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Nothing Has Changed, Everything Has Changed

Betsy Ross sewing the flag for George Washington by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris

Betsy Ross Sewing the Flag for George Washington, by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris

It’s over! The seemingly endless campaign has ended! As soon as it became clear that Obama would be back in the White House for four more years, it also became evident that he’d be facing essentially the same Congress and certainly the same major players. But while much remains the same, a lot has changed. And some of the changes are remarkable.

Two states, Colorado and Washington, astonished the other forty-eight by voting to decriminalize marijuana. It’s clear that the vote puts those states in conflict with the federal government, but we have no idea what it does to those currently imprisoned for previously illegal pot possession.

And two other states, Maine and Maryland, voted to legalize gay marriage —  a decision which had never before come from the popular vote but only from legislatures or the courts.

A few months ago, Democrats seemed positioned to lose up to six seats in the Senate; instead, they added two. And Tammy Baldwin became not only the first woman senator from Wisconsin, but the first openly lesbian to be elected to the Senate. We haven’t tracked each of them down, but according to the Victory Fund, which supports gay and lesbian candidates, at least 118 gay or lesbian candidates won their races.

All in all, it was a good election cycle for women. There will now be more women in the Senate than ever before. Indeed, New Hampshire will have a woman governor and its entire Congressional delegation will be composed of women.

Women Lose Interest in Sex

But men don’t. That’s the conclusion of researchers at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. The researchers, Sarah Murray ad Robin Milhausen, asked 170 undergraduate women and men who had been in heterosexual relationships from one month to nine years to report on their levels of relationship satisfaction, sexual satisfaction and sexual desire. What they discovered was that the longer a woman was in a relationship, the weaker her sexual desire became. Men reported no decline in desire over time.

Well, that wraps it up. End of post.

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You want the sad details? Sarah Murray and Robin Milhausen wrote online in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy that women reported lower levels of desire depending on the length of their relationship. “Specifically, for each additional month women in this study were in a relationship with their partner, their sexual desire decreased by 0.02 on the Female Sexual Function Index.”  That’s a bit of news that will make men and women equally glum. Even more depressing, the researchers reported that the length of the sexual relationship was a better predictor of sexual desire in women than the quality of the relationship or the level of sexual satisfaction.

For those of you who still retain sexual curiosity after reading the above, the Female Sexual Function Index goes from 1.2 to 6.0. We at Critical Pages don’t know why the scale starts at 1.2 and not, say, zero or 1.0.  You can find out more about the FSF Index online —  it really exists and really is used.  We don’t know how they measured male sexual desire.  We’re beginning not to care about any of this at all.

More Notes

Tim Carmody, in his excellent piece, "How Haiti Became Poor", notes that President Trump's racist policies and vulgar language have sullied the word "shithole" which used to be one of the all-time great swear words. He's right. It's another terrible power this careless President wields.