Thursday, March 23, 2017

Levada poll on abortions

видимо РПЦ давит сильно и постоянно, а правительство, не будучи дураком, ищет поддержки в населении и просит высказацо за

Отношение к абортам


Опрос проведен 02-06 марта 2017 года по репрезентативной всероссийской выборке городского и сельского населения среди 1600 человек в возрасте 18 лет и старше в 137 населенных пунктах 48 регионов страны. Исследование проводится на дому у респондента методом личного интервью. Распределение ответов приводится в процентах от общего числа опрошенных.

По данным опроса, подавляющее большинство россиян считает, что планирование детей в семье должно быть осознанным поведением и реализовываться с помощью современных методов контрацепции (78%). Эта точка зрения находит поддержку среди всех слоев населения. Чуть больше – 82% – в возрастных группах от 25 до 40 лет.

Сразу выводы (три штуки):
  1. Консервативные настроения российского общества не распространяются на репродуктивное поведение. Та политика, которую все чаще предлагают российские законодатели не находит отклика в обществе. Одной из главных проблем для рождения ребенка россияне видят отсутствие материальных ресурсов для воспитания ребенка. Стоимость рождения и воспитания ребенка растет быстрее, чем благосостояние граждан в среднем.
  2. Вторая проблема – просветительская. Необходимо создавать и вести просветительские проекты в области контрацепции и сексуального поведения. К подобным мерам можно отнести поддержку варианта об оплате средств контрацепции из средств ОМС.
  3. Третья – самая важная тенденция в контексте отношений граждан и власти – власть не должна пытаться контролировать частную жизнь граждан.
и таблицы (некоторые дают мрачное настроение, но есть и елементы оптимизьма):

Какая из точек зрения по поводу планирования семьи вам ближе?
Следует родить и вырастить столько детей, сколько получится, не прибегая к контрацепции и абортам13
Следует планировать рождение детей в семье, используя методы контрацепции78
Отказ от ответа5
Затрудняюсь ответить5
пример опти ммзьма

Как вы думаете, государству следует предпринимать меры по предотвращению абортов или вы думаете, что правительству следует оставить решение таких вопросов на усмотрение людей, которых это касается?
Государству следует предпринимать меры по предотвращению абортов27
Государству следует оставить решение таких проблемы на усмотрение людей, которых это касается59
Отказ от ответа4
Затрудняюсь ответить10
что такое предотвращение аборта (???): у минздрава и РПЦ свое понимание, у нормальных людей совсем другое

Как вы думаете, какими мерами государству следует, прежде всего, добиваться предотвращения абортов?(ответы ранжированы по убыванию)
Увеличить пособие по уходу за ребенком до прожиточного минимума (примерно десять тысяч рублей)57
Создать государственную всеобщую программу сексуального воспитания и планирования семьи45
Ввести обязательные уроки сексуального воспитания в школах31
Покрывать стоимость средств контрацепции из фонда обязательного медицинского страхования (ОМС)26
Пропагандировать сексуальное воздержание до брака21
Проводить аборты только на платной основе / не покрывать стоимость абортов из фонда обязательного медицинского страхования (ОМС)8
Законодательно запретить аборты не по медицинским показаниям7
Ввести большие денежные штрафы для тех, кто делает аборты и кому делают аборты не по медицинским показаниям4
Ввести уголовное наказание (тюремное заключение) для тех, кто делает аборты и кому делают аборты3
Полностью запретить аборты2
Другое12
Отказ от ответа3
Затрудняюсь ответить7
около половины населения не потеряло способность трезво мыслить

С какой из точек зрения по поводу влияния аборта на здоровье женщины вы бы скорее согласились?
Аборт не имеет тяжелых последствий для здоровья женщины9
Аборт угрожает жизни и здоровью женщины77
Отказ от ответа5
Затрудняюсь ответить9
годы и десятилетия дезы сделали своё дело

