Friday, December 7, 2007

Sluts in Denial- not a taser post

researching sluttinessThe New Zealand Herald carried the story “Women 'want No-Strings Sex' ” on 8 December. Maybe they carried it to boost flagging circulation. It reads like nothing so much as frustrated academics examining their own navels under tight deadlines, like a schoolboy who waited to write a book report until the night before it's due. One's a Kiwi, and one's Canadian, so there are some language problems- they speak a dialect of English known as Brit-Colonial Academic Estrogenese. I've translated these excerpts for my readers. No thanks are necessary.

Two young women researchers are calling for a new form of sexual ethics that would allow women to have casual sex without feeling that they're "sluts". They want to be sluts without feeling like they are sluts. This is a particularly pathetic version of the “perception is reality” argument as applied to self-deception.

Canadian sociologist Melanie Beres, a post-doctoral researcher at Auckland University, and Auckland doctoral student Pantea Farvid (we call this “devaluing the PhD”) told a sociology conference yesterday that rape prevention efforts should stop just giving women tips to avoid harm and promote an ethic of "self-care and care for the other". We call this kind of nonsense “Doctoral Feces”.

Dr. Beres interviewed young Canadians aged 19 to 25 about their casual sex experiences, while Ms Farvid interviewed New Zealanders in the same age bracket. Nice sample, representative of nothing. The New Zealand women were more likely to have actively initiated casual sex (here we call these “self-actualized sluts”) whereas the Canadians were more likely to say it "just happened" (we call these “sluts in denial”). Drink was used by some as an excuse for their choices. Really?

Studies have shown New Zealanders start sex younger than in many countries and have high rates of teen pregnancies and STDs (These are what we call “diseased sluts”). By the age of 25, 13 per cent of women have had more than 10 sexual partners (These are what we call “high mileage sluts” or “retreads”).

Dr. Beres said some women deliberately challenged society's "double standard" that said casual sex was okay for men. It's not OK for guys either. This is a blatant attempt to ennoble sluttish behavior. It's a logical fallacy, known formally as The Noble Slut. One woman in her study took the initiative in sexual encounters (we call this “loose”) and another had decided that a serious relationship would hinder her career, so she sought casual sex to meet her physical needs. We call this “assisted wanking”.

Ms. Farvid said a more open approach to sex would move away from the legal idea that the only issue in sexual morality was consent. Shevek says that a more moral approach to life would move away from the idea that the only issue in sexual morality is libido.