Professor begins sexuality symposium with discussion of complementarity of men, women

Maggie McCarron
Staff Writer

Men and women were made to complement one another and were not meant to exist without each other, said a visiting professor of philosophy and theology Sunday evening in the Gentile Gallery.

Franciscan University of Steubenville began its annual Human Sexuality Symposium with the talk “The Genius and Mission of Man and Woman” given by Deborah Savage, who holds a doctorate in religious studies. Savage is currently a professor at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Unlike what the modern world believes, Savage said, the relationship between men and women is a good through which they complement one another.

“Man and woman are fundamentally equal in the sense they are equally human, but constitute different and complementary ways of being in the world,” said Savage.

Men are naturally more oriented toward objects, while women are inclined to relationships with others, Savage said. She pointed out that newborn babies demonstrate this idea, as girls are more likely to look at faces, while boys focus more on objects rather than people.

When God created Eve out of Adam, Adam recognized Eve as another person with whom he could engage in relationship, not an object, Savage noted. He saw her as equal to him, and God’s plan dictates that there cannot be one without the other.

Since man was created first, he is the traditional “head of household,” said Savage. God originally created everything for man, who saw and named God’s creation. Woman is God’s last and greatest gift to man.

Woman is a helper to man, Savage said, and yet she is still his equal. Woman searches for man’s potential and invites him to fulfill it.

While being a man is not greater than being a woman, Savage said, the present culture promotes a movement of women trying to become men as the only way to obtain freedom. Savage maintained that a woman only finds her freedom in claiming her womanhood.

“Without man, woman has no place; but without woman, man has no future,” said Savage.