Americans Obsessed with Sex?


Do you think Americans are obsessed with Sex and Politics?
Posted by Amar C. Bakshi on October 7, 2006 11:13 AM

Readers’ Responses to Our Question (141)

Christine :

Americans are obsessed with sex..no question asked...politics, maybe not...but sex, most definently...

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Lian :

hmmm well yeah i think americans are damn obssessed with sex..than politics...haha

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miley sirus :

sex is nice, very nice.

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Rx Prices :
Ron Spencer :


America has moved beyond daily food rations for

its population. So the well feed population
graitates to pleasure.

But, look, the poor farmers of Asia, are still way ahead on the amount of sexual episodes.
This accounts for the large families of ten children and multi pregnancy.

I do not believe any busy, working involved American has anywhere near the 'times at bat' then these rural populations.

Chinese leaders are well aware that their population boom had to be regulated by official concern or they would have two billion today.

No Americans are not oversexed, over publizied I would say.
Real sexual numbers can be found in the countyside of Asia. Lights out at sunset.....

Hello. I love your!

Hello. I love your!

Hello. I love your!

Ethen Kersey :

Doctor Who takes three prizes at the National Television Awards in a repeat of its success last year.

Ethen Kersey :

Doctor Who takes three prizes at the National Television Awards in a repeat of its success last year.

Brock Bryson :

Record company EMI sign a deal with the estate of crooner Dean Martin to use the singer's likeness.

Justyn Pond :

A musical about the witches from The Wizard of Oz breaks West End box office records, its producers say.

Zmajrdd :
Zmajrsc :
Brent Alan Beck :

American's are of course obsessed w sex, but un-paradoxically, not obsessed w the politics that secures & provides the freedom to keep having, their sex!

nzo nelson :

Unless you've been groped and propositioned at work and seen the seedy side of people trading sex for various perks, you cant really comment. There is the drug underground and the ex-con route if you want to think about it, and they are both way too much. But it's all supported by the lowering the age of intent in the ads and in the flics, which everyone must notice. there is also a greater reference to sex, that of the raw sex, everywhere. I dont have the prude, but I think the answer is for the kids to understand the whole picture- of predators, coersion, trade off and outright crazy stuff. There should not be a sense of guilt unless the Parents want it to be guilt- not the President or the principle of the school- and not to be considered 'bad' if one is not on the side of the politically correct. Then if the law on age is considered, its the choice of the emancipated minor as to what right or wrong is. Some where between 16 and 18 seems right nowadays, but Im no judge. It just so happens that celibacy is an aspect of sex and ought to be tried once or twice or on a regular basis, just to see, just like the rest of it.

Vic van Meter :

I see you capitalized "Sex." Are you thus saying we are consumed with sex the act or Sex the idea? Makes a difference.

Well, as an American, I'm certainly addicted to politics because they matter. I read news from several different sources daily to make sure I know what is going on to the best of my ability. The administration being so hush-hush is a killer, but I try to be pretty well informed. For the fun of it, sometimes I even get online Al-Jazeera. I like knowing I personally cause all the world's problems sometimes.

Sex...that's an interesting question. I don't think anymore than the rest of Europe. Personally, I'm pretty active with my girlfriend and I'm not afraid of Hell, so I'd say I'm pretty normal for a U.S. citizen. Sex appeal is a worldwide phenomenon, so laying it on the American shoulders is easier than saying men and women worldwide are disgusting pigs that like watching cute bodies. Most people think we're disgusting pigs in America anyway, and it's a lot easier to point the finger at someone else rather than confront the fundamental aspects of your own human nature.

People the world over are obsessed with sex because people the world over want it. Sex sells in every country. That's just the way it is. We're not much different.

Unless we're more interested in politics than the rest of the world. I doubt it, but you never know...

Green :

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Green

Simon :

Hi Lucy! Photo I received! Thanks!

Holly Hubert :

I think that americans are obessed with sex and politics especially me I LOVE SEX! hell yes thankyou for your time.

tim UK :

yes i do, i'm a 25 year old englishman and thats all we hear of over here, George Bush this George Bush that, that and the obsession with looking good....oh yeah

Jocko, Northridge, USA :

I can say with profound sadness that American and Americans have managed to take a wonderful experience and convert it into a self conscious power symbol, a status symbol, a Weapon of Massive Self Deception and a pain in the ass. With stopwatch in one hand, orgasmatic meter in the other, Americans in alarming numbers are pneumatically thumping away day and night frantically trying to prove they are the best of the best. Afflicted with an inherited Judeo/Christian ethic while still trying desperately to conceal a guilt ridden puritanical bias, Americans are definitely having more sex and enjoying it less(TV voyeuristic sitcoms with sexual themes are big business). As to politics, I quote H.L. Mencken: "A hundred percent American is a hundred percent idiot". View sex & politics together in the above light and you have the American dilemma. __JPC__

Amir Matin, Canada :

To: Tom Wonacott, Boise, Idaho:

I was away from this discussion and missed your comments. I have never called Americans "idiot' or anything like that. If they were, they could not be leaders of the new global order. Unfortunately, a good portion of Americans do not like to challenge themselves with issues that do not directly affect them. This is a natural human behaviour. This is a side effect of being wealthy and unchallenged. The current terrorism threat is changing this behaviour.

First and second generation of immigrants are extremely vigilant and hardworking and as result they heavily contribute to the society. They are generally more appreciative of the freedom and opportunities available in US. This is generally not the case for their future generation as they tend to take things for granted.

Even kids in Middle East follow politics closely. This does not mean that they are smarter. They taste tyranny of dictatorship on a daily basis, which tends to alert them and make them think a little bit deeper.

Dave, Philadelphia, USA :

Americans are obsessed with sex and, unless it's a politician having illicit sex, totally uninterested in politics. Hence our miserably low voter turnout with disasterous results (Bush-Cheyney). In other lands, political discourse is vibrant. In America it's considered distasteful. In America, we know more about the Hollywood glitterati and major Sports figures than we do about our representatives to Congress. In fact, most Americans cannot name state's senators. But we know everything about Paris Hilton and Oprah. There it is, folks, the sad truth!

Usman Karachi Pakistan :

Fareed, why don't you ask some more silly questions?

zakaria does more flip flop on the iraq war than a fish out of water.
he is an academic coolie that goes with the popular opinion.
this policy has been good for his pundit business
His muslim sounding name also helps a great deal

Mike Muse, McLean, VA :

Just sex so far. We'll know when Americans get serious about politics when they start finding acceptable political leadership.

Tom Wonacott, Boise, Idaho :

To PostGlobal:

I agree with Atheist (his point number two):

"2. Questions should be pertinent to international issues. Why is the PostGlobal team asking about sex in America when there are truly important international issues to discuss? For example, Pyongyang has threatened, for almost a week, to explode a nuclear device."

This forum has touched on some interesting topics. This hasn't been one of them. I have to feel bad for the international writers. How would Americans respond if the topic was "Do you think South Koreans are obsessed with Sex and Politics?". There are two possible answers:

1. who cares.....
2. probably.....

Sriikanth Raghunathan, Washington, D. C., USA :

MikeB:

You make me crack up! :-)

None, Centreville, VA, USA :

I think the News Media is obsessed with sex. They feel the need to throw it in the peoples face at every opportunity to sell their rags. The News Media long ago shed itself of any shred of decency. Their corporate mottos are ìIf it bleeds it leads!î and ìSex sells!î There are so many other more important issues the media could focus on, to represent the people and help move our nation forward. None of the real issues can be distilled down to a sound bite.

DK Atlanta, GA :

Most of your commentators from other countries say essentially "My country doesn't care about politicians' affairs, so Americans shouldn't either." What bothers me about this is that most of the same countries also have higher levels of financial corruption than the US. Should the US also not care about bribery and the steering of government contracts to family members? Would anyone seriously argue that position?

IMHO there is a connection between the financial and sexual corruption of politicians. Both stem from the belief among politicians that they are supermen who are better than everyone else and who "deserve" to be above the law and above common notions of morality. And both forms of corruption are increasing in the US, due to Republican control of Congress lasting so long that the Republicans have forgotten their principles. Even if affairs themselves don't harm the public, the above-the-law attitudes encouraged by tolerating affairs are destructive of both democracy and equality, and they harm any country where they are prevalent. We should not accept them in any country.

Harry Wild , Mumbai, INDIA :

Only Stephen King Can Relate George Bush's Lust for theae Idiosyncrosis into Congressional Powers. Dick Cheney knows how to pass on these Powers to other members of the Congress.
Vote Demo November 7, 2006.

Harry

Ricky DC, Washington :

I think gay male Americans are obessed with sex. Have you them pick each other up in the parking lot with marina just before the airport

Jesse Whittemore, Louisville, KY :

Certainly Americans are obsessed with sex, but as to politics, obsessed does not seem to be the appropriate term. An obsession with sex, either admitted or denied, is not unusual. Those people who are not ashamed or embarassed about their sexuality tend to flaunt and glorify it, while those who are insecure about sex tend to both idealize and demonize it, and are thus able to participate in the conversation without actually acknowledging their fascination with the subject. Politics though, at least in America, is far less universal. We, as educated people who actually read newspapers, professional journals, literature, etc. tend to forget that we are a minority of the American population. Most people exist in a world of fast food, network television, and petty fears and insecurities about real and imagined boogeymen. It is not uncommon, while discussing politics with someone who could be described as John Q, working-class American, to hear the statement "I just don't care." Whether this disenfranchisment is the result of a lack of education or some deeper understanding that no one in power really cares about or listens to the poor is a question that will never be answered to my satisfaction, but the fact remains that roughly half of the eligible voters in this country do not spend the one hour per year required to participate in their community. As to those who could be described as "obsessed" with politics, I generally lump their motivation into one of two categories: those who enjoy the intrigue, deal-making and potential for the acquisition of power, and those who view politics as the most effective avenue for meaningful change. But keep in mind, this is a minority of Americans; most people would probably question why people like us would even bother to discuss Americans' obsessions with sex.

chenniburge, Taipei, Taiwan :

As for me , I don't think any kind of weapon is more dangerous then the enmity of the people who has the weapon.So dinimish or extinguish the enmity of the people is a preferable method to improve the confused world.

