Sexuality in the Jewish Community

[by Amanda Ables]

Jakey Reavis is an undergraduate student at UCO majoring in History with a minor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and he has worked on several STLR projects. One research project, under the supervision of Dr. Lindsey Churchill, the founder and director of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Minor, analyzed the 1980’s AIDs epidemic and how it affected women. Dr. Churchill is the person who worked with the campus community in creating “The Center,” a STLR-tagged location that includes the Women’s Research Center and the BGLTQ+ Center.

Reavis’ current project with Dr. Churchill, “An Oral History and Analysis of Gender and Sexuality in Judaism in Oklahoma,” was inspired after Jacob began a personal journey converting to Judaism. The project explored how those of the Jewish faith perceive the BGLTQ+ community. The project also explored sexual education in the Jewish community.

Reavis conducted interviews with rabbis, people of the Jewish faith and, pertinent scholars. The project helped Reavis gain a better understanding and respect for the Jewish culture.

“I learned that it is important to talk to both open-minded people and people who may not agree in order to learn the most about any subject.”

Jakey also shared that what he found most interesting during his research was the difference in expectations between men and women when it came to using contraceptives during sex.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, he says the best way he’s been able to stay focused with this and other projects is by keeping to a strict schedule.

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