Mormon Young Women, Modesty, and the Porn-Addled Youth of Today

June 15, 2011    By: Geoff J @ 6:05 pm   Category: Modesty,Mormon Culture/Practices

My oldest daughter Samantha just finished 8th grade and is preparing to enter high school in the fall. She is brilliant and gorgeous. She is also sharp tongued and salty. The boys she has been going to school with for years know this about her. They also know she is Mormon. For those reasons they learned early on not to mess with her. Those who have messed have had their heads handed to them enough times to teach the rest of the kids to watch their steps.

But these boys certainly don’t mind messing with the other (non-Mormon) girls. You wouldn’t believe the amount of sexual harassment that these 8th grade boys regularly foisted upon their female classmates. Sam reported that groping girls, rubbing crotches on girls (sometimes in basketball shorts and aroused), and all kinds of other sexual harassment were basically daily occurrences in her school. The most disturbing part about her tales has been how much the girls encouraged and enabled this behavior. While it was traditional for the girls to superficially complain among themselves about the boys sexually aggressive behavior it was clear that many of these girls loved the attention. In other words, there was very little “Don’t!” and “Stop!” and too much “don’t stop” from these girls. It baffled and dismayed Sam and we spent may hours analyzing and discussing the situation with her.

Midway through the year a handsome kid moved in to the school and locked in on Sam pretty quickly. He was too new to have been trained that Sam was not someone to be trifled with. She reported that a few weeks after moving in he openly said to Sam and another girl: “I can’t stop thinking about boobs and vaginas”. (!!!!). Seriously. Apparently that is what passes for having game these days. Of course upon hearing this story Kristen and I immediately dubbed the kid Vagina Boy (VB for short) and he is known as that to this day. But besides the ridiculousness of that kind of talk it dawned on me that this is one of the results of easy and ubiquitous access to porn on the internet these days. He was no doubt being completely honest with that comment. I strongly suspect such easy access to online porn for these boys is contributing to these boys becoming sexual harassers en masse.

But that brings me back to the Mormons. There are a lot of Mormons here is my part of Arizona. I’d say 20%+ of Sam’s 8th grade class were active Mormon kids. They tended to hang together and as the Mormon clique they were sort of resented by the other kids. But the sexual harassers never ever messed with the Mormon girls. The Mormon girls made the message clear with their more-modest-than-average dress and behavior that such advances were not welcome at all. The funny thing is that when the new kid started treating Sam like one of the other girls she didn’t even have time to verbally rip the kid’s head off before the non-Mormon boys in the grade came down on the kid pretty hard with reprimands like “You don’t talk to Sam that way!” and “Sam is not like that”.

Anyhow, recent discussions about how we teach our Young Women about modesty made me think of this story. Dressing modestly is part of the uniform of the Mormon “tribe” here in our area. It designates the Mormon girls (and the handful of adopted non-Mormons in the clique) as different. All of these markers are important I think. And they can indeed serve as a protection to our kids.

59 Comments »

  1. Thanks for sharing. As a father of daughters (younger than yours) I worry about this. I detest the way our young women are (sometimes) taught to view themselves as the arbiters of young boys’ sexuality, but your experience shows the positive side of those efforts.

    Comment by BrianJ — June 15, 2011 @ 7:05 pm

  2. Well if it makes you feel any better, the Mormon boys are much less likely to be involved in the groping and various sexual harassment. Plus then tend to play the role of defenders/protectors to the Mormon girls.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 15, 2011 @ 8:01 pm

  3. Geoff, a million thanks for this post. I’m blown away by these stories and so grateful for the standards our kids have that can help them have clear boundaries they hold to and can be known for.

    And I think it’s more than just protection; it’s power.

    Comment by michelle — June 15, 2011 @ 10:57 pm

  4. Sounds like you done good with that one, Geoff. Keep it up!

    Comment by Jeff G — June 15, 2011 @ 11:28 pm

  5. I strongly suspect such easy access to online porn for these boys is contributing to these boys becoming sexual harassers en masse.

