Sex doesn’t sell after all

“Sex sells,” according to the conventional wisdom on Madison Avenue, a principle that has led advertisers to use sexual imagery to sell everything from automobiles to cleaning supplies.  But a new study shows that sex–or violence–doesn’t sell at all, that advertising with sexual or violent imagery tends to be ineffective.  That’s because the imagery distracts viewers so much that they don’t remember the actual product they are supposed to buy! [Read more…]

Hackers enforcing morality?

So the Ashley Madison site, designed to hook up people who want to commit adultery, was hacked, leading to the release of data about some of the website’s 30 million customers (including already disgraced “family values” activist Josh Duggar).

This has created some indignation about the hackers’ “public shaming” of would-be adulterers.  But the fear of public shaming has kept people in line across all cultures for millennia, enforcing the external morality that is necessary for social order (a.k.a. “the first use of the Law”).  The internet has promised to get around that with total secrecy and anonymity, but the web isn’t as secret and anonymous as people assume.

So do you consider the Ashley Madison hacks to be egregious violations of privacy, or a fitting outing of cheating husbands and wives? [Read more…]

Legalizing “sex work” as “a profession like any other”

Amnesty International, the respected human rights group, has taken up a new cause:  the legalization of prostitution world-wide.

Libertarians have long supported this, for, well, libertarian reasons.  Now expect liberals to embrace this goal as a way of empowering women (which is how Amnesty International frames it).  But would it really empower women?  Wouldn’t this also, in effect, legalize human trafficking?

But this  would be yet another step in our hypersexualized culture’s quest for total, unrestricted sexual license. [Read more…]

Now sexual orientation is seen as “fluid”

Now that gays have won the right to marry, the tune is changing.  Instead of the view that homosexuality is a fixed, permanent, non-alterable state, the word now, including among gays, is that sexual preference is “fluid” and exists along a continuum.

Kinsey’s scale, ranking people somewhere along the continuum of exclusively heterosexual (zero) to exclusively homosexual (6), has come back, with everybody in between to some degree or another being bisexual.  (Watch for a new trend of people sharing their numbers in this sense.)

A study in the UK, using this continuum,  found that 49% of British 18-24 year- olds consider themselves bisexual!  With three times as many as other age groups saying they are gay.  The study has other age groups at 19% on the bi-continuum.  (But when asked if they are  clear-cut gay or bi-, only 1.5% of men were the former and 0.3% were the latter.)

How could young people have such high rates if sexuality is genetically or biologically determined?  Could a hypersexualized culture have something to do with it? [Read more…]

Poll on gay marriage shows surprising results

An Associated Press poll on gay marriage shows a sharply and almost evenly-divided country when it comes to gay marriage, with a strong majority saying that religious liberty should trump gay rights when there is a conflict.  Support for gay marriage is actually down from what it was before the Supreme Court ruling, suggesting that the gay triumphalists who sought to demonize and punish conscientious objectors may have overplayed their hand.

In April, 48% of Americans were in favor of gay marriage.  Three weeks after the ruling, the number declined to 42%.  But 40% of Americans do not approve.  And 59% of Americans believe that religious liberty should take precedence over gay rights.

UPDATE:   Here are the full poll results.

[Read more…]

Christianity’s influence on marriage & the status of women

According to the “progressive narrative,” Christianity and its view of marriage have oppressed women.  But as David Theroux points out, drawing on actual scholarship,  the actual influence of Christianity is quite different. [Read more…]


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