Bogus Trend Stories of the Week: Child pornography, sextortion, and Chinese hymenoplasties.

Media criticism.
Aug. 17 2010 5:09 PM

Bogus Trend Stories of the Week

Child pornography, sextortion, and Chinese hymenoplasties.

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None of the other named sources in the Post article—a sociologist who calls hymenoplasties "self-deception," a product manager who says he values virginity in a woman, and a "novelist and social commentator" who muses about the cultural value of virginity—supply any data to clarify whether the procedure has become more popular, less popular, or stayed even over time.

Fake virgins. Bogus stories. Can you tell the difference?

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Thanks to bogus trendspotters Tom Ginsburg, Matt Litman, Donald DiPaula, Hayden Hurst, Kazuo Oishi, and all the others who contributed. Want to see you name in print? Send a bogus trend story to slate.pressbox@gmail.com. If interest in my real Twitter feed increases, I promise to start a fake one. (E-mail may be quoted by name in "The Fray," Slate's readers' forum; in a future article; or elsewhere unless the writer stipulates otherwise. Permanent disclosure: Slate is owned by the Washington Post Co.)

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Jack Shafer was Slate's editor at large. You can follow him on Twitter or email him at Shafer.Reuters@gmail.com.