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June 03, 2005

Comments

I think it is a damned shame that the legislation did not pass. Gay people should be able to marry. It is pretty damned ridiculios that two people can not get married. I believe Leno is just upset that he missed again this time around. I think he needed only four more votes, or perhaps six, and this was the closest that he has gotten the legislation to pass. It must be upsetting to a lawmaker to just miss on something he really believes in.

As to the homophobiacs being born or made, I would have to go with made. Anecdotally, I know plenty of people across many demographics that support equal rights for every one. And I have met those that do not believe gay marriage is an equal right. I would go with nurture over nature on this point.

-Nicanor

Obviously you'd need a long-term study, but I have a strong suspicion that even though social conservativism increases with age, bigotry does not. The sort of open, virulent racism that dominated up until 50 years ago didn't migrate from the young to the old. It just went away, because the social climate for it changed.

even though social conservativism increases with age,

If this is true, I suspect it's not that people tend to become more regressive as they age, but that they stop keeping up with the changing times. IOW, the views of today's 65+ set may on average be conservative relative to 2005 but probably not relative to 1955.

So I don't think anyone needs to worry that the pro-gay-marriage majority among 35-year-olds will disappear in thirty years; but whatever the new controversial progressive cause is at that point (animal rights?), they're likely to be more conservative in relation to that new issue.

oops...I accidentally posted this twice, but the system didn't delete the first one until someone had commented. My apologies for that.

No problem, Edward. I really just commented to point out the duplicate post, and to wish everyone a Happy Doughnut Day!

kenB: So I don't think anyone needs to worry that the pro-gay-marriage majority among 35-year-olds will disappear in thirty years; but whatever the new controversial progressive cause is at that point (animal rights?), they're likely to be more conservative in relation to that new issue.

Exactly so.

wahoo!!! free doughnuts!

e

In other words, will those supporting gay marriage today age into a less approving position?

In general, I think not. Those who support gay tend to do so on the ground that it is a matter of civil rights. Once you adopt such a view, you're unlikely to unadopt it. (It is similar to the permanent change that occurred in the 1960s in the original Civil Rights movement.)

If this is true, I suspect it's not that people tend to become more regressive as they age, but that they stop keeping up with the changing times.

Nail. Head.

The one thing that gives me hope in these dark days is that time is on the side of social liberals, not conservatives, when it comes to issues like this. The consistent tendency of society (particularly American society) over the last several hundred years has been towards inexorable social liberalism, as obsolete prejudices are rejected and new knowledge continues to render existing ones socially unacceptable. The transient gains that social conservatives have made in the past five years are through brute force control of government by a party whose radical fringes wield power vastly out of proportion to the number of Americans their extreme views actually reflect.

Like the dinosaurs, they live in a changing world to which they cannot adapt. They will eventually find that their children have rejected their bigotry, prejudices, superstitions, and refusal to accept the contemporary world as it is, and like the dinosaur, become extinct.

Well, the older demographic may trend more liberally on this issue up to a point, but I think there may be some cyclical action that will swing it back when we enter the Next Victorian Era. This is all speculation of course, but the Culture War seems to be an ongoing condition of human existence rather than something that was invented in 1961.

So grab what you can as soon as you can and institutionalize like mad. Works for the current Administration!

I hate to say it, but I think Mo is more right than wrong here and I'm not at all comfortable with the possibility that even though today's 18-35 year olds are more accepting of the idea of gay marriage, that there's another generation right behind them being influenced by the hate being spewed endlessly today.

Actually, now I'm suspicous of demographic trends and particularly the aging of baby boomers as some of the primary fuel for the current resurgence of social conservative politics. I wonder if anyone's done a graph of % of population over some age (say 45) vs the success of conservative politicians.

My guess (and some small experience) would be that older people also trend fiscally liberal. If true, the aging boomers may be driving what I consider a very unfortunate period of social conservativism and fiscal liberalism.

