Talk:Sexual orientation

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Decartes, I don't follow why you removed the line about sexual orientations being respected. This seems to have been an important part of the article and makes the following sentence seem a little strange.

It is only logical that if sexual orientations are equal that people who have them should be equally respected.

With what part of the line that you removed do you disagree? And is that disagreement really grounds enough to remove such a logical and forthright statement from the piece?


The text that I removed was "It helps to remember that sexual orientations frequently vary from person to person. Thus, they should be respected so long as they're not used as a justification for violence or the forcible rape of someone else." I don't disagree with the sentiment; I removed it because it is an opinion about proper behavior rather than a statement of fact. As I understand it, neutral point of view requires that BoyWiki contain statements of fact rather that instructions for living. If I have misunderstood the meaning of NPOV, then please restore the text that I removed. Descartes 20:39, 22 September 2005 (EDT)


I've never even heard of NPOV nor does it sound like an achievable concept. Every human being sends in receives messages with a personal context. Only tables and charts can be pure fact and even then observational distortion can render THEM less than factual.

And obviously as this project is written by and for boylovers, I don't see how our opinions will not be able to be presented here. The whole project would be entirely ridiculous if our points of view were not able to be presented. We'd have instead of a valuable resource to give us voice, a stale and heartless recitation of grey information.

Indeed - taking the articles written to this date, our various points of view are already shining pretty brightly. Thank goodness!


Ah - and here's a quote from the FAQ, stating that articles will often be based on opinion:

Everyone is different and not all articles deal with provable fact. There will be articles that are opinion-based. The only way for BoyWiki to be well-rounded is if people with differing opinions contribute while respecting each other's differences. If a BoyWiki article expresses an unbalanced opinion, you can help by rewriting a factual article more neutrally or by adding a section with a counterbalancing opinion. In some cases, you may wish to work together with other users on the article's talk page to figure out how to be fair to all viewpoints.

The important thing to remember is that BoyWiki has room to express many differing opinions, and you should strive to make sure each is fairly represented side-by-side, without trying to shout down or drown out others. If an idea has merit, then simply stating it clearly and respectfully allows others to decide how they feel on the issue.

There are opinions and then there are opinions. Of course BoyWiki will contain opinions, such as "A friendship between a man and a boy is often beneficial to the boy." That is an opinion, but it fits in well with an otherwise-factual factual article. The paragraph I removed was not just an opinion, it was an instruction for living. It didn't just express an idea, it told the reader how he or she should act. It would be like saying, "Men should not have sexual contact with anyone other than adult women." That is more than an opinion, it is an instruction. Do you see the distinction that I am trying to highlight? Descartes 21:27, 22 September 2005 (EDT)
In fact, my example should have been, "Many boylovers believe that a friendship between a man and a boy is often beneficial to the boy." That turns the questionable opinion into a provable and debatable fact. By the same token, perhaps instead of saying "Thus, they should be respected...", the article could instead say, "Thus, many people with minority sexualities believe that they should be respected..." Descartes 21:45, 22 September 2005 (EDT)

I disagree - I think that stating that sexual orientations ought to be equally respected is a very responsible opinion to present and one with whichthe vast majority of good and decent in the world would agree. In fact, NOT respecting differing orientations is one of my criteria for a person who is not good and decent.

Would you say that a statement like "people of different races ought to be equally respected dispite the color of their skin?" Naturally any decent person would have no problem with that statement. Sexual orientation is no different.


Your statement about respecting people of different races would be appropriate for an opinion column, but not for an encyclopedia article about race. A factual article about race should discuss what race is, not instruct the reader on how to relate to members of different races. I think that the same standard should apply to an article about sexual orientation. Descartes 22:06, 22 September 2005 (EDT)

Yes, of course. It's an opinion. I already said that. And why should an encyclopedia article be our standard? I should hope we are doing a lot more here than trying to write an encyclopedia. Who cares about them?

