Skepchick Quickies, 3.10

Don’t forget – today, over on the Skepchick Calendar, James Randi will be giving a lecture entitled “Science, Magic, and Belief” at the University of Illinois at 7 PM.


Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

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  1. That high heels thing is quite a stretch! I don't think less electrical activity in the pelvic muscles, that may or may not relate to better sex, outweighs the knee/ankle/back problems that women get by wearing heels (can you tell I'm a flats fan).

    Besides, unfortunately one article does not a literature make – particularly one that studied only 66 women, and then made tertiary "this begets this which may beget that" claims. I'm also having a hard time figuring out why they are saying that more relaxed muscles means more muscle strength – if the muscles aren't being used, then what is the mechanism that explains the increase in strength? Also, what is the relationship between "relaxed" pelvic muscles and better sex?

    I'm so picky. :)

  2. I live in Delaware and never knowingly encountered another atheist . (obviously I may have spoken to one where the subject was never brought up). Are there any skepchickal type woman in this area ? If so, where do they hang out? [Bonus points if they like to wear high heels.]

  3. I have to admit that I am pretty disappointed at skepchick for posting the blog entry from "confessions of a college callgirl." My being disgusted with the content of that entry has nothing to do with being easily offended or narrow-minded. Her being aroused by child abuse and incest is not only severely gross, but a huge red flag of how our society constantly sexualizes children. Her entry made light of a painful subject for many people and added to the desensitization of these acts. If you don't believe me, then go to the page and read the comments to her post.

  4. Sure, the study has its flaws, but honestly, if it encourages women to wear sexy shoes, I support it… Now they just need to get studies that outline the health benefits of bucket boots and/or thigh-high riding boots…

    Also, I oth lost my virginity and handed out my first and only concussion in a mosh pit at a church camp. Not bad for a lifetime nonbeliever, hey?

  5. I think it is important to understand that children do have sexual feelings, and that adults who prey on children use those feelings and then blame the child for having them. Nothing could be further from the truth. When adults have sex with children the adult is 100% at fault. It is injurious to the child and there is no excuse for it. There needs to be zero tolerance for sexual abuse of children by adults. That includes men abusing girls, and women abusing boys.

    A very common attribute of abused children is provocative behavior. By being provocative, a child gets to have the fantasy that they are in control of the abuse. That is any kind of abuse, physical, mental or sexual. That is an unconscious strategy that many humans adopt when abuse is unavoidable. It is similar to Stockholm Syndrome.

    It is a behavior strategy that mitigates the injury. Injury still occurs, but the damage is less than it could have been. I think the reason that children do this is because it tends to keep them from being killed by their abusers. A very powerful evolutionary driving force.

    As I see it, society is already desensitized to the problems of child sexual abuse. As I see it, things are getting better. Women who sexually abuse boys are being prosecuted the same as men who sexually abuse girls. That is how it should be. The solution to sexual abuse of children is only going to come from more publicity. From children realizing they are not to blame, that they don’t need to tolerate sexual abuse from anyone, parent, priest, teacher, uncle, sibling.

  6. Shave on vacation! Bad enough people seem to think I should shave any other time. This whole shaving fixation is just about the radical sexist matriarchy trying to exert control over men and our bodies. You're intimidated by our ability to grow facial hair, which you lack, and so you try to tack control of it from us. :P

  7. OK…I feel like I have been misunderstood. I realize that the point of the blog entry was to talk about how her sexuality was repressed as a child and teen. And I'm sorry that i didn't make my point clear in the last post. Her finding her sexuality was not the problem…it was how she went about it.

    "Knowing where I ended up, people often want to know if I was molested as a child. I wasn't, but not for lack of trying."

    Who says this?!!

    "I first discovered the exciting world of sexual abuse in sixth grade…"


    The problem I have with this entry is the LANGUAGE in which she talks about such a serious issue…

    "I wanted the non-threatening black kid to come back and engage Sally in a threesome with her boorish pops while I watched."


    I find it grossly immature and this kind of "humorous" way of addressing sexual abuse is the problem in our society and it's this kind of language that desensitizes people to this issue.

    Also i wanted people to look at the comments because i think it represents the mentality that is going on. They read all this f'ed up stuff and then completely ignore what happened.

  8. I really got a kick out of the Sex and Jesus article! I hugged a boy for the first time at church camp, same with holding hands (under cover of the campfire prayer time) and had my first unofficial little “boyfriend” at camp. I very nearly had my first kiss there too, but was let down at the last minute. (Which is OK, because he was WAY too big a jerk to be my first kiss memory.) I am quite sure the trees between our camp and the Buddhist retreat next door, if trees could talk, would tell many stories of much more than first kisses.