I'd be inclined to go along with the point made up thread about people retaining into their old age the core values of their youth ie time is on our side except for two things: the power of a lie repeated and the need every society has for an imaginary enemy. The social conservatives will repeat their anti-gay message over and over and over. They they will link it to other issues and to emotional hot buttons to broaden the appeal of the lie; gay mariage threatens herteosexual marriage etc. Sometimes lies, repeated enough times and linked to the right emotional needs, are believed and spread. Also, societies need something non-threatening to fear, a kind of safe fear. Global warming is too appalling to contemplate; better to worry about your neighbor's sex life. "Reds", Fifth Columnists, Jews, and marijuana have served this function in the past. Gay people are it now. The scarier the real world gets, the more some people need to perseverate on a scapegoat. I'm expecting the world to get scarier, so I think it is a reasonable possiblity that anti-gay feeling will increase.

I agree with the pendulum theory to some extent--there's no magical force that makes each successive generation have better impulses toward their fellow man or support better policies. But once gay rights are widely accepted in society, law, and custom, it seems like it will take a much bigger shift back to take them away again. This can certainly happen--before the rise of the Nazis, Germany was apparently considered a pretty good place to be a Jew--but it's a lot harder to do.

--John

Well, since the Adams study (Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 1996) showed taht 80% of "straight" homophobic men are aroused by gay porn (compared to 34% of stright non-homophobic men), and current research indicates that homosexuality is mostly biological, I think it's safe to say that homophobes are both born (gay) and made (by living in a culture that hates gays).

link for that study n-a-l?

APA doesn't have free access to the Journal of Abnormal Psychology's archives, so a direct link is out of the question, but the citation for the article is:

Adams, Henry E. (Ph.D.); Wright, Lester W., Jr. (Ph.D.); and Lohr, Bethany A. 'Is Homophobia Associated With Homosexual Arousal?' Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Vol. 105, No. 3, pp 440-445.

A press release describing the findings is at:

http://www.philosophy-religion.org/handouts/homophobia.htm

FWIW, the attitudes can be unlearned as well as learned. Sometime in the last 15 years my 70 year old father decided that gay rights were along the lines race-based civil rights. You could have knocked me over with a feather when I heard him debating gays in the military (on the pro side) with my uncle (on the anti side).

I get creeped out when people blog with their nipples

Does that make me bigoted?

will those supporting gay marriage today age into a less approving position?

Not it!

I can't believe we couldn't get this thing passed e. I really can't.

The abstract from the article that neo-anti-luddite cites:

Is Homophobia Associated With Homosexual Arousal? Henry E. Adams, Lester W. Wright, Jr., and Bethany A. Lohr University of Georgia

The authors investigated the role of homosexual arousal in exclusively heterosexual men who admitted negative affect toward homosexual individuals. Participants consisted of a group of homophobic men (n = 35) and a group of nonhomophobic men (n = 29); they were assigned to groups on the basis of their scores on the Index of Homophobia (W. W. Hudson & W. A. Ricketts, 1980). The men were exposed to sexually explicit erotic stimuli consisting of heterosexual, male homosexual, and lesbian videotapes, and changes in penile circumference were monitored. They also completed an Aggression Questionnaire (A. H. Buss & M. Perry, 1992). Both groups exhibited increases in penile circumference to the heterosexual and female homosexual videos. Only the homophobic men showed an increase in penile erection to male homosexual stimuli. The groups did not differ in aggression. Homophobia is apparently associated with homosexual arousal that the homophobic individual is either unaware of or denies.

I found the whole article online, but it is only accessible to subscribers and supporting institutions. All hail UC Libraries.

Finally, a male enhancement technique that really works. Gay Porn. Sorry. Open thread. I couldn't resist

changes in penile circumference were monitored.

But wait, I just got out of the pool! It was cold!

In the olden days of Sleep studies, a man's erectile function was checked by a wrapping row of postage stamps around the penis, and then checking to see if the stamps were broken apart in the morning. To the best of my knowledge, the stamps were licked prior to application.

They could use postage stamps today without "the licking".

Like the dinosaurs, they live in a changing world to which they cannot adapt. They will eventually find that their children have rejected their bigotry, prejudices, superstitions, and refusal to accept the contemporary world as it is, and like the dinosaur, become extinct.


Catsy,

It occurs to me that some maintain not all dinosaurs went extinct. Some maintain they are still with us in great numbers, like the pigeons in Central Park. Some call them rats with wings. I do agree with the article that neo-anti-luddite cites.

In other words, will those supporting gay marriage today age into a less approving position? Is Leno right, or will the over 65 crowd always feel less generous with their votes on this issue?

Leno is right. There will be continuing progress. I can't think of anyone I know whose opinions on gays have gotten more negative over the years, and most people I know have moved in a positive direction. This includes some who surprised me as much as Ann's father surprised her.

I just don't see it moving back.

They're made - look at other societies.

It's not surprising that the most rabid homophobes, in American society, are those trying to suppress their own homosexual urges.

Even within the more insular parts of my family there's a trend towards acceptance.

My grandfather's brother was gay. He was the grandson of a prophet, oldest son and everything. He was a navy doctor in WW2, to give a sense of the timeline here. He seemed to have made his peace with the family and the church, but everyone tiptoed around the subject for years; it wasn't until I was about 16 that I really became aware that this occasional presence in my life (and major financial supporter, btw) slept with men. To my parents' generation, the long-term commitment my grand-uncle had at the sad, prolonged end of his life presents almost an oxymoron: in their finer moments they marvel at the dedication of his partner in my grand-uncle's years of slow dementia, saying, "no, really, it's almost a true marriage!"

Whereas I think my younger generation, the grandchildren who grew up with this partnership, witnessed the dedication of this "almost-marriage," benefitted from the guilty generosity of this childless couple, we are less astonished, our categories less violated. Curiously, the more hardcore Mormon branch of my family was the closest to the gay grand-uncle--and his partner.

It's an anecdote, not data, but since the Mormon religion is one that has put heterosexual marriage at the center of its theology and since the Church issues political directives to its members almost exclusively about gender matters, this kind of generational negotiation of categories doesn't seem entirely irrelevant.

Unfortunately, the US is as prone to cycles of social progression-regression as any other society, and we're in a regressive cycle.

Don't underestimate how well the Right is using regressive "reactionaryism" to distort American discourse, especially in education and the mass media. The Right is currently waging war on science curriculum (pushing to have Creationism/ID taught as a "scientific" alternative to evolution). It's also waging war on sex education.

Sex-ed is already practically nonexistent in schools, and the curriculum demanded by the Right gives disinformation, not only about sex in general; it also teaches fear and ignorance of homosexuality. The news media are kowtowing to the Right in coverage of GLBT issues, as the NYT's recent infamous apologia makes clear (from Digby):

The public editor found that the overall tone of our coverage of gay marriage, as one example, “approaches cheerleading.” By consistently framing the issue as a civil rights matter -- gays fighting for the right to be treated like everyone else -- we failed to convey how disturbing the issue is in many corners of American social, cultural and religious life.

[...]

Too often we label whole groups from a perspective that uncritically accepts a stereotype or unfairly marginalizes them. As one reporter put it, words like moderate or centrist “inevitably incorporate a judgment about which views are sensible and which are extreme.” We often apply “religious fundamentalists,” another loaded term, to political activists who would describe themselves as Christian conservatives. ...

The Right is succeeding, has succeeded, in getting the news media to reframe gay issues, not as a civil rights matter, but as something "disturbing" - with the subtle but unmistakeable message that homophobia is itself a civil right, as part of religious freedom.

People know what they hear; they believe what they're told. Particularly, young people do. The idea that bigotry inevitably dies as the older generations do assumes younger generations are automatically more progressive than their elders. But that relies on what young people are taught in school, in the entertainment world, and in the mass media.

It's like the old Vatican boast: "Give me your children until they are nine, and they're mine forever." The Right's doing the same thing, using schools to inculcate children with ignorance and bigotry.

The next generation may well be less open, morebigoted, than their elders. Particularly as Bush's various pigeons come home to roost, and the Right needs lots of scapegoats and diversions to keep people from thinking clearly about things.

The Right is succeeding, has succeeded, in getting the news media to reframe gay issues, not as a civil rights matter, but as something "disturbing" - with the subtle but unmistakeable message that homophobia is itself a civil right, as part of religious freedom.

Let me put it a little differently. The Right, or rather, parents with kids, is sending the message that it is ok, and a civil right to be prudish. That really is the main issue here. I love my kids but don't want them to have an anything-goes attitude about sex. I think love, real committed love, is an important thing and maybe the most important thing in life. But when when you lump together GLBT, which includes bisexuality, that implies that promiscuity and/or polyamory is acceptible. Now I suppose that there is some sort of matters of degree in sexuality, but I think that gay marriage advocates would be better served if there was a clear defining line between what is acceptable and un acceptable. Fortunately my son, who is hetero, has not been corrupted by the misogynistic aspects of our popular culture, and there are so many nowadays. I fear a bit for my daughter, who has been influenced by commercial media's sexualization of young girls.

DaveC: But when when you lump together GLBT, which includes bisexuality, that implies that promiscuity and/or polyamory is acceptible.

If I were bisexual I would find that presumption extremely insulting. Indeed, on behalf of the many bisexual friends I have who are in monogamous relationships, I'm affronted. Bisexuality does not "lead to" promiscuity or polyamory any more (though no less) than heterosexuality or homosexuality does.

(We will probably never agree on this - I do not necessarily consider promiscuity or polyamory to be intrinsically bad - what is not good is hurting other people or being unfaithful or breaking promises. But that's on a tangent.)

Now I suppose that there is some sort of matters of degree in sexuality, but I think that gay marriage advocates would be better served if there was a clear defining line between what is acceptable and un acceptable.

Well, for me as a gay marriage advocate, there is a clear defining line: it is unacceptable to treat LGBT people differently from straight people in any matter of law or civil rights. It is acceptable for people to make distinctions on a personal basis (a parent has a right to reject their grown-up child, though it's heartbreaking when they do) or on a religious basis (a pastor has a right to say "we will not marry same-sex couples in our church") but not for that same parent, as a teacher, to reject any of the LGBT kids who need support/protection from bullies: not for the pastor, working a day job in a pharmacy, to refuse to provide gay men with condoms.

The Right, or rather, parents with kids, is sending the message that it is ok, and a civil right to be prudish. That really is the main issue here. I love my kids but don't want them to have an anything-goes attitude about sex.

I dunno, Dave. You have a right which I would not challenge to teach your children your values. But your children have the ability, and will when they're grown have the right, to decide for themselves what their values are and live by them. If either of your children turn out to be gay, or lived in a polyamorous relationship, or had sex outside a committed relationship, they might well do so not because "anything goes" but because they have decided what their values are and live their lives according to their values. Which may well not be identical to yours.

I think about these things when I look at the children of my friends: I've known some of them since they were babies, and watched them turn into very independent, thinking people - individuals, with their own minds and their own lives.

I dunno, all this talk about "cycles" of social tolerance/intolerance sounds like hooey to me. Broad social attitudes and trends don't just bounce back and forth for no reason; they're responses to changing conditions and events in the Great Big World Out There, not a force of nature.

My prediction: People my grandparents' age who think that all homosexuals are bizarre, sick, preverts will shuffle off to their reward, taking their outright homophobia with them.

People my parents' age who basically don't care what gay people do as long as they keep it to themselves but who aren't too keen on anyone horning in on the marryin' and divorcin' action (i.e. "marriage is only special and cool when straight people can do it; gay marriage will (somehow) ruin everything!") will hang on for several interminable decades yammering on about what a great guitar player Eric Clapton is (or whatever) before they - and their somewhat comflicted notions about the topic at hand - also croak.

People my age will get old ourselves, realize that no one gives a crap anymore and make everything nice and legal, so to speak. Naturally there's always going to be some overlap and there's always the possibility that some totally unforeseen third option (aside from "the mysterious, autonomous cycles of history" or "people arbitrarily become more tolerant as we march into the future") might occur. But I think that my prediction sounds pretty reasonable, especially in light of the major tactic the right is using on this: constitutional amendments. I doubt that the federal constitution will ever adopt a "marriage amendment", but several states have done this and several more - including my own! - are preparing to do the same. If the right wasn't haunted by the spectre of future generations of homo-lovin' (or, more plausibly, homo-indifferent) citizens, why do they waste so much time and oxygen making sure that the rules are written in such a way that makes them very, very difficult for the legislators and voters of tomorrow to change? Ultimately, its a losing battle: in the year 2095, the microchip implanted in your brain that picks up the news feed will announce that Alabama very quietly became the 50th and final state to repeal their ban on gay marriage, which hadn't been enforced in any meaningful way for 30 years or so anyway. Bet on it.

"(We will probably never agree on this - I do not necessarily consider promiscuity or polyamory to be intrinsically bad - what is not good is hurting other people or being unfaithful or breaking promises. But that's on a tangent.)"

You might want to look further into polyamory, then, as practioners and sympathizers will be as offended at the implication that they are "unfaithful or breaking promises" as you rightfully are at a slur on gays, since the entire point of polyamory is to not break promises or be unfaithful to whatever committments are promised.

Gary
In order to avoid another food fight, I would suggest that you read Jes' comment again, make a longer pause between 'bad' and 'what' and stress 'not'. You might see that there is a reading there where Jes is specifically not attributing hurting people or being unfaithful or breaking promises to those who practice promiscuity or polyamory.

as practioners and sympathizers will be as offended at the implication that they are "unfaithful or breaking promises"

Good thing I never said or implied that, isn't it?

But when when you lump together GLBT, which includes bisexuality, that implies that promiscuity and/or polyamory is acceptible.

Which is great, because it is. Those who think polyamory is so harmful and awful are inevitably a) those who have been in a poly relationship that didn't work out and thus think it's bad for everyone else too, b) those completely ignorant of what it actually is, or c) those who know what it is but are so steeped in the neurotic sickness our culture has towards human sexuality that they hate it anyway.

Note that this is different from acknowledging: "It clearly makes other people happy, it's just not for me." That is the reaction of a healthy individual who understands that different things make different people happy, and what's right for you isn't necessarily right for someone else.

Furthermore, I find your implications about bisexuality personally offensive, and the ravings of someone who clearly doesn't know the first thing about it. What exactly do you think it /means/ to be bi?

Err catsy, I think you might want to turn it down a notch. I am assuming that DaveC is making these statements out of lack of knowledge, and if a person doesn't have the knowledge, you shouldn't berate them for not having it.

This thread is making my postage stamps separate. I should have my franking privileges revoked. I'll never read about folks "going postal" again without having distracting thoughts.

Some questions regarding comments here:

What goes through the mind of a self-acknowledged homophobe who submits to a psychological test involving
gay porn and the application of licked postage stamps to his intimate circumferences?

What goes through the mind of young girls (and their parents and their agents) who appear in various media to have their sexuality commercialized?

And, how is this related to the recent letter to a Saudi (I think) newspaper condemning legislation which proposes permitting women to have driver's licenses? The writer claimed this promotes evil.

And, a related question. At the annual car show with bikinied beauties draped over the Buicks, what if Madison Avenue found out about the postage stamp study and decided to change their advertising strategies accordingly. Would they sell more cars, given the fact that many who attend the shows might be homophobic but nevertheless believe sending out Xmas cards each year to be a waste of good postage stamps?

Maybe what we have here is a suspension of disbelief in the first two cases, much like the suspension of disbelief on the faces of those chimpanzees who were strapped into the first space capsules. Or like a trip to the gynecologist or the odd scientific demeanor I adopt when doctors of either sex palpate my prostate.

By the way, is it possible to develop carpal tunnel syndrome in one's nipples?

To add another little mind twisting image, with my son I began my "stern parental lecture" about sex by subjecting him to Johnny Rotten. This was "The Body" by Public Image. I could also have used "Bodies" by the Sex Pistols, but that was on vinyl. Funny how Johnny Rotten is one of the few rockers who did scary songs about personal responsibility.

