Tag Archives: sex

Sex and Bristol Palin

PalinJohnstonabstinenceI have to say, 19-year-old Bristol Palin, daughter of Sarah Palin (that famous Alaskan governor who ran for vice president on the Republican ticket) is gorgeous. There’s just something about her eyes and that sweet smile–it just makes me want to stop what I’m doing and get to know her some more. Maybe, I’m just a sucker for brunettes.

Bristol became pregnant during high school and is currently in a custody battle with her ex lover, Levi Johnston, over their 13-month-old son, Trip. Concurrently, she’s become an advocate for teaching teenagers about practicing abstinence rather than having safe sex to avoid getting pregnant. In In Touch Magazine, she say’s “I’m not going to have sex until I’m married…I can guarantee it.” And since then, a huge media firestorm grew when she and her mother appeared on “Oprah” yesterday.

Oprah Winfrey was on her case when she asked Bristol, “Why set yourself up that way? It may be 10 years from now before you choose to get married. Why set yourself up in making that statement so that everybody you go out with, you date — the media is going to be looking at that person, trying to get that person to sell you out, to say, ‘Did you have sex or not.’..It’s nobody’s business when you chose to have sex.”

Palin answered, “I think it’s a goal to have and I think other women should have that goal.”

“Okay, but it’s a goal,” Winfrey said, “But when you make a statement that you are absolutely positively not going to have sex, you don’t think you’re setting yourself up?”

Palin answered, “No, I don’t.”

“Okay, good luck to you,” Winfrey said.

Did you see that sly move that Winfrey was doing? She gave Palin the opportunity to retract her statement and edit it. However, Palin would not budge. Oprah seems to have little faith in Palin. Maybe it’s for good reason. ABC News reported:

  • 3 out of 10 high school girls get pregnant.
  • Of those that get pregnant, only half actually finish high school.
  • 8 out of 10 of the pregnant girls do not get married to the father of their children.

In the very same interview with ABC News, Bristol Palin states, “[Abstinence] is a hard choice. It’s the safe choice. And it’s the best choice.” I have to agree–it’s actually quite logical. How can you be 100% sure that you’ll avoid getting pregnant or be at risk for sexually-transmitted diseases? You abstain from sex, duh!  And you stop promiscuous behavior. It’s plain and simple. But for some teenagers, it’s not that simple–it’s a struggle.

Research has shown that abstinence-only programs have not produced favorable results. And those that take virginity pacts are just as likely to have sex than those who don’t. This is what Oprah Winfrey feared–we would set ourselves up for failure. However, perhaps the real failure of abstinence-only programs is that they don’t educate teenagers about safe sex or contraception. As a result, those teenagers who are in abstinence-only programs and absolutely struggle with sex are more likely to not practice safe sex or contraception. We need a comprehensive program that first teaches abstinence as the 100% sure way of avoiding pregnancy and STDs, but also teach about safe sex and contraception. I think the latter half is what Palin’s campaign against teen pregnancy is missing.

On a side note, teen pregnancy has always been a hot topic on debates about sex education, but it was a year and half ago that the issue became even more intense. In June 2008, the nation was shocked to learn that at Gloucester High, 17 girls were expecting babies. It was then discovered that the girls made a pact to get pregnant by graduation.

What do you think about Palin’s campaign? Is she setting herself up for failure? What  do you think about sex education in America? What would you say to your teenager?

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Man Or Woman? Revisited

Semenya on the cover of You Magazine. Photo Credit: Mirror.co.uk

Semenya on the cover of You Magazine. Photo Credit: Mirror.co.uk

A few weeks back, I wrote about South African athlete Caster Semenya, the track runner who had to undergo gender verification tests despite winning the World Championships in Berlin last month due to speculations that she may in fact be a man. The tests caused protests all around South Africa–many complaining that such tests treaded on her human rights. Currently, the intersex community has become one of the most out-spoken protesting group, trying to educate people about intersex and trying to rally support for those who don’t exactly have the XX and XY chromosomes that we tend to identify for the female and male sex. But in the world of sports, such gender verification tests are needed, especially when an extra boost of testosterone  makes a split second difference. And again, these kinds of allegations are nothing new in the world of sports.

The results of early tests are in! According to the Daily Telegraph, a UK paper, Semenya has elevated testosterone levels. However, the testosterone level is still low enough to be accepted under IAAF standards. Keep in mind that these are just preliminary medical tests, and NOT the full test. Those results will come in a couple weeks.

Meanwhile, Semenya is living it up as the cover model for You Magazine. She had a “glam makeover.” How you want to define that or read into that is up to you. I was thinking of doing a poll to learn what others think about Semenya on the cover, but then I realized that would be quite rude of me. Anyway, I think she looks beautiful on the cover.

Regarding the question of gender, Semenya says, “God made me the way I am and I accept myself. I am who I am and I’m proud.”

UPDATE SEPTEMBER 14, 2009:

Just yesterday, The Guardian, a UK paper, has reported that Semenya is receiving counseling for the results of the gender verification tests. The tests revealed that she is indeed a hermaphrodite, a person who is born with both male and female sexual characteristics and organs. But the saga is not over. International athletics officials will deliver a verdict around late November and will not likely take away the medal Semenya won in August at Berlin.

