Home  |  About Us  |  Contact Us  |  Subscribe
Search NSRC:      Advanced search  
Sexual Literacy Logo Sexual Literacy spacer American Sexuality Magazine Logo American Sexuality magazine spacer Sexual Research and Social Policy Logo Sexual Research and Social Policy spacer spacer spacer

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

feds tracking online for sexual behavior

Deanna Zandt writes on Alternet about the efforts of the federal government to track our online behavior. It is spooky stuff. Gonzales and Mueller want all internet service providers to keep records of all our behavior online for two years. Every email sent or received, every link followed, every package downloaded, every chat, everything. Given the role of the internet in our lives, that would be like the government having access to every step we take, every person we speak to, every conversation, all our groceries, litterally all that we do on a day to day basis.

The reason they claim they need this information is to track down sexual predators. If only I could believe them. You see, sexual predators have been used before for political purposes. I wrote earlier about the arguments some politicians have used to end net neutrality. In that case we saw a rather shameless use of the existence of sexual predators for political gains, that is to say, for the economic gains of big political donors such as the phone and cable companies—who seemed rather willing to hand over personal data to the government, didn't they.

So, I am not sure that the government really wants to limit use of these data to track down sex offenders. I don't think so at all. ABC reporters already showed that the government can use the phone data that the NSA is collecting to hunt down the sources that journalists use to gather otherwise secret insights in the working in this most secretive of all administrations. Political oppression is the goal.


Monday, May 29, 2006

Bloomberg supports gay marriage

So, should we be happy with his support. Of course. However, people like Bloomberg cans ay they are in favor of gay marriage, are opposed to the gay marriage amendment—all important—but I am not sure that it matters that much. As long as republicans are in power, we won't have gay marriage, even with the likes of Bloomberg. The real question is: What is he willing to do to make gay marriage a reality? You see, republicans like to pretend they are a big tent party, but they aren't. They discriminate to get in power, that is what they do. However, Bloomberg might just be able to lure a few good willing advocates from the Human Rights Campaign into endorsing him. I can just see them do it to, which is why don't belong.

Read the story at the NY daily news.

Tags: , ,


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Deafening silence, again!!!

Silence=Death was the slogan inthe 80s and should be still. The Open Society published a report yesterday severely criticizing the US government for failing to address the AIDS epidemic in a serious way. Ideology trumps sound policy here too, and people die as a result.

What is all the more perplexing, I don't see a reference to the report anywhere but here, at the Southern Voice. Could it be that no one really cares? That is too frightening to think about and I have to wonder why. In the 80s, it was a gay disease. HIV is targeting African Americans more an more. Connection? Racism is not dead. Nor is HIV.


Freedom to gay bash at risk?

A panel at the Heritage Foundation voiced concern over the adoption of gay marriage laws around the country. It would infringe on the freedom to gay bash at will. Read this and be afraid. This argument actually sticks with the Right Wing. They are afraid that they loose the right to discriminate and they will be treated just like racists. No kidding.

The president of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty says churches and Christian schools that oppose gay marriage will face government pressure if it's legalized.

Anthony Picarello says they could be barred from firing employees with same-sex spouses, forced to give them marital benefits, or lose charitable and property tax exemptions if they refuse.

Picarello and other legal experts took part in a panel discussion on the issue at the Heritage Foundation.

Maggie Gallagher, who heads the Institute for Marriage & Public Policy, says opponents of gay marriage will be treated like racists if it is declared a civil right. She predicted that churches will be tempted to "mute" their marriage theology to stay out of trouble.

Gallagher says unless the U.S. Constitution is amended to ban gay marriage, judges will probably force states to legalize it.

As per Southern Voice.

Tags: , , ,


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

First Family in Discord?