    I too have consulted my gut, only in this case it tells me you are wrong.

    Just look at those sex besotted Europeans–boobs and vaginas as far as the eye can see and yet their rates of sexual assualt are lower than in the US.

    If this natural human instinct is common to the species, what could explain the difference? Unattractive armpits?

    Comment by Peter LLC — June 16, 2011 @ 12:44 am

  6. “Sexual assault” Peter? I don’t think that has much to do with this post unless the stats you are referencing inexplicably include stats on sexually aggressive flirting among middle schoolers (the vast majority of which is invited).

    One problem is that while I am calling the behaviors in question “sexual harassment” most of the girls who are part of it seem to call it goofing around with the guys.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 16, 2011 @ 12:51 am

  7. You linked easy access to porn to “sexually aggressive behavior.” I noted that a region of the world famed for its easy access to porn (TV! Newspapers! The beach! Cf. #88 in the thread that inspired this post) has lower rates of (certain types of) sexually aggressive behavior.

    Sure, the rubbing and groping reported here is probably apples compared to the oranges reflected in crime stats, but either way I don’t see a positive correlation between porn accessibilty and sexually aggressive behavior across the human species.

    Comment by Peter LLC — June 16, 2011 @ 3:28 am

  8. Porn certainly doesn’t contribute to a healthy mind, and to a weak minded young idiot, how long before the mind starts to effect behavior? These boys have no respect for women or girls.

    Comment by Sean — June 16, 2011 @ 4:10 am

  9. I’m not so sure the behavior can be laid at the doorstep of Internet porn. What you describe was standard male behavior at my high school more than 30 years ago. I still remember the dumb things the guys said (to this day, for example, I cannot hear the Eagles’ “There’s Gonna Be A Heartache Tonight” without hearing it in my head the way the guys belted it out in the hallways: “There’s Gonna Be A Hard-On Tonight.”)

    Comment by Coffinberry — June 16, 2011 @ 5:22 am

  10. Wow Coffinberry.

    If you somehow believe that there isn’t more porn around today, that it isn’t more accesible than it used to be, and that it isn’t affecting todays youth, all I can say is wow.

    WRT comparing “that” type of harassment with “this” type of harrasment, again, all I can say is wow.

    Geoff J.
    I would be tempted to invite the boys parents, with the boy over the dinner (without the rest of your family), call him VB, and explain to his parents why. Then I’d launch into an explanation of how the things reflect on us and our families.

    Comment by psychochemiker — June 16, 2011 @ 7:00 am

  11. Psychochemiker,

    Just because I didn’t describe the daily breast grabbing and butt squeezing, the crotch rubbing, the coming to school drunk, the expectation of sex before age 14, and the fact that many (probably close to 40%) girls dropped out of our high school before finishing, doesn’t mean that the experience I was describing was any different from what goes on in schools nowadays. (Yeah, and let’s not go into the temple recommend interviews where the branch president asked if I “let boys grab my breast”… as if there were choices involved here. Baloney.) I personally get really really really REALLY tired of the woe-is-us attitude that schools are worse now than they used to be that I hear these days. I have kids in middle school, high school, and college. I volunteer there. I know how it is now. I know how it was then. And I do take offense that you would assume that this is an invalid comparison.

    I call bull on it being all about the availability of Porn. What it does have to do with is the breakdown of civilization, and teaching young people how to respect one another.

    Comment by Coffinberry — June 16, 2011 @ 7:21 am

  12. Pub Med 2011 Associations Between Online Pornography and Sexual Behavior Among Adolescents: Myth or Reality? This study aimed to compare the sexual behavior of adolescents who were or were not exposed to online pornography and concluded that pornography exposure is not associated with risky sexual behaviors Risky sexual behaviors were not associated with online pornography exposure except males who were exposed had higher odds of not having used a condom at last intercourse. Bi/homosexual orientation and Internet use parameters were not associated. Males who wanted exposure were more likely to be sensation-seekers. Exposed girls were more likely to be students, higher sensation-seekers, early maturers, and to have a highly educated father. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21290259

    Comment by Howard — June 16, 2011 @ 7:42 am

  13. Geoff: What you describe is a violation of Title VII and constitutes actionable sexual harassment. If it goes on at school then complain. If the school official do nothing, then sue the crap out of them. Really, unless someone says enough is enough, it will not change.

