Porn Addicts, Family Planners, And Beer Pong Herpes


The Guttmacher’s Rachel Gold on improving family planning access in the U.S. Also, when is porn addiction addiction, and how bad is sex education in Texas?

 

 

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Links in this episode:

Just Say Don’t Know

The Good Old Days

Guttmacher

Mark Belling on breast feeding

Mark Belling: screaming anti-choice nut

On this episode of Reality Cast, I’ll be interviewing the Guttmacher’s Rachel Gold about a new study out about the state of family planning in the U.S., and ways that it could be improved.  Also, a segment on porn addiction or perhaps faux porn addiction, and a segment on the state of sex education in Texas.  

If you’re a fan of Reality Cast, please help spread the word by visiting our widgets page and getting a widget that scrolls the most recent podcast on the sidebar of your own page.  To express my gratitude for your help, here’s a clip of Stephen Colbert talking about beer pong and herpes.  Yes, a new alarmist report links beer pong and herpes, and Colbert’s on it.

  • pong herpes *

The story tore through all sorts of news shows, including Fox and Friends, but it turned out that it was a hoax.  You cannot actually get herpes from drinking beer that someone hit a ping pong ball into. But I suspect that the link between beer pong and herpes will turn up in abstinence-only materials and will never come out, no matter how often it’s debunked.

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Last week, I had a column out about my experiences with sex education in high school in Texas 15 years ago, how poor they were, but how much worse the current regime of abstinence-only is.  The impetus for writing this was the Texas Freedom Network’s report on the state of sex ed in Texas, a report that is thankfully receiving quite a bit of attention, as it should.  It’s not just that our abstinence-only programs are ridiculous and laughable, though that’s part of it.  It’s that Texas sets the national standards on curricula, because pretty much every textbook publisher in the country uses Texas standards as the standards, because Texas is the largest textbook buyer in the country.  Where we go, there goes the nation.

Texas Freedom Network did more than write it up, though.  They took some of the curricula, and acted out skits suggested for classrooms by it. It’s a great idea, because I don’t think that you can really grasp the levels of sadism being employed in abstinence-only programs until you hear it acted out. 

Like, for instance, they make teenage boys pretend to propose to teenage girls.

  • tfn 1 *

Of course, there’s no educational value to that sort of thing. It’s just about using the teacher’s authority to shame kids about things like sexual desire and romance. But then that’s followed up with old-fashioned fear-mongering.

  • tfn 2 *

One thing that’s endemic to abstinence-only materials is a refusal to explain the reasons they’re making these outrageous claims.  Students aren’t really informed that the teacher is talking about HPV, a viral infection that shows up in 100 different strains or so, and contrary to what the teacher is saying, is not actually considered the mark of doom by responsible medical professionals.  Genital warts and cervical cancer are in fact caused by HPV, but it simply isn’t true that these possibilities are anywhere as close to inevitable as they’re being portrayed.  Notice that there’s been no move towards rewriting these materials now that we have a vaccine that makes all these threats pretty much evaporate.

Then there’s the lie about condoms.  In this video, the coach is running around with a handful of dirty, dirty condoms.  By the way, I love that it’s a coach. It’s so true that many high schools use health class as an excuse to employ coaches as teachers.

  • tfn 3 *

I’ve heard some anti-choice nuts go so far as to say condoms fail 50% of the time, and the fine research team on this report finally found where that bizarre number came from.    Turns out that they yanked that from a study done on prostitutes who only used condoms sporadically.  That sporadic use reduced STD transmission rates by 50% in this population strikes me as evidence that condoms work pretty well, and if you used them all the time, they’d work a whole lot better.  You see this problem over and over again.  The materials include failure rates of condoms that are do to people who don’t use them all the time, but then try to pass that off as evidence that condoms fail when used correctly.  That’s like saying that my low blood sugar from not eating today is evidence that eating has no influence on blood sugar levels when I do eat. 

One of the most bizarre issues with abstinence-only is that they’ll not only lie to you to keep you from having sex, they apparently have it out for kissing or even giving someone the platonic one-armed hug.

  • tfn 4 *

If you really believed this nonsense, you’d be scared to shake people’s hands.  What’s that about?  Maybe they figure that if you never leave the house so that you don’t have to do things like hug, shake hands, or share doorknobs, then you’ll probably never even come close to dating and engaging in behaviors like kissing or sex.  Sex is so scary that we have to shut down human society to stop it, I guess.

Check out the Texas Freedom Network’s Just Day Don’t Know page for more info.  This is a big story, so this podcast will be giving it more coverage in the future when I interview one of the researchers on this report.

