Let’s talk about sex! Oh, but not in a fun, sexy way. I mean in a way that will involve scientific research, bad takes on Twitter, and Latin expressions like post hoc ergo propter hoc. I’m really fun at parties, guys.
Alright, here’s the thread that inspired today’s video: Alexandra D. Hunt, a “public health activist,” recently tweeted a thread which began with “Young men don’t have sex!”
Nearly a third of men under 30 have not had sex. And a higher percentage aren’t having sex as much as they’d like – not really surprising, but those sorts of stats are a sign of much deeper issues.
And she backed up that claim with a graph that, to cut to the chase, clearly shows that she’s already wrong. The chart makes it very clear that it shows the “share of men and women aged 18-30 who reported no sex IN THE LAST YEAR”. Never.” She doesn’t cite or link to the article she pulled this graphic from, but thankfully the screenshot also shows the source to be the General Social Survey published in the Washington Post, so a quick search led me to find it: a March 2019 article titled “The proportion of Americans not having sex has reached an all-time high.” As always, everything I talk about in all my videos is linked in the transcript, which you can find on my patreon, linked in the description below!
Neither the screenshot of the Hunt graph nor the article it comes from support any of his claims beyond the vague “young men don’t have sex.” It’s not “nearly a third”, it’s 28%, which is more like a quarter; it’s not that they haven’t had sex, it’s just in the last year; there is no data to suggest that a “higher percentage don’t have sex as much as they would like” (in fact last year one poll per game found that “81% of men say they now find sex less important than before the pandemic”) and that there is no data to indicate that “this type of statistic is a sign of much deeper issues “.
But as fake as that first Tweet is, I regret to inform you that she has decided to turn it into a full thread, and is actually making it worse.
“Our society criminalizes sex and sweeps it under the rug. The consequences are simple – there is more violence. Since platforms like Craigslist were banned from advertising sex, serious violent crimes against all women – not just sex workers – have almost increased? »
Sigh. So… first of all, she doesn’t include any quotes for this, and I’ve spent a good hour of my day trying to find data to suggest that violent crimes against all women have increased by 20% since 2010, when Craigslist shut down their ads for sex workers. In fact, most sources seem to agree that violence against women has decreased, at least in the United States where “Rates of sexual violence in the United States, whether measured by arrest or victimization, have declined by more than 50 percent over the past 20 years…the rate of rape and sexual assault victimization has gone from more than four per 1,000 (aged 12 and older) in 1993 to around 1.3 per 1,000 in 2012. And, if you add up all intimate partner violence (including all rape, sexual assault, robbery and aggravated assault by spouses, boyfriends or girlfriends), the rate fell from nearly 10 per 1,000 in 1994 to 3.2 per 1,000 in 2012.”
That is, until COVID-19, at which time the The United Nations has predicted a 20% increase in cases of domestic violence worldwide. But, again, it wasn’t due to Craigslist, it was due to COVID. And that was a prediction, not actual data.
Here’s our first look at post hoc ergo propter hoc: Just because one thing happened, and then another thing happened, doesn’t mean the first thing caused the second. And it’s not even clear that the second thing even happened.
Yet she persisted:
“And men who don’t have sex suffer – they’re less likely to be in the labor force and more likely to suffer from depression, nihilism and other mental health issues.”
Ah, we’ve come to the all time classic, “correlation does not equal causation”. Again, she doesn’t cite any sources and I couldn’t find any sources, but let’s just say she’s right, and men who haven’t had sex (in the past year) are more likely to have mental health issues. How do we know that mental health issues don’t lead to lack of sex? Depression and anxiety are barriers to finding and keeping a romantic partner, which is the first step, you know, to having sex with someone.
“The #MeToo movement has accomplished so much, and we need to take the next step: normalize healthy, positive, consensual sex. Decriminalize sex work, fund sex education, and create awareness programs that help young people to develop healthy sexual habits.