    If some kid said that my daughter, I’d let him know personally that it is not acceptable and if it happens even one more time action will be taken.

    Not so sure about the porn connection. In my view tt has more to do with what Hollywood foists upon us in a never-ending stream of “this is the way it is and it’s great” with hook-ups and meaningless sex constantly on TV. Hollywood has led the corruption of our society and it has led a vast majority of a generation to accept evil as just great. We now have shows glamorizing the playboy mansion, bachelors and bach-etts who hook up and have sex without consequences and accepted as the moral norm. The number of people who consider unmarried sex (even among Christian denominations) as morally acceptable is above 50% for the first time in the US.

    I also place accountability on those “Christian” and other faiths who want acceptance so much that they won’t even talk to their congregations about premarital sex. They have no only capitulated but enabled.

    Comment by Blake — June 16, 2011 @ 8:04 am

  14. Okay Geoff maybe… Pub Med 2008 Early sexual experiences: the role of Internet access This study discovered males with Internet access during the ages of 12 to 17 reported significantly younger ages for first oral sex compared to males without Internet access. In addition, male and female participants with Internet access, between the ages 12 to 17, reported younger ages for first sexual intercourse compared to participants without Internet access. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18422408

    Comment by Howard — June 16, 2011 @ 8:14 am

  15. Of course this is harrassment. Just because “some” girls like the attention and like to interact with boys this way, doesn’t mean they all do. However, both the boys and the girls are being socialized to consider this appropriate behavior. I pretty much guarantee that there are plenty of girls at the school who are acutely uncomfortable with it but just don’t say anything (they try not to think about it and don’t know to label it as sexual harrassment or assault).
    While every school is going to have its own culture, and some schools might have more of this behavior than others, it is upsetting that there seems to be more of this kind of sexual behavior in general and at a younger age.

    Comment by jks — June 16, 2011 @ 8:15 am

  16. Peter (#7): but either way I don’t see a positive correlation between porn accessibilty and sexually aggressive behavior across the human species.

    If you want to believe that knock yourself man.

    Coffinberry (#11) — Keep telling yourself that. Maybe pick up lines like “I can’t stop thinking about boobs and vaginas” are old classics to you as well? I normally lean toward the “things never really change” line of thinking as well but in this case I think things really are shifting.

    I agree that teaching young people how to respect each other is key. That is why porn is such a likely culprit in my opinion. It teaches depravity and disrespect in powerful ways. Why on earth would you have faith that teaching positive behavior would work with young people but teaching negative behavior wouldn’t? That is ludicrous.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 16, 2011 @ 9:18 am

  17. jks (#15) — I agree. But since people were starting to bring up sexual assault studies I realized we need to be careful to parse the behaviors here.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 16, 2011 @ 9:21 am

  18. I think it is awesome that you have such an open and communicative relationship with your kids, Geoff. A great example.

    Comment by J. Stapley — June 16, 2011 @ 9:23 am

  19. I agree that teaching young people how to respect each other is key. That is why porn is such a likely culprit in my opinion. It teaches depravity and disrespect in powerful ways. Why on earth would you have faith that teaching positive behavior would work with young people but teaching negative behavior wouldn’t? That is ludicrous.

    I think, perhaps, what Coffinberry is saying is that porn is not itself the cause of disrespect; access to porn is perhaps better seen as a symptom of society’s continued tolerance of sexually demeaning women. Teaching disrespect for women has been going on for ages and today internet porn is just one way it’s done—but merely take away the internet, and you’ll still have all the same problems.

    Kind of analogous to “guns don’t kill people”…?

    Comment by BrianJ — June 16, 2011 @ 12:07 pm

  20. BrianJ,

    In the exchange you are referring to the topic was teaching youth how to behave. I think it should be obvious that the behavioral examples shown in pornography are very powerful teachers. Especially powerful on the minds of 11-14 year old middle school kids who are often just starting puberty.

