‘teens’

“Decency” Group Calls Me Out in Cincinnati

Last night I braved the snow, wind, and ice to speak at the University of Cincinnati, part of their Sexploration Week. The students who attended seemed pretty engaged–almost no one text messaged or snored during my talk. One group who didn’t attend did have some pretty strong opinions—Citizens for Community Values. CCV, whose anti-democracy, pro-censorship work I’ve exposed before, thinks it’s a horrible idea for students to learn more about sex. They expressed their outrage to the University president, and urged their members to write to the local newspaper (over 100 did). A letter in this morning’s Cincinnati Enquirer was…

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Great News for Parents: Internet MUCH Safer Than You Thought

For years, Americans have been hearing how dangerous the internet is: full of perverts, predators, and other horrible creatures who want to eat our young. We’ve been told that chatrooms are full of adults pretending to be teens, and that sites like MySpace and Facebook are full of adults trying to lure our kids onto Greyhound buses and into unspeakable hells. Americans love these salacious stories, repeating them even while recoiling from them. We follow the gothic kidnap tales on CNN or Fox, the seduction bodice-rippers (jeans-rippers? thong-rippers?) climaxing in some depraved horror. We then beatify the victim (if they’re…

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10 Facts of Life for the New Surgeon General

Among his many tasks, President-elect Obama must select a new Surgeon General. While in many ways it’s a ceremonial post, the SG is supposed to be the country’s medical advocate. Dr. Sanjay Gupta has been suggested as the probable choice. In addition to his other credentials, Dr. Gupta was named one of People Magazine’s “Sexiest Men Alive” just a few years ago. What a contrast. For eight years the Bush administration has been obsessed with regulating Americans’ sexuality–seeing sexuality as a political issue rather than a health issue. So this seems an excellent time to remind the incoming Surgeon General…

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Flying The Erotophobic Skies of the U.S.

I’m going to Europe next week to teach. So this week, I’m erasing the porn from my laptop. Not tons of it—I don’t have tons of it—but a few pictures that I’ve accumulated here and there. I’m not afraid of bringing adult porn into Europe. I’m afraid of bringing it back into the U.S.. Because our government has given itself the right to seize and search the laptops of U.S. citizens at all international borders without probable cause. The police can’t take your laptop out of your car without a warrant or a clear reason to suspect evil-doing. But they…

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Facebook Bullies Ban Breast-feeding; Breast-feeders Blameless?

Facebook (motto: “nothing is too boring for Facebook”) has banned photos of breast-feeding. Facebook claims the photos are “obscene” and threaten the safety of “children” who go to the site. Yeah, we all know how traumatizing it is for kids to learn that tits are for anything other than sex. As a private company with Terms of Use, Facebook can do whatever it wants. It can even pretend it doesn’t know that “obscene” is a legal term, not applicable in this context. And like senators, priests, and Morality in Media, Facebook can lie and claim that pictures of children nursing…

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Good News Out of New Hampshire

And now the good news out of New Hampshire: adults can pay other adults to have sex on camera. For offering to pay an adult couple to have sex while he filmed them, Robert Theriault was busted by a creative prosecutor on the charge of enabling prostitution. It’s yet another case in which the government tries to get around the First Amendment, which is intended to protect people’s rights to paint, write, sculpt, sing, design, film, and otherwise non-coercively express themselves. The government admitted that a non-obscene sexually explicit film is a legal object. They were just claiming that making…

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