Sex and the real city
In "Sex and the real city," Christopher Shea examines a new study of urban sexual behavior. Are big-city "sexual marketplaces" really as stratified and limited as the study's authors suggest? And do such surveys risk invading people's privacy, promoting bad behavior, or giving a distorted and stereotyped vision of our sex lives, as some critics have argued?
As a former Bostonian who is currently living in Rio de Janeiro, I am amazed that Boston is still so Puritanical whereas here in Brazil where it is conservative in spite of it's reputation, places exist here for the Art of Lovemaking, Motels here are designed specifically for love making and not for the use that they are in the United States. They are fully equipped with beds and others necessities, some with jacuzzi's and small pools for lovemaking. Whenever I return to Boston I am amazed at how lacking my former home environment is
LORCAN , BOSTON
Basing a study on one city's sexual market and calling it reflective of all America is absurd. In Chicago, only something like 4% of people polled identified as gay. Were that study to occur in New York, San Francisco or Boston (the three American cities with the highest gay populations) the results would be very different. Half of all men over 80 are having sex? Let's not be naive here people. While I don't discount that the study does have some relevance, it's taking it a step too far to say that it's reflective of all of America. What I do find valuable in the study is the number of people who have experienced STD's. It makes a valid case for better Sexual Education in our country. People are obviously playing games with their lives, and they need to understand that condoms will help keep them healthy.
Are such studies even necessary anymore? Sure, when Kinsey was doing research and when the Hite Report was new, it was daring and fresh to be chatting frankly about sex.
Glad to see Lorcan's clued into the article. Actually, knowledge of the Chicago report may well be moot as far as the discussion this board's trying to engender since the Chicago report doesn't seem to really say anything. Jane's right, Chicago is no more definitive location for understanding sex in America than Boston would've been. And it's old data. Autobiographically, I was barely a participant in any neighborhood's sexual culture in the 7 years ago. Now that I'm more involved, so to speak and when I have the opportunity to talk to folks 7-10 years older than I, it seems what was going on in dating and beds in '94 was radically different than the way folks relate to each other in '04.
Big city sexual marketplaces are limited since the Founders set up a system of limited government. Bad sexual behavior is disproportionately large when someone else cleans up your mess through high taxes (Social Security disabiliy, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, etc.). The free press exposing the mooching, the vote, etc. tend to elect conservatives who cut taxes. Without the free lunch of high taxes, the bad behavior is toned down. A century ago the out of wedlock birth rate was only 3% because your mess was your responsibility. As big government inevitably winds down (there was a story yesterday about cuts in HUD subsidies) so will the bad behavior. No other country rewards good behavior and punishes bad behavior like the U.S. When the British read the Constitution they said it was the most inspired document they had ever read except for the Bible.
I think it is absurd to think that a study done in Chicago is a good representation of America. As I recall, this study surveyed around 2400 individuals which seems to be a very small sample size. In terms of the urban sexual culture, I can speak from a 22 year old male point of view and as someone who is involved in the nightlife of the city that Boston overall is a very conservative city...sexually. This is not a bad thing, as someone mentioned above about Rio de Janeiro, I would not want Boston to become a city with sex-laden cheap motel rooms and brothels.
Roman, Waltham, MA
Heaven forbid, let people have their own privacy. What exactly is this study pertintent to anyways? Pretty soon scientists are going to find out that a specific nutrient in green beans causes domestic abuse, not the sexual hunger or lack there of. I'd feel a little invaded if someone came to my door, despite the fact that I have a very healthy sex life. Put down those plaid pants and clipboard questionnaires, and find a real study. the only way to get the most accurate results is if these clipboard bunnies had access to primary care physician's records of patients. I'm more apt to be honest with a doctor than on a questionnaire.
They try sex surveys over and over again and, surprise surprise, people lie. The last time they did this they found out rather quickly that if the men had as many partners as they claimed, the women would have the same number, but didn't for some reason. Hmmm. Wonder why. Even in the article they pointed out some obvious flaws. If some kid knocked on your door and started asking you questions about your sex life, would you knit your brows and be brutally honest? Maybe they lied the other way this time to avoid being sold a bunch of meds or a lecture on safe sex. I don't see how anybody can take this seriously.
Sex is all about what two people want. Luckily, almost half of the people in the world are available to explore this with. Personally, over years as a sexually active male in an urban environment, the edges between relationship and sex have become increasingly blurred. However, personal experience also lends that this is not true for everyone. Studies have merit only in planning and prevention, not personal interpretation or discovery. They do not offer a guide as to how one should live their life, nor do they offer a solstice for partners to take haven within numbers. Trying to interpret the data for any personal projection will only lead to frustration, no matter how outdated the figures are. Everyone’s morals, actions, and feelings are unique and deserving. Respect and responsibility are the cornerstones of any successful relationship.
THESE TYPES OF SURVEYS, ALTHOUGH THEY TEND TO REPORT FINDINGS ON PARTICULAR AGES GROUPS, RACES, ETC....THE DATE PROVIDED IS RATHER GENERAL AND CANNOT BE USED A VIABLE TOOL TO DETERMINE THE OVERALL CONSENSUS OF A PARTICULAR AREA.
TONY , BROCKTON, MA