Opinion | Will More Sex Help Cure Loneliness?

More from our inbox:

To the Editor:

Re “For Society’s Sake, Have More Sex,” by Magdalene J. Taylor (Opinion guest essay, Feb. 15):

Ms. Taylor suggests that many of the social ills that bedevil us in 2023 could be resolved with people having more sex. She acknowledges that much of the research regarding loneliness and lack of sex has been conducted with young men, but then suggests that the research about the lack of sex and its social and cultural ills are “likely to be affecting the rest of us, too.”

Is she suggesting that women who face the ever more uncertain availability of abortions should be indulging in more sex? How about those of us whose experience of sex from their teens into adulthood involves rape and sexual abuse? Or perhaps those who have religious beliefs regarding sexual abstinence?

I do not denigrate the value of sex in healthy, mutually supportive relationships. But hooking up for the sake of sex? That’s a prescription for loneliness that transcends age and eras.

Mary Hamrick
Raleigh, N.C.

To the Editor:

Who would have guessed? After millenniums of societal limitations on sex, Magdalene J. Taylor has managed to make it sound like yet another dreary social duty and “political statement.”

Oh for the fun of the Bad Old Days.

Laurie Cherbonnier
Winnetka, Ill.

To the Editor:

I can think of several ways to increase sexual activity in our society: free and easily accessible birth control; effective birth control methods for men, so they can bear some of the burden; safe, affordable and available abortion; elimination of penalties for women who take a career break to raise the children born of their sexual encounters; generous parental leave policies; inexpensive and easily available child care.

Also: Quality sex education programs in schools, which would include how to consume pornography without developing unrealistic expectations of the real thing. An emphasis on mutual respect between partners who engage in sexual activity. Reducing the cultural taboo with respect to frank discussion about sex. On that last point, this essay was a good start.

Helen Ogden
Pacific Grove, Calif.

To the Editor:

I cannot agree with Magdalene J. Taylor that having sex is the answer to helping cure loneliness in our society today. Our country, and maybe the world, is in the midst of a social revolution brought on by such things as technology and the #MeToo movement.

Having sex with someone you know, love and respect is a beautiful thing. Having sex with someone for the sake of pleasure can be conducive to great loneliness.

Encouraging people to join others in activities such as a dance or swimming class or starting a book club would be better solutions. Others include taking up the ukulele and getting a dog.

Betsy Geraci
San Francisco

To the Editor:

Sex is like sugar, salt and spice. When added to the right ingredients it makes ordinary food exciting and tasty. But on its own — not so much.

Herbert Rakatansky
Providence, R.I.

The Republicans’ Message to Independents

To the Editor:

Re “In Control of House, Republicans Create Their Own Gridlock” (news article, Feb. 14):

“Some Republicans from politically competitive districts,” you report, are concerned about “an extreme-right legislative agenda that will alienate crucial voting groups, including independent voters.”

But independent voters who supported supposedly moderate Republicans should have realized that in helping the G.O.P. achieve a House majority, they were not strengthening a temperate faction of the party; they were empowering the extremists who control Republican politics.

There is no meaningful place for moderation in a party that still supports insurrectionists, opposes voting rights, cozies up to open antisemites and racists, and is at odds with a majority of Americans on issues from abortion rights to gun control to funding Social Security.

The G.O.P.’s message to independents: Thanks for the majority. Moderation? No thanks.

Mitchell Zimmerman
Palo Alto, Calif.

Accountability at the World Bank

To the Editor:

Re “World Bank President, Dogged by Climate Questions, Will Leave a Year Early” (Business, Feb. 16):

Climate change isn’t the only backdrop to David Malpass’s early exit from the World Bank’s top position. The World Bank’s commitment to safeguarding the human rights of communities directly affected by bank-sponsored projects has been woefully inadequate for much of the bank’s history, including under Mr. Malpass’s leadership.

In our work, we’ve seen how World Bank projects can not only miss their development goals but also cause social and environmental harms when communities aren’t involved in their design and when projects do not follow the bank’s own standards. All too often, we’ve also seen the World Bank refuse to take responsibility for harm caused by its projects.

In tackling some of humanity’s most pressing crises, the next World Bank president must be an accountability champion. That means not only respecting the rights of local communities, but also remedying harm caused by World Bank projects when it occurs.

The World Bank cannot move forward without first looking back — and correcting what it sees.

Margaux Day
The writer is policy director at Accountability Counsel, which provides legal counsel to communities affected by internationally financed development projects.

Latino Representation in Hollywood

To the Editor:

Re “Wooing a Latin Star, Kardashian-Style,” by Maureen Dowd (column, Feb. 19), about a conversation with the actor John Leguizamo regarding Latino representation:

I applaud Mr. Leguizamo’s timely criticism of the major American entertainment industries for excluding the stories of Latinas and Latinos from their shows and productions.

Whether in the case of Broadway, Hollywood or the major TV and streaming platforms, the fact of the matter is that the complex lives of American Latinas and Latinos have not been adequately portrayed.

Because Latinx Americans are the largest ethnic minority, we need more major acting roles for U.S. Latinx performers and more rich stories that capture the love, sadness, happiness, intellectuality, successes, tragedies and social lives of Latinas and Latinos throughout America.

Now is the time to do a better job at representing U.S. Latinx communities in the national media and beyond.

Alejandro Lugo
Park Forest, Ill.
The writer has taught anthropology and Latinx studies for three decades at several universities.

Rewriting Roald Dahl

To the Editor:

Re “Books by Dahl Are Rewritten, Spurring Outcry” (Business, Feb. 21):

Who’s next on the revision/censorship list? I decry Roald Dahl’s antisemitism, but I’ll read my decades-old signed copy of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” to my still-infant grandson when he grows a bit.

And I’ll take him to see “The Merchant of Venice,” read him some Ezra Pound poems and play him some Wagner CDs. He and I will ably sift the ugliness from the beauty and separate the art from the artist in all sorts of works of art and literature and music. We don’t need anyone to shield us, so thanks but no thanks to fraidy-cat publishers.

Beth Z. Palubinsky

Source: Read Full Article