Sex toy study draws criticism

Nov. 6, 2009 at 6:35 PM
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DURHAM, N.C., Nov. 6 (UPI) -- A sex toy study being conducted by Duke University in North Carolina is being criticized by a religious leader.

The Rev. Joe Vetter, director of the Duke Catholic Center, said he was concerned about ads seeking female students at the school to take part in a "sexually explicit" study on Tupperware party-style gatherings that feature the discussion and sale of sex toys, The (Raleigh, N.C.) News & Observer reported Friday.

The Catholic center is one of more than 25 religious life groups representing a variety of faiths at the private university.

Vetter said he found the study was designed by healthcare workers to examine whether sex toy use reduces sexual promiscuity, an approach that has been promoted on campus by student health groups.

"I'm concerned about promiscuity also," Vetter said. "And to be honest, I don't have the solution ... . My concern is these students are in this developmental phase, and I don't think it's a good developmental practice to just tell somebody to just sit around and masturbate. I don't think that promotes relationships."

Michael Schoenfeld, Duke's vice president for public affairs, said the project went through a peer-review process before being approved.

"Not all research will make people comfortable," Schoenfeld said.

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