Sexual Intelligence Blog

Church Offers Everyone (Mostly Useless) Marriage Advice

America’s Catholic bishops have launched a media campaign aimed at promoting and strengthening marriage. This is like an arsonist discussing fire safety while watching your house burn. Despite their obsessive campaigns to deprive men and women of condoms, despite hundreds of priests molesting thousands of kids, despite their evil work to limit sexual expression to less than half of Americans, the Church has launched the National Pastoral Initiative on Marriage. You’ll soon be seeing the Campaign’s TV ads, featuring ordinary people talking about what they do to enrich their marriages—extra hugs, carrying a wife’s purse, leaving lovenotes. There’s also a…

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Frank Rich: President’s “War Against Sex”

New York Times columnist Frank Rich is a wonderful writer with a terrific nose for selfish, hypocritical politicians who abuse their power. He’s written frequently about the dangers of letting one group of people define “morality,” “decency,” and “family values” for the nation. Today Rich wrote about Senator Vitter’s recently-exposed sexual transgressions, which Vitter pursued even while damning the morality of a substantial part of the nation. Rich used this as a hook to write 1,000 words on the President’s failed “war against sex.” He notes various draconian public policies that for six years have championed abstinence for the unmarried,…

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O‘Reilly Freaks Out Over “Uterus”

Last night, Bill O’Reilly pretended to have a conversation about sex education with my dear friend Debra Haffner. She’s the co-founder and director of the Religious Institute for Sexual Morality, Justice, & Healing. The faux news hook was Barack Obama’s comment supporting sex education in kindergarten. The show’s producer helpfully cued the audience with a visual of condoms and oral contraceptives—completely irrelevant to the discussion, but predictably inflammatory. And that, not informing people, is the show’s mission. O’Reilly criticized some abstract “them” for injecting too much fear into the cultural dialogue about childhood sexuality—without, of course, noting that his show…

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Vitter’s Political Hypocrisy Far Worse Than A “Sin”

Senator David Vitter of Louisiana has been caught frequenting prostitutes. His behavior stands in stark contrast to the conservative “family values” and harsh sex-negative positions he relentlessly championed in the Senate and state legislature. Vitter says he has “received forgiveness from God” for his “sins.” Thus conveniently cleansed, he now accuses “political enemies” of undermining his future work. Yesterday his wife criticized the news media for “following us every day last week,” as if Vitter had merely been caught with an overdue library book. That’s the problem with conceptualizing one’s free choices as “sin”—you can simply admit you’re not perfect,…

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Ex-Surgeon General Should Apologize, Not Complain

Richard Carmona was America’s Surgeon General from 2002-2006. Last week he revealed that for four years, the White House told him what to say and what not to say, regardless of science or public health. In the safety of a Democratic Congressional Committee hearing, a full year after his last Washington paycheck, Carmona complained that information that doesn’t fit President Bush’s “ideological, theological, or political agenda is often ignored, marginalized, or simply buried.” This is consistent with the current Republican theocracy’s dismantling of science as a respectable, objective pursuit. For six years we’ve heard about this regularly, from world-class NASA…

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Happy Birthday, Meese Commission

Twenty-one years ago today, the “Meese Commission”—the U.S. Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography—released its 2,000-page report. President Reagan set up the Commission to reverse the findings of the 1970 report on pornography released under Richard Nixon, which recommended that legislation “should not seek to interfere with the right of adults to read, obtain or view explicit sexual materials.” Although it was supposed to document the damage caused by using pornography, the Commission could find no such thing. It admitted that “The contribution of pornography to sexual deviance remains an open question.” It noted their data “do not support any causal…

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