Iowa bill would make divorce most difficult to prevent promiscuity.

A GOP lawmaker in Iowa has introduced a bill that would make it harder to get a divorce, and Monday this bill was actually moved out of committee.  His motivation is to decrease promiscuity in women.

“This basically is an attempt on my part to keep fathers in the home,” Gassman said. “I sincerely believe that the family is the foundation of this nation and this nation will go the direction of our families. If our families break up, so will this nation.”[...]

Representative Gassman said the issue is “near and dear” to his heart because his daughter and son-in-law recently divorced, putting his granddaughter at risk.

There’s a 16-year-old girl in this whole mix now. Guess what? What are the possibilities of her being more promiscuous?” Gassman said.

What are the possibilities of all these other things surrounding her life that a 16-year-old girl, with hormones raging, can get herself into?”

Who gives a shit if she’s promiscuous?  Sex is fun!  You should care that she’s being safe.  And what about dudes?  Don’t we care if teenage boys are sleeping around too?

And what the fuck?  An adult who can tell whether or not they love someone else has to stay with someone they no longer love, living in the same house, and being miserable even if they don’t have a daughter because those parents with daughters might have to endure their kid having more sex?  Heaven forbid…more sex.  Divorced parents might put a young woman at the “risk” of having more sex.  Darn.  I sure hope I never have to endure the slings and arrows of more sex.  Better keep adults miserable.

Does he not realize that the daughters of happy married couples also have sex?

And that’s assuming I even grant his premise that the daughters of divorced parents have more sex.  I don’t.

This is just another attempt to make non-Christians abide by the arbitrary moral standards of an ancient religion, with few cares, if any, being given to whether or not people are happy.  That’s why there’s no exceptions in the bill for married couples without children (or, more specifically, daughters).  It doesn’t matter if you’re happy.  We’re going to need you to keep living a shared life with someone you don’t love because Jesus.

  • http://www.thelosersleague.com The_Schwa

    At least he seems to realize that divorce causes heterosexual marriages to end, rather than gay marriage. It is a step in the right direction…

    • sqlrob

      Yeah, I was wondering how long it would be before they started getting internally consistent on “protecting” marriage.

  • iknklast

    There is only one thing that makes the divorce rate so high – the fact that marriage is promoted as the be all and end all of happiness, when clearly it isn’t. If marriage weren’t so common, divorce wouldn’t be so common.

    That may sound tongue in cheek, and it sort of is, but there’s more behind it. A lot of people get married young in the blush of young love, with romantic expectations of marriage. When marriage settles down into a contented sameness (for some), they get discontented. When marriage becomes a living nightmare (for some), they want, and need, to get out.

    And I can testify that people who don’t love each other staying together ‘for the kids’ is anything but good for the kids. Unfortunately, I rarely see studies being done looking at the impacts of raising children within an unhappy marriage, and comparing them with the impacts of divorce. They usually compare happy marriages with unhappy divorces, and find exactly what everyone wants them to find. Until I see this study done, I’m not buying into “it’s for the good of the kids”. Unhappy parents lead to unhappy kids. Unhappy kids lead to an unhealthy promiscuity, rather than a healthy one (the difference being how the individual approaches sexual relations, not how many they have).

    • SparkyB

      I agree. If you want to reduce divorce, don’t make divorce harder, reduced ill-conceived marriages. And further, if you want to reduce premature marriage, that stop stigmatizing premarital sex and cohabitation. I think a lot of the folks who get married too early do so because they can’t advance their relationship without it based on these ancient rules. I’ve seen it in my own family. Religious people want to fuck as much as the rest of us do and if they are not going to do it before marriage they’re going to get married sooner without being ready. And if you don’t know what you’re getting into you’re going to be wrong some of the time and need to divorce. You wouldn’t buy a car without test driving it, would you?

      • John Horstman

        I wouldn’t buy a car without test-driving it, but I would “steal” it by using my own time, labor, and resources to make a copy were such a thing possible (it soon may be).

    • John Horstman

      This is true, though for families near or below the poverty line, an unhappy marriage can provide more material stability than parents not sharing a dwelling, somewhat complicating the matter. There may well be differences with respect to economic strata as to whether “staying together for the kids” is good or not (outcomes of different arrangements are also almost certainly related to the reasons for divorce or potential divorce: in cases involving domestic violence or substance abuse, I’d expect better outcomes for children of divorced parents who no longer are subjected to abuse or neglect irrespective of economic class). There’s a similar consideration with young pregnancy and motherhood – for low-income women, early pregnancy and motherhood can actually result in better outcomes for both mother and child. All other things being equal, I would guess that, on average, having divorced parents is better for children than having unhappily-married parents, but usually everything is not equal, so we want to be careful about generalizing.