Perhaps Semenya can finally have some peace after having her life become so public so fast. She will definitely need support as she rediscovers her own sense of identity.

Photo Credit: Mirror.co.uk

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Targeted By A Cougar

Gloria dancing with her boyfriend. Photo Credit: Examiner.com

Gloria dancing with her boyfriend. Photo Credit: Examiner.com

Last Saturday, my friend’s love interest basically said (and I’m paraphrasing), “Gio, you have quite an old soul. I can see you dating older women.” My jaw dropped. The thought of me and an older woman is like a teacher scratching the chalkboard. It was quite disturbing. But what exactly did she mean? Was she trying to imply that women at my age aren’t mature and thus, I needed a far older women if I wanted compatibility? Was she trying to imply that my love for all kinds of music, especially that of Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and the more modern Michael Buble had somehow aged me? Little did I know that her prediction may somewhat come true.

So yesterday, I caught up with one of my favorite blogs, “Just A Guy Thing.” And it just so happen that on that day, the writer wrote about the Cougar phenomenon. For those that aren’t familiar with the term,  “cougar” is an older woman who dates younger men. On September 1 in Palo Alto, California, the first-ever national Cougar Convention was held. Gloria Navarro, 42, won the title of Miss Cougar America. And she’s quite the experienced cougar, dating men as young as in their 20s. You know what that means? She dates pretty much guys my age! But she definitely isn’t the only one, as evident of the convention. All across America, cougars are on the prowl.

Lyn Berry, 58, dances with Pfc. Leo Alley, 22 during the convention. Photo Credit: San Francisco Gate

Lyn Berry, 58, dances with Pfc. Leo Alley, 22 during the convention. Photo Credit: San Francisco Gate

But why are they on the prowl? People like actress Demi Moore, 46, married to actor Ashton Kutcher, 31, has become an icon for the cougar community. Perhaps writer Melinda Maximova puts it best when she writes, “A younger man represents the youth women fear losing, and the fun they may have already lost. When a woman was 25 an older man was more attractive.  He was strong, confident, paternal and powerful. But as a woman ages she views older men as a little tired, boring perhaps, and grasping at youth, pathetically, just like… Well, she sees herself and doesn’t like it” (Examiner.com). I think it’s pretty much the same reason older men tend to date younger women. Aging scares people, and the thought of being with someone youthful is in a way, making them youthful. So maybe the Fountain of Youth isn’t really a fountain, but dating a young person. Now, various shows about cougars are making their way to our TV screen. Vivica A. Fox hosts, “The Cougar,” a cougar version of “The Bachelorette.” And Courteney Cox plays 40-year-old Jules Cobb in “Cougar Town.”

So where does a cougar come into the picture for me? Last night, I went for a run around Westwood, keeping my promise to you and myself that I will get down to 160lbs. I was “warming down,” walking, and sweating everywhere. And that’s when I heard it–a wolf whistle. Now, I assumed it was a guy my age who just saw a beautiful girl walking around the corner. As I looked back, it turned out to be a brunette woman, perhaps in her mid 30s commenting on how strong my arms looked and how cute I was. Then she touched the side of my right arm and went on her way. Was this unwarranted attention? Heck ya. Did I feel uncomfortable? Heck ya. Did I feel good that someone commented on how I looked good? Heck ya. Was she drunk when she saw me? Maybe. It was the evening. As I walked back to the frat house, I couldn’t help but laugh. This is what women must feel when they receive wolf-whistles from guys. And wait a minute, was I just sexually-harassed?

I wonder if older women who date younger men hate the term that’s been given to them. Cougar. Is it a derogatory term? Maybe they like it–it sounds powerful, like a lion. Is there a term for older men who date younger women? I can’t think of any on the top of my head. Maybe because it’s just a normal thing to see–so normal in our society that when women do it, it’s sort of looked down upon. Now, is it a societal concept for men to date younger women or purely a biological one? Maybe, it’s a little bit of both.

According to the Scienceblog article, “Older Men Chasing Young Women: A Good Thing,” it is a necessity for the survival of the species. Cedric Puleston, doctoral candidate in biological sciences at Stanford says that it’s part of evolutionary theory because when our reproductive lives are complete, then we die. To put it more simply, Puleston says, “a man’s fertility is contingent on a woman’s fertility.” Men can produce millions of sperm, whereas women can produce only a limited amount of eggs to be fertilized. Thus, the younger the woman, the more healthy her egg is to be fertilized.

So where does this leave me? Is age really just a number? Maybe. Will I date an older woman? Umm…no–it’s just not my thing. However, I did come to  compromise and I could see myself with someone 2 years older than me at the most. Now, will I watch Courteney Cox in her new TV show? Probably–she’s so funny!

But that’s my identity as a 23-year-old revealed. Got a lot more maturing to do.

