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Sex? Homosexuality? Masturbation? Y’all Need Jesus

I am going to let you in on a little secret.

Sex is Awesome.

Okay it’s less of a secret than I thought but you would be surprised how many religious people have hang ups over something as natural as sex. It is either shameful or sinful (because anything that fun must be bad) or they don’t want women to enjoy it.

Abrahamic faith is obsessed with sex. I will admit this, I have been celibate for a very very long time, but even I know that the catholic obsession with sex is frankly unhealthy. It is analysed and psychoanalysed and scripture is quoted, it’s got more rules than the Kama Sutra and infinitely more men men in robes. It is the fascination of those who aren’t allowed to have sex with those who are allowed to have sex. Asking catholic priests for sex advice is like asking a completely blind man about the colour coordination of your outfit. It’s silly to ask them in the first place. And it’s even more sillier to take any advice they may give. 

It's not a blind person joke, it's a catholic priest joke... Think abou it.

Are you sure that this isn’t remotely stupid?

There is a consistent notion in the Catholic Church that we live in a depraved age. Why even their priests are tempted by our precocious youth from the path of righteousness and not due to a system that creates an unhealthy sex life but due to the fact that we don’t speak about sex in hushed tones and guilt.

Catholics believe that we live in modern Sodom and Gomorrah. where our frank grasp of sexuality is anathema to the world which Thomas McDonald wants to live in. To this purpose he wishes to analyse a group of people who he claims will destroy our carefully manufactured view of human sexuality. Unlike his own carefully manufactured view of human sexuality.

“They had campfire discussions in which men spoke of having sexual intercourse several times in a single evening. Being western anthropologists, they immediately assumed this was an African version of Jersey Shore in which men naturally exaggerated their monogamous sexual practices for no apparent reason. But when they talked to the women, it turned out that, yes, couples did copulate several times in a single evening, and that this was done in order to have children.”

The group of people in question are a hunter gatherer tribe and another associated subsistence farming tribe in Africa. They are amongst the most distinct humans on earth due to their genetic heritage. However, this is where Thomas kind of doesn’t get the point.

I know! Crazy-talk, right? As enlightened Westerners, we know sex has nothing to do with children at all. Babies are just a punishment meted out by a capricious biological processes. Of course the Aka and Ngandu also had sex for pleasure, but in a place with such extremely high infant mortality, children were not seen as an unfortunate byproduct. They were seen as essential.

Since when are babies regarded as a punishment? Does Thomas genuinely think we hate babies? No we like babies. We just don’t think we should have one or two and not a “litter”. The Aka and Ngandu have a different selection pressure which is crazy high infant mortality. The chance of one of their kids making it to the age of 1 let alone adulthood is very small. Most of their babies die. It’s sad but it is a selection pressure on humans and it was how naturally our population is controlled. Now the standard of living of these people is increasing and changes have started, many Aka have started farming in addition to being hunter gatherers.

The pressures of food and disease keep their population low. They have many children so as to beat the odds, not because they LOVE giving birth. And because of that they care inordinately for their children because again each child is valuable since there is a really good chance they will die. Thomas himself mentions the mortality rate. These people don’t have time for such frivolities as high school education because the lifestyle they live in requires a group effort. If they fail they die. They don’t go on the dole, or get hand outs. They starve to death. That’s hunter gatherers for you.

Sex for procreation and sex for recreation are two different things to us. We have both because we can. We have the luxury of having two kids and watching both kids make it to adult hood. To the point where the biggest cause of deaths in our children are accidents. Unavoidable accidents. Our IMR is related to congenital defects and clumsiness rather than say “sleeping sickness”.

We have the technology to have sex but not have babies. It is not immoral to do so. No matter what Ratzinger thinks.

Now these two tribes are supposedly unique in that they have no word for masturbation or homosexuality to which Thomas says

Quelle horreur! You mean homosexuality and masturbation are culturally conditioned? That’s unpossible!

Except, it’s not all that unheard of. Other anthropologists have come across cultures without any real understanding of disordered sexual practices, which are largely rooted in psychological and sociological, not physiological, causes. The article attempts to wave the magic wand of genetics at the problem, reassuring their panicking readership that, indeed, genetics can explain this, because SCIENCE! Their genetic mutterings are fairly vague, but from what I can tell, they’re suggesting that if there is a genetic component to homosexuality (“and there is increasing evidence that [there is], in many cases,” they say soothingly), it makes perfect sense that isolated tribes would not have this genetic component. Because homosexuality has never been found in genetically separated cultures? Try again.

