Questionable behavioral studies and a student supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are “bizarre” and border on pornographic, says the Traditional Values Coalition which is asking for a freeze on future studies.
The studies examine the organ size of gay men, and sexual positions, sexual behavior and drug abuse at circuit parties attended by gay men, the habits of rats on cocaine and how virtual games can eliminate bias against women.
“It’s really shocking,” said Andrea Lafferty, president of the Traditional Values Coalition.
With Congress debating this week on whether to raise the debt ceiling, the group wants legislators to place a moratorium on grants to the health agency, which it says has spent a half billion in taxpayer dollars to pay for questionable studies.
One study called “The Association between Penis Size and Sexual Health among Men Who Have Sex with Men” found that “men with below-average penises were significantly more likely to identify as ‘bottoms’ (anal receptive) and men with above-average penises were significantly more likely to identify as tops (anal insertive).”
“Why are we trying to find out if someone is a pitcher or a catcher?” Lafferty asked.
“America is broke … and our President says we have to hunt down waste,” Lafferty said. “I want to serve this to him on a platter.”
“It is such an outrage,” Lafferty continued. “There is no adult supervision at the National Institutes of Health.”
Contacted by HUMAN EVENTS, the NIH issued a written statement and only addressed the study of genitalia size conducted by Dr. Christian Grov and the Hunter College Center for HIV/AIDS Educational Studies and Training.
The statement said NIH did not fund the research project, but did pay for Grov’s expenses.
“Dr. Christian Grov was supported as a postdoctoral research fellow at the time the research was conducted by a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)-funded training grant, which focuses on preparing behavioral scientists, especially racial/ethnic minorities, to conduct research in the areas of drug abuse, HIV/AIDS, and crime,” the statement said.
“These funds can only be used to support expenses like stipends, tuition and fees. These funds cannot be used to support research projects,” the NIH said in a statement.
Nearly $200,000 of funding from the stimulus package last year was used to examine drug habits and sexual encounters at circuit parties, described by the study as “potentially risky venues” for contracting the AIDS virus.
The coalition says the NIH spent more than $1 million to study whether a mother rat will abandon her offspring if given cocaine.
Another grant program got more than $100,000 to study toenails and nicotine. The actual toenails came from the 500 participating individuals who mailed in their clipped nails.
Nearly $30,000 in stimulus funding was used to study subway noise exposure by asking 500 riders in New York City to fill out a questionnaire.
Nearly $2 million was spent on a study of virtual games to instruct teachers about “their inherent biases against women” in science programs, the coalition said.
And, hundreds of thousands of dollars was spent on a grant to use text messages to help people quit smoking.
According to the grant number it listed for the year the study was conducted, 2006, nearly $900,000 was awarded.
“Larger penis size has been equated with a symbol of power, stamina, masculinity and social status,” the study abstract said. “Yet there has been little research among men who have sex with men assessing the association between penis size and social-sexual health.”
The study said that 7% of the gay men surveyed felt their sexual organ was “below average” and 54% said “average,” while 35% said “above average.”