    Not too surprising, really … they whipped us up into such emotional heights, they couldn’t be TOO surprised at what happened when all this adult-sponsored openness and heartfelt sharing collided with raging hormones, darkness, and loose supervision by college-aged counselors who were busy flirting with each other.

  9. Skeptic, I may be wrong, but I think the point of the article was to demonstrate that the religion’s heavy focus away from sexuality drove the author to seek those pleasures elsewhere and inadvertently sexualized her to what others in society would consider “gross”. In other words, her religious lifestyle left her no outlet for her sexual desires, which made her seek sexuality inappropriately and without guidance.

    I didn’t get the impression that she was encouraging people to think a particular way and she can hardly be held responsible for what other people post in the comments section.

  10. Skeptic – I’m sorry you were disappointed, or if anyone else was, but I don’t think the author was making light of the issue. If anything, I thought she was making the point of how damaging and pathetic it was for her to feel that way. Commenters’ misinterpretation is not reason enough, I think, to disregard the original post. I also believe that linking is not automatic approval – it’s an invitation to discussion. Which is why I’m also glad you shared your opinions.

  11. I didn’t read the comments until just now. I think that many if not most of them are fake, fairly young men trying to be funny and/or outrageous. It wouldn’t surprise me if the author of the blog is actually a guy, and most of the comments by supposedly females are also by guys. Underage guys. Guys too scared to try and talk to a real girl/woman. Guys unable to hold up their end of the kind of relationship a real girl/woman would want. So they put comments up like what they hope/fantasize some girl/woman will actually be like.

    That ends up with situations like this

    I don’t think that there are any “serious” pedophiles there. I have a myspace page and not so much now that myspace has increased the spam filtering, but there were times I would get multiple solicitations a day from women scantily dressed, with a link to a webcam site that required a credit card. I once did get a solicitation from someone I did think was underage and immediately reported it to everyone I could report it to.

    There are some anti-sex abuse sites on myspace, such as this one

    I think that sites like this that are out in the open are not the problem.

  12. New stubble on a normally clean-shaven man (my partner is in the military) is quite chin-chaffingly pokey. Grown beards are softer, but it takes more than a week's vacation to get that kind of growth (unless you're a Robin Williams type).

  13. Well, if people weren't so hung up on the idea of shaving in the first place, more people would just have beards and be done with it. Problem solved. *poins back to original statement*

  14. No, they don't. If that were the case, you'd only have to shave the part of your face where the gas mask touches, and the military wouldn't have required soldiers to be clean-shaven for decades before the invention of the gas-mask…

    Yes, statements like that were supremely unpopular with my superiors when I was in the Army.

  15. Well, I'm told it also has to do with uniformity. But I can only go by what people who are in the military tell me, as I am not in the military myself. Whatever the case, the military requires soldiers to shave, not matriarchyt. I think you were offended somewhere in this conversation… The entire point of what I was saying was that I was making a joke that men who shave regularly, while on vacation, grow very pokey stubble. My joke was not meant as an affront to beards or bearded men, it was simply an observation.

  16. Sorry… Tone of voice doesn't carry over the internet. The whole matriarchy bit was a joke. Men don't shave as much on vacation because most men don't particularly like shaving. It's work, and vacation is for relaxing… Maybe if we're looking to impress someone and think we look better clean-shaven (some men do), we might, but men, as humans, are intrinsically lazy. It's a survival instinct. "Fighting mammoths is hard, so I'm just going to throw this sharpened stick at it instead."

    Rest assured, if at any time I seem offended, I'm probably not. Don't feel bad about it, I get it a lot. Honestly, I'm not a big fan stubble for the first couple of days either, as a general rule. I'm a very tactile person, it (literally) rubs me the wrong way.

  17. Also, you should feel special, I don't often apologize to people, mostly I'm just a jerk.

    Yes, the ticks and lice thing is valid (and also part of the stated reason for the short hair that was the constant bane of my military existance), but in practice, it annoys the Hell out of me, because it's not forced equally upon women in the military.

  18. Why wouldn’t your chin have skin on it? Faceplant over the handlebars of your bike or something?

  19. Actually hair in humans is present (in part) to provide a niche for the bacteria I am working with to increase the amount of NO/NOx they produce. A common symptom of low NO is increased androgens, which results in greater hair growth (men and women) and a better niche for these bacteria increasing the NO they produce.

    A low NO state is to be desired when at war, it accelerates your metabolism and allows you to enter the berserker state more easily. People are easier to identify without beards too and in hand to hand combat a beard is a not something you want your opponent to be able to grab a hold of.

    But probably the main reason for beards not being allowed in the military is simply to exert control.

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