07 Jul 2013
in Boundaries, Fear, gender, Health and Volunteering, Identity, Mental Health, Sexuality
Tags: beastiality, captain, enterprise, gender, kirk, sex, sexuality, space, star, trek
by Lauren Davis, io9.com
Reformation Church pastor Kevin Swanson recently went on his Generations with Vision radio show to condemn Star Trek Into Darkness because it shows James Kirk in a post-coital bed with members of the “wrong species.” To which we can only respond—has Swanson ever seen Star Trek?
* Link to radio broadcast: https://soundcloud.com/rightwingwatch/swanson-star-trek-evolution
On a June episode of Generations with Vision, Swanson explained that he wasn’t going to take his children to see the new Star Trek movie because Star Trek—and evolutionary theory, he claimed—promotes interspecies romance, which is equivalent to bestiality in his estimation:
Swanson: Do I really want to take my kids to watch a movie that implicates the good guy in the film as mating with the wrong species- but not just one, but two.
Beuhner: Well you know I could understand that Christians would get upset if it was a male of a different species. No actually, I’m not sure that the bestiality and the homosexuality are really all that different.
Swanson: So uh Dave I said to myself we’re not gonna go see that movie. So, you know, you gotta draw the line somewhere don’t ya? I mean, ay yay yay. And how many Christians asked that question? I actually did a survey, I mean I went on to Google and kind of goggled, you know, Christian sites, I mean I try not to put the wrong kind of wording into the Google search, cause if you do that, you can be in a heap of trouble. So I did a little search, turns out there was a Catholic site, had a little forum discussion on the issue. And nobody brought up Leviticus 18 Dave, and of course the whole premise of this is that within an evolutionary construct there is no real problem with speciation and cross-species mating, there’s no problem with that at all, in fact that’s how you evolve, that’s how you get evolution, and so the end result of course is that evolution has no basic problem with bestiality or cross-species mating. Okay? Now some of you are saying that I can’t believe these guys are saying this on this radio program. I can’t believe I’m saying this either. They are going places where no man has gone before. Or should.
Well, if Swanson has some kind of beef with Terran-alien miscegenation, then he has a big issue with the whole mission behind Star Trek. After all, the original series gave us a half human/half Vulcan first officer, and from Kirk onwards, the characters have engaged in plenty of interspecies romance, often to show that deep down, we aren’t all that different. But even if they have lion tails, these characters are portrayed as consenting adults. (Okay, there was that one episode of Voyager in which Janeway and Paris
de-evolve into lizard creatures, but at least they do it simultaneously.) But apparently Swanson’s issue has nothing to do with consent, and everything to do with the participants being members of the “other.”
But Swanson is no stranger to creating controversy. Last year, he slammed the Jim Henson Company for parting ways with Chick-Fil-A over the fast food company’s anti-gay stance. More recently, he’s called feminists “family-destroying whores,” and warned that members of the gay community would “burn Christians at the stake.” So his preaching is based on a rather loose contact with reality—and fiction, for that matter.
Swanson: Star Trek Promotes Bestiality, Children’s Show Superhero ‘Probably Fighting Christians’ [Right Wing Watch] and Star Trek promotes bestiality because Kirk sleeps with alien chicks, religious right says [America Blog]
19 Jun 2013
in Boundaries, Equality, gender, Health and Volunteering, Mental Health, Women's Health
Tags: babies, baby, birth control, boys, condoms, contraception, girls, men, pregnancy, sex, sexuality, teen, teenagers, women
14 Jun 2013
in Boundaries, Equality, gender, Mental Health, Safety, Sexuality, Women's Health
Tags: army, australia, gender, identity, safety, sex, sexism, sexist
03 Feb 2013
in Boundaries, Community, Equality, gender, Identity, Mental Health, Nature, News, Relationships, Women's Health
Tags: alice dreger, anthropologists, gender, mates, northwestern, partners, polyandry, sex, societies, sociology, spouses, tibetan, university
Historically, polyandry was much more common than we thought.
by Alice Dreger / Northwestern University / theatlantic.com
For generations, anthropologists have told their students a fairly simple story about polyandry — the socially recognized mating of one woman to two or more males. The story has gone like this:
While we can find a cluster of roughly two dozen societies on the Tibetan plateau in which polyandry exists as a recognized form of mating, those societies count as anomalous within humankind. And because polyandry doesn’t exist in most of the world, if you could jump into a time machine and head back thousands of years, you probably wouldn’t find polyandry in our evolutionary history.
