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R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Walk the Walk; Talk the Talk

Posted Aug 26 2008 4:03pm
“If you want to be respected, you must respect yourself”

Spanish Proverb



Can We Talk?




Readers send me the occasional email asking why I don’t publicly support a particular candidate, social policy, or political agenda. If I wrote about that here, I’d just be sharing my unsubstantiated personal opinion with you, and you’d either applaud me for parroting your beliefs, or stop reading this blog because I have a different opinion than you.



The truth is that I honor everyone’s opinions and beliefs, but this blog isn’t about beliefs; watch TV; and you’ll find beliefs all over the place. But here is where we discuss facts based on sexological research.



Break It Down



What’s the difference between a belief and a fact? That’s simple: You can have a belief that the earth is flat; but once you see it from space, that belief will be replaced by the demonstrable fact that the earth is round, right? We believe many things that aren’t true because our parents taught them to us, or they make us feel better—even if they’re contradicted by facts.



And our attitudes are often based on our beliefs, rather than on facts.



This Just In



Here’s a little test: What’s your reaction to these headlines?



Transsexual Charged in Bank Robbery

Stripper Admits Money Laundering

Massage Parlor Manager Arrested for Child Abuse



Is your initial response: “Yeah, those transsexuals/strippers/massage parlor managers can’t be trusted.” If you thought that, your reaction may be the result of an attitude that anything having to do with sex is somehow distrustful at best and distasteful at worst. And surprisingly, you might not even realize those feelings are even lurking there deep inside you! Don’t worry; happens to all of us. What’s important is that we recognize those little devils inside of each of us before they can cause any more trouble.



Amazing But True



My father respects and admires me. However, when I was growing up, whenever a woman driver did something that annoyed him, he’d say: “Damn women drivers! They shouldn’t let them on the road!” Then, one day when I had grown up and we were in the car together, he started to complain about women drivers, and I said: “Dad. I’m a woman!” It was actually funny to see the look on his face. Fortunately, he’s a fast learner, and would you believe he never made a crack about women again?



To be fair, his attitude was based on growing up during a time when it was believed that women weren’t as smart or as competent as men. Once it was pointed out to him that his daughter—who he admired and respected—was a woman, he realized his error. Facts won out over belief.



So what’s this got to do with respect? Here’s the message: Respect others’ sexuality and value it the same as your own. If you change your attitude, your behavior towards others will probably change too. And I guarantee you’ll be much happier for it—just in time for the holidays!



I’m just sayin’.



Back next week for more fun and games.



With Pleasure,



Dr. J
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