      • iknklast

        Exactly the point I was making about generalizing; at this time, the data to support the generalization is questionable at best. In my case, my mother married young, out of high school, so she undoubtedly wouldn’t be able to have raised us even in the marginal existence we had. But these are things that can be figured out by a decently done study, and that is much easier to fix, if we had the will to do it. There are ways we could implement to move such families out of poverty (though we are extremely unwilling to consider most of those methods, because it will promote ‘takers’ over ‘givers’); there are very few ways that we can implement that could make an unhappy marriage happy. In some cases, therapy can help, but there are many marriages that are just unsalvageable. So we’ve made a bad bargain for these women (and children and men): stay in a marriage that is destructive and damaging, or move into a socioeconomic status that is destructive or damaging. The whole obsession with marriage in this society (and around the world) sets this up.

    • baal

      “I rarely see studies being done (on kids of happily divorced parents vs unhappy married)” These have been done and it’s considered proven that while stability is good for kids, an unhappy married couple isn’t stability. i.e. it’s better for the kids if the parents divorce if they can’t be reasonably happy married.

      I agree with the idea that if you want fewer divorces, reduce the pressure to marry on the front end is a great idea. Also good would be better support for the poor and middle class. It’s amazing how much stress can resolve around money issues and having more income (or better social services) would reduce marital stress (not in Inkn’s case but other ones).

  • Heather

    My parents divorced when I was 6 and I’ve slept with a grand total of 1 person in the 18 years since. Woo. Lemme tell you, having parents divorce sure made me super promiscuous.

    • http://criticallyskeptic-dckitty.blogspot.com Katherine Lorraine, Tortue du Désert avec un Coupe-Boulon

      Heather! You harlot!

      • Heather

        I know! It was premarital and everything, too!

    • Loqi

      Also had divorced parents and a grand total of one intimate partner. The evil promiscuity extends to men as well.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd JT Eberhard

        As long as we’re disclosing this type of stuff, my folks are very happily married to this day (37 years, I think), and my total of partners is over 30.

        I feel like I was raised well, but apparently not… :P

        • tubi

          Just to show that you can cite statistics to support any argument you want to make, my parents divorced when I was 7 and my total partners is also over 30. Although it stopped going up 14 years ago.

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ M

      My parents never divorced (are still married, in fact) and it’s the first marriage for both of them. I’ve had four whole sexual partners in my life. Obviously married parents correlates with promiscuity (based on our entirely non-random, tiny sample), so we should make everyone get divorced immediately and ban marriage.

    • iknklast

      My parents stayed together. I did not become promiscuous, but instead frigid. (That took years of therapy to cure; after years of abuse, you sort of become afraid of people). My sisters, however, were promiscuous. Perhaps my parents non-divorce caused it? Or maybe there was some other factor? Like normal human sexuality? Nah, couldn’t be that, could it?

  • eric

    There’s a 16-year-old girl in this whole mix now. Guess what? What are the possibilities of her being more promiscuous?”

    I don’t see the logic at all. Is he saying that the parents’ divorce will psychologically make his granddaughter want to have more sex with more people? Is he saying his granddaughter already wants to have sex with lots of people, and she’ll be able to sneak out more when only one parent is living in the house? In my mind, the whole proposal says a lot of (nasty) things about his opinion of his own granddaughter.

    Lastly, talk about lack of empathy: her world is likely turning upside down and instead of worrying about how she feels about the divorce, he’s worried about how much harder it might get to control her sex life.

  • Glodson

    You know my own concern with promiscuous people? My own concern is that they engage in safe and consensual sex. That’s it.

    Other than that, I don’t care. There isn’t a problem. Unless you got some stupid superstition.

    Sadly, that stupid superstition makes unsafe sex even more likely thanks to a lack of desire to teach safe sex. Maybe the guy should teach his granddaughter about sex, about how to have safe sex, and make sure she’s ready for the pitfalls of relationships. And make sure she’s comfortable asking questions about sex and not embarrassed or ashamed of her own sexuality.

    • Andrew Kohler

      That is an excellent list of suggestions, to which I add: He should tell his granddaughter that the decision when and with whom to become sexually active is hers and hers alone. She should make this decision for herself regardless of what the abstinence until marriage crowd has to say, and also not let anyone make her feel like she ought to be having sex and like she’s weird if she chooses not to at present. In other words: don’t listen to people who are convinced they know what you should be doing sexually (aside from being safe) despite knowing far too little, if anything, about you to be qualified to offer such advice.

      Unfortunately, it seems pretty clear that Grandpa is not about to tell her any of the things which Glodson and I have suggested, although we have done so so nicely.

  • vini

    “Who gives a shit if she’s promiscuous? Sex is fun! You should care that she’s being safe.”
    I’ve been thinking about terms like ‘promiscuous’ and ‘slut’ lately. Why are those things inherently bad? Road cycling is probably more life-threatening and we don’t bash people who do a lot of it. Sex is good, fun, and some people enjoy doing a lot of it. As long as they’re being responsible with themselves and others, so the fuck what? Am I missing something (honest question)?

