‘libertarian’

Abstinence Sex Ed? “I’m Baaack…”

Like a bad penny—or like an abusive ex-husband, or a public policy cancer—abstinence is back, just when we thought it was gone. Through the 1970s, U.S. policy was to reduce teen pregnancy. In 1981 the goal was changed, to funding programs to reduce teen sexual activity. During the Bush Administration, $1.5 billion was spent trying to get kids to have less sex. These programs failed completely (other than transferring federal case to Bush supporters). In 2009 the federal government ended most funding for abstinence (although states and school districts continued funding abstinence programs locally), and began funding comprehensive sex ed.…

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World Contraception Day Comes and Goes

Today was World Contraception Day. Sponsored by organizations from most parts of the globe, its goal is straightforward: to create a world in which every pregnancy is wanted. So simple. So life-affirming and life-enhancing. Such a dramatic, proven program for reducing poverty and domestic violence. Who could be against such a thing? Unfortunately, way too many people: * Religious adherents who think their god is against it; * People who don’t want women to have more power in their relationships, families, and lives; * People who see children as a source of family labor or national wealth; * People so…

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Morality in Media Admits They Lack Facts, So They Lie About Porn

The lobbying group Morality In Media wants to eliminate adult pornography. But they have a problem: adult pornography is one of the most successful consumer products on earth, and it is generally protected by the Constitution. So MiM has resorted to a desperate measure—repeatedly connecting adult pornography to a reviled product (child porn) and a reviled behavior (child molestation). Of course there is no evidence linking adult porn with either of those things, but MiM has never let facts stand in the way of their Big Lie. In their latest press release, they admit that they have no evidence of…

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Deep In the Valley: Going to a Porn Shoot

I’ve been on movie sets and I’ve been on network TV, but in all these years I’d never watched a porn film being made. So last week while I was in L.A., I finally accepted an invitation. After lunch I drove out to the San Fernando Valley, parked in a neighborhood of modest homes and small warehouses, and walked into the studio of Brash Films. I spent about two hours there, watching and occasionally chatting. Everyone involved made me feel welcome. The most interesting thing I have to say about it all is—nothing. But maybe not for the reasons you…

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New York City Makes the Moral Choice: School Sex Ed

New York City has just mandated sex education in all public schools. Students in middle school and high school will get one semester each. The city’s logic is pretty simple: * New York teens have an unacceptably high rate of unintended pregnancy and STIs; * These outcomes are clearly linked with poverty, domestic violence and adult health problems; * Comprehensive sex education is scientifically proven to reduce these outcomes. As we say in school, 1+ 1 = 2. Parents should be celebrating the city’s decision. Medical and mental health organizations should be supporting it. The juvenile justice system should embrace…

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National Security? Protecting Kids? Porn Takes the Rap Again

Say you were the U.S. government and you wanted a record of every moment that every American was on the internet: every search, every transaction, every click. Of every American. And just for laughs, you also wanted every credit card number and bank account number an American used on the internet. What would you call such a law? * The No More Internet Privacy bill * The 1984 Really Is Here Big Brother bill * The Trust Your Government With Your Privacy bill No, those wouldn’t be very attractive with voters, would they. So instead, the House Judiciary Committee has…

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