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Anti-Asian Racism, Religion, and 'Sex Addiction'

Marcela McGreal
Wikimedia Commons

Last week's violence at three spas in Georgia, followed a year of escalating violence against Asian Americans, some of it captured on videos that went viral. Despite visual evidence, New Yorker writer Hua Hsu, writes that this current moment stresses the "in-between space Asian Americans inhabit." It's hard to prove bias when we lack a historical understanding of what Asian American racism looks like. 

The 21-year-old man who killed eight people last week, six of whom were Asian women, told investigators that he attacked the spas because he was struggling with a “sex addiction” and wanted to eliminate the “temptation” of buying sex. Psychologist Joshua Grubbs writes that religion is deeply intertwined with perceptions of sexual behavior and moral beliefs about sexuality. 


  • Hua Hsu is a staff writer at The New Yorker and the author of A Floating Chinaman: Fantasy and Failure Across the Pacific. He is an associate professor of English at Vassar College (@huahsu)
  • Joshua Grubbs is an assistant professor of psychology at Bowling State University. His research is primarily concerned with the scientific study of addiction, personality, and morality (@joshuagrubbsphd)

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Colin McEnroe and Cat Pastor contributed to this show. 

Betsy started as an intern at WNPR in 2011 after earning a Master's Degree in American and Museum Studies from Trinity College. She served as the Senior Producer for 'The Colin McEnroe Show' for several years before stepping down in 2021 and returning to her previous career as a registered nurse. She still produces shows with Colin and the team when her schedule allows.
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