I assume he is making a Ralf Wiggum joke. Nae problem, we can embiggen the mind sufficiently to take that into our stride.

You can read the original piece, if you like. I am just working off the Thomas piece but you an see where the author was coming from.

Thomas has a problem here. See hunter gatherer societies are not only small and compact but also require a group effort to survive. It cannot afford two gay people not procreating.

My first crush was a girl called Elizabeth. We used to travel the bus together and me and a friend would try to sit as close to her as possible (I was 11 so this story is more adorable than creepy). I tried to get her attention by pranks, pranks I thought were charming. And she reciprocated back. Once when she fell asleep I tied her hair to the seat of the bus so that when she got to her stop and woke up she would be stuck on the bus. She responded by putting bubblegum in my hair which got my head shaved. This continued until I got an offer (A giant man came to my house and told me that I was a Wizard) to go to a Grammar School. I ran into her when I was older at a pub. Turns out we both liked each other but because our culture at that point was more interested in Barbies and Easy Bake Ovens and Action Men and Football… and hers in whatever the hell she liked. (I got a lot of girlie gifts due to my name. Barbie makes an excellent GIANT VILLAIN for the Action Man.). Our minds didn’t know how to deal with each other. We still thought the other gender was the spawn of satan and terrifyingly dull. Except this particular “one” and in our lack of language were unable to express what we thought except through borderline assault. When we had our first ball at the grammar school I tried to ask her out. I was so nervous that I threw up on her shoes. If I had been dating her now it would be the “perfect” story and the comments will be full of “awwws” but sadly IRL, you should save throwing up on your date for date 5 to never. In retrospect it was my first crush even though at the time I would never admit it.

If a small group of people with no concept of homosexuality (there are around 500 of them in total meaning they probably know each other by name) exist then it doesn’t mean that there are no people with homosexual desires in there. They probably have them, but they are just like I was when I was a kid. Cluelessly thrashing about and unable to express the concepts that are alien to me. Concepts that needed to be explained by teachers and parents. That what I felt for Liz was entirely normal and that the correct way to get a girl’s attention is sexy dancing, (I may have got my ideas on dating mixed up with the discovery channel) witty banter and giving her flowers. Not tying her to a chair using her own hair while struggling with feelings and feeling awkward about it.

Imagine placing yourself in that same stupid kid’s shoes and trying to figure out the feelings you have. That’s what a gay Aku tribesman would go through. In addition? Let’s assume the gender split is 50:50. 250 men. Let us assume all our gays are out of their collective closets for the purpose of estimation. 5% of our society is GLBT. So in 250 men we would assume there to be around 12 gay men. A MINISCULE number. I can meet hundreds of women a day and not fancy them, these proto-gays aren’t exactly innundated with sexy and available men. It’s just 12 dudes having some very weird unexpressable feelings that may not be to another person who has those feelings back.

Are they suggesting that there’s a Mitochondrial Gay Eve to match Mitochondrial Eve, and all gay people trace their lineage back to her? How, where, when, and why did this genetic gay component enter the human family tree? Aren’t evolutionists always telling us that we’re nothing but chains of reproduction stretching back to single cells, with all behavior oriented towards passing on the best possible genes? If that’s the case, how does the “gay gene” fit in? It serves no purpose. In fact, it’s functionally sterile, and thus if it existed, wouldn’t it have vanished long ago as an evolutionary dead end? Am I missing something here?

Ah yes, the Gay Gene. The thing is we postulate that one exists.

There are three probable causes for being “gay”. Genetics which is the concept that there is an allele out there that makes you fancy the same gender. Development which is the concept that the hormones of your mother may make you fancy the same gender. And that we are all capable of being gay based on a variety of different influences including experience. Now all three ideas have some merit and some drawbacks. But the ultimate truth is we don’t quite know what makes gay people gay. Because plenty of children have gay parents but turn out straight and plenty of super straight parents have gay kids. The idea that somehow if a boy wears girl’s clothes the boy will fancy men is laughable because that used to be a major practice in western society (people thought it was cute). We actually decided on the colours of male and female toys for babies arbitrarily and in fact there was no colour code before. People in fact often dressed boys up in pink as it was seen as a more manlier colour (the colour of meat).

