Facebook causes syphilis, gay Teletubbies, rock n roll is devil's music and more silly sex myths.
We were appalled to read this morning that researchers are blaming Facebook, of all things, for increased syphilis outbreaks in the U.K. Last year, Durham, Sunderland, and Teesside, the regions where Facebook is most popular, reported four times more than the usual number of syphilis cases. In an interview with the Telegraph, Professor Peter Kelly, director of public health in Teesside, speculated that social networking websites have made it easier for people to meet strangers for casual sex. Top 10 Myths About Safe Sex And Sexual Health
We're a little skeptical of the direct correlation between Facebook and STDs. We'd like to see more research into the sex-ed classes of the aforementioned regions before pinning the blame on otherwise harmless social networking sites. In fact, the whole debacle is so sensationalized that it reminds us of a few other instances when people made quick connections between sex and various popular things. Oral Sex Definition Gets Dictionary Banned
1. Teletubbies. For those of you unfamiliar with it, Teletubbies was a popular children's TV show featuring four characters who talked in baby babble. Despite the show's apparent innocence, the late Reverend Jerry Falwell, a prominent Moral Majority spokesperson, denounced the program for its supposedly gay undertones. In an article called "Parents Alert: Tinky Winky Comes Out Of The Closet," Dr. Falwell cited Tinky Winky's purple coloring and handbag, as well as the triangle on its head, as evidence that the character was gay. The show's spokespeople, who maintain that Tinky Winky is nothing more than a "technological baby with a magic handbag," said that they were saddened that Falwell read sexual innuendo into a show aimed at pre-schoolers. Wacky Childhood Misconceptions About Sex
2. Picture books. For as long as we can remember, books have been banned for containing sexual content and homosexual undertones. According to the American Library Association, the picture book And Tango Makes Three, which follows two male penguins who raise a baby together, was the most banned book of 2009. Conservative groups complained that the book's supposed political agenda compromised the minds of children. Despite the controversy (or perhaps because of it), And Tango Makes Three has won numerous national book awards. 7 Gay Men Straight Women Love
3. Disney features. Or, more specifically, The Lion King. After the film's original VHS release, viewers claimed that the word "SEX" was clearly visible in one of the film's scenes. Although animators insisted that the letters spelled out "SFX," a common abbreviation for "special effects," activists alleged that Disney was subliminally teaching sexual promiscuity to children. Roger Ebert cleverly addressed the issue in The Lakeland Ledger, where he wrote, "I wonder what kind of parents would teach a 4-year-old how to say 'sex,' and that it was a dirty word."
4. Demons. If you thought society today had hang-ups about sex, look back a few hundred years to a time when people blamed incubi and succubi for wet dreams, erotic dreams, out-of-wedlock pregnancy and even rape—that is, people chose to condemn demons rather than actual human rapists for sexual assult. According to medieval legend, the demons preyed on victims in their sleep, and could be identified by their cold, hard genitalia. Even prominent Christian figures such as like St. Augustine and Thomas of Aquinas discussed sex demons at length, thanks to debates about the demons' sexual orientation and reproductive capabilities. Spiritual Sex: 10 Erotic Commandments
5. Dancing. Dancing is such a physical and intimate activity, so it's no surprise that the super-strict have condemned it. Some conservative schools ban dancing altogether (remember Footloose?), while others call out those in the public eye as being "bad examples." Need we bring up Elvis's gyrating hips? More recently, Miley Cyrus was heavily criticized for pole dancing at the Teen Choice Awards in August 2009. Parents who upheld Miley as a role model for their young children complained, while Miley's dad, Billy Ray, defended her actions as an expression of art. Dancing Can Improve Your Relationship
6. Rock 'n' Roll. Spot the double entendre! Rock 'n' Roll may have created a whole new subculture—that is, the teenage years—and helped propel the civil rights movement, but it also offended people who thought that it celebrated sexual shenanigans. The phrase, "sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll" didn't come from nowhere, after all.