Alana S. Newman

The new sexual predators

Alana S. Newman
By Alana Newman
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October 17, 2012 (thePublicDiscourse.com) - Value depends on scarcity. In the world of human reproduction, the most valuable entity is the fertile female—specifically, her eggs and womb.

The fierce politics surrounding female fecundity and women’s reproductive rights rests not only on a woman’s ability to create new life, but also on the incredible amount of commitment and risk involved when her eggs and womb are accessed for procreation. Since women are fertile for a shorter period than men, since gestation takes 40 long weeks, and since labor and delivery pose life-threatening risks, young women will always face disproportionately high demands for access to their bodies. But those demands are rising in unexpected ways, and from unexpected people.

Historically, it was understood that sex created babies. Cultural scripts thus emerged that valued and preferred certain types of sex and male-female relations. The profession of prostitution has always been highly stigmatized for this reason. As we’ve learned the hard way, when female prostitutes engage with their clients, fatherless children can be born, growing up distinctly disadvantaged.

By far, men have always been the main buyers of sexual access to fertile females. Women virtually never pay for sexual access to either gender. Women and girls make up the overwhelming majority of prostitutes and escorts, and men overwhelmingly make up the clientele. This is true for every human culture, in every period in history. And it has everything to do with reproduction and the scarcity of the fertile female.

Rape is another example of unbalanced behavior between the genders. Although women do rape, men force sexual access against their victims’ will much more often—and their victims are predominantly young (as in fertile) women. Randy Thornhill and anthropologist Craig T. Palmer in their 2000 book A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion describe rape (and prostitution) as “gene promotion strategies” that men use when legitimate, consensual sex is not possible. A man that is unable to engage a fertile female in legitimate consensual sex may face the dilemma of using force, monetary incentives or facing extinction.

We teach our daughters a script of warning so they can anticipate these established sexual predators. Oprah broadcasts a list of safety tips for women to avoid them. Parents forbid their teenage daughters from a whole range of activities where her sexual safety may be threatened. We make movies about these predators. We have derogatory names for them. We have a sense of who they are, where they lurk, and what to do to avoid them. We do these things because we care about the health of women and know that their well-being, and the well-being of children, depends on whether they conceive babies in the context of love and companionship.

But now there are new predators on the scene, for whom we do not have a script. There are new characters eager to exploit our daughters’ bodies, who enjoy unsullied reputations, passing detection even as they blatantly hunt for eggs and wombs with checkbooks in hand. And historically they have been the people women should fear the least.

These new players vying for access to young women’s bodies are older or infertile women, and gay men—quite often our friends and members of our family.

A friend of mine, for example, had a bizarre encounter with a regular customer at the restaurant where she waits tables. A middle-aged woman, as politely as she could, asked my friend if she had ever considered becoming an egg donor—and then asked specifically if she would consider becoming her egg donor. Since my friend—Jewish, with blue eyes and straight hair—was apparently a rare catch, this woman wanted her babies.

Another friend of mine was put under a great deal of pressure by her aunt who married in her late thirties and had trouble conceiving. The aunt desperately wanted a child, and preferred to have a genetic relationship with the child, so she aggressively pressured her niece to “donate” eggs to her. If she had agreed, my friend would have become the biological mother of her social cousin.

By neutering ourselves in our youth via contraception and abortion, women have increased the scarcity of the fertile female body, which has increased the demand for it.

Younger women look to older women for guidance and mentorship. They rely on being able to trust their foremothers as sisters in the cause for women’s health. But the increased scarcity of the fertile female body, combined with IVF technology that allows for egg harvesting and surrogacy, creates conflict between generations of women. Older women with more power and resources put their interests ahead of younger women’s and make up for their past mistakes or misfortunes by risking the health and well-being of their successors.

The attack comes from close range—dressed in words of altruism and generosity. The women who seek other women’s children often carried the torch for gender equality, women’s rights, and so many other wins for their side in the gender wars. Out of respect for their ambition and challenge to the glass ceiling, younger women feel pressured to give their children to older women as gestures of appreciation for their life trajectories. Perhaps these women anticipate a similar trajectory for themselves and donate away their children in hopes that someone will do the same for them in the future—a form of paying it forward.

Our gay friends and family members may now also be after our daughters’ bodies. These are the only men in the world we thought we could trust because they weren’t interested in our bodies. That is, until they grew older and discovered they wanted to be parents. Today, more and more often, gay men are using egg donors and surrogates to create motherless children on purpose.

Toleration of these attempts to create families follows a timeline of slipped slopes and fallen barriers. If heterosexual couples can use sperm donors to create children who are separated from their biological fathers, so the logic goes, then lesbians should be able to do the same thing. To them, it’s not biology that matters—kids just need two parents. And if lesbians use sperm donors to create fatherless children, then it’s only equal and fair for gay men to be able to use egg donors and surrogates to create motherless children too. Because again, it’s not biology that matters; kids just need two parents. At present, all those who believe in gender equality rather than gender complementarity are being urged to accept this often violent (against women) form of third-party reproduction.

