Of Porn, Prostitutes and Puritans

The Los Angeles Times has a great, sad story about the filthy porn industry in California. Filthy, not in the moral sense, but in the literal. While legal in the state of California, the production of pornographic material is completely unregulated and the actresses and actors, not to mention the public at large, suffer as a result.

The public at large also consumes the product in large quantities, the article points out. The industry rings up billions in profits each year nationwide, and has among its major customers AT&T, AOL Time Warner and General Motors. (Reader, you are not surprised, are you?)

Shocklingly, incredibly, it turns out that the use of condoms is not standard practice during porno movie productions. Some use them, some don't. HIV tests are also not given to actors regularly, but are used on a voluntary basis. This results in tragically high rates for all kinds of STD's among the men and women in these movies, and an indirect, but significant danger to the public at large.

Does it have to be this way? The Times guides us to a resounding 'NO'. In the parts of Nevada where prostitution is legal, it is also regulated. Condoms are required. So are weekly HIV tests. STD occurences among the sex workeres are very low, HIV is non-existent.

Don't hold your breath until politicians in California, or anywhere else in America, for that matter, start calling for the legalization and regulation of prostitution and the pornography industry in America. Would it reduce STD's among sex-workers? Yes. Would it save the lives of many sex-workers and non-sex workers alike? Yes. Would it condemn said politicians to eternal political hell? Undoubtedly.

The puritan sentiments of this country and the Christian mores of a great number of voters prevent the legalization of 'unsavory' practices such as prostitution and drug use. Yet, it prevents only their regulation, not their occurence. When the insistence on puritan and Christian moral standards kills people, how moral can those standards really be?

Link: L. A. Times Magazine: "See No Evil," January 12th, 2002.

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Honey, I can't find my syndrome

An other shocking story about the media bungling their science. Seems that the disorder known as "Female Sexual Dysfunction," and widely cited in the media as having victimized 44% of women, is a creation of drug companies (i.e. Pfizer, looking to push Viagra for women) and the researchers they have hired.

Forget your prescription, and let the great G-spot search resume.

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