Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Sex in America

Gotta love this latest story from cnn.com about the rates of pre-marital sex in America. Put simply, the report claims 95% of Americans have had premarital sex.

The mildly disturbing factor is not the rate, but that this is even news. Who cares? People should (and do) do with their bodies whatever the hell they want. It's like another example of the subtle Puritanism that dominates mainstream media's worldview (see also CSI...).

On the far more delightful side, 95% seems like a sufficiently high number to include many of those politicians and key religious figures who condemn the failure to abstain until marriage, which clearly implicates at least some of them in the behavior they themselves condemn (which is nothing new). My favorite fact from the report is that this study goes back to those who would have been sexually active in the 1940s and 1950s, clearly showing what a steaming pile of crap the myth of the "good old pure and chaste days" is just that - a myth. (I remember workign at a living history museum for the 1840s period, and they were very clear that just about every fictional young person we portrayed was probably very sexually active prior to marriage, based on documents our "characters" were based on).

I'd like to think such a report will demolish all the "sex-is-bad!" tomfoolery, but I'm not stupid. Doubtless, religious outrage will ensue, as will some minor sectors of the political right trying to make a name for themselves, and men who are appalled to know women enjoy sex and explore what they like, too. Still, it's nice to see a report out there showing that sex and the exploration of it is not only OK, but about as common as it can get.