In his last State of the Union address, President Obama announced that he was making Joe Biden’s “cancer moonshot” a national priority, putting the American research community on an accelerated path to a cure. Critics have said such a moonshot is outdated and misguided – that cancer is a collection of many different diseases and that any talk of a singular “cure” is an illusion. But even if you concede that point, a coherent national strategy could uncover new treatments and new information that could greatly improve our current understanding of the disease.
But then you see that we’re spending nearly $1 million to research the drinking habits of American lesbians, and you wonder how serious this administration really is about pursuing that moonshot in the first place.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, the National Institutes of Health has awarded $911,056 in grant money to Old Dominion University so they can carry out a three-year study on this important American crisis.
“Sexual minority women (i.e., women who self-identify as lesbian and bisexual) report more heavy drinking, more alcohol-related problems, and higher rates of alcohol use disorders as compared to heterosexual women,” says the grant. “Young sexual minority women are particularly vulnerable.”
Hmm. So women who choose to live a lesbian/bisexual lifestyle (and sorry, but that’s what “self-identify” means – that it’s a choice) also choose to drink more? And we now have to go in there and figure out why the first choice leads to the second?
The grant notes that this is the first time that researchers have studied such a thing.
“No studies have examined how relationship factors and partners’ alcohol use contribute to hazardous drinking among female sexual minority couples,” the researchers say.
In case you think the researchers might discover something interesting, though, you can put those hopes to bed. They aren’t exactly going into this study with open minds. From the Free Beacon:
The research will be grounded in ‘Minority Stress Theory,’ which blames discrimination and stigma for ‘negative mental health outcomes.’ The latest grant, awarded this year, is a follow up to previous work that found ‘minority stress is associated with alcohol use and related problems via negative affect among lesbians.’
In other words, they already “know” that lesbians are driven to drink because “society” treats them “badly.” The $1 million is just so they can slap some numbers on that hypothesis and call it a fact. All of these preconceived notions will keep them from arriving at a simpler conclusion: A person who makes bad decisions will probably keep making them.
See also: Obama, Barack.