This week’s episode of our favorite game show, Guess Where Your Tax Money Is Going, is brought to you by the Free Beacon. The National Institute of Health is a common source of amusement or dismay (depending on your perspective) when it comes to handing out grant money for studies which sometimes appear to run far afield from their core mission. This year they added to that dubious list of accomplishments by issuing more than $400K for a study to determine “whether gender norms of masculinity and femininity lead LGBTQ individuals to drink too much.”
Yeah. I’ll just give you a moment to let that one soak in. And with that, let’s plow ahead.
The National Institutes of Health is spending over $400,000 studying whether gender norms of masculinity and femininity lead LGBTQ individuals to drink too much.
Trying to find the “meanings of intoxication” of sexual and gender minorities is the central question of a study that was awarded in late July.
The project will “examine the extent to which gendered norms shape risky drinking practices for sexual and gender minority (SGM) young adults,” according to the grant for the study.
The grant states that alcohol is an “integral component of bars and clubs.”
The wording of this grant contains all sorts of goodies, such as at least one acronym I hadn’t caught wind of yet. SGM stands for, sexual and gender minority. We also learn about HED. That would be, “heavy episodic drinking.” (Which we used to just refer to as five pm.)
The SGM tag is at least a bit troubling because this is clearly not a study designed to see if women are becoming depressed and drinking too much as compared to men. This is entirely focused on the LGBT community, so we once again see a federal agency adopting the unscientific language of the left and treating “sex” and “gender” as if they are two separate things. One might image that a group of doctors and scientists would demand at least some shred of proof that such a thing was possible before rewriting all of their guidelines and language, but such is the way of the world these days.
The lucky recipient of this grant is going to, “explore questions about meaning, context, and social practices related to drinking and intoxication among SGM young adults.” So I take it you’re hoping to figure out whether gay and transgender people become depressed and go get drunk? Let me save you some time and money. They do. They also become happy about things and go get drunk. And not to totally blow your mind here or anything, but lots of heterosexual people do also. It’s why the adult beverage industry has historically done so well during both boom times and recessions.
But at least this study is going to involve some people getting drunk. There are worse ways the National Institute of Health (and the rest of the federal government) spends your cash. Not very long ago NIH handed out $48,500 for someone to research and document the definitive history of people in Russia smoking tobacco. That same year Uncle Sam awarded $5K for the production of a video documentary about a fiddle player in North Carolina and $150K to study if debating politics with family and friends is too stressful. In what may be the best (or worst) example of all, the National Park Service spent more than $65K for a study to determine how rural insects react to light bulbs. (I really only wish I was making that last one up.)
Where does one sign up for all of these grants? If the government is rich enough to award cash to ask stupid questions, I’m quite sure that many of us are more than capable of pocketing the money and providing stupid answers. Is there a grant for studying the long term effects on beagles from staring at woodchuck burrows? Because I’ve got a head start on that project with plenty of photographic documentation. I could probably wrap this bad boy up in the next year or two for less than $250K. Sounds like it would fall under the National Science Foundation.
Hey guys… call me. I can also provide a lot of drinking data for your friends at NIH while we’re at it.