There is so much science can say about sex. So why is almost every conversation I hear about sex based on opinion? Why don’t we talk about sex the way we talk about high cholesterol? It’s just as relevant. This got me thinking about opinions. There is literally no human who doesn’t have an opinion on something. Opinions are often formed by an emotional reaction to an experience, whether it’s true or not. Scientists test their opinions, known as hypotheses, for relevance. Regular people, on the other hand, simply look for ways to support their opinions. And rarely do we want our opinions to be wrong. Regular people even find scientific evidence which they can bastardize to support even the most bizarre hypothesis – enter alien conspiracies. The point is, people find all kinds of ways to reinforce their opinions…even when their opinions are illogical. Enter the logical fallacy.
“What is a logical fallacy?” you ask. Allow me to enlighten.
3 Logical Fallacies Applied to Sex
Our private little coffee talk conversations about sex are often based on opinion rather than logic. And you can forget about science. But why? Because sex is personal. It elicits an emotion. Which makes it seem more private than say, high cholesterol. The truth is, just like high cholesterol, there is plenty that science can tell us about sex. There is even more that psychology can tell us about opinions of sex. But when we’re amidst a conversation about sex, science and logic be damned! You know how you feel about sex. And you’re positive that your partner is just a sex crazed porn addict with a low IQ and only uses you for their own selfish desires.
Ad Hominem Sex
Imagine that your partner says these dreaded words in the heat of a disagreement, “You never want to have sex with me anymore!” But instead of expressing the truth about your sexual mindset you attack their character and their morals with words like “porn addict” and “selfish.” And then you throw in a jab about their intelligence for good measure. There is no logic in your argument and even your neighbor’s five year old Labrador can see that you’re biased. Oh, and science. What science? This is the logical fallacy known as “The Ad Hominem.”
Maybe it’s me but wouldn’t it be infinitely more productive to start a conversation with your “sex crazed” partner? This logical fallacy only deflects your share of the responsibility and does nothing for resolution. You’re smarter than this and can create a solution. So remind yourself that maybe the passion has worn off and you need to nurture the intimacy in your relationship.
Hasty Generalization: This is a conclusion based on insufficient or biased evidence. In other words, you are rushing to a conclusion before you have all the relevant facts.Source: Purdue.edu
Here are two examples of the “hasty generalizations” logical fallacy regarding sex.
He's a man, so he definitely watches porn. She writes about sex, she has loose morals.
Rush to a conclusion much? Let’s break these down. Do these statements provide any sufficient or unbiased evidence? No. Do they rush to a conclusion before considering all of the relevant facts? Yes. And there you have it – hasty generalizations.
I’m going to say it plainly. Don’t do this. Don’t overgeneralize people because the likelihood of generalizations being anything more than a preconceived opinion (otherwise known as prejudice) is extremely low. You should base your opinions on your actual experiences and then use your logic. So don’t be lazy when forming opinions, especially about something as important and diverse as sex. Challenge yourself to think critically about your experiences. It’s like the Golden Rule – only generalize if you want to be generalized.
Sex with a Red Herring
Now for one of the more popular logical fallacies, the red herring. And sex with a red herring, well, it’s just weird.
Red Herring: This is a diversionary tactic that avoids the key issues, often by avoiding opposing arguments rather than addressing them.Source: Purdue.edu
Let’s take our original example and apply it to this logical fallacy:
Them: You never want to have sex with me anymore! You: Did you know that reading about sex can actually reduce stress?
Yes, you’re loosely on topic. But you’ve avoided the argument. But why avoid the subject? Avoidance of an argument or critique indicates an underlying desire to avoid responsibility…and we’ve all done it.
Remember what I said about the hasty generalization logical fallacy? Well, I’m saying it again. Don’t do it. Don’t avoid the argument because you’re afraid of the repercussions. Remember when we talked about sexless marriages? You’re likely just delaying the inevitable and you run the risk of all kinds of relationship pitfalls. Face the music, friends. Have that difficult conversation. It may suck in the present, but will be better in the long run.
Sex & Sex Toys in The Bandwagon
I’m pretty sure that there are ample hasty generalizations and ad hominem logical fallacies about sex and sex toys. I’m also sure that people use red herrings to avoid talking about sex and sex toys. Just look at social media’s list of “Community Standards” about “Sexual Solicitation.” According to many in America, sex is the devil’s work.
But let’s take the spotlight off of sex for a minute and take a look at life. Life is all about having experiences and then using your logic to form your own opinions. Yet we don’t do that. Entirely too many people look for like minded people and then parade their opinions around as fact. Allow me to introduce the Bandwagon Fallacy.
Rarely do people want to take the time to do the ego damaging work of applying their logic to challenge their positions and form their own opinion. It’s much easier just to find a support group for their usual ones. There are a million reasons why this is the case but no matter what they say, it’s most likely because people like to fit in. And they want to fit in with likeminded people. For more information check with your local Social Psychology guru.
But even knowing this, I truly don’t know why sex still has a stigma and I don’t know why it’s taboo. And I don’t know why there are still so many haters on the bandwagon. Face it, you and me…we’re the result of at least one person’s good time. Everyone is sexual in some form or another. We know so much today, there’s just no reason to view sex as we did even forty years ago.
Conclusion of Fallacies
Let’s look at this logically. Tending to your sex life is no more deviant than tending to your heart health. You could even argue that the makers of sex toys (and writers of erotica) are the pharmacists of sex. (I know, it’s a stretch.) But let’s stop pretending that sex is dirty and indecent because it isn’t. Everyone is sexual. Imagine what could be if we stopped basing our opinions of sex off of outdated puritanical social opinion. Then imagine what life would be like if we stopped subjecting our partners to our own sexual inadequacies. Inform yourself, start the conversation, grab a sex toy, and get back to the bedroom.
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