    So if you are saying porn itself is not a problem then I think you are dead wrong. It is a problem because it is such an effective and influential teacher.

    This whole nebulous “society is teaching disrespect for women is the REAL problem rather than porn” line is trite and beyond useless in my opinion.

    So basically — it looks like I completely disagree with your comment.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 16, 2011 @ 1:18 pm

  21. Great post. I agree that access to porn plays a role in all of this. Its probably both a cause of the behavior and a symptom of a deeply sick society.

    I need to talk to my middle school age boy about this. Under no circumstances will he be permitted to behave this way or permit others to behave this way in his presence. I would hope that he and his jock LDS friends in his school can be a force for good.

    You have now earned major props with me as a Father

    Comment by bbell — June 16, 2011 @ 1:26 pm

  22. It teaches depravity and disrespect in powerful ways.

    Especially powerful on the minds of 11-14 year old middle school kids who are often just starting puberty.

    Its probably both a cause of the behavior and a symptom of a deeply sick society.

    To me that is saying nothing more than that the root problem is we are part of the human species. If only we weren’t human anymore we wouldn’t behave like humans! Not useful.

    Wishing we weren’t part of this species doesn’t change those instincts that have been refining in us since the dawn of man.

    Comment by Peter LLC — June 16, 2011 @ 1:58 pm

  23. Hehe. You even suck at being a troll Peter. Your ineptitude never fails to impress me. (But I am flattered that you are still stalking me.)

    Your using of my quotes from another site in this context mostly shows that you didn’t comprehend what I was saying to begin with. Yes, male humans will always be motivated to seek female sexual partners. No one is denying that and of course this propagates the species. That does NOT mean that all male humans will choose to rub their crotches on females in middle school. That is a learned behavior not an instinctual one.

    So absolutely we must recognize that we have instincts as humans and not pretend they don’t exist. At the same time we work to bridle and channel our instincts to create a more celestial society among ourselves.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 16, 2011 @ 2:10 pm

  24. Peter LLC. We are called to put off the natural man by none other then King Benjamin. I suggest we try.

    Comment by bbell — June 16, 2011 @ 2:10 pm

  25. Concurring with #23

    Comment by bbell — June 16, 2011 @ 2:11 pm

  26. Scary post. I hate to say it but I think this kind of behavior will spread like wildfire in an environment where it is not swiftly clamped down on. Kids at that age have a very weak frame of reference and often can’t evaluate the seriousness of their behavior. Having spent some time around kids of that age, I am not surprised that many of the girls like the attention. Adult supervisors need to be sending a swift no-tolerance message.

    I remember in junior high it became popular to “pants” people (yank someone’s shorts down when they were in the hall between classes) as a game among friends and having adults crack down on that. It didn’t occur to me how bad that could be when I was in 7th grade. Luckily it was not tolerated.

    I don’t think porn is responsible for kids being immature (a big part of this problem), but I do think it is responsible for kids acting out in much more graphic and sexually-realistic ways. I also think it changes the sexual expectations of the youth who are exposed to it as their first introduction and only exposure to sexuality. Obviosly porn has been around for a long time, but I think we can all agree the numbers of children exposed and the kinds of porn available have gone in a bad direction.

    Comment by Jacob J — June 16, 2011 @ 2:17 pm

  27. I don’t know if I buy that porn plays into this at all. I’ll use myself as an example. I’ve viewed porn for the last 29 years. I’ve never made any sexual comments to anyone. I’ve never cheated on my wife. My porn use hasn’t progressed, meaning I view the same kind of porn today as I did 29 years ago (Softcore). I’ve never committed a felony. I make a good living and don’t have social problems.

    I think the disrespect of women comes from poor parenting more than anything. More single moms raising children with no dad in the picture.

