Thursday, May 3, 2007

Sex and the married man

Check out "Sex and foreign aid," a thought-provoking op-ed in the Los Angeles Times. Global health expert Laurie Garrett finds "a lesson in the perils of mixing moralizing with foreign policy" in the resignation Friday of the United States' top international assistance official -- a resignation that followed the linkage of the official, who, Garrett notes, is married, to the little black book of a D.C. madam. The official headed a global HIV/AIDS prevention program that linked spending to morals; that is, Garrett writes, "33% of the $311 million spent by the program for HIV prevention in 2006 funded abstinence education." She argues for a different approach:

Designing foreign policy to stamp out sexual activity among consenting adults is a fool's errand and a waste of taxpayers' money. When it comes to AIDS policy, we should stop pushing a moral idea about the circumstances in which sex should occur and instead push what works: condoms, clean needles, sex education and making sure that women have equal power to say no, or yes, to sex.

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