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Sexuality Study: Why Every Amanda and Erica Is Friskier Than A Claire or Kate – TIME NewsFeed

Posted: November 19th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

From the "it's just dumb enough to share" department, the French paper 20minutes reports that "women whose names end with the letter 'a' reported having more than the average 4.4 sexual partners most women had during their lifetime." Their source is a French dating website called Smartdate, whose survey of its user base revealed that names like Laura, Tania, and Lola were given to the women with the most sexual partners.

It sounds to me like Smartdate is trying to be something of an OkCupid, whose OkTrends blog is actually interesting because they talk about rape fantasies, sexuality and aging, and a lot more. That said, this is a story I'd like to see headed towards debunktion junction.

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LGBT Gamers Can Find Their Fairy Tale Ending in Fable 3 | GLAADBlog.org

Posted: October 31st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Fable 3, the third in a game series exclusive to Microsoft's Xbox and selling 6.4 million copies worldwide, now features an in-game adoption agency that offers same-sex couples a chance to have an in-game family. Online gaming communities are notorious for widespread anti-GLBT bullying, stereotyped as populated with homophobic frat boys, and their managers and distributors decidedly skittish when it comes to anything that could be deemed politically sensitive. But a handful of features in games in the sci-fi and fantasy genre, like Fable 3, are beginning to buck the trend.

"[T]he Fable series also has the distinction of a progressive and outspoken creative team," Matt Kane writes, a team who wanted to represent gay people in their world. Studio head Peter Molyneux said, "It’s a charming thing, having a baby, and we didn’t want to exclude gay people from that."

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Oh, No, It’s a Girl! South Asians Flock to Sex-Selection Clinics in U.S. – New America Media

Posted: September 1st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

"Last time I checked," geneticist Dr. Mark Hughes says, "your gender wasn't a disease." But that's not stopping Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg and others like him from using techniques originally developed to cure diseases from running "Family Balancing" clinics in the United States that offer "100% sex-selection program"s. Steinberg says that "for every woman I see regarding the breast cancer gene, I see 400 women who want to choose the sex of their child."

Sex-selection is a very hot issue, and at $18,000 a pop, Steinberg's clinic is an extremely lucrative business. His patients often travel to the US from India, Canada, and other countries where sex-selection is illegal. However, there are significant gender biases in US families, too, especially among Indian, Chinese, and Korean parents. And pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, Steinberg's method, is just one method of sex-selection; another is actually abortion performed after an ultrasound. It all makes me wonder where to draw the line.

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Miss. lesbian student sues over rejected tux photo – Yahoo! News

Posted: August 19th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Ceara Sturgis has been wearing masculine clothes since ninth grade, but her High School denied her the opportunity to wear a tuxedo in the yearbook photo and opted, instead, to flat-out omit her name. Now Christine P. Sun, the ACLU lawyer who represented Constance McMillen in a similar case earlier this year, "filed a federal lawsuit for Sturgis, claiming the Copiah County district discriminated against her on the basis of sex and gender stereotypes," Shelia Byrd reports. "It's unfair and unlawful to force students to conform to outdated notions about what boys and girls should look like without any regard to who they actually are as people," Sun said. Sturgis said she cried when she saw the yearbook and felt punished "just for being who I am."

This new filing comes weeks after McMillen reached a settlement against the Itawamba County School District. McMillen credits Sturgis, whose own legal battle has been going on far longer, with giving her the inspiration for her own challenge.

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Polyamory: The Next Sexual Revolution? – Newsweek

Posted: August 18th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Do you feel that? It's the wind of change, and it's blowing your way. Prop 8 is going-going-gone, and while its supporters don't tend to say much we agree with, we'll grant them that perhaps it does herald the arrival of a more accepting, open time for American relationships. Newsweek gives credence to this theory with this article about polyamory, which stresses the communication poly relationships rely so heavily upon, and says that having polyamorous parents isn't necessarily harmful to children, so long as they have a stable home. In fact, with extra, loving people around to help with homework and provide rides, having a poly family might not be such a bad thing! The article speaks with Allena Gabosch, director of Seattle's Center for Sex Positive Culture, and draws heavily on the life and experiences of Terisa Greenan, creator of "Family," an online video series that deals with both the joys and the complications of living polyamorously.

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Love makes teen sex less academically harmful, study says – CNN.com

Posted: August 17th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

A new study has "raise[d] some doubts about abstinence-only education programs that link all types of adolescent sex to a wide variety of problems for teens." The study, conducted by Eric Grodsky and Bill McCarthy and released at the annual American Sociological Association's meeting, found that teen sex is not inherently a bad omen for educational achievement. "The authors say students who have sex only with romantic partners have generally similar academic outcomes as students who abstain from sex," CNN reports. The study highlights the reality that the context of sexual activity greatly affects the outcome, positively or negatively. It revelaed "students who describe their sexual activity in terms of 'hook-ups,' 'friends with benefits' or 'bed buddies' are more likely to suffer a negative impact on their education," such as an increased chance of dropping out of school or a lower overall GPA. In other words, sex isn't the problem, lack of mutually rewarding relationships is. Duh!