    • Glodson

      It is a bit of sexism.

      When people say slut, do they first think of a man or a woman? Odds are, they are thinking of a man. Think back to high school. Many guys would try to brag about who they had sex with, and if a girl was known to sleep around, she was cast as a slut. Her social status was lowered.

      Now, there’s a deeper dynamic going on. This is to the benefit of the guys. They get their social status from having sex. That’s a cool guy. The girl does it, she’s trashy. And she finds that to keep attention, she has to keep sleeping around. Parents tell their daughters things like “who is going to buy the cow if they get the milk for free?”

      You are right, there’s nothing wrong with having safe sex with any number of people. We shouldn’t care. But there’s centuries of patriarchal bullshit attached to sexuality. Especially in the Abrahamic religions. It controls the sexuality of women, it controls women. This slut shaming is not a bug of the Abrahamic religion, it is a feature.

      • Glodson

        When I said “Odds are, they are thinking of a man,” I meant they aren’t. Sorry.

      • Andrew Kohler

        Yup. The irony here is that, if it’s cool for guys to have sex and shameful for women, it seems the only solution is for all of the macho dudes bragging about their (alleged?) sexual conquests to be gay. I’m sure that would go over well with all of them ;-)

        I have decided to avoid using the words “virgin” and “virginity,” for a number of reasons. The idea that virginity is some precious possession is problematic. The decision to do something (in this case, become sexually active) should not be equated with “losing” something. We don’t “lose” anything the first time we travel abroad, take up a new hobby, or learn to drive. Some of these things may have profound impact on our lives and be important milestones, but something is *gained* and not lost by new experiences. Often, referring to people as “virgins” does one of two things: either it elevates not having sex to a virtuous status, which is slut-shaming by implication, or it scorns people who have not become sexually active (think The 40-Year-Old Version). Of course this isn’t always the case, but there is a lot of baggage with attached to this word and to the concept of virginity. Examples include the horrible stuff in Deuteronomy about stoning women to death for not showing the “signs of virtue” on their wedding nights, the Catholic priesthood, the fixation on Mary’s virginity (even though the prophecy in Isaiah may just say that a “young woman will conceive,” not a virgin), and the infamous promise of seventy-two virgins (which I likewise have heard is a mistranslation and actually should be some kind of raisins or something).

        • Andrew Kohler

          I find it a very interesting Freudian slip that I typed “40-Year-Old Version” instead of “40-Year-Old Virgin”….

          Re: iknklast’s comment below–Good for you for saying that you’re neither a cow nor property. I’ve never heard that saying before and find it more than usually appalling.

        • Glodson

          I think the idea that virgins are pure is troubling. Or that being a virgin is virtuous.

          It should just be descriptive. Someone who hasn’t had sex.

      • iknklast

        “who is going to buy the cow if they get the milk for free”

        My parents said that to me the first time I went out with a guy (I was 21, by the way). My answer? I am not a cow, and no one is going to own me. Too bad more girls aren’t aware of thsoe two facts. Cattle? Property? Yes, since you asked, my parents are fundamentalists.

        • Glodson

          Sadly, the cattle metaphor isn’t so much of a metaphor for some. There is a degree of ownership still heavily implied in man-woman relationships.

      • Glodson

        As if to beautifully illustrate that I alluded to this happened.

        A former employee at a Christian college has enlisted the help of high-profile attorney Gloria Allred to sue a California school that allegedly fired her for engaging in premarital sex, NBC’s “Today” reports. In a bizarre twist, the school reportedly went on to offer the pregnant woman’s job to her then-fiance.

        Teri James, 29, told the news outlet that she did sign a two-page contract with San Diego Christian College that included a provision agreeing not to engage in “sexually immoral behavior including premarital sex.”

        “I needed a job in this economy and so I never thought that anything would happen,” James explained to “Today.”

        But James said she was humiliated after being pulled into her supervisor’s office last fall, where she was asked if she was pregnant and then was let go. After James lost her job, she claims the school offered a position to her now-husband, even though they were aware he’d had sex before getting married, too.

        Yup. Her sex before marriage is a big deal. His, not so much.

        • Glodson

          Oh, just one more to throw on the pile: http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/03/02/pastor-goes-on-misogynistic-rant-says-women-shouldnt-read-talk-or-leave-the-house-video/

          I didn’t make it into a link just so I could get the full title out there. It pretty much is what it says on the tin.

          Go on. Watch. It is illuminating. This is a worldview that is more prevalent than you might think, and it is much more of a influence on our society than we could hope.