    Comment by Larry — June 16, 2011 @ 2:25 pm

  28. Geoff,

    I am not denying that porn is more available now and is a vector for the poison of objectifying women. However, I am absolutely positive that this kind of behavior has been around for a very long time in places where society has broken down, and where women’s usefulness is primarily measured by their function as sexual objects. Porn exacerbates the decay, no question. It may even move the decay into places that it might not have reached before. But to say that Porn is the (primary) cause of the decay, I’m not so sure about that, because the decay predated the Internet pan-distribution of porn to youngsters. That is what I am arguing.

    Comment by Coffinberry — June 16, 2011 @ 2:33 pm

  29. Jacob (#26): I don’t think porn is responsible for kids being immature (a big part of this problem), but I do think it is responsible for kids acting out in much more graphic and sexually-realistic ways.

    Yes. I agree.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 16, 2011 @ 2:36 pm

  30. Larry,

    We can all agree that the internet has made porn available in ways that the horny teen boys in decades past only dreamed of. When I was a kid in the 70s and 80s you had to work to get your hands on a dirty magazine. (And work to that end we did…) Too many kids these days have virtually limitless access to stills and video of porn.

    So while it is nice that you are not a sexual predator of any kind it is also unrelated to my point here. My hypothesis is that unfettered access to porn for many 11-14 year old kids these days is in part “responsible for kids acting out in much more graphic and sexually-realistic ways” — to quote Jacob.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 16, 2011 @ 2:44 pm

  31. Coffinberry (#28),

    No one is denying that women have been often treated poorly by men throughout the ages. (Although I will posit that our modern western society treats women better than any society in history.) But that is not really the topic of this post. See Jacob’s comment #26. He is getting the heart of what we are talking about in this thread.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 16, 2011 @ 2:49 pm

  32. I am very happy to know that the LDS youth in your area are making it very well-known that that they have zero tolerance for inappropriate behaviour such as that which you’ve described. As a professional educator, I’d encourage you to contact the school and report the incidents, though. Far too often, things like this happen and then nobody says anything, which sends the message to the perpetrators that it is acceptable. And, unfortunately, far too much can happen at schools that teachers simply are not able to catch.

    There is one line from your post that has me concerned, and I was wondering if you could explain it more:

    “The Mormon girls made the message clear with their more-modest-than-average dress and behavior that such advances were not welcome at all.”

    This can be interpreted as saying that girls who do not dress and behave as modestly are sending the message that such advances are welcome. I don’t think this is true. In fact, there is a somewhat large international movement in response to this kind of thinking that came about after a Toronto police officer told college students, especially girls, that one way to avoid being sexually assaulted is to not dress “like a slut”–as if immodest clothing is consent to be assaulted.

    I think we need to be very careful about sending the message that victims of sexual assault (and yes, what you have described in this post is most definitely sexual assault) are somehow to be blamed for what happened to them because of how they dress or even behave. I don’t think that was your intention, but I wanted to seek clarification.

    Comment by Alex T. Valencic — June 16, 2011 @ 2:50 pm

  33. I should clarify, so that you understand why I am pretty certain it’s not just Porn at work here. I think there are other underlying commonalities that form the base on which the porn problem can grow.

    The location of my experience was highly rural, highly isolated, profoundly poor, with extreme incidence of domestic violence in an age where domestic violence was not yet recognized as a social problem. Sex and sexuality existed as a tool for wielding power. One 9th grade classmate explained to me why she never bothered to learn to read or write… it was because she knew she could get what she needed through sex. An 8th grader dropped out of school to marry her step-father after her mother died, so she could take care of her siblings. We talked about her plight in hushed whispers on the bus. Kids necked on the school bus; a different 9th grade classmate got pregnant, and rumor had it the child was conceived on the bus (hour+ bus rides each way can kinda do that). There were not merely high schoolers on this bus; the school served pre-K through 12 grade. Beer was often stashed in the crawlspace under the gym, and students knew where to find it. Drinking was a common escape mechanism learned at home. Dads had both wives and girlfriends.Beatings were the standard disciplinary measure. Highschool boys’ measure of manhood was publicly discussed at the general store around the woodstove — if his girlfriend wasn’t pregnant, there was something wrong with him. A Mormon classmate escaped the pressure by marrying at 17.

