiving Sexuality: approaches to sex research in postmodern world. -New York, Routledge, 1995

15. The Holy Bible: New revised standard, Catholic edition -Metro Manila, Philippines: St. Pauls Philippines, 2000

16. Bisexualities and AIDS: International perspectives - Bristol, PA: Taylor & Francis, 1996

17. Who Owns Women’s Bodies? A travelling art exhibition -Manila, Creative Collection Center, 2001

18. Summer Institute on Sexuality Culture and Society 1998 By: John Gagnon

19. Sexing the Body: Gender politics and the construction of sexuality By: Anne Fausto-Sterling, New York, Basic Books, 2000

20. Men’s Lives By Michael S. Kimmel, Pearson Education Asia Limited and Peking University Press,2004

21. Baseline Study on Domestic Violence.

Friday, July 07, 2006


The blog of Prof. Carolina S. Ruiz Austria, Senior Lecturer UP College of Law - Religion, Gender and Sexuality - Magdalena Batch.

Heresy comes from the Greek word hairesis or haireomai, meaning to choose, a choice of beliefs or a faction of dissident believers.

Visit at:

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


"Thus it has been said, 'All great truth begins as blasphemy'. The first blasphemy is that God would speak to humans at all in this day and age. The second blasphemy is that God demands nothing of humans. The third blasphemy is that God and humans are One. The fourth and greatest blasphemy – the statement that will be the hardest for humans to accept – is that many of the most sacred beliefs of human beings are fallacies. They are simply false. False beliefs create mental constructions that do not serve you."

Neale Donald Walsch
The New Revelations: A Conversation with God

By: Russel Aleta Solitario []
RGS June 2006 - Kabandana Batch

Monday, July 03, 2006

Online Resources: Catholics for Free Choice

The Catholics for Free Choice ( has several resource materials uploaded in their website. If you wish to get more related RGS articles for your advocacy activities, you can visit their site and some of the materials are downlaodable.

We have given you copies of some of their materials during our RGS workshop but the others were just displayed. If you found some of the display copies interesting, you may just download them from their website.

By: Health Action Information Network (HAIN)
...believes that health comes with empowering people and communities
to access objective and accurate information on health care,
to make their own decisions and to organize for their rights.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Homilies online

One of the RGS speakers mentioned about Catholics not going to mass because of poor homilies by presider priests. I too at times feel the same!

Here are two blogs that might address that need... the homilies and reflections of two young Jesuit priests:

1. Fr. Jboy Gonzales' Faith of a Centurion
(ADMU - Quezon City, Philippines)


2. Fr. Norlan Julia's Breaking the Word
(SJVTS, Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines)