Table of Contents
Clashing Views in Human Sexuality, Twelfth Edition
Unit 1 Understanding Sexual Expression
- Issue 1. Is Sexting a Form of Safer Sex?
YES: Brent A. Satterly, from “Sexting, Not Infecting: A Sexological Perspective of Sexting as Safer Sex,” an original essay written for this volume (2011)
NO: Donald A. Dyson, from “Tweet This: Sexting Is NOT Safer Sex,” an original essay written for this volume (2011)
Brent Satterly, Professor and Program Director at Widener University’s Center for Social Work Education, acknowledges the risks involved in sexting while criticizing fear-based media coverage of the phenomenon. He argues in favor of harm-reduction strategies to reduce the risks associated with sexting rather than continuing the trend of panicked reactions to the expression of youth sexuality. Donald Dyson, Associate Professor and Director of Doctoral Studies in the Center for Education at Widener University, examines sexting through the lens of the World Health Organization’s definition of sexual health and determines that the risks inherent in the digital transmission of sext messages is not a form of safer sex.
- Issue 2. Has Sex Become Too Casual?
YES: Rebecca Hagelin, from “Parents Should Raise the Bar for Their Kids,” http://townhall.com/columnists/RebeccaHagelin/2009/03/10/parents_should_raise_ the_bar_for_their_kids (March 10, 2009)
NO: Lara Riscol, from “Purity, Promiscuity or Pleasure?” an original essay written for this volume (2009)
Rebecca Hagelin, author and public speaker on family and culture, argues that sex education promotes casual sex and that schools and parents should do more to protect children. Lara Riscol, an author who explores the connections between society and sexuality, counters that blaming sex education is an oversimplification while arguing that sexuality has always been openly expressed throughout human history.
- Issue 3. Can Sex Be Addictive?
YES: Patrick J. Carnes, from “Frequently Asked Questions,” 2011, accessed at http://www.sexhelp.com/addiction_faq.cfm
NO: Lawrence A. Siegel and Richard M. Siegel, from “Sex Addiction: Semantics or Science,” an original essay written for this volume (2011)
Patrick Carnes, considered by many to be an expert on sexual addiction, answers some common questions about this phenomenon, as featured on the Web site http://www.sexhelp.com/. Carnes discusses the nature of sexual addiction and ways in which it might be manifested, and offers suggestions for treatment. Sex therapist Lawrence Siegel and sex therapist/educator Richard Siegel counter that sexual addiction is grounded in “moralistic ideology masquerading as science.” They argue that although some sexual behaviors may be dysfunctional, the term “sexual addiction” pathologizes many common forms of sexual expression that are not problematic.
- Issue 4. Does Sexual Medicine Benefit Society?
YES: Connie Newman, from “Pharmacological Treatment for Sexual Problems: The Benefits Outweigh the Risks,” an original essay written for this volume (2011)
NO: Leonore Tiefer, from “Beneath the Veneer: The Troubled Past and Future of Sexual Medicine,” Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy (vol. 33, 2007)
Connie Newman, an endocrinologist and adjunct associate professor of Medicine at New York University School of Medicine, explores the definitions and causes of sexual dysfunction and explains how sexual medicines can improve sexual response. Leonore Tiefer, author and clinical associate professor of psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine, counters that the rise of “sexual medicine” brings with it risks that should not be ignored.
- Issue 5. Is Oral Sex Really Sex?
YES: Rhonda Chittenden, from “Oral Sex Is Sex: Ten Messages about Oral Sex to Communicate to Adolescents,” Sexing the Political (May 2004)
NO: Nora Gelperin, from “Oral Sex and Young Adolescents: Insights from the ‘Oral Sex Lady,’” Educator’s Update (September 2004)
Sexuality educator Rhonda Chittenden says that it is important for young people to expand their narrow definitions of sex and understand that oral sex is sex. Chittenden offers additional educational messages about oral sex. Sexuality trainer Nora Gelperin argues that adult definitions of oral sex are out of touch with the meaning the behavior holds for young people. Rather than impose adult definitions of intimacy, educators should be seeking to help young people clarify and understand their own values.
- Issue 6. Is BDSM a Healthy Form of Sexual Expression?
YES: Wayne V. Pawlowski, from “BDSM: The Ultimate Expression of Healthy Sexuality,” an original essay written for this volume (2009)
NO: J. Paul Fedoroff, from “Sadism, Sadomasochism, Sex, and Violence,” The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry (vol. 53, no. 10, 2008)
Sex educator Wayne Pawlowski provides an explanation of BDSM and describes it as a normal, healthy expression of sexuality. J. Paul Fedoroff describes BDSM as a disorder and a pathology and links BDSM to criminal activity.
- Issue 7. Is “Gender Identity Disorder” an Appropriate Psychiatric Diagnosis?
YES: Mercedes Allen, from “Destigmatization Versus Coverage and Access: The Medical Model of Transsexuality” at http://dentedbluemercedes.wordpress.com/2008/04/05/destigmatization-versus-coverage-and-access-the-medical-model-of-transsexuality/ (2008)
NO: Kelley Winters, from “GID Reform Advocates: Issues of GID Diagnosis for Transsexual Women and Men,” http://www.gidreform.org/GID30285a.pdf (2007)
Mercedes Allen, educator, trainer, and founder of AlbertaTrans.org, recognizes the bias in the DSM’s classification of Gender Identity Disorder as a mental disorder, but argues that changes run the risk of leaving the trans community at risk of losing medical care and treatment. Kelley Winters, writer and founder of GID Reform Advocates, argues the inclusion of Gender Identity Disorder in the DSM adds to the stigma faced by transpersons and that reclassification is necessary in order to adequately address the population’s health care needs.
Unit 2 Sex and Society
- Issue 8. Should Sex Ed Teach about Abstinence?
YES: William J. Taverner, from “Reclaiming Abstinence in Comprehensive Sex Education,” Contemporary Sexuality (2007)
NO: Maureen Kelly, from “The Semantics of Sex Ed: Or, Shooting Ourselves in the Foot as We Slowly Walk Backwards,” Educator’s Update (2005)
William J. Taverner, sexuality educator and editor of Taking Sides, argues that sexuality education should teach about abstinence, and introduces a new model to replace problematic abstinence education models of the past. Sexuality educator Maureen Kelly argues that the framing of abstinence by conservatives has essentially made the term politically volatile, and that the one-size-fits-all definition has rendered the term useless to educators.
- Issue 9. Is There Something Wrong with the Content of Comprehensive Sex Education Curricula?
YES: The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), from “Review of Comprehensive Sex Education Curricula” (Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office, 2007)
NO: Elokin CaPece, from “Commentary on the Review of Comprehensive Sex Education Curricula (2007),” American Journal of Sexuality Education (vol. 3, no. 3, 2007)
The Administration for Children and Families, United States Department of Health and Human Services, presents their findings in a critical analysis of comprehensive sexuality education curricula. Elokin CaPece, Health Educator with Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region, disputes the research methods used and the findings of the report, highlighting what she sees as bias in the overall findings.
- Issue 10. Is There Academic Merit to Students Viewing Live Sexual Acts in College Courses?
YES: A.M. Rosenthal, from “Toying with Academic Freedom,” an original essay written for this volume (2011)
NO: Cory Silverberg, from “Thoughts on a Campus Dildo Controversy: Sexuality, Power, and Privilege,” http://sexuality.about.com/ (2011)
A.M. Rosenthal, a doctoral student in clinical psychology, argues for academic freedom and suggests there can be academic merit in viewing live sexual acts in the classroom, provided harm is avoided and the demonstration fulfills course goals. Cory Silverberg, a columnist who writes about sexual topics for About.com, argues that the problems surrounding such live sex demonstrations in the classroom are rooted in issues of sexuality, power, and privilege.
- Issue 11. Should Libraries and Other Places That Provide Public Wi-Fi Restrict the Sexual Content?
YES: American Family Association, from “Library Internet Filtering: Internet Porn in Public Libraries and Schools,” http://www.afa.net/lif/schools.asp (2007)
NO: Donald Dyson and Brent Satterly, from “Hey, Uncle Sam. Let My Wi-Fi Go!” an original essay written for this volume (2009)
The American Family Association, an organization that advocates for “traditional family values,” argues that library filtering software is essential to protect children from harm. Donald Dyson and Brent Satterly, professors at Widener University, argue that filtering software limits free access to information and state that Wi-Fi should be unrestricted in all settings, including libraries.
- Issue 12.Is Pornography Harmful?
YES: Pamela Paul, from “The Cost of Growing Up on Porn,” http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/05/AR2010030501552.html?sid=ST2010030502871 (March 7, 2010)
NO: Megan Andelloux, from “Porn: Ensuring Domestic Tranquility of the American People,” an original essay written for this volume (2011)
Pamela Paul, author of Pornified: How Pornography Is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships, and Our Families, argues that studies declaring the harmlessness of pornography on men are faulty, and that consequences of porn consumption can be seen in the relationships men have with women and sex. Megan Andelloux, sexuality educator and founder of the Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health, argues that the benefits of porn on American society outweigh the questionable consequences.
- Issue 13. Should Prostitution Be Legalized?
YES: Susan A. Milstein, from “Want a Safer Community? Legalize Prostitution,” an original essay written for this volume (2009)
NO: Donna M. Hughes, from “The Demand: Where Sex Trafficking Begins,” text of a speech given at the conference A Call to Action: Joining the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons, Rome, Italy (2004)
Susan Milstein, associate professor in the Health Department at Montgomery College and advisory board member for Men’s Health Network, argues that while the legalization of prostitution will not stop all of the social problems associated with the institution, the benefits of legalization make it the best option. Donna Hughes, professor at the University of Rhode Island and leading international researcher on trafficking of women and children, counters that the criminalization of prostitution not only reduces demand, but also slows the spread of international sex trafficking.
- Issue 14. Is Female Circumcision/FGM an Acceptable Practice?
