Relationships in a World of Individualism

  • rWorld

    The rWorld is about more than Dale Kuehne's book Sex and the iWorld.
    The rWorld is a New England based, non-profit (in formation), that is composed of a growing number of people and organizations from many faith and ideological backgrounds worldwide. We believe that much of the fulfillment for which women and men are looking can be found by enhancing the quality of our relationships. While the individual freedom we enjoy in the West is a gift, the love and intimacy for which humans yearn will not be found in self-serving materialism or hedonism, but in a variety of healthy relationships.

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  • Dale Kuehne

    Sex & the iWorld

    Professor of Politics and The Richard L. Bready Chair for Ethics, Economics, and the Common Good at Saint Anselm College, Manchester, NH.

    In this blog I'm highlighting signposts of the world in which we presently reside as a means of helping promote a civil, and meaningful dialogue about what kind of world in which we wish to live. I am particularly interested in exploring how might we reconcile the individual good and the common good, and where reconciliation isn’t possible, which should take precedence and why.

    I also blog at

    [Content Caution]

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2012, Sexual Politics, and the Return of the Salem Witch Trials

Posted by Dale Kuehne on August 1, 2012

A few centuries ago people were condemned to death for allegedly being a threat to public well-being, despite the fact it wasn’t clear what laws they violated or if they violated them. They were executed because of mass hysteria.

It would seem that we haven’t learned our lesson.

Dr. Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas is a scholar of excellence, and is being condemned for reporting the findings of his careful scholarly study, done in collaboration many others. His only crime is that he had the audacity to investigate questions concerning the relationship between parenting and children as it pertains to many dimensions including the sexual preferences of parents.

Mark is a tenured professor at the University of Texas. He reported what he found and if you read his study he was upfront about the limitations of his findings. As our society does not yet have many families with same-sex parents we cannot yet draw scientific conclusions about how same-sex families compare to other families: EITHER PRO or CON.

Mark raises questions and explores them. He did so with due diligence and getting the approval of the academy at every step. Only when he reported his findings did he find himself on the whipping post.

And what a whipping post it is.

The last time I checked the best way to deal with research you don’t like is conduct more research.

How sad.

I’ve been run down
I’ve been lied to
I don’t know why,
I let that mean woman make me a fool
She took all my money
Wrecks my new car
Now she’s with one of my good time buddies
They’re drinkin’ in some cross town bar

Sometimes I feel
Sometimes I feel
Like I’ve been tied
To the whipping post
Tied to the whipping post
Tied to the whipping post
Good lord I feel like I’m dyin’

My friends tell me
That I’ve been such a fool
And I have to stand down and take it babe,
All for lovin’ you
I drown myself in sorrow
As I look at what you’ve done
Nothin’ seems to change
Bad times stay the same
And I can’t run

Sometimes I feel
Sometimes I feel
Like I’ve been tied
To the whipping post
Tied to the whipping post
Tied to the whipping post
Good lord I feel like I’m dyin’

Tied to the Whipping Post by Gregg Allman from Allman Brothers Band (Self-titled) (1969)


6 Responses to “2012, Sexual Politics, and the Return of the Salem Witch Trials”

  1. Thank you for this post. I remember when Sara McClanahan was pilloried for her early research findings that children of divorce experienced changed outcomes – regardless of family income and other factors. Some academics – captured in Frontline’s “The Vanishing Father” – suggested she should not research and publish because of polItical implications. There is also some backlash against those studying children conceived by sperm / egg donation although, as they come of age, the young adults seek information. It makes sense that various social forms will have an impact; academics need room to begin to study them and publish their findings to build a body of results.

  2. 2samuel127 said

    You don’t have to go as far back as the Salem witch trials to see these types of hysterical reactions. I recall in 1994 when Richard J. Herrnstein and political scientist Charles Murray published a book titled “The Bell Curve” in which one of the subjects they addressed was racial differences in intelligence. In spite of the fact that they used empirical statistical analysis to draw their conclusions the hysterical reaction was predictable. I am sure there are many other recent examples. As Harry S. Truman once said:”I don’t give ’em hell, I just tell the truth and they think it’s hell.”

  3. Thanks for great artlice…

    […]2012, Sexual Politics, and the Return of the Salem Witch Trials « Signpostings[…]…

  4. StraightGrandmother said

    Well you will want to see that Regnerus Colluded with the Witherspoon Institute who gave him $685,000 Witherspoon was NOT hands off as Regnerus Claims. Freedom Of Information Acs documents prove this.

    And now Witherspoon Institute has been caught removing incriminationg webpages

    • dalekuehne said

      And your point is? Sure Wilcos and Regnerus are connected to the Foundations. Connection is not the same as outcome. I’d never accuse a scholar of bias because they worked AND received funding from the government or a left-leaning foundation. The best way to challenge research is with better research. The University of Texas succumbed to public pressure to review Regnerus method’s and found that the research design that , and his group of 14 fellow Ph.D.”s devised, met their standards. Can a better research design be devised and pursued? The nature of research is such this can almost always happen, because it is the nature of the academic life. I’m sure foundations can be found to fund future projects. The best way to challenge research is to do additional research, or attack the scholarship itself, and not seek to attack by nature of association. If nature of association is the new way to move knowledge forward, liberal learning is dead.

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