Salon, By Tracy Clark- Flory
[ LifeLube knew it! Here is a s a more level headed interpretation that explains the value of this research.]
Conservatives wrongly claim taxpayers funded a study of gay men's penis size -- and miss the survey's importance.
The Traditional Values Coalition's mission this week is to alert poor, beleaguered American taxpayers that they paid scientists to measure gay men's junk. You will surely be shocked to hear that this news has sparked a firestorm among staunch conservatives; the only problem is that none of it's true. Not only was the research paid for without government funds, but the study's findings could help save lives, and taxpayers' money.
Bloggers were quick to churn out the tabloid headlines that just write themselves: "Your Tax Dollars Going to Study Gay Men's Penis Size." Right-wing news sources like Fox and the Daily Caller got in on this orgy of outrage too. Naturally, the Daily Mail was not far behind.
But contrary to all of these reports, the NIH did not pay researchers to measure gay men's penis size. The data for the study -- "The Association Between Penis Size and Sexual Health Among Men Who Have Sex with Men" -- were "collected as part of a larger survey of the sexual health of gay men," says researcher Jeffrey Parsons, a psychology professor at Hunter College.
That survey was funded by the college's Center for HIV/AIDS Educational Studies and Training -- not the NIH. What's more, they didn't even measure men's penises: "We simply asked men to self-report if they felt their penis was above average, average, or below average," he tells me.
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