Какие из следующих причин вы считаете допустимым основанием для прерывания беременности (аборта)? (ответы ранжированы по убыванию)
Угроза жизни и здоровью женщины66
Если женщина забеременела в результате изнасилования43
Отсутствие материальных ресурсов для воспитания ребенка39
Возраст беременной женщины27
Уже есть дети, больше не хочу иметь детей24
Нежелание женщины иметь детей22
Нежелание партнера/мужа иметь детей13
Давление родителей или других родственников10
Другое1
Отказ от ответа5
Затрудняюсь ответить6
только 1/5

Как вы считаете, кто в паре/ семье в первую очередь должен заботиться о предохранении от нежелательной беременности/контрацепции?
Мужчина8
Женщина13
Оба партнера74
Отказ от ответа3
Затрудняюсь ответить2
отличный, имхо, результат

Откуда вы сами узнали о способах контрацепции?
От друзей, знакомых, одноклассников39
Узнал/а все на собственном опыте19
Из книг по медицинской тематике18
Видел/а информацию в средствах массовой информации (радио, телевидение, журналы)14
От родителей, других родственников13
Прочитал/а в Интернете11
Узнал/а информацию от своего лечащего врача10
Узнал/а от своего партнера/партнерши7
Никогда не интересовался/лась этим7
Другое1
Отказ от ответа7
Затрудняюсь ответить9
эту бы табличку да ещё и по возрасту

ещё кое-какая цыфирь по ссылке в верь ху

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A hundred years of Russian feminism

Marie Skłodowska Curie
Вчера пришло, не ходил, патамушта в другом месте было паинтереснее

Уважаемые коллеги, добрый день!

Приглашаем вас принять участие в мероприятии, посвященном 100 летию феминизма в России.

Сегодня на Шаболовке, начало в 16 40. Аудитория 3211. Спасибо

Dear Colleagues,

International Office of the Faculty of Economic Sciences is happy to invite you to attend a presentation of research on genger inequality in academia.

To commemorate the double anniversary - 100 years of the first International Women’s Day in Russia, that was held by coincidence on February 23 (Old style), now March 8, and 150 years birthday of greatest woman scientist, the first person AND the only woman that was awarded two Nobel prizes, and the only person to win in two different sciences, Marie Skłodowska Curie we aim to draw attention of the HSE students, and wider community of young professionals to the role of women in modern society, academia and education, its development over time and think about the possible future.

22 March 2017

16 40 at SHABOLOVKA 26, room 3211

GUEST SPEAKERS:

Ina Ganguli, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts Amherst,

Did the Soviets Solve the “Productivity Puzzle” - Gender Differences in Science in the Soviet Union

Pamela Campa, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Economics at University of Calgary,
Culture, Institutions and Women at Work

Special guest: Olga Savinskaya, Associate Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences, Higher School of Economics

All are welcome!

с уважением, Оксана Будько

________________________

Международный отдел
Факультета экономических наук
Шаболовка, 26 оф. 5216
тел. 8 (495) 772 95 90 * 26223

Ну, вопчемта : большего компромата на феминизьм.ру трудно придумать
похоже на реальный отказ от рассудочности, калькулируемости

already published

marriage market

Добрый день!

Приглашаем Вас на очередное заседание демографической секции ЦДУ РАН, которое состоится в четверг 23 марта.

Тема заседания:

"Демографический анализ российского брачного рынка".


Доклад д.соц. н. - Синельникова А.Б - доцента кафедры социологии семьи и демографии социологического факультета МГУ им. М.В. Ломоносова

Начало в 18.30

Место проведения - Зеленая гостиная ( 2 этаж).