          • iknklast

            I won’t watch, thank you. I spent my childhood hiding in shame because my mother couldn’t handle the fact that I, her daughter, wanted to go to college. When I was 9, she told me she’d learned to accept it because I was so ugly that no man would ever want me, so I’d better be able to take care of myself. She felt women went to college only to get their MRS. degree (and yes, she said that, and frequently). My sisters were much more satisfying; they all got married and had piles of babies (20 children between the 3 of them, to my 1. I was a failure as a woman, or so my mother thought). When my ex and I got divorced, my mother was totally convinced it was because I had more education than he did. It wasn’t. When she found out he was gay, it was obvious she suspected I had made him gay by being too “smart”. He was proud of my intelligence, and told everyone he knew that his ex-wife was getting her doctorate in Biology. But facts don’t matter when you’ve got the Truth.

          • Glodson

            I was lucky. My parents are Southern Baptist, but they were causally religious. They still fall for some of the religious talking points. Funnily enough, they are only bad about it when they remember they are supposed to be religious. It is fun to see them fold on some of the issues.

            But I posted this because I’m certain that people didn’t grow up with this kind of religion. My first Church was not this bad, but it had some of these ideas in it. There’s this idea that the old-fashioned woman, the right kind of woman, is like this, to a degree. An idea that was built by a religion that has permeated our culture.

            It is why I’m going to make sure my daughter doesn’t have to put up with this bullshit. No one should have to put up with this bullshit, and I’m sorry you had to.

        • Andrew Kohler

          “Yup. Her sex before marriage is a big deal. His, not so much.”

          Usually, people attempt at least to make their sexism and hypocrisy slightly less obvious. These people seem to be operating under the assumption that there is a prestigious award out there for Most Brazen Example of a Double Standard.

  • Andrew Kohler

    Wouldn’t it be nice to be a sixteen-year-old girl and have your grandfather publicly declare that you’re a harlot with no self control? (I use the word “harlot” because it seems to be what this Gassman person is implying; I of course find that word highly problematical.) Seriously. “I heard your Grandpa on the news last night. He’s really worried about your sex life, which you may or may not have at present.” Seriously, how creeptacular is that!? And suffice it to say, I fail to see how a sixteen-year-old who isn’t planning on becoming sexually active in the immediate future (for such people do exist) is suddenly going to change his or her mind because of his or her parents getting divorced. That seems even more absurd than saying that teenagers who choose not to have sex only do so because they’ve never heard of a condom.

    I agree with iknklast that if anything in a person’s childhood is going to contribute to that person having an unhealthy sex life, it is going to be growing up around unhealthy relationships, and it makes sense to me that, in the unfortunate case of a marriage with children not working out, divorce is the better option for all involved.

    • http://smingleigh.wordpress.com Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

      Seems to make sense from a right-wing standpoint. Marriage, like everything else, is either MANDATORY AND IRREVOCABLE, or VERBOTEN depending on who you are.

  • otrame

    There’s a 16-year-old girl in this whole mix now. Guess what? What are the possibilities of her being more promiscuous?”

    Can you imagine how happy his granddaughter is to have her grandfather say such a thing in public?

    • iknklast

      I suppose that depends. After all, isn’t that a sure way for a girl to get invited out? Get the word around that she ‘puts out’. If she IS going to become promiscuous, that will get her the opportunities she needs! (Snark)

    • gratch

      That was my first thought when I read this to. Imagine at 16 years old how creepy it would have been to learn that your grandfather was thinking, alot, about how much sex you were having. Now imagine he was speculating about it to the press. *Shudder*

  • blondein_tokyo

    My parents stayed together until my father’s death. My sisters and brothers are all married now, most with children, some waiting a bit to have children. Me? No children, in a polyamorus open relationship, and I’m a SLUT! ;) Whose fault is that I wonder? It can’t possibly be due to my own choices. It has to be blamed on someone else because as a woman, I obviously have no sexual autonomy or desire of my own. Since I’m from Iowa, I should call up Rep Grassman’s office and ask him. I’m sure he must know since he seems so well-informed on how other people should run their relationships.

  • Thurston Howell III

    Sex is fun.

    Sex with a lot of people is fun.

    Sex with as many people as possible is fun. (Waytago JT! You da man!)

    Sex with a man OR a woman is fun. (Hey, who am I to judge?)

    Sex with animals is fun. (Thank you, Yale!)

    And of course, sex with little boys is fun. Because it’s sex. And sex is fun.

    You guys REALLY need to get with the program and cut the pope some slack. Geez!

    • Azkyroth

      I’m sorry you’re too fucking stupid to understand why consent matters.

    • http://smingleigh.wordpress.com Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

      Oh, someone equating homosexuality with bestiality and pedophilia. We’ve never seen that before!

      Can you frame your argument that homosexuality is the same as bestiality and pedophilia in such a way that the same argument cannot be applied to heterosexuality?

      • Thurston Howell III

        I’m surprised that you, of all people, are struggling to grasp that my point here is not to equate homosexuality with bestiality and pedophilia. My point is simply that sex is fun. And since sex is fun, we should all be allowed, free of social stigma or preconceived notion, to enjoy it in whatever manner we see fit.

