Sexual Intelligence
An Electronic Newsletter

Written and published by Marty Klein, Ph.D.

Issue #55 -- September 2004


1. Jersey Governor Bi--Gay And Corrupt
2. Texas Vs. Education: Everyone's Problem
3. Texas Textbooks II: Flat Earth?
4. Now That's Conservative--and Excellent
5. Inflating Packages and Expectations
6. No Sense of Humor? Sue

1. Jersey Governor Bi--Gay And Corrupt

It still isn't clear if it's a sex story or a corruption story, a momentary event or a historical one. But New Jersey governor James McGreevey recently showed he goes both ways: the modern sensibility of coming out gay, alongside the traditional values of political corruption and personal greed.

This is probably less a sex story than a political story. But most Americans are far less interested in the screwing of millions of constituents than in a tale or two of sodomy.

McGreevey has been under investigation for many violations of public responsibility, including stealing and lying. Most recently, he filled the state's post of homeland security advisor with his former lover Golan Cipel--a non-citizen without experience or expertise in this area.

Cipel eventually claimed their sex wasn't consensual, and demanded millions in hush money to not file a sexual harassment lawsuit.

It appears that the threat of being outed in this way led to McGreevey's choice to out himself. This was a good decision for society: when enough high-profile gays are out of the closet, it will be clear that being gay is no obstacle to having a security clearance or public trust.

McGreevey resigned as governor in the wake of financial and other official improprieties--at the same time, unfortunately, that he came out. Thus, some people can still assume that being gay somehow disqualifies him from being governor. It doesn't, of course. What disqualifies him is his bad personnel judgments and willingness to be bought by pressure groups.

A half-century ago, Israel founder David Ben-Gurion said that "We will know we have become a normal country when Jewish thieves and Jewish prostitutes conduct their business in Hebrew."

To gay divorce, gay drug abuse, and gay domestic violence, we can now add gay corrupt politicians. Looks like gays will be considered "normal" any day now.


2. Texas Vs. Education: Everyone's Problem

Over the years, SI has criticized many states--Alabama for banning vibrators, Missouri for requiring adults to wait for abortions, Kansas for trying to shut down sexuality courses at its state university (#s 54, 44, 39), to name a few. But as with everything concerning Texas, the implications of their textbook purchasing process are huge. Because Texas is the second-biggest market for textbooks in the United States, the books they choose are then marketed (and used) nationally.

Texas educators are now debating the content of new high school sex education books. The Board of Education is choosing among four books, all of which passionately praise abstinence. Three omit contraception completely, while one barely mentions condoms.

Not surprisingly, federal data show Texas once again among the top five states in the country for teenage pregnancies and STDs. Not content to undermine the lives of its own citizens, it routinely drags down the educational systems of other states, who are limited to textbooks written for the huge Texas market.

As governor of Texas, George W. Bush pushed an abstinence-based sex education curriculum. In this year's State of the Union address, he promised to double federal funding for abstinence programs, "so schools can teach this fact of life: Abstinence for young people is the only certain way to avoid sexually transmitted diseases."

The President either doesn't read SI or reads it but doesn't remember much, so we'll repeat this for his benefit: abstinence is among the least reliable forms of contraception and disease protection. As previously reported (#42), almost 2/3 of a sample of Kentucky undergraduates vowing abstinence broke their pledge while still in school. The study has now been replicated around the country.

The publishers pandering to Texas' inability to distinguish between education and moral pressure are Holt, Rinehart and Winston; Glencoe/McGraw Hill; and Thomson Delmar Learning. With our positive attitude, SI gives annual awards for Sexual Intelligence; were we of a mind to go negative, these three publishers would be getting Sexual Cowardice Awards.


3. Texas Textbooks II: Flat Earth?

The new Texas sex education books will replace books which actually contain more information about contraception. It appears that Texas is attempting to restore the Dark Ages, five centuries during which people actually had less information than they had before. I suppose Texans feel that if it was good enough for Europe, it's good enough for America.

The Texas Board of Education has battled over many political and religious issues over the years, including a recent proposal by evangelical Christian groups to include material "debunking" evolution. Here are other proposals Texas may wish to implement to maintain this sophisticated level of "education":

Texas: when they cry "remember the Alamo," they mean "remember the 19th century."


4. Now That's Conservative--and Excellent

America's supposedly "conservative" governments--national, state, and local--have spent trillions of dollars intruding on citizens’ private lives with relentless wars on pornography, contraception, sex toys, strip clubs, and other forms of alleged "indecency." There's nothing "conservative" about that--just good old-fashioned hypocrisy and repressed voyeurism, ordered by too-big government and paid for by tax dollars.

Across the Pond, on the other hand, real conservatives are talking with integrity about an approach to teen sexuality. Andrew Lansley, the health secretary-in-waiting for UK's opposition Tory party, has unveiled a plan that would encourage teens to take more control of their sexual lives to combat a recent increase in STDs and HIV. The plan is a big departure from years of right-wingers demanding that children be taught to abstain.