С уважением,
Людмила Лихопек, секретарь демографической секции.
ДУРАН

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Prova D'Orchestra

Prova D'Orchestra

Шульман давеча назвала демографию царицей апчественнных наук, непризнанной — добавлю от себя, а жаль (тоже от меня)

Вчера Вишневский рассказывал об оркестре, но в основном о демографическом переходе и новом равновесии, о том, что демограф видит, а кроме него не видит никто, включая генштаб, что любопытно, ващегря

задал вопрос: с .зрения образования куда демографии лутшэ прилепицо?
он его переформулировал: кого я люблю больше — папу или маму?
и ответил, что первый демографический институт был организован в Киеве в 1918 году

вопчем: нет ответа

смутновато помню, что с Баркаловым писали какую-то записку куда-то про демографическое образование, и там про трёх китов: демографов в США готовят на базе (1) социологии или (2) public health (у нас и слофта таких нет), но наш подхотта самый (единственно) верный: мы готовим демографов на (3) экономическом ф-те и даже не потому, что оне Das Kapital наизусть учат, тут социологи могут оспорить, а патамушта
МЭСИ к тому времени уже выпал из актуальности

а утром сёдня вспомнил про патамушта: патамушта бух.учот, задача об обороте стада, экономико-математические очерки Боярского — это мировоззрение

le gouvernement est encore le seul Européen de la Russie

Chaadaev portrait Пушкин в конце концов написал Чаадаеву :
Ce qu'il fallait dire et ce que vous avez dit c'est que notre société actuelle est aussi méprisable que stupide; que cette absence d'opinion publique, cette indifférence pour tout ce qui est devoir, justice, droit et vérité; pour tout ce qui n'est pas nécessité. Ce mépris cynique pour la pensée et la dignité de l'homme. Il fallait ajouter (non comme concession, mais comme vérité) que le gouvernement est encore le seul Européen de la Russie, et que tout brutal et cynique qu'il est, il ne tiendrait qu'à lui de l'être cent fois plus. Personne n'y ferait la moindre attentation.

по руски это выглядит так:
Что надо было сказать и что вы сказали, это то, что наше современное общество столь же презренно, сколь глупо; что это отсутствие общественного мнения, это равнодушие ко всему, что является долгом, справедливостью, правом и истиной, ко всему, что не является необходимостью. Это циничное презрение к мысли и к достоинству человека. Надо было прибавить (не в качестве уступки, но как правду), что правительство все еще единственный европеец в России. И сколь бы грубо и цинично оно ни было, от него зависело бы стать сто крат хуже. Никто не обратил бы на это ни малейшего внимания.
а Карнеги.ру пишет, что всё наоборот:

норо.тру — Эур.опа, правители.яму — Азе.опа

перемены налит СЭ ?

the fourth political theory

Гельевич
начало интервью Умланда (целиком по ссылке, ниже)

Dugin has explicitly and implicitly expressed numerous times his deep appreciation for fascism – including institutions and representatives of the SS (Schutzstaffel), such as the occultist Forschungsgemeinschaft Deutsches Ahnenerbe (Research Society for theGerman Heritage of Ancestors) co-founded by Herman Wirth (1885-1981), orthe SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich (1904-1942) whom Dugin once called a “convinced Eurasianist”, thereby making Heydrich a precursor of his own International Eurasian Movement (Международное «ЕвразийскоеДвижение»). Dugin has enthusiastically predicted the rise of a Russian true“fascist fascism” in his article "Fascism – borderless and red". In some regards, he is – in doing so – similar to the Italian SS-admirer Julius Evola (1898-1974)whom Dugin read and who, like Dugin, criticised historic fascism for being insufficiently radical and not fascist enough. While the “neo-Eurasianist” is obfuscating his ideology as “conservatism” or a non-fascist “fourth political theory,” Dugin’s entire ideology is expressly fascist in that it aims for a radically new-born, ultra-nationalistic (though not ethnocentric) Russia and, indeed, world.

This interview was originally conducted for the Polish daily Rzeczpospolita, на сайте не нашол, но обнаружыл, что Волынь — лутший фильм 17 года, уже. Видимо про войну.

сабж в этом блоге




Sunday, March 19, 2017

St Patrick


за что мы любим монархию?
во за это и любим

The invention of heterosexuality

One hundred years ago, people had a very different idea of what it means to be heterosexual. Understanding that shift in thinking can tell us a lot about fluid sexual identities today, argues Brandon Ambrosino.


