‘teens’

Sex Is Evil: Film at 11.

The newest entry in the “Sex is dirty, please watch our show while we prove it” sweepstakes is this clip from ABC News. It’s an “exclusive” interview with Christine Hubbs, a 42-year-old woman who was recently convicted of having sex with her daughter’s 14-year-old boyfriend and his best friend. She’s now known as “the Hummer Mom” because she drove her little lovers around in her Hummer, creating the world’s most perfect sexual reference. The interview is very odd and very disturbing. I felt like I desperately needed a shower after watching it—and not because of Hubbs’ crimes. The first odd…

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Those Wonderful Librarians

I’m recently back from Austin, where I spoke at the annual meeting of the Texas Library Association. My topic was America’s War On Sex, Libraries, & Librarians. I’m pleased to say I was warmly received. And I sure learned plenty from them—some of it heartening, some of it scary. And some of what they said was sadly familiar. Just a few notes: * A small number of people can cause a lot of trouble. In almost every community, some people feel terrified that people—young or otherwise—are being exposed to immoral, inappropriate, unpatriotic, or dangerous material in the library. One might…

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America’s War On Sex: Second Edition?

You may have read my most recent book, America’s War On Sex. It’s won a couple of awards, and I’ve lectured on the subject in dozens of cities. I’m pretty proud of it. The publisher (Praeger) has asked me about doing a second edition—updating it and perhaps adding other material. In some ways, it would be more complicated than just writing a whole new book. So I’ve been thinking about how to do it. How’s the War on Sex been going since the book was published? My initial answer is: “mixed.” Here’s the initial scorecard for the four years since…

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Pathetic Political Posturing: Attacking MTV’s “Skins” As Child Porn

Calling it “the most dangerous show on television,” the Parents Television Council has asked the Department of Justice to investigate whether MTV’s “Skins” violates federal child pornography statutes. The show’s sins are that they (1) show teens having and enjoying sexual activity, and (2) employ teen actors to portray these teens. For years, the Parents Television Council has staked its claim to Ozzie & Harriet paranoid nostalgia territory. They say that shows including Hawaii Five-O and the NFL Playoffs are unsuitable for family viewing. Maybe they mean families that don’t have TVs—or cell phones, the internet, or friends. Their vision…

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States Use “Sex” & “Children” To Create & Damn Criminals

Two states show just how far legislators and police will go to use categories like “sex offender” and “obscene” to ruin someone’s life. Of course, throw in “protecting the children” for maximum effect. WISCONSIN James Smith—a minor—forced, through physical threats, another minor X to ride with him to collect a drug debt from X’s friend. There is no allegation that the coercion involved anything sexual. Smith was arrested and convicted. But despite the fact that no sexual activity took place, Smith must now register as a sex offender because he committed a crime “comparable to a sex offense” (“false imprisonment…

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Giving Thanks for Sex…With a Bit of Melancholy

It’s Thanksgiving, so let’s give thanks for sex. Not just the huffing and puffing, the in-ing and out-ing, the sloshing around and drying off. Let’s give thanks for all the sexual rights we enjoy here in the U.S.—which billions of people in Russia, the Arab world, and many parts of Asia and Africa will never enjoy in their lifetimes. Most of these rights have to do with privacy and autonomy. These always look dangerous to repressive or religiously-driven regimes. Science and technology look pretty frightening to such regimes when they can be applied for sexual purposes—which they inevitably are, throughout…

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