This is a project about US - about BOYLOVERS! How wonderful. :-)


In fact, a large portion of BoyWiki *is* dedicated to encyclopedia-type articles. There is an entire base category (out of three) that is dedicated to it. While it would be a mistake to strip all emotion and personality out of BoyWiki, the articles falling somewhere under the Encyclopedia category should be held to a much higher standard (especially of factuality) than the ones in the categories for personal essays and such (the other end of the spectrum--clearly opinion pieces). --Hínandil 22:46, 22 September 2005 (EDT)

I agree with both Descartes and Hínandil. We should strive to keep encyclopedic articles as NPOV as possible. Still young 07:51, 23 September 2005 (EDT)

This situation can easily be mended by putting what was removed on NPOV form: "Sexual orientations vary from person to person. On this basis, most boylovers argue that every person's sexual orientation should be respected so long as it is not used as a justification for violence or the forcible rape of someone else." See, the wonder of NPOV is that you get get sentences which nobody anywhere can disagree with. The only thing to argue about is if we should say "most boylovers", "some boylovers", "many boylovers" or something else. Clayboy 18:34, 23 September 2005 (EDT)

Hi Clayboy,

Yes, I see that you could change the wording and have the article seem less controversial but I don't know what NPOV form is. Actually, the whole idea of NPOV is baffling to me. When did we start using that term anyway? I've never seen it before - anywhere. I believe it's been broken out here by somebody as Non Neutral Point of View. That seems awfully redundant. :-) Any point of view has to be, by definition, non-neutral. If an idea were entirely neutral, then it wouldn't be a point of view. It would just be a fact. Now, don't get me wrong. I love facts. But facts rarely tell an entire story. A point of view is almost always required to communicate something fully.

So if this concept of NPOV were used to delete all the sentences in all the articles on this site that contained points of view, there would be almost nothing left. And of course whole articles would bite the dust. The Boylove Manifesto, for example, is almost entirely a "point of view" piece." And it's a very controversial point of view at best. TO call it neutral would be pretty laughable. Certain historical articles that simply describe things that happened in the past could probably stay. But all the definitions we've written about boylove topics are extraordinarily controversial in the wider world and represent points of view that almost nobody would describe as neutral.

That's why I think that the NPOV thing is pretty silly. Perhaps back to the drawing board on that one? I mean no offense to guys who created the concept but it doesn't seem like a good fit for people trying to write articles here. We almost HAVE to be controversial and hence non-neutral if we want to say most anything at all.


NPOV means, as you said, a Neutral Point Of View, the antonym being POV. The NPOV policy is what allows Wikipedia to develop without degrading into a flaming troll fest. It has worked extraordinarily well for them. Their prescription for putting articles on "NPOV form" (my term, but you get the point), can be found here. I can see your point about it being hard to apply to BoyWiki, and I think that already, a typical wikipedian would find an average BoyWiki article quite laughable from an NPOV standpoint. But I think we should strive for it for articles in the Dictionary/Encyclopedia categories, precisely because points of views are like assholes (everybody has one). What happens if I disagree with something you added which is your point of view? If I just add my opinion, the article will become inconsistent. If I edit your opinion out or change it into my own view, you will likely take offense. Perhaps you'll change it back into your own view, and then in turn I will take offense, and the cycle has started. Instead, I think it's infinitely more useful to use proper attribution; in other words, state that this is a view shared by one/some/many/all boylovers, or one/some/many/all music fans or whatever the group is. So my point is that NPOV allows a topic to be discussed from many differing viewpoints, which is good, because there are lots of matters on which boylovers disagree slightly or passionately. Historical documents like the manifesto are perfectly OK because (or if) proper attribution is given as to whose opinion it is. When points of views are given as facts, we get into trouble. Clayboy 04:55, 24 September 2005 (EDT)

Hi Clayboy,

Well, that makes a lot more sense. I had thought that the point was that points of view should not be included in articles - as I can't for the life of me figure out how anyone's point of view could be neutral. But if I understand what you're saying the posting rules are, then points of view are fine in articles so long as they are attributed to the person or group holding them. That's very rational, indeed.