        You’ll not see me argue against the rights of the individual to live their life as they see fit, no sir!

        • Loqi

          I, on the other hand, am not surprised that you are struggling to grasp that nobody here has said any of the things that you are attempting to parody.

        • Andrew Kohler

          It seems to me that the view underlying Mr. Howell’s sarcastic comments here is a false dichotomy, as follows: either one can say that sex is fun and people have the right to enjoy their sex lives as they see fit with no restrictions whatsoever, or one can subscribe to a rigid and uncompromising moral doctrine that says…well, something or other. You’ve not clarified your beliefs, and I don’t want to speculate.

          In reality, the situation is not so polarized: it is entirely possible, as well as intellectually and morally consistent, to say that we define what counts as consensual sex (it must without coercion and between human adults) and add that, so long as they stay within these parameters, people have the right to do whatever they want with their sex lives. It is also reasonable to add the further stipulation that we have a public health interest in encouraging safe sex practices. I think that defines the position of most of the people who have commented here reasonably well (apologies for speaking on others’ behalf unsolicited–in any case Loqi is quite correct “that nobody here has said any of the things that [Mr. Howell is] attempting to parody”). To say that this position necessarily erases all boundaries is simply false: we can assess rationally that consensual (which necessarily refers to humans past the age of consent) sex outside of traditional heterosexual marriage is not intrinsically harmful. This isn’t to say that people don’t sometimes make suboptimal decisions, but it would hardly be beneficial for the law to serve as a relationships/sex therapist. We likewise can assess whether or not adults having sex with children is intrinsically harmful (hint: it is) as a separate question.

        • Glodson

          You even suck at making a strawman.

    • Andrew Kohler

      I do not understand the reasoning of Thurston Howell III. From what I glean, he means to imply that there is no intellectually honest way to advocate for people having the right to practice safe consensual sex with people of whatever gender they wish and as many (or as few) partners as they wish while simultaneously condemning the sexual assault of children (well, he just says “little boys,” but I’ll go ahead and remove the gender specificity for the sake of improving the argumentation–you’re welcome).

      Jonathan Rauch, a moderately conservative gay man who has written an excellent and thorough book laying out the case for marriage equality, made the excellent point that people who make the “slippery slope” argument in that context seem to think that there is no valid reason to oppose polygamy and incest: rather, there’s just this standard of morality that exists and we can’t question part of it or the whole thing will collapse. This is absurd: if there is a solid reason not to allow something we won’t allow it. If there’s not a solid reason for its prohibition, then it’s an unjustified burden on personal liberty.

      The burden of proof is on you, sir, to demonstrate why safe, consensual sex outside of marriage, sex with people of the same gender (inside *or* outside of marriage, I should add), or sex with large numbers of partners is harmful. The burden of proof to curtail the liberty of people who want to have sex with children is easily met: children are unable to give consent [see below] and are vulnerable to abuses of power by adults. This is the reason we oppose sex between adults and children, not because there is some arbitrary moral code saying that sex can only be moral between a married man and woman for procreative purposes, or whatever else you may happen to think. (By the way, I’d love for someone to show me the Bible verse that condemns sex with children; I have never found anything to this effect.)

      By the way, for consent to be present, the parties involved must have reached the age of consent. We are operating here under the assumption that the age of consent is a good thing, and the burden of proof is again on you if you think that this is somehow inconsistent with our view that people should be allowed to have whatever forms of consensual safe sex they wish.

      Also, read this:

      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd/2013/01/bill-blankshaen-gays-are-like-pedophiles/

      I look forward to hearing the reasoning with which you back up your claims.

      • baal

        Actually, I don’t think poly should be grouped with incest and is a natural next step in the love who you want with consent and responsibility argument. It’s a lot easier to argue that you should be able to have more than one married relationship than you should be able to marry your sister.

        OTOH – the incest laws in most places are pretty close to what geneticists say makes sense already. You shouldn’t procreate with anyone more closely related to you than your cousin and cousin marriage is legal in some States.

        Regardless, any one pro-poly or pro-incest (at least 1st cousin, not talking sibling, parent, aunt/uncle level) has the burden to carry the argument for legal changes forward. I don’t expect that either group would be given a freebe and get added to SSM bills.

        Also, “Sex with a man OR a woman is fun. (Hey, who am I to judge?)” Quote mining is fun! I agree with the text as I’ve clipped it. Well, actually I’ll quibble* a little. ‘Man’ or ‘woman’ doesn’t really cover the range of possibles.

        *quibbling is fun and best done with a small group in attendance.

