When was the last time you viewed a taxpayer-funded porno site? Not the type to frequent pornographic web sites? Fear not, the U.S. government has you covered. For more than a decade taxpayer money has gone to develop a website under the auspices of Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention that offers up panoply of sexually explicit features, including graphic images of homosexual sex and an interactive video game that uses a penis-shaped weapon to destroy gay epithets.

Taxpayer funded website

While the government was plowing taxpayer dollars into useless alternative energy programs and funding lavish GSA parties the National Institute of Health (NIH) issued grant money to researchers at the University of Minnesota to create a website called Sexpulse (a link to the website will not be provided due to the controversial nature of the material.) The website was created to attract gay men who use the Internet to seek other gay men (MISM,) i.e. “men who use the Internet to seek sex with men,” with the goal to educate on the risks of contracting HIV.

The National Institutes of Health, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has a stated goal of making important discoveries that improve health and save lives. Does that mean that one of NIH’s discoveries was that if you took taxpayer money and used it to fund offensive material you might dissuade gay men from having unprotected sex? In 2012 do gay men really need to be schooled on how HIV is transmitted?

The site employed rather unconventional methods to draw in gay men and keep them interested by serving up pornographic images of homosexual sex as well as naked and scantily clad men.

The Traditional Values Coalition, which identified the taxpayer-funded research as “gay porn,” stated that the website and other activities under the program are a multimillion-dollar waste of taxpayer money. Whether the intended message is being served by the grants, a bigger question exists as to whether a website that would be deemed wholly inappropriate by most be funded with taxpayer money?

“We can’t spend money on this. America is broke,” coalition President Andrea Lafferty said. “People are losing their homes, they’re losing their jobs … and what we’re doing is we’re funding year after year these cockamamie grants by people at NIH.”

NIH records show the government started awarding taxpayer dollars to the Minnesota team in 2001, renewing them almost every year since. The 2012 grant is valued at more than $680,000; in total, NIH has awarded more than $5 million to the team. The researchers started developing the Sexpulse website in 2005 and continues to work on the project. Funding for the project is anticipated to consume more than $7 million in taxpayer funds through 2015.

Certainly with a $15.5 trillion debt $7 million in taxpayer money isn’t going to change the inevitable march towards national bankruptcy, yet the knowledge that every taxpayer, regardless of their views, is funding programs of this nature is quite troubling. Was President Bush aware of where and for what purpose these taxpayer funds were allocated? Surely not. It’s quite likely Barack Obama had no knowledge either. There’s even a strong likelihood that the Congress itself was unaware that taxpayer money they allocated to the NIH  was being used to develop a gay sex website; all of which points to one of the greatest failures of our government and that’s the complete lack of oversight and out-of-control spending.

Despite the non-partisan nature of the funding to NIH, the timing of the release of these facts by the Traditional Values Coalition could not be worse for the Obama Administration; with the Secret Service hiring prostitutes and the General Services Administration (GSA) throwing $820,000 Las Vegas parties another black eye isn’t what the Obama Administration needed.

The National Institute of Mental Health defended the research in a statement which read, “HIV prevention is an urgent priority in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The long-term objective of this research is to develop Internet-based interventions to lower sexual risk behavior among men who have sex with men (MSM),” the statement said. “MSM are the largest population infected with HIV in the United States — accounting for approximately half (48 percent) the people living with HIV in the United States, and more than half of new HIV infections (61 percent) each year. The intervention developed by this research team has already yielded positive results by demonstrating a 20 percent reduction in risk behavior in this population.”

Yes, Taxpayers, We’ll Use Your Money to Entice Gays

Some of the taxpayer funds provided to the researchers was used to recruit thousands of test subjects through Gay.com. Publications produced from the research stated that they found “near universal acceptability for highly sexually explicit education.” You can bet there’s tens of millions of heterosexual males that would agree with that as well, presuming the explicit material involved members of the opposite sex; but would they favor taxpayer dollars providing their entertainment?

The website included an interactive feature involving an “animated penis icon,” that would bounce across the screen and offer users “amusing rewards” as described by a university narrator.

Not all of the material included on the site was pornographic in nature. Included on the website was educational material, such as videos of men discussing their personal battles living with HIV, which might be in-line with the original intent of the grant.

Researchers used the pornographic nature of the website to hook the users in hopes that they might be able to slip in a few tidbits of information that would qualify as educational.

The Project leader Simon Rosser, touted the research as one of the first studies to examine the correlation between “Internet use and HIV risk.” Really? Do we really need to feed the fantasies of a select group to learn that Internet pornography has a correlation to risky sexual behavior; duh.

How about simply posting the risk information and the few gay men that haven’t learned by now how HIV is transmitted can read it without taxpayers paying to get them worked up?

This isn’t the first time that NIH grants have been provided to pursue questionable behavioral research.

Taxpayers got the opportunity to fund a study on the effect of a gay man’s penis size to his sex life and general well-being a few years ago.

The study reported, among its findings, that gay men with “below average penises” were more likely to assume a “bottom” sexual position, while those with “above average penises” were more likely to assume a “top” sexual position. Those with average penises identified themselves as “versatile” in the bedroom.

God help us. Liberals are crying for successful Americans to “pay their fair share” so they can dole it out to produce this kind of crap?

Can’t we simply assume our government is going to squander the majority of the money they collect in taxes and acknowledge they cannot police themselves? Let’s take some of that money and create a website that’ll work for all Americans where the government must describe, in detail, the hole they intend to flush our tax dollars down; allow taxpayers a 90-day comment period and allow us to vote it up or down. Wouldn’t it be far more logical if our government had to be truly “transparent” rather than waiting years to find out they’ve wasted our money and driven us deeper in debt?

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