No Sex Research Please, We're American

By Richard Gallagher

During a budget debate in the US House of Representatives on July 10, Rep. Patrick Toomey (R-Pa.) proposed an amendment to defund five NIH grants,1 four of which would examine aspects of human sexuality. "Who thinks this stuff up?" Toomey asked.

His amendment was barely defeated, 210 to 212. Combined, the threatened studies will receive $1.5 million (US) next year. Specifically, the money will be spent on studying American Indian and Alaskan transgendered individuals, the sexual habits of older men, Asian prostitutes and masseuses in San Francisco, and mood arousal and sexual risk-taking.

A little later, the theme was replayed on a grander scale.2 A conservative advocacy group, which represents more than 43,000 churches, circulated a list of 200 "questionable" NIH grants that add up to a total funding package of around $100 million. Again, the studies related to...

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