Male Shame, the Root of Female Shame

This is an article by Darrel Ray. It appears in the current issue of American Atheist magazine. American Atheist magazine is available at Barnes & Noble and Book World bookstores in the U.S. and at Chapters/Indigo bookstores in Canada. Go to to subscribe or to join American Atheists. Members receive free digital subscription. It’s also available from iTunes.

For thousands of years, religions have used shame as a method of control. It is easy to see how shame is detrimental to females in patriarchal religions, but it has grave consequences for males as well. We hear a good deal today about the shaming of women and girls, but we don’t hear as much about male shame. Male shame is all around us and starts at infancy. Its message is strong and consistent: males must act a certain way or they are not really male. Males must always be seen as distinctly different and superior to females. From male shame comes a wide range of behaviors designed to oppress women and ensure male dominance. Understanding the interplay and dynamics of shame makes it possible to explain much of the misogynistic behavior we see in the religious and non-religious alike.

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An Online Porn Site Said I Couldn’t Buy Adult Material Because I Lived in a “Sexually Conservative” Area

Last night, acting on a tip, I visited the adult website Adam & Eve to buy some DVDs. When they asked for my address, I gave them a particular zip code from Tennessee. And then I couldn’t go any further with my purchase, because this was on the next screen: At this time, we are [Read More...]

Conservative Congress Looks to Further Reward States That Teach Abstinence-Only Sex Ed

Facing a(nother) looming budget showdown, conservatives in Congress wasted no time in steering negotiations toward conservative goals, like so-called “pro-life policy” such as focusing on abortion coverage and promoting abstinence-only sex ed.

Nevermind that abstinence-only ed is a monumental failure; nevermind that abstinence educators often mislead and degrade students. It’s part of the Christian conservative social agenda, and legislators are (predictably) pursuing it.

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Once Again, a Public School is Told Not to Bring in a Catholic Chastity Speaker Who Can’t Help but Proselytize

If you were to visit the website of the Catholic-based Chastity Project website (and I’m not sure why anyone would), here’s the explanation you would find for why gay marriage isn’t really marriage:

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Finally, a (Mormon) Porn Site Where Fictional LDS Leaders “Stuff Magic Underwear In Each Other’s Mouths”

I borrowed that laugh-out-loud line from the aptly named Vice; the site has a story on Mormon-themed porn, claiming that it’s a booming business.

Getting off on watching Mormons doing the dirty is a very specific taste, obviously, but catering to such niches is currently where the (porn) money is.

The founder of the pay site, the pseudonymous Legrand Wolf,

had his first locker-room experience at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. …

“Getting ready for my mission, I was finally exposed to [naked dudes] and I figured it out pretty quickly,” he told me. “But then I was around all these straight hot men, and I had to hide the fact that I was gay despite all this intimacy.”

Wolf eventually had sex with his mission trip partner, which the Mormons suggestively enough call a “companion.” After months of dropped hints and excruciating build-up, Wolf’s sexy French partner finally put the moves on him and they developed a loving relationship. Although his former companion is now married with kids, Wolf says their affair — and the sexual tension leading up to it — changed his life. At the very least, it’s the inspiration for ​, the only gay porn site that caters to some very specific religious fantasies.

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