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Sexual Freedom

  1. Jan 3, 2004 #1
    Question:

    When comparing USA and Iran, we see that the USA has six times the HIV infection rate (as a percentage of the population) of Iran. It could be said that this is an indication of greater sexual freedom. In other words, it could be said that people in the USA have more freedom to indulge their desires and screw whomever they choose..

    However, might it not also be said that such a figure indicates a culture in which a great many people are enslaved by their base urgers? A culture in which instant gratification supercedes all else? McDonalds, KFC, disposable everythings, and sex on demand from nigh-anonymous partners?

    Put simply, should we see such "sexual freedom" as actually being more free; or being totally enslaved by the simplest, basest urges of the human animal; or maybe a bit of both?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 3, 2004 #2
    I think it's being more free (assuming we're talking about consenting sex). There's nothing wrong with following an urge for the simple reason that it DOES give instant gratification or that it IS primitive. Instant gratification is not bad in itself, but only bad in specific (and numerous- thus the bad "rep") instances. Primitivity is not bad in itself either, but only in specific (again, numerious- again, the bad "rep") instances.
     
  4. Jan 3, 2004 #3
    http://www.rferl.org/nca/news/1997/01/N.RU.970107180943.html

    Iran reported 110 Executions in 1997 (latest numbers I could find) with a population of 48 million.

    In 2001 the US reported 66 executions with a populations of ~285 milllion.


    So, in Iran you are about 9 times more likely to be put to death than in the US.
    I don't think sexual desire is the largest lack of freedom. I would say that the risk of stoning for acting on that sexual desire is.
     
  5. Jan 3, 2004 #4
    Also, if Sexual freedom is a hidden form of slavery, should performing a clitoradectomy on all females be a form of liberation for this invisible cell?
     
  6. Jan 3, 2004 #5
    Sorry to fill up the thread, but can I see the link to these Iran numbers? I can't seem to find them anywhere.
     
  7. Jan 3, 2004 #6
    phatmonky

    Bush alone presided over 152 executions just within Texas. The USA has one quarter of the world's prison population. Big deal. What is your point in introducing these figures?

    Yeah, that would suck. So do you have anything to say about Iran?

    http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/

    Of course, non-USA sources may have different numbers.
     
  8. Jan 3, 2004 #7
    Sikz

    Oh, I agree. It is when people lack that whole 'judgement" thing, or "common sense", that acting on such urges is bad. Personally I think it best if people know their drives, the reasons and effects, and choose to do or not do as they see fit, based on reason alone, rather than simply blindly following their desires.
     
  9. Jan 3, 2004 #8
    In Australia, AIDS rates are increasing on an unprecidented level. Two states make up 90% of the country's AIDS cases - why? The article says they don't know. What do you think is the reason for the isolated (sort of) increase? population density? lifestyle in just those two areas?
    http://www.fridae.com/magazine/en20030602_1_1.php




    US AIDS rates incrased for the first time in a decade in 2001. Why now? Trust me, the splurging of the 90's boom was more than just economical. The lifestyle you point to, of fast instant gratification was fully in swing then, but rates didn't increase. Why now?
    http://www.fridae.com/magazine/en20030219_2_1.php


    I dont' personally feel that an open society or acting on sexual urges is the core reason for the increase. As the Australian article mentions, it seems there is a large amount of ignorance in high risk communities as to how bad AIDS/HIV really is, or how well it can be treated.

    Sure you can enforce stonings and beheadings to control abstinence, but that is partially using reverse logic I believe. It is akin to cutting your finger off because you keep getting a wart on it. Sure it stops the wart, but is it really the reason you are getting the wart, or the best way to control it?


    EDIT - this is interesting, and fairly pathetic....

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2003-02-11-hiv-rates-rising_x.htm

    A study of nearly 3,000 men who surf chat rooms on gay Web sites found that 84% met sex partners online and 64% of them had high-risk sex. Eight percent of those with HIV had HIV-negative sex partners.

    By those numbers, about 1:20 with HIV had sex with a non HIV person without a condom.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2004
  10. Jan 3, 2004 #9
    phatmonky

    99% of this country's population is located along a 2,000 kilometre strip of coastline. Most places you go here, there is nobody around.

    The reason? Wel, one of those articles suggests:
    I don't believe anyone apart from a few religious leaders has ever suggested that stoning and such are good methods of social control.

    A few days ago, there was someone from the Health Department on TV talking about a suddent increase in HIV cases and other STD cases. He suggested that after the initial big scare campaigns of the early 1990s, the scare campaign dies down somewhat, and what was once a problem is now so commonplace that people simply don't worry as much any more.
     
  11. Jan 3, 2004 #10
    Re: phatmonky


    I need to run, so I'm just responding to this for now. I fully respond more later...


    http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGMDE130242001?open&of=ENG-IRN
    "The stoning of Maryam Ayoubi increases concern that the authorities may carry out even more executions by stoning. A woman identified only as Robabeh was reported on 24 June to have been sentenced to 50 lashes to be followed by death by stoning for adultery. Her unnamed male accomplice had reportedly been sentenced to 100 lashes and death by hanging. "

    Supported or not, they occur for things like adultery.




    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2609597.stm
    Luckily this year (or damn, now last 2003) they suspended stonings for adulterous women. But that was recent, and before our HIV numbers, so the effect of stoning could still play a part in all of our discussion due to the dates of our rates posted. Not to mention, I don't know how mcuh of Iran's high execution rate is due to adultery.
     
  12. Jan 3, 2004 #11
    That would be those religious leaders.
     
  13. Jan 5, 2004 #12

    You're missing the point - whether supported largely or not, they are enforced and thus are to be factoed in as a detterant.