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Update: We learned thanks to Heather Corinna that, as the media is wont to do, this study was severely misrepresented by journalists all over the place. In her analysis, Heather writes: “Some reporting and discussion of the findings suggests that big differences were found with academics for young people who had sex in non-romantic contexts and those who either have not had intercourse or who have done so in romantic contexts. But the study and the authors’ comments don’t appear to make that statement at all.” There’s a lot more, such as the fact that despite media reports to the contrary, the study never uses the word “causes” to indicate any harmful connection between teen sex and academic achievement, nor does it actually ever use the word “committed” to describe the relationships studied. Poor media reporting about sex and young people, and about young people’s sexuality in particular, is incredibly—infuriatingly—common.


Sex after 50 | Life and style | The Guardian

Posted: August 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

According to some reports, STI rates among elders has doubled. Sadly, many use this as an excuse to express sex-negative prejudice against older people. As Pamela Stephenson Connolly writes, "the prominence and style of these articles underscores the sexual ageism that pervades our society." Of course, a number of those articles are in The Guardian, a point notably missing from Connolly's article (in The Guardian).

Nevertheless, she makes some good points: "We should be encouraging elders, including those facing challenges of illness and disability, to voice their sexual concerns without fearing our prejudice and guilt. … Perhaps the best form of safe sex for older people is exactly what one would advocate for younger people if one could get away with it; out with abstinence preaching and in with promoting fabulous eroticism in all its many, non-penetrative forms."

Must we really "get away with it," or are concerns about young people simply the other side of the same ageist coin?

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CV Harquail: Separate Still Isn’t Equal: Sexism Among TED Conferences

Posted: August 1st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

The influential TED conference recently announced a one-off event called TEDWomen after mounting criticism that the TED stage is overwhelmingly male-dominated. CV Harquail says only 17% of TED speakers are women, and calls the TEDWomen conference a display of "simplistic, outdated, and unenlightened thinking." With a separate conference for women, she says TED "demonstrates the very discrimination it is supposed to address."

Indeed, separatism can easily be viewed as segregation. According to Harquail, "Once upon a time, it made sense to create separate conferences for women. Women thinkers and activists were so marginal, so subordinated, and so far from the public platform that separate conferences were virtually the only way to create space for women to present, discuss and promote their ideas." But for TED, she says it's inappropriate.

The root issue of gender inequality of TED speakers remains, but women-only spaces can still be valuable. Can TED have the best of both worlds?

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Protect your body from airport perverts (travel.msn.co.nz)

Posted: July 24th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Terrorism: it's a threat to more than just national security. It's also a threat to your dignity. Or at least that's what Michael Luongo, spokesperson for a new company called FlyingPasties.com would have you believe. His company sells stripper-style genital covers that cost anywhere from $9.99 for a "generic male bottom" pastie to $29.99 for an "only my husband/wife sees me naked" set in order to obscure the image of a passenger's naked body when going through the newest "virtual strip search" airport security scanners.

"I believe in protecting our rights, in protecting our country," Luongo says in a promo video, "but I also believe in maintaining our dignity." Dignity that could be lost, he says, if you're seen naked. With Flying Pasties, he insists "you don't have to worry about somebody seeing your wife, your girlfriend, your family, or even yourself in naked imagery." That's right: People might know that you're naked under your clothes! But don't worry, capitalism will save us.

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Lying to get sex: Is it rape? – Violence Against Women – Salon.com

Posted: July 23rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , | 9 Comments »

An Arab man in Jerusalem who pretended to be Jewish for the duration of wooing a woman into a quick shag now faces 18 months in prison for rape. It's rape, Jerusalem District Court Judge Tzvi Segal said, because, "If she hadn't thought the accused was a Jewish bachelor interested in a serious romantic relationship, she would not have cooperated." Therefore, the precedent in Israel is set: lying to get sex is officially rape. Israeli public defender Elkana Laist said the ruling opens "the door to a rape conviction every time a person lies regarding details of his identity." Don't you just feel all warm and fuzzy inside now?

As Tracy Clark-Flory reports, "U.S. law has expanded to allow for rape by fraud, but interpretations are fairly strict." In other words, only certain lies about one's identity—such as pretending to be someone's spouse—can be considered rape in the US. But in a theocracy like (so many countries in) the Middle East, I guess you're just as married to your religion.

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