The 1901 Dorland’s Medical Dictionary defined heterosexuality as an “abnormal or perverted appetite toward the opposite sex.” More than two decades later, in 1923, Merriam Webster’s dictionary similarly defined it as “morbid sexual passion for one of the opposite sex.” It wasn’t until 1934 that heterosexuality was graced with the meaning we’re familiar with today: “manifestation of sexual passion for one of the opposite sex; normal sexuality.”

Whenever I tell this to people, they respond with dramatic incredulity. That can’t be right! Well, it certainly doesn’t feel right. It feels as if heterosexuality has always “just been there.”

A few years ago, there began circulating a “man on the street” video, in which the creator asked people if they thought homosexuals were born with their sexual orientations. Responses were varied, with most saying something like, “It’s a combination of nature and nurture.” The interviewer then asked a follow-up question, which was crucial to the experiment: “When did you choose to be straight?” Most were taken back, confessing, rather sheepishly, never to have thought about it. Feeling that their prejudices had been exposed, they ended up swiftly conceding the videographer’s obvious point: gay people were born gay just like straight people were born straight.

The video’s takeaway seemed to suggest that all of our sexualities are “just there”; that we don’t need an explanation for homosexuality just as we don’t need one for heterosexuality. It seems not to have occurred to those who made the video, or the millions who shared it, that we actually need an explanation for both.

старый добрый секс
While heterosexual sex is clearly as old as humanity, the concept of heterosexuality as an identity is a very recent invention (Credit: Getty Images)


There’s been a lot of good work, both scholarly and popular, on the social construction of homosexual desire and identity. As a result, few would bat an eye when there’s talk of “the rise of the homosexual” – indeed, most of us have learned that homosexual identity did come into existence at a specific point in human history. What we’re not taught, though, is that a similar phenomenon brought heterosexuality into its existence.

There are many reasons for this educational omission, including religious bias and other types of homophobia. But the biggest reason we don’t interrogate heterosexuality’s origins is probably because it seems so, well, natural. Normal. No need to question something that’s “just there.”

But heterosexuality has not always “just been there.” And there’s no reason to imagine it will always be.

When heterosexuality was abnormal


The first rebuttal to the claim that heterosexuality was invented usually involves an appeal to reproduction: it seems obvious that different-genital intercourse has existed for as long as humans have been around – indeed, we wouldn’t have survived this long without it. But this rebuttal assumes that heterosexuality is the same thing as reproductive intercourse. It isn’t.

“Sex has no history,” writes queer theorist David Halperin at the University of Michigan, because it’s “grounded in the functioning of the body.” Sexuality, on the other hand, precisely because it’s a “cultural production,” does have a history. In other words, while sex is something that appears hardwired into most species, the naming and categorising of those acts, and those who practise those acts, is a historical phenomenon, and can and should be studied as such.

Or put another way: there have always been sexual instincts throughout the animal world (sex). But at a specific point on in time, humans attached meaning to these instincts (sexuality). When humans talk about heterosexuality, we’re talking about the second thing.

Hanne Blank offers a helpful way into this discussion in her book Straight: The Surprisingly Short History of Heterosexuality with an analogy from natural history. In 2007, the International Institute for Species Exploration listed the fish Electrolux addisoni as one of the year’s “top 10 new species.” But of course, the species didn’t suddenly spring into existence 10 years ago – that’s just when it was discovered and scientifically named. As Blank concludes: “Written documentation of a particular kind, by an authority figure of a particular kind, was what turned Electrolux from a thing that just was … into a thing that was known.”

Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde's trial for 'gross indecency' is often considered a pivotal moment in the formation of the gay identity (Credit: Alamy)


Something remarkably similar happened with heterosexuals, who, at the end of the 19th Century, went from merely being there to being known. “Prior to 1868, there were no heterosexuals,” writes Blank. Neither were there homosexuals. It hadn’t yet occurred to humans that they might be “differentiated from one another by the kinds of love or sexual desire they experienced.” Sexual behaviours, of course, were identified and catalogued, and often times, forbidden. But the emphasis was always on the act, not the agent.

So what changed? Language.


