8 Paranoid Sex Myths Spread by America's Anti-Sex Crusaders (Debunked by Science)
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Myth: The porn industry is populated with actors and actresses who are recklessly spreading STDs.
Science: Porn actors and actresses are tested for STDs regularly. Their rate of HIV infection is a tiny fraction of the rate in the general population.
The ongoing lies spread by the Sexual Disaster Industry have tangible, serious effects on individuals and on our country.
Irrational fear about the amount of stranger kidnappings, for example, has led to an enormous, nationwide apparatus (including Megan's Law, Adam Walsh Act, and Amber Alert) that is inefficiently sucking up taxpayer dollars intended to protect children.
Sex offender laws are increasingly being used to punish people who are not a danger to the community (for example, teens who have sex with teens, or who "sext" pictures of themselves). As sex offender registries expand and become more punitive (in Florida, absurd residency restrictions have created colonies of sex offenders living under freeway overpasses), more and more people are prevented from living normal lives -- putting communities, ironically, at greater risk.
We already know what happens to kids exposed to abstinence-only sex "education": They have sex before marriage anyway, but they're less prepared to make good decisions and to be honest with adults.
On a societal level, it turns out that if you want to discredit or simply ignore science, sexuality is a great place to do it. Recall that in 2005, many "decency" groups such as the Family Research Council effectively blocked the widespread American distribution of Gardasil, claiming that inoculating twelve-year-olds against HPV would encourage " promiscuity." Not only did they present no evidence, their lack of evidence was not seen as a weakness in their position.
And a year ago, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) announced that "abortion is well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does."
Everyone knows -- or can know -- that Congress already prevents Planned Parenthood from using any government funding to provide abortions. And it's easily verifiable that abortion comprises some 3 percent of Planned Parenthood's total medical procedures.
When challenged about this lie, Kyl's press secretary explained that the senator's remark "was not intended to be a factual statement, but rather to illustrate that Planned Parenthood, an organization that receives millions in taxpayer dollars, does subsidize abortions." Put another way, Senator Kyl made up a story, used it to crank up the public's support of his position, and then admitted it was not "factual." "Factual" has become simply one position, competing with others.
The facts about sexuality should not be trivialized into a matter of opinion. As Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but everyone is NOT entitled to their own facts.
When science is reduced to just one among many ways of relating to reality, science suffers. So does our Republic.
Dr. Marty Klein is a sociologist and policy analyst in Palo Alto, CA. This article is adapted from his book America's War On Sex: The Continuing Attack on Law, Lust & Liberty, released this week in an updated second edition.