Sometimes the real news seems so good that you wonder whether The Onion is mere surplussage. Such is the state of affairs today, as leading British papers the Times of London , the Daily Mail, and the Telegraph notify us of a new leaflet, Pleasure, created and...disseminated (?!?)... to parents, teachers, and youth workers by the a branch of the NHS out of Sheffield, England.
From the Times story headlined "NHS tells school children of their 'right' to 'an orgasm a day'":
Alongside the slogan “an orgasm a day keeps the doctor away”, it says: “Health promotion experts advocate five portions of fruit and veg a day and 30 minutes’ physical activity three times a week. What about sex or masturbation twice a week?”
Maybe they need to hire Ayelet Waldman to help do PR on this one. The Brits have obviously got a different attitude about sex. But I have to wonder whether this story will be appropriated by opponents of nationally funded health care in the US, used as evidence that the federal government ought not meddle in such value laden matters as health. What sort of values will a national health program promote? Having sex (or for that matter, having health care) may help a person live longer. But at what cost to society at large?
And let's be clear. Even this British story is all about shock value. It's hard to know what they're more breathy about - the age of the target audience or the blatantly pro-sex message. None of the papers note that this document was produced by a smal unit of NHS - the Sheffield Centre for HIV and Sexual Health - an important detail that might deflate the story a bit (especially compared to the way the Daily Mail described the office - as "a primary care trust.") AIDS prevention groups have a history of being very forward in their outreach efforts and one more bold claim might be a bit of a yawner. A far more balanced (but not entirely uncritical) exposition of the document is here . (If it that site, which has been a bit unstable, becomes hard to access, you can download it here.)
H/T David Cohen. Image: the document at issue.