Proponents of redefining marriage call marriage equality “the civil rights struggle of our time.” TV shows like The New Normal promote surrogacy arrangements with dialogue like “a family is a family, and love is love.” Characters that criticize the use of surrogacy and egg donation are explicitly depicted as unsympathetic, racist, closed-minded bigots.

What these shows (and other memes) do is insist that in order to be a friend to gay people, one must approve, or at least stay neutral toward, all forms of third-party reproduction.

So now, young women must do more than simply defend themselves against aggressive heterosexual males who want to use them for sex. They must also navigate a world filled with new, never-before-seen predators—people theythought they could trust—who aggressively target them for their eggs and wombs.

Alana S. Newman is founder of The Anonymous Us Project. This article has been republished, with permission, from Public Discourse.


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Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

African researchers warn early sexual activity increases risk of cancers

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

A report on rising cancer rates in Africa delivered at a conference in Namibia last week warned that oral contraceptives and engaging in sexual activity from a young age lead to an increased risk of breast and reproductive system cancers.

Researchers presented the "2014 Integrated Africa Cancer Fact Sheet & Summary Score Card" during the 8th Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer in Africa (SCCA) conference, held in Windhoek, Namibia from July 20 to 22, noted that cancer is a growing health problem in many developing countries and that breast and cervical cancer are the most common forms affecting African women.

The report said that sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) play a major role in reproductive system cancers and that young girls who engage in sexual activity risk getting, among other STDs, the human papilloma virus (HPV), some strains of which are linked to cervical cancer.

The report said although HPV infections are common in healthy women, they are usually fought off by the body’s immune system, with no discernible symptoms or health consequences.

The Cancer Association of South Africa points out that of the scores of HPV types, 14 of the more than 40 sexually transmitted varieties are considered "high risk" for causing serious illness, while two, HPV-16 and HPV-18, are linked to cervical cancer.

“Long-term use of oral contraceptives is also associated with increased risk [of cancer], and women living with HIV-AIDS are at increased risk of cervical cancer,” the report said.

Dr. Thandeka Mazibuko, a South African oncologist, told the conference attendees that when an 18-year-old is diagnosed with cervical cancer, “this means sex is an important activity in her life and she indulged from a young age.”

Mazibuko said the standard treatment for cancer of the cervix is seven weeks of radiation therapy.

“After the treatment they cannot have sex with their husbands or partners. They cannot bear children because everything has been closed up. Some may still have the womb but radiation makes them infertile,” Mazibuko said, according to a report in The Namibian.

Statistics from the Cancer Association of Namibia show that cases of cervical cancer have risen from 129 in 2005 to 266 in 2012.

The SCCA Conference theme was, "Moving forward to end Cervical Cancer by 2030: Universal Access to Cervical Cancer Prevention."

In his keynote address, host and Namibian President Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba urged African countries to help each other to expand and modernize health care delivery in the continent.

"Within the context of the post-2015 Development Agenda and sustainable development goals, the provision of adequate health care to African women and children must be re-emphasized," said the president, according to AllAfrica.

The Namibian leader urged mothers to breastfeed their children for at least six months as a measure to prevent breast cancer.


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Allow ‘lethal injection’ for poor to save on palliative care: Lithuanian health minister

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By Hilary White

Euthanasia is a solution for terminally ill poor people who cannot afford palliative care and who do not want to “see their families agonize” over their suffering, Lithuania’s health minister said last week.

In an interview on national television, Minister Rimantė Šalaševičiūtė added that the Belgian law on child euthanasia ought to be “taken into account” as well. 

Šalaševičiūtė told TV3 News that Lithuania, a country whose population is 77 percent Catholic, is not a welfare state and cannot guarantee quality palliative care for all those in need of it. The solution, therefore, would be “lethal injection.”

“It is time to think through euthanasia in these patients and allow them to make a decision: to live or die,” she said.

Direct euthanasia remains illegal in the Balkan state, but activists tried to bring it to the table in 2012. A motion to drop the planned bill was passed in the Parliament in March that year in a vote of 75 to 14. Since then the country has undergone a change in government in which the far-left Social Democrats have formed the largest voting bloc.

Šalaševičiūtė is a member of Parliament for the Social Democrats, the party originally established in the late 19th century – re-formed in the late 1980s – from Marxist principles and now affiliated with the international Party of European Socialists and Socialist International.

Fr. Andrius Narbekovas, a prominent priest, lecturer, physician, bioethicist, and member of the government’s bioethics committee, called the suggestion “satanic,” according to Delfi.lt. He issued a statement saying it is the purpose of the Ministry of Health to “protect the health and life, instead of looking for ways to take away life.”

