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Details of your sex life, $10.00 in Florida!

November 26, 2012

In an article in the Sun Sentinel reporter Brittany Wallman share the details of a survey about the sex lives of 4100 women ages 18 to 24 being conducted of Florida’s Department of Health.

The 12-page questionnaire appalled some who saw it, and raised a host of questions about why the sex and contraceptives information is being gathered, whether it will be used for political purposes, and what will be done to protect the privacy of those who fill it out.

Under the heading of “you can’t make this stuff up!” Ms. Wallman shares some of the outrage and concern at the 46 questions like these:

• How did you feel emotionally when you had unprotected sex — were you trying to get pregnant, were you in the “heat of the moment and just went with the flow,” or did you find the man attractive and “thought it would be nice to have a baby with him?” Did you feel “powerless”? Or was it that you “felt emotionally connected with your partner during sex”?

• How old were you when you first had sex? Last time you had sex with a man, did you do anything to keep from getting pregnant? If not, why not?

• Has a sexual partner ever “told you he would have a baby with someone else if you didn’t get pregnant?” “Physically forced you to have sex?” “Hurt you physically because you did not agree to get pregnant?”

• Are you depressed? Have you ever been physically abused? What’s your religion? Do you smoke? How much do you weigh?

They were asked to voluntarily tell the state how many men they’d had sex with in the past year, whether a man had ever poked holes in a condom to get them pregnant, and how they felt emotionally when they last had unprotected sex.

According to Wallman’s article, the state received $45,000 to conduct this survey.  Concerns about protection of the identities of the participants and the use of the data were addressed with this statement from health department spokeswoman Jessica Hammonds:

“Only one person — Anika Foster, a doctoral student at Florida A&M University — has access to the names and 782 surveys that have been completed so far”

What do you think?  Would it be worth a $10 CVS card to you to share intimate details of your sex life with the state?

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