        • Andrew Kohler

          I think you raise good points, baal; it will be interesting to see if there is any campaign for legal recognition of marriages with more than two people. I have not heard an argument for this from the polyamorous community, but I have not done much research into the area. In any case, I agree that it is more or less inconceivable that plural marriage would be legalized alongside same-sex marriage. But, wouldn’t it be great to see fundamentalists try to argument against plural marriage when polygyny is all over the Bible? :-)

          Speaking of polygyny (hey, spell check, that is TOO a word!), I think that when progressives are uncomfortable with plural marriage it is because of its history: it is almost always a man taking multiple wives (polygyny), while from what I understand polyandry is quite rare. I’ll stand corrected by anyone with a better knowledge of cultural anthropology, but my understanding is that plural marriage has been one person acquiring spouses like property (no wonder it’s usually one man and lots of women: yet another example of women being treated as chattel). I would be very interested to know if there are cultures that have had plural marriages in which all of the spouses are on equal footing, all married to each other (rather than several women married to one man).

          I also wonder if marriage is the best form of legal protection for people living in such arrangements, given that the current legal structure is designed to be for two people. About nine years ago I was in an LGBT advocacy group in which someone pointed out that plural marriage would fundamentally change the structure of marriage, whereas changing the sex or gender of the parties involved does not (unless your view of marriage includes oppressively enforced gender roles, in which case you don’t get to impose that on the rest of us). Anyhow, just my musings; if anyone has more fully formed opinions on the matter I’d be glad to hear them!

          • Andrew Kohler

            P.S. And I forgot to say I quite agree that polyamory and incest are drastically different categories.

          • Anat

            You might be interested in When Taking Multiple Husbands Makes Sense – about a cross-cultural study of polyandry.

      • Thurston Howell III

        This is absurd: if there is a solid reason not to allow something we won’t allow it. If there’s not a solid reason for its prohibition, then it’s an unjustified burden on personal liberty.

        Except, of course, when my solid reason is at odds with your lifestyle. Then I’m a bigot, right?

        • Loqi

          Care to provide that “solid” reason?

        • Andrew Kohler

          First I would have to hear your reason as to ascertain its solidity. If you can prove that something I like to do, or the way I live my life, truly has a negative impact of my fellow humans, I’ll alter my actions accordingly. If your reason really is solid, then you’re not a bigot.

          I am not sure what to make of the fact that you say “my solid reason” (with emphasis on “my”–I can’t figure out the formatting); the implication seems to me that it is a solid reason to you but not to me. Either the reason can be backed up with evidence and reason (in which case it is solid) or not; I do not consider this to be a subjective point. If you have a different moral framework than I do, that’s a different question, and in that case I promise not to dictate to you how to live your life or infringe on your legal rights. I’m just asking for that to be reciprocated.

    • Loqi

      You guys REALLY need to get with the program and cut the pope some slack.

      I guess Catholics aren’t the only ones who have trouble with the whole “consent” thing…

    • Glodson

      Hey, asshole, ever heard of informed consent?

      It is an important concept. Let’s explain it. When engaging in sex, your partner, or partners as the case may be, need to be able to do two things. One is be able to fully understand and accept the acts happening. Children do not have the emotional prerequisites and the physical prerequisites to give any sort of consent. Their bodies are still growing, even as teenagers. They are not capable of giving consent to an older partner. It isn’t a good idea for them to engage at sex with each other, but at least the field is level. The second thing they must do is actually give consent. When your partner lacks the understanding, due to age or a mental handicap, they cannot consent. If they don’t consent, or can’t consent, you should not have sex with them.

      That’s a baseline rule. A fundamental rule.

      Sex with animals is fun. (Thank you, Yale!)

      And of course, sex with little boys is fun. Because it’s sex. And sex is fun.

      You guys REALLY need to get with the program and cut the pope some slack. Geez!

      Go fuck yourself, asshole. What you are doing is making a false equivalence, but I doubt you even understand what that term means. You are an idiot of the highest order, and I literally cannot be insulting enough to you. Having sex with people is fun, it is enjoyable, and your need to shame people by making this false equivalence is unacceptable.

      I’m not poly. My wife and I are monogamous. This is our choice, and it is working well for us. Not everyone is like that. What two, or more, consenting adults do with each other is none of our concern.

      Further, as I noted in my explanation about informed consent, children and animals are excluded from possible sex partners, you ignorant fuck.

      • Thurston Howell III

        Glodson, you ignorant slut.

        Please do a Google search using the phrase “Yale bestiality.” Go ahead. I’ll wait.

        You and your “baseline” rules. Your “fundamental” rules. Are you going all fundie on me, Glodson?

        We don’t need your stinkin’ rules! Who arbitrates your “rules?” You? So what? I don’t care about your rules. My right as an individual is to do that which I like, when I like! If I want to fuck a goat, then I’ll fuck a goat! You can’t stop me and HOW DARE you judge me for my sexual preferences!

        You’re concerned about “emotional” and “physical” prerequisites to have sex? Who are you to say when someone is emotionally prepared for sex? Or physically prepared? Hey, if there’s grass on the field, play ball, baby!

        So you and your wife are monogamous. How precious. I’m sure that if your wife brought Alan and Richard from accounting over to discuss the benefits of a poly relationship, you’d be enthusiastic, nay, ecstatic, at the possibility. Because those are her rules, Glodson. Those are _her_ rules.

