Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Finding Quality Sex Information

One would hope that finding trustworthy answers to your sex questions would be easy. It's not. Given our country's important emphasis on free speech, incorrect "factoids" about sex and other health issues (and heck, any issue for that matter) are abundant.

The preponderance of advice boards adds to the foray. In many places, anyone can post a question, and anyone can respond to said question. Even if these responses are well-intentioned, it doesn't mean they are accurate.

To take things further, sometimes professionals don't always agree on the facts of sexual health. Just today, on one of my listservs which is made up of sex therapists, educators, and health care professionals, there was high disagreement as to whether the herpes virus could be contracted via a vibrator. Some said never, some said only if shared with a person with active infections within mintues of viral contact, some said the virus could potentially live on the device for up to two weeks, using an analogy that some viruses can live in dried blood for that long, and if there was blood on the vibrator...

I can't give you the answer to this question, as it remained relatively unresolved. A medical professional consulted with an STD expert, but I am hesitant to say what she said in case it is not the correct response. In short, hundreds of "sexperts" could not come up with a difinitive answer to this question after debating it for several days. If that happens to us, imagine how a teen feels trying to find out the answer to her question about how to find out if she is pregnant or not? How does a guy even begin to sift through the information he finds about the relative safety of a particular sexual act (providing he even tries to go to more than one source)?

We need to educate EVERYONE about how to sift through all the crap on the web to find quality information. And then, we simply hope that that quality information is actually right.

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