Dr. Klein: Well, sure. I'm a trained sociologist and I have a lot of interest in the legal process and how the legal process in the U.S. either supports freedom or restricts freedom ... how the legislative process of the United States either contributes to people's humanity of restricts it. So, it wasn't simply a matter of seeing the consequences of it in my private practice — although, that's certainly an important thing because I have to pick up the pieces of people's lives in my private practice — but just being a citizen of the world and seeing portrayals of sexuality in the media during the course of my lifetime and just running into laws prohibiting nude beaches in America and then going to Europe, where you can hardly find a beach where people wear their clothes.
Looking at television here and looking at television in Europe. Looking at the availability of drugs like Gardasil and contraception here and looking at the availability in other countries ... and needing to come to terms with the extraordinary repression of sexual information and sexual rights here in what is without question the freest country in the world ... except when it comes to sexuality.
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I Don't Want To Go To A Nude Beach And I Don't Want Anybody Else To Either
Melanie: How does American apathy contribute to the problem?
Dr. Klein: Well, it's always been difficult to remain a participant in the political process. It's time-consuming; it's aggravating; it's frustrating; and who has time for that stuff? We're all really busy and then when we have time what we want to do is put our feet up. But when children in the United States grow up learning that their sexuality is bad, when every institution that children have contact with reminds them that their sexuality is bad or dirty or shameful or dangerous — when those kids grow up to be adults, they carry those lessons with them. And one of the things those kids decide when they are adults is that 'if there's something wrong with my sexuality, there must be something wrong with everyone else's sexuality. And, therefore, it's not only my sexuality that I need to repress, it's other people's sexuality that I need to be concerned about.'
So, it's not enough for a lot of people to say, 'I'm not comfortable on a nude beach; I'm not going to a nude beach.' No, what a lot of people say is, 'I don't want to go to a nude beach, and I don't want anybody else to have the right to go to a nude beach either.' What We REALLY Want From Sex
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Melanie: It doesn't sound like things have gotten any more liberal since President Obama took office. Is that right?