The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have given $1.3 million to Columbia University researchers to study how straight people use the internet to pursue sex. “Researchers have raised significant concerns about the Internet’s potential to facilitate sexual encounters that result in unsafe sex and place individuals at risk for STD/HIV,” the grant states. “Yet, how using the Internet for sexual pursuits may shape sexual behavior, including risk taking, remains a very poorly understood phenomenon, especially among heterosexuals.”
The researchers are deeply interested in “the heuristics and strategies they use to assess the potential sexual risk a partner met online poses, and what in the nature of online relationship development might facilitate unsafe sex.”
The sample is restricted to 150 straight adults who have had “unprotected vaginal or anal sex with at least three (opposite sex) partners in the past 3 months, at least two of whom they met online.”
The Anthony Weiner mayoral campaign has not yet thanked the NIH for the contribution to science.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).