sexuality and message boards

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Postby tsian » Mon Mar 28, 2005 6:29 am

And a forum on sex would allow people to discuss sexuality and other related issues, often in a much freer manner than they are able to at home or elsewhere.

]but the fact remains that negative effect is counterbalanced atleast somewhat by the people it's brought.


But any immediate censoring of sex necessarily means that you will never know how many people it could bring. Indeed, if it could be proven that this forum drove away more people than in brought, would you close it?

Revisiting your earlier remark:

Doing that which is right isn't necessarily the same thing as doing that which leads to success


Wow. Thats an interesting statement. So you fall on the side of doing what leads to success?
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Postby TerraFrost » Mon Mar 28, 2005 7:03 am

And a forum on sex would allow people to discuss sexuality and other related issues, often in a much freer manner than they are able to at home or elsewhere.

I have no objections to hidden forums that discuss sexuality on message boards that you might not otherwise expect them. However, visible forms on such boards do, I think detract from the community, as I think posts about sex scattered on random forums does. So the point you make is valid, however, I don't believe it does anything to counter mine.

But any immediate censoring of sex necessarily means that you will never know how many people it could bring.

Wrong. Experiments are akin to "proof" through induction. However, induction doesn't establish causality - only correlation. Further, the only way anything can be correlated to the allowance of sex, definitively, is if nothing else was being done to promote the message board in question.

If you want to establish causality, you need to do so through deduction - through arguments and reasoning, which is what I'm trying to do.

Now, I will grant that it is hard to establish anything in the social sciences through deduction, but if it suggests that taking a certain course of action will lead to harm, then why do it, unless you're sadomasochistic?

Wow. Thats an interesting statement. So you fall on the side of doing what leads to success?

Unless you can establish the relevance of this question, I suggest you stop trying to play Dr. Phil, I suggest you stop throwing out red herrings, and I suggest you stop trying to reduce everything to black and white.
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Postby tsian » Mon Mar 28, 2005 8:24 am

I have no objections to hidden forums that discuss sexuality on message boards that you might not otherwise expect them. However, visible forms on such boards do, I think detract from the community, as I think posts about sex scattered on random forums does


And yet besides some peoples taboo on sex, you've yet to say why the forum must be hidden. The initial arguement about people from work/etc seeing it notwithstanding.

Wrong. Experiments are akin to "proof" through induction. However, induction doesn't establish causality - only correlation. Further, the only way anything can be correlated to the allowance of sex, definitively, is if nothing else was being done to promote the message board in question.


Translation: "Can't prove it, so my gut feeling will do!"

Now, I will grant that it is hard to establish anything in the social sciences through deduction, but if it suggests that taking a certain course of action will lead to harm, then why do it, unless you're sadomasochistic?


No shit. There are no hard absolute facts in social sciences, not even definitions in things like POLS and INTS. But what suggests a public forum relating to sexuality would conclusively lead to harm?

Unless you can establish the relevance of this question, I suggest you stop trying to play Dr. Phil, I suggest you stop throwing out red herrings, and I suggest you stop trying to reduce everything to black and white.


Because I'm genuinely curious if you are basing this argument on part on the idea that you'd rather be a success than do what is 'right'. I'd find that a very interesting position to take. And Doctor Phil would trace it back to your parents and claim you display 6 traits of a serial killer, so I'm certainly not playing him.
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Postby TerraFrost » Mon Mar 28, 2005 8:37 am

And yet besides some peoples taboo on sex, you've yet to say why the forum must be hidden. The initial arguement about people from work/etc seeing it notwithstanding.

Why isn't it withstanding?

Translation: "Can't prove it, so my gut feeling will do!"

If you're reducing my arguments to this, then I should point out that your arguements can be reduced in a similar manner.

So let me translate them for you: "Can't disprove it, so my gut feeling will do!"

Does that about sum it up?

But what suggests a public forum relating to sexuality would conclusively lead to harm?

The arguments that you claim to be nonwithstanding.

Because I'm genuinely curious if you are basing this argument on part on the idea that you'd rather be a success than do what is 'right'. I'd find that a very interesting position to take.

