21 September 2015

So, you want to be a sexologist... (part 1)

I love being a sex researcher: I have no dull days! People with new ideas email to share them and ask questions. People with sexual problems call for help (or re-assurance). Law enforcement ask for trainings on better ways to prevent sexual abuse. Activists (of all persuasions) blog and tweet about whatever either agrees or disagrees with their political goals. (How often do you meet people who are neutral about a sexual issue?) And, of course, there is the natural fascination we have for the material itself. As my father would say,

“If you’re going to think about sex all day anyway,
you may as well get a job at it.”

17 September 2015

Becoming a Wikipedia editor for sex and sex violence pages. [Interview excerpt]

by Ian McPhail (complete post at NextGenForensic)

“I started hearing those very same sentences getting quoted almost verbatim by major media outlets. I can’t help but think that if we, meaning the topic experts who are around (and could be around) didn’t put that information in there, what would these media outlets be saying then?”

IVM: Since you’ve been a Wikipedia editor for a while, tell me about some of the things you have done as an editor.

JMC: When I first joined Wikipedia, it was still uncharted territory and was still the Wild West. In the context of that, Wikipedia didn’t always police itself very well and was subject to a lot of manipulation. Now, the way I got involved was because some people who considered themselves justified activists, one of the activist groups, and one person in particular, a trans-activist, was using Wikipedia to promote herself. For example, she was trying to start a Hollywood career and was inserting references to herself and her commercial websites marketing makeup and other products to the transgender market, via Wikipedia pages. One of the other things she did at the time was to turn certain Wikipedia pages into attack pages against certain people she did not like, which included a few sex researchers who were reporting things that did not align with her particular political views. Since I knew many of those researchers, at that time I joined Wikipedia to correct the misinformation. That was the context in which I first started.

14 September 2015

Dear Dr. James,

I am working with a 15 year old male who has issues of taking his mother and sisters underwear to masturbate in.  He has not acted out sexually in any other way.  His mother is insistent that she wants to let him buy his own female underwear.  I have been working with this young man to replace this fetish with appropriate masturbation and fantasies.  Any suggestions?


15 July 2013

Happy Birthday, Virtuous Pedophiles!

An important, if controversial, new mutual support group just celebrated the first anniversary of its founding. For most people, pedophile is a synonym for child molester, but they are very different things, as the Virtuous Pedophiles demonstrate (www.VirPed.org). 'Pedophilia' refers to the sexual interest in children, whereas 'child molestation' refers to the actual behavior. Despite the common notion that pedophiles are all child molesters in waiting, very many—perhaps even most—pedophiles know they cannot express their sexual interests and work to be celibate, for their lifetimes, with no support from anyone. These are the Virtuous Pedophiles, and they deserve every credit and support we can provide them.

10 July 2013

Atypical sex and atypical sex researchers:
Who thinks what of whom?

The mainstream media have been remarkable in challenging several of the public (mis-)conceptions about pedophilia. (If nothing else, the public emotionality and the potential implications of pedophilia being a brain phenomenon keep this a very popular, attention-getting topic for the media.) Even more interesting than the public reactions, I think, have been the reactions I’ve received from the actual groups I get to study. I almost wanted to title this post Hate Mail/Fan Mail.

The feedback I receive from pedophilic folks has, in general, fit into two camps. Indeed, the feedback I receive from all the atypical sexuality communities I've done research with has generally fit into two camps: People either love it or hate it, usually depending on whether the findings seem to support what they already believed before they saw the research and on whether they think the findings are flattering or politically useful.