In the late 1860s, Hungarian journalist Karl Maria Kertbeny coined four terms to describe sexual experiences: heterosexual, homosexual, and two now forgotten terms to describe masturbation and bestiality; namely, monosexual and heterogenit. Kertbeny used the term “heterosexual” a decade later when he was asked to write a book chapter arguing for the decriminalisation of homosexuality. The editor, Gustav Jager, decided not to publish it, but he ended up using Kertbeny’s novel term in a book he later published in 1880.

The next time the word was published was in 1889, when Austro-German psychiatrist Richard von Krafft-Ebing included the word in Psychopathia Sexualis, a catalogue of sexual disorders. The English translation appeared in the US in 1993. Indeed, in almost 500 pages, the word “heterosexual” is used only 24 times, and isn’t even indexed. That’s because Krafft-Ebing is more interested in “contrary sexual instinct” (“perversions”) than “sexual instinct,” the latter being for him the “normal” sexual desire of humans.

“Normal” is a loaded word, of course, and it has been misused throughout history. Hierarchical ordering leading to slavery was at one time accepted as normal, as was a geocentric cosmology. It was only by questioning the foundations of the consensus view that “normal” phenomena were dethroned from their privileged positions.

The emphasis on procreation comes not primarily from Jewish or Christian Scriptures, but from Stoicism


For Krafft-Ebing, normal sexual desire was situated within a larger context of procreative utility, an idea that was in keeping with the dominant sexual theories of the West. In the Western world, long before sex acts were separated into the categories hetero/homo, there was a different ruling binary: procreative or non-procreative. The Bible, for instance, condemns homosexual intercourse for the same reason it condemns masturbation: because life-bearing seed is spilled in the act. While this ethic was largely taught, maintained, and enforced by the Catholic Church and later Christian offshoots, it’s important to note that the ethic comes not primarily from Jewish or Christian Scriptures, but from Stoicism.

Karl Maria Kertbeny
Karl Maria Kertbeny created the label 'heterosexual" (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)


As Catholic ethicist Margaret Farley points out, Stoics “held strong views on the power of the human will to regulate emotion and on the desirability of such regulation for the sake of inner peace”. Musonius Rufus, for example, argued in On Sexual Indulgence that individuals must protect themselves against self-indulgence, including sexual excess. To curb this sexual indulgence, notes theologian Todd Salzman, Rufus and other Stoics tried to situate it “in a larger context of human meaning” – arguing that sex could only be moral in the pursuit of procreation. Early Christian theologians took up this conjugal-reproductive ethic, and by the time of Augustine, reproductive sex was the only normal sex.

While Krafft-Ebing takes this procreative sexual ethic for granted, he does open it up in a major way. “In sexual love the real purpose of the instinct, the propagation of the species, does not enter into consciousness,” he writes.

In other words, sexual instinct contains something like a hard-wired reproductive aim – an aim that is present even if those engaged in 'normal' sex aren’t aware of it. Jonathan Ned Katz, in The Invention of Heterosexuality, notes the impact of Krafft-Ebing’s move. “Placing the reproductive aside in the unconscious, Krafft-Ebing created a small, obscure space in which a new pleasure norm began to grow.”

The importance of this shift – from reproductive instinct to erotic desire – can’t be overstated, as it’s crucial to modern notions of sexuality. When most people today think of heterosexuality, they might think of something like this: Billy understands from a very young age he is erotically attracted to girls. One day he focuses that erotic energy on Suzy, and he woos her. The pair fall in love, and give physical sexual expression to their erotic desire. And they live happily ever after.

Rodin's The Kiss
It was only at the turn of the 20th Century that thinkers began to divorce sexual desire (depicted here in Rodin's The Kiss) from reproduction (Credit: Alamy)


Without Krafft-Ebing’s work, this narrative might not have ever become thought of as “normal.” There is no mention, however implicit, of procreation. Defining normal sexual instinct according to erotic desire was a fundamental revolution in thinking about sex. Krafft-Ebing’s work laid the groundwork for the cultural shift that happened between the 1923 definition of heterosexuality as “morbid” and its 1934 definition as “normal.”