We honestly do not empirically know what makes a gay person a gay person except that they like the same gender. Our strongest theory is that we are all actually capable of open sexual position since it explains bisexuality quite strongly too. But I feel the strongest is that it is multifactorial and a variety of things may cause one person to grow up to be gay while another to not. But as I said these are hypothesis not facts. I base my notion that it is multifactorial because we men don’t act like men from other species.

We can get along with each other. We can do stuff together be it kick a football into a goal past another group of people or kill smallpox or fire the world’s most awesome radio controlled car at Mars. Lions get along with each other in the simplest possible terms but they don’t work together to do anything apart from “fuck female lions”. If it wasn’t for us maintaining pack mentality over our pets we would see our dogs fight. We see our cats fight. Even Gorillas fight with each other. It may actually be we as a species possess the ability to not fight overtly for dominance with every male we see and instead work together. This may be the function of the “gay gene” which when expressed completely makes you like men. We may all be carriers of it which is why we haven’t found it in the first place. This hypothesis is probably incorrect but I am not an expert in gay genetics and everytime I see that word I cringe. I feel that if I were “straight” like most male animals I would prowl the neighbourhood punching other men until they either leave or become my lackies while I pee on things to mark them as mine and ladies do love a man with a huge… territory…

But we aren’t here to discuss what I think, we are here to see what’s wrong. For starters Gay people are not sterile. Gay men can sleep with women and get them pregnant. If the gay gene existed then it would not make them functionally sterile, it would make them psychogenically sterile.

The actual benefit if my hypothesis is correct (and I use the word hypothesis very very very loosely. I am sure people with more knowledge will show up and correct me) it would mean that all of human endeavour has succeeded because the most combative aspect of ape sociology has been curtailed thus creating a “social ape”. Only the bonobo has a relatively egalitarian society while other apes concentrate breeding rights into one individual. The cooperation combined with chimp like tenacity (they are tenacious fuckers) brains and indeed penchance for destruction kind of propelled us to the top. While chimps may throw rocks we had the foresight to sharpen them first.

The Hewletts correctly observe the three components of human sexuality: desire, behavior, and identity. They appear to believe that the desire element is universal and hard-wired, but that culture affects behavior and identity. There’s something to be said for this in developed civilizations. Certainly, the whole idea of someone being homosexual (behavior) is barely more than a hundred years old and the idea of claiming membership in a gay sub-culture (identity) is even more recent, while the idea of homosexual activity (desire) is quite ancient.

Only Catholics could re-write history so that the Jews and Christians were more cultured than the Romans or Greeks. Or more developed than India, Feudal Japan, Carthage, Seulecia, or the various gay men who have existed even in “Christian” nations living under the fear of persecution and death.

Desire is as old as humanity, behaviour is as old as humanity too. The subculture thing is interesting because many cultures never had a gay identity. To realise this we must look at gay stereotypes. The western gay stereotype is a flaming effete man, the japanese stereotype is a super macho leather daddy. We associate homosexuality with limp wrists, they with bench pressing. Why? Because we think of gay people as the stereotypes they represent without realising that they are a gamut of behaviours no different from straight men. The identity of a modern homosexual may be a new thing but that is because we hate gays.

We never let them out until recently and even today we still harass and hurt them. Why should they express an identity if it is going to get them harassed, beaten and killed. I am pretty sure there are very few gay people in Afghanistan or Uganda because anyone with that sexuality isn’t going to admit that they are gay. Not unless they don’t want to get lead poisoning or learn the hemp fandango.

Where they–and much of modern social science–goes awry is in seating desire purely in biology. It may in fact originate there in some cases. Certainly, we find young children with gender identity disorders that cannot have come from cultural conditioning. At some point we’ll identify exactly what goes wrong in fetal development to produce GID, and maybe then we’ll find a more humane solution than the chemical and surgical butchery we’re practicing now to turn men and and women into non-men and non-women.

We should instead totally put our faith in a 1800 year old book written by committee with crummy plot, spelling mistakes and factual errors.

