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Herald Times Editorial, July 15, 2003.

Is sex too hot a topic for Toomey?


Serious study as done at Kinsey is important pursuit of knowledge
Wethinks the congressman doth protest too much.
Pat Toomey, a congressman from Pennsylvania, wants funds cut off for Kinsey Institute sex research. He apparently thinks that sex research is not something the federal government should spend money to study or learn more about.
Come on, Pat, don't you think sexual behaviors, particularly as they relate to the spread and risk of disease, are worth worrying about? If experts could predict behaviors that lead to risky sex, that might be useful information, right?
But there's just something about the word sex that makes some people cringe. Maybe Pat Toomey is one of them. Of course, he's welcome to his opinion that sex is an unnatural and insidious thing for humans to be mindful of. Too bad he's trying to impose it on others.
The Kinsey is using a $237,000 federal grant to study why some people take irresponsible risks in sexual behavior. The question, as Kinsey Director John Bancroft says, is important
Bancroft rightly responds to Toomey that "We know people find it (sex) difficult to deal with as a topic, but it's important and needs to be dealt with seriously, not buried."
With the state of world health seriously jeopardized by AIDS, studying risky sex decisions is a very good idea. And given the amount of money the federal government is talking about spending to fight the AIDS epidemic, federally funded reasearch that dovetails with this goal is simply logical.
If he would like, Pat Toomey can be excused from sharing his own sexual case history. But he should not stand in the way of real science here or anywhere else.

Reprinted from The Herald Times, July 15, 2003.


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