Incredibly, she finally posted an absolutely correct tweet. Congratulations to her. But that has nothing to do with the “problem” of young men not having sex. Well, not the way she seems to think: some experts think that one of the reasons young men aren’t having sex as much is the success of #MeToo and comprehensive sex education that emphasizes consent. Young women have higher standards, better self-esteem and a better understanding of what they want. Maybe the men just haven’t caught up yet.
While everything she says is more or less correct, this Tweet suddenly referencing sex work is the first hint that Hunt is about to get real dark and wrong. Prepare yourselves:
“We should be moving towards a right to sex. People should be able to have sex whenever they want, and we need to develop services that meet people’s needs without attaching the baggage of shame or criminalization.
YIKES. Ouch !!!!! The “right to sex” is not something a serious person should advocate. NO ONE DESERVES SEX. There are so many things wrong with this that I don’t know where to start. But let’s go with this: the line of logic drawn by Hunt says that lack of sex drives men to violence, and therefore these violent men should be allowed to be served by sex workers so they don’t kill us. not all. I just… goddamn it.
Part of the problem here is how we think of “incels”. The incels, or involuntary celibates, became a community of angry boys and men (although the term was originally coined by an asexual woman), and these angry boys and men created a chamber of echo where they exhort each other to hate women, to abuse women and sometimes to kill women. I can’t believe I have to say this but: the problem isn’t the lack of sex. The problem is hatred of women, and men abuse and murder women whether or not they can have sex. There’s a reason we have a whole category of violence against women known as “intimate partner violence.” These intimate partners GET SEX. SEX IS NOT THE PROBLEM. There is a reason why we consider sex workers to be particularly at risk of violence from men. Hint: it’s not because sex workers don’t give men sex. SEX IS NOT THE PROBLEM.
And even if we lived in a magical world where giving men sex made them less likely to murder us, we shouldn’t sit back and expect sex workers to accept the work of fucking sociopaths to keep them peaceful. . Jesus.
As I mentioned in my video earlier this year on incel terrorism, researchers have found that a love of violence is rooted in things like “enhancing masculinity through misogyny.” Masculinity is extremely important to incels, and they consider sex and violence against women to be the two main markers of masculinity. Giving them sex does not remove violence as an additional marker of masculinity.
Yes, we should decriminalize sex work, but we should do it to protect sex workers, not to fuck up incel misogyny.
In closing, let me return to the Washington Post article that Hunt fails to link to and apparently hasn’t read: it notes that the drop in the number of young men having sex has started in 2008, and let’s see, it was so long ago that I forget what happened so let me google “what happened in 2008” and read word for word the top result:
“The 2008 financial crisis began with cheap credit and lax lending standards fueling a housing bubble. When the bubble burst, the banks were left with trillions of dollars in worthless investments in subprime mortgages. The Great Recession that followed cost many their jobs, savings and homes.
Yeah, that’s the year a whole bunch of people (the majority being young men) had to move back in with their baby boomer parents, and let me just say that as a woman who loves relationships sex with men you know what kind of killer horn is? The guy’s mom pops her head in to see if we’d like some snacks and Sunny Ds. A poster of Pam Anderson in Baywatch above the bed. A Sega Genesis with an off-brand controller where the “x” button is broken.
The slowdown has also resulted in many job losses, and of course, someone dug into the General Social Survey data and found that men who did not have sex were significantly more likely to be “either a) college students, b) unemployed, or c) part-time and/or low-income workers.”
He also found that the biggest factor in young men not having sex was if they said they were unmarried. This is consistent with data showing that the age of first marriage in the United States has steadily increased throughout history: Men in 1980 tended to be married at 24, whereas last year they tended to wait until at least 30. to sex.
All of that aside, I think our society faces a problem with men feeling disaffected, lonely, and disconnected from society. We have an unacceptably large population of men that we have failed to prepare for in 2022: understanding and managing their own emotions, taking care of their lives without maternal presence, forming healthy relationships with others, and seeing women as fully functioning human beings. And it is men who are most at risk of falling into these echo chambers where they substitute all this with hatred and violence. Solving this problem will require much more than “just” decriminalizing sex work.