Studying sex

“ ‘Hookups,’ sexual interactions between partners who do not expect a romantic commitment, are believed to be common among adolescents and young adults.” So reads the abstract for a government-funded sex study by two Syracuse University researchers.

The study breaks new ground, the abstract claims, because it “provides the first prospective investigation of the hypothesized predictors of penetrative sex hookups (i.e., oral, vaginal and anal sex) and the first exploration of the short-term mental health consequences of hookups.”

Not surprisingly, “intoxication” was a leading predictor of hooking up among first-semester Syracuse students. Also not surprising was the finding that prurient, pre-marital sex “increased psychological distress for females, but not for males.”

In fact, the only surprise is that the sex study received $219,000 from the federal stimulus package.

And it is not the only sex-related research to receive taxpayer funding, according to the New York Post.

Researchers at Indiana University received $221,000 in stimulus money to examine “barriers to correct condom use.” The University of Illinois, Chicago was awarded $123,000 for a study evaluating “drug use as a sex enhancer.”

And the University of Maryland, Baltimore scored $28,000 from the taxpayers to study how crystal meth “enhances the motivation for female rat sexual behavior.”

Now I understand that the $219,000 that went to Syracuse University, the $123,000 to the University of Illinois and the $28,000 to the University of Maryland don’t amount to much in a federal stimulus package that added up to $787 billion.

But it’s not the amount of the awards that repulses. It’s that federal tax dollars are being used to underwrite research that almost certainly offends the moral sensibilities of the majority of Americans.

This entry was published on August 24, 2009 at 9:40 AM and is filed under Public Policy. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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