Researchers at Duke University advertised for female participants in a study on sex toys:
The ads, which were posted around campus and on a research study Web site, sought female students at least 18 years old to "view sex toys and engage in sexually explicit conversation with other female Duke students."
Participants will be asked to complete online questionnaires about their sexual attitudes and behaviors and visit the lab for a "one-hour party" with seven or eight women. Not only will the students be asked to complete a second questionnaire a couple of months later, they will receive a gift bag and be given the opportunity to purchase items at a significantly reduced rate, according to the ad.
But of course the thought of someone enjoying their sexuality without the goal of having children concerns Catholics, including Father Joe Vetter, director of the Duke Catholic Center:
"My understanding is there is a concern on campus about promiscuity," Vetter said.
In recent years, some university health centers have touted sex toys as alternatives to risky sexual behavior and serial promiscuity. The study, Vetter said, was designed by health care workers to see whether such approaches work.
"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."
Because a celibate priest is the person we should be consulting about healthy, sexual relationships. He provides no evidence that sex toys hurt relationships, which is potentially what studies like this COULD find out. (I know that this particular study may not be looking into how it affects relationships, but if it was, I doubt that would change the attitude of most Catholics.) Nor does owning a sex toy imply that you'll just sit around masturbating constantly.
The fact is, we have sexual desires. What is the problem with dealing with those desires in a safe way, without the risks of STDs or unwanted pregnancy? The Catholic Church's position on this is pretty much in line with the rest of their opinions, completely inconsistent with facts and logic.