The National Institutes of Health is doling out a whopping 423,500 dollars to fund a study, aimed at finding out why men don't like to wear condoms during sex.
However, the funding hasn't gone down too well with government watchdogs, which say that the study is a nearly-half-a-million-dollar waste of taxpayer money.
The study by researchers at Indiana University's Kinsey Institute will probe why "young, heterosexual adult men" have problems using condoms, and will include "skill-based intervention" to teach grown men how to use protection.
The first phase of the two-year study called 'Barriers to Correct Condom Use' will be a simple Q and A, but doctors say the second phase will plumb uncharted territory.
"The second phase involves a laboratory study, and focuses on penile erection and sensitivity during condom application. The project aims to understand the relationship between condom application and loss of erections and decreased sensation, including the role of condom skills and performance anxiety, and to find new ways to improve condom use among those who experience such problems," Fox News quoted Drs. Erick Janssen and Stephanie Sanders, both of the Kinsey Institute, as saying.
But government watchdogs are rolling their eyes at what they say is a clear waste of taxpayer money.
"This government is so out of whack with what the priorities are that this actually makes sense that we'd be wasting money on a condom study rather than the real problems facing the country," said David Williams, vice president for policy at Citizens Against Government Waste, which tracks wasteful spending in the federal budget.
However, the study's directors have said that their project performs a vital public health service, and could help develop prevention and intervention programs to stop the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
"Our study addresses important public health concerns in the U.S. and is the first study to test claims about arousal and sensation loss in a controlled scientific environment, while exploring factors that may be addressed in prevention and intervention programs," said Janssen.
Janssen said that the study would be conducted among 500 men aged 18-24.
However, only 120 subjects will be involved during the laboratory phase, when scientists will conduct neurological exams and "test an instructional method on the correct and consistent use of condoms."
Janssen said that the funding for the study is "commensurate with the scope of a research project of this size."
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