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Essay talk:Why Society Isn't Becoming More Conservative

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This essay really reminds me of the AP Gov FRQs I used to do. Too bad Mr Pew's not here to read it. Anyway, I know there are still a million more examples (both political and non-political) I could've put in but didn't. SoCal212I can't find my talk page 06:56, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

"Prior to the Great Depression, government involvement in the economy was largely unheard of and considered a grievous breach of its power." What do you call the central banks, protectionist tariffs, the Railway Acts, etc.? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 07:17, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
Good point. Compared to post-Great Depression, though, government involvement in the economy wasn't very extensive. SoCal212I can't find my talk page 22:33, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
On the federal level, sure, but less so on the state and local levels (e.g., Jim Crow laws, construction of sanitation systems). Intervention also often happened to be less concentrated on regulating business practices than it was on protectionist policies for certain sectors of the economy (such as protective tariffs, using state militias as strikebreakers, land grants) and construction of infrastructure. No doubt the state regulatory apparatus and bureaucracy has grown very much since then, but the conception of 19th century America as a largely "free" market economy is a vast oversimplification. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 23:07, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
True. Very true. Thanks for the correction :) SoCal 212 I can't find my talk page 00:20, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

Some thoughts[edit]

I agree with the basic idea of this essay. Andy Schlafly's predictions of the triumph of conservatism are just wishful thinking on his part. Although I'm not an American, since both Andy's ideas, and your response to them, are largely about the US, I'll focus my remarks in the same way. (Some of the below points apply to other countries too, e.g. my own Australia, others are more US-specific.)

Of all the issues you have identified, I think social acceptance of homosexuality is the most significant. I think the trend towards full legal equality (e.g. same sex marriage) is basically irreversible, and is going to be a big problem for the current batch of conservatives in the process. Either they change their position (and in doing so admit they were wrong and lose a lot of credibility), or else they stick to their current position as public opinion moves ever further away from them (and likewise lose credibility.) So, my personal view, is this particular issue, is going to be their undoing.

I think it has some similarities with the situation with conservative opposition to the Civil Rights movement/desegregation, but I think there is a major difference - the current conservative movement, although many of its forebears were heavily involved in opposition to Civil Rights, that issue actually predates them. So, even though they have (at least somewhat) changed their position, it doesn't look that bad for them because they can (at least pretend) it wasn't them. Whereas, I think they have put down so much political capital on the anti-marriage equality issue, I don't think they'll be capable of the same forgetfulness.

Another issue is the increase in minority groups as a proportion of the population (eg. Hispanics, Asians). Conservatives like to think that the conservative attitudes of many of those groups would be a plus sign for conservatives. I think in theory they would be right, but the reality is, only if they can stop the anti-immigrant rhetoric of much of their base, and I don't think they are capable of doing that. Appealing to their existing base is more important to them than growing it (or even having a base in the future).

One nitpick: When you say Nowadays science can pinpoint the genetics of homosexuality, I think you are overstating the case. There is evidence there is a genetic component to homosexuality, but we know of no single "gene that makes you gay", and I don't believe there actually is one. I think sexuality is a complex mix of different causes, some of which are genetic, others not, but even at the genetic level there are likely to be multiple genes involved, and it is unlikely that any one single gene guarantees that you'll turn out gay or straight or bi or whatnot, the presence of some gene will just increase the likelihood of that without guaranteeing it.

Also, I don't think conservatives will ever go away; society is always changing, and there will always be resistance to change; yesterday's liberals are today's conservatives, and the liberals of today are the conservatives of tomorrow. But, the current conservative movement (in the US at least), I don't think much of it has a bright future. Then again, we need to split it out into different components (e.g. social conservatism vs economic conservatism vs hawkish military/foreign policy vs anti-environmentalism, etc.), some of these components have a brighter future than others. (((Zack Martin))) 07:50, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