I think anyone who starts a message board wants it to be success. Also,the reason I said you ought not reduce this to a black and white argument is that I think some things are more wrong than others. Not doing anything to combat prudishness may be wrong, as these things go, but I think it's one of the most trivial wrong you can do. Perhapes not as trivial as a white lie, but close.

Also, if you really wanted to do the right then, I think you'd have to first do the wrong thing for a little bit. If you wanted to give money to tsunami victims, you'd first have to get money. So is someone who cheats others out of money wrong if he's giving that money to tsunami victims or is someone who doesn't cheat others out of money wrong because they're not doing all that they could do to help out?
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Postby Roadkill » Mon Mar 28, 2005 4:22 pm

Also, if you really wanted to do the right then, I think you'd have to first do the wrong thing for a little bit. If you wanted to give money to tsunami victims, you'd first have to get money. So is someone who cheats others out of money wrong if he's giving that money to tsunami victims or is someone who doesn't cheat others out of money wrong because they're not doing all that they could do to help out?


since when is not helping out a crime? It's a poor example.

number 2, my example comes from a gaming forum: much of it is talk about the game, technical dificulties, moddes, scrpters, etc. But when you get into the general discussion of the community -- nothing is regulated unless it could ge tthe site shutdown (underage pornography, for example). members are banned for saying or asking something very stupid (temporary ban, mind you) -- helps make sure everyone has a competetive wit or will think about what thy say before posting.People talk about gfs, life stories, etc, but the motto is "pics or it didn't happen", usually translating to pics of the girl. 70% is an exaggeration but it's hard to go through a page without seeing atleast 2 topics dedicated to hot girls, or 'NWS' stuff.

That forum serves to contrast this forum. Yet i have never heard of any one of them being fired for their 'sexual deviance', and if they are, they just laugh it off. However, i do remember stories of laughing it up with bosses.

Hell, if i talked 'sex' (not like i can right now) with any of my former bosses, or many of my freinds bosses, they would laugh. This is, of course, unless he had an important audience where ti isn't appropriate for that kind of dscussion. Nonetheless, it is a stupid thing to be worried about. If you got fired for that, you probably didn't like your boss anyway. Economies not so bad, you can get another job in no time.

So no, sex should not be censored. I mean, common man, thats what i love about the internet-- it isn't like real life, you can't truely censor it.
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Postby tsian » Mon Mar 28, 2005 4:48 pm

So let me translate them for you: "Can't disprove it, so my gut feeling will do!"


I'm saying in the absence of anything approaching evidence, that any sort of blanket ban on such things is uncalled for. Certainly I understand wanting to censor explicit material, but the type of ban you are talking about seems to extend far beyond that. I'm saying that I don't think unproved offense is enough to deny something. So no, this has very little to do with my 'gut' feeling, since I have no idea whether such a discussion would cause offense, nor do I think it really matters.

Not doing anything to combat prudishness may be wrong, as these things go, but I think it's one of the most trivial wrong you can do. Perhapes not as trivial as a white lie, but close.


I would think allowing people to ask serious questions or have serious discussions about a wide range of topics would do far more than merely combat prudishness.

Also, if you really wanted to do the right then, I think you'd have to first do the wrong thing for a little bit.


I don't exactly follow how this applies in this case...

If you wanted to give money to tsunami victims, you'd first have to get money. So is someone who cheats others out of money wrong if he's giving that money to tsunami victims or is someone who doesn't cheat others out of money wrong because they're not doing all that they could do to help out?


I'm not sure I follow... Are you equating talking about sex on a message board to committing crimes? Or actually saying that every 'right' action flows from a wrong/illegal action? Either way, I'm pretty sure that you are trying to equate a situation with no illegal action to one where no one crime is committed... and I don't really understand why such a comparison is warranted or necessary.

A better analogy might be to consider whether a friend is right or wrong not to chastise another friend who lies and hurts someone else. Since, at least there none of the actions are illegal and you can argue whether it is a friends place to offer such advice.