I won’t field this topic. Not because I don’t have an opinion on it but because there are experts on the topic available here. Zinnia and Natalie are far better at this. I don’t think intersex babies should be given the surgery until the infant has grown up and can make the decision to have or not have the surgery and in which direction they wish the surgery to go. I think the age of 16 or 18 is sufficient for this and I think the decision should be the child’s and the associated doctor and that it should be thought about carefully. SRS isn’t my forte except for a distaste for the relatively predatory methodology of Dr. Suporn who I feel rushes the fairly major decision of surgery as quickly as possible.

But insisting on a biological element in all (or even most) instances of same sex attraction is just junk science. Desire is a mysterious thing, and we can’t rule out some real biological component to sexual disorders, but moving from that to the “born gay” routine is just politically motivated nonsense looking to reaffirm people in their okayness.

It’s not junk science since it involves living creatures. If a particular behaviour of a living creature is up for scrutiny then we apply biology. If we wished to observe the behaviour of a god then we will call theology but as of yet that problem hasn’t arisen.

The lack of masturbation actually shocked them more than the lack of homosexuality. Homosexual activity requires not only having the desire, but identifying and communicating that desire to someone who shares it, a proposition that is somewhat fraught in certain cultures, to say the least. Masturbation, however, is a party of one. They find it unfathomable that any people who enjoy the pleasures of sex can fail to treat their genitals as a self-contained recreational unit.

Not really…

What’s the age of marriage in the tribe. In child marriages both children develop sexually together so “masturbation” may not exactly have a name. And please…

If masturbation can be a party of 1 or more people… Dear Thomas, playing with it is masturbation. Even if you are just preparing for penetration it is masturbation. Because the only people I have seen who don’t have to give their penis a little encouragement during the act at some point in their lives are people on your porn. Just because you don’t have a word for something doesn’t mean you do it.

Mired in their Western, modernist, post-moral biases, they fail to see a people who have a frank and practical understanding of sex as rooted, quite simply, in babies and bonding between people of the opposite gender. That’s what sex is. Everything else is simply a misuse of sex. It may be a vastly entertaining misuse of sex, but people trying to eek out a simple existence can be forgiven for not reducing all of life’s experiences to self-amusement and self-gratification.

Yes. Because the Aku are locked in a desperate struggle against the forces of nature and in order to win they need quantity. While we require quality. Thomas may be happy to spend his whole life fucking solely for reproduction but it doesn’t make him moral. It makes him either prone to irresponsibility while having a baby he cannot afford or just plain boring in bed. And apparently I have gone a long time but did the Pope suddenly become the Emperor of Sex? How? Why was I not informed!

By that logic spreading superstition on the greatest information system in the known universe is a misuse of the Internet.

The Aku fuck to survive. Every baby is a chance their society will live another generation. We fuck because it’s super fun. All our babies effectively live to breed. We don’t need to play the numbers game. We can concentrate on the kids that we do have and make sure they get whatever we want them to get rather than be footsoldiers for the survival of our genes because we know that they will “make it”. If you cannot differentiate the difference between the society the Aku have and the society we have then we cannot discuss anything because you will never ever grasp the point. If the Aku attained western mortality rates they would not have sex to have babies. They would probably wear condoms and practice birth control.

I will say this. Sex is wonderful and fun, you just have to be safe and have consent. But so far I have been playing with the concepts. This next few lines REALLY fucking pissed me off.

I can’t think of a more perfect summary of the Enlightenment and all the modernist movements that evolved in its wake. The efforts of the intellectual elite for the past 200+ years has been to reduce us all to bonobo apes. In fact, the Western view of recreational sex has been imposed on people who were once very traditionally moral.

We were so moral that 200 years ago I could have been owned as property. 200 years ago in many parts of the world I would not be considered as a human being, a savage at best and a beast at worst. 200 years ago women were pretty much in the same boat. May be slightly better off, but they had little to no rights.

200 years ago was the heyday of colonialism where rich white guys sent poor white guys to fight and die so that they could profit from poor non white people. Where we fought and killed people for their faith.

The Enlightenment was the breaking of the church’s stranglehold on knowledge. Like a reverse Pandora’s Box.