Sex and the city


Ideas and words are often products of their time. That is certainly true of heterosexuality, which was borne out of a time when American life was becoming more regularised. As Blank argues, the invention of heterosexuality corresponds with the rise of the middle class.

The invention of heterosexuality corresponds with the rise of the middle class


In the late 19th Century, populations in European and North American cities began to explode. By 1900, for example, New York City had 3.4 million residents – 56 times its population just a century earlier. As people moved to urban centres, they brought their sexual perversions – prostitution, same-sex eroticism – with them. Or so it seemed. “By comparison to rural towns and villages,” Blank writes, “the cities seemed like hotbeds of sexual misconduct and excess.” When city populations were smaller, says Blank, it was easier to control such behaviour, just as it was easier to control when it took place in smaller, rural areas where neighbourly familiarity was a norm. Small-town gossip can be a profound motivator.

Because the increasing public awareness of these sexual practices paralleled the influx of lower classes into cities, “urban sexual misconduct was typically, if inaccurately, blamed” on the working class and poor, says Blank. It was important for an emerging middle class to differentiate itself from such excess. The bourgeois family needed a way to protect its members “from aristocratic decadence on the one side and the horrors of the teeming city on the other”. This required “systematic, reproducible, universally applicable systems for social management that could be implemented on a large scale”.

In the past, these systems could be based on religion, but “the new secular state required secular justification for its laws,” says Blank. Enter sex experts like Krafft-Ebing, who wrote in the introduction to his first edition of Psychopathia that his work was designed “to reduce [humans] to their lawful conditions.” Indeed, continues the preface, the present study “exercises a beneficent influence upon legislation and jurisprudence”.

Урбанизация — двигатель сексуальной революции
The anonymity of city life in the 19th Century was often blamed for freer - and more 'immoral' - sexual behaviour (Credit: Alamy)


Krafft-Ebing’s work chronicling sexual irregularity made it clear that the growing middle class could no longer treat deviation from normal (hetero) sexuality merely as sin, but as moral degeneracy – one of the worst labels a person could acquire. “Call a man a ‘cad’ and you’ve settled his social status,” wrote Williams James in 1895. “Call him a ‘degenerate’ and you’ve grouped him with the most loathsome specimens of the human race.” As Blank points out, sexual degeneracy became a yardstick to determine a person’s measure.

Degeneracy, after all, was the reverse process of social Darwinism. If procreative sex was critical to the continuous evolution of the species, deviating from that norm was a threat to the entire social fabric. Luckily, such deviation could be reversed, if it was caught early enough, thought the experts.

The formation of “sexual inversion” occurred, for Krafft-Ebing, through several stages, and was curable in the first. Through his work, writes Ralph M Leck, author of Vita Sexualis, “Krafft-Ebing sent out a clarion call against degeneracy and perversion. All civic-minded people must take their turn on the social watch tower.” And this was certainly a question of civics: most colonial personnel came from the middle class, which was large and growing.

Though some non-professionals were familiar with Krafft-Ebing’s work, it was Freud who gave the public scientific ways to think about sexuality. While it’s difficult to reduce the doctor’s theories to a few sentences, his most enduring legacy is his psychosexual theory of development, which held that children develop their own sexualities via an elaborate psychological parental dance.

For Freud, heterosexuals weren’t born this way, but made this way. As Katz points out, heterosexuality for Freud was an achievement; those who attained it successfully navigated their childhood development without being thrown off the straight and narrow.

And yet, as Katz notes, it takes an enormous imagination to frame this navigation in terms of normality:

According to Freud, the normal road to heterosexual normality is paved with the incestuous lust of boy and girl for parent of the other sex, with boy’s and girl’s desire to murder their same-sex parent-rival, and their wish to exterminate any little sibling-rivals. The road to heterosexuality is paved with blood-lusts… The invention of the heterosexual, in Freud’s vision, is a deeply disturbed production.