Or whether a friend should feel secure enough to tell another friend when he thinks they are wrong...
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Re: sexuality and message boards

Postby ChatOmbre » Mon Mar 28, 2005 4:59 pm

TerraFrost wrote:if you're going to post about things that you'd rather your friends / family not know about, or if you're going to participate in communities that you'd rather someone you know not know about, then you ought not do it.


I was taught as soon as I got 'net not to say anything online that I don't want everyone to know about. I think this is a good way to go... also, about the name search thing, I don't think it's a good idea to use your real/full name most of the time online. of course, there's also things like I usually use ChatOmbre as my name online, but I don't tend to care about someone thinking I'm the same person.
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Postby tsian » Mon Mar 28, 2005 5:53 pm

just to add, I'd think that quote would be more in support of my argument... as just because a forum is there, doesn't mean you have to post in it.
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Postby TerraFrost » Mon Mar 28, 2005 8:44 pm

I'm saying in the absence of anything approaching evidence, that any sort of blanket ban on such things is uncalled for.

That's just it, though - there is evidence. I've been presenting it in my posts. What do you call this?:

If that were the case, then why would sodomy be an arrestable offense (or is it, still? there was a court trial about it, iirc), as opposed to rape? Rape is what causes harm - sodomy isn't. Likewise, statuatory rape only causes harm if it's coerced through illicit means, despite the name (which I think is rather misleading). And what about indecent exposure?


Also, the situations I presented in my above post aren't given take up space - they were given to serve as evidence - evidence that I use to construct an argument.

So, to lay out my argument in a different way...

EVIDENCE (ie. assertions):
1. Some kids using the same computers as their parents will not want to post to message boards that talks casually about sex.
2. Some kids do use the same computer as their parents.
3. Casual talk about sex won't bring any new members (ie. only official or unofficial dedication to sex will).
4. Message boards seek to increase their member base as fast as possible.

ARGUMENTS:
1. Assume a message board talks casually about sex.
2. By 3, we know that this won't bring any new members.
3. By 1 and 2, we know that some people aren't going to become members.
4. By 1, 2, and 3, message boards talking casually about sex will result in, at the very least, a slower increase in the member base. This contradicts with 4, and thus concludes the proof by contradiction that message boards should not talk about sex.

As you can see, there's evidence. You're free to attack the validity of that evidence, but to deny its existince is to that which holocaust deniers do (they deny the existince of evidence, claim its fabricated, etc) - it's disingenious and manipulative.

Also, the work thing can be used to construct an argument, using a similar approach.

I would think allowing people to ask serious questions or have serious discussions about a wide range of topics would do far more than merely combat prudishness.

No shit. I am not talking about a wide range of topics, though - I'm only talking about ONE topic - sex. As such, I recommend you don't put words in my mouth.

I don't exactly follow how this applies in this case...

That was another example of why that which is wrong or right isn't black and white. That which is wrong in the short run may be more right in the long run.

I'm not sure I follow... Are you equating talking about sex on a message board to committing crimes?

The paragraph from which you quoted is unrelated to the topic at hand - it's a red herring as I pointed out, earlier. However, to humor you, I answered it. I now regret it, seeing as how you can't differentiate between two unrelated things, and will not entertain further responses on this in this thread (ie. you can ask and other people may reply, but I won't).

number 2, my example comes from a gaming forum: much of it is talk about the game, technical dificulties, moddes, scrpters, etc. But when you get into the general discussion of the community -- nothing is regulated unless it could ge tthe site shutdown (underage pornography, for example). members are banned for saying or asking something very stupid (temporary ban, mind you) -- helps make sure everyone has a competetive wit or will think about what thy say before posting.People talk about gfs, life stories, etc, but the motto is "pics or it didn't happen", usually translating to pics of the girl. 70% is an exaggeration but it's hard to go through a page without seeing atleast 2 topics dedicated to hot girls, or 'NWS' stuff.

Message boards can be dedicated to multiple things - on FJ, we have forums dedicated to Babylon 5, Lord of the Rings, etc. Of course, boards can be dedicated to things without having official forums dedicated to those things. In this way, they're kinda unofficially dedicated to topics. The message board you describe sounds like it is unofficially dedicated to sex.