But when when you lump together GLBT, which includes bisexuality, that implies that promiscuity and/or polyamory is acceptible.

WTF ?

the mind boggles

the mind boggles

Not really. There were defenders of polyamory as soon as I brought the subject up. I use what influence I have over my kids to try and turn them into pleasant, if mundane, people with unremarkable love lives. They somehow haven't felt a great deal of excitement about those prospects, but I do what I can.

Is DaveC saying homophobia is OK because GLBT "encourages promiscuity"?

Is DaveC saying legal and political discrimination of GLBT people is OK because GLBT "encourages promiscuity"?

If so, does DaveC also support the legal, political and social repression of college fraternities, Spring Break, football cheerleading squads, bars, dance clubs, ski resorts, beach resorts, science fiction conventions, business conventions, gaming conventions, the Society for Creative Anachronism, Renaissance Faires... and every single base of every single branch of the US Armed Forces?

Not really

yes, really.

what in the world has GBLT to do with polyamory?

and promiscuity? my god... as if hetrosexuals don't know how to fool around on each other without asking the neighborhood gays how to do it.

DaveC: I use what influence I have over my kids to try and turn them into pleasant, if mundane, people with unremarkable love lives.

I'm certain your kids will be pleasant people, Dave: for a conservative ;-) I think you're a pretty pleasant person, and therefore likely to bring up your kids to be equally pleasant.

Further, I suspect that the values you teach them - to be decent, honest, and honourable - will be values they practice whatever their love lives are like: polyamory, promiscuity, monogamy, and whether they are G, L, B, or T. Which is the main thing, right?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but what DaveC seems to be assuming is that a bisexual person will necessarily have to have had at least two relationships in his life, one with each sex, to be called bisexual.

This is a misconception, of course. There is no reason that I can think of that a bisexual person couldn't have only a single monogamous relationship, or even be celibate, and still be attracted to both sexes. I knew I was heterosexual before I ever acted on the attraction. Why wouldn't it work the same way for a bisexual person? But even if you accept the premise that bisexuality must be put into practice to be called by that name, there is always serial monogamy, which need not be promiscuous even to the most prudish eyes (unless you are so prudish as to consider remarrying after the death of a spouse "promiscuous", for instance).

Agreed.

And I'm not really fussing at anyone. I realize that "straight talk by a hypocritical prude from a family of librarians" isn't going to help my quest to become the most glamourous and popular commenter on the thread :)

That agreed was with Jes, BTW

Agreed w/ gromit, too.

I realize that "straight talk by a hypocritical prude from a family of librarians" isn't going to help my quest to become the most glamourous and popular commenter on the thread :)

You didn't mention you're a librarian, Dave! Right away you take on glamour and popularity, as far as I'm concerned. I've always liked librarians. And libraries. And indexes, too.

agree with Jes. librarian seems like a dream job, to me.

"...what in the world has GBLT to do with polyamory?"

Um, quite a lot. Both featuring conservative movements allowing people to freely contract their own relationships, love each other, and legally enjoy marriage. I know it's weird to allow people to marry those whom they love, and have legal rights in their marriage, but there it is. Defend the principle or not. I choose to defend it, myself.

Gromit is right on the mark. I have known I'm attracted to both men and women (in varying degrees at different times) for all my life. I've dated both. Right now I'm in a monogamous heterosexual relationship with a woman, and engaged to be married. My last relationship was polyamorous, and my primary was a woman who typically preferred the company of other women and considered me an exception.

All that bi/hetero/homosexuality defines is to whom you're capable of feeling sexual attraction. Jes is not a lesbian because of who she sleeps with, she is a lesbian because she (presumably) isn't at all attracted to men. I am bi because I feel attraction to both genders--but I don't feel a need to sleep with everyone else because of it, any more than Dave's heterosexuality means he feels a need to sleep with every other woman he meets.

You didn't mention you're a librarian, Dave!

I'm not a librarian. My wife is a librarian, and so is my sister. I only bask in the glamour vicariously.

