Advice columns are a little like cats: they may not actually do much, but they're fun to look at. Also like cats, not all advice columns are created equal. After the jump, we grade a few of the major players.
We can't rate all the advice columns on the internet (and we had to eliminate some for reasons of bias), but the following is a representative sampling. The grades, like advice, are totally subjective.
Dear Prudence, by Emily Yoffe
Unlike, say, Prudence Farrow, Emily Yoffe does not put up with any nonsense. Nonsense includes: masturbating too much, "using up [a woman's] most fertile years," and having doubts about a generally decent boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse. Though she sometimes provides a refreshing kick in the pants, or gets mad on behalf of people who aren't mad enough ("You're a generous and forgiving person. I'm less generous and forgiving"), but she also name-checks Emily Post a lot and seems creepily in favor of settling. She's not quite Dr. Laura, but she might be a little bit Lori Gottlieb.
Favorite topics: bad manners, terrible family secrets, silly relationship problems (his toupee!)
Words of wisdom: On masturbation — "Get a grip and give it a rest. Maybe if you make the decision to do something else with your hands (whittling? knitting? flossing?), you'll find you aren't so obsessed with your urges. Then masturbation will become a pleasurable thing you do sometimes instead of a twice-daily necessity."