That forum serves to contrast this forum. Yet i have never heard of any one of them being fired for their 'sexual deviance', and if they are, they just laugh it off.

I am NOT saying that you would hear stories of people being fired for sexual deviance. What I am saying is that talking about sex openly is sexually deviant and that some people are not going to join because it's sexually deviant. Their reasons COULD be that they fear reprisal from their employers, it COULD be that they post on the same computer as their parents, or it COULD be any number of reasons.

Now, I'm sure tsian will question whether the above paragraph contradicts my claim that the situations I gave were evidence, and it doesn't. The evidence is "if A then B" and "A". Observing "if not B then A" doesn't contradict "if A then B" when "A".

Anyway, the whole work example seems to have detracted from my argument significantly, so ya know what? Ignore it. It isn't, after all, the only bit of evidence I present (despite what tsian thinks). As with tsians "are you equating talking to sex on a message board to committing crimes" comment, I will ignore all further replies that address it

EDIT: thinking about it, I'm through with this thread. I'm tired of being told I'm saying things that I'm not (ie. being told that I'm saying that no one should discuss sexuality at all), I'm tired of being asked off topic questions and then asked about how the off topic answer is on topic (ie. how does someone cheating people out of money to ultimately give that money to tsunami victims relate), and I'm tired of people pretending as if large portions of posts don't exist (ie. the situations I presented in the first post), among other things.

Also, if, after this many posts, I'm still trying to establish what my evidence is and what my arguments are, then I don't think I'm actually ever going to be able to do it and I'm just wasting my time trying.
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Postby Roadkill » Mon Mar 28, 2005 10:03 pm

EVIDENCE (ie. assertions):
1. Some kids using the same computers as their parents will not want to post to message boards that talks casually about sex.
2. Some kids do use the same computer as their parents.
3. Casual talk about sex won't bring any new members (ie. only official or unofficial dedication to sex will).
4. Message boards seek to increase their member base as fast as possible.

ARGUMENTS:
1. Assume a message board talks casually about sex.
2. By 3, we know that this won't bring any new members.
3. By 1 and 2, we know that some people aren't going to become members.
4. By 1, 2, and 3, message boards talking casually about sex will result in, at the very least, a slower increase in the member base. This contradicts with 4, and thus concludes the proof by contradiction that message boards should not talk about sex.


Solution -- CR. Seperate sex-related topics into own forum only accessible by members. Log off your account when you leave if on a public computer. Delete cookies and or history if you think it necessary.

At some point you must recognize that it is the responsibility of the user, not the admnistrator, to properly handle this.

THis would prevent number 1 and 2 from being a factor, 3 becomes irrelevant, and then it totally blows away your 3rd and 4th argument, and 1(not really an argument), and 2 become irrelevant.

CR does not have a problem with any of that, and its member base has detracted for reasons other than sex related topics. Their forum for such topics is never overrun due to healthy moderation, and eventual acceptance of the topic as a part of life, and not something special.

Finally -- you have to recognize that this is not a specific forum for anything. People won't come directly to our forum, mostly because there are much more massive and collective forums completely dedicated to the game or topic they are most interested in. THis is a GENERAL forum, for anyone, and our age group tends to be people from age 13-25, all young. ANd our attitude, for the most part, is polite. THis simple fact is not going to atract any more young people. SO the most you can do is advertise, and we all know how that is welcomed, by looking in the asylum. I think Giga and a few others handle this best -- by suggesting to friends. WE don't go around saying "hey! look at this AWESOME FORUM!" to prevent total idiots from coming, we only suggest to friends. SO any new members are going to come in at a crawl based on this wiser form of advertising

Cliff notes:
-a slight change (coparable to "tavern" subforum at CR) makes arguments and points irrelevant
-don't worry about membership figures so much, this be community, not corporation
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Postby Exalted Ugu » Mon Mar 28, 2005 10:39 pm

Jeez, where to begin.

"As you can see, there's evidence. You're free to attack the validity of that evidence, but to deny its existince is to that which holocaust deniers do (they deny the existince of evidence, claim its fabricated, etc) - it's disingenious and manipulative."

