Actress Scarlett Johansson recently argued that monogramy actually goes against human instinct. In a forthcoming interview in Allure magazine she adds, “I do think on some basic level we are animals, and by instinct we kind of breed accordingly.” This insight is nothing more than a consistent evolutionary stance if one grants that we really are just “animals.”

But what sets Scarlett Johansson’s conclusion apart is that she wants to have her free sex and have a commitment to some kind of monogamy, which she thinks may someday be extinct. She tells the interviewer, in this same forthcoming piece, that her new boyfriend, actor Josh Hartnett, is her only sexual partner right now. She adds, “Contrary to popular belief I’m not promiscuous.” She argues that she is not “promiscuous” sexually because she “is in a relationship” and this commits her to one man only, at least right now. In the past she admits to having sex with many men but right now she argues that she is committed, thus she has never really been promiscuous at all. She says that when she is in a relationship she works very hard to “make it work in a monogamous way.”

If this tortured logic sounds odd to you that is because it is truly odd. The whole business hinges on the meaning of the word promiscuous. She seems to think that since she only engages in sex with men in discriminate ways, as defined by her view of commitment, she is not promiscuous. I am sure glad we got this insight from her aren’t you?

Ms. Johansson adds, in the same interview, that “I get tested for HIV twice a year. . . . One has to be socially aware. It’s part of being a decent human being, to be tested for STDs. It’s just disgusting behavior when people don’t. It’s just so irresponsible.” My question is why? Who says so? If we mate on the basis of animal instincts what makes us different from the animals other than our brain power? And who is Scarlett Johansson to tell me what it means to be a “decent human” being since she has already argued that when it comes to sexual expression we are not really that different than the animals.

Beware Ms. Johansson! Your anthropology is showing and it will burn you rather deeply at some point down the road when you begin to experience the emptiness of this way of life. Furthermore, your definition of the word “promiscuous” is at best silly, if not downright dangerous.

But who cares what a twenty-one year old actress thinks anyway? Apparently lots of people do, which seems to precisely be the problem.

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  1. Dan October 10, 2006 at 3:14 am

    I think you mean Sienna Miller, not Scarlette J.?
    I just read an excerpt of that interview and it said it was Sienna Miller who said that.

  2. John Armstrong October 10, 2006 at 9:04 am

    The AP reports that these words, and this forthcoming interview, come from Scarlett Johansson, who lives with Josh Hartnett. She is a co-star with Hartnett in the movie Black Dahlia. If I am incorrect I will happily change the name. Anyone else have input to this question?

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