Photo Credit: Examiner.com

Photo Credit 2: San Francisco Gate

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Man or Woman? The Importance of Knowing

Photo Source: Charlotte Observer

Photo Source: Charlotte Observer

This week, the track world was shocked with allegations that perhaps South Africa’s running sensation and women’s world track champion in the 800 meters race may actually be a man! The International Association of Athletes Fedederation (IAAF) has requested that eighteen-year-old Caster Semenya undergo tests to verify her gender, however the results of the tests are not available for several weeks. According to one source, of the seven runners competing against Semenya, two believe she is a man. Standing at 5 feet 7 inches and weighing 140 pounds, Semenya may look masculine to some. I don’t know what is more tragic, that people think she’s a man or that she has to go through the embarrassing so-called gender verification tests.

And what exactly goes on in these tests? Semenya says she’s willing to prove she’s a woman by dropping her shorts. That’s like a “She’s The Man” moment (if you’ve watched the movie), thus suggesting that having a penis defines one’s gender. But what happens if one’s penis is accidentally chopped off, as in the case of David Reimer? Is one still a man? Do you have to be born with a penis to be called a man? Thus, I assume Semenya also had to undergo blood work and other tests to see if she is in fact, XY.

But for now, Semenya is still competing in the world championships despite these allegations, and she’s beating everyone! We’ll just have to see in a couple weeks if she is in fact a woman. I will feel sorry for Semenya if the reports end up saying that she really is a woman and she had to undergo all this to prove it to everyone. But perhaps it comes with the job of running, especially in the public eye.

Society places a huge importance of labeling and knowing what is what. We want to be sure. It’s important to be sure and to not make a mistake. But what does it mean to be a man or woman in today’s society? Has the definition changed?

This whole incident reminded me of an optical illusion I saw, in which your mind can constantly shift in visualizing a man or a woman. I’m sure that’s what the man was going through when he accused Semenya. But I do agree, she does look “manly” because society believes that men should be buff, which is why female bodybuilders get a lot of ridicule. Anyway, this certainly is some gender identity confusion.

But again, we’ll see and hear the results in a couple weeks. We’re all waiting.

For now, I’ll leave you entertained with this video of a man becoming a woman.

Source 1

Source 2

Photo Source: Charlotte Observer

**I also had a follow up in one of the comments. These allegations aren’t new to the track racing world. The same thing happened to Zimbabwe racing star Samukeliso Sithole, who was a prominent runner in woman’s track. Unfortunately for Sithole, the allegations were proved to be true. Sithole was indeed a man.

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Human Trafficking With Craigslist: Children For Sale

I’ve only used Craigslist twice in my life. The first time, I placed an ad for my professor to attract people to be test subjects for our psychological study on Tai Chi. The second time was selling my iPod nano. You see, Craigslist can be used for good things. However, just as much as anything can be used for good, it also has the potential to be used for evil. Let’s just say that the second time around, I almost fell for a scam–you know, one of those, “Please send it to my son in Africa.” Luckily, I was able to sell my nano to someone legit, and did my money transfer and product transfer face-to-face. And while I almost fell for an electronic scam, some where in the nation, people were trading other people. Though we may live in the 21st century, slavery, sadly exists and has taken on more modern forms.

Photo Credit: Justin Sutcliffe

Photo Credit: Justin Sutcliffe

Craigslist has become the new site for human trafficking, whether it be sex trafficking or child trafficking. And for all those pedophiles out there, Craigslist has become a tool for them to pay for sex with children. I’m not sure which is the more tragic part–that there’s pedophiles out there using Craigslist or that there’s people in the world willing to sell and make a profit from forcing children to have sex. Human traffickers use the “Erotic” section. According to Katherine Chon, Executive Director of the Polaris Project, a recent case featured girls who had sex with 10-12 men per day (Read about it here) and the Craigslist section our nation’s capital, shows an average of about 500 sexually-oriented ads a day.

In addition to human trafficking, many prostitutes use Craigslist’s “Erotic” section to sell themselves too. Their argument is that Craigslist allows them to meet clients who aren’t as violent and also eliminates the prostitutes’ use of pimps. Luckily, there are people willing to take a stand. Chicago Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart sued Craigslist, accusing the site for being one of the largest sites for prostitution, claiming also that it is a “powerful marketing tool for pimps and prostitutes and makes it easier for criminals to elude police” (Read more here).

It’s disgusting and horrible what kinds of things it reveals about our identities as human beings. But we aren’t powerless to make a difference. Take a stand, and do something to end human trafficking. Events like this have inspired me to join an organization like the Polaris Project and the Not For Sale Campaign to combat against human trafficking and slavery.

I’m part of a group called Freedom and Fashion. Our organization has three goals in mind:

  1. Advocacy: Bringing public awareness of the various injustices in the world today (slavery, trafficking, poverty, exploitation, etc.)
  2. Promotion: Providing a market platform for Non-Profit Organizations / Companies selling merchandise created through ethical and fair trade means.
  3. Love: To show what we believe to be God’s love by reconciling the existing perversion of injustice and oppression in the supply chain through several channels: educating our community, providing alternative purchasing means, and calling individuals to participate in the solution.

Sheriff Tom Dart discusses Craigslist and human trafficking:

Photo Credit: Justin Sutcliffe

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