NPOV is an ideal... the content guidelines and BoyWiki proposal discuss this especially for encyclopedia articles. But while you're right in saying that everyone has a point of view, it's also equally right that many points of view have no moral authority or universal acceptance. In actual practice, a balanced article that fairly represents differing points of view with respect should be achievable almost always, and that should be the minimum goal in any main namespace article (user pages, obviously can be as biased as they want). --Hínandil 19:09, 24 September 2005 (EDT)

Hi Hin,

Actually, I wish the content guidelines DID discuss NPOV. When I first saw the term and tried to figure out what it meant, the content guidelines were what I turned to. But the only time the phrase "point of view" appears is in the entertainment section. NPOV does not appear at all.

Anyway ... I know that many points of view don't have universal acceptance - probably most of the points of view we would wish to present here are rather universally despised. That was my point from the beginning.

But here's a question for you ... I was planning to write an essay on sexual attraction and desire - it's a topic I've thought about and written about a lot over my years on BC. My thinking has evolved a lot and my positions now are quite a lot different from what they were in 1996 and 1997. If I were to write an essay about the nature of sexual attraction, particularly with respect to attractions shared by many boylovers, the conclusions I would draw would be highly controversial in the wider world and perhaps a little controversial to some boylovers.

But after this thread developed, it became evident to me that the essay would not be appropriate for this site because it presents a controversial point of view - which not only lacks universal acceptance - it lacks even pluralistic acceptance.

I mean, I suppose I could also write the opposition's perspective but it seems to me that anti-BLs have sufficient platforms for expression already and I'm loath to do their work for them.

Am I correct in believing that I should not write this article for BoyWikki?


No, please remember that we are only talking about encyclopedia articles here. You would be correct in believing you should not categorize your essay into Category:Encyclopedia. What you should do instead is write it in your user pages where--as long as you understand that publishing anything on BoyWiki means releasing it under the GFDL--it is not only appropriate but welcome. And on a personal note, it'll be about time. I'm waiting impatiently for any personal opinion pieces you write.  ;)
Taking a look at the content guidelines, I am still very happy with what is said in the section about encyclopedic articles. Others are drawing from Wikipedia's culture in what I feel are appropriate ways, but an effort was made to decide what was best for BoyWiki without trying to necessarily copy Wikipedia, which is why NPOV doesn't show up there. --Hínandil 23:19, 24 September 2005 (EDT)

Hi Hin,

Well maybe I will write something to paste onto my user page, though I must confess that the prospect leaves me less than enthusiastic. I wanted to write a real article for the actual site. I don't want to criticize because I appreciate all the enourmous effort you've put into this project. The detail and professionalism of the site astound me. But the the stringent rules just seem disheartening, personally. I'm sure that's just a personal problem.


User pages are considered very real parts of the "real" site. The reason a personal essay should be part of your user pages is simply a matter of real estate. If somebody else wanted to write an essay on the same topic, what would he do? Erase yours and paste in his? Or put his under yours? User pages answer the question. Your essay will show up alongside all the other ones on the site in the category lists. --Hínandil 19:17, 25 September 2005 (EDT)

Hi Hin,

Please forgive my total confusion but I can't quite wrap my head around what you're talking about. I want to write an article about sexual attraction and desire and how those topics particularly apply to BLs.

I'd probably title it, if it weren't part of my user page as, "Sexual attraction and desire: how attraction impinges on desire and action in the lives of some boylovers." The possibility that somebody else would use that exact same title approaches zero so closely as to be not worth considering. And if somebody improbably happened to have the same inspiration I had, then he could do what any author does - change his title slightly to avoid infringement.

Now as I understand the rules of the forum, I would not be able to publish this article on BoyWikki (except as an entry on my user page) because the conclusion I would draw would be controversial and not seem objective to many people. (Don't even ask me to comment on the total semantic impossibility of "neutral point of view.") I'd dispute that but there's no telling how anti BLs think. I'd love to publish it because I'd like the interaction with other BWi participants. But to just put it on my user page seems lame. I hate to sound immodest but people mostly write because they want to be read. I operate under no delusions that anyone is particularly interested in what Jimf3 has to say. So if I publish the article as a collection of paragraphs in my user page, the only people who read it will be people who bother to look at my user page - which is probably practically nobody. If I publish it as an actual article, then lots more people will likely see it. And having people see it is really why I'd like to write it in the 1st place.