Dismissing calls for US-style programs that encourage teens to remain virgins until marriage, Lansley told the London Observer, "I'm not talking about abstinence, I'm talking about something designed to empower young people to choose. It's feeling one has a greater sense of control over what one does with one's body, and being able to resist peer pressure or pressure from boyfriends."

British research has consistently shown that teenagers delay starting sex and are less likely to get pregnant when they are taught both the mechanics of contraception and about self-esteem and how relationships work.

Of course, the English have more experience as conservatives, founding the Tory party back in 1689. How nice to see that they're combining this with respect for science, attention to reality, and compassion for people's lives and choices. That's how far America's sex education policies have sunk--compassionate conservatism would actually be an improvement.


5. Inflating Packages and Expectations

This year's winner of the most pointless consumer item is The Bulge, a polyvinyl falsie for men's crotches. The advertising says it "creates an impressive package enhancement in any swimsuit or underwear, giving a guy greater visual proportions."

History does show that some people can be convinced of anything--the Broadway classic M.Butterfly tells the true story of a man who was lovers with a man he thought was a woman for years. But assuming you're not shopping for a self-deceiving 19th-century British diplomat, exactly who are you going to fool with this thing? If you do attract a man or woman based on their expectation of King Kong, how will you help them handle their disappointment at the moment of truth?

Perhaps The Bulge is only for one-night stands, or for guys who plan to only give head. Otherwise, it should come with a warning--Caution: although hypoallergenic, this product can create irritation--in the partners of those who use it. Or perhaps it should be packaged with Prozac--for the depression its discovery induces in optimistic partners.


6. No Sense of Humor? Sue

We're told to be careful what we ask for, because we might get it. So what if you ask for--and get--employment in an industry that requires people to tell jokes you don't like? If the jokes are about sex and you're a woman, you sue.

That's what Amaani Lyle is doing. Hired by Warner Brothers to take notes during script meetings of the sitcom Friends, she was fired for being an inadequate typist. She doesn't contest this crucial occupational inadequacy, but she claims the raunchy jokes and colorful dating stories during brainstorming sessions of a comedy about sexy single people created a "hostile work environment" that made her uncomfortable.

Historically, laws in democratic countries have generally attempted to control behavior, while totalitarian governments have attempted to control speech and even thought. American laws of the last 20 years are changing that, however. Public art, sexual fantasy, email chat, and sexual speech are increasingly restricted, as the "feelings" of our coworkers and neighbors are seen as sufficient reason for government intervention. As UCLA Law School Professor Eugene Volokh documents, removing a perfectly legal statue or classical play from common view because its sexual aspects make someone "uncomfortable" is increasingly common (

When new regulations outlawed the creation of a "hostile work environment" in the 1980s, they were intended to prevent only racial and gender "harassment" that was repeated, pervasive, and so severe as to obstruct individuals from performing their job. The Friends lawsuit shows how "hostile environment" law has created a right not to be offended at work if you're in a legally-defined protected group--even if the "offensive" workplace discussion is central to its professional mission.

The Court of Appeals that upheld Lyle's claim says that if she has to work in an atmosphere that "sufficiently offends" her "so as to disrupt her emotional tranquility in the workplace," she has been deprived of her opportunity to work. In other words, a woman who is uncomfortable with sex jokes has a legal right to work in an industry whose product is sex jokes. This is like giving someone who hates the smell of perfume the legal right to work in a perfume factory--and to sue when he's uncomfortable.

Like a child who kills her parents and asks the Court for mercy because she's an orphan, or a Jew who works for a Nazi group and feels ostracized, pursuing work at an adult sitcom and then crying about the sexual innuendo is a stunningly disingenuous choice--that should not receive legal protection.

While everyone deserves a fair chance to succeed in America, appealing to the most erotophobic sentiment to create a sexless work (or university) environment is not about fairness--it's about bleaching eroticism out of society, which is patently unfair (and offensive) to many. But sex-positive feelings don't legally count, because erotophiles are not a protected class like ethnic minorities or women. When can someone sue because short skirts are banned in a private office? When can someone sue because "that guy thinks with his dick" is tolerated, but "that woman needs more sex" isn't? Or because a cross around someone's neck is acceptable, but a Judy Chicago-style silver vulva isn't?

Most people feel more comfortable limiting "harassment" than "offensive speech," but regardless of its label, American society is establishing more and more speech codes in more and more places. And limiting permissible speech to achieve lofty aims is as bad as censorship to support dictators.

If the California Supreme Court fails to reverse the Lyle decision, the workplace will join the college campus as a place where some are entitled to the comfort of not having their sensibilities challenged, while others suffer arbitrary censorship. In such an inhibited, anxious environment, everyone ultimately loses.


You may quote anything herein, with the following attribution:
"Reprinted from Sexual Intelligence, copyright © Marty Klein, Ph.D. ("