No. There is no evidence, there are assertions. Evidence is what you use to support or refute an assertion. Also, your sentence here is one of the oddest bits of pseudo-logic i've ever seen, i am free to attack your evidence on it's validity, but not on it's existence? If it is invalid, what existence does it have as evidence? It may still remain an assertion (if invalid) but is in no way evidence. Also, your entirely off-topic comment on holocaust denial falls quite close to being fallaciously prejudicial. Are you seriously attempting to connect disagreement with you to holocaust denial? I can and do deny the existence of your evidence, I accept that you have made assertions, and performed deductive reasoning on them, but from this i have to accept that as evidence, or else i'm doing what holocaust deniers do? Who exactly is being manipulative?

I think there is a fundamental difference between your definition of evidence and that Tsian is using when he asks for it. When tsian asks for evidence, he would seem to be asking for anecdotal or statistical evidence of your claims, not asking you to reiterate your assertions.

Now i'd like to skip further down in your post for a moment:
"The paragraph from which you quoted is unrelated to the topic at hand - it's a red herring as I pointed out, earlier. However, to humor you, I answered it. I now regret it, seeing as how you can't differentiate between two unrelated things, and will not entertain further responses on this in this thread (ie. you can ask and other people may reply, but I won't). "
"EDIT: thinking about it, I'm through with this thread. I'm tired of being told I'm saying things that I'm not (ie. being told that I'm saying that no one should discuss sexuality at all), I'm tired of being asked off topic questions and then asked about how the off topic answer is on topic (ie. how does someone cheating people out of money to ultimately give that money to tsunami victims relate), "

If it is a red herring, you certainly did not tell that to tsian, nor to anyone else in this thread. Moreover, if it's a red herring, why did you introduce it to this debate? As with being tired of being asked off topic questions, how is a question directed at your own arguement off-topic? You posted the example of crime and tsunami victims, if it is off topic, it is your digression, no-one else's. If irrelevancy annoys you so much, why introduce it yourself?


"and I'm tired of people pretending as if large portions of posts don't exist (ie. the situations I presented in the first post), among other things. "

Ok, pardon my ignoring the rest of this post in favour of a review of the situations you presented in the first post.

"as an example, most companies will do background checks of prospective employees. sometimes this can even include a google search. if a google search reveals that you actively discuss sex on message boards and the person doing the hiring is a prude, then that probably isn't a good thing"
So, this example, which is a pretty far fetched one, can be rendered irrelevant by a separation of your online from your offline life, or by making sexually-related forums members only, or by only posting what you're comfortable with people seeing, but none of that is relevant, since you yourself asked us to ignore that example.

"likewise, what happens if prudish parents do a google search for their kids name or online nickname and find posts talking about sex? i doubt that'd be a good thing, either. "
See my points as to the above, excepting the last. Moreover, people who have prudish parents are likely to be those who need frank and realistic discussions of sexual issues the most, as they are unlikely to learn anything of value at home.


"if you're going to post about things that you'd rather your friends / family not know about, or if you're going to participate in communities that you'd rather someone you know not know about, then you ought not do it. "
I agree entirely. But i fail to see this as an arguement in favour of censorship, in point of fact, this is a perfect arguement against censorship from above, and a perfect case for self-censorship, people should regulate their own lives, not depend on others to do it for them.

"doing it, but not droping clues about who you are, is kinda a solution, but it's not a perfect one. for one, the manner in which you don't drop clues might well say "i don't trust you" and how can you have a community with people who think you distrust them? for two, i don't think keeping secrets burried from people is exactly healthy to your relationship with the people you're keeping them from."
This is just silly. There are many, many reasons why no-one, particularily children, should post their identities online. Children may risk abduction or seduction by sexual predators, others may make themselves a target for online scams or identity theft. Moreover, much of the advantage to online discussion is that it is relatively anonymous, we rarely have to face any consequences of what we say or do online, and i think that most people like it that way. Also, you can 'drop clues' as to who you are, your general location, your age/sex, your interests. Those things are far from an identity, and anyone casually googling will get nothing from them.


There, terra, your initial post is fully addressed. I still don't agree with you.