That such an Oedipal vision endured for so long as the explanation for normal sexuality is “one more grand irony of heterosexual history,” he says.

Alfred Kinsey
Alfred Kinsey (centre) may have relaxed the taboo around sex, but his reports reaffirmed the existing categories of homosexual and heterosexual behaviour (Credit: Getty Images)

Still, Freud’s explanation seemed to satisfy the majority of the public, who, continuing their obsession with standardising every aspect of life, happily accepted the new science of normal. Such attitudes found further scientific justification in the work of Alfred Kinsey, whose landmark 1948 study Sexual Behavior in the Human Male sought to rate the sexuality of men on a scale of zero (exclusively heterosexual) to six (exclusively homosexual). His findings led him to conclude that a large, if not majority, “portion of the male population has at least some homosexual experience between adolescence and old age”. While Kinsey’s study did open up the categories homo/hetero to allow for a certain sexual continuum, it also “emphatically reaffirmed the idea of a sexuality divided between” the two poles, as Katz notes.

The future of heterosexuality


And those categories have lingered to this day. “No one knows exactly why heterosexuals and homosexuals ought to be different,” wrote Wendell Ricketts, author of the 1984 study Biological Research on Homosexuality. The best answer we’ve got is something of a tautology: “heterosexuals and homosexuals are considered different because they can be divided into two groups on the basis of the belief that they can be divided into two groups.”

Though the hetero/homo divide seems like an eternal, indestructible fact of nature, it simply isn’t. It’s merely one recent grammar humans have invented to talk about what sex means to us.

Heterosexuality, argues Katz, “is invented within discourse as that which is outside discourse. It’s manufactured in a particular discourse as that which is universal… as that which is outside time.” That is, it’s a construction, but it pretends it isn’t. As any French philosopher or child with a Lego set will tell you, anything that’s been constructed can be deconstructed, as well. If heterosexuality didn’t exist in the past, then it doesn’t need to exist in the future.

I was recently caught off guard by Jane Ward, author of Not Gay, who, during an interview for a piece I wrote on sexual orientation, asked me to think about the future of sexuality. “What would it mean to think about people’s capacity to cultivate their own sexual desires, in the same way we might cultivate a taste for food?” Though some might be wary of allowing for the possibility of sexual fluidity, it’s important to realise that various Born This Way arguments aren’t accepted by the most recent science. Researchers aren’t sure what “causes” homosexuality, and they certainly reject any theories that posit a simple origin, such as a “gay gene.” It’s my opinion that sexual desires, like all our desires, shift and re-orient throughout our lives, and that as they do, they often suggest to us new identities. If this is true, then Ward’s suggestion that we can cultivate sexual preferences seems fitting. (For more of the scientific evidence behind this argument, read BBC Future’s ‘I am gay – but I wasn’t born this way’.)

Beyond Ward’s question is a subtle challenge: If we’re uncomfortable with considering whether and how much power we have over our sexualities, why might that be? Similarly, why might we be uncomfortable with challenging the belief that homosexuality, and by extension heterosexuality, are eternal truths of nature?

James Baldwin
The writer James Baldwin balked at defining people as straight or gay, arguing that "it answers a false argument, a false accusation" (Credit: Alamy)


In an interview with the journalist Richard Goldstein, the novelist and playwright James Baldwin admitted to having good and bad fantasies of the future. One of the good ones was that “No one will have to call themselves gay,” a term Baldwin admits to having no patience for. “It answers a false argument, a false accusation.”

Which is what?


“Which is that you have no right to be here, that you have to prove your right to be here. I’m saying I have nothing to prove. The world also belongs to me.”

Fewer than half British 18-24 year-olds identify as being 100% heterosexual


Once upon a time, heterosexuality was necessary because modern humans needed to prove who they were and why they were, and they needed to defend their right to be where they were. As time wears on, though, that label seems to actually limit the myriad ways we humans understand our desires and loves and fears. Perhaps that is one reason a recent UK poll found that fewer than half of those aged 18-24 identify as “100% heterosexual.” That isn’t to suggest a majority of those young respondents regularly practise bisexuality or homosexuality; rather it shows that they don’t seem to have the same need for the word “heterosexual” as their 20th-Century forebears.

