|Sex At Risk: Lifetime Number of Partners, Frequency
of Intercourse, and the Low AIDS Risk of Vaginal Intercourse
1997; ISBN: 1-56000-309-X (cloth), 232 pp., $39.95
Politicians, interest groups,
and the mass media often answer questions about how AIDS is sexually transmitted
as if heterosexual vaginal intercourse is a high-risk activity. When it
comes to understanding how AIDS is transmitted, and formulating effective
policy to deal with the spread of AIDS, America remains confused. What Brody
calls ideological knowledge about AIDS is far more likely to filter through
society than scientific knowledge.
Sex at Risk is a
comprehensive review of the scientific literature dealing with the transmission
of AIDS. Like Michael Fumento's The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS, it exposes
the mythology surrounding vaginal intercourse and AIDS transmission. Brody
also looks deeply at reasons that fear of AIDS transmission from vaginal
intercourse has spread so widely and profoundly. He addresses serious methodological
problems in AIDS/HIV behavioral research, as well as tendentious political
correctness that has done a disservice to science.
Sex at Risk also
comprehensively reviews the international research literature on correlates
of lifetime number of sexual partners and frequency of sexual intercourse.
Among topics covered are: relationships between lifetime number of sexual
partners and mental health, explanations for important differences between
intercourse and masturbation, the possible association of frequency with healthy
functioning, and correlations between frequency and national development.
Brody concludes by discussing
what AIDS reveals about how politically correct thought impedes scientific
progress, when taboo themes, regardless of their validity, cannot be pursued.
Sex at Risk is factually grounded, yet controversial; Brody
raises critical questions about much of what we have learned about AIDS from
popular and professional publications, "soft scientists," and public health
campaigns. It will be of interest to medical doctors, clinicians, and those
interested in the sociology and psychology of knowledge.
Sex At Risk was favorably
reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Click to read the review:
here for other reviews