Skepchick Quickies, 7.8


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. Unlikely as it sounds, Lozier’s paper scooped work by another group. “We were trying to do the same thing for the yeti,” says ecologist Carsten Rahbek of the University of Copenhagen.

    Science rocks! :-D

  2. For that last one, does anyone know what they mean when they say kids who get abstinence only sex ed are more likely to be sexually exploited? I’m not quite sure what the connection is, and they don’t really explain what they mean or the mechanism behind it. Thanks.

    I am also impressed by the Big Foot research! Poor Yeti researchers…

  3. RE: no kissing- I went to a lecture by a preacher once who likened premarital sex to playing in traffic. Of course, then I couldn’t stop giggling, imagining people having sex in traffic.

    With that analogy, maybe kissing is like throwing a ball into traffic?

  4. I’m don’t think “highlights habitat modeling flaws” is really the best way to look at that story.

    Frankly, if you factor in what we as skeptics know about Bigfoot, I think it validates the habitat modeling!

    Skeptics know that most sightings that aren’t outright frauds or hoaxes, are actually misidentified bears. As New Scientist pointed out in its lead paragraph on this study, the model found that Bigfoot’s range pretty much matched that of the black bear. This is fantastic! (The article you linked doesn’t highlight this, but check out the comment by one of the authors below the article).

    This is a fantastic example of scientifically validating a skeptic hypothesis. Perhaps we should be looking for more opportunities to do stuff like this.

  5. @krelnik: Furthermore… “they’re trying to warn their colleagues that ecological models are only as good as the data that go into them.”

    SHOCKING!!! Bad premises lead to inaccurate conclusions? STOP THE FUCKING PRESSES, MAN, THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING!!!

    Oh, wait. We all knew that already.

  6. @Amanda: Ok, so that makes me think of the David Cronenberg movie where car crash survivors get an erotic charge out of it. Probably not where that preacher was going with that.

  7. “…he wanted to show that models could turn dubious data into plausible-looking predictions.”

    Okay, but somehow I fear that message will be lost among “ZOMG A SCIENCE PAPER ABOUT BIGFOOT! IT IS REAL!!!!1111!!”

    Can I be the first one to say GIGO?

  8. @baiskeptic: And they do kind of explain it, though they don’t really go into any detail.

    “(Abstinence) may mean kids delay having sex a bit longer, but on the whole they don’t wait until they’re married,” she said. “When they do start having sex they’re not using contraceptives and condomsas often, and they’re not as comfortable talking to people about it.

    If you’re unable to talk about sex or to properly protect yourself, you are probably more likely to be exploited.

  9. A former gay transsexual…was he a woman who became a man, and like men? Was he a man, who became a woman, liked women, and became a man again? Was he just confusing a transexual with a transvestite? I’m confused.

  10. Someone please explain what the “good old pash” is. I feel left out.

    @Jen: I remember that movie! It was the first “naughty” movie I ever saw. Which… ok makes me look like a freak.

    @Imrryr: How ’bout “Baby You can Drive My Car”?

    Beep Beep
    Beep Beep

  11. @Jen: First thing I thought of was “Crash” but you beat me to it.

    Spiritual healer “Get out bad demon of sickness or I’m gonna set your house on fire.”

    Patient “Your gonna set what on fire”

    Spiritual healer “His house”

    Patient “You mean me”

    Spititual healer “Yep”


  12. I agree with marilove: Sex is one of many cases where ignorance can not only be dangerous, but possibly terminal.

    AIDS and the others STDs haven’t gone away just because the media aren’t covering it as much.

    Pregnancy isn’t funny. We all know what that entails for those involved, no matter what their choices are about it.

    One friend of mine substitute teaches in a middle school. She was floored when a sixth grade girl asked her privately if you could get pregnant by swallowing…

    A sixth grader?!?!

  13. @MiddleMan:
    That is diturbing, especially if you have seen CRASH by David Cronenberg:
    VERY Disturbing…..(Like every Cronenberg movie – Yes, I am a fan)
    As for the poof woman with the burns; I’ve heard of getting burned by Woo…..
    Now ban kissing, because we are uncontrolable beasts; next hide your face since we are….Oh, someone already beat me to that…..If I say the ‘profits’ name can i be charged with a religous hate crime under the new UN respect religion motion?
    End ramblings, get more coffee!

  14. @QuestionAuthority: And not only that, but if you don’t have the knowledge, how do you expect to have the confidence in regards to sex? It just makes sense that if you are left in the dark, you’ll be easier to take advantage of. “Oh, honey … you can’t get pregnant the first time!” Suuuuuuure.

  15. @numsix: OMG I was so confused, I thought y’all were talking about Crash from 2004, the one with Ludacris. I was like “Wait, they found crashes erotic? HOW DID I MISS THAT?”


    I might need to add this Crash to my Netflix queue.

    OMG I spelled queue right without spell check. Rock.

  16. @marilove: Ha! That was my favorite part of the more recent Crash, thinking about all the people going to rent it and getting the Cronenberg one by mistake. I recommend it, by the way. Disturbing, yes, but I’m a fan.

  17. @marilove:

    Not only will abstinence only teens not have confidence in their sex lives with their future spouses, but if they choose to have premarital sex, the guilt can be so overwhelming that in some circumstances it can cause impotence furthering the traumatizing experience of sex and increasing the level of guilt. Nice little cirlce of suckiness there, right?