Debates about sexual orientation have tended to focus on a badly defined concept of “nature.” Because different sex intercourse generally results in the propagation of the species, we award it a special moral status. But “nature” doesn’t reveal to us our moral obligations – we are responsible for determining those, even when we aren’t aware we’re doing so. To leap from an observation of how nature is to a prescription of nature ought to be is, as philosopher David Hume noted, to commit a logical fallacy.

sexual spectrum
As gay rights are increasingly recognised, many people also describe their sexual desires as lying on a spectrum (Credit: Alamy)

Why judge what is natural and ethical to a human being by his or her animal nature? Many of the things human beings value, such as medicine and art, are egregiously unnatural. At the same time, humans detest many things that actually are eminently natural, like disease and death. If we consider some naturally occurring phenomena ethical and others unethical, that means our minds (the things looking) are determining what to make of nature (the things being looked at). Nature doesn’t exist somewhere “out there,” independently of us – we’re always already interpreting it from the inside.

Until this point in our Earth’s history, the human species has been furthered by different-sex reproductive intercourse. About a century ago, we attached specific meanings to this kind of intercourse, partly because we wanted to encourage it. But our world is very different now than what it was. Technologies like preimplantation genetic diagnosis [PGD] and in vitro fertilisation [IVF] are only improving. The first human to be born by IVF turned 25 years old last year. In 2013, more than 63,000 babies were conceived via IVF. In fact, more than five million children have been born through assisted reproductive technologies. Granted, this number still keeps such reproduction in the slim minority, but all technological advances start out with the numbers against them.

Socially, too, heterosexuality is losing its “high ground,” as it were. If there was a time when homosexual indiscretions were the scandals du jour, we’ve since moved on to another world, one riddled with the heterosexual affairs of politicians and celebrities, complete with pictures, text messages, and more than a few video tapes. Popular culture is replete with images of dysfunctional straight relationships and marriages. Further, between 1960 and 1980, Katz notes, the divorce rate rose 90%. And while it’s dropped considerably over the past three decades, it hasn’t recovered so much that anyone can claim “relationship instability” is something exclusive to homosexuality, as Katz shrewdly notes.

The line between heterosexuality and homosexuality isn’t just blurry, as some take Kinsey’s research to imply – it’s an invention, a myth, and an outdated one. Men and women will continue to have different-genital sex with each other until the human species is no more. But heterosexuality – as a social marker, as a way of life, as an identity – may well die out long before then.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Egyptian light

Ашан, март 17
это не тьма, египецкая, а светлость неудачного импортозамещения

Methods for Estimating Sub-State International Migration: The Case of Australia

Spatial Demography
have a look
Even in statistically advanced countries, estimates of subnational international migration are often lacking. In Australia, immigration and emigration estimates are regularly published for the States and Territories, but not for finer geographical scales. Some sub-state immigration data are available from the census, but equivalent emigration data do not exist. This paper proposes a method for creating sub-state immigration and emigration estimates for Australia which are consistent with state-level international migration statistics published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). International migration flows for the period 2006–2011 were estimated for 49 sub-state regions comprising State/Territory capital city regions and large regions outside the capitals. Use was made of ABS state-level international migration statistics disaggregated by visa/citizenship category, and detailed census data. Immigration was simply distributed to regions on the basis of census immigration flows. The estimation of emigration was more complex: state-level flows by visa/citizenship category were distributed spatially according to different combinations of census variables. The methods are shown to produce plausible estimates of immigration and emigration, and thus net international migration, at the sub-state scale. These estimates should prove useful for improving our knowledge and understanding international migration flows in Australia at the regional scale, and for setting population projection assumptions.


Tom Wilson
View author's OrcID profile
Northern Institute | Charles Darwin University | Darwin | Australia
DOI: 10.1007/s40980-017-0032-1
Wilson, T. Spat Demogr (2017). doi:10.1007/s40980-017-0032-1