        I cannot insult you enough for your intolerance and lack of inclusiveness. Go fuck _yourself_, you ignorant fuck, you.

        • Nate Frein

          Glodson, you ignorant slut.

          Yay. Gendered insult. This can only get better (/sarcasm).

          Please do a Google search using the phrase “Yale bestiality.” Go ahead. I’ll wait.

          Because someone who is not Glodson has advocated for bestiality means that Glodson advocated for bestiality? Nope. Doesn’t follow. Glodson clearly stated that informed consent is key. Animals cannot give informed consent.

          We don’t need your stinkin’ rules! Who arbitrates your “rules?” You? So what? I don’t care about your rules. My right as an individual is to do that which I like, when I like! If I want to fuck a goat, then I’ll fuck a goat! You can’t stop me and HOW DARE you judge me for my sexual preferences!

          When your sexual preferences involve someone who cannot consent, then society must step in and judge. That is the function of society. We have laws against murder for the same reason.

          You’re concerned about “emotional” and “physical” prerequisites to have sex? Who are you to say when someone is emotionally prepared for sex? Or physically prepared? Hey, if there’s grass on the field, play ball, baby!

          The thing about a development spectrum is that it doesn’t play well with laws. But we kind of need laws and established rules to keep things moving steadily. So we pick a point on the development spectrum where we can reasonably expect that the majority of people are mature enough to have sex. And we call that the age of consent.

          So you and your wife are monogamous. How precious. I’m sure that if your wife brought Alan and Richard from accounting over to discuss the benefits of a poly relationship, you’d be enthusiastic, nay, ecstatic, at the possibility. Because those are her rules, Glodson. Those are _her_ rules.

          I don’t know about Glodson, but if my wife wanted to revise the rules of our relationship, then it’s time for discussion and thought on my part. If we can reach a new set of rules whereby both of us remain happy with the relationship then we will remain together. If we can’t then it’s time to amicably end the relationship.

          But really? I think you know all this. You seem to be deliberately ignorant and obtuse.

          • Thurston Howell III

            Yay. Gendered insult. This can only get better (/sarcasm).

            Yay classic SNL Chevy Chase reference. Lighten up, Francis.

            When your sexual preferences involve someone who cannot consent, then society must step in and judge. That is the function of society. We have laws against murder for the same reason.

            Society must step in and judge? Except when society decrees that abortion and gay marriage are wrong, of course. Then society is full of a bunch of ignorant theistic fools, right?

            The thing about a development spectrum is that it doesn’t play well with laws. But we kind of need laws and established rules to keep things moving steadily. So we pick a point on the development spectrum where we can reasonably expect that the majority of people are mature enough to have sex. And we call that the age of consent.

            Pfft. Whatever, dude. Keep your “rules” off my body, bitch!

            I don’t know about Glodson, but if my wife wanted to revise the rules of our relationship, then it’s time for discussion and thought on my part. If we can reach a new set of rules whereby both of us remain happy with the relationship then we will remain together. If we can’t then it’s time to amicably end the relationship.

            How very big of you.

          • Nate Frein

            Yay classic SNL Chevy Chase reference. Lighten up, Francis.

            Still gendered. Still misogynistic. Still bigoted and wrong.

            Society must step in and judge? Except when society decrees that abortion and gay marriage are wrong, of course. Then society is full of a bunch of ignorant theistic fools, right?

            Complete non-sequitor

            Pfft. Whatever, dude. Keep your “rules” off my body, bitch!

            More gendered language. You’re a real charmer.
            You can do whatever you want with your body, until you force that body on other bodies that can’t (or won’t) consent.

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ M

            Thurston, have you ever heard the phrase “Your right to swing your fist ends at my nose”? Well, your right to stick your dick in someone (or have a dick stuck in you, or finger, or toy, or whatever) ends where the other person says no or is incapable of saying no. All people are people who must be respected as people. That is the base, core tenet at the bottom of everything. So if the pentad down the street is happy with their arrangement, why the fuck do I care who is doing what to whom? If two men or two women want to have a long-term, monogamous relationship, why the fuck do I care who is doing what to whom? No one is being hurt. Part of respect is allowing people to do what they like as long as it’s not hurting other people, since you must also respect the rights of the being-hurt person to not-be-hurt.

            That’s why domestic violence is illegal but marriage/dating is not. It’s why rape is illegal but sex is not. It’s why murder is illegal but self-defense is not. We as a society judge those and try to stop those who view other people as objects for their own amusement because people are people and all people have rights that must be respected. You abrogate your own rights to personal autonomy when you try to violate someone else’s. That’s why homosexuality and polyamory are fine- they don’t hurt anyone. Bestiality, rape, and pedophilia do hurt someone (or something, in the case of bestiality), so they are not fine. It’s really a very clear brightline.