YES: Fuambai S. Ahmadu, from “Disputing the Myth of the Sexual Dysfunction of Circumcised Women,” an interview by Richard A. Shweder, Anthropology Today (vol. 25, no. 6, December 2009)
NO: World Health Organization, from “Female Genital Mutilation,” http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs241/en (February 2010)
Fuambai S. Ahmadu, associate professor at the University of Chicago, in an interview with Richard A. Shweder, argues that studies reporting traumatic effects of female circumcision have been greatly exaggerated and that opposition to the practice represents an ethnocentric bias among researchers and policy makers. The World Health Organization, the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system, details the common procedures and reasons for the practice of FGM, while arguing that the health risks and social implications deem the practice a violation of basic human rights.
- Issue 15. Should Same-Sex Marriage Be Legal?
YES: Human Rights Campaign, from Answers to Questions About Marriage Equality (Human Rights Campaign, 2011)
NO: Timothy J. Dailey, from Ten Facts About Counterfeit Marriage (Family Research Council, 2008)
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America’s largest gay and lesbian organization, explains why same-sex couples should be afforded the same legal right to marry as heterosexual couples. Timothy J. Dailey, senior fellow for policy at the Family Research Council, argues that allowing same-sex marriage would go against thousands of years of human social norms and would be a “counterfeit” version of traditional, other-sex marriage.
- Issue 16. Do Reality TV Shows Portray Responsible Messages about Teen Pregnancy?
YES: Amy Kramer, from “The REAL Real World: How MTV’s ‘16 and Pregnant’ and ‘Teen Mom’ Motivate Young People to Prevent Teen Pregnancy,” an original essay for this edition (2011)
NO: Mary Jo Podgurski, from “Till Human Voices Wake Us: The High Personal Cost of Reality Teen Pregnancy Shows,” an original essay for this edition (2011)
Amy Kramer, director of entertainment media and audience strategy at the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, argues that reality television shows engage teens in considering the consequences of pregnancy before they are ready for it and motivate them to want to prevent it. Mary Jo Podgurski, founder of the Academy for Adolescent Health, Inc., argues that although such television shows have potential benefits, they inadequately address the issue, and may even have a negative impact those who participate in them.
Unit 3 Sex and Reproduction
- Issue 17. Should Pharmacists Have the Right to Refuse Contraceptive Prescriptions?
YES: Eileen P. Kelly, from “Morally Objectionable Work Assignments: Catholic Social Teaching and Public Policy Perspectives,” The Catholic Social Science Review (vol. 12, 2007)
NO: National Women’s Law Center, from “Pharmacy Refusals 101” ( July 2010)
Eileen Kelly, a professor of Management at Ithaca College, argues that conscience clauses are necessary to protect the religious liberty and rights of pharmacists and others in the workplace. The National Women’s Law Center, a national organization that works to promote issues that impact the lives of women and girls, highlight laws and public opinion while stressing that free and unrestricted access to contraception is in the best interest of women’s health.
- Issue 18. Is Abortion Moral?
YES: Jennifer Webster, from “Choosing Abortion is Choosing Life,” an original essay written for this volume (2009)
NO: Douglas Groothuis, from “Why I Am Pro-life: A Short, Nonsectarian Argument,” adapted from http://theconstructivecurmudgeon.blogspot.com/2009/03/why-i-am-pro-life-short-nonsectarian.html (2009)
Jennifer Webster, projects coordinator for the Network for Reproductive Options, asserts that the choice of abortion is a multifactoral decision that always expresses a moral consideration. Douglas Groothuis, author and professor of philosophy at Denver Seminary, draws on the philosophical tradition to present his moral argument against abortion.
- Issue 19. Should There Be Restrictions on the Number of Embryos Implanted during In Vitro Fertilization?
YES: Charalambos Siristatidis and Mark Hamilton, from “Single Embryo Transfer,” Obstetrics, Gynecology, & Reproductive Medicine (June 2007)
NO: William Saletan, from “Crocktuplets: Hijacking the Octuplets Backlash to Restrict IVF.” Accessed May 01, 2009, at http://www.slate.com/id/2212876/
Charalambos Siristatidis, an obstetrician, and Mark Hamilton, a gyneco-logist, advocate for restrictions on the number of embryos implanted during IVF, arguing the reduction of risk to mother and child. William Saletan, national correspondent for slate.com and author, acknowledges the risks of multiple embryo transfer but argues that any attempts to legislate the practice must consider women’s reproductive autonomy.
- Issue 20. Should Parents Be Allowed to Select the Sex of Their Baby?
YES: John A. Robertson, from “Extending Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis: Medical and Non-medical Uses,” Journal of Medical Ethics (vol. 29, 2003)
NO: Marcy Darnovsky, from “Revisiting Sex Selection: The Growing Popularity of New Sex Selection Methods Revives an Old Debate,” http://www.gene-watch.org/genewatch/articles/17-1darnovsky.html ( January–February 2004)
Law professor John A. Robertson argues that preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), a new technique that allows parents-to-be to determine the gender of their embryo before implantation in the uterus, should be permissible. Robertson argues that it is not sexist to want a baby of a particular sex and that the practice should not be restricted. Marcy Darnovsky, associate director of the Center for Genetics and Society, argues that by allowing PGD for sex selection, governments are starting down a slippery slope that could create an era of consumer eugenics.