Both featuring conservative movements allowing people to freely contract their own relationships, love each other, and legally enjoy marriage.

somehow i doubt that's what DaveC was shooting for ... :)

I think Sebastion on a previous post / comment thread linked to a Jane Galt post that sort of describes my conflicted feelings about the gay marriage matter.

"I think Sebastion on a previous post / comment thread linked to a Jane Galt post that sort of describes my conflicted feelings about the gay marriage matter."

Okay, and it's where? (If made available, that's potentially a useful point of discussion; if not, it's akin to my mentioning that I recently had a dream that sort of describes my response to this sort of reference. ;-))

Okay, and it's where?

A bit of googling turned it up pretty quickly.

Thanks, kenB.

You didn't mention you're a librarian, Dave! Right away you take on glamour and popularity, as far as I'm concerned. I've always liked librarians. And libraries. And indexes, too.

I've got a friggin' assessment due in a couple of weeks on searching techniques and bibliographic searches. Wanna do it for me?

(Yes, I am supposed to be reading course materials rather than blogs at present. Why do you ask?)

Ambiguation

I am Spartacus.

Bob
Interesting link. The problem with ambiguating is that we send out signals all the time that anchor our sexuality. I was made aware of this when I 're-'roomed with my undergraduate roommate when I went to graduate school who had come out in the intervening time and he pointed out all of the small but significant verbal gestures and statements that laid out our sexuality.

Also, at a certain level, there is a measure of deception involved, which I don't really approve of. Perhaps Hilzoy could bring her thoughts to bear on this, but it seems that one engaging in deception to make this point, regardless how valid the point may be, is taking a position that honesty is not a basic value.

It also plugs into a meme that exists among those conservatives who claim that they aren't against homosexuality per se, but they believe that a LBGT lifestyle somehow embodies anti-social traits. Thus (and I don't mean to be jumping on DaveC, but he provides an immediate example) associating promiscuity reflexively with LBGT. It is also implicit in the attempted 'gay panic defense' offered by Matthew Shepard's killers. (Salon had a number of articles, here is a link to one) I think that for ambiguation to work, what is required is a near total majority, along with leaders, who are willing to identify with the outcast group (as in the Denmark example). Otherwise, you would merely have people complain that whatever group you were talking about was rife with the outcast group you are ambiguating and there must be something about the group that makes it suitable for those types.

I've got a friggin' assessment due in a couple of weeks on searching techniques and bibliographic searches. Wanna do it for me?

I'm not a librarian, although I pretended to be one as a student staffer many years ago in the last days of the Science Library at the Uninversity of Tennessee, (no real librarians on staff at night) before it merged with the Main Library. I could actually advise people on how to use Chem Abstracts (bound in green), and Mathematical Abstracts (in red), but had some problems with Science Citaction Index, which was multi-color, based on the type of serach you wanted to do.

There were also very earnest students who removed ALL the books on revserve for a particular class, and took them their table. I had to teach these very serious and earnest students the concept of sharing, when the other kids in the class couldn't find any books in the reserve section.

As far as research works today, I know nothing about teh internets, I just go to the Google, type in my thing and click on "I feel lucky"!

Hey Dave, was that UTK? My dad used to teach physics there. Maybe you're talking about the pre-ziggurat days.

I could actually advise people on how to use Chem Abstracts (bound in green), and Mathematical Abstracts (in red)...

I just got all tingly inside...

Thus (and I don't mean to be jumping on DaveC, but he provides an immediate example) associating promiscuity reflexively with LBGT.

Look, I was singling out bisexuality, well, and polyamory, which some people "discover" later in life. Many years ago, a big shot at work, who had a family, died of AIDS. Now I don't know for certain whether he contracted this after his divorce, but I do know that it this type of behaviour is reprehensible, both the cheating and the putting his wife in danger for her life. In all other aspects, this guy was a pretty good guy. But that doesn't justify what he did, and this is the example of what I had in mind in previous comments.

As far as polyamory goes, when I have a problem with my partner, and don't like them very much, but have to stick with it, well I cant imagine seeing it through when multiple people are involved.

