facebook link, politics, US Politics, USA

Contractualizing human sexuality.

It’s strangely fascinating to see how the American puritan and contractualist cultural heritage seems to interact with well-meaning (mostly feminist) “consent activism” and Christian/social conservatism. Here’s a great article from the NY Times outlining the extent and current legal status of prospective regulation.

Given the tendencies outlined in the NY Times article, I supppose it’s not entirely absurd to imagine how the – I think – generally well-meaning activists will wake up one day and wonder how they managed to accidentally contribute to ending the “age of acquarius” – the generally permissive socio-
sexual climate resulting from the “sexual revolution”.

And when they wonder how that happened, one of the answers may be found in a recent poll published in the Washington Post, question 32 of which inquires whether it’s worse if an innocent person gets punished for sexual assault, or a guilty person gets away with it.

While I thought “in dubio pro reo” would be a no-brainer, a principle deeply rooted in all but very few people’s intuitive understanding of justice, that is apparently not the case for current US students and recent graduates, which were surveyed. Half of the respondents think that it’s worse if a guilty person gets away than if an innocent person is punished. I suppose that also explains a lot more about the US judicial system than merely bizarre attempts to legally regulate sexual activity.


There’s a number of really interesting items in the survey, although many reply ratios make me wonder if people were either lying to give what they assumed to be socially acceptable answers or simply did not understand the question as such.

originally appeared on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tobias.schwarz/posts/10154215528294062

PS – if you ever need one, here’s how you get your consent contract: http://consentgear.com/collections/frontpage/products/consent-matchbook-consent-kit-with-condom-contract-consentconscious

Sex or Six Scrabble
almost a diary, battleofthesexes, sex

Master of Sex – der Kinsey von Mainz

Vor ein paar Monaten wurde ich über eine Pressemitteilung der Uni Mainz auf eine höchst spannende Studie zum Thema “Casual Sex” aufmerksam, die Andreas Baranowski vom Psychologischen Institut der Uni Mainz durchgeführt hat. Irgendwann im April haben wir uns daher mal zwei Stunden zusammengesetzt und darüber gesprochen. Seitdem hat es die Studie sogar schon bis in die Radioshow von Dan Savage in den USA geschafft. Ein paar Ergebnisse meines Gesprächs mit dem “Kinsey von Mainz” habe ich für Campus Mainz festgehalten, nachzulesen sind sie hier:

Das Geheimnis für spontanen Sex? Frauen sind komplexer. Und Männer auch.

Bildquelle: CC Attribution 2.0 Generic, Jonathan Rolande, https://www.flickr.com/photos/jonathanrolande/16986902546/

German contact ad - "looking for a nice or a mean woman..."
battleofthesexes, sex

Singles, Codes, and Evolution.

Ok, let’s face it. Mating, human mating in particular, is a complex communication process involving all sorts of biological and cultural codes that no one will ever really understand – except with hindsight, when we call it evolution, because that sounds much nicer than ignorance. Hence the proliferation of experts and (particularly paid for) advice on the matter – when no one actually knows anything, then everyone can contribute without ever really being wrong about what codes to use when.

Case in point, tonight I saw a poster ad for a singles’ party at the local university this Friday. Now I suppose some people may live under the impression that studying as a whole isn’t much more than a singles’ party, but apparently, that’s no longer the case – evolution, remember? But it wasn’t the party itself that I found interesting – apparently, the organisers are going to hand out differently coloured ribbons indicating a particular person’s willingness to flirt. While I understand that coloured ribbons or other signs have long played a certain role in identifying potential partners in particular, often sexual, subcultures, where colours are usually codes for the person’s specific preferences, I am a tad bit confused about colours indicating willingness to flirt at a singles’ party for students?

Seriously, how many different kinds of flirting are there that can be usefully differentiated? Well,  I guess I have to go and see evolution with my own eyes to find out…

australia, battleofthesexes, demography


Spiegel Online (German) apparently followed up on the “ugly duckling” Mont Isa, Queensland, story I recently wrote about and comes up with some interesting figures regarding the Australian gender balance. When I was told by an Australian friend late last year that “there are hardly any good men in Sydney these days” I did not think she was talking statistics. But it turns out she was. Apparently, the borough of Annandale is the best place for men to meet women in Sydney, as there are 1.48 of them for each male inhabitant. Unfortunately, they did not add age brackets to the raw numbers, which would have added some more interesting information. The problem is only slightly less pronounced in most other parts of Sydney and other coastal areas in Australia.