It was an interesting moment several weeks ago, when Laura Bush stated that gay marriage should not be used as a political tool in the election season. It was interesting because it is about the only thing that might actually work for the Republicans in the coming elections in November—think on that, it might work. It becomes more interesting when other people write about this debate, which presumably takes place in the White House residence rather than the West Wing. Insight magazine writes about this debate, mentions Cheney's position—who for once doesn't seem to get it his way—but focuses on the Laura-George debate.

What I don't believe is that we are speaking about innocent interviews by the first lady who than speaks her mind, oops. She knew she should say this, because once again, the Bush government wants to have its cake and eat it too. They want to hang the sausage in front of the Christian Right, get them angry and voting for them, but then they don't deliver. Or perhaps they really don't want the amendment, because once it passes the issue is over. Just like they don't want Roe v. Wade to be turned over. You know that Hillary Clinton will be our next president if that happens. They need these issues alive to keep the anger flame up. If they really win these issues, the anger flame will burn on the left, which is not where they want it.

Tags: , , , , ,


Monday, May 22, 2006

Bridge the Gap June 3

on june 3 marriage equality usa will be launching a bicoastal bridge walk to raise awareness about the next attempt to pass the federal marriage amendment.

many within the lgbt civil rights movement are divided about whether or not this type of action is a good idea in terms of securing the over 1400 federal rights and hundreds of state rights that go with marriage.

on the one side are gay and lesbian couples and their children-- families who cannot marry and legally access the same rights that heterosexuals can through the institution of marriage. they have a sense of urgency in obtaining their rights as many are impacted daily by not having them.

on the other side are lgbt advocates who say that now is not the time to push for such rights in such an outright, activist way. instead, they argue that the battle needs to be fought within state legislatures, courtrooms and ballots and that it will take time--a lot of it to make any direct impact.

this division between grassroots lgbt activism (usually local and state wide) and lgbt political advocacy (national level usually) has a long history in the united states. is it any wonder that the gay and lesbian movement cannot appeal to the masses when it cannot even get on the same page?

the far right continues to have unity and cohesion while the lgbt movement stands fractured....still....

what will it take to end the lgbt movement's divsions? people lives--their mental and physical health--is literally at stake.


protect the children from net neutrality

The US Congress is debating the very important topic of net neutrality. Many bloggers and netroots people are up in arms because large companies will decide what content of the web will be streamed on the web. The Senate is debating this issue now and opponents of neutrality (no doubt financially backed by the companies that stand to profit from control over the internet) have started to make use of tried and true refrains.

Opposing net neutrality is critical to protect our children. Read this terrific exposé by Art Brodsky for a full overview. After reading this important article, it is disappointing to see the reaction by Kevin Drumm of the Wahington Monthly.

It's almost like these guys are robots with defective programming that forces them to respond to every issue, no matter how remote, with a thundering denunciation of gay marriage, kiddie porn, or higher taxes. Mockery is our only option.

Mockery misses the point. The argument is not what is strong, it is the fact that it is virtually impossible to oppose the argument without becoming socially ostracized. That is the strength of using the phrase "protecting our children." Nobody is against it.


Men against war

Sometimes you see the idea that gender and sexuality matter in politics taken too far. On the MyDD site, Chris Bowers writes about Jackson Diehl's collumn in the Washington Post. Diehl likens progressives who oppose the war in Iraq to "flamers." Bowers thinks this is a homophobic slur. Interesting. Here is what thought flaming means: "Flaming is the act of posting messages that are deliberately hostile and insulting, usually in the social context of a discussion board (usually on the Internet)" (wikipedia.com). I do see gender and sexual messages all over the political landscape. Just not here.

That does not mean that Diehl has a point. For a more serious critique, read Yglesias on the Talking Points Memo. He reminds us that the problem is not that the democrats have disagreements about the plan to solve the Iraq issue. The real problem is that Bush does not have a plan. His masculine grandstanding has not masked his inability. He doesn't have it where it counts. I am reminded of Doonesburry's early assessment of Bush: All hat and not cattle.