That’s not the case, though, according to a recent paper in Human Nature co-authored by two anthropologists, Katherine Starkweather, a PhD candidate at the University of Missouri, andRaymond Hames, professor of anthropology at the University of Nebraska. While earning her masters under Hames’ supervision, Starkweather undertook a careful survey of the literature, and found anthropological accounts of 53 societies outside of the “classic polyandrous” Tibetan region that recognize and allow polyandrous unions. (Disclosure: I first learned of Starkweather’s project while researching a controversy involving Hames and he is now a friend.)
Indeed, according to Starkweather and Hames, anthropologists have documented social systems for polyandrous unions “among foragers in a wide variety of environments ranging from the Arctic to the tropics, and to the desert.” Recognizing that at least half these groups are hunter-gatherer societies, the authors conclude that, if those groups are similar to our ancestors — as we may reasonably suspect — then “it is probable that polyandry has a deep human history.”
Rather than treating polyandry as a mystery to be explained away, Starkweather and Hames suggest polyandry constitutes a variation on the common, evolutionarily-adaptive phenomenon of pair-bonding — a variation that sometimes emerges in response to environmental conditions.
Click to read the rest of the article…
23 Jan 2013
in Boundaries, Equality, gender, Nature, Safety, Science, Sexuality, Women's Health
Tags: condom, condoms, disease, female, health, intercourse, male, men, pleasure, safe sex, safer sex, sex, sexuality, std, women
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — American men and women rated sex as highly arousing and pleasurable regardless of whether condoms and/or lubricants were used, according to a study led by Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington researchers and published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.
Led by Debby Herbenick and Michael Reece, co-directors of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion
, researchers reviewed a nationally representative study of men and women ages 18 to 59 to assess characteristics of condom and lubricant use during participants’ most recent sexual event, and the relationship of their condom and lubricant use to their ratings of sexual quality.
Data were from the 2009 National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, which involved the administration of an online questionnaire to a nationally representative probability sample of U.S. adults. Results showed that men and women consistently rate sex as highly arousing and pleasurable with few differences based on condom or lubricant use. More than twice as many women than men were unsure whether the condom was lubricated — 26.6 percent vs. 11.4 percent — or from what material it was made — 23.6 percent vs. 8.9 percent.
“This may be because men are more likely than women to purchase condoms and to apply condoms,” Herbenick said. “However, it’s important for more women to become familiar with the condoms they use with their partner so that they can make choices that enhance the safety and pleasure of their sexual experiences.”
Additionally, no significant differences were found in regard to men’s ratings of the ease of their erections based on condom and lubricant use.
“The U.S. continues to grapple with high rates of sexually transmitted infections, HIV and unintended pregnancies,” Herbenick said. “We need to understand how people make choices about the products they use, or avoid using, and how these products contribute to the safety and pleasurable aspects of their sexual experiences. This is particularly important as the products themselves evolve and become more mainstream in American society. We also need to understand what men and women know, or don’t know, about the products they use so that we can better target public health education messages to individuals and groups.”
“The epidemiologic studies assessing human sexual function and behavior in the U.S. that were started 60 years ago by Kinsey are continued now by Herbenick and Reece. Gathering sexual data regarding condom use is highly relevant,” said Irwin Goldstein, M.D., editor-in-chief of The Journal of Sexual Medicine. “Understanding current condom use offers health care providers an opportunity to educate those people uncomfortable with condoms but for whom lack of use may lead to significant sexually transmitted infection health risk.”
A PDF of “Characteristics of Condom and Lubricant Use Among a Nationally Representative Probability Sample of Adults Ages 18-59 In the United States” is available at firstname.lastname@example.org or online in the Wiley Press Room for media with log-in access. (To request a login, click here). It will appear in the February issue.
The study was supported by Church & Dwight, Inc., the maker of Trojan Brand condoms and vibrators. Co-authors include Vanessa Schick, Nicole Smith and Brian Dodge, Center for Sexual Health Promotion at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington; Stephanie Sanders, The Kinsey Institute for Research on Sex, Gender and Reproduction and Department of Gender Studies, College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington; and J. Dennis Fortenberry, M.D., IU School of Medicine.
23 Jan 2013
in Community, Ethics, Fear, gender, Safety, Sexuality, Women's Health
Tags: anita, clarence, discrimination, film, harassment, hill, sex, sexuality, sundance, thomas
by Ben Fulton, The Salt Lake Tribune
Resplendent in gold jewelry and black-brown ensemble, Anita Hill is having far more fun during this year’s Sundance Film Festival than she did 22 years ago in front of a Senate Judiciary Committee.