In general, the article explains, there are more women living in the coastal cities, and more men in the Outback – like in Mount Isa, or in Glenden, where there are apparently 23 men for every woman. It’s a geographic imbalance exacerbated by the economic boom in raw materials (which is driving men to mostly male mining cities in the Outback) that is adding to Australia’s apparent overall lack of about 100,000 men, most of whom are apparently working abroad nowadays.

Given such an imbalance  – 100.000 is significant for a population of only 21m – one has to wonder what keeps driving Australian men abroad and Australian women from rural areas to the Australian coast.


Ladies, it’s in his arginine-vasopressine.

Looks like Carrie Bradshaw will lose her job pretty soon. If this research (article from Sueddeutsche.de in German) from the Swedish Karolinska Institut is indeed correct, Ms Bradshaw will no longer need to write advice columns about the mysteries of the alleged male unwillingness to couple up. Instead, in the last installment of her column, she will tell her female readership to take their men and have his genome processed to see if there’s a gene that will allow the production of sufficient levels of arginine-vasopressine. If not, then, with all due scepticism, it is suggested by the research, he may not be too big a fan of monogamy. Although, depending on the culture of your choice, he may still be inclined to marry – even 86 times, like this Nigerian man did, who has apparently been ordered to divorce 82 of his wives by a sharia court…

australia, oddly enough

Updated: Oddly enough: Mount Isa, Queensland, edition

I’m the last person to deny that demography can be an important variable in social developments. Sex ratios in particular seem to be an important aspect when pondering about East German Hooliganism (75 women per 100 men in some areas) or the recruiting strategies of terrorist organisations in the Middle East (dying as a martyr while hoping to find 72 huris in paradise is could more appealing when the chance of actually meeting a woman while being alive is not just socially low, but also statistically – as in, say, Saudi-Arabia, where there were 100 women for 217 men in 2005, if I remember correctly). Foreign Policy even wondered whether “The Geopolitics of Sexual Frustration” -particularly in Asia where the invention of the sonogramm led to widespread female infanticide – were actually the world’s biggest security issue in the early 21st century. So, well, as Edward Hugh puts it so eloquently – demography matters.

And apparently, demography also matters in Mount Isa, Queensland, Australia.

Mount Isa, Queensland

Mount Isa, Queensland

The town’s mayor, John Molony, was apparently so troubled by the excess testosterone in the city that he did not want to wait for a natural equilibrium to develop. In what may be considered a miner-cover of Emma Lazarus – Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free – according to this BBC article and this one from Reuters oddly enough, he has come under fire after saying that female “ugly ducklings” might benefit from the town’s shortage of women.

“with five blokes to every girl, may I suggest that beauty-disadvantaged women should proceed to Mount Isa”.

With a gentlemanly mayor like that, I wonder what kept any woman from moving there in the first place…

Update: The Sydney Morning Herald has a follow-up with some more interesting information – “Beauty-Disadvantaged Singles Outcry“. There’s a good chance Mr Molony will be the first mayor worldwide to have caused his constituents to rally for telling them they’re not sufficiently sexually attractive –

“It paints the women here as second rate and suggests that the men will settle for anything. He has put everyone down,” she said. “We’re going to get together to put forward our opinion.” Up to 100 women, carrying banners and placards, were expected to take part in the protest.

The best thing is, though, that he apparently got his numbers wong – the Sydney Morning Herald cites the 2006 census, according to which males apparently made up 52.6 per cent of the town’s population of nearly 20,000.

battleofthesexes, quicklink, US Politics, USA

Estrogene Overload.

