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Just How Bad Is Porn, Anyway? : The Thoughtful Animal

Posted: June 5th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Citing numerous studies, developmental psychology post-grad Jason G. Goldman writes, "in general both males and females report overall positive effects of pornography UNLESS they are not sexually fulfilled […] in which case they report negative effects." His research was sparked by claims to the contrary made by religiously-backed Stop Porn Culture, whose upcoming conference features Women's Studies Professor and character assassin Donna M. Hughes.

Goldman notes it's "impossible to infer causality" from current literature but "this data suggests very strongly that pornography is not a direct cause of aggression against women; rather, pornography moderates the relationship between sexual promiscuity/hostile masculinity and sexual aggression." According to him, "people who are meeting…to denounce pornography might redirect their efforts at improving the quality of sex education in our schools."

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Update: A key figure in the pro-porn argument, Violet Blue, says Goldman’s research “is a huge change for the entire discussion.”


I.H.T. Op-Ed Contributor – Learning From Soap Operas – NYTimes.com

Posted: June 5th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on I.H.T. Op-Ed Contributor – Learning From Soap Operas – NYTimes.com

Some of the most dedicatedly watched television programming world wide, Soap Operas and telenovellas serve an unexpected purpose – education about female empowerment, sexuality, HIV/AIDS and other health issues. They are watched – or listened to – by everyone from stay-at-home-moms to doctors, from America to Ethiopia. Various communities and organizations, getting wise to this fact, are even creating new programs directly aimed at educating about health or breaking down the taboos around HIV/AIDS. Turns out, there's more to "Days of Our Lives" than anyone had guessed!

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Observatory – Male Antelopes Scare Partners Into Sex – NYTimes.com

Posted: June 5th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Observatory – Male Antelopes Scare Partners Into Sex – NYTimes.com

Apparently, male antelopes have a clever – if underhanded (hoofed?) – method of keeping possible mates around. They will trick females in heat into believing that there is a dangerous predator nearby, should they try to leave the area.

"When a female appears to be leaving, the male will run in front of her, freeze in place, stare in the direction that she is going and snort loudly. Typically, that snort means that a predatory lion or cheetah was spotted, but in this case the male is faking it."

When the discoverer, Dr. Jakob Bro-Jorgensen, was asked if this behavior might translate to humans, he said: "We are masters of deception, so of course you can speculate."

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Missouri Moves on Adult Entertainment – XBIZ.com

Posted: June 5th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Missouri Moves on Adult Entertainment – XBIZ.com

The Show-Me state is radically cracking down on what, exactly, they're going to allow to be shown. New legislation, which has passed both the state house and senate and is awaiting the governor's approval, would make all nudity in "sex oriented" businesses illegal, as well as making it illegal for sex oriented businesses to open within 1000 feet of a preexisting school, place of worship, public park, state-liscenced daycare or other sex-oriented business – a fact which not only highly limits the areas where such business can be opened, but also makes the forming of "red light districts" de-facto illegal. Said representative Stephen Webber, "If we had a vote by secret ballot, this bill would die, but everybody wants to be holier than thou." Strip club owners are currently organizing against the legislation, citing the great economic loss to the state.

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Op-Ed Columnist – Gay? Whatever, Dude – NYTimes.com

Posted: June 5th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

"Stunning" figures from a newly released Gallup poll show, "For the first time, the percentage of Americans who perceive 'gay and lesbian relations' as morally acceptable has crossed the 50 percent mark," Charles M. Blow writes at the NY Times. The numbers are punctuated "by a dramatic change in attitudes among younger men, but older men’s perceptions also have eclipsed older women’s." While 48% more men aged 18 to 49 and 26% more men over age 50 perceive "gay and lesbian relations" to be morally acceptable, there was no significant change in womens' views.

Three theories are offered to explain the numbers. First, as more gay men come out of the closet, and as these men prove to be more varied than stereotypes allow, it becomes harder to discriminate against them. Second, men at large are becoming less afraid of such diversity, thanks to the civil and women's rights causes. Third, virulent homophobes are being outed, too, so being too fiercely anti-gay is not as cool as it once was.

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BBC News – Cameron backs ‘limited’ anonymity for rape accused

Posted: June 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on BBC News – Cameron backs ‘limited’ anonymity for rape accused

Rape defendants in the UK may enjoy the protection of anonymity "to cover the period between arrest and charges" in addition to the duration of a trial until conviction, as Prime Minister David Cameron "appears to have given some ground on proposals to grant anonymity to those accused of rape." According to BBC reports, Labour party leader Harriet Harman disagreed with the proposal, saying "It sends a devastating message to rape victims that uniquely of all victims they are not to be believed."

According to official figures, "only 6% of all reports of rape to the police lead to a conviction," yet Mr. Cameron "describ[ed] the current conviction rate as a 'scandal'" and "told MPs that all parties wanted to increase the number of successful rape prosecutions and to send more rapists to jail." Rapists are often most successfully prosecuted only after "previous victims find the courage to come forward," Ms. Harman says. Activists say the policy helps protect rapists, not their victims.

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Pakistan jails couple over gay marriage allegation – CNN.com

Posted: June 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Pakistan jails couple over gay marriage allegation – CNN.com

18 year old Rani, who was born as a man but lives as a woman, and 42 year old fertilizer dealer Malik Muhammad Iqbal, both Pakistani residents, were arrested and now face up to 10 years in prison. Peshawar police Chief Shoukat Ali said that their investigation "shows [Iqbal] likes these people more than women. He admitted it. This is a psychological disease when men are attracted to men and not attracted to women."

Iqbal and Rani deny the allegations. "We were only celebrating my birthday," Rani said, according to a CNN report, which says that "prosecutors say it was a marriage that was taking place. Police smashed their way in, broke up the party, arrested 43 dancing guests, Rani and Iqbal. Iqbal says he was just another guest at the party."

Rani is one of about 400,000 people known as 'khusra,' called eunuchs, transsexuals or transvestites. "After decades of discrimination, Pakistan's Supreme Court recognized khusras as a minority last year—but many are still mocked in public."

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