I've been pondering this problem of men and women and have become convinced that Mrs. James and her correspondents simply don't "get it". Here is a snippet from an anonymous respondent on her blog:
Why is it that so much odd sex occurs within a religious context where the desired behavior is vigorously condemned (I'm thinking of Ted Haggard and others like him)? I think the problem needs a therapeutic and psychological solution. Perhaps we all need to understand ourselves and our needs and drives better.
There are several things I need to say in response to this.
First, it's most obvious that Anonymous has missed the point when he offers a secular solution to a spiritual problem. A psychological solution isn't going to improve a sin problem. It is sin at the core of this, and our belief that we won't be tempted or that it is someone else's problem to prevent or that I don't need to worry about anyone else's weaknesses - in other words our pride that lets us believe we are immune (or that others should be immune) is what leads us into the sin in the first place. No therapeutic understanding needed here, we're just dealing with plain, old-fashioned sin, period.
Second, here is why I contend Mrs. James and her correspondents don't really understand the problem and would rather paint all men with Tertullian's brush. There's nothing odd about the amount of sex or the oddity of the sex occurring in religious circles. There are two reasons for this - Satan doesn't need to attack the world - and- religious settings are very intimate by nature. They touch us deep in our hearts and our souls, leaving us prepared to make connections of Christian community, of treating each other as family -- but when we are not in community, when it's just a man and a woman working side by side, connections of a different sort are just waiting to be made.
In this we have our three-fold enemy (the world, our own flesh, and the devil) wrapped up in one neat little package. The world system conspires to tell us it is good and right and natural for men and women to work together in rather intimate settings without being worried about sexual temptation (unless you both want to, of course). Our own flesh is naturally inclined to lead us into sin if we don't guard our hearts, our minds and our behaviour. Lastly, it wouldn't surprise me if religious figures are a particular target and there is little that is more likely to make a splash on the evening news than a sex scandal. Ted Haggard's fall tarnished every single Evangelical believer in this country.
So don't pretend it doesn't matter that I'm a girl and you're a boy. It does. It matters a great deal.