    So, unless you consider the ability to satisfy base desires to be encroaching on your freedoms further than stonings to death, I'm going to say that this isn't much of a debate.
     
  14. Jan 6, 2004 #13
    This is as logically as I can put the question:

    An attempt to define freedom...

    A simple question can get us started:
    1) Is a man in a cage free, if he has no wish to leave that cage?

    It seems to me there are two possible answers:
    • A) No. In which case we determine freedom based on the physical.
    • B) Yes. In which case freedom is in the mind.
    No answers itself.

    In the case of B, move forward...

    However, if "yes", that gives us one more question:
    2) Is the man in the cage aware of a world beyond his cage?

    If the man is aware of all the world beyond his cage, and yet chooses to remain in his cage, is he:
    • A) Still help captive be fears and such? (which takes us back to 1)
    • B) Free, because he has veiwed all options and made a choice?
    In the case of B, he is free.

    However, if the man is not aware of the world beynd his cage, that gives rise to a third question:
    3) Is ignorance bliss?
    • A) Ignorance of other options means slavery.
    • B) Ignorance of other options does not mean slavery.

    Would anyone care to create further logical constructs, or answer the final two questions?
     
  15. Jan 11, 2004 #14
  16. Jan 11, 2004 #15
    question

    isn't there much more sexual freedom in scandanavia??? what is their AIDS rate?

    wouldn't the most free sample base be the control against which other cultures are measured?

    peace,
     
  17. Jan 12, 2004 #16
    Well, you could say that everyone is enslaved by their desires, but what is the use in that? Generally, the problem that people see with slavery is the fact that you can't do what you want to do, so some would ask doing what you want to do could possibly be slavery? Although, there is also the idea of "slavery" of one's mind in that by being mentally impaired in some way, whether of ignorance, stupidity, obsesssion, or anything else, you are restricting yourself from positive experiences.

    So, if indulging in primal urges is slavery, it must be limiting you from other experiences. For example, if you have no self-control to the point that you lose your job, your health, and all other aspects of your life due to spending all your time on sex, then one might legitimately say that you are a "slave" to sex.

    However, there is nothing wrong with indulging, in and of itself. If there is to be any reason to live, it is to experience joy. If you do not experience joy, then you're better off dead (at least for yourself, anyways. Your friends/family might not think so).

    It is only when it signifcantly hampers other pleasures that lust/indulging can be considered bad.
     
  18. Feb 10, 2004 #17
    I think we should distinguish external freedom (does society allow me to do X) and internal freedom (my self-control, my ability to resist the urge to do X).

    Complete freedom requires both types of freedom. But on the level of society only external freedom is a meaningful measure. You certainly will be happier if you have sufficient self-control, in a free society as well as in an unfree society. In an unfree society you have become a criminal without self-control, moreover in a situation where it is dangerous to do criminal things. With self-control, it is your choice if to do criminal things is an appropriate risk. But you will be happier with self-control in a free society too.

    There may be also some statistical information - the percentage of people with sufficient self-control. It may be low in modern Western culture. But this is not a problem of society, but your personal problem. If you have self-control, you will be happy in a free society, even if people without self-control are not. You can solve the problem for yourself, you don´t need state and police for this.
     
  19. Feb 10, 2004 #18
    I believe freedom is the ability to do as one pleases without fear of consequence. On that note, we are not free, no country is. No man is. No being is. There will always be cause and effect, our actions will always have consequences, therefore we are never truly free.

    If you kill an animal and eat it, you may be 'enslaved' by a virus within and your functions limited. If you walk down to the store and take a candy bar, you may be 'enslaved' by the clerk who will not let you leave unless you pay or return the candy bar. It's a neverending matrix of cause and effect.

    Freedom is merely an expression which represents our ability to choose our own religion, our own beliefs, our own government, say as we please, etc. We are relatively free, but we do not know and cannot know true freedom.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2004
  20. Feb 16, 2004 #19
    addiction

    It is merely an addiction. In this case not to a chemical that is outwardly produced, but addiction to our own endorphins. Almost identical brain patterns are observed in an orgasm and in drug indulgence. How can any introspective person not see that nature has designed our own minds and desires to imprison us???? This does not mean the prison house is us. Relative Freedom and its opposite are intellecual or emotional constructs. True freedom, I think, has no opposite and it is achieved by transcending relative freedom. It has no opposite because absolute ignorance is not possible. So in the case of the man in the cage, complete understanding offers him true freedom. Even if he wants to leave through understanding that there is a world out there but he is forced not to, he is infinitly more free that if he were content living in the cage through ignorance of a world out there. That is all.

    Hedonists do not understand that they are enslaved by the psychological conditioning of their society an of their body (mostly society, human sex impulse is only to a very small degree hormonal).

    Every great cililization goes through a pattern. In the twilight of a civilizations fall, it has been observed though history, that sex indulence takes a sharp rise. Look at ancient Rome before it fell. America's sexual "freedom" may be an indicator, although I suspect it was similar in the 1920's as today.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2004
  21. Feb 22, 2004 #20
    Statistics are much like Bikinis. What they show is important but what they cover up is essential. Sure based on the statistic the US has a higher percent of HIV infection but then again you need to compare the society of US and Iran in a different light. What do you think the propensity for your standard iranian to go get tested for HIV? Since prostitution is so underground and highly punishable and homosexuality is much the same. Adultry and rape are rarely reported. I personally feel that anyone that takes part in those activities in Iran isn't very likely to go to a clinic to ask for a test. So in all reality the infection rate may be much higher due to religious ideals and a very male dominated society reducing the usage of condoms during underground risky activities. Having been to the middle east myself I feel that just because their society says something is forbidden just drives it into hiding (much like american prohibition) but doesn't reduce it's level of instance.
     
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