  18. @Jen: I’m reading IMDB right now.

    So they have sex with the people they crash with? I’m trying to determine if that is torture or not and how much I might hide under my blanket.

    Once I was watching CSI or one of those shows and there was a girl tied to a chair being tortured pretty badly, and I could not find my remote and I started PANICKING. I was running around “REMOTE! WHERE IS IT!” becoming more and more panicked as the scene progressed….then I remembered I could change the channel from the tv itself.

    When my sister was living with me, she loved to watch the Rob Zombie movies because she knew I was a wuss and would go running into my bedroom “AAAAAAH” and then she’d make fun of me. :(

  19. @SkepLit:
    Oh, man, when I was a teenager, I had a boyfriend into Greenaway. Is that the movie that made me feel uncomfortable about toothbrushes for a while? Marilove: avoid!

  20. @marilove:
    What Gabrielbrawley said “No torture. Actors drive cars and deliberatly crash them. They get so turned on that they have sex at the crash site. Even when they really need some medical attention.”
    Of course the scene with the amputee……

  21. I’m not too surprised about the “no kissing” policy. I had a friend in high school who wouldn’t even go on an actual date. I asked her how she would ever meet a man to actually get married too, and she said that she can go out with groups and stuff. Apparently the sin is in just thinking about having sex with someone. Oddly enough, she was part of the only group of friends that I ever experienced peer pressure from. My “bad” friends never, ever pressured me to smoke, drink, do drugs, or have sex (I had sex on my own; I didn’t need pressure for that). But my fundie friends pressured and guilted me into joining the school Christian club (which was way to conservative for me, even though I was a Christian), into praying publicly (which went against my beliefs as a Christian), and into hiding and denying my own views on scientific and political issues (I never told them I wanted to become a genetic engineer). Thankfully this friend never tried to pressure me into her way of dating, possible because she didn’t truly buy into it herself. This friend went to a Methodist church, which is a relatively liberal denomination, so I don’t know where she got this other nonsense.

  22. I grew up in the whole promise ring “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” Christian community. I have friends whose first kiss was on their wedding day. My husband and I kissed before ours but we always felt guilty about it. I even felt guilty about having sex after we were married. Looking back on it it all seems so silly and really really messed up.

  23. @catgirl and pinkbunny:

    The Bible had “thoughtcrime” long before George Orwell did.

    Proverbs 3; 27: “…For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…”

    Matthew 5; 28: “…but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

  24. @marilove I guess when I was thinking about sexual exploitation, I was thinking more along the lines of being sexually exploited, not having a hard time communicating about it or not insisting on using protection. Although it makes sense that if you feel uncomfortable communicating about it, it’s much harder to get out of a bad situation, I’m not sure how not being educated would make you more likely to be exploited in the first place… am I missing something? Is not using protection a type of sexual exploitation?

  25. @baiskeptic:
    Kids with abstinence only sex ed are more likely to equate sex with love, which leaves them more vulnerable to being used. They are less likely to recognize a bad situation going into it, as well as having a more difficult time getting out.

  26. @Gabrielbrawley: Don’t worry there is a happy ending to this story. My husband and I both ended up rejecting that life of guilt and have ended up as relatively well adjusted adults with a pretty happy marriage… and we lived skeptically ever after.

  27. @marilove @Skepotter Thanks, that makes more sense.

    I went to a Catholic high school, so I do have one of those silly abstinence only educations, but I think the horrible images of alcohol I got from middle school have had worse effects on my social life… I didn’t really buy into my high school health class.

  28. I’m not sure if that article illustrated the dangers of spiritual healing, so much as it illustrated the dangers of being really f*ing stupid.

    Candles and an alcohol bath? Yeah, that sounds like a good idea! How about blow-drying your hair in the bath afterward?

  29. @Robyne_BR: Oddly enough, blow-drying your hair in an alcohol bath would present zero threat of electrocution, so in that sense it’s safer than blow-drying your hair in a water bath.

    Although, uh. Alcohol fumes will still ignite with a spark, so there’s that to be aware of.

  30. @Pinkbunny: I’m a bit old for the “I kissed dating goodbye” movement, but I got an equivalent fuck-up from my fundamentalist upbringing. I was told that you couldn’t date anyone unless they would be appropriate to marry, but it was clear to me that I couldn’t find out if someone was appropriate without dating. Catch-22. The result was that I never went out on a date until I became an atheist.

  31. @PeteSchult: My entire life was skewed by the Catholics and fundies. I married whom I did when I did because of their teachings. I’m very, very angry at them for what they did to me and my family. Unfortunately, for a long time, I turned that fury on myself, hence it’s a part of my depression issues.

    I have a lot of questions and doubts about that issue to this day and it’s not healthy. We have a decent marriage overall (30 years in September), but it hangs over me like a shadow. Something I need to deal with in therapy, I suppose.

    @Joshua: Isn’t alcohol a conductor like water? I don’t understand – can you explain a bit?

  32. @QuestionAuthority: It actually isn’t a conductor. In fact, neither is distilled water! However, tap water usually conducts electricity because it has a high ion content.

    Here’s a big list of the conductivity of various liquids. Look specifically at ethyl alcohol and “Water, NYC”. Also compare tap water to distilled water, which is right above it.

    (Oddly enough, while ethyl alcohol, the kind you drink, is non-conductive, apparently isopropyl alcohol does conduct electricity.)

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