By ANTONIO MALO

What kind of effect does gender theory have on society?

Gender theory affects society on two levels. On the political and legislative level, gender theorists pressure for change in the physiognomy of marriage and family. They call for the legalization and social acceptance of new models of marriage and family in the name of progress, tolerance and equal rights, including the right to adopt children. This so-called “progress,” however, will only contribute to the self-destruction of the human person and society (cf. Benedict XVI, Christmas Address to the Roman Curia 2008). On the cultural level, gender theory seeks to change the governing mentalities, beginning with those most vulnerable in indoctrination: children and adolescents. Under the guise of educating them in tolerance, they are encouraged to “explore” and “experiment” with their sexuality so that they can choose that which best suits them.

Why does the church denounce gender theory as an ideology?

The church, which has always been interested in that which concerns man and woman, denounces gender theory as an ideology because she has the right and duty to intervene when the natural and supernatural good of persons and society are at stake. She has received from God a “responsibility for creation” (Benedict XVI, Christmas Address to the Roman Curia 2008, 4). For this reason, the church promotes a “human ecology” that helps nations and states to differentiate between that which constitutes true progress and that which is instead a step back, resulting in the disintegration of people and the social fabric. (Benedict XVI, Christmas Address to the Roman Curia 2008)

What is this “human ecology” that the church promotes?

In her responsibility towards creation, the church must first and foremost protect mankind, which forms part of creation. Human ecology means respect for the human person and “the natural and moral structure with which he has been endowed” (CA 38). This includes the promotion of the values or femininity and masculinity as the foundation of the humanization of persons. “Every outlook which presents itself as a conflict between the sexes is only an illusion and a danger: it would end in segregation and competition between men and women” (MW 14).

On a more concrete level, human ecology applies to social policies concerning education, family, work, access to services, civic participation and so on. On the one hand, we must combat any unjust sexual discrimination. On the other hand, and at the same time, the promotion of equal dignity “must be harmonized with attentive recognition of the difference and reciprocity between the sexes where this is relevant to the realization of one’s humanity, whether male or female” (MW 14; cf. CCC 2358). (CA 38-39; CV 51)

Gender theory has been referred to as an “ideological colonization.” What does this mean?

Gender theory has been called an ideological colonization because it attempts, using every means at its disposal, to impose a vision of sexuality, marriage and family that it inhuman, and therefore capable of enslaving people (cf. Francis, In-flight Press Conference from the Philippines to Rome January 19, 2015).  Gender theory seeks to mask this manipulation. It claims to offer greater freedom, when in reality it is its denial. It claims to help each person discover his or her sexual identity, when in reality it prevents man and woman from recognizing and accepting his or her sexual identity. It fails to recognize that the physical, moral and spiritual difference and complementarity between man and woman are directed towards the goods of celibacy or marriage and the development of family life. (CCC 2333)

What should Christians do to counteract the negative influence of gender theory? 

This task begins in the home. Christians should actively participate in the education of their children, because through it the Christian culture is passed on and progresses from generation to generation. Furthermore, the family environment has to be such that children learn to love in being freely loved, to respect others in being respected, and to know the face of God firstly through a father and mother who are attentive to them. This way, daughters and sons discover the beauty of maternity and paternity and therefore of the femininity and masculinity that they respectively embody. When these fundamental experiences are absent or lacking, there is a loss of humanity in society; society as a whole suffers and in turn becomes a creator of violence. (CSDC 242-243; MW 13-14; CCE, Educational Guidance in Human Love 1983)

Antonio Malo is Professor of Philosophy at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome.