Religious studies AQA thematic studies (paper 2)


Relationships and families

Human sexuality



Attitudes towards sexual relationships

It is not taught that sex before marriage is wrong.

The most important teaching is that sex should not harm anyone

“There is a middle way wherein sexuality …. Is regarded compassionately without the need to indulge in actions which lead to suffering” Daishin Morgan

Sex is believed to express a deep, loving, life-long union that requires the commitment of marriage. Not all Christians agree with this but unfaithfulness is unanimously opposed.

The Bible teaches that relationships should be with the purpose of procreation as it is part of God’s plan

“Be fruitful and multiply”(Genesis 1:28)

Attitudes towards homosexual relationships

Buddhist teachings do not oppose homosexual relationships as they are considered not morally different from heterosexual relationships.

What is more important than gender is that there is consent and respect within the relationship

There is no rule prohibiting homosexuals from becoming monks or nuns

It is emphasised that we should treat all with Karuna and Metta. Therefore Buddhists would treat homosexual relationships as equal

As you can’t have children in a homosexual relationship, some may say that it goes against God’s plan

“You shall not lie with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination” Leviticus 18:22 many argue that this appears in a book of many rules that no Christian is expected to follow

Most Christians would say that the most loving thing to do is to adapt teachings to fit a changing world

The Church of England welcomes homosexuals in committed relationships but does not allow them to be married

Some believe loving and  faithful homosexual relationships are just as holy as heterosexual ones




It is an unskilful act as it involves deceit and is likely to cause harm. This can lead to bad kamma and an unfavourable rebirth.

Adultery goes against the moral precept of abstaining from sexual misconduct

When Christians get married they make vows before God that they are expected to keep for the rest of their life. Adultery breaks this promise which can be seen as lying to God.

Adultery also threatens the stability of the relationship needed for the children’s security

In John 8:1-11 Jesus forgave a woman caught committing adultery but ordered her to leave her life of sin

Contraception and family planning



If having a baby harms the mother or couple, it may be acceptable to use contraception that prevents conception.

Contraception that prevents a fertilised egg from developing can be seen as a form of killing and therefore breaks the first moral precept

However, there may be exceptions for example if the pregnancy threatens the mother’s life. In this case it may be better to end one life to prevent the suffering of another. Buddhists are expected to balance the precepts and apply them sensitively

In the Catholic Church, contraception is seen as going against natural law and the purpose of marriage (to procreate). The only acceptable form of contraception is the


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