Traditionally Moral? If we ignore all of the history of the European church then yes… It was very moral. However we live in the real world, and 200 years ago we know prostitutes existed, we know people got drunk and had sex. Thomas may think that Europe was some sort of magic fairytale land but I know that the things we considered “civilised” were present solely in the woefully out of touch nobility. That the people were just as debauched as they are today.

Proof you ask? Proof of ribaldry and mirth? Of sex and pleasure? There is no greater proof than the Bard himself.

And then my husband—God be with his soul! 
A’ was a merry man—took up the child:
‘Yea,’ quoth he, ‘dost thou fall upon thy face? 
Thou wilt fall backward when thou hast more wit; 
Wilt thou not, Jule?’ and, by my holidame, 
The pretty wretch left crying and said ‘Ay.’ 
To see, now, how a jest shall come about!
I warrant, an I should live a thousand years, 
I never should forget it: ‘Wilt thou not, Jule?’ quoth he; 
And, pretty fool, it stinted and said ‘Ay.’

It’s a quote from Romeo and Juliet. And it implies that while comforting the infant Juliet who has fallen over the Nurse’s husband makes (maketh?) a joke. “Why do you fall on your face? When you are older and wiser you will fall on your back!” (HINT! It’s Sex).

If Shakespeare, the father of the English Language. A man who wrote such florid prose in the 16th Century was capable of such sauciness then I am sure there were others. Consider all your arguments speared… SHAKESPEARED

Or maybe the good Thomas would like to campaign against having this filth striken from our schools. Children read this you know.

And when our civilization falls, and we’re all reduced to subsistence living, the Aka and Ngandu–along with any traditionally religious people who haven’t been hunted to their deaths–can teach the survivors the true purpose of life and sexuality.

If Civilisation falls mate I don’t think you are going to be able to get to Africa.I would want to know how gay sex and wanking is going to cause our civilisation to fall, but clearly Thomas is the expert in civilisation and morality as we all know.

But one flaw in this plan Thomas. If civilisation falls and we are all living subsistence existences while we atheists hunt you “traditionally religious people” (I assume for sport) How on earth are you going to get to Africa? It’s not close you know. What? Civilisation falls but civil aviation still works? The fall of man is not going to cause geography to become more cooperative.

Not to mention the sad truth is this. The Aku (both tribes are called that) are roughly 500 strong. They are more likely to perish and vanish from the face of the earth than we are. We try and preserve their way of life as much as possible. Which is why they don’t pray to the same gods as Thomas. Or which is why he didn’t mention their penchance for polygamy.

But I digress. The most important question is this. When we hunt the “traditionally religious people” to their deaths can I either get some sort of chariot with spinning blade wheels (Preferrably Made out of Iron) or can I get that palanquin from 300 with staircase of slaves (FINE! Willing Volunteers…. FINE! Well Paid Staff).

Comments

  1. dorfl says

    This is not entirely on topic but: I stumbled over Thomas post yesterday, without knowing which religion he belonged to. Halfway through I thought “This particular brand of nuttiness, combined with that absolute certainty that one is right and everybody else secretly knows it: I’m pretty sure that this was written by a Catholic”. So I scrolled up and sure enough, I was in Patheos’ Catholic channel.

    I’m not saying that Catholicism makes one sound crazy, just that “Catholicism makes one sound crazy” is a predictive model which gives accurate results.

  2. says

    It took me a while to find out too. Especially since I normally write over a few days in bits and pieces, I had to go back a few times to make sure…

  3. Arkady says

    One of the amusing things to me, as an asexual, is that they often regard chastity for any reason other than JEEBUS! to be weird and wrong too. I’ve been told many times that I’m broken, that I must have been abused as a child and am in need of fixing, when in actuality the worst I’ve experienced during my few attempts at sexual activity has been boredom.

    No matter what form of sexual activity you’re having (or not having), if gawd isn’t involved then it’s wrong, apparently. Just no pleasing some people…

  4. steve84 says

    There are actually lots of African tribes that tolerated homosexuality to some degree before European missionaries messed them up. Socially recognized same-sex relationships weren’t as widespread as in North America, but some tribes used the same model of one partner assuming another gender role.

