Sunday, May 17, 2009

Another U.S.-funded sex and drinking study - this time in China

Earlier in the month, I blogged about U.S. taxpayers funding drinking studies in Argentina.

Turns out, China is getting some of our money as well. In fact, they're getting $2.6 Million to Train Chinese Prostitutes to Drink Responsibly on the Job.

No - I'm not making this up.

The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will pay $2.6 million in U.S. tax dollars to train Chinese prostitutes to drink responsibly on the job.

Dr. Xiaoming Li, the researcher conducting the program, is director of the Prevention Research Center at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit.

The grant, made last November, refers to prostitutes as "female sex workers"--or FSW--and their handlers as "gatekeepers."

"Previous studies in Asia and Africa and our own data from FSWs [female sex workers] in China suggest that the social norms and institutional policy within commercial sex venues as well as agents overseeing the FSWs (i.e., the 'gatekeepers', defined as persons who manage the establishments and/or sex workers) are potentially of great importance in influencing alcohol use and sexual behavior among establishment-based FSWs," says the NIH grant abstract submitted by Dr. Li.

"Therefore, in this application, we propose to develop, implement, and evaluate a venue-based alcohol use and HIV risk reduction intervention focusing on both environmental and individual factors among venue-based FSWs in China," says the abstract.

The research will take place in the southern Chinese province of Guangxi.

Of course, the fact that the study will take place in Beihai, a costal tourist city in Guangxi, is only a coincidence.

Beihai is a beautiful and romantic city boasting subtropical seaside scenery.

Facing the Beibu Gulf, the climate in Beihai is very pleasant: sufficient sunlight, abundant rainfall, luxuriant plants, green grass and beautiful flowers flourish in its fresh air.

Many people, both home and abroad, choose to live in Beihai, as it is regarded as one of China's four most liveable cities. (Zhuhai, Beihai, Weihai, and Xiamen)

Dining in Beihai is attractive and provides many types of cuisine within close proximity Guangdong, Shandong, Hunan, Sichuan and Zhejiang Cuisines are readily available. Of course there are also many restaurants serving western-style food. Seafood is popular in Beihai due to its proximity to the seafood market situated on its shoreline. Fish, shrimp, shellfish and crab are readily available. The blowing sea breeze adds to the fun of eating seafood.

As a beautiful garden seaside city in the south of China, it is no exaggeration to say Beihai is a present given by Mother Nature. It is welcoming to all tourists from home and abroad.

So why, you might ask, aren't these researchers conducting said study in America?

Li said his study is being done in China rather than the U.S. because prostitution occurs with alcohol use in the United States like it does in China, Americans will be able to benefit from the project’s findings.

“We want to get some understanding of the fundamental role of alcohol use and HIV risk,” he said. “We use the population in China as our targeted population to look at the basic issues. I think the findings will benefit the American people, too.”

Makes perfect sense, doesn't it?

Personally, I'm opposed to government funding such studies in the first place, but if they're going to do so, can they please actually do them in the U.S. if the problem is present here, rather than fund extended vacations for researchers in exotic locales?

5 comments:

Hooda Thunkit said...

Maggie,

Sounds to me like Junk(et) science too.

Politicians doing what they do best..., wasting OUR money on frivolous non-essentials of no/low priority...

Maggie Thurber said...

Hooda - "junk(et) science"

I love it!

I believe you've coined a new term. Perhaps Tim Higgins at Just Blowing Smoke should add this to the Stuck on Stupid dictionary?

navyvet said...

I volunteer for the experiment...

OUCH!!!!!!!!!

The "big she" was reading over my shoulder....

One would think that I should know better.....

Nah.....

Bill Smith said...

Used your post to promote advocacy today. Thanks for identifying this and other government waste and abuse.

Taxpayer Fund Training for Chinese Prostitutes - $2.6 Million! Are You Upset With Gov't Spending?

Tim Higgins said...

Maggie,

I found it interesting that such things could occur in shining examples of peace and light like China. I have been given to believe in the media that only such evils as female sex workers and abusive drinking occur in likewise evil capitalist countries like the US.

Obviously, the behaviors being described here are not part of a funded study; but are instead the funding for such actions that the US is perpetrating on the people of China, a land of peace and golden sunshine.

(OK, OK, sarcasm off already)

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