Sex In the News

Recent posts

Transgender Teen Denied Yearbook Photo

A teenager in Texas is being told that his yearbook photo (in which he wears a tuxedo) will not be published in the yearbook. According to the school district, the photo does not meet “community standards.” This is because the teen, who identifies as male, refused to wear a drape or blouse as was required of the schools’ girls (the school apparently refuses to recognize the teen’s choice to live as transgender). This is unfortunately yet another incident wherein the choices of individuals regarding their own gender or sexuality identity are not institutionally respected. Continue Reading →

5 Reasons Why You Should Be Watching Masters of Sex (Photos NSFW)

Within the span of three days, I received text messages from each of my (divorced) parents insisting that I watch “the new sex show” on Showtime. Mind you, my parents assume that my newly-minted bachelor’s degree in Sexuality Studies grants them permission to send me a daily smattering of sex-related articles, which I usually find sort of endearing and only slightly annoying. For whatever reason, I decided to give this particular suggestion a go. And oh. My. Continue Reading →

Call Of (Female) Duty

I won’t claim to be anywhere near an expert player of Call Of Duty (now Tetris is another story – I have yet to have a friend beat me at that). However, a few of my friends are huge fans of the game, and as such I’ve learned a little bit about it. I like that you can customize some of your weapons (I love the cherry blossom print guns), but did wonder why there are only minimal options for the soldiers themselves? One problem I had with the soldier options were that they were all male – but that’s soon going to change! When the latest version is released this month (Call of Duty Ghosts) players will have the option to choose the gender of their soldier. Continue Reading →

Sexism In Science

In case you missed it, a scientist who contributes to Scientific American turned down a blogging opportunity from one of their affiliates – who then called her an “urban whore.” And yet, rather than use this as an opportunity to combat racism and sexism in science, the blog removed her post commenting on the issue. It’s since been restored, but important questions remain: how can we hope to address issues of inequality (by gender, ethnicity, sexuality, and other identity factors) if there’s still so much bias at institutional levels? And how do efforts to combat sexism and racism in science reflect similar struggles in other parts of society? Continue Reading →

Texas Voter Laws Affect Women Disproportionately

As reported in Salon, a new voter ID law in Texas could disenfranchise up to one-third of women voters. Many voting-age women do not have an identification document that currently reflects their legal name (due to marriage, divorce, and so on). Additionally, photocopies are not accepted for the multi-step name-change process, making additional hurdles for women and transgender people – but not cis-gendered men. This makes me feel somewhat cynical, as Texas already doesn’t have the greatest record of looking out for its female citizens. Ideally everyone, regardless of gender identity, would have access to facilities to easily change their names, marital status, sex, and so on – or if that access is restricted, it shouldn’t affect their ability to do vital things like vote. Continue Reading →

Why To Keep Using The Word “Feminism”

We’ve all run into someone who says things like, “Yeah, I agree with a lot of feminism, I just don’t like calling myself a feminist because [XYZ].” One common reason given is that feminism is (supposedly) just about improving women’s living conditions, while the speaker considers him/herself a humanist, someone who wants to raise all of humanity. Which is a nice idea, but there are, in fact, specific reasons to describe oneself as a feminist. And no, they do not include hating men. The brilliant blogger Spacefem describes her reasons for doing so in a blog post here. Continue Reading →

Creating A Culture Of Inequality

I’ve posted in the past about sexism in the geek community, which extends to the tech industry as well. This letter, written by tech journalist to her daughter’s high school programming teacher, exemplifies many of the concerns about gender equality in technology and geek culture. Being the only girl in the class and having little support from adults when the boys began to marginalize her led to a terrible experience – no doubt similar to what many women who enter all-male fields go through. How does one begin to change a sexist subculture? The letter is full of helpful suggestions on how to create a more supportive environment for learning. Continue Reading →

Rape In Southeast Asia

(Trigger warning for descriptions and depictions of sexual assault)

Thanks to a long-term study conducted by the UN, we now have some numbers on the prevalence of rape and sexual assault in southeast Asia. On average, one in four men included in the study (of over 10,000 total men) admitted to raping at some point in their lives. One of the key aspects of this study was that researchers did not intentionally use the word for “rape” in their questions. The questions instead described forcible sex acts. Additionally, the researchers distinguished between forcing sex with intimate partners and with strangers, and found that rape between married partners was more prevalent than between those not involved in a relationship. Continue Reading →

Tips For Male Allies In Academia

Don’t be that dude: handy tips for the male academic is a lovely post aimed at male professors who are sympathetic to the sexism and gendered micro-aggressions that many women in academia face. I like that the post recognizes the importance of collaboration in achieving gender equality, and I think a lot of the tips are applicable outside the ivory tower as well. Continue Reading →

California Permits Children To Have More Than Two Legal Parents

Governor Jerry Brown of California just signed a law permitting children to legally have more than two parents. The rationale for the law is that ”Courts need the ability to recognize these changes so children are supported by the adults that play a central role in loving and caring for them…It is critical that judges have the ability to recognize the roles of all parents so that no child has to endure separation from one of the adults he or she has always known as a parent.” Of course, the recent legalization of same-sex marriage in California may also have something to do with the bill, which has conservative groups up in arms, claiming that it will harm children (I’m unclear on how that would work, but okay). Blended heterosexual families, too, will benefit from this law. There are also implications for polyamorous families, wherein multiple adults might inhabit the same household or at least share childcare responsibilities. Continue Reading →