  5. steve84 says

    Btw, there were always people who considered their sexuality to be an identity. Even if they didn’t have the words for it. See for example Anne Lister, who lived in the early 19th century and had a very clear idea that she was only attracted to women:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ann_Lister

    She wrote a huge diary about her conquests of women and her life plan was to find a suitable partner (which she eventually achieved). She also wrote about studying all the available literature to find out more about herself for example.

    In the 19th century there were indeed gay subcultures in large European cities. Particularly Paris and London. At the end of that century it was even possible for some to live relatively openly in a few places. There were tons of artists like writers, actors, poets, painters and sculptors who were gay and formed circles in Europe. And the people close to them certainly knew what went on. That started before the clinical idea of “homosexuality” really caught on. So the idea that that has only been happening for a couple of decades is beyond absurd.

  6. Carlos Cabanita says

    Morality, as you can summon from Shakespeare, was not as tight in Europe in previous centuries as Catholics want to believe. There were no widespread state or even church structures to control poor people’s lives. It was only with the creation of the modern national state, around 18th century, that those structures begun to be built.
    It was then that, with the industrial revolution and the political liberal revolutions, there came into existence what may be called, to use a Marxist term, the bourgeoisie and petite-bourgeoisie, that covered their existence with Christian morality.
    The workers were largely unaffected by this. I have talked with very old Portuguese people from factory working backgrounds early in the 20th century and learned that for them marriage mas not common. They just lived together and cared for their kids. They were not atheists but had contempt for priests. Most of their political and union leaders by then were anarchists, socialists and communists, almost all atheists.
    As for priests, liberal revolutions in Europe were catastrophic for them. Until then, they had unlimited sexual freedom, because the peasants didn’t care or were afraid to criticize them. Every priest had at least one housekeeping lady living in and nobody was the wiser. They had sons and provided for their future.
    The liberals, when they took power, not only did they confiscate most of the church property that was immense (for a time, almost every state building and army barracks was an old convent; even today the Parliament building is one), but they begun to scrutinize the lives of the clergy and forced them more or less to live according to what they preached.
    So it was more or less at the same time that Catholicism lost it’s political stranglehold in Southern and Central Europe (if you say Christianity the idea is valid for the whole Europe) that it gained a mass moral stranglehold on the sexual morality of it’s peoples.

  7. Carlos Cabanita says

    Another historical curiosity: when religious orders were extinct in Portugal as a result of a civil war that the liberals won, in 1834, in many towns there was a masculine convent and a feminine one. It was discovered, in many cases, that the monk’s convent was linked to the nun’s by a secret passage or tunnel.
    (The religious orders were later partially reintroduced during the fascist dictatorship 1928-1974).

  8. Carlos Cabanita says

    About the Catholic Church, most people remember the Inquisition, but most don’t know, even here, in Europe, that they fought tooth and nails against everything progressive long after that. In the 19th century Europe was shaken by a series of revolutions and civil wars between liberals and absolutists (most of the liberals by that time fought for a constitutional monarchy like England). Everywhere, absolutely everywhere, in France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Italy, the Catholic church took arms (literally) for the absolutists. The modern state of Italy was only possible when the Papal States were defeated in battle, around 1870. The fascist dictatorships of the 20th century all benefited from the support of the Papacy (tacit in Berlin, enthusiastic in Lisbon, Vichy, Madrid and Rome). And there was a completely Nazi regime in Croatia directly supported by the Vatican. The pope said a very timid something about the Jews, but swept most under the rug.
    Later on, let me not begin with South America. Some left wing priests strayed to the side of the poor, but the majority of the Catholic apparatchiki and their politburo kept their loyalty firm to the oligarchies.

  9. bobo says

    Avicenna:

    Yes. Because the Aku are locked in a desperate struggle against the forces of nature and in order to win they need quantity. While we require quantity.

    Shouldn’t the second *quantity* be *quality*?

  10. anne mariehovgaard says

    We can get along with each other. We can do stuff together be it kick a football into a goal past another group of people or kill smallpox or fire the world’s most awesome radio controlled car at Mars. Lions get along with each other in the simplest possible terms but they don’t work together to do anything apart from “fuck female lions”.

    The ones who do that on a regular basis tend to fuck eachother as well… Makes it much easier to avoid fighting.