Saturday, May 20, 2006

Criminal intent

The Human Papillomavirus causes cancer and other health problems for many woman. It is a common enough virus:

Approximately 20 million people are currently infected with HPV. At least 50 percent of sexually active men and women acquire genital HPV infection at some point in their lives. By age 50, at least 80 percent of women will have acquired genital HPV infection. About 6.2 million Americans get a new genital HPV infection each year. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Long live the science that we can have a vaccine to prevent infection with this virus—we won't be able to cure it after the fact. The Daily Kos writes about several right wing organizations such as Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council have opposed introduction of this vaccine, called Gardasil, because they think that it gives a green light to having sex. Can you just imagine that you are infected with cancer, caused by HPV, and your parents opposed the vaccine that could have prevented this? The cruelty of these people knows no bounds.

I remember a time in Holland when young people weren't vaccinated against polio, because that was supposed to be against God's will. And now many poeple live a paralyzed life. It is simply incomprehensible to me.

I repeat my theme however. These organizations aren't so much opposed to sex, as they are opposed to people who have sex. They want those who seek pleasure out of the country if not physically, than socially. They want to silence those who are not in their camp, even if it means they have to die of cancer.


Friday, May 19, 2006

Gay marriage ban, again?

Yesterday, the Senate's judiciary panel voted in favor of a constitutional amendment to ban marriagge equality. It is very interesting to see how the news made it into the papers. The Washington Post's headline does not refer to the amendment but to the shouting match between senators Feingold and Specter. Feingold, rightly, opposed the secret nature of the debate, stating that a constitutional amendment deserves the highest level of debate and should be public. You can read a good excerpt on the Daily Kos. Frist cannot wait to bring this debate to the full senate, where the ban will be defeated once again.

But yet again, liberals and progressives dismiss this issue so easily. Places like the Daily Kos, Crooks and Liars, or Think Progress dismiss this whole debate as mere political grand standing. I suspect deeply however, that the republicans know something we don't. This is the second time they bring this to a vote, and though they may not have sufficient support in the senate to approve an amendment, they clearly feel this issue has political traction in the country, traction they desperately need in the coming elections.

A progressive answer has to be more than merely dismissing the republicans. They attract a significant number of voters with these tactics, voters that act on fear and not on human rights and fairness. Why don't the democrats in the senate hold an argument that is based on fairness? Now that is my question. Is there dismissal perhaps a way to mask their unwillingness to stand up for fairness and human rights?


Thursday, May 18, 2006

The state of teenage sexuality

Yesterday’s Washington Post had a series of articles on sexuality education and sexual health of young people in the United States. They made a big deal of the international comparison in which the US shows much higher rates of teen-pregnancy, abortion, STD’s and other indicators, showing that whatever the US is trying to do to improve sexual health, it’s not working. That is, if sexual health is indeed the goal of ignorance-only sex education, which I don’t think it is, but that is a story in itself.

The Post then posts in this series an article to tell parents what to do and that list of advice is worth looking at:

  • Be clear about your own sexual values and attitudes.

  • Talk early and often with your children about sex.

  • Help teenagers find options for their future that are more attractive than early pregnancy and parenthood.

  • Let your teens know that you value education.

  • Know what your kids are watching, reading and listening to.

  • Supervise and monitor your children.

  • Know your children's friends and their families.

  • Discourage early, frequent and steady dating.

  • Build close, caring relationships with your children early in childhood.

What is completely absent from this list is any notion that a teenager will develop his and her own sexuality. The emphasis is so much on instilling values of the parents—supposedly higher values than teenagers’ values are, on control and supervision, knowing friends and their families. That one kills me. You have to know the families of your childrens’ friends. For what? To see if they “promote” sex? To see if they are of good stock?

There is not sentiment that growing up means becoming a sexual person who has to her and his own sexual choices. Supporting someone in their own development rather than claiming to shape the development of the young person makes more sense. Let’s face it, no matter how lofty your values, instilling them without dialogue or curiosity about the young person’s sexuality will create resistance. It is inevitable and in some sense even healthy for the young person. Without the resistance, they would not develop into the unique persons they are.

