Friday, September 17, 2010

West Virginia media delight in 'sex-happy' snub

West Virginia media seem to celebrate a bit when state residents receive national recognition. A couple of media types seemed prideful -- almost giddy -regarding recent results of a Men's Health article that ranks Charleston low on a listing of "America's Most Sex-Happy Cities." (  A Charleston newspaper reported that Charleston was the only West Virginia city on the list and took a swing at bastions of conservatism: 
"Surprisingly, New Orleans (46th) and Las Vegas (70th) ranked lower than traditionally conservative cities Salt Lake City (23rd) and Wichita, Kan. (30th)." (


RachelAnne said...

First of all, I don't feel that the study performed for Mens Health Magazine is an accurate way of measuring "sex happy cities". Lack of condom sales doesn't necessarily mean less sex, it could actually mean more unprotected sex, due to lack of sex education, or more use of alternative contraceptives. Also, I'm not quite sure they even took into consideration the populations of these cities, because, obviously condom sales are higher in higher populated cities, thus the whole outcome of the study would be different if they had accounted for the populations of the cities. Also, I'm not exactly sure why local media is so happy about this result. Is being openly sexually active still looked down upon in our community? Apparently so, or at least that's what I gathered from reading the article in the Sunday Gazette. I suppose beliefs held by those in the "Bible Belt" are held strong, despite the sexual revolution.

Whitney Burdette said...

I really doubt studies like this when they're published in a non-scientific magazine. Had this been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, I would be more likely to give it some credit.

However, I think these writers are missing something. Just because a city sees a lot of condom sales when compared to other places doesn't mean the men are seeing more action. As RachelAnne said, bigger cities=bigger population=more condom sales.

Charleston is a comparatively small city. It's a place mostly looked down upon and doesn't get a lot of national attention. I guess the Gazette just had to play up this "positive" news story. As a former employee of that paper, I can tell you that any story involving sex automatically gets the editors' attention. I guess that's what happens in a testosterone-driven newsroom.

Kristen said...

I take this study with a grain of salt. For one thing, it's not published in a journal for medicine. Condom sales are not indicative of action seen. The population is the most telling. But also people could be using birth control or going unprotected.

Marlowe Hereford said...

I, too, question the accuracy of the Men's Health article. Condom sales aren't a direct reflection of how active a city's population is. This "study" has serious flaws if it is simply based on numbers.
Geographic regions and differing cultures and values of those regions must also be considered. Like RachelAnne said, Charleston falls into Appalachia, which is very close in culture to the south and Deep South where values tend to be more conservative.
Numbers alone don't label a location. This study did nothing except expose what areas of the country make the most money off condoms when in actuality. Those numbers more than likely came about because of difference in geographic cultures based on the local population's standards.

Andrew Ramspacher said...

I'm in agreement with the majority of the commenters on here. Finding out if a city is "sex happy" or not can't truly be measured on condom sales and other useless statistics. In fact, it probably can't be measured at all.

But, this is Men's Health Magazine and Men's Health Magazine is in to these types of stories. So from the journalistic angle, it's a great approach at generating interesting and intriguing copy. From the common sense angle, I'm not looking into these numbers with real intensity.

And for the record, I've been to Bourbon Street in New Orleans six times in the last two years and just judging by the creatures that walk by and the novelty shops/strip clubs that adorn the place, I know the Crescent City should be ranked higher on this list.

J Eric McMillion said...

I think there are two things being over-looked in this story. First condoms are not an accurate way to measure sexual activity. As RachelAnne said there are other forms of contraceptives out there.
Second where did the measure condom sales from. In a more conservative area people may buy their condoms online or outside the city to hide there sexual activity. If the community looks down on it than people are going to hide from their guilt even though they are participating all the while.

PhillipsEdu said...