    The idea that not having a word for something (or even insisting that it doesn’t happen) means it actually doesn’t happen is charmingly naive. I’ve talked to (gay) people who’ve spent time in parts of Africa where everyone insisted there were no homosexuals… even the same-sex people they had sex with.

  11. Pierce R. Butler says

    Since when are babies regarded as a punishment?

    Since US anti-abortion-contraception-sex crusaders started telling everybody that no woman should ever have sex and somehow contrive to “escape the consequences”.

    If you’ve managed to avoid that particular trope, congratulations! But it’s rife throughout the US abortion(etc) rights debate, as is the antis’ rebuttal (to anyone who points out the “logic” of their argument) that pro-choicers hate babeeez.

  12. smrnda says

    The proponent of ex-gay therapy Joseph Nicolosi cites another African tribe as a key to the ‘natural’ way for boys to become men and to avoid homosexuality. It’s just nuts -every traditionalist has got to find some tribe (probably in Africa) where people do something they think we should do now, and somehow this is a case that the tribe has it right and we’ve lost some essential truth.

    It is as you put it – each group is trying to survive, and how you do that depends on what challenges you face. If infant mortality is high, you need big families and procreation is a priority. As civilization improves, raw numbers are less important than skilled and specialized labor in keeping society running.

    When they contrast sex for bonding (and children) with sex for pleasure, how to they square this with evidence that having children decreases marital satisfaction in many cases? Or childless couples who marry late and seem fairly well adjusted?

    The whole masturbation hysteria is nuts too. Apparently it’s wrong since it’s pleasure by yourself instead of with someone else. I like to eat food I cook. Sometimes I eat good food by myself; I don’t look at food as something I should go without until I get someone else to the table since I don’t want to selfishly enjoy a meal I cooked just by myself. Catholics are always going into hysterics about how masturbation is bad because it isn’t shared, but I can’t see why it’s any difference than me eating a steak by myself.

  13. rork says

    “It cannot afford two gay people not procreating.”
    I liked most of the article but worried that approached being a just-so story. I wasn’t convinced.

  14. Rodney Nelson says

    The Catholic god gets angry about sexy things. This isn’t surprising since the Catholic hierarchy is obsessed with the same things their god is obsessed with. Men with men, women with women, sex before marriage, contraception, masturbation, those are the things that the Catholic (and fundamentalist) god gets upset about. The Catholic hierarchy says so. And they should know because their god talks to them.

    Ever notice that when someone claims to know god’s thoughts that god has exactly the same opinions and prejudices as his mouthpiece? Is this a coincidence?

  15. smrnda says

    I also find it strange that a bunch of ostensibly celibate men, who ought not to be masturbating, can pretend to have any knowledge of its effects or of what healthy sexual practice is in general. I’m not sexually active (I identify as asexual though I’m in a relationship) and if I need to find out “does masturbation hinder your ability to relate to other people sexually?” I”m the first to admit that I need to consult some people with experience. People need to start being flippantly dismissive over anything that the Catholic hierarchy says regarding sex, simply on the basis that they really have no experience.

  16. Carlos Cabanita says

    The idea that the friendship between men, prevalent in every society and the key to every achievement, is the same trait that that brings homosexuality is fascinating. It makes sense. Tenderness exists and is freely expressed between men in every culture, but most often disguised as playful aggressiveness.
    Lately I have come to regard same sex attraction (or, conversely, other sex attraction) as a continuum, ranging from a minimum to a maximum in any individual. But society formats that, with a powerful repression factor. The result is that everybody is straight, except those in which the same sex attraction is expressed near the maximum. Instead of a smooth curve from the minimum to the maximum, we get an almost flat curve near minimum until the breaking point where it suddenly jumps to near the maximum. I wonder if different cultures, where repression (or either-or social pressure to personal definition) would be weaker would present a markedly different curve.
    Just speculation, no science to back it.

  17. Carlos Cabanita says

    In fact, there should be one curve for other sex attraction and another curve for same sex attraction.
    The pressure to chose, to be either-or, is, I guess, part of the social formatting.

  18. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Carlos @17:
    Interesting. I wonder if the camraderie between men on the football field or in the ice rink is an expression of male attraction* of some sort. Could those tight bonds (where they exist) serve as a form of socially approved interaction?

    *maybe not attraction so much as male bonding. I can see this fitting on the spectrum you speak of.

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