Tax Dollars for Sex Scholars

Garry Reed's picture

Can't afford cumquats for your cumquat soup? Getting haircuts every other month to save a few bucks? Still driving that 1988 Yugo because a down payment for something better is out of your reach? Northwestern University psychology Professor Michael Bailey appreciates your sacrifices. He's using your tax money to pay women $75 a pop to find out, as the New York Post puts it, "what types of audiovisual erotica women find sexually arousing."

(It's "audiovisual erotica" when it's taxpayer funded. If you and I pay our own money to watch it, it's "porno." And don't forget that tax money funds research on "sexual arousal." Without tax money, it's just plain old civil society "horniness.")

The research project involves (cover your eyes while you read this) popping a tampon-sized probe into a subject's vagina and measuring the "subjective and genital arousal of 180 lesbian, bisexual and heterosexual women as they watch erotic video clips of lesbian, gay or heterosexual interactions." Nice work if you can get it.

(It's "sexual interactions" when it's taxpayer funded. If you and I pay our own money to watch it, it's "screwing.")

This is really really important stuff, Bailey contends, because he's discovered that female arousal seems to be nonspecific. Previous studies (taxpayer funded, no doubt) have shown that male sexual arousal is "target specific," that is, heterosexuals get hot over depictions of females while homosexuals pant at images of men.

This would seem to fall under the "duh" category. Does it really take $147,000 of our Yugo replacement money to figure this out?

Northwestern University's daily newspaper reports that women's responses to watching skin flicks -- sorry, audiovisual erotica -- did not differ whether the images were male-female couples, lesbians, or homosexual men.

(But a nonacademic member of the taxpaying public might suspect that this could be explained because they were not responding to the images, they were responding to the tampon-sized probes in their vaginas. If that's the case, showing them photos of a 1988 Yugo would sexually arouse them. How were those men tested in their sexual arousal studies? With condom-sized probes? "Hey, check out the set of headlights on that Yugo!")

Rep. Dave Weldon, R-Florida, denounces the project. "This is disgusting, and is a clear example of distorted priorities." Weldon himself, of course, pockets a salary of $150,000 per year plus perks, benefits, retirement and all sorts of other goodies that involuntarily come out of your haircut budget. But that's a screwing of a different sort.

Northwestern University isn't the only institution spending your cumquat money on sexual arousal research. According to an Associated Press article, Navy and Army personnel have been using government (i.e., taxpayer) credit cards to pay for prostitutes, lap dancers, and strippers.

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, denounces this practice as a case of "no controls, extensive abuse and no accountability." Grassley himself, of course, pockets a salary of $154,700 per year plus perks, benefits, retirement and all sorts of other goodies that involuntarily come out of your haircut budget. But that's a screwing of a different sort.

Libertarians would point out that the only difference between Northwestern University and our military services is that the professors are performing lab experiments while our uniformed warriors are conducting individual field research. Either way, it's still our tax money at play.

And then there's the problem of adult oriented businesses. (To understand what follows you must remember that it's a "problem" when people voluntarily buy and sell anything that has to do with sex but it's not a "problem" if government forced taxpayer funded programs study anything that has to do with sex.) Cities all over the country keep trying to regulate the sex industry in all of its various forms without running afoul of that pesky Bill of Rights thing. One popular method they use is to ban commercially sexual activities anywhere near a school.

But city councils are apparently missing the lesson of Northwestern University. The solution would seem to be to bring all the prostitutes, lap dancers and strippers into public schools and force all of us taxpaying lackeys to finance it. They could justify it by calling it "sex education." Without public funding and the blessing of bureaucrats, of course, it would be a felony, which would get us tossed into prison where many of us would likely become the subjects of yet another type of "sex education." But that's a penal institution screwing of a different sort.

So why do we need haircuts anyway?



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