“We understand that people who are sick are in need of funds. But a society that declares itself democratic, should very clearly understand that we have to take care of the sick, not kill them,” he said.


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Islamists in Mosul mark Christian homes with an Arabic "N" for Nazarene.
Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D.

We must open wide our doors to Iraq’s Christians

Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D.
By Gualberto Garcia Jones J.D.

On July 18, the largest Christian community in Iraq, the Chaldean Catholics of Mosul, were given a grotesque ultimatum: leave your ancestral home, convert to Islam, or die.

All but forgotten by the 1.2 billion Catholics of the world, these last Christians who still speak Jesus’ native tongue of Aramaic and live in the land of Abraham and Jonah are being wiped out before our very eyes.

As a way of issuing a thinly-veiled threat, reminiscent of the Nazi persecution of the Jews, the Arabic letter “N” (for Nazarean) has been painted on the outside of the homes of all known Christians in Mosul.

These threats, issued by the fanatical Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) known for its bloodthirsty rampage of executions, have been taken very seriously by the several hundred thousand Christians in Mosul who have left with little more than the clothes they were wearing. 

At least most of these Christians were able to flee and find temporary protection among the Kurds in their semi-autonomous region.  However the Kurds do not have the resources to defend or shelter the Chaldean Christians for much longer.

On Monday, during an interview on Fox News, Republican U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, who recently joined with 54 other members of the House of Representatives in a letter to President Obama asking him to act to protect these communities, stated that while Iraqi President Maliki had sent military flights to Mosul to evacuate Shiite Muslims, the US has done nothing to protect the Chaldean Christians.  Rep. Wolf also stated emphatically that President Obama has done “almost nothing” about the genocide taking place.

The silence from the White House is deafening.  But the lack of leadership from the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in America has been shocking as well.

Nevertheless, the plight of these Iraqi Christians is beginning to be taken seriously.   This is due in large part to the heroic efforts of local Iraqi religious leaders like Chaldean Patriarch Sako, who has gone on a whirlwind tour of the world to alert us all of the plight of these Iraqi Christians.  In a statement demonstrating his character, he told the Christians of Iraq last week, “We are your shepherds, and with our full responsibility towards you we will stay with you to the end, will not leave you, whatever the sacrifices.”

Before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was launched there were approximately 1.5 to 2 million Christians living in Iraq.  Today, there are believed to be less than 200,000.  The numbers speak for themselves.

Now that the world is beginning to be aware of the genocide in Northern Iraq, many of us ask ourselves: what can we do?  As citizens and as Christians blessed to live in nations with relative peace and security, what can we do?

The answer is quite simple and unexpected.  Demand that our government and church pull its head out of the sand and follow France. Yes, France.  

Yesterday, in a heroic gesture of Christian solidarity that would make Joan of Arc proud, the government of France opened wide its doors to the persecuted Iraqi Christians.  

”France is outraged by these abuses that it condemns with the utmost firmness," Laurent Fabius, France's foreign minister, and Bernard Cazeneuve, France's interior minister, said in a joint statement on Monday.

"The ultimatum given to these communities in Mosul by ISIS is the latest tragic example of the terrible threat that jihadist groups in Iraq, but also in Syria and elsewhere, pose to these populations that are historically an integral part of this region," they added. "We are ready, if they wish, to facilitate their asylum on our soil.  We are in constant contact with local and national authorities to ensure everything is done to protect them.”

The French statement drives home three crucial elements that every government, especially the United States, should communicate immediately:

  1. Recognize the genocide and name the perpetrators and victims.

  2. Officially condemn what is happening in the strongest terms.

  3. Offer a solution that includes cooperation with local authorities but which leads by making solid commitments such as offering asylum or other forms of protection.

With regard to the Church, we should look to the Chaldean Patriarch and the Iraqi bishops who shared their expectations explicitly in an open letter to “all people of conscience in Iraq and around the world” to take “practical actions to assure our people, not merely expressions of condemnation.”  Noticeably, the last section of the letter from the Iraqi bishops, before a final prayer to God, is an expression of thanks to the Kurdish government, which has welcomed them not just with “expressions” of goodwill but, like France, with a sacrificial hospitality.

On Friday, July 25, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops did issue a statement, but unfortunately it lacked much in terms of leadership or solutions.  We should encourage our bishops to do better than that, be bolder and stronger for our persecuted brothers and sisters, name names and offer concrete sacrificial aid. In a word, be more like the French.

In 1553, Rome welcomed the Chaldean church into the fold of the Catholic Church.  Nearly 500 years later, Catholic Americans must find ways to welcome these persecuted people into our country, into our churches, and into our own homes if need be.

I say, I am with you St. Joan of Arc.   I am with you, France.  I am with you, Chaldeans!

Gualberto Garcia Jones is the Executive Director of the International Human Rights Group, a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC, that seeks to advance the fundamental rights to life, the natural family, and religious liberty through international law and international relations. 


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