NYT: When Did Porn Become Sex Ed?

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Oscar Gordon

A Navy Turbine Tech who learned to spin wrenches on old cars, Oscar has since been trained as an Engineer & Software Developer & now writes tools for other engineers. When not in his shop or at work, he can be found spending time with his family, gardening, hiking, kayaking, gaming, or whatever strikes his fancy & fits in the budget.

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44 Responses

  1. Avatar Oscar Gordon
    Ignored
    says:

    My wife forwarded this to me a few days ago. More than a little disturbing…Report

  2. Avatar Damon
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    says:

    I blame Bill Clinton for the spike in oral. He didn’t think it was sex, why should anyone else?Report

    • Avatar Catchling in reply to Damon
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      says:

      It’s strange how “not being sex” can be a selling point. Will we ever get commercials that say “Budweiser: Drinking this stuff is definitely not sex”.Report

    • Avatar Zac in reply to Damon
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      says:

      Blame? You say it like it’s a bad thing. Hell, that may be one of the greatest accomplishments of any president ever.Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to Zac
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        says:

        Well it did contribute to the hysteria over “rainbow parties”.

        I’m sorry but anyone with half a brain cannot consider oral sex not sex. Hell, at a min, it’s got “sex” in the description of the act. But sign up if you want. Next you’re going to tell me that if you do anal but not vaginal, the girl can still “technically” call herself a virgin.

        Sure…..Report

  3. Avatar Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    My parents were super-liberal and non-censorious. They had my older brother teach us how to use condoms. I also went to see Boggie Nights with my dad. People generally find this weird.

    My sex Ed in HS was also non-censorious.

    But I don’t see what the excerpt describing as changing any time soonReport

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      When did our older brother teach us how to use condoms? I don’t remember that at all. He was nine years older than us anyway. By the time we were interested in girls, he was living on his own in another state.Report

    • Avatar Catchling in reply to Saul Degraw
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      says:

      My parents were liberal and non-censorious and I went to the progressive “alternative” high school. There were still major gaps in my education, at least compared to what I’ve learned since.

      For example I had to learn on my own that circumcision wasn’t just some weird Jewish thing (as pop culture has it) but customary for American boys like me. Not that I mourn my foreskin or anything, but I consider not mentioning it a signal of my still-definitely-liberal parents’ and teachers’ squeamishness. I mean, if I were gay and had had sex with an uncut dude before that particular discovery, I might have said “huh?”. I imagine more than one straight female — having only seen cut ones in textbooks and (to bring things to the orginal topic) porn — has done so.

      It also took the Internet to disabuse me of the mythology around hymens. And to learn the importance of lube.

      Sex ed should probably be a yearlong class, not just a section of health.Report

  4. Avatar El Muneco
    Ignored
    says:

    When the Josh Duggar scandal was cresting and details leaked out of his controversial(*) sexual encounter with Danica Dillon, a lot of people were “shocked, shocked I say”, but it seemed pretty clear to me that:

    – Dude had no real hands-on sexual experience whatsoever with a woman who had any herself
    – Everything he had learned came from watching current, industrialized, Western porn
    – So many of the trends in current, industrialized Western porn fetishize rough, misogynistic sex that is actively uncomfortable for the female that liberal libertine I refuses to watch it
    – Dude had more performance anxiety than a dog who actually caught the SUV, so he doubled down in his emulations of his heroes
    – Female porn reactions are intentionally stylized/unrealistic, so he had no idea how to gauge real feedback and modulate the situation

    So of course there was a disaster where someone could potentially be actually hurt somewhat.

    (*) From what came out at the trial, looks like a lot more “he said, she said” than initially reported, and neither of them is exactly covered with glory.Report

  5. Avatar j r
    Ignored
    says:

    Is the title of that piece meant to be rhetorical? Is porn now sex ed? Was it something different before? And if this is about abstinence only sex ed in the United States, why does she use a British survey.

    I’m confused as to what this piece is about.

    Peggy Orenstein, a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, is the author, most recently, of “Girls and Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape,” from which this essay is adapted.

    Never mind. Now I see that it is my questions that are rhetorical.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to j r
      Ignored
      says:

      I thought the answer was rather obvious: when schools and parents voluntarily recuse themselves from certain conversations, the kids will just have them elsewhere without adult guidance. This isn’t a difficult concept and yet the number of teachers and parents who ignore or defy it — with sex or other topics — is astounding.Report

      • Avatar j r in reply to Kazzy
        Ignored
        says:

        My confusion was why this was being linked to porn and abstinence-only education as opposed to being recognized as the case since time immemorial. I was less confused when I saw that the author was selling a book.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to j r
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          says:

          Have teens always looked to porn though? Or just always lookes beyond what adults offered them?Report

          • Avatar j r in reply to Kazzy
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            says:

            As long as porn has existed as something that teens could reliably get access to, I’m guessing that the answer is yes. And I’m guessing that it’s yes, whether or not those teens had good sex ed schooling or open parenting.

