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Today’s S.A.T.*

*Sex Aptitude Test

Eliot Spitzer may be so yesterday’s news, but the resulting spin-off in random conversations, news stories and commentaries has become so bone-headed that I fear a brain “reboot” is in order. Shall we proceed?

Question One

Which of these situations is NOT like the others?

  1. An exchange of money for a sexual act
  2. An extra-marital affair
  3. Selling females into bondage through human trafficking rings

Apparently, this is a trick question for a lot of people. Each situation involves “sex,” and for some of you out there, the juxtaposition of “female” + “bondage” in the third example will throw your brain waves right off the cliff. Try to stay with me.

The answer is #2.

If you know the real name of the person you are having a consensual, sexual relationship with and no exchange of money for sex or access to a human body has taken place, there is no comparison with prostitution(#1) or slavery(#3).

Question Two

Which of the following phrases is an example of anthropomorphism?

  1. The male Canada Goose mates for life and remains faithful to its wife.
  2. Male macaques groom females in exchange for sex, adjusting their grooming behavior in a distinctly economic fashion, paying a higher or lower price depending on the availability and quality of the merchandise and competition from other buyers.
  3. The mother penguin worries that her baby will stray into dangerous waters and be eaten by a seal.

The answer? All of the above.

“Husband” and “wife” are terms used to describe civil and religious unions – neither of which exist in the animal kingdom.

The mating behavior of macaques – viewed through the human lens of market economies (“quality of merchandise” and “competition from other buyers”) is an attempt to naturalize the act of prostitution. It is no less anthropomorphic than ascribing human emotions like anxiety and worry to a penguin mother.

Brain reboot complete. You are now free to roam the wasteland of current news and commentary with your critical facilities intact.

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