Race Goggles

Unreal gets liquored up and starts demanding tasteless jokes. And in unrelated news, we talk teen sex with a Seattle sexologist and check out the locker room at the new Busch.

According to a recent scientific study conducted at the University of Missouri, alcohol makes you more likely to express racial bias. To assemble his data, Mizzou psych prof Bruce Bartholow gave students and Columbia townsfolk drinks or placebos, then showed them photographs depicting the faces of white people and black people. After seeing each photo, the volunteers were asked if words like "lazy," "violent," "ambitious" and "educated" aptly described the visage. Bartholow found that tipplers were more likely to apply denigrating terms to African Americans.

Unreal mixed a drink, then got the professor on the blower.

Unreal: Hey! We just downed a Mountain Dew and vodka. So hit us with your racistest joke and see if we laugh.

Mike Gorman

Bruce Bartholow: I don't think I'll be doing that.

Are drunk people more likely to laugh at 'Yo Mama' jokes?

Unfortunately, we don't have any data to back that up, but it would make sense to me.

Couldn't participants tell the difference between a vodka-tonic and a tonic-and-tonic?

Yes and no. The placebo does include some alcohol, just not enough to raise anybody's B.A.C. The drink smells like alcohol and even tastes like alcohol. Drinkers just naturally associate tonic with alcohol — you never take tonic by itself.

All of your participants were white and right-handed. How might a drunken, racist, left-handed Thai misbehave?

[Laughs] Probably a lot like a drunk, right-handed racist. We're measuring brain activity. Since there are fewer left-handed people, it's hard to balance out.

Have you heard of that African-American blogger who's teaching junior high in Japan? He says his students have seen too many Hollywood movies and constantly grab his crotch and ask him if he has a "bigu dikku." What might those twerps do if they were drunk?

They'd probably think it was really funny.

We have an uptight, ambitious, educated white friend.... Wait, are we only saying that because we're drunk?

No, everybody has those friends. These are words that, according to other research, represent the way a lot of people stereotypically think about whites. But I think it's also true that white people are more sensitive to stereotypes about blacks than they are to stereotypes about whites.

Next thing you're gonna tell us is that alcohol makes fat women attractive.

You know, we haven't done that study yet. But I have a colleague here who did a study suggesting that if you simply show people drinking-related words so fast that they can't quite recognize what the words are, and then you later ask them to rate pictures of women, the people who've seen the alcohol-related words rate the pictures more attractive than people who saw just neutral words. So even the mere thought of alcohol can have that effect.

Everybody's Doin' It

Pro-sex? Pro-teen sex? So's Roger Libby, Ph.D., Seattle sexologist, charter member of the International Academy of Sex Research and two-time guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show. We took off our clothes and called the author of The Naked Truth About Sex, A Guide to Intelligent Sexual Choices for Teenagers & Twentysomethings, who'd just got done speaking at a teen-sex conference out West.

Unreal: Do these seminars take place nationwide?

Roger Libby, Ph.D.: I don't think so. This was in Oregon. It's a pretty progressive state.

Have you been to St. Louis?

Yes I have. It's a bit on the repressed side. When you bring up sex, heads turn and people seem on the verge of fainting.

Indeed. So what's the most disturbing thing you've heard from a teenager lately?

They feel adults have failed them by censoring information. They're pretty miffed about that. I don't blame them. They feel in particular that the more strict religions have really messed them up. So they've redefined what it is to be a virgin.

How many are having anal?

Twenty percent of both sexes, fifteen- to nineteen-year-olds.

So if you have anal, you're not a virgin?

That's what the kids think. I think they're nuts. I have a whole chapter redefining virginity as a state of mind.

How is that you chose sexology, exactly?

The truth is my parents told me to go into what interested me the most, and it was sex.

Your book is dedicated to the next sexual revolution. If 20 percent of teenagers are having anal sex now, will the revolution come when, like, 50 percent are having it?

Well, that's hard to say about kids or adults. Roughly a third of adults have tried anal intercourse. I do think anal is going to become more common.

Cool. What's the most earth-shattering finding in your book?

When I asked somebody at Zogby/MSNBC to run [data] on how many 18- to 24-year-olds had had sex and only 0.5 percent of females and 1 percent of males said they haven't. And [MSNBC] didn't even report it! That even surprised me. I thought it'd be 10 percent or something. Meanwhile Bush and Congress are pushing abstinence.

They probably don't have sex.

They may have it, but they don't have good sex — I can guarantee you that. Those guys don't know what they're doing.

It's amazing that right-wingers actually procreate.

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