“I can never go back to the person I was at that moment,” Hill said during a brief interview inside a lounge on Park City’s Main Street. “We grow. We develop. We move on. Hopefully, we evolve into that person we want to be.”
Today a professor of law, social policy and women’s studies at Brandeis University, Hill speaks tirelessly on behalf of women’s equality.
At the same time, she knows her name will forever be tied to those October days in 1991. That’s when as a young, soft-spoken law professor she stunned the nation with graphic testimony against then-Supreme Court justice nominee Clarence Thomas, bringing the issue of sexual harassment out of the workplace and into the public arena.
Hill turned down past offers to have her story told on film. In Freida Mock, Academy Award-wining director of “Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision,” Hill said she at last found a filmmaking voice she knew she could trust. “You feel really flattered when someone as accomplished as she is approaches you,” Hill said.
“Anita,” which Mock said she appropriately began shooting three years ago on Martin Luther King Day, reminds audiences that, behind every brave face going public, the personal story informing their decision is never far behind.
The film, which received its world premiere Saturday at Park City’s Marc theater, walks back into time to tell the story of Hill’s rural Oklahoma upbringing. The youngest of 13 children, her parents raised her under the saying familiar to many black children, “You’ve got to be twice as good to get half as much.” The Yale Law School student who graduated with honors in 1980, and was admitted to the District of Columbia Bar that same year, did not disappoint.
“When people ask how I got my courage I say, ‘You can start there [with my family], particularly with my mother,’ ” Hill said.
Click to read the rest of the story…
Click here to view video interview…
23 Jan 2013
in Equality, Ethics, gender, Safety, Sexuality, Women's Health
Tags: date, dating, douchebag, female, hook-up, idiot, male, men, safety, sex, sexuality, women
by Katie Halper / jezebel.com
It’s awkward when you realize you don’t want to hook up with a guy who you’ve invited into your apartment for that purpose. But you can and should always be able to stop a hook up you don’t want to have. (Duh). This [Law and Order dum-dum] is my story.
The Background: A few years ago, I was working on a documentary film about a play. One of the actors was very talented and good looking. We didn’t really get to know each other over the course of the week-long shoot, but we exchanged small talk and smiled at each other, like, a lot! The last night there was a cast party. As I was about to leave the party, the actor asked me where I was going. I told him I was going home and when he asked me what neighborhood I lived in, it turned out, that, lo and behold, he was going to the same neighborhood! It was late, so, being two economical people, in a terrible economy, pursuing our artistic passions and hence not making any money, we decided to share a cab.
Game On? During the cab ride, he was perfectly fine and we were getting along swimmingly. So, when we got to my apartment and he asked if he should come up too, I said, “Sure.”
Realization: Once we were in my apartment, however, his behavior changed. He seemed sure of an imminent conquest, and started acting like a douchebag. He started asking me questions about the sex life of my lesbian friend and colleague (whom he met through the shoot). It was a charming mix of bro-ish enthusiasm for all things lesbian and casual homophobia. While I had been attracted to the guy five minutes ago, now the idea of even kissing him viscerally repulsed me.
Click to read the rest of the article…
21 Jan 2013
in Equality, gender, Science, Sexuality
Tags: desire, gender, men, passion, sex, sexuality.sex drive, women
by Robert T. Gonzalez / io9.com
There is possibly no greater source of debate than the age-old question of whether men want sex more than women. But embedded in that debate are a host of other questions. What is a “sex drive” anyway? What is a good scientific way to compare men and women’s sexual desires? What happens when women want it more than men? Does sexual desire in gay and lesbian couples mirror that of men and women in straight relationships?
Let’s explore, starting with the largest sex study ever conducted.
One big sex survey
In 2005, the BBC conducted a massive cross-cultural internet survey (over 200,000 participants across 53 countries) that looked at, among other things, self-reported sex drive and sociosexuality (basically how prudish people are in their sexual attitudes and behavior). Height, a physical trait with a pretty unambiguously gender-based difference, was also measured.
Men across all cultures reported higher sex drives and less restricted sexual attitudes than women, but women were consistently more variable than men in their sex drives. Another important, if not entirely surprising pattern, suggests that these differences are not entirely biological, and are due in some part to social and cultural ideologies.
Gender equality and economic development tended to predict, across nations, sex differences in sociosexuality, but not sex differences in sex drive or height. Parameters for sociosexuality tended to vary across nations more than parameters for sex drive and height did.