I distinctly remember learning in my AP Psych class a year or two ago that people develop their sexual orientation sometime in the womb. Honestly, I can't remember the exact details but I'm pretty sure it had something to do with a gene or certain genes. We used Psychology in Modules (8th edition) by David G. Myers. SoCal212I can't find my talk page 22:44, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
The problem with that kind of thinking, is that it ignores the fact that sexuality isn't fixed categories, it is a continuum - it's not just gay, straight or bi... it's totally straight v.s. mostly straight v.s. somewhat straight v.s. 50-50 bi v.s. somewhat gay v.s. mostly gay v.s. totally gay. Kinsey scale is a good idea, although 7 categories are not enough. It also ignores the fact that some people seem to change their sexual orientation part way through life (and I'm not talking about some ex-gay thing, I'm talking about the person who says "I was never interested in gender X, then suddenly I met this person Y, and felt attracted to them, and had a relationship with them, and now I do feel attracted to people of gender X, even though I didn't before").
My understanding there is reason to believe that fetal exposure to hormones in the womb may play a role in forming sexual orientation. And genetics probably plays a role too. And psychology and upbringing and culture also. I don't believe something so complex is totally determined by one single, rather I am sure it is produced by a complex combination of different factors, of which genetics is a signficant one, but not the only one. (((Zack Martin))) 10:19, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
The study of the causes of homosexuality (or any sexual orientation for that matter) I'm sure are still in its infancy and there's a lot more left to learn and discover. Personally I find it hard to imagine people having their sexual orientation influenced after birth but that's just me. Maybe someone could be unsure of their orientation until they meet that certain someone where it becomes clear but I imagine that's about it. SoCal 212 I can't find my talk page 19:43, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
Personally, I feel like a large element of my own heterosexual tendencies are due to upbringing. I was raised in an environment where heterosexuality was just the default, unsaid, assumption, and the possibility that there were any alternatives was not openly acknowledged. Suppose instead I had been raised in an environment where homosexuality&bisexuality are acknowledged as an equally valid alternatives to heterosexuality? I can't say for sure how I would have turned out, but I feel pretty confident in saying that had I been raised in such an environment, I'd certainly have been less heterosexual and more bisexual than I am now. If one day I have kids, I want to be clear to them from a young age that same-sex attractions and relationships are equal in validity to opposite-sex ones. I can't predict what impact that would have, but I do think it would make them at least more open to bisexuality than I have been. Of course, raising kids today or in the future would be different from when I grew up (not that long ago, since I'm not even thirty) - society is changing around us, rather quickly too.
I've never had sex with another guy. I've never felt particularly inclined to try it. Will I try it one day? Probably not, but one never knows. But supposing I did... maybe if I tried it enough, I might discover that I like it? Maybe if I suddenly discovered there are lots of really special guys out there, I just haven't realised they were out there, because I was too focused on chasing after girls? Maybe somewhere out there, there is some really special guy, who will sweep me off my feet and completely change my perspective on sexuality? Maybe I might discover that same-sex relationships liberate us from a lot of the usual battle of the sexes crap which us poor straights have to put up with? So, I doubt it's going to happen, but it's at least conceivable to me that in the future my sexuality might change significantly from what it is today. That is why I think sexuality can be changeable, at least sometimes, because I can conceive of circumstances which had they been, my sexuality might have been different today from what in fact it is, and if they come to be, it might be different in the future from what it is today.
So, I don't think upbringing (parents, school, church, etc.) completely determines sexuality - obviously there are other factors too, including genetic and hormonal factors - but it does play an often underestimated role. (((Zack Martin))) 10:31, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
I think that it is well documented that societal factors come into it. For example, men incarcerated in single-sex prisons or POW camps get involved in sexual relationships that they wouldn't think about if they were in the company of women. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 10:51, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
Agreed, although I don't think that's quite the same thing. Men (or women) in those situations are doing things they feel forced into by circumstances, at least to some degree. I was more thinking of cases where people freely choose to move in a different sexual direction, rather than one where they feel compelled by the circumstances to do so.
I think, sexuality is changeable, but the whole "ex-gay"/"reparative therapy" approach fails to understand how sexuality is changeable. If you are starting from a place of fear or shame, as they are, you can't actually go anywhere, because the fear and shame are always going to hold you back. But, if you are moving forward through desire, willing experimentation, and self-acceptance, then things may be different. I feel really sorry for a woman who marries some "ex-gay" man, when the driving force for him in the relationship is "Gay is evil, must be good, must love her to be good", that is not a good foundation for a genuine relationship. On the other hand, consider another man, who is quite self-accepting of being gay, and then meets this one particular woman, who is just so special, he feels like making an exception for her. Very different stories, very different outcomes. (((Zack Martin))) 20:19, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
I agree that there is a degree of fluidity, however it seems likely that sexual predisposition and any degree of flexibility are determined during foetal development. Studies suggest that levels of testosterone and how it influences brain development at this stage is a large factor. Gay male brains and female brains tend to have equal hemispheres while lesbians and straight men have a slightly larger left hemisphere than right. Like with anything in biology there are exceptions due to multitude of interrelated factors. In most cases however, sexual attraction ( which may vary far more than is currently thought to) is almost entirely predetermined. Someone whose sexuality changes during their lifetime most likely already had those predispositions but had either never been put in a situation that brought them out, has repressed them due to societal factors, or has a romantic disposition that doesn't include all that he or she is attracted to. Sorry for the lack of citations as I don't have time. All this information is on the Wikipedia page for Physiology and Homosexuality

Good essay, but one small question[edit]

Why isn't this in the Conservapedia essays category? I think it would fit there. Please forgive me if there's some obvious answer, I'm relatively new here, so I don't know if standards say it has to be more than tangentially related to a category (as I suppose this essay is less about Conservapedia's "worldview" and more politics at large). Feel free to explain, if necessary. Of course, I'm not discounting the possibility that it is an oversight as well.

Also, on a related note, as a self described "liberal/feminist/atheist/lesbian" (pretty much the very spirit of Conservapedia's "Antichrist", heh! Albeit one among many), this essay gives me some hope for the future. I'll admit that's perhaps wishful thinking, but it puts things into perspective and argues that the movements that scare me (e.g. Conservapedia) are perhaps just the far-right panicking at a loss of power. Sadly though, while it's true they are losing ground in the USA, they're arguably *gaining* ground in the Third World, what with fundie missionaries turning poorer countries into burned-over districts and all the anti-gay laws in Russia and elsewhere being pushed by fundamentalists and other far-right activists. This could be a case of trying to export their bullshit elsewhere now that we're actively rejecting it, but the fact that we're better off doesn't mean that everyone is, so we can't rest easy and assume that we "won" the war when in reality the front lines have merely been moved a bit. Sensual Endeavor, the sexy pony ;) (talk) 21:45, 23 June 2014 (UTC)

Good question as I am new here as well I too have no idea but I can think of two possibilities

1) it should be in the conservapedia category 2) essays should only be in essay categories because they shouldn't be grouped together with main space articles, so they should only be assigned categories under wait I see ... Well do you want to do the honors? --NonPerson (talk) 23:21, 23 June 2014 (UTC)

Well, I went ahead and did it *shrug*. I'm just worried that this breaks "Essay namespace" etiquette; though it's adding a category and not editing the essay, I suppose. Hopefully someone more experienced can see this. Sensual Endeavor, the sexy pony ;) (talk) 00:06, 24 June 2014 (UTC)