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Archive for April 11th, 2019

Notoriously Unreliable

Sex. In America an obsession. In other parts of the world a fact. –  Marlene Dietrich

The only thing that inflames American prurience as much as people having sex is people not having sex.  Americans spend vast amonts of money on sex aids and medications such as Viagra, and even try to medicalize normal female sexuality that “experts” deem insufficient; however, they also spend similarly on “treatment” for sexuality that other “experts” deem excessive.  They devour porn, both the overt form and the softer type rolled into movies, television shows, and especially the extreme BDSM torture porn presented as “sex trafficking” propaganda…which facilitates the bllions spent on harassing other people for consensual sex.  And though we’re still not done with a moral panic claiming that prepubescent “sex slaves” are one of the world’s largest criminal industries because they’re raped by literally every single adult male in the US every single week, we also regularly see articles about a supposed “sex drought” (that presumably doesn’t include all those rapes of “child sex slaves”).  The latest iteration of the latter nonsense appeared in the Washington Post under this “OOOOH It’s SCARY, Kids!” graphic:

For anyone who knows anything about sexology, those four little words in the lower left corner speak volumes.  As I’ve written many times, the GSS is notoriously unreliable on sexual matters because it’s an in-person survey.  A number of sexologists, myself included, consider it almost wholly worthless on sexual topics.  As I wrote just two months ago, “These surveys don’t find anything about what people are actually doing sexually; what they measure is people’s relative comfort with the question, which is a horse of a different color.”  In other words, we don’t actually know that fewer people are having sex, only that fewer people are reporting sex to strangers in lab coats.  And that may have a lot to do with our government’s war on sex, in which paying for it is cast as “wrong”, therefore underreported; an example of the idiocy of such surveys can be demonstrated by the fact that a Swedish government “study” claimed the number of men who had ever bought sex decreased by 41% between 1996 and 2008…which would have to mean that a huge percentage of those who had paid for it must either have died or moved out of Sweden in a 12-year period, because even if they had not hired a whore since the ban that wouldn’t erase their previous experiences.

Elizabeth Nolan Brown had (as usual) some good comments to make on this micropanic, incluing quotes from a couple of people whose names aren’t Maggie McNeill pointing out that the GSS is kinda crap.  There was a passing reference to the fact that social researchers are wedded to the fantasy that most sex happens in “partnerships” (which it doesn’t and never has), so they blame the less-sex on people partnering later, which is baloney.  They make the same dumb “explanation” about lower sex reporting in Japan.  If there is any truth to the claim that young men are having less sex rather than merely reporting less sex, it’s probably because so many men under 30 have no worthwhile jobs and the government is scaring them out of buying sex from pros.  Their lack of ambition turns off amateurs, and their lack of money turns off pros and amateurs.  But whatever shortage there is, is undoubtedly magnified by their being more ashamed than ever to report hiring sex workers.

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