          • Anat

            M, I’d say their right to stick a dick, finger, toy or anything else into another’s body starts when the other says yes.

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ M

            Anat, true. It makes the parallel less clear to word it properly, but you are right, consent must be freely and clearly given in order to be consent.

        • Thurston Howell III

          Does your insistance upon respect for one’s right to not be hurt extend to before one is actually born? ‘Cause that would make you, y’know, pro-life. Which would shock the hell out of me.

          …and how do you know the animal is hurt by bestiality? Did they tell you?

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ M

            Nope, because you’re not a person before you’re born. And even if you were, the woman’s right to her own body trumps the unborn’s right to life. If you disagree, I need your blood type and other hematologic factors because I know some people who could use a kidney, liver, or lung and will die without them. Their right to life trumps your right to control your body, right?

            We know the symptoms of pain in animals. They cry out, whimper, scream, writhe, and otherwise look like they’re in pain. They react to painful stimuli the same way people do by trying to get away. When people rape animals, they show all those symptoms of pain and try to get away. They behave like other abused animals when taken to shelters. Why would you think animals weren’t hurt? Besides, the animal can’t consent to sex with a person. Why would you ever think it was ok to have sex with anything that can’t consent?

          • Nate Frein

            If abortion is illegal that means that the fetus’ rights to another person’s body is trumping that person. I cannot just decide to steal your blood because I happen to need a transfusion. A pregnant woman who wishes to remain pregnant is volunteering her body and consenting to the fetus’ occupation.

            And the thing about consent is that it can be revoked. If the woman does not consent to the child’s usage of her body, then she has every right to remove that child from her body.

          • Thurston Howell III

            Good God, you people are absolutely inhuman.

          • Joe

            This coming from the guy who is quite literally arguing in favour of rape. Yeah, we’re the inhuman ones.

          • Nate Frein

            How are we inhuman? Because we prefer to give more rights to the actual human rather than the potential human?

        • Glodson

          You are beyond stupid.

          Could you actually come up with a cogent set of sentences, or are you going to blather on witlessly?

        • Andrew Kohler

          “You and your “baseline” rules. Your “fundamental” rules. Are you going all fundie on me, Glodson?”

          You seem, in this sarcastic response, to be assuming that the progressive position is relativist and that those of us who are taking the position that one can make certain definitive statements about what’s right and wrong are betraying our liberal principles (or hypocrites, perhaps?)

          “My right as an individual is to do that which I like, when I like!”

          This would be a fair statement (if not made sarcastically), although if we wish to create a world in which it is pleasant to live (I’d like that, for one), we need to have rules about how to treat others in society, so that we have recourse when damaged by other people’s actions. But you know that.

          ” Who are you to say when someone is emotionally prepared for sex? Or physically prepared?”

          Nate Frein addresses this point very nicely above. It’s true that this is a very tricky matter, as readiness varies from person to person. But, we can ascertain an age below which very few people would be ready to be sexually active (and also make distinctions with young people having sex with people their own age versus with middle-aged people, for example).

          “So you and your wife are monogamous. How precious.”

          This is indicative of the construction of the entire comment: substituting mockery and scorn for argument.

          “I cannot insult you enough for your intolerance and lack of inclusiveness.”

          This is a straw man parody of what people actually mean when they say intolerance and inclusiveness. Well, to be fair, you can find anyone who will argue any point, and therefore I’m sure some people do espouse the view which you parody. I say that they are wrong. I’d think you’d have respected Glodson’s willingness to name fundamental baselines for ethical behavior, but instead you ridicule him. Is this because you think that anyone who disagrees with you about homosexuality and abortion can’t possibly be morally serious?

          I note that you have yet to explain the basis for your moral code, or even to explain clearly what it is except for as it relates to abortion (and it seems safe to assume that you are not a fan of promiscuity or homosexuality). I think it is fair to say that many people here have given reasons for our positions. What are yours?

  • Loqi

    I’d respond to this paragraph by paragraph and point out everything that doesn’t make sense, but I think anyone with a handful of functioning neurons can spot most of them.

    • Loqi

      Bleh. That was meant to be a response to Thurston. PHP error and a resubmit broke the reply.

  • smrnda

    If one of your kids is getting divorced and the biggest concern is whether or not your teenage granddaughter will now be more sexually active, you really need to get your priorities rearranged. I’d imagine it would be worth worrying as to whether or not your granddaughter could end up being some kind of bargaining chip in a protracted conflict between her parents, what her feelings on the divorce might be (she might even like a decrease in conflict) or who she is going to live with or how this will affect her ability to handle long-term relationships in the future.

    But no, it’s ‘will this make her a *slut*’

  • BHaas

    I’m sad that I live in a world where sex is thought of as cheap entertainment with the value of a handshake. I think eventually, a generation is going to see through the muck, religious or not, and want something deeper and more sacred than what you describe as “sex.”

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