    There was no internet, no cable TV in this place. The decay came from disintegration of family and tacit acceptance of the objectification of women as sexual objects or beasts of burden; it seemed to me to be at least somewhat learned, and related to poverty and hopelessness. It is these social issues that create the decay. The decay is a petri dish for the poison of porn.

    Comment by Coffinberry — June 16, 2011 @ 2:52 pm

  34. Alex,

    First, yes, we did work with the school and the school eventually came to grips with how pervasive this problem was becoming. Some kids were suspended as a result.

    But as for the advances being welcomed… unfortunately they really were welcomed by a lot of the girls. Sam would have arguments with a lot of her non-Mormon friends who were part of it all and those would vigorously defend the practice and the boys. Sam even had one friend who she heard whisper to a kid “not around Sam”. In other words, “let’s play this groping game later so I won’t get yelled at by my Mormon friend for enjoying this”.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 16, 2011 @ 2:58 pm

  35. Since I was writing that dissertation (sorry), I didn’t see your post pointing me to # 26 until afterward.

    I think maybe, then, that we are agreeing. My children’s schools crack down on that crap that you describe. (I participated in the parent advisory board that helped stop the declining culture at our middle school.) It certainly happens less in my kids’ schools than it did in my childhood.

    As has been suggested above (and which you should be commended for) the real cure for both the decay and the poison is for parents to communicate with their children and to be actively involved in school and community so as to say “No. We do not tolerate this here.”

    Comment by Coffinberry — June 16, 2011 @ 2:59 pm

  36. And since we were cross-posting with #34 and #35, one last thought based on what you said…

    My observation about pre-adolescent and adolescent girls over nearly half a century of life is that many youngsters have a real and abiding need to satisfy their love language of touch. In a day when men leave families, and even those who stay are afraid to show physical affection for their daughters (either because they’re worried about doing it wrong or because they’ve been socialized to believe that all physical affection must be sexual), too many girls are starving for a loving appreciative touch. The only way they know how to get it–and they will get it–is through a sexualized touch. I suspect that no corrective admonition toward the participating girls will be successful unless there is also some mechanism provided to satisfy that deep craving for a good touch.

    Comment by Coffinberry — June 16, 2011 @ 3:04 pm

  37. Coffinberry (#36),

    You won’t be surprised to learn the girl I described in #34 has no father in her home/life.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 16, 2011 @ 3:25 pm

  38. By the way, I add my voice to all the people who have been grateful to hear that the Mormon community at Sam’s school are sticking together and standing for something. Bravo.

    Comment by Jacob J — June 16, 2011 @ 3:31 pm

  39. Well that dynamic has positives and negatives Jacob. Some of the positives are evident in this post. The negatives are that the Mormons tend to be very cloistered and cliquish and thus not always liked or appreciated by others.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 16, 2011 @ 5:25 pm

  40. Yes, I 100% agree that the prevalence of p*rn is increasing this type of behavior. It’s downright scary.

    Comment by Stephanie — June 16, 2011 @ 8:28 pm

  41. Geoff,

    Since you agree with Jacob #26, then you should not disagree with me (#19, 20). (Although your disagreement may have to do with me not being clear.)

    So if you are saying porn itself is not a problem…

    Not saying that. (But I can see how my “guns” analogy could be misinterpreted.)

    This whole nebulous “society is teaching disrespect for women is the REAL problem rather than porn” line is trite and beyond useless in my opinion.

    It’s okay* with me if you don’t have a use for it. I do though:

    Question: Why is porn bad?
    Answer: Because it promotes disrespect for women and cheapens sexual relationships (among other problems).

    *With the correction, once again, that I am not saying that “porn is not a problem.” Thus, I would never utter the phrase “society is teaching disrespect for women is the REAL problem rather than porn”, as I see both of them as REAL problems.

    Comment by BrianJ — June 16, 2011 @ 11:24 pm

  42. Brian,

    I was overly grouchy in my earlier response to you. Sorry about that.

