Category Archives: Sex

Sexual regret is about culture, not evolution.

Women are more likely to regret casual sexual encounters than men. Is that because women are evolutionarily predisposed to feel shame after sex? A team of UCLA evolutionary psychologists says yes. I say no:
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Posted in Feminism, Gender, GLBTQ, Rape Culture, Reproductive Rights, Sex, Sexual Assault | Tagged , , , | 24 Comments

Punishing kids for cross-gender play is abusive, not “tough”

It’s my dream: I got to write about a Dear Prudence column in the Guardian. This week it’s about a mom who wrote in to Prudence concerned that her husband freaks out when their son wears mom’s ballet flats, and expands into the way we gender our kids from birth: Continue reading

Posted in Gender, Life, Parenthood, Sex | Tagged , | 42 Comments

Penises, Guns, and Safer Sex Ads

The brilliant Lisa Wade at Sociological Images has a thought-provoking piece about penis/gun imagery in safer sex ads, like this particularly vivid one: Continue reading

Posted in Feminism, Guest Blogging, Sex | 41 Comments

The Feminist Anti-Contraception Crusaders

The right-wing anti-sex “real woman” backlash seems to have hit the feminist movement this month, with the publication of books telling women to swear off the Pill and to swear off sex. I’m writing about it in the Guardian: That we’ve come a long way, baby, but gender relations remain fraught, and living with a wide variety of choices that look wide-open but end up constrained is much more challenging than having one or two paths to choose from. It’s easier, in many ways, to offer simple proscriptive advice about “real” femininity than to have to figure out how to be a woman when the definition of “womanhood” is increasingly broad: Continue reading

Posted in Domesticity, Feminism, Gender, Health, Medicine, Politics, Reproductive Rights, Sex | 20 Comments

Rape and Power

Rape is in the news again this week with another widely-publicized gang rape in India and a 31-day sentence for an American teacher who raped a 14-year-old student (she later committed suicide). In the Guardian I’m writing about how certain cultures abet rape and keep reporting rates low:
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Posted in Class, Discrimination, Feminism, Politics, Rape Culture, Reproductive Rights, Sex, Sexual Assault | Tagged | 57 Comments

Roundup: Miley Cyrus needs to stop.

Sunday night’s MTV VMAs: Miley Cyrus gets to wear and/or remove revealing clothes. She gets to put her hands and/or pelvis in assorted places. She gets to wear latex granny panties and grind up on a fully-dressed Robin Thicke. She gets to stick her tongue out — constantly — no matter how gross it is — like a cartoon dog seeing a sexy cartoon lady dog. Miley Cyrus is a grown woman and gets to use her body as she wants.

Using other people’s bodies is a different story, and a number of bloggers have commented on that crucial fact. Continue reading

Posted in Music, Popular Culture, Racism, Sex | 168 Comments

Your partner’s infidelity: All your fault

When a partner cheats, there’s always (well, frequently, anyway) a question: Why? Why, God, why? Is it something I did? Parent Society blogger Jennifer Carsen has the answer: Yes! Yes, it is. It’s probably because you got fat. Yeah, when your partner decides to have illicit sex behind your back instead of fixing your relationship or breaking it off cleanly, it’s definitely because you got fat. Continue reading

Posted in relationships, Sex | 37 Comments

Let’s Talk About Sex

We live in an era of unprecedented access to information about sex, imagery of sex and health care related to sex. Internet porn is ubiquitous. Sexual health information, though not always easily accessible, is more accessible online, in mainstream publications (hello Cosmo) and at doctor’s offices than ever before. Frank discussion of sexual pleasure is standard on television and in movies. There are entire university departments dedicated to the study of human sexuality. That’s all good, and we have early sexual pioneers and researchers to thank for it. But we still have quite a long way to go. I’d love to see us embrace a vision of sexuality that isn’t transactional or gendered or capitalist: Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Entertainment, Feminism, Gender, GLBTQ, Health, Media & Media Literacy, Politics, Popular Culture, Rape Culture, Reproductive Rights, Sex | 159 Comments

“As a rape survivor, I…” Or, why feelings ought to matter to sex-negative feminism

Earlier this month, Jillian Horowitz wrote about being a sex-negative feminist on xoJane. Reading her piece, I had thoughts similar to the ones I have when I find myself listening to Coldplay: “Is this… good? Is this good for me … Continue reading

Posted in Sex, Sexual Assault | Tagged | 351 Comments

You know what would be great? If pro-lifers actually focused on life.

Abortion restrictions are being introduced, debated and mostly passed across several states in the U.S. Texas has been the most notable, but many others — Ohio, North Carolina, Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi and North Dakota — are ramping up their anti-abortion legislation. But while the GOP claims to focus on “life,” many of the states dedicating enormous amounts of time, money and energy to limiting abortion also see incredibly poor health outcomes for mothers and children. I outline some of them over at Al Jazeera; here’s a bit: Continue reading

Posted in Discrimination, Domestic Violence, Gender, Health, Law, Politics, Pregnancy, Rape Culture, Reproductive Rights, Sex, Sexual Assault | Tagged | 10 Comments

Stop expecting cookies (and other sage privilege-checking advice)

Dr. Isis has spent a goodly amount of time promoting feminism and diversity in scientific fields and, she says, met a goodly number of solid allies. But for every good’n, she says, she encounters a bunch that don’t get it — the cookie-seekers, the problem-solvers, the brilliant-idea-contributors who just don’t know why their brilliant contributions aren’t met with champagne and dancing-girls. Thus she has assembled The Straight, White Dudes’ Guide to Discussing Diversity. Continue reading

Posted in Feminism, Race & Ethnicity, Sex | 164 Comments

DOMA, the VRA and our narrow ideas of “justice”

I’m overjoyed about the DOMA ruling earlier this week. But coming on the tails of the gutting of the Voting Rights Amendment and the meh ruling on affirmative action, it tasted less sweet. And it reflected a very simplistic American idea of “fairness.” That’s what I’m writing about in the Guardian this week:
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Posted in Discrimination, Gender, GLBTQ, Law, Politics, Race & Ethnicity, Racism, Sex | Tagged , , , , , | 13 Comments