The means that creats the damages and havoc on the event of 9'11, are not weapons, but the enmity from some hate-driven lunatics. And if you wan't a peaceful world, then diminish the enmity of the people first.

Daniel Draheim, Seattle, Wash., USA :

I am shocked, shocked (in the "Casablanca" sense of the term) that after all the disasters, scandals, abuses of power, utter failures etc. over the past 6 years in the Republican-controlled U.S. government, a creepy but relatively harmless "scandal" involving a Congressman sexually harassing underage Congressional pages is what could ultimately sweep the Republicans from power. (Maybe it's because these pages were young men and not young women, and the Republicans claim to have cornered the market on "traditional American values," which according to them certainly includes unswerving heterosexuality?) Still - how many thousands of innocent people have been killed, how many billions of dollars have been squandered, how much of America's reputatation around the world has been lost - and none of it seems to have captured the attention of the American people as much as the Foley ordeal. To be fair, it is difficult to gauge how much of this is just media attention, and not true interest on behalf of the American people, but let's just say for the sake of argument that the media sell what the people are buying. I would say that already as much time, newsprint etc. has been spent by the media on the Foley thing as has been spent in five years on the fact that the entire justification for the war in Iraq - WMD - turned out to be untrue. If that is even close to true, then yes, Americans have their priorities totally out of whack. I was stunned by Americans' reaction to the Lewinsky thing. I mean, Clinton was impeached for crying out loud. Compare that to everything the Bush administration has gotten away with, it absolutely boggles the mind. If any president in American history should be impeached and removed from office, it is George W. Bush. But not in American in the early 21st century, where black is white and up is down. Seriously, sometimes I feel like I am living on a different planet from the one my parents raised me to live in.

So, to answer your question in a word, yes.

Scott Gearhart- Alexandria, VA USA :

I don't think that Americans are any more obsessed with sex and politics than any other population in world. Both things are an intrinsic, and central part of being human. Certainly, history is replete with ample precedents of sex, politics, and the subsequent obsession, that I don't believe that this is the overriding concern. My biggest problem with this latest scandal has more to do with standards and accountability than whether the country is too easily titillated. The Republican party has marketed itself as a bastion morality, claiming the moral high ground on almost every debate and percieved concern that it can conjure. Don't forget, they gave us a "Contract with America". Now it turns out that they have just as many salacious folks in their midst as any other group, only they don't want you to know it- and they'll do just about anything, short of stopping the behaivor, to keep you from knowing it. That is what irks me.

PostGlobal :

Dear readers,

Thanks to many of you who notify us about comments that violate our policies. We appreciate it. Please email concerns to postglobal@washingtonpost.com.

Joel, Lorton, VA, USA :

Most Americans enjoy sex privately (and occasionally openly), the media and politicians abuse their position and bring what we enjoy in private into the public spotlight. What is usually a wonderful way to express oneself with a partner has been turned into something dirty and fearful by a puritanical media that thrives on sensationalism. During the 60s and 70s it was "burn the bra" and "free love", and there were no real problems. During the 80s and 90s we became more and more obsessed with "outing" someone's sexual proclivities and sex became "dirty" and hidden.

I think it's about time that we Americans begin raising hell every time a newspaper makes someone's sexuality a public issue or we protest when someone's private practices make the news. I don't think any politician can govern better or worse based on their behavior the night before; the only exception being exhaustion or lack of sleep and that would be very healthy.

I challenge ANYONE to present an example of anyone's sexual idiosyncracies, preferences or indulgences lessening their actual ability to do their job. There have been office jokes, rumors, inuendos and whispering and these are generally a sign of immaturity, but there have been no substantive examples.

Joel, Lorton, VA, USA :

Most Americans enjoy sex privately (and occasionally openly), the media and politics abuse their position and brings what we enjoy in private into the public spotlight. What is usually a wonderful way to express oneself with a partner has been turned into something dirty and fearful by a puritanical media that thrives on sensationalism. During the 60s and 70s it was "burn the bra" and "free love", and there were no real problems. During the 80s and 90s we became more and more obsessed with "outing" someone's sexual proclivities and sex became "dirty" and hidden.

I think it's about time that we Americans begin raising hell every time a newspaper makes someone's sexuality a public issue; we protest when someone's private practices make the news. I don't think any politician can govern better or worse based on their behavior the night before; the only exception being exhaustion or lack of sleep and that would be very healthy.

I challenge ANYONE to present an example of anyone's sexual idiosyncracies, preferences or indulgences lessening their actual ability to do their job. There have been office jokes, rumors, inuendos and whispering and these are generally a sign of immaturity, but there have been no substantive examples.

Ol'Froth, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania :

I don't know about Americans, but the news media certainly is obsessed with sex and politics.

BobL-VA :

The average American is obsessed with sex.

The average American is less obsessed with scandal.

However, a sex scandal raises obsession to a whole new level.

Politics is only an obsession with a small percentage of the American public unless sex is interjected.

What I have found fascinating recently is the republican respones to the Foley Scandal. Instead of moral outrage for the actions of Foley we're told of past democratic sexual indiscretions, how this scandal was timed by the democrats to influence the election and how these, "naughty emails," aren't worth the speaker of the houses resignation.

EARTH TO THE REPUBLICAN PARTY: Foley was man who preyed on young boys! He probably will end up in jail before this is over for molesting underage boys who can not consent legally. Since it was no secret on the hill that Foley was a prevert and was not turned into the authorities sooner should cause Hastert his position. Hastert was either stupid, forgetful or uninterested in decency. Any one of these characteristics aren't qualities we deserve in a speaker of the house.

Warren Yates Cedar Park ,U.S.A. :

I think some politicians are obsessed with sex when it can be used to acheive a political goal. If it is not smething that they can use to win a race or destroy an opponent then I dont think they have much interest in anything.As for the average American I think we are sick of both sex and polotics.At least the way it is portrayed in the media.

Phoenix, AZ :

Americans have a bipolar obsession with sex— especially sexual indiscretions among politicians and other notables— stemming from our nation's puritanical past, publicly pretending to condemn sexual references while privately relishing explicit sexual language and images in movies, music and other popular culture. The closeted conservatives are always the worst hypocrites, which is why they are conservative to begin with (or at least pose as such).
Are Americans obsessed with politics? No, Americans don't pay much attention to politics or politicians (as least those who are not caught up in sexual scandals), which is why we have the bad government that we probably deserve.

Michael, new york ny :

did you ever reed the holy bible?
most of the bible is about Money, Food, and SEX.
nothing is new under the sun.

Pat Coe, Wallace NC :

A significant portion of the American population has a puritanical view of sex. There are other cultures that also do this. Therefore, this portion of the population set unrealistic sexual requirements for the morals of their leaders and are simutaniously shocked, fasinated, horrified and transfixed when their leaders don't live up to these standards.
If sexual expectaions were more realistic and qualities that actually contribute to good leadership abilities were more in demand we would have better leaders and less time wasted on these scandals.
Obviously, illegal activities by anyone should be fully prosecuted.

Steve, Michigan :

I think magazines and cable are saturated with it....I am more concerned though with politicinas failures to solve real life problems affecting this country...if they were spending half the time they do on this latest sexual scandal dustup in Congress on solving major issues we would all be better off....

Sue Filutze, Idaho Falls, Id. USA :

No I don't think were obsessed, the advertiser's music, movie and media is, and then again we have a Religious Right Wing running our country who have been telling everyone how they hold the MORALS Doctrine, when it comes to such things all the while hiding behind their office while they do their dirty little deeds, some more repugnant then others. Which only says to the rest of us that there aren't any TRULY MORAL people in our country or the world, just those that like to call themselves that and pontificate to the rest of us how were going to hell in a handbag, all I have to say is it's going to be mighty crowded there, we certainly are going to have people from all walks of life, political parties, religions, and cultures there. Don't set yourself up to the the over sear of morality unless your closets are clean! Thanks

rowena walker, stockton, CA USA :

Americans have a "tee hee" approach to sex; the shallowness of it really gets pretty tiresome. As far as politics is concerned, our views there are pretty shallow too.

Oh well. We're not the first to be shallow about politics, but we may be the first in the "tee hee" category.

MikeB :

On those job applications, where they ask for "SEX". I have always put down a "5/wk". I might add, I *always* got an interview, too! I might add, I've been married to the same woman for nearly 28 years and I'm crazy about her and just watching her get ready for bed at night makes my heart race after all these years. Obsessed with sex? No, obsessed with the most incredible woman God ever saw fit to put on this planet.

Barbara Martin, Greenville, Ohio :

No, the media is obessed with sex——sex sells???/
I underestimated by 2 hours how long it would take the liberal press to blame Bush for North Korea——but not even that horrific event can shake the media from the Foley Story—— hmmm is that a movie title?

Ken Cusick, USA :

It's natural for human beings to have a great deal of interest in sex. Every living thing on the planet has the same interest. The obsessional quality in America derives from two sources. Advertising and religion. "Sex sells" is as old a motto as the world's oldest profession. Our media outlets bombard us constantly with sex. As soon as we're old enough to watch TV and read we are bombarded with sex. Every add for every product contains some form of sexual content. Add this to the predominant religion of one form or another of christianity, which has been and is still obsessed with controlling our sexual behaviour and you get a full blown obsessive compulsion about sex. One message being hammered home is you must either be sexy to attract a man or if your a man you must want sex 24/7. The other message banged into your brain at childhood is that sex is evil and morally corrupt. The church is only barely able to tolerate it within marriage. Since at any given time the majority of the people consuming our media aren't married or not married to the model of what the media thinks is sexy and its a wonder we aren't all schizophrenic. The good news in all of this is that the majority of people are remarkably resiliant and level headed, unlike our media and religious leaders and can weed out the stupidity. If given enough time.

Kevin, Ellicott City, USA :

50,000 dead Iraqi men, women, and children as a direct result of our unilateral actions and we're most concerned about a congressman's sex scandal. Sounds like an obsession to me...

farber, eugene, usa :

Unoccupied with sex, preoccupied with sex

Thom, Washington DC :

In Response to Morality Police.

I don't know. If you take away that little three letter word, (ok all of them) I think that Cedarford Pittsbugh, PA, pretty much proves the point of the person he was trying to disprove.

Let the man march!

In response to the question:
It is difficult to lump people into groups as the people who posed the question do.
For instance:
1) Teenage boys are obsessed with sex.
2) Teenage girls can be too.
3) Middle aged men can be too.
4) The Republicans are obsessed with trying to legislate it.
5) Many Christians think the only way to do it is with one partner only of the opposite sex, to whom a person has committed the rest of his life.

There is a lot of teasing on television, but little to no actual sex.
And yet, when Janet Jackson shows her nipple, accidentaly or not, the entire country seems to explode, forgetting the fact that all of us have seen nipples in our lives. Heck, they were one of the first things we ever saw.

Sex is a biological imperative. Do people think about it? Of course.
Obsession? Only in trying to limit its availability and viewership.

As far as politics goes. The only people who even think about politics for the majority of the year are those of us inside the beltway, who are innundated with it (by the media) and other metropolitan areas. The rest of the country tends to vote the way they are told at church.

Most people just want to live their lives with no intrusion by some folks they a)Do not know, and b) probably didn't vote for.

Morality Police, Everywhere, USA :

POSTGLOBAL - Please remove the post from, Cedarford Pittsbugh, PA.

Posted at October 9, 2006 06:24 AM.

Thank you.

Also, you might want to update your bigotry filters.

Chris Peleo-Lazar, Washington, DC USA :

Are we really willing to single out Americans as obsessed with sex and politics? Historically, civilizations have always intermingled sex and politics. Whether it is tales from Suetonius, secret histories of Justinian, or Herodotus, sex interests people. We love gossip and stories about sexual intrigue because it humanizes politicians. it is relatable on a level because issues like Jack Abramoff corruption is hardly relatable to the regular person. But cheating on a spouse? That is something that transverses cultures.

toshiro,DC, US :

I think Bill Jefferson is right— the media is obsessed more than the people. They spin and spin it, get some momentum behind it, then get people spun up in it.

Regarding the Foley issue, I think Dems have almost no concern about what "real" damage may have been done (between the page and Foley) and are more interested in how they can use it as a weapon in this current election cycle. I think Republicans aren't really concerned much with the actual incident and are more worried about how to defend. Perhaps they might be more concerned if they didn't have to play defense, but they might also just brush it aside.

Bottom line is that, while the Foley incident started about sex, nobody's truly concerned about addressing the sexual issue— it's just another angle of attack in the sparring between Democrats and Republicans. That works for congress. The fact that it's a scandal works for the newspapers, whose livelihood is embedded in by exposing the scandals of the worlds. It works for overzealous Democrat and Republican voters and gives them more to be embittered about.

But, hey, that's the U.S., what do you want?

Chris Ford Pickering, Ontario :

Do you think Americans are obsessed with Sex and Politics?

America, where I lived most my life, is deep into sexual identity politics and the practice of political operatives (aided by an all too willing media looking to hype ratings) to use sex scandal as a weapon.

The sexual identity groups - the Gay Lobby, the Abortion camps, the "values people" key their power to salaciousness or rights to salaciousness.

Other groups, like the secular Jew transnational elites, predicate their power on manipulating other identity groups where sexual identity politics are critically important - into coming into coalition to aid the transnationalists broader objectives. Or launch opportune sex scandals against enemies. Same with radical Islam, which follow secular Jewish agitprop and legal tactics closely and seek to emulate them for different purposes - they too use Muslim concern about sexual values to aid in radicalization. And spring sexual traps against non-radical Muslims in politics.

The dumb masses are fed this glop not just in the USA, but in tabloid-happy Canada, Japan, Page 3 UK'rs, Bollywood lovers, avid Filipino and Indonesian readers of Asian Star soap opera magazines.

I don't see it changing in my lifetime. Before Foley, we were obsessing about a fat stripper with a 6th grade education whose drug using son OD'd in the Bahamas.

Perhaps Lenin and Trotsky were right. Given the masses eager pursuit of opiates like Clinton's sex life, Pamela, Anna Nicole, Paris, S Korean "soap love Gods" and avoidance or incompetence in addressing serious matters of governance - the dictatorship of the proletariate by the likes of the ACLU lawyers, multinational corporatists, or Soros cabals may be necessary.

Bill Jefferson :

Of course Americans, or at least American media, are obsessed with sex in political stories. Republicans have been corrupt on so many substantive levels for so long it makes my head spin. But many many people still believed GOP narrative of itself as a protector of values and all the rest of the bull stuff they have been shoveling because the TV "news" doesn't devote even atiny amount of time to their corruption. The day bush skulked into office he violated federal law by sealing archival records which congress had mandated be made public. He has broken laws steadily, congress has aided and abetted. We have not seen this level of corruption and degredation on every level and on every issue ever in American history. Yet the only thing that really caught the television news attention is a when republican is molesting children. Not that this is not an important story, but compared to Abramhof, the K street project of extortion, signing statements, unitary executive theory, Iraq and non-existant WMD (for GOd's sake - tens of thouands of peopl e have DIED because the preisdent lied to start a war. How much bigger of a story do you want!?!?!?)The list goes on and on. But if it takes a GOP congressman diddling children to get the nation's attention, then so be it.

Bill Jefferson :

Of course Americans, or at least American media, are obsessed with sex in political stories. Republicans have been corrupt on so many substantive levels for so long it makes my head spin. But many many people still believed GOP narrative of itself as a protector of values and all the rest of the bull stuff they have been shoveling because the TV "news" doesn't devote even atiny amount of time to their corruption. The day bush skulked into office he violated federal law by sealing archival records which congress had mandated be made public. He has broken laws steadily, congress has aided and abetted. We have not seen this level of corruption and degredation on every level and on every issue ever in American history. Yet the only thing that really caught the television news attention is a when republican is molesting children. Not that this is not an important story, but compared to Abramhof, the K street project of extortion, signing statements, unitary executive theory, Iraq and non-existant WMD (for GOd's sake - tens of thouands of peopl e have DIED because the preisdent lied to start a war. How much bigger of a story do you want!?!?!?)The list goes on and on. But if it takes a GOP congressman diddling children to get the nation's attention, then so be it.

Shiloh :

Why haven't we heard from the Kurds on this issue? :-)

Yousuf Hashmi :

I think americans are mores obsessed with movies and TV. In other words the fantasy. the movies for long time revolving around the sex and politics in there themes.watch any soap opera. now this idea came from the actual life style of politiins or vice versa is difficult to explain.

presently americans are living 2 lives one believes on moral values and ethics at least prcticed by their leaders and politians and other on fantasy.

politics power sex and corruption are therefore beoming the obsession.

kt, New York, USA :

Isn't this like a drug dealer asking a customer if he is an addict?

fUny1 :

Americans are not very open about sex due to the Puritanical background of the founders of this nation.

This leads many to hypocrisy for they pretend to be something they are not in public and that warps their points of view.

It is this same extremism that is found in the Middle East and that is what makes these two sides anti-particles.

The end result is economic subjugation in the west and religious subjugation in the East.

The Main difference is the physical treatment of women. Over there many women are covered from head to toe, eventually turning them into obese monstrosities due to the lack of exposure to the manna from heaven otherwise known as sunlight. This leads to a higher rate of deformity and cancer amongst them.

In the States, Men are too busy running around chasing ass and getting drunk and high that most destroy what is left of a brain that never fully developed, making most women more intelligent than men and further polarizing the sex issue.

It is the simple fact that man in the US are mostly dumb and women are smarter but they are both mostly intellectually inferior when set to another higher standard.

The sooner they realize that, the easier it shall be for them to start cooperating in order to attain a higher level consciousness.

Until then, they remain American Idles getting fat and lazy on their couch potato while foaming at the mouth regarding their Idols.

Atheist, Boston, USA :

The following is completely unrelated to the inane question posed in this thread, but I am certainty that the North-Korean issue is far more important than an inane question about American sex.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,218699,00.html

The American government has just confirmed that the North Koreans tested their first (and successful) nuclear bomb.

Is anyone alarmed by this shocking development?

Atheist, Boston, USA :

Pyongyang threatened, last week, to test a nuclear bomb.

Then, on Saturday, Russian thugs murder the most prominent journalist in Russia.

Yet, the team at PostGlobal can think of asking only, "Do you think Americans are obsessed with Sex and Politics?" Indian-Americans start shepherding the writers (still answering the other questions) toward answering this inane question.

We need to reform this discussion group.

1. Ensure that other ethnic groups, not just Indian-Americans, moderate this forum. We need to ensure fairness and diversity. If you are Indian or Indian-American, you get privileged treatment that is denied to other ethnic groups. One of the moderators actually invited, publicly, an Indian-American to join the Reader Advance Team even though several non-Indian-American writers also regularly post in this forum. Why do we have such discrimination?

2. Questions should be pertinent to international issues. Why is the PostGlobal team asking about sex in America when there are truly important international issues to discuss? For example, Pyongyang has threatened, for almost a week, to explode a nuclear device.

3. The computer technicians/programmers who are maintaining this web site should be fired. This site has been malfunctioning for more than 2 weeks.

I truly admire the quality of journalism at "The Washington Post", but the above 3 issues need to be addressed. In particular, the discrimination mentioned in point #1 needs to be addressed.

Nicolas Laget, Annandale, Virginia, USA :

Who isn't into sex? I'd like to know. I doubt it's an American exclusive. Americans are also not the only ones who love to feel guilty about it. Most societies in Africa the Middle East, and Asia deal with issues of sexual guilt or taboo. It seems the only ones who are more open about it are Europeans and South Americans.

This attitude shapes how sensitive we are about Sex and Politics. Americans are still trying to emencipate themselves from a puritanism which even the 60s could not beat. The US population is changing more rapidly now than ever. I suspect US media will always enjoy making money off juicy sex scandals but I am not sure Americans will continue to be as shocked in the future.

Scandals are used by politicians as they compete for power. Unless a sexual behavior is criminal or becomes a matter of national security (the spy who loved me) it is a private matter.

A growing number of Americans understand this.

Carl Senna, Saint John, Canada :

By the way, while we have been discussing whether Americans are obsessed with sex and politics, North Korea, the wire services are reporting, has just test detonated a nuclear bomb. Now I expect Bush to show us that we're really obsessed with violence and power, no matter what obsession other people say that we have, and I expect tomorrow or Tuesday he'll be calling a press conference to announce a military buildup in the Korean peninsula, and addressing the nation on what military action he's planning to take to meet what, in his view, is this newest grave threat to peace and America's right to rule the world. Just what he needed politically, given his reported 33 percent national approval ratings, and just in time for the hard pressed Congressional Republicans in the November election. Lord save us from this dishonest, cruel, and brutal man (e.g., yes, it's cruel to mock, as Bush did as Governor, the pleas for a reprieve from a condemned young mother whom Bush had executed) and that goes also for his brother Jeb, Bush Sr., and Barbara Bush.

Steve Wishnevsky, Winston Salem Nc USA :

The problem here is the paradox of the personal and the political. People tend to identify as male or female or lebian or gay much more than they identify as Republican or Democratic, Liberal or Conservative. Obviously it is easier to change party registration than to change one's gender identification, although that can be done.

Politically, all fundamentalisms and all Fascisms depend on the subjegation of women, and the denigration of minorities. The German Nazis and the Taliban both insist on the "protection" of women, which in practice is relegation to inferior status, with the ideal that only men can have control over, and enjoment of, sex.

This contrasts perfectly with the American's demonstrated casual attitude to fornication of all types. The jealousy, hypocracy and shame enjoyed by the repressed of our society correlates neatly with the lust for power. Kissinger said, "Power is the ultimate aphrodesiac." Obviously, if you have power, you don't have to negotiate with any desired sexual partner. This is the basis of opression whether from a polygamous Morman or a pederast priest. Power, that's the goal, and the primary path to immediate sexual power is the oppression of women. If your tastes run to young men, or samll boys, it makes little practical difference. And the real sin is the explotation of the powerless.

Dress this up with a little hypocracy and some fancy robes and you have a perfect authoritarian state.

Paul R. Cooper, Yellow Springs,Oh, U.S.A. :

This country is trapped in its puritanical heritage of sex as evil, unnatural, and I don't see us growing out of our silly obsession. It propels jokes, movies, and the media. Worse, it intrudes into politics when we have much more important issues to face. We get all upset about cover up of sexscapades but ignore coverup of corruption, favoritism, and abuses perpetrated by private and public institutions.

Sharon Stone, Los Angeles, U.S.A. :

The issue isn't obsession but one of overpopulation, to the tune of something like 4BILLION people too many, worldwide. Everyone's a prisoner of their chromosones, so let's not pick on the Americans, many of whom have chosen celibacy and joined the Republican Party and its cadre of eunuchs...

Sharon Stone, Los Angeles, U.S.A. :

The issue isn't obsession but one of overpopulation, to the tune of something like 4BILLION people too many, worldwide. Everyone's a prisoner of their chromosones, so let's not pick on the Americans, many of whom have chosen celibacy and joined the Republican Party and its cadre of eunuchs...

Sharon Stone, Los Angeles, U.S.A. :

The issue isn't obsession but one of overpopulation, to the tune of something like 4BILLION people too many, worldwide. Everyone's a prisoner of their chromosones, so let's not pick on the Americans, many of whom have chosen celibacy and joined the Republican Party and its cadre of eunuchs...

Sharon Stone, Los Angeles, U.S.A. :

The issue isn't obsession but one of overpopulation, to the tune of something like 4BILLION people too many, worldwide. Everyone's a prisoner of their chromosones, so let's not pick on the Americans, many of whom have chosen celibacy and joined the Republican Party and its cadre of eunuchs...

Sharon Stone, Los Angeles, U.S.A. :

The issue isn't obsession but one of overpopulation, to the tune of something like 4BILLION people too many, worldwide. Everyone's a prisoner of their chromosones, so let's not pick on the Americans, many of whom have chosen celibacy and joined the Republican Party and its cadre of eunuchs...

Sharon Stone, Los Angeles, U.S.A. :

The issue isn't obsession but one of overpopulation, to the tune of something like 4BILLION people too many, worldwide. Everyone's a prisoner of their chromosones, so let's not pick on the Americans, many of whom have chosen celibacy and joined the Republican Party and its cadre of eunuchs...

Shiloh :

Pierre Trudeau once said "The state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation." It might better be said of contemporary events: The politicans have no business in the sex lives of their constituents.

This was posted from Florida at 1:58 p.m. EST, although it appears to already be 4:14 p.m. in Culver City, California

James Galbraith :

David and Fareed:

If I may ask, why are you posing this question? Is it related, as most of your readers have assumed, to the Foley-Hastert scandal? Are you suggesting, as one may reasonably suspect you are, that the present interest in that scandal is "obsessive"?

If so, then in my view the entire thrust of the discussion is misleading.

The Foley-Hastert scandal is not a sex scandal, any more than a rape case is a "sex scandal." The interest in it has very little to do with sex. It is about the abuse of power. It is about the abuse of power to protect an insider, who appears have committed a very straightforward, very ugly act, and possibly a serious crime: the sexual stalking of minors.

Our society treats sexual predators very harshly; the law pursues them, in many places, all their lives. Many legislators, of both parties but of course including the current Republican leadership, are strongly on record on this issue. Yet in this case, confronted with a predator in their ranks, what did they do? They had the warnings for years. What did they do? They protected the predator. That's the issue.

The Foley-Hastert scandal is an emblem of much larger abuses, involving power and money; it is not fundamentally different from (say) the Abramoff case. These abuses share a common trait: they favor and protect insiders, applying very different standards to them than the rest of us live by. That's the larger issue.

The Foley-Hastert scandal is important because it has broken through to the public, conveying in very effective, very direct terms the essential moral problem of the current Congress. It is not a sideshow, or an obsession. It is a window on the sordid state of government, a window through which anyone can look, and see things exactly as they are.

Richard, Culver City, USA :

Yes that is true. They think by having a big erection and big bombs it shows how manly and powerfull they are. That is the American intellect as demonstrated by the present government.

Richard, Culver City, USA :

Yes that is true. They think by having a big erection and big bombs it shows how manly and powerfull they are. That is the American intellect as demonstrated by the present government.

AM, Vienna, VA :

The US has a very strong puritanical streak, and there is a strong tendency to legislate some version of morality. Unfortunately legislation is relatively absolute; it is much easier to mouth moral absolutes rather than discuss human behavior and what lies behind it; there are always busybodies who consider themselves pure.

The result is considerable hypocricy and intrusiveness in society.

If we rid ourselves of the falacy that politics and morality coincide, then we will have less of this hypocricy (and we'll also be rid of programs such as the 'page program'. They are a by-product of the expectation that politics breeds 'character' and the rest of the nonsense).

rizwan, Montreal, canada :

I think americans are not obsessed with politics but for sure sex and ohh OIL (cheap Ones)

Shiloh :

Postglobal and Permalink: The 1.5 hour time differential between St John, Newfoundland (NT) and Nitro, WV (EST) appear reversed and therefore doubled. 12:45 NT should be 11:15 EST (not the 2:07 posted).

Jerry Spiegler, Nitro, WV :

I think Americans are obsessive about human sexuality and struggle to differentiate between erotic intimacy in the context of a loving relationship and exploitive objectification for personal gratification. On the other hand, the great majority of American adults appear largely ambivalent or disillusioned about governing, perhaps believing that political parties and elected representatives have little or nothing to do with their immediate lives and concerns. What sex and politics in America share is a sense of isolation and disconnection.

Srikanth Raghunathan, Washington, D. C., USA :

Tom Wonacott, Boise, Idaho:

Yes, I am indeed an American and immensely proud to be one. What I was thanking Dr. Amir Matin, Canada for for his response to the reporter, USA, theclearsky.blogspot.com as regards his non sequiturs. If I may say so, I do not think Dr. Amir Matin was labeling "all" Americans idiots (he did not use that term, anyway) - he used the qualifier "some." Perhaps, I am wrong? Lastly, I am not as much an expert as others at certain subjects and will be the first one to admit it. If that makes me an idiot, then I do not have a problem being labeled one.

The Reporter seems to have an issue with the non-Westerners. (To get this impression, you must really read his/her previous posts, elsewhere.) I was merely "trying" to point out that he/she needs to keep an open mind and approach the problem, rather than focusing on one particular religion, or culture, for that matter. In his/her current post, he/she is focusing exclusively on Kuwait and Iraq, whereas this topic is on Americans - that is us. Furthermore, he/she was trying to tell the world how ignorant and "backward" the other peoples were.

Yes, you are absolutely correct that the Reporter can discuss whatever he/she wants. By the same token, do we not have the right to say whatever we feel, also? (The First Amendment, hopefully, is at least barely alive.)

Also, I, ceratinly for one, did learn quite a bit about the Kurdish plight from the previous topic.

Deborah Smith, Stafford County:

You may be onto something. However, who is the consumer of the product of the media: you and I.

daniel:

You, too, may be onto something.

Carl Senna, Saint John, Canada :

Well, Dayton, OH and Louisberg, NC: But is there really a difference between the impure thoughts of Republicans and Democrats? Which is more likely to be government sponsored out of taxpayer's dollars?

Ken McGee Louisburg, NC :

I think one of the differences is that Republicans are obsessed in other peoples sex, so much so, you wonder if they participate. I don't think anyone should be pleased about the Foley situation. It is sad. On the other hand, the pompous, self righteous, morallly superior attitude of the "right" has put egg on their face and put a spollight on their hypocriy. They simply don't know what do do and it is evident in their reactions. Duck & Run? Flip flop—flip flop—flip flop.

Elisabeth, Dayton, USA :

First answer these questions;
A) Name the Bush administration's chief procurement officer convicted, in 2006, of lying and obstructing justice.
B) Name two republican house members who pled guilty to bribery,in 2006 and are or will be serving criminal jail time.
C) Name the american business man who pled guilty in 2006 to one of largest bribery corruption schemes involving contracting in Iraq.
D) Name the house member who resigned, in 2006, over emails with sexual content sent to teenage congressional pages.

Answers;

A) David H. Safavian
B) Randy "Duke" Cunningham and Bob Ney
C) Phillip H. Bloom
D) Mark Foley

Which were you able to answer? Granted Mr. Foley has been in the news a lot lately, but I suspect that even when the other men were in the news, most people were not even aware of it. The corruption scandals have hardly taken hold. Even though millions of dollars are lost in Iraq, given out in questionable contracts in the US, caused members of the house to resign in disgrace, Bush was still able to make traction on his "defense of the United States" talk this fall. That is till the Foley scandal erupted. Sex just touches off a visceral response in all of us. It makes us pay attention in ways other issues do not.

Jess, Carlsbad, California :

The MEDIA is obsessed with anything that will give them ratings. Political operatives are obsessed with anything that might serve as a wedge issue, and how best to make it as salacious as possible so as to paste the opposition with the worst interpretation available.
Religion and morality have been co-opted and demeaned by opportunists in politics, while political advertising has become more sophisticated and targeted than ever.
Even cynicism has been studied for its ability to keep potential undesired voters at home. Muddy the waters enough and the public gets so turned off they can't wait for election WEDNESDAY to arrive, so the political ads and divisiveness go away(at least temporarily).
Any view suggesting Americans are obsessed with politics and sex (or sex and politics, or just plain sex) that does not attempt to understand how this has happened only feeds into the well stoked illusion that it is somehow universally so.
I think the American public is tired of all the perpetual manipulation for ratings and for profit and for political advantage to the point where we're sooner or later going to react by turning off our tvs, turning on our politicians, refusing to buy the latest and greatest, while looking for anything to re-connect with our friends and neighbors, our families and partners in the most civil and respectful ways we can.
We humans are biological creatures, and too much dissonace, fed by a hundreds of out of control profit incentives, leads only to deeper and more destructive divisions between parties, countries, peoples, even families and loved ones. As well as despair and disorder in our private lives.
The pendulum must begin its return at some point. Hopefully we won't destroy ourselves first.
To say Americans are obsessed with sex and politics implies that we have so distorted them and so intertwined them, they have become more of a common pathology than healthy human expressions, and thus empty of meaning or deeper satisfaction. Which may be so.
But we long for real integrity, and whoever brings this clarity courageously and persistently to the table will easily find a surprising groundswell ready to support their overdue influence.
The repair of all this is a moral, political, social and even diplomatic issue and will only proceed when some stronger centrist sanity (even a well articulated GLOBAL sanity) is meaningfully and responsibly restored to the public discussion.

Tom Wonacott, Boise, Idaho :

To Dr. Amir Matin, Canada

"Americans are obsessed with whatever is easy to understand and connect to....I do not believe they are obsessed with politics."

What kind of statement is that? We are much to simple of a people to understand a complicated subject like politics? You call "reporter" ignorant?

It seems to me that in the last forum, much of the discussion centered around the Kurds which really wasn't the topic of the forum, but we all learned from the discussion. Reporter has every right to discuss what he wants. If you don't agree with what he says, then refute it! That is what a forum is for.

To Srikanth Raghunathan, Washington, D. C., USA

"Dr. Amir Matin, Canada:

Thank you."

I assume you are an American so when a Canadian calls you an idiot, please don't say thank you.

Although history is interesting, reporter was discussing attitudes toward women in Kuwait and Iraq today. That is a perfectly valid topic and he couldn't have been more specific (he didn't say non-Western cultures). Reporter implied that attitudes toward women need to be upgraded in Kuwait and Iraq (rights have been upgraded in both countries, and in both cases under US pressure), which means to me, he didn't say anything we didn't already know about most Muslim countries.

Shiloh :

Aristotle's observation that "Man is by nature a political animal" speaks to both issues with the implicit recognition of our natural state, the social collective (political) and the sexual instinct (animal). Westerners in general, and not simply Americans, tend to be titillated when the two natures openly collide. The obsession is often a media invention that capitalizes on an imagined dichotomy.

Scott, Washington, USA :

YES. The current leadership is obsessed with sex because they are obsessed with power and they mistakenly equate the two. That also explains their approach to women's rights, their willingness to stigmatize margianlized commuities like gays, and thier belief that prohibition of any sort works. Prohibiting abortion is a way to have power over women, prohibiting contracpetion is a way to have control over women, prohibiting gays from marrying is a way for them to have power over anyone and anything that is different. The far right is obsessed with sex. They use it to titilate and frighten their base. They are waging a war on contraception and seek to have sex used to shame, manipulate, stigmatize and otherwise humiliate people until those people do, believe and act exactly how the far right wants them to. The problem of course is the RAMPANT HYPOCRISY. Equating sex with power is just another in a long line of controlling policies from people who have perfected divide and conquer rather than unite and heal. The GOOD NEWS is that not all Americans believe this way and in fact many very faithful people believe in reducing abortion while not stigmatizing women who feel they are not ready to raise a child. Progressives see contracpetion as an important tool to help avoid unintended pregnancies and disease, and they support comprehensive sexuality education as a means to give people HONEST information with which they can make their own decisions. These topics are discussed every day at RH Reality Check.org, a place where you will not find people having to hide what they believe or do in their private lives to lead public lives, because unlike the far right, NO ONE IS LYING ABOUT ANYTHING when it comes to sex, and faith, and the most common value is that of personal responsibility and accountability. Those last two values seem sorely lacking by the GOP these days.

Deborah Smith, Stafford County :

No, I think the media is obsessed with politics and sex.

Carl Senna, Saint John,Canada :

Thanks, Shiloh. But has there been a steep decline in the national rates of adultery and general fornication outside marriage since Bush came to power? I need to update my files on the annual adultery-fornication stats for Little Rock, Arkansas (since Bill Clinton moved to New York City), New York City, the D.C., Maryland and Virginia, as well as Crawford, Texas. I haven't seen the Homeland Security bulletins or FBI annual reports. Nothing from the CIA, DOD intelligence agencies. Guess I'll just have to hope something turns up on the Web.

Carl Senna, Saint John, Canada :

How does someone obsessed with sex suppress or control it? If the obsession is really an obsession for the person, would the person want to do so? And if an entire population is in the grips of sexual titillation , as a mass obsession or form of compulsive madness, what hope is there that they'll ever want to curb it? Is there any hope that Americans will abandon sexual, political, violent, scandal pandering, obsessions if they're so afflicted, because other parts of the world, not sharing our obsessions, disapprove of ours? Where are the Puritans? What ever happened to Chastity (the virtue, not the child of Cher), in the political campaign literature of the two major political parties? Has the White House issued a press release of late on chaste living since the Clinton administration? Any Congressional resolutions of late on the virtues of virginity, the perils of impure thoughts?

chris, St. Clair, U.S.A. :

I think Americans are isolated, afraid of change, (NASCAR, may the whitest man win, lenny riefensthal might as well produce them, I'm surprised they don't string up an undesirable before each race to bless the proceedings) lost in their affluence, disconnected from the rest of the world, and they play games with themselves to occupy their time. There are more people who are struggling to survive and keep a family intact, I feel sorry for them, but suffering unfortunately is required of us by nature, nature rules, our science and religions are dwarfed in the face of nature. We learned that from Katrina.

Dante, Portland, Oregon, USA :

What a lot of blather about nothing. The media is obsessed with sex and politics because it fills the time and seems to sell, in lieu of any real creativity. Can anyone show that with all the talk we vote more often? And does anyone other than an adolescent suppose we just invented sex and engage in it more often and with more perversions and more focus than our ancestors a 100 years, 200 years, 3000 years ago?

daniel :

On further reflection and reading the above posts I would have to say perhaps Americans are not as obsessed about politics as they should be. On one hand we can argue that Americans are the most political of creatures (how could we have democracy otherwise?) but on the other hand there is clear evidence of political apathy. Is sex replacing our obsession with politics?

It certainly seems sex is confusing our political understanding. Democrats (the Democratic party) seem to be promoting sex which perhaps undermines political order (increased and open sexual activity, gay marriage, etc.). But Republicans in response to the above, and in attempting to return to "values" and religion, etc. seem not to recognize they are susceptible to a type of sex which is extremely disturbing and is the inappropriate contact of adults with children.

There is pretty strong evidence that inappropriate contact between adults and children occurs in societies and individuals which are threatened in some way with loss of cohesion, meaning, etc. Such societies and individuals "close ranks", demand loyalty, etc. and while trying to preserve innocence amongst themselves, ironically might just corrupt the innocent amongst themselves.

The Catholic Church, Boy Scouts, summer camps, fascist political parties, within aristocracies, etc. etc.—the list goes on of the close knit structures which are susceptible to the type of sex which today we call child molestation.

It would be really interesting if in solving the human problem concerning sex we would be blessed with a higher political understanding...In fact I doubt politics can progress without progress in sexual understanding. I do not believe politics can progress by simply increasing sexual understanding, but I do believe we will not have political progress unless with a clear sexual foundation to society.

This was an excellent question Post Global no matter what others might think....

ABDOU MONTREAL CANADA :

AMERICANS ARE OBSESSED WITH THE SPIN AND THEY THINK THAT'S POLITICS ANYWAY AMERICAN POLITICS IS CORRUPT (LOBYISTS...) WHEN YOU A VOTE THIEF LIKE ROVE (GENIUS) INSTEAD OF PUTTING HIM IN JAIL YOU'RE IN TROUBLE AND YOU'RE DEMAGOGIE IS IN PROGRESSION AN YOUR DEMOCRATIE IS IN REGRESSION THAT GUY DOES MORE DAMAGE TO THE US THAN 9/11 TERRORISTS OH ABOUT SEX WHAT I HEARD POLITICIAN DON'T PERFORM .FROM THE HORE MOUTH

Christine Erdodi, Savannah, GA USA :

Humans in general are obsessed with sex and when power, political or otherwise is connected with sex then things, mostly bad, happen.

As a culture I think that we have given sex too much power therefore

creating an environment in politics and other walks of life that take away personal resonsibility in adults who should have the integrity and self-awareness to just walk away. Adults with power or money or both should always be aware that they are mentor's

to our countries youth and should never exploit that youth in ANY way. Or be duly punished. And this should absolutely be non-partisan.

Christine Erdodi, Savannah, GA USA :

Humans in general are obsessed with sex and when power, political or otherwise is connected with sex then things, mostly bad, happen.
As a culture I think that we have given sex too much power therefore
creating an environment in politics and other walks of life that take away personal resonsibility in adults who should have the integrity and self-awareness to just walk away. Adults with power or money or both should always be aware that they are mentor's
to our countries youth and should never exploit that youth in ANY way. Or be duly punished. And this should absolutely be non-partisan.

Christine Erdodi, Savannah, GA USA :

Humans in general are obsessed with sex and when power, political or otherwise is connected with sex then things, mostly bad, happen.
As a culture I think that we have given sex too much power therefore
creating an environment in politics and other walks of life that take away personal resonsibility in adults who should have the integrity and self-awareness to just walk away. Adults with power or money or both should always be aware that they are mentor's
to our countries youth and should never exploit that youth in ANY way. Or be duly punished. And this should absolutely be non-partisan.

Carlisle, PA :

Perhaps, but how would the reaction differ if Foley were a woman?

William Buhmann, Richmond, VA, USA :

Actually, I believe that most (say 70 %) Americans pay little or no attention to politics. As for sex, the media they frequent (TV for the most part) are obsessed with sex; therefore Americans seem obsessed with sex.

Betty Crow, Brooklyn, USA :

I'd like to think that most Americans are able to differentiate between public policy and personal relationships. But if you put those two in bed with the titans of the rulers of our day and the rulers of our genitals... well then it seems a great number of us lose our tiny little minds and run outside shrieking, "Oh my God! My politician is a sexual human being! How did this happen?!?!"

Which is stupid.

If you asked this question of most Americans they would say no. And they would be lying.

Until we can talk freely about sexuality in this country (and no, I don't mean porn) we're doomed to repeat this utter nonsense.

When, exactly, do the grownups arrive? You know, the ones who can talk about sexuality like it's something that actually freaking happens rather than some whispered upon mysterious act that would best be described by others?

Just wondering.

PostGlobal :

Daniel. We'll search to see if your message was automatically put in the junk folder for containing "offensive language". Sometimes this happens for silly reasons and we'll try to fish it back out. Indeed, this is a comment thread that runs the risk of being assaulted by the automated word filters! Thanks for the posts.

daniel :

Yes I would say Americans are obsessed with sex and politics. The political part is obvious and necessary. Democratic societies demand citizen participation and enlightenment. The sex part is more difficult to explain.

Some people say we are obsessed because of our Puritan heritage. But we are violent and materialistic and that perhaps does not square with Puritanism.

But perhaps we put sex at bay (as best we can) and allow violence and materialism, etc. because we fear weakness and do not want excessive sex to make us languid, etc.

What I will say though is that the current phenomenon of adults being attracted to children is probably not so much a sex problem as a social problem. What I mean is that although the Democratic party in the U.S. is often characterized as the party of sex and licentiousness, when social cohesion breaks down a society tends to fall in upon itself to recreate cohesion in some fashion and this tends to lead what we call inappropriate contact.

In other words, ironically the Republican party (and religions which are fundamentalisms and all close knit structures) is the party which is perhaps most susceptible to what we call inappropriate contact between adults and children because being the party demanding loyalty to an extreme...

Speaking personally, taking simply my own behavior into account, I believe intellectuals spread out in all directions and are just as susceptible to porn, etc. as brilliant ideas. I have always enjoyed writers such as Jean Genet, the Marquis de Sade, and I have been viewing an internet site called the Big Breast Archive.

I have also recently discovered that there are pictures of naked teenage girls on the net and believe that unless I am careful I will have a problem I need to work out (surfing the net for more pictures).

I wish in America we would have a more honest discussion of sex. Everyone has heard of the age-old problem of coordinating the mind with the body but in America it seems there is no art and science of this at all.

I certainly wish I were a better balanced individual with regard to sex and politics and so much else.

P.S. To Post Global: I wrote once before to you to try to post on this question but it did not go through. I hope the problem is fixed because I believe I expressed myself much better on my first post....

Srikanth Raghunathan, Washington, D. C., USA :

PostGlobal:

Did you guys notice how my responses to latter comments (e. g., daniel's) appeared before them? (There must a pixie on your website!)

Srikanth Raghunathan, Washington, D. C., USA :

daniel:

Thank you! Yes, there seems to be a problem with the PostGlobal posting "mechanism." (By the way, where the heck are you located?)

David Adesnik, oxblog.com, :

Let me speak for the under-represented position here that American voters should judge their politicians according to their private behavior. I have mixed feelings about this proposition, but I believe there is a case to be made on both sides and that only one side is represented here.

Politics is inherently a moral activity. American politicians, both Democrats and Republicans, speak constantly about values. Personal values, religious values, family values. If politicians speak about such issues, shouldn't voters judge them according to how well they live up to their own professed principles?

David Adesnik, oxblog.com, :

Let me speak for the under-represented position here that American voters should judge their politicians according to their private behavior. I have mixed feelings about this proposition, but I believe there is a case to be made on both sides and that only one side is represented here.

Politics is inherently a moral activity. American politicians, both Democrats and Republicans, speak constantly about values. Personal values, religious values, family values. If politicians speak about such issues, shouldn't voters judge them according to how well they live up to their own professed principles?

Anju Chandel, New Delhi, India. :

Americans may be 'obsessed' with sex and politics but they are at equal footing in these cases with their fellow human beings in other parts of the world!

In my opinion, indulging in 'safe' sex with a consenting partner is better than having it on mind all the time ;-) Nevertheless, on a serious note, proper 'sex education' is essential for both sexes of all age groups. After all, Sex constitutes one of the major fabrics of any relationship between a man and a woman (or between same sex people, for that matter). I believe that Sex starts with Sexuality, graduates into Sensuality and eventually evolves as Spirituality! I call it Love:-)

(I recommend every soul to read "Kamasutra" - the best book on 'sex-love' and one of the best gifts from India to the humankind!)

Also, I think being 'obsessed' by politics is a good idea after all. This makes people well aware about happenings in their country and in the world as well and enhance their power to 'fight' for their 'fundamental rights' as a 'free' human being.

If only everybody understood the true meaning of sex (love) and politics, our earth would become a paradise!

Srikanth Raghunathan, Washington, D. C., USA :

Dr. Amir Matin, Canada:

Thank you.

Dr. Amir Matin, Canada :


Reporter, I am not surprised at all by your analysis. It is another demonstration how some americans prefer to embrace simplicity rather challenging their minds with reality. Your analysis simplifies the facts to a level that they become fiction!

I do not even dignify your analysis by offering detailed criticism, but I just suggest you to do more in depth research and inform yourself before taking a position and making statements. Also, it is quite cheap to sway away the focus of this discussion to another dimension. If you prefer not to contribute in this discussion just move on or suggest another one and release your hot airs in that forum.

Srikanth Raghunathan, Washington, D. C., USA :

reporter, USA, theclearsky.blogspot.com:

With all due respect to your intellectual ability, I must say that you seem to harbor quite a bit of resentment (and ignorance, I am afraid) toward certain peoples (shall we we say "non-Western" cultures?) in the world. I agree with you that fundamentalist Islamists are just ignorant and are male chauvanist pigs (the famous MCP's). However, I suggest that you keep an open mind, while you try to address the issues intelligently. Your intelligence gets clouded, if and when you do not have an open mind.

All peoples are certianly obesessed with sexd and politics. It is just that some of us are better able to control it. Certainly, some governments have a laissez-faire approach to sex. Heck, even our northern neighbor does not give much importance to the control of sex. The more you repress something, the more one wants. This goes for sex, also. What I am trying to convey is that the fundamentalist Islamic regimes repress this, and hence, naturally, the general populace wants it more.

Also, many of the ancient cultures did indeed allow equal rights to both sexes. It is just that Western Anglo-Saxon (specifically, the Victorians) projected an aura of male superiority, which we all now know is nothing more than vapors! In fact, some of the examples of women in leadership positions did not come from "Western" cultures, but such cultures as Indian, Egyptian, Celtic (the "Barabrians," as the cultured Romans called them) et al. One such example that comes to mind is the Celtic queen, Boudicca, the Queen of the Iceni Tribe, who united all the clans (with male leaders, I might add) under one "banner" to fight the Romans. It is just we (the modern men) decided that we were superior to female sex and tried to subjugate them (in some parts of the world, we still are trying our harderst).

Heck, for that matter, the great country of ours, which is the epitome of equality, the U. S., did not even allow women to vote until November, 1920. (Granted that many of the "Western territories" - Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Illinois had their own constitution, under which women had equal voting rights; however, they were all usurped by the U. S. Congress!) This is to say nothing of the African-Americans. Hence, before you denigrate all Muslims, you must understand that we were there, too.

By the way, I must ask you why always include your blog's address in the by-line of your posts. Are you trying to plug your blog? And, why do you use a pseudonym?

GlobalMaven, Amanda Marcotte, www.pandagon.net :

I think being mildly obsessed with sex is part of human nature. The American obsession is less about sex and more about power and control. The battles are all about who gets to decide who has sex with who and when, and also what the "consequences" of said activity is. On the liberal egalitarian side, you have the standard of consenting adults, the notion that free people should decide their sexual lives from themselves, with the restraint put on them that they don't include non-consenting people, including those who can't give full consent because of power differentials, the most immportant one for legal matters being the age of consent. On the conservative authoritarian side, sexual decisions are assumed to be a matter of authority, not independence. So you have conservatives trying to find ways to issue top-down directives to people on what kind of sex they should have, as determined by authority figures. These kinds of directives range from laws like those restricting access to abortion and sodomy laws to attempts to control the flow of knowledge to empower people, like the abstinence-only education, which is based on the assummption that knowledge like how to use contraception should be only available to an elite.

So I wouldn't say that Americans are obsessed with sex, so much as conservatives are obsessed with authoritarian social control and liberals are obsessed with establishing a new egalitarian standard. The Mark Foley scandal then represents the struggle very well. Foley was a standard conservative, passing laws to control the sexual behavior of his social inferiors (that's the rest of us) while feeling perfectly free, as the big man on top of the totem pole, to engage in exploitative pursuits of teenagers. From the liberal point of view, his behavior was "deviant" insofar as we feel the consent of a teenager in a situation with a middle aged person is compromised. However, if the partners Foley pursued were older, I think that liberals wouldn't be so concerned about this, except to point out that it's another example of how conservatives pass laws about sex they think only should apply to the rest of us.

Carl Senna, Saint John, Canada :

Isn't the question really related to scandal, hypocrisy, and celebrity? Gossip, rumour, and scandalous revelations have not been suppressed in any country, and in most countries there is a profitable publishing industry dedicated to the trade in public titillation about the pratfalls of the famous. And except for the subjects of the reports, who can resist broadcasting or discussing a juicy scandal revealing publicly all the things about some famous person most of us would conceal about ourselves? It's news when celebrities and politicians are caught in hypocritical behavior contrary to their personas. Most people especially enjoy a sensational scandal involving politicians. In the USA Mark Twain once defined our politicians as our only "native criminal class," and since our Congress opens each session with a prayer and closes with an indictment, we have come to expect scandal as a normal part of our news. Media avoid reporting scandals at their financial peril.

reporter, USA, http://theclearsky.blogspot.com/ :

This question of sex and politics in American life has no place in this forum, which is supposed to focus on global issues. So, I shall address a slightly modified question. Namely, how does the interaction of sex and politics in American life compare to the interaction in other nations?

Consider the case of Islamic nations. The Muslims in Kuwait consider women to be inferior to men, and the Muslims have long prohibited women from running in elections and holding political office.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4554381.stm

The situation changed in 2005. Washington and other Western governments applied great pressure to the Kuwaiti government and forced the Muslims to allow women to participate in the political process. The Muslims did yield to the pressure, but, at the last minute, "Islamist MPs, who foiled past suffrage moves, added a clause on Monday saying women must abide by Islamic law when voting and campaigning."

Are Muslims in Kuwait obsessed with sex and politics? The evidence suggests that they are obsessed with the matter. The Muslims are so obssessed with it that they aggressively try to hinder women from even participating in politics.

As another example, consider post-war Iraq. "In Najaf, a city that is holy to Iraq's Shiite Muslim majority, a U.S.-appointed female judge was forced to step down after some clerics protested, saying that the Koran does not allow women to hold such jobs. And in Baghdad, some men passed out leaflets that called for the exclusion of women from local councils, which occupation officials have held up as a model of diversity."

http://www.benadorassociates.com/article/941
(Ariana Eunjung Cha, "Female Officers Cross Cultural
Frontier In Iraq ...", "Washington Post" 2004 January 3)

Are Muslims (who, by the way, are destroying their society) in Iraq obsessed with sex and politics? The evidence suggests that they are obsessed with the matter. The Muslims are so obsessed with it that they aggressively hinder women from even participating in politics.

Both the Muslims in Kuwait and the Muslims in Iraq reject Western values. This Islamic obsession with subjugating the fairer sex in all walks of life — including politics — would shock any Westerner.

observer :

Can you see this post?

Dr. Amir Matin, Canada :

Americans are obsessed with whatever is easy to understand and connect to. Sex is a basic human need and Americans can well connect to it and hence their obsession. I do not believe they are obsessed with politics. On the contrary, they try to avoid it as much as possible. Even their week obsession with politics intensifies when it is mixed up with sex scandals and affairs.

As another example, Americans are obsessed with terrorism because their daily lives are affected by it.

Norbert Salamon, Canada :

Sir:

For the first part, the short answer to your question is that the media [and some readers/watchers] are obsessed with sex. Not long ago when President Mitterand's extramarital practices were noted by the media, the Anglo-saxon press was all upset, that this was of little interest to the citizens of France. The Sex life of Clinton, the Princess of Wales was almost daily food for thought by the media. Perhaps the inward looking nature of Anglo-saxon civilizations is a partial cause ot the great interset in sex — they do not know their country's geography, politics, laws and even less than that about the rest of the world. Americans do not even have interest in the rest of the world [aside from control, if possible; and Israel's survival]. Anglo-Saxons cultures [UK, USA, Canada, etc] to a large degree disdain the effort to learn foreign languages, to study foreign cultures [e.g. look at the lack of understanding of Muslims, their culture, their religion, etc. and the price you are paying in Iraq, Afganistan, etc]
For the second part, the USA populus is to a large extent disengaged from politics - as seen in the declinig voting record of the last few election cycles. There are three reasons for this: First only a leisure society can afford politics. This fact effectively restricts politics to the top 20-30% of the population, for the rest are too busy making a living to worry about exoteric problems of politics. Second, the political process especially at the national level is too corrupt, and where it is not corrupt it is interested in the well-being of PAC memebrs and K-Street influences. Third, is the uncomprehensibility fo the product of politics as reflected by the laws and regulations attached thereto. The NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND is 670 pages long - totally incomprehensible to the avarage citizen [they do not have the time to study same, nor even the time to read it]. The incomprehensibility of laws is best illustrated in the field of education, where notwithstanding 100 or so major challenges to K-12 education laws [on constituttional grounds], the net effect is that educational opportunity is commesurate with socio-economic status to a large extent. Education laws are written [and adjudicated] on the precept of funding [which can be fudged] rather than by curriculum opportunities, which would be far harder to fudge.

So in effect the USA has the two precepts of Ceasar: circus [sex] and bread [basic sustinence]; the fulfillment of these two precepts to the excludion of politics [to a large extent] necessarily lead to a serious decline in the democratic institutions of the state: observe the rise of EMPEROR BUSH.

Thank you for your interst in my views

GlobalMaven, Stephen Siciliano, http://highwayscribery.blogspot.com :

One would certainly hope so. They are certainly obsessed with talking about it and watching it.

The question of whether that is a good or a bad thing is best left to the psychologists and evangelicals.

Are they having more sex? Only they and the National Security Agency know for certain.

Back in the seventies Dr. David Ruben wrote, "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex *But Were Afraid to Ask," and it was very popular. The title says it all. There were a lot of questions.

The answers are everywhere now and sex or some conception of love sell better than most things.

The questions are no longer about sex; they are about production value and sharing. A nation of exhibitionists with the technology to project at our fingerprints, sex is good attention. And boy do we need it.

GlobalMaven, Arash Kamangir, kamangir.wordpress.com, Winnipeg, Canada :

I like to separate politics with the sense of "I know what is going on in the world" which is lead by CNN-type media. The later one is all about giving trivial analysis about millennium-age problems which we have no solution for them in sight. And still, CNN "chief correspondent" gives a detailed analysis which at the end gives no information whatsoever. I call this the AC360 version of politics; a drama in which real people loose their head. In this sense, many people, including Americans, are obsessed with politics.
There is another type of politics which is mostly about who bluffs better. This is not the business of the man in the street. So, not only in America, even in Iran, there are important news which the public "doesn't need" to be aware of.
There is a third version of "politics" which to my understanding means getting to know how others think and trying to find more ways to interact to people. This probably is not about politics and I understand if many political bodies do not like the general public to be engaged in it.
And about sex, is it really a question? For that, I like Carl Senna's idea (see).

Zathras, Sun Prairie, WI :

No.

Carl Senna, upthread, as much as says this is a stupid question, and he's right. Only in Presidential elections do as many as half of Americans even vote, and many of those who do don't track public affairs closely enough to assess politicians ability to, say, write legislation reforming the federal criminal code or design a foreign policy that deals appropriately with Venezuela, or indeed do any of the things central to the thinking of people whose lives are dedicated, if not to public service then at least to the discussion of public issues. Whether a politician can be reproached for private conduct is for many American voters shorthand for whether he can be trusted to look after their interests on matters beyond their ken. It is not a flawless guide, but there are worse ones.

Trust is one essential issue. Another is the question of how representative elected officials (or candidates for public office) are of the people who gave them their jobs. Obviously the wisest, ablest, most dedicated person would have a very hard time getting elected to any public office in the United States if he or she did not speak English. If he showed his distaste for living in or even visiting his constituency he would face similar difficulty. There is no mystery to this; Americans like other people are inclined to vote for people who they think are like them. Americans also like to think they hold certain moral values — however much they may disagree with one another about what those values are — and tend to regard politicians who stray too far from those values with disdain.

Mark Foley was a long way from the moral values of his constituents (or of most other Americans). His advances toward teenage boys were from that perspective a very big deal, and his disgrace and forced retirement fully justified. President Clinton's conduct while in office was likewise repellent to most Americans, though many disagreed that it justified his impeachment. In view of the current state of the Congress one could make a good argument that Americans would be best off being more rather than less concerned with the private conduct of the people they entrust with office, not only with respect to sex but also with respect to money.

In any event, that Americans demand more of their politicians than that they be Americans is just a fact of political life, and has been for a very long time. It makes no more sense to talk about this in terms of "obsession" than it does to ridicule the existence of the Rocky Mountains or the Great Lakes.

Israel Fuchs, Brooklyn, NY USA :

No. I don't think Americans are any more obsessed with sex than people in many other countries.

The American media IS obsessed with sex. The entertainment industry IS obsessed with sex. They push it more and more in the products they produce.

As far as politics goes, most people aren't obsessed with that either. Many are apathetic. It's hard not to be apathetic when most of the news media presents everything they report through the lens of their own editorial page agendas and a destructive moral relativism.

The question really should be... does the media want Americans to be as obsessed with sex and politics as they are?

Andy T. Pham, Dunnellon, Fl, USA :

Yes, we are excessively obsessed with sex to the point it can be used as a weapon when other arguments and means failed. The investigation involving former President Clinton and his sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky, for example, has cost taxpayers about 100 million dollars and innumerable man-hours provided by law enforcement agencies. The result was Clintonís loss of his precious time trying to defend himself instead of solving the nationís more pressing problems. The need to punish a high official is still reverberated today as a primordial issue that should be addressed, and addressed immediately, prior to all other important issues, such as the increasing problem of our obese children. The Foley scandal is a fresh example of our excessive concern with sex
In the workplace, especially in administration, sexual harassment, no matter how ridiculous or trivial it is established, is subject to an investigation. That means a manager and several other employees should be excused from their daily duty to work as investigators, often for long periods, and the results rarely satisfied the parties involved. And how the world thinks of it? If my memory did not fail me, I remember that King Norodom Sihanouk of Kampuchea once said laughing that if what was applicable in America applied to the rest of the world, no world leaders would be immune. He was talking about Clintonís case.

yknot :

Americans, sex and politics....how weird are those people?

Could such "dangerous liasons" be attributed to Biblical causes? A friend who has made it [especially the old testament] his lifelong hobby claims references to "prostitutes" is statistically astronomical.

That could explain sex-deviate behaviours of individuals who proffess
vindictivenss against all sinners regardless of religious beliefs.

Still the question must be asked" is sex to the Americans" different than sex say to the Tasmanians, the Tunisians [many of whom did engage according to reliable but unconfirmed sources with Macaque type individuals, thereby the much ballyhood reference by Senator Allen
from Virginia], the Sri Lankans, the Eskimos, Manchurians, Roumanian Gypsies et al.

And if it is "how different is the obsession?". Did not some one allow that " man must go forth and multiply" and that the reference has been maligned by individuals whose only interest were mathematics associated with polling and thereby hangs the tail between the mixing of "sex and politics".

The one blight on the American society due to the obssession of politics and sex is due to a much deeper obssession of Americans which, according to several inept psycho-types, got its start when as toddlers on a bicycle they would pedal like crazy and holler "look ma no hands". This obssession has been called, an "obssession with exhibitionism" or an OE Mania for short.

Examples of this OE Mania [specialists prefer the word Condition to Mania] is the incessant drumming that sex acts are acceptable [in addition to normal behaviour] as long as none of the participants in the act claims "their constitutional rights have not been abused or denied]. Thus sex in America has acquired a political aura unheard of in most of the rest of the planet.

Sex in America is now promoted if it is "politically correct". The best example of the marriage of sex and politics are the several legislative acts to "bless and legalize politically" sexual acts between "living "organisms as a "marriage". Such acts are acceptable if they are done by two individauls at a given time. Sex acts between one [male]individual and several females [like several relgions allow]
are considered not only "deviate" but politically unacceptable.

According to some politically inclined sexist the time may not be far off when the US Congress will pass legislation [as was recently done in Holland] to establish a "political party" that will legalize sexual acts between grownups and minors and provide protection against obssessive acts by either of the parties.

It may be that the initial blame must lie in the story of Adam and Eve
being the first and no one able to answer either politically correct or not who did their off springs have sex with in going forth and multiplying.

This combined obssession of politics [read money] and sex [read sex] is either a conundrum for all Americans or its a Kabballah curse on all Americans

GlobalMaven Lindsay Beyerstein, Brooklyn, New York :

Americans are obsessed with sex, the politics is just a diversion. The fact that Predatorgate might cost the Republicans an entire branch of government is less important to most people than the text of the latest instant message.

A more interesting question is whether Americans are unusually preoccupied with sex in politics. That is, do we give too much weight to the details of a politician's private consensual sex life when assessing his or her fitness to govern? Probably.

That said, Predatorgate would be a scandal anywhere in the world. It goes without saying that middle-aged congressmen who chase 16-year-olds for cybersex aren't fit to govern. You don't have to be obsessed with sex to draw that line.

Parents handed their kids over to the page program because they trusted the government to keep them safe. Foley abused that trust. He saw page program the way a chicken hawk surveys a chicken coop.

The House Republicans were warned time and time again about Foley, but they turned a blind eye. That's how the House Republicans do business. Partisanship is more important to them than protecting kids.

Ted DiBiasse :

First, we should all acknowledge that this question requires some sweeping generalizations. Because what are Americans, really? We are a hodgepodge of immigrants and descendents of immigrants from around the world. Our society's approach to sexuality must necessarily be largely determined by our most basic cultural values - something that is not universal in this country because we all have differing cultural origins. In fact, I don't think "Americans" in general have very many universal cultural values at all. What we do have is a very advanced media marketplace for cultural expression.

That being said, many Americans have a very unusual approach to sexuality and its place in society. I think this sometimes is misconstrued as being obsessed with sex, but that's actually not the case. Remember that the first immigrants to this country were Puritans. And I think they probably established the initial cultural and societal norms. Of course, over the many decades since then, these cultural norms have been broadened and expanded in innumerable ways. But todayís norms are still a legacy of many Americansí Puritanical roots, no matter how distant.

This combination of Christian roots and an open marketplace for entertainment, ideas, expression and above all else advertising has lead to an awkwardness in many of the ways Americans approach sexuality, especially in the public domain. Sometimes it is with a wink and a nod, like 1950ís television that portrayed married couples sleeping in separate beds. Sometimes the interaction results in a kind of guilt that we see being acted upon by the Christian Coalition and other TV monitoring groups.

But is that obsession? I donít think so. I think it is simply the inevitable result of a society that dearly values expression on the one hand, but is hamstrung by conservative values.

And as far as politics, I think a lot of Americans are passionate about it, no doubt. But thatís what you get when you provide people free expression and representation. Everyone has something they believe in, and in our system, everyone has a chance to advocate for whatever it is they hold near and dear. Thatís an oversimplification, but itís at the root of any larger explanation.

Srikanth Raghunathan, Washington, D. C., USA :

Yes, unfortunately, we certainly do seem to be obsessed with the lethal combination of sex and politics. Journalists and reporters are not helping this matter, either. I recall that almost all the presidents (perhaps, with the exception of a handful) had extramarital affairs, in one way, shape, or form. JFK - John F. Kennedy - was perhaps the most notorious. In those times, journalists and reporters tended to keep the "private" presidential indiscretions just that - private. However, those "private" indiscretions became very public during the Clinton adminsitration. Unfortunately, as consumers of information, we, the American public, seem to have an insatiable appetite for titillating sex scandals.

In the modern (relatively) period, sex was politicized, primarily, during the Victorian era with edicts dictating the "decorum" and "etiquettes" of the public. In the ancient times, we have always had sex and construed as private affairs. In fact, sex was really considered "necessary" for the well-being in many ancient cultures!

Personally, I feel that private practices should have no nexus to politics, unless it infringes on national security and the public well-being.

Joy Roy Choudhury, Calcutta, India :

There is a thread between sex and politics. In classical context, both are manifestations of power. So, the question can be also reframed as : Do you think Americans are obsessed with power? Historically, yes, Americans are obsessed with power. Global peace policies are masks that hide the power in the name of democracy and freedom. Vietnam was a good example of the exercise of power. Now sex, is nothing detrimental, but obsession with sex is a decaying process that withers away all the good creative humane faculties of man. Sex is a vital force, at a deeper level its a psychic force too. Meaningful sex can lead to progenies who can manifest greater powers/faculties that can pave the way for a golden race. If everything undergoes the laws of evolution, then man has to evolute to a next stage. Sex needs to be seen as a natural biological process
that deternmines growth of body, mind and soul. Its like a fertility cycle operating in nature, the marriage of the earth and sky- the nimbus clouds pregnant with water droplets bring in rain and the new harvest heralds the advent of spring.
Hollywood has to play a much bigger role in making movies that are simple, natural based on old classics or American folk.
The beauty of nature, the grace of nature ( both violent and calm ), and the harmony between the opposites- all these are fundamental aspects of a healthy life. In such a life, there is no urge to dominate, so no perversion or mental-illness. And as Divine Mother had said : "Man is the intermediary between what is and what is to be realised"- it seems more true today than in 1954 when she wrote it in Pondicherry ashram.

Carl Senna, Saint John, Canada :

Americans obsessed with sex and politics, over money and sex? Is that a serious question for Post readers to discuss? Sex is universally popular, but if you're obsessed with it, obviously, as the song goes,you "ain't getting no satisfaction." I was taught in Freshman English that a question is a trick or illogical question when it asks a general truth of specific realities, since universal categories are ideals, which we cannot poll for answers to questions about them. "Some" Americans that I have known, have, it seemed to me, spent most of their day fantasizing, thinking or involving themselves with sexual activity, to the exclusion of nearly all other concerns. I also know some Americans who have spent most of their time involved in politics, to the exclusion of nearly everything else. I have known Americans from both groups who divide their time between involvement in either sex or politics and there are yet other Americans who engage in the two activities simultaneously. What percentage of Americans am I talking about in all three camps? Probably no more than the percentage of the voting age population within the Beltway, in the major media newsrooms, in a few federal prisons, in a few male and female cloak rooms, and, of course, in fraternity and sorority houses, with provisions for the roguish elements in political caucuses, the state, local and federal bureaucracy, and most of the 12-15 year olds experiencing sexual development. From all the stats I've read in the Post on the credit card debt of most Americans, from what I've seen in reports of the soaring market in Viagra and other sexual aids, and the thriving business in pornography and prostitution, which are forms of sexual assistance, it seems that 98 percent of the American people are working so hard that they don't have time for much sexual activity; and with respect to political obsessions, Americans seem to prefer infotainement TV programs, according to the Nielsen viewer polls, to writing or calling their elected representative for some kind of political action. How can we, by the way, label politics an American obsession when most Americans do not vote in state elections, and in federal elections they vote automatically to elect for public office the man or woman that campaign organizational spin doctors successfully promote in the media rather than voting the program or party platform?

Lee Mason, Wash. DC, USA :

Without a doubt Americans are obessed with sex as the multiples of commercials of erectile enhancing drugs exhibit. The relationship between politics and sex are startling in that we are interested in both only for the short term with little thought of what we might give birth to.

Elaine Katzman, Scottsdale AZ, USA :

Yes, I think Americans are obsessed with sex and politics. However, where they have always been confused about sex, they have recently become more confused about politics. And the latest sex scandals in Congress are putting sex and politics back together in a bad light as they were during the last administration, confusing us more than ever. I think our values about them have become more skewed, and we need strong leadership to help put us in a healthier direction for BOTH sex and politics.

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