Posts concerning sex

Marriage, Same-Sex and Other

23:17 13 May 2012

Same-sex marriage has been a major news topic this week, because of the passage of North Carolina’s Amendment One and Barack Obama’s statement that he thinks same-sex couples should be able to marry. A good time, then, to explore the subject.

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Kate Harding Talks Sense on “Hook-up Culture”

23:55 28 Feb 2010

Articles bewailing “these kids today” (or especially “these girls today”) seem disturbingly frequent at the moment, and it’s not clear to me whether there’s a real problem of some kind or it’s just pundits waxing wroth about the next generation Doing It All Wrong. I suspect it’s both: the sexual culture out there is problematic, although not necessarily for the reasons you hear about, and most of the pundits are really talking not to the next generation but to the next generation’s parents. This article by Rachel Simmons is an earnest but fairly typical example; this response by Kate Harding is worth reading. I don’t think Harding says anything revolutionary—she just says a lot of things that seem like common sense to me but which often get lost in the noise.

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Rape and “Compulsive Heterosexuality”

21:26 18 Jan 2010. Updated: 14:14 25 Jan 2010

This post at Yes Means Yes! is an excellent overview of how the profoundly unhealthy culture of American high schools socializes boys to have negative and domineering attitudes towards women. The post is a review of Dude, You’re a Fag, an academic study of student ethnography and behavior at a Northern California high school. While the degree to which the behavior in the school is typical can be debated, it certainly seems to me that it’s certainly not a total aberration. I think a key paragraph is this one:

[Male sexual aggression in this context] has little to do with sexual orientation or desire and everything to do with a gender performance that positions the boys in relation to other boys.

I don’t think this is all that controversial, but I do think it’s important.

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Bullying: Just a Hunch

15:39 03 Dec 2009

I’ve come across what feels like another wave of articles related to bullying recently. I previously wrote about my thoughts on institutional responses, but this time my focus is on some of the causes, as well as how technical rules are unlikely to eliminate the problem.

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Renouncing the Sin of Onan by T-shirt

23:04 05 Feb 2009

This is another one of those occasions where I can’t believe it’s not parody. But, no.
Ex-Masturbator T-shirt

There really is a “Passion for Christ Movement” (not so surprising), and they really do have these T-shirts, with the following launch headline:

It’s funny, of course, but underneath it all there’s a real and disgusting message, a message that aims to make sexuality shameful, and to control people via that shame and repression. Still, at least in this instance the believers look like complete idiots.

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21:42 31 Aug 2007

I’m reading Ariel Levy’s Female Chauvinist Pigs at the moment. It’s an exploration of what Levy calls “raunch culture”, the pornographization of American mainstream culture. One of her points that I think is worth examining is the distinction between sexiness and sexuality.

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