Response to Salon article on Republican Sex Ed initiatives

Posted in Science, Sex ed at 10:22 am by angela

This may be the first in a series of responses to Salon articles that need just such a response from me, usually because they are missing an important point. But in any case, the unmoderated comment section (“Letters”) is so messed up there and full of trolls that no meaningful discussion can take place. Besides, I don’t feel like giving them my Facebook and Twitter which they want in order to sell my personal information to advertisers.

I’m not going to quote the article, which I think you should read, because it’s packed with facts about yes, Republican legislative initiatives on sex ed courses. Some of them are just hilariously stupid.

But the article misses the point, the very basis of what Republicans believe about sexuality, and how being exposed to sex ed of any sort will corrupt their precious little angels.

What they believe is that human sexuality is inherently unnatural, that if a child was protected, shielded from it at all times, that child would never experience sexual attraction or have thoughts of sexual desire upon passing through puberty.

They don’t believe that humans start producing hormones on going through puberty, and this creates desire, that the production of hormones in animals (of which humans are one type) results in perpetuation of the species, which is why we are here, because of the powerful impetus to procreate.

They believe that if kids are given true and correct information, they will become sexualized. Without that external sexualization, there will never be desire nor understanding of what to do.

Now understand the hypocrisy involved. While thinking that if you sequester a young child from any and all awareness that sex exists, they go for the sex ed classes. But their kids watch all the highly sexualized television, movies, and video games that every other kid does.

The side purpose is of course, as the article says, to provide other people’s kids with more ways to fail, failure being pregnancy and STDs. They don’t really believe that their own kids will procreate in middle school, because they can ignore the stats that show right wing religious kids have more sex and more pregnancy. Just like mom and dad, who were more likely to have that shotgun wedding.


The economic stimulus and you?

Posted in Accountability, neocon crackpots, Science at 4:36 pm by angela

Well, maybe you, maybe not you. It seems that what’s mostly up due to those economic stimulus checks is porn. Guys are hunkering down, realizing that there’s going to be a long dry spell ahead. They’re buying porn of all sorts.

Good work, George. Not that I mind, but still…



The Obama Smear Machine: an in-depth look

Posted in Accountability, neocon crackpots, Science at 7:28 am by angela

This is a very interesting article by a researcher who has studied years of smear campaigns against Obama. It’s not so much that they are well-coordinated attacks, but that so small a number of webzoids are involved in the creation and propagation of right wingnut rumors like this.


Boys and girls process language differently

Posted in Biology, Science at 10:42 pm by angela

Although researchers have long agreed that girls have superior language abilities than boys, until now no one has clearly provided a biological basis that may account for their differences.

For the first time — and in unambiguous findings — researchers from Northwestern University and the University of Haifa show both that areas of the brain associated with language work harder in girls than in boys during language tasks, and that boys and girls rely on different parts of the brain when performing these tasks.

What the researchers found is that language areas in girls’ brains worked harder when they were being tested by reading or auditory means.

In boys’ brains, however it was the hearing or visual centers that worked harder.

Researchers speculate that there may have been an evolutionary advantage to men being able to focus their hearing and sight in avoiding dangers.

But I’ve been saying that all along.

Tests were run on boys and girls age 9 to 13. They’re going to have to duplicate the test on adults in order to make sure that this is not something that the younguns outgrow.

ScienceDaily (Mar. 5, 2008)


Waiting too long to have sex linked to sexual disfunction later in life

Posted in News, Science at 11:33 pm by angela

The problem with this story is that it reaches a Fox News-worthy conclusion right up front, only hinting at the end that the conclusion may be unjustified.

Having sex at early age has long been linked to a laundry list of health problems from an increased risk of sexual disease to an increased risk of cancer.

But now, Columbia University and New York state researchers say waiting too long to have sex may carry its own risks, according to an ABCnews.com report.

People who lose their virginity between the ages of 21 to 23 are more likely to suffer sexual dysfunction problems later in life, according to a study from Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute’s HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies.

So the obvious conclusion is that beginning to have sex later will result in a man having a greater risk of sexual disfunction. Clear cause and effect, right?

The study, which is will appear in the January 2008 issue of the American Journal of Public Health, found that men who lose their virginity in their 20’s seemed more likely to have problems becoming sexually aroused and reaching orgasm.

But the researchers pointed out that men who started having sex early were also at an increased risk for sexual dysfunction and said further research is needed to determine if a causal interpretation can be made.

If a causal interpretation can be made. It doesn’t sound like the researchers are at all convinced that a late start to sexual activity causes sexual disfunction, which is what was the lead-in, right?

Let’s look at the somewhat less glamourous but probably more likely cause and effect here. For men to wait until their twenties to begin sexual activity is probably a sign of an underlying sexual disfunction.

Well, doh. Of course.

Powered by ScribeFire.


Study: Women don’t talk more than men

Posted in Communications breakdown, Language, Science at 10:40 am by angela

No, women don’t talk more than men, a recent study reveals. The often-quoted figures saying they do are strictly an urban legend.

Psychology Today: Ten politically incorrect truths about human nature.

Posted in Bad boys, Biology, Communications breakdown, Science at 9:34 am by angela

Yes, there are definable differences in the behavior of men and women, differences that can be attributed to reproductive strategies. Some of these I have speculated and written about before. This article pulls it all together nicely, and in a quicker read than any book by Stephen Pinker.

Read it closely. This will be on the test.