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insert interview

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I’ve got a column out this week talking about this amusing new research study about porn use across the country, a study that found that red staters buy more porn than blue staters and that porn use drops during church going hours.  In a sense, I fail to understand why this is a surprise.  Isn’t part of the struggle between culture warriors and supposedly evil liberals that they hate us for all the hawt sex we’re having?  It would seem, therefore, that we’re too busy actually getting laid to worry as much about porn.  Conversely, perhaps the culture warriors are getting crazy ideas about what evil liberals do from watching too much porn.  Stay tuned to RH Reality Check for more analysis from that angle.

But what I love about this is how much of the evangelical community reacts by deciding right off the bat that porn consumption needs to be dealt with like it’s an addiction, because they’re pretty all or nothing people.  As such, the person that pops up on CNN to talk about this is, of course, an evangelical minister named David Erik Jones.

  • porn addict 1 *

I’d be really curious to know what they consider porn addiction.  I’m no giant fan of porn and have written a lot about the misogyny in it, and other depressing aspects, but I also think that many people look at porn on an occasional basis for a quick release, and it doesn’t interfere with their lives or relationships.  But I suspect that any use at all is considered an addiction in this context, and of course, if you have an all-or-nothing attitude about it, once you use a little you’re going to figure that you blew it and go all out.

I like this question:

  • porn addict 2 *

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at this question.  I suppose it’s a symptom of how strange our culture is about sex that you’d ask, with a straight face, why people like to look at porn.  What is this sexual arousal and orgasm that you speak of?  How odd.  Why do people enjoy getting off, as they may call it?  What next?  Asking why people like to eat ice cream? 

I think even this guy, who is a pastor for a Baptist church in Texas, is a little stunned by this question.  It’s a testament to your average pastor’s ability to B.S. that he rolls right through this.

  • porn addict 3 *

Translation: People like porn because sex, including masturbation feels good.  And that’s why you can tell sex is dirty and evil and sinful, because it feels good.  Even though we’re created as sexual, which means that god wanted us to want sex.  He created us to do something that he hates and will punish us for, even though he didn’t have to do that.  The god of anti-sex Christians is a real sadist, I’ll tell you what.

  • porn addict 4 *

Oh puffity puffity nonsense.  It’s utterly non-shocking that conservative men would love porn.  Most of it, especially the really mean, woman-hating stuff, seems to be made with them in mind.  The virgin/whore dichotomy isn’t a so-called liberal thing. That’s been around since time immemorial, and will continue to be around as long as you think that good girls don’t really want sex.  If men are going to insist on dividing women into virgins and whores, at least they’re doing it with  porn instead of actually going out and risking catching STDs to bring home to their good girl wives.  As long as sexists insist that marriageable women be "pure", men are going to go to so-called bad girls for sex.

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And now for the Wisdom of Wingnuts, you shall know them by their seething hatred of women’s bodies edition.  Right wing talk radio show host Mark Belling has an interesting opinion of a biological function that’s existed since time immemorial.

  • mark belling *

Mark Belling, as you will be unsurprised to hear, is a screaming anti-choice nut.  So, he thinks basic reproductive functions are disgusting, and having them makes you a pig.  But he thinks that you should be required to be what he thinks is a pig whether you like it or not.  How is that not pure misogyny again?

 

Follow Amanda Marcotte on twitter: @amandamarcotte

  • invalid-0

    Circumcision Reduces Rates of Two STDs
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/27/health/27std.html?hpw

    Check out it, dumb ass. Science is amazing, isn’t it? I can’t believe they let someone who doesn’t understand the value of circumcision write unsound opinions about sex and health for the masses to read.

  • http://newlifehabits.com invalid-0

    I run a blog over at newlifehabits.com about porn addiction. It gets many visitors every day. These people are definitely struggling with addictions and don’t know how to escape. They are very much relieved to find out they are not weird but instead amoung millions struggling with these addictions.

  • http://www.newfamiliesfordentists.com invalid-0

    Thanks for the great article. Full of information and details that are very important in today’s world. I agree that the schools need better programs of educating our youth, that is where everything begins. Also you had some very interesting angles on addictions to porn. Thanks.

  • http://cutingdate.info invalid-0

    Thanks, subscribed to the podcast. I will publish the widget on my blog soon, when I move to the new hosting. And concerning porn addiction I can tell you, nothing helps better than strong family relationships. I was addicted too, but after marriage and my son’s birth I never think about this waste of time, I just don’t have free time at all.

  • http://www.xlpharmacy.com/ invalid-0

    The story tore through all sorts of news shows, including Fox and Friends, but it turned out that it was a hoax.