Recent posts

Daily Sexual Violence, In India And America

The rape and murder of Jyothi Singh Pandey in New Delhi brought the world’s attention to the problem of sexual violence in India, with many calling for police reforms as well as culture-wide changes. And it is a culture-wide problem: as this article in The Atlantic demonstrates, there are a host of subtle cultural oppressions, which add up to “ongoing attacks on women, be they decisions to feed them last, marry them as teenagers, skimp on their medical care, or gang rape them on a bus.” But then read this piece, which focuses on the sexual violence American women face. With our rape rates -  there is a reported rape every 6.2 minutes, and one in five women will be raped in her lifetime – we also have an epidemic of ongoing attacks on women. Sexual violence is not an isolated phenomenon, and it’s not something our modernized culture has stamped out: it is systemic oppression. Continue Reading →

The Politics Of Regulating Guns And Regulating Sexuality

Buckle up, folks, I’m going to draw a number of parallels and ask you to put on your metaphorical thinking-caps while reading this post. Maybe you don’t automatically think “vaginas!” when you’re tuning into the gun debate in America, but I do, and I think you should consider doing the same. Here’s why. Continue Reading →

Advances In Women’s Health Politics (Plus Ninjas Against Rape)

If you have the time to read it, I highly highly highly recommend checking out Echo Zen’s Feministe post “How Women’s Health and Social Media Won 2012: Retrospective.” This link-rich essay describes the political events of 2012 in relation to women’s health, the amazing role of social media, and the rise of feminist advocacy by everyday women. Zen points out that what the social media strategies of 2012 exposed is “the violent rhetoric that once came from GOP quarters about how women’s healthcare isn’t real healthcare, since only sluts and prostitutes need contraception and family planning. If the extremists have learned anything from this cycle, it’s that openly campaigning against women’s lives is no longer a winning strategy, just as relying entirely on the white Christian vote is no longer a viable tactic.” This underlines how politicized an issue women’s health has become. Continue Reading →

Evolving American Attitudes Toward “Family”

Research by an Indiana University sociologist, Brian Powell, indicates that more Americans feel that gay couples count as “families” when they have children, and that more respondents counted pets as family than counted gay couples as family. This survey-based research, which has been ongoing for nearly a decade, reveals that the idea of the “family” can change quite rapidly, and is shifting to be more inclusive. Go check out the link for some fascinating statistics! Follow us on Twitter @mysexprofessor. Follow Jeana, the author of this post, @foxyfolklorist. Continue Reading →

Contrasting European And American Attitudes Toward Sex

I’ve written before about how attitudes toward teen sex in the Netherlands differ from those in the U.S. Here’s a link to a visual analysis of the differences between Western European and American beliefs about sex. American media tends to construct sex as threatening and dangerous, whereas European ads reveal an acceptance of sex as natural and normal. Go check out the site and decide for yourself–the ads might arouse your, er, curiosity if nothing else. Follow us on Twitter @mysexprofessor. Follow Jeana, the author of this post, @foxyfolklorist. Continue Reading →