You've heard of the war on terror and the war on drugs, but do you know about the war on sex?
Dr. Klein: I would not call Mr. Obama a liberal. I was well-quoted during the election campaign as saying that the democratic choice was between a conservative woman and a conservative man. But, to answer your question, I don't see that things have changed very much.
The main way that things have changed is in regard to the rights of gay people and transgender people. The issue of sexual orientation has moved dramatically in the four years that Barack Obama has been in office. But most of the laws that shape the sexual behavior of the average American are made on the state level or the local level than on the federal level.
Now, they are influenced by who the president is. They are influenced by which party is controlling congress. Whether there are federal laws or state laws or county ordinances or the political power of decency groups or the political power of the Catholic Church. Things have not changed substantially for most Americans, except in a bad direction. In the last 12 months, almost 100 laws were passed in the United States restricting access to abortion, for example. Almost 100 separate laws restricted adults' access to abortion. All Work And No Play: Don't Turn Your Sex Life Into Labor Day
In comparing the sexual rights of Americans between 2000 and 2008, and between 2008 and 2012, gay people now have a lot more rights than they did ten years ago. But, other than that, your ability to go to a strip club has been highly restricted; your ability to take pictures of your kids in the bathtub, that's more restricted; the right of teens to take pictures of themselves — even for their own private use — that's been more restricted; the number of hotels that carry paid pornography has gone down in the last 12 years. So, there's been a lot of change and it's in the wrong direction.
I guess one other good change has been there's less money going to abstinence-only training in schools. But, there's still millions of federal dollars going into abstinence training and, at the same time, there is also a lot of local curricula that is still abstinence-based. It's not like abstinence suddenly went away.
People Go To Strip Clubs And Then They Molest Their Children?
Melanie: What do strip clubs have to do with it? Why is our ability to go to strip clubs being restricted?
Dr. Klein: The ostensible reason is ... there's a legal doctrine in the United States called secondary effects. If I look at a Van Gogh and then I go and murder people, nobody would say that looking at a Van Gogh makes you murder people. And if somebody did [say that], and we need to restrict the availability of Van Goghs in museums, people would say, 'Well, you have to prove that before you pass a law restricting the right to look at Van Goghs.' Kids & Sexting: What Parents Need To Know