Click here to read the rest of the article…
08 Jan 2013
in children, Equality, gender, Safety, Sexuality
Tags: blue, boys, dolls, female, gender, girls, male, pink, roles.gender, sex, toys
by Elizabeth Sweet / nytimes.com
IMAGINE walking into the toy department and noticing several distinct aisles. In one, you find toys packaged in dark brown and black, which include the “Inner-City Street Corner” building set and a “Little Rapper” dress-up kit. In the next aisle, the toys are all in shades of brown and include farm-worker-themed play sets and a “Hotel Housekeeper” dress.
If toys were marketed solely according to racial and ethnic stereotypes, customers would be outraged, and rightfully so. Yet every day, people encounter toy departments that are rigidly segregated — not by race, but by gender. There are pink aisles, where toys revolve around beauty and domesticity, and blue aisles filled with toys related to building, action and aggression.
Gender has always played a role in the world of toys. What’s surprising is that over the last generation, the gender segregation and stereotyping of toys have grown to unprecedented levels. We’ve made great strides toward gender equity over the past 50 years, but the world of toys looks a lot more like 1952 than 2012.
Gender was remarkably absent from the toy ads at the turn of the 20th century but played a much more prominent role in toy marketing during the pre- and post-World War II years. However, by the early 1970s, the split between “boys’ toys” and “girls’ toys” seemed to be eroding.
During my research into the role of gender in Sears catalog toy advertisements over the 20th century, I found that in 1975, very few toys were explicitly marketed according to gender, and nearly 70 percent showed no markings of gender whatsoever. In the 1970s, toy ads often defied gender stereotypes by showing girls building and playing airplane captain, and boys cooking in the kitchen.
But by 1995, the gendered advertising of toys had crept back to midcentury levels, and it’s even more extreme today. In fact, finding a toy that is not marketed either explicitly or subtly (through use of color, for example) by gender has become incredibly difficult.
Click to Read the Rest of the Story…
13 Sep 2012
in gender, Health and Volunteering, Mental Health, Relationships, Serendipity, Sexuality
Tags: disgust, feelings, gender, interest, men, pleasure, sensuality, sex, sexuality, women
by George Dvorsky / io9.com
Let’s face it: Sex can be kinda gross. With all those body odors and fluids being traded back and forth, it’s no small miracle that humans voluntarily choose to copulate at all. But as scientists from the Netherlands have recently pointed out, our willingness to engage in sexual acts despite the yuck factor may be on account of a built-in psychological mechanism that temporarily reduces our feelings of disgust during sex — at least in women.
The study, which was conducted by Charmaine Borg and Peter de Jong, involved, among other things, 90 women, soft porn, vibrators, lubricants, voodoo dolls, and a glass of juice with an insect in it. Now, while this might sound like a typical Saturday night for most io9 readers, this was serious, scientific stuff. Disgust is an evolved defense mechanism that compels people to avoid things like contamination; why people don’t mind exchanging saliva, sweat, semen, and body odor, therefore, is a question that has baffled psychologists.
To figure out what’s going on, the researchers divided the women up into three groups: those who would be sexually aroused (by the “female friendly erotica”), those who were not sexually aroused, and the third being a control group. Once primed (or not), the women were given a series of behavioral tasks, like wiping their hands with a used tissue (which the participants didn’t know was fake), lubricating a vibrator, touching used condoms (faked), and taking a sip of juice with a large (also fake) insect in it. The women were also given a set of moral tasks, like stabbing a voodoo doll representing a person they hated, or hugging a shirt belonging to a known pedophile (faked).
The intention was to create a series of situations in which the researchers could measure the impact of sexual arousal on feelings of disgust and whether or not certain behaviors would be avoided altogether.
What Borg and de Jong discovered was that sexually aroused women rated the sex related tasks as being less disgusting compared to how the other women felt. And interestingly, they also exhibited a diminished disgust response to the non-sex related tasks and stimuli. In addition, the aroused group was less inclined to avoid certain behaviors outright; they successfully completed the highest percentage of tasks compared to the other groups.
The findings clearly show that there may in fact be a connection between sexual arousal and a diminished disgust response in women. It’s not clear from the study, however, if men are subject to the same effect.
In addition, the study hold implications for treating sexual dysfunction in women. It’s quite possible that women who find sex unpleasurable or gross may either not be sufficiently sexually aroused, or that their induced disgust reduction response is somehow impaired.
The study can be read in its entirety at PLOS.