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July 13, 2007



Well, I certainly agree that Dr. James Holsinger ranks high among those who Bush choose as appointees on the scale of uniform terribleness.

I'm not sure if you are stating your opinion of the facts, in this:

even an accounting all sex practices shows that the broad category of "gay sex" is in fact more likely to spread infections than the similarly broad category of "straight sex".

or, whether you are reflecting this quote from the Prospect piece:

Holsinger wrote in 1991...and thus gay sex is more likely to spread infections.

If we are talking about the dangers of spreading infections, let's have some facts and data in regard to straight vs gay sex. I don't see evidence that this broad generalization is true (or false).

The 'public wisdom' in regard to the gay sex/infection issue and the actual situation may be and likely is very different, and probably based on pre-HIV practices in the gay community in the 80's and early 90's. Those practices are very different in the last ten years, in both the gay and straight environments in the US and western Europe.

My impression is that condom use is far more widely observed in the gay world than in the straight world - a very important issue in regard to disease transmissibility, regardless of what type of activity is engaged in.

In the Prospect post, Holsinger is characterized on condom use as follows:

He did tepidly endorse condom use, calling it "an important approach to unintended pregnancy" that should be available to teenagers alongside calls for abstinence.. Note the focus on pregancy, not disease transmission. This is inexcusable medical behavior. Public health education (including in the schools, in early teen years and later) on the critical importance of condom use in reducing disease transmission is the key to safer sex - especially as the number of partners increases and the long spread of years from median age of first sex (16-18 yrs) to first marriage (late 20's) increases.

Holsinger is not a hack MD. But he's cut out of the same ideological material as other 'social values' conservatives that Bush has sprinkled all over the Federal apparatus. His values get in the way of his judgement on medical issues.

I think you should clarify what your final statement was intended to be: your opinion or a reflection of Holsinger's. If it is your opinion, please reinforce it with some range of peer-reviewed medical evidence (or make it clear that you form judgements without evidence).

There is enough misinformation in currency about health and sex. It is too important to leave unchallenged statements that are not backed by facts derived from peer-reviewed medical evidence.


It is not the existance of this one single statement that should be of concern, it is the presence and objective of the document from which it came:
Source document

Essentially, it was a gay hit piece. Specifically written by Holsinger for his Church in order to bolser an anti-gay postition.
Jason Kuznicki at Postive Liberty addresses this far better than I can.

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