            And I don’t mean that all teens do it, but whether they do or not isn’t all that dependent on those factors. One of the biggest set of lies that we consistently tell ourselves is that every decision we !ake with regards to kids has some deep and lasting implication.Report

          • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Kazzy
            Ignored
            says:

            People used to look at medical manuals as pornography in more censorious times. Humans started creating pornographic art as soon as we figured out how to paint and sculpt. So the answer is that humans always looked at pornography when available.Report

          • Avatar Kim in reply to Kazzy
            Ignored
            says:

            At some very victorian point, they looked for books on flowers.
            (they were considered titillating, as they discussed sexual organs)Report

  6. Avatar LeeEsq
    Ignored
    says:

    Sex education in my high school was very clinical. It wasn’t abstinence only but it most like was far from what the sex positive crowd wanted. We weren’t taught to weight for marriage but they didn’t exactly say have fun experimenting safely and with consent either.Report

  7. Avatar LeeEsq
    Ignored
    says:

    Months ago the New York Times had an editorial about how European countries legendary libertine sex education was facing increasing pressures from Muslim parents to become more conservative. It was entitled the World’s Problem With Sex Education. Sex education is a very political issue and parents are going to have some strong opinions on it. They will use every tool available to them to to get sex education taught their way even if the results are horrendous.Report

  8. Avatar Kim
    Ignored
    says:

    How many people are looking at actual pornography, and how many are actually looking at security footage (or, the ever “popular” — look at me while I’m doing it…)Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Kim
      Ignored
      says:

      Can somebody get Kim not to write obtusely.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to LeeEsq
        Ignored
        says:

        What, I need to explain that? I thought it was perfectly clear.
        While there is professionally produced pornography available, there’s plenty of “I picked up my phone during a party” documentary style–documenting everything from 100% consensual to 100% unconsensual.

        Someone looks at all that security footage too, so if someone’s doing it in the restroom, well… don’t be surprised if it winds up online.

        Real sex looks a lot different from pornographic sexReport

        • Avatar El Muneco in reply to Kim
          Ignored
          says:

          Also, real actresses (and actors) have names, signed contracts, and paperwork including age verification all filed with the industry’s equivalent of Underwriters’ Laboratory.

          If you don’t see evidence of all three of these, it’s circumstantial evidence that the actress’s (or actors, I don’t want to minimize their risks, but everything I have heard indicates it’s more real for females than males) presence on set, the sex act itself, or the filming of same, might not have been entirely consensual.Report

          • Avatar Kim in reply to El Muneco
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            says:

            I have seen one or two named actresses getting raped during filming.
            (wasn’t actually for a porno). I guess that’s the perils of knowing someone in the biz — an eye for “and that’s not just faking it…”Report

            • Avatar El Muneco in reply to Kim
              Ignored
              says:

              I believe it. As I said yesterday in a different thread, the violent misogyny and emphasis on “sex” acts that can’t be enjoyable for either partner are major reasons I don’t support even the “legitimate” industry with any of my money.

              All I was saying is that, as a minimum, “professional” films have certain bona fides. If you haven’t seen them, it’s sadly probably safe to assume the worst. Even the best isn’t all that good.Report

  9. Avatar Tod Kelly
    Ignored
    says:

    This reminded me of a Caitlan Flannigan article:

    “Here’s one thing I heard one person I know talk about, so now I am going to write about it in a salacious way as if it were a national trend, and we can all talk about how terrible people are today compared to back in the day.”

    Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Tod Kelly
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      says:

      That’s where we have fallen, isn’t it?

      There was a time when pundits wished to write a salacious article about moral decline, they had to actually document it, Hunter S. Thompson style and do the hard work of actually wallowing in decadence.

      Now, the writers indulge in the worst form of laziness and merely find a hashtag about sexting or twerking of some other behavior, and never get to savor the actual ingestion of mescaline and opium, or bareback group sex in Big Sur.

      And we as a society are the poorer for it.Report

    • Avatar aaron david in reply to Tod Kelly
      Ignored
      says:

      Do you have a source for that quote @tod-kelly?Report

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