    I am pretty much on board with your Q and A in #41. It is a good question though and I’d like to give it more thought.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 16, 2011 @ 11:43 pm

  43. Question: Why is porn bad?
    Answer: Pornography has addictive qualities but more importantly it isolates you and often teaches you to disassociate sex from real loving relationships. The objectification of women is a secondary issue resulting from the learned or reenforced disassociation.

    Comment by Howard — June 17, 2011 @ 5:54 am

  44. All that porn is making you grouchy?

    ;)

    Comment by BrianJ — June 17, 2011 @ 6:28 am

  45. What an insightful post. Thanks.

    the Mormon boys are much less likely to be involved in the groping and various sexual harassment. Plus then tend to play the role of defenders/protectors to the Mormon girls.

    We just got back from a youth handcart trek. We did a “Mormon Battallion” were the young men got pulled away at the base of .5 mile steep ridge and had to wait for the women near the top where we could watch them toiling up. When we saw them toiling up, some of the young men started to cry. The only tears from them I saw the whole trek.

    It occurs to me that while men have a strong need for sex (“I can’t stop thinking about boobs and vaginas”) as an expression of their manhood, they also have a strong need to be protective of women as an expression of their manhood. Modest dress and modest action welcomes that protection and allows young men to be men in a more positive way.

    Comment by Adam G. — June 17, 2011 @ 6:40 am

  46. Hehe. You even suck at being a troll Peter. Your ineptitude never fails to impress me.

    See, that’s what I have come to appreciate about you, Geoff. You might be a man who has everything going for him—a superior intellect, squared away kids and a comfortable middle-class lifestyle—but where others might turn inwards, you haven’t forgotten the downtrodden. Whether it’s the pubescent minor at your daughter’s school struggling with powerful evolutionary drives while growing up in an environment of filth without adequate parental guidance or the cloth-headed commentors on your own blog [never let it be said we cannot agree on anything!]—you are always ready with a helping hand and a friendly word of encouragement. So while I can’t speak for Vagina Boy, I would just like to take this opportunity to say thanks for the love, bro!

    Now that the scales having fallen from my eyes, I can see that your argument re: porn and sexual violence is built not on the sand of inductive fallacies but on the rock of truth. Perhaps you might consider developing this insight (“accessibility makes the man”) into a series of posts illustrating how the ubiquitous gaming console has turned today’s 11–14 year olds into an unstoppable class of professional basketball players, deadly special operators and expert race car drivers. Or, short of that, how easy access to video games has raised the overall incidence of three pointers, headshots and pole positions at middle schools around the globe.

    Comment by Peter LLC — June 17, 2011 @ 8:41 am

  47. Ha! Alright, I’ll admit it. That opening paragraph was a good comeback Peter.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 17, 2011 @ 8:45 am

  48. Adam (#45),

    Thanks for the anecdote. I completely agree with your conclusions.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 17, 2011 @ 9:02 am

  49. Pointing to the euros is always a favorite among contrarians to modesty. You might as well point to natives like aborigines who leave it all hanging out. Ooops, except for they have a huge community rape problem, especially among children.

    But what about the euros? Well, generally speaking, in a place where prostitution is legal, and where women and men of loose morals is just a disco around the corner, I suppose instances of rape would not be as great?

    Except of course, when the perp then comes to a society which doesn’t really appreciate their women being treated like sex accessories – Strauss-Kahn I’m looking at you.

    So the euro defenders are right. If you want to have a completely immodest culture where a very large percentage of the culture has sex more readily (to put it charitably), you probably don’t have as much rape and sexual harassment, because it’s not rape or harassment if the other agrees and they’ve been conditioned by their society to accept it. Of course, violent rape, etc. still exist there and their reporting of it is in all likely hood lower than in the US (difference in euro/us reaction to Strauss-Kahn, I’m looking to you).

    That’s not a very keen observation for some to make and it doesn’t speak well of the culture that conditions those things, but it’s an argument that continues to surface.

