California: Birds and Bees Get Scientific Treatment on Net
February 21, 2003
From the basics of safe sex, to the effects of HIV on aging, to the sexuality of persons with disabilities, the National Sexuality Resource Center hopes to replace myths and misconceptions about sex with facts gleaned from scientific research.Adapted from:
San Francisco State University unveiled the center and its Web site Thursday, hailing it as an unprecedented clearinghouse of all things sexual. Researchers, policy makers, health workers and the public can turn to the center, its weekly online magazine, and its upcoming, online, peer-reviewed journal for the latest information and studies.
"We want to make America safe for sexuality," said center Director Gilbert Herdt. "Our country's long history of fear, shame and silence surrounding sexuality damages the physical and mental health of Americans of all ages."
Herdt and his colleagues are esteemed academics and pioneers in the study of human sexuality. Among their supporters is Dr. David Satcher, the US surgeon general from 1998 until 2002. At the opening on Thursday, Satcher said the center is desperately needed because the United States lags behind France, Germany and the Netherlands in sex education, with grave results. He noted that 15 million new STD cases are reported annually; half of all pregnancies are unintended; almost 1 million Americans are HIV-infected; and one-third of them do not know it. "There is an overwhelming public health problem in this country," Satcher said. "Human sexuality is something that deserves the kind of attention this center will give it."
The NSRC differs from sexuality research centers in that its primary goal is education. It will work with public health officials and others to disseminate accurate, current information and will address topics relevant to students, Baby Boomers and seniors. The center will launch the online journal Sexuality Research and Social Practice, organize scientific conferences, and eventually initiate its own research projects, Herdt said.
The center was funded by private donations and a grant from the Ford Foundation, which has financed similar centers in Africa, India and South America. The NSRC Web site is at http://hmsx.sfsu.edu/institute/nsrc/index.html.
San Francisco Chronicle
02.21.03; Chuck Squatriglia
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.