I'm a little confused on how they desided what city ranked where in the "sex-happy" rankings. All they had was information of condom sales, which in agreement with the other comments doesn't exactly measure the truth of people having sex, and some statics on the health of that city. They made the assumption that people who are over wait, have sexually transmitted diseases and other statistics meant that they would have sex less.

How do they know that for sure? Unless they spent time with every single person in one city and found their results, then they could have ranked these cities more accuratly. Men's Health did not do that, of course, and they made assumptions as to what city would being having more sex.

If you look at most of the higher ranking "sex-happy" cities, they are located in fairly larger states with bigger populations. Compared to California, West Virginia is small and I'm sure Men's Magazine didn't account for the population size of each city to compare them equally.

This study just didn't need to be done and was, I Believe, completely inaccurate.

CherieDavis said...

These surveys always seem like such a hoax. I believe that the survey didn't accurately conduct the survey. Honestly, I just don't understand the need to conduct a survey with that information when there is much more information that needs to be conducted and properly out out into the media.

Ashley Herrald said...

I really don't take this study seriously. Yes, Charleston is one of the populated cities in West Virginia, but West Virginia compared to other states is very small. I don't understand how condom sales can show how "sex happy" people are because there are more ways of contraception than just condoms. Maybe if this study was conducted by a more reliable group I would be more apt to believe it.

Trevan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trevan said...

I agree with the majority of the comments. Men's Health was trying to gain recognition and did it with the idea that, "Sex Cells." For the state of West Virginia to be known as conservative, getting the low ranking that it did, officials were happy. Something they might want to take a look into next time Men's Health decides to see which state are more 'sex happy' is how many strip clubs are in West Virginia for it's size.

Casey Shreve said...

I see a lot of faults in this study. Men's Health Magazine said they based the study off of the amount of condom sales. I question this factor in two ways; Just because condom sales are down does not mean men are not having sex. Also, I question whether or not they are basing this amount on individual sales or a percentage because comparing population between Dallas and Charleston, W.Va. is extremely skewed.

Dalton Hammonds said...

This survey conducted by Men's Health may not be the most reliable source for finding out about "sex happy" cities. They only use three criteria which isn't enough to have a valid survey. Men's health didn't even ask people they just used data. It is also interesting to note that many of the top cities are college towns.

Brittany said...

I agree with the people that said the Mens Health Article can't be very accurate. I doubt there is anyway to actually prove that the listed cities are "sex-happy." As for the local media, the Charleston Gazzette article seemed pointless. "Charleston ranked near bottom of 'Sex Happy' cities" came straight from Mens Health Magazine and offered no additional information. I also agree that the WV media did post the article out of excitement for being mentioned. The Gazzette article seemed to be less informative and more "look at me!" in context.

katie olszeski said...

I really question articles like this one. I really dont think that condom sales are a way to tell how much action a city is getting. I mean thats not accounting for unprotected sex or city population. For example it said columbus is ranked number 3 ... well columbus is also home to one of the largest university campuses in the nation. And i think that cities with big college towns are going to be farther up there anyway versus a suburb full of married families .

And while charleston is one of the biggest cities in west virginia, west virginia as a state is very small in comparison to say california who had 11 cities on the list. I just don't see how condom sales can tell how "sex happy" a city is .. i mean there are more ways of contraception than just condoms.

Creative Commonplace said...

This study I find interesting. First off, what type of data was used to determine this and how was it acquired? If they did base this off condom sales, then there has to be a big percentage of error. A lot of West Virginians have sex unprotected because a majority of the population can not afford them. Using this data would not be efficient enough.
Also, "sex-happy." Asking a few men if they are happy during sex does not speak for the whole population. Therefore, error would occur again.
I can go on forever but I won't. What is going to happen now? Is some sex expert coming to Charleston to film a show and try to bring sexy back in the capital? I mean, Jamie Oliver did it to Huntington when a study came out about us being the unhealthiest city in America.
It seems to me that Men's Health needs to spend their time wisely instead of coming up with useless and unfactual studies and surveys.


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