    Comment by sex-euros — June 17, 2011 @ 9:12 am

  50. Look, I don’t know that we have to believe that Europe is a gigantic Tailhook Convention to get what Geoff J. is saying here. Europe is not noticeably more immodest in its day to day dress than America is, and, anyway, what constitutes modesty is partly formed by social conventions that can vary from society to society.

    Comment by Adam G. — June 17, 2011 @ 9:19 am

  51. “I don’t see a positive correlation between porn accessibilty and sexually aggressive behavior”

    Just to address that remark, it flies in the face of reason. Women who withold/deny sex, but are forced to experience it by definition are raped or assaulted. Women who freely give it and are encouraged by society to do so are not. It would stand to reason, a society which looks down upon sexual immorality would have more women saying “no”. A society which does not look down upon sexual immorality would have more women saying “yes”.

    Now expose men who are already pretty biologically hyped up with their sex drive and tend to be more aggressive (not always the case, can apply to women too) to porn and a plethora of stimulating behavior and mix that with their desires and add in a bunch of women that society has taught that sexual immorality is wrong and what do you get? Men demanding “yes” and women insisting “no”.

    So, Peter LLC is entirely correct that in a society where women are conditioned that “yes with as many partners as you like” is a good and normal and healthy thing, will gradually see lower instances of rape. It’s only when the woman says “no” that it’s rape. Some might as well just offensively wonder why we just can’t enjoy it more like the enlightened euros and then we wouldn’t have such a problem!

    Comment by sex-euros — June 17, 2011 @ 9:20 am

  52. Adam G, I’m not placing day to day dress as the cause of Europe’s views on immorality, but rather the attitude toward sex outside of marriage. I think the clothing, etc. follows based on that attitude not the other way around. Although, I think it’s probably not so linear and the relationship is likely a recursive one which “feeds” back into the desires and attitudes of the youth and their dress.

    Comment by sex-euros — June 17, 2011 @ 9:22 am

  53. sex-euros,

    That is interesting stuff and all but the rape stuff is not really on topic with this post. See comment #26 again for a summary the primary topic here.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 17, 2011 @ 9:35 am

  54. #51—Your argument is largely irrelevant, since most rape is not committed by men seeking sex, but by men seeking power and control.

    Comment by SilverRain — June 17, 2011 @ 2:57 pm

  55. Geoff, in 10 years can I pay your daughter to come teach that attitude to mine?

    Comment by proud daughter of eve — June 18, 2011 @ 4:11 pm

  56. Silver – if that is the case perhaps you can explain this?
    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/ten-miles-square/2011/06/the_startling_decline_in_rape030041.php

    Power and control is an academically contrived one. And I think it relates pretty well to those sociopaths out there. But something tells me a decline in rape in society is not the result of a decline in men seeking power and control… Geoff J’s point taken that it’s not about rape.

    Comment by s.e. — June 21, 2011 @ 1:32 pm

  57. There is a guy in the stake next to ours who wrote a book on this which has a lot of bewildering stats in it. (87% of teens have looked at porn in the last two weeks, etc.)

    I’ll see if I can dig up a link.

    Comment by Matt W. — August 3, 2011 @ 11:48 am

  58. Well that was easier than I thought.

    Here is the book.

    Comment by Matt W. — August 3, 2011 @ 11:49 am

  59. I find it amazing that what was considered pornographic when I was growing up, is all over tv, movies, magazines, and the internet WITHOUT being called pornographic. I don’t think anyone is blaming easily accessible pornography (by today’s standards) totally responsible for the overt display and expectation of sexual behavior by teens. But, it certainly has its effect, I don’t care what studies you site. I raised both boys and girls. I work within the school system, and I am acutely aware of what goes on in the lives of today’s teens.
    First, let me say that when I was young, pornography had to be snuck out of the house, and was viewed only occasionally. Today, it is available 24/7, for free, within our own home, and is far more explicit than what was available back then. The combination of availability and explicit detail has a lot to do with the suxual behavior of teens today. To even insinuate that viewing pornography has no effect on the bahavior of today’s teens is rediculous at best.

    Comment by lyndabirg — February 25, 2012 @ 8:52 am

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