The NYT’s Maureen Dowd comes up with a rather counter-intuitive explanation for Obama’s recent success in the Democratic primaries: voters aren’t tired of feminity or scared of estrogene in their commander in chief, they seem to want more. But they just don’t believe they can’t get enough of it from Hillary…

"Kachelmann-Urteil-Alice-Schwarzer1" by Itu - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kachelmann-Urteil-Alice-Schwarzer1.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Kachelmann-Urteil-Alice-Schwarzer1.jpg
battleofthesexes, compulsory reading

Haarig nicht nur unter den Achseln. Alice Schwarzer diskutiert nicht gerne.

Viel böses Blut floß aufgrund von Alice Schwarzers Entscheidung, für die Bild-Zeitung Werbung zu machen – mit dem Slogan “Jede Wahrheit braucht eine Mutige, die sie ausspricht.” Nachdem Alice Schwarzer ja ohnehin glaubt, “Die Antwort” zu kennen, war es für den Springer Verlag sicher ein Leichtes, ihr mit dem Slogan so sehr zu schmeicheln, daß ihr schwarz vor Augen wurde.

Daß jemand, der unerschütterlich glaubt, die Wahrheit zu kennen, lieber verkündet denn diskutiert, ist zwar theoretisch durchaus einleuchtend, aber praktisch mitunter eher verstörend – wie Stefan Niggemeier angesichts des von kritischen Kommentaren gereinigten Gästebuches auf Alice Schwarzers Webseite erfahren mußte. Neu ist daran allerdings gar nichts. Nutzte sie Diskussion und Provokation vor langer Zeit gerne und so oft wie möglich, scheint Alice Schwarzers Unwille sich auf kritische Diskussionen einzulassen in dem Maße zugenommen zu haben, in dem eine Vielzahl ihrer Ansichten zur bundesrepublikanischen Mehrheitsposition wurden.

Zum Geburtstag von Alice Schwarzers Zeitschrift “Emma” habe ich Anfang des Jahres einen bis dahin unveröffentlichten Bericht über meine Begegnung mit der Frontfrau des deutschen Feminismus veröffentlicht. Es ist ein Bericht über eine Begegnung, die mir schon vor einiger Zeit – Anfang 2004 – klar machte, was Stefan Niggemeier offenbar erst angesichts der Reinigung der Schwarzerschen Webseite aufgefallen ist: Alice Schwarzer diskutiert nicht gerne!

Aber fangen wir am Anfang an…

Die von einer Künstlergruppe iranischer Exilantinnen organisierte Diskussion im Mainzer Landesmuseum stand unter dem Titel “Kopftuch als System – machen Haare verrückt”. Dank der Zusage von Alice Schwarzer zog die kaum beworbene Veranstaltung ein überaus buntes bundesdeutsches Publikum an, bestehend aus mehr oder weniger aggressiven iranischen Exilanten, fanatischen und weniger fanatischen Trägerinnen verschiedenster Kopftuchvarianten, jeder Menge “geifernder Emmas” (herzerwärmend, an mich gerichtet: “Was machen Sie eigentlich als einzelner Mann hier?”, “Für Männer gibt’s hier nichts!”), konservativen und konservativeren Leitkulturpropagandisten auf Koalitionssuche, einigen liberalen Bildungsbürgern, und einer Handvoll Journalisten und Kriegsberichterstattern wie mir.


advertisement, battleofthesexes, oddly enough, photoblogging, post-modernism

Tragikomisch. Bittersüß. Zielgruppen­gerecht.

Eine offensichtlich ernst gemeinte Kontaktanzeige an einem Schwarzen Brett, die zumindest die Aufmerksamkeit meiner Kamera auf sich zog.

Soviele Fragen diese Anzeige auch aufwerfen mag, eines scheint mir recht sicher: Sollte sich wider Erwarten doch eine Frau auf diese Anzeige hin melden, dann wird sie wohl entweder wirklich “böse” sein, oder aber “eine ganz Liebe” mit einem mehr als verständnisvollen Humor. Dar Inserent mag sich vielleicht über seine Präferenzen nicht ganz im Klaren sein, aber er hat, so scheint mir, mit Text und Gesamtanmutung seiner Anzeige, ob nun zufällig intuitiv oder ganz bewußt, den richtigen Ton für jede der angesprochenen Zielgruppen gefunden.