I'd also like to take issue with some of the 'evidence' (assertions) posted in your most recent screed. Specifically, assertions (ass1), (ass3) and (ass4). First off, i believe that you're erring in ascribing motivation to an inanimate construct, as you do in (ass4), the motivations of the people who set-up and maintain message boards are rarely as simple as increasing member base as fast as possible, generally, they are to attract a certain type of member(think of boards directed specifically to children), or to create a sense of online community(FJ and CR would seem to fall here, primarily), or to promote discussion of certain things, certain games, movies or fan-items. I doubt that your assertion of a desire for rapid, endless growth would appeal much to any of these groups. As for (ass1) it could be argued just as easily and unsupportedly that some kids will WANT to be on a board where a mature discussion of sexual issues is permitted, particularily if their parents are unlikely to have such discussions themselves. This also goes to the heart of (ass3) which is a totally unsupported idea, even when i had the time to be a regual poster on messageboards, i generally gravitated to those who had an adult and interesting atmosphere, not wanting my discussion options to be limited by anything other than common decency and the law.

As for your arguements, they flow well from your assumptions, but anyone can write an A, B, C syllogism, your assumptions are all that are relevant, and they would seem to fall anywhere between flawed and laughably incorrect.

So i'll sum up my position here, in relation to the question you began this with:
"i'm currious - do you think sexuality is a subject that should be censored from message boards? i, personally, think it is. "

I do not think that sexuality should be censored from message boards, as long as the discussion of it is relatively tasteful. If the board's membership has serious concerns about such material being googled, perhaps that segment of the board should be made invisible to non-members, or some mechanism created such that non-members can read the posts, but the identities and signatures of posters in such forums are only visible to registered members.


-ugu

PS. If you're going to storm off in a snit about off-topic posts and red herrings, you would look much less ridiculous if they weren't your posts, and your fish.
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Postby tsian » Tue Mar 29, 2005 2:14 am

While Ugu's post says much of what I would address (particularly in regard to you taking offense to your own off-topic example which I continued ot address). I particularly take some offense at being compared to a holocaust denier for simply exploring the analogy which you first raised. It is rather funny that you have skirted answering my questions by bringing up analogies and then gotten angry at me for responding directly to your analogies.

There are a few things I'd take issue with:

No shit. I am not talking about a wide range of topics, though - I'm only talking about ONE topic - sex. As such, I recommend you don't put words in my mouth.


I was, in fact, reffering to the fact that there are a wide range of topics which fall under the auspices of 'sex', many of which are important to discuss in my opinion.

Also, if, after this many posts, I'm still trying to establish what my evidence is and what my arguments are, then I don't think I'm actually ever going to be able to do it and I'm just wasting my time trying.


In fact because you have said very little evidence along the lines of experiences or facts... only broad generalisations and assertions.

Just to add to Surprise:
. People won't come directly to our forum, mostly because there are much more massive and collective forums completely dedicated to the game or topic they are most interested in. THis is a GENERAL forum, for anyone, and our age group tends to be people from age 13-25, all young.


Yes, and young people are often afraid to actually *seek* out sex advice and would feel far more comfortable asking questions about sex in a friendly, known community. A community which shuns sex enforces the negative image of all things related that may exist in a teen's life. This is a horrible thing and could do harm to the child, leaving them with misinformation and shame regarding their body and feelings.
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Postby Roadkill » Tue Mar 29, 2005 2:31 am

Just to add to Surprise:

. People won't come directly to our forum, mostly because there are much more massive and collective forums completely dedicated to the game or topic they are most interested in. THis is a GENERAL forum, for anyone, and our age group tends to be people from age 13-25, all young.


Yes, and young people are often afraid to actually *seek* out sex advice and would feel far more comfortable asking questions about sex in a friendly, known community. A community which shuns sex enforces the negative image of all things related that may exist in a teen's life. This is a horrible thing and could do harm to the child, leaving them with misinformation and shame regarding their body and feelings.


thats out of cntext. I was referring to Terras base that forums want more membership -- not about the discussion. though i agree with what you said.
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Postby tsian » Tue Mar 29, 2005 2:33 am

I know... I didn't mean to imply that was what you were saying or anything.
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