Of course, I am just speculating about all this. I don't have cites and solid data, I am just presenting an opinion.

Hey Dave, was that UTK? My dad used to teach physics there. Maybe you're talking about the pre-ziggurat days.

Yes! I don't know how many schools offer MS in Library Science, but my wife got her degree there, and I think it's an okay program. This definitely was pre-ziggurat. (Old one was known as Hodges Library, after the (great?) grandfather of one of my old girlfriends, who also was responsible for the Harbrace Handbook, the Tennessee Bible of grammer.)

I did take a couple of physics classes, but, sorry, can't remember the profs.

I'm sorry in advance to all the people who might be hurt by what I said about bi and polyamory. Like I said, I am just stating my opinion, so just consider me profoundly ignorant.

It's still called Hodges I think.

Done packing, now for a few hours of sleep...

DaveC: Many years ago, a big shot at work, who had a family, died of AIDS. Now I don't know for certain whether he contracted this after his divorce, but I do know that it this type of behaviour is reprehensible, both the cheating and the putting his wife in danger for her life. In all other aspects, this guy was a pretty good guy. But that doesn't justify what he did, and this is the example of what I had in mind in previous comments.

You're right that that kind of behavior is reprehensible; though it is possible for men to contract AIDS through heterosexual intercourse, and it's possible that that's how your big shot got it. The reprehensible part of his behavior was not having sex with men (if he did) per se, but (a) having sex outwith his marriage without his wife's knowledge or consent (if that's what he did) and (b) having unsafe sex, which was just... mindbogglingly stupid, as well as reprehensible. (Though it partly depends how many years ago we're talking about: twenty-five years ago there wasn't the same awareness of the importance of safe sex as there is today.)

But if that's what he did, he didn't do it because he was bisexual, but because he was a jerk. (I'd use stronger language, but I think the posting rules wouldn't let me.) And married men who are jerks and have unsafe sex outside their marriage without their wife's knowledge or consent aren't invariably bisexual, or so I have been told ;-) - straight men are just as likely to behave as badly.

As far as polyamory goes, when I have a problem with my partner, and don't like them very much, but have to stick with it, well I cant imagine seeing it through when multiple people are involved.

Yeah. All the successful polyamorous relationships of which I know one or more of them personally, all say that the problems of couple-relationships are multiplied when there's more people in the mix: If A has a problem with B it impacts not just on the relationship between A and B, but between A and C, C and B, and the ABC relationship, and all of these issues have to be talked through thoroughly... To me it sounds horrendously complicated, and I doubt I ever would, but sometimes it works. Never argue with success.

Of course, I am just speculating about all this. I don't have cites and solid data, I am just presenting an opinion.

Sure. Me too, for that matter. :-)

now for a few hours of sleep...

Me too,

and i still hold Tennessee grammar to to be the gold standard!

Done packing, now for a few hours of sleep...

You. Rilkebride. Honeymoon. NOW!

And married men who are jerks and have unsafe sex outside their marriage without their wife's knowledge or consent aren't invariably bisexual, or so I have been told ;-) - straight men are just as likely to behave as badly.

Re the spread of AIDS in particular, see Thailand's explosion of HIV-positive cases in the late 80s and early 90s for a decidedly heterosexual way of transmitting the disease...

Hi DaveC,
Apologies for any insult I gave, it just seemed like an apt example. I do believe that a person's degree of honesty is relatively unrelated to their sexual orientation, except when society forces them to act in a way that they are not. When I think of bisexual, I think of people who are attracted to both sexes, and this has nothing to do with their honesty, but you seem to be thinking of people who pursue both simultaneously without letting the other partner know the consequences. Stated in this way, it would strongly suggest male bisexuality as opposed to female bisexuality. There's an interesting discussion there about differing societal mores concerning the two, but I think that is another subject. Again, apologies for not picking out a less personal example.

lj: but you seem to be thinking of people who pursue both simultaneously without letting the other partner know the consequences.

...and in that case, the problem is rather being unfaithful/lying about it, not the gender of the people pursued.

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