Oct. 31, 2007
According to a recent report by ABC News, “One in 10 Men Has Multiple Sex Partners.”:
At any given time, a significant percentage of men are engaging in multiple sexual partnerships with women — a situation that may facilitate the spread of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
The headline is dramatic but buried in the details reported is that the actual percentage was 6.6 and they “adjusted” the numbers to come up with “as high as” 11. The article also makes a number of sweeping generalizations designed to convey the idea that this is an issue the public needs to be worried about.
But then, the truth, buried near the end, comes out:
Adimora agrees that other factors could be at play, as men who engaged in concurrent sexual relationships also seemed to have other behaviors in common.
“Men who did have concurrent relationships were more likely to be intoxicated on drugs and alcohol, to have relationships with women who had multiple partners, and to have had sexual relationships with men in the past,” she said.
And then the clincher - the policy recommendations that go with all this:
“We need approaches that will remove health disparities caused by poverty, stigma and discrimination, poor access to health care and education,” Coleman said. “We need to develop a sexual health approach to HIV infection which will provide sexuality education, access to sexual health care, all which is culturally sensitive and relevant.”
In other words, this kind of aberrant, dangerous behavior is confined to easily identified subgroups of the population, but we are going to use it as a club to bring graphic sex ed straight to your kids.
What I want to know is why doesn’t “cultural sensitivity” extend to our values?