Young people have to learn first and foremost to say yes to their sexuality, which is not the same as saying yes to sex. Without embracing your sexuality as a wonderful and also terrifying part of yourself no one can make good choices about their sexuality. Choices will always be driven by some outside notion. If it is not the parents’ ideas and values—which we assume are lofty, but do we know that—then other outsiders can make sexual decisions for you.

You can only really say no, if you can say yes to your sexuality.

Most of the data came from the Guttmacher Institute. A terrific resource.

tags technorati :


Do you believe in marriage?

I don't, so I thought this was particularly funny...


Gender atypical boys

Interesting blurb on a Japanese boy who was allowed to enroll in school as a girl. I wonder what some local school policies are in the US. At what age should children be allowed to transition? One website I found argues for pre-puberty hormone treatment for boys. From the site:

"Nicole Roukema (Netherlands) was born Neils but knew that she was a girl by age 3. Now 13 and transitioned, she plans to have SRS surgery when 18."


Gays flee as religious militias sentence them all to death - World - Times Online

Gays flee as religious militias sentence them all to death - World - Times Online:

More bad news from Iraq. Found this on Andrew Sullivan's blog.

The scribbled note was brief. Karazan had to die because he was gay. In the new Baghdad, his sexuality warranted execution by the religious militias.

The father was told that if he did not hand his son over, other family members would be killed.

What scares the city’s residents is how the fanatics’ list of enemies is growing. It includes girls who refuse to cover their hair, boys who wear theirs too long, booksellers, liberal professors and prostitutes. Three shops known to sell alcohol were bombed yesterday in the Karrada shopping district.

In this atmosphere of intolerance and intimidation, the militias have made no secret of their hatred of homosexuals.

The man who threatened Karazan said that he was a member of the Taib (Wolf) Brigade, a commando group reportedly infiltrated by the armed wing of the hardline Shia party the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq. Its orders come from fundamentalist clerics.
Technorati tags: , ,


Senate panel OKs gay-marriage ban

Senate panel OKs gay-marriage ban:

Can you believe it? According to Wonkette, Specter voted to let this marriage discrimination bill out of the Senate committee and up for a full vote, even though he's opposed to it personally and believes it doesn't have a chance of passing. Talk about a waste of time--to say nothing of prejudice!

One thing I didn't know 'til today--Russ Feingold supports marriage equality--props to him!


From the Washington Post:

A U.S. Senate panel advanced a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage on Thursday as the committee chairman shouted "good riddance" to a Democrat who walked out of the tense session.

"If you want to leave, good riddance," The Senate Judiciary Chairman, Republican Arlen Specter, told Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Russell Feingold, who refused to participate because, he said, the meeting was not sufficiently open to the public.

"I've enjoyed your lecture too. See you later, Mr. Chairman," Feingold told the Pennsylvania senator before storming out of the private room where the meeting took place.

The testy exchange highlighted tensions over the proposal, which seeks to amend the U.S. Constitution to prevent states from recognizing same-sex marriages.


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Local - Worry over young Swedes' sex habits

The Local - Worry over young Swedes' sex habits:

Most of us, thinking about it, would agree that sexuality is something we learn about all of our lives. That's what we at NSRC are all about--we promote sexual literacy. Here's a great example from Sweden (although to be sure I don't know much about the provenance of this English-language Swedish news Web site). Note how the article doesn't talk about the need for developing relationship skills, negotiation ability, any of the things that as adults we understand to be critical for healthy sexuality....

Today's young Swedes are more promiscuous, more likely to have group sex and are more likely to be sexually harrassed than previous generations, and the Internet and globalisation are to blame, a new report claims.

Almost all people between the ages of 16 and 19 say they have been in love at some point, but more of them than before believe sex and love do not necessarily go hand in hand.
Technorati tags: , ,


Sex Ed in Am Sex

Kids are probably capable of understanding sexuality much more than we think. Check out Deborah Roffman's article on sex education and sexual literacy.

