Sex

Borat For Birth Control Tzar?

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The federal office in charge of family planning has a new boss: Dr. Eric Keroack, pictured at right. He doesn't quite reach up to his aesthetic mentor's standards when it comes to the moustache, but Slate has the scoop on his equally shady past:

Keroack's appointment, as deputy assistant secretary of population affairs within the Department of Health and Human Services, did not require congressional approval. The Bush administration picked him on its own. And women's health advocates, editorial pages, and bloggers, along with Democratic members of Congress, are right to think he's a crazy choice for this job.

And then there's this:

Keroack claims that that people who engage in premarital sex experience chronic emotional pain, which lowers their oxytocin levels. This in turn impairs their ability to form healthy relationships down the road. "People who have misused their sