Archive for the ‘Women’ Category

NPR has a new story about the Quiverfull Movement – a sect of Christianity that believes they should have as many children as they can. (Come to think of it, that’s a bit like Mormon teachings – which says families should have as many children as they can handle.)

It’s originally based on Psalms 127:3-5

Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.

Ignoring the obvious gender preference here, the verse is essentially saying that having sons will enable you to beat-back your enemies with superior numbers.

From the article:

Among some conservative Christians, a movement is giving new meaning to the biblical mandate to “be fruitful and multiply.”

The movement, called Quiverfull, is based on Psalm 127… Those in the Quiverfull movement shun birth control, believing that God will give them the right number of children. It turns out, that’s a lot of kids.

I have to admit that it’s irritating when people believe God will intervene to bring about the right situation – and then use that to avoid any planning. This kind of action could easily lead to overpopulation. I don’t know how many people the earth could support, but if everyone did this, the global population would skyrocket.

“We just started thinking, ‘God is sovereign over life and death. God opens and closes the womb,’ ” Kelly says. “That’s what his word says, so why we’re trying to fiddle around and controlling ourselves, we need to stop doing that.”

This lack of foresight and personal responsibility is galling.

Their friends do, too. The average family at their evangelical church has 8.5 kids. They are children who the Swansons hope will spread the message of Christ.


That’s also the hope of Nancy Campbell, a leader of the Quiverfull movement and author of Be Fruitful and Multiply.

“The womb is such a powerful weapon; it’s a weapon against the enemy,” Campbell says.

Campbell has 35 grandchildren. She and her husband stopped at six kids, and it is her great regret.

“I think, help! Imagine if we had had more of these children!” Campbell says, adding, “My greatest impact is through my children. The more children I have, the more ability I have to impact the world for God.”

A Christian God, that is. Campbell says if believers don’t starting reproducing in large numbers, biblical Christianity will lose its voice.

How about actually coming up with some decent evidence to convert people? I guess indoctrinating children is a whole lot easier when it comes to dominating the world with your religious views.

“We look across the Islamic world and we see that they are outnumbering us in their family size, and they are in many places and many countries taking over those nations, without a jihad, just by multiplication,” Campbell says.”

Admittedly, I think it is scary how fast some parts of the Muslim world is reproducing. However, fertility rates actually vary from one Islamic nation to the next, and the fertility rates have been dropping – Iran, for example, is down to about 1.71 children born/woman. Thirty years ago, that was much higher. The right-wing media likes to play up the high reproduction rates of some Middle Eastern nations though – because they’re very big on promoting fear.

Global Fertility Rates:

“They speak about, ‘If everyone starts having eight children or 12 children, imagine in three generations what we’ll be able to do,’ ” Joyce says. ” ‘We’ll be able to take over both halls of Congress, we’ll be able to reclaim sinful cities like San Francisco for the faithful, and we’ll be able to wage very effective massive boycotts against companies that are going against God’s will.’ “

Yikes. These people and their legion of indoctrinated children are hoping to take over. It’s like some bad Christian Dominionist fantasy.

When [Misty and Seth Huckstead] were 23, already with four children, he had a vasectomy. But they searched the Bible and concluded that sterilization was an affront to God.

An affront to God? Well, I guess all the logical arguments in the world can’t make them change their minds – they’re doing what god wants.

Misty says she’ll have as many children as possible. She loves having babies and believes it’s the proper role for women.

The proper place for women: barefoot and pregnant.

By the way, I just noticed The Friendly Atheist has a short post about the Quivefull Movement.

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The Myth, the Math, the Sex

The NY Times put up an article recently titled, “The Myth, the Math, the Sex”. It’s about the discrepancy between self-reported sexual partners.

One survey, recently reported by the federal government, concluded that men had a median of seven female sex partners. Women had a median of four male sex partners. Another study, by British researchers, stated that men had 12.7 heterosexual partners in their lifetimes and women had 6.5.

But there is just one problem, mathematicians say. It is logically impossible for heterosexual men to have more partners on average than heterosexual women. Those survey results cannot be correct.

(Side note: median is probably the wrong word here. Did they mean “mean“, which is the same as “average”? Because there’s really no problem getting two different medians. Different averages, on the other hand, are mathematically impossible.)

They run through some possibilities:
– Men are exaggerating numbers
– Women are minimizing their numbers
– Prostitutes (who aren’t included in the surveys) skew the numbers for men (more specifically, if every man had slept with three different prostitutes, or one in ten men slept with 30 different prostitutes, it would create an average gap of 3 between men’s and women’s numbers)

Since the survey asked about the number of female sex partners for males, and male sexual partners for females, it eliminates the chance for homosexual sexual partners to skew those numbers.

The article concluded that men were probably exaggerating and women were under-counting their numbers. There were a few things the article missed, though. First of all, they don’t define was a “sexual partner” was. Men, eager to boost their numbers, might consider oral sex in their count of sex partners. On the other hand, women, eager to lower their numbers, might ignore oral sex in their count.

Additionally, a long time ago, I had read an article about another study involving heterosexual college students aged 18 to 25. In this other study, they had split men and women into three different groups. In the first group of men and women, they filled out a questionnaire which included their names that asked how many sex partners they had over their lifetime. To the second group, they gave men and women anonymous questionnaires asking them how many sex partners they had over their lifetime. To the third group, they hooked up each person to a (fake) lie detector machine and asked them how many sex partners they had over their lifetime. What were the results? The men in all three procedures gave approximately the same answer. (I have to admit, I was a bit surprised that the self-reported number didn’t change.) The women, on the other hand, showed a bias. When asked on questionnaires with their names attached, their sexual partners number was low (2.6 sexual partners). When given an anonymous questionnaire, the numbers were a little higher (3.4 sexual partners). And when hooked up to a lie detector, their numbers were higher still (4.4 sexual partners). It seems that when researchers ask how many sexual partners someone has had, the men appear to be fairly honest, but the women are minimizing their numbers.

Update: I found the fake lie-detector study, via Feministe. (BTW, why do hardcore feminists always sound like they’re yelling directly into my face?)

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Gender ratios in the US

This is a map showing the disproportionate number of males and females living in different parts of the US. As a single male living in Denver, I was not happy to see all the blue in my area – that means there are more single men than women in my area, which means extra competition.


Looks like the single girls are mostly on the eastern side of the US. I suppose that might have something to do with the fact that people have been moving West over the past few decades, and maybe men are more likely to move across the country. (Link to original article)

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