From The New Yorker:


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

From Towelroad -- towleroad: Art Show Shut Over Dick Cheney and Gay Sex?

towleroad: Art Show Shut Over Dick Cheney and Gay Sex?:

Towleroad's a pretty well known gay blog. It does have some explicit imagery, so I wouldn't open this blog at work...

An MFA art exhibition by Brooklyn College students was shut in early May after Parks Commissioner Julius Spiegel deemed it inappropriate for families. Students are now planning to file a federal lawsuit against the Parks department and the college, saying the action was a violation of free speech.


PROMISE For the Future - 25 Years of HIV & AIDS

PROMISE For the Future - 25 Years of HIV & AIDS

Technorati tags: , ,

The StopAIDS Project in San Francisco has launched a gripping publicity campaign: Giant purple irises are all over the intersection of 18th and Castro, apparently, and people are writing on public "bulletin boards" their own personal promises about what they can do to end the epidemic. Very moving!



Iraq's prominent leader removes a call to kill gay people from his Web site

Independent Online Edition > Middle East:

Well, it's depressing that this amounts to a victory in Iraq, but it's a victory nonetheless I suppose. Imagine what we could accomplish if we simply had one criterion for picking a person to support: equality without compromise. Is that so radical? Sheesh.

Rights campaigners were claiming a moral victory after Iraq's Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani appeared to renounce a fatwa calling for the killing of homosexuals "in the most severe way".
The decision by Iraq's most prominent Shia leader to remove the call for the killing of gays from his website came after a spate of attacks against homosexuals, including the murder of a 14-year-old boy revealed last week in The Independent. Ahmed Khalil was shot at point-blank range after being accosted by men in police uniforms, according to his neighbours in the al-Dura area of Baghdad.
Campaign groups had warned of a surge in homophobic killings by state security services and religious militias following the anti-gay and anti-lesbian fatwa issued by Ayatollah Sistani.
The killing of Ahmed is one of a series of alleged homophobic murders. There is mounting evidence that fundamentalists have infiltrated government security forces to commit homophobic murders while wearing police uniforms.
Technorati tags: , , , ,


Monday, May 15, 2006

TownOnline.com - Local News: No go for Logo

TownOnline.com - Local News: No go for Logo:
PROVINCETOWN - Only a few weeks before filming was suppose to start LOGO, a gay and lesbian cable network, decided to axe the idea of a Provincetown based reality show. The network, which currently has about 10 million viewers across the country, never actually bought the idea for "P'town" from Go-Go Lucky Productions, but gave every indication that they were interested, say those close to the show. "Two weeks ago they called asking for images for their website," said Bill Schneider, Provincetown tourism director who worked closely with the production crew while they were in Provincetown this past winter. "To us, all the indicators said that they were moving to a green light." But late last week Schneider received a call from a tearful Jennifer Lane, the producer from Go-Go Lucky that was pitching the show, with the news that the reality show would not become a reality.

Well, I guess America's penchant for reality television has some limits, after all. Wonder if they feared they couldn't raise enough ad revenue?

Technorati tags: , ,


Conservative Christians Criticize Republicans - New York Times

Conservative Christians Criticize Republicans - New York Times:

Well, even President Bush has to pay attention to his ratings now; the poll numbers are dismal. And this time it's the evangelical half of the Republican coalition rattling their sabers. The New York Times reports today:

WASHINGTON, May 13 Some of President Bush's most influential conservative Christian allies are becoming openly critical of the White House and Republicans in Congress, warning that they will withhold their support in the midterm elections unless Congress does more to oppose same-sex marriage, obscenity and abortion.

We can be sure there will be more anti-sex, pro-sexual ignorance moves to come before 2008. My guess? The pornographers are moving up the hit list. Mark my words.


Technorati tags: ,