Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Condom study worth the money

People, mostly men, are up in arms about the $423,500 grant the NIH has awarded to the Kinsey Institute to study: why men don’t like using condoms. The guys laughing at the study say, “Duh. Just ask me. I can tell you. It doesn’t feel as good, it’s awkward, and ruins the mood.”

The issue though is less about why men don’t like using condoms as why they don’t like them enough to risk their own health and the health of the person with whom they are having sex when they often knowingly carry an STD or at the very least know they were exposed to one (and leaving out that information from their sexual partner).

Also, why do some men willingly use condoms? The answer involves ethics and psychology more than anything else. Or perhaps a perfectly good, ethical man will whine about condom usage, and pressure his sexual partner into not using one, when his testosterone reaches a certain level.

In addition, according to the article, some men cannot maintain an erection with a condom. If you asked those men, I bet they wouldn’t mind tax payer money being used to find out why.

If your answer to this problem is monogamy, that’s great, but what about pregnancy prevention. Why should a woman be forced to swallow hormones 21 days out of the month when condom usage can prevent pregnancy just as well if used correctly?

Perhaps the outcome of the study could be a better condom? Maybe a spray on one that doesn’t spoil the mood. Ok, too much. Sorry.

It’s just funny how people are so opposed to sex studies when most everyone has sex, and with sex comes such great risks from fatal illness to unwanted pregnancy. Also if condom usage increased, that could decrease the cost to the government on monies needed to treat the uninsured who suffer from STDs include AIDS and receive their treatment via Medicaid or in emergency rooms.

David Williams, the vice president for policy at Citizens Against Government Waste, a non-profit watchdog group that tracks mismanagement and wasteful spending by the government, said that he is "frustrated" by the grant.
"It's hard to see this kind of research going on when we have such bigger problems as a country that we need to face," Williams said. "The NIH is studying things that on the face of it sounds like it isn't really needed right now or that the answers are pretty obvious at times."
Williams concedes that while the amount of money given to this project is a "drop in the bucket" compared to the total amount of monetary support the NIH doles out each year, he says that cutting back on several projects like this one could go a long way.

"There needs to be more scrutiny over what is and is not funded," he said.

Mr. Williams is being very myopic in his view. According to the Centers for Disease Control “approximately 19 million new sexually transmitted infections occur annually, almost half of those affected are between the ages of fifteen and twenty-four.”


Mr. Williams, isn’t that a big enough problem for you? Or perhaps it’s not because while many of those diseases have major repercussions for women’s health and fertility, for men, many STDs are just viruses that they carry around and transmit to woman after woman without physical impact to themselves. A man can carry HPV with no knowledge while a woman infected with it can develop cervical cancer.

I wish the Kinsey Institute the best of luck with this study and I think so should every dude I know.

1 comment:

Dirk said...

Give me the $400,000 and I'll save them a lot of BS work. These studies are a complete waste, as the results are predetermined to fit whatever point they want to make. Typical government spending, but its amazing how many gullible people think the government is there to take care of us. The truth is the government is a bureacracy dedicated to expansion, creating new dependents and sucking up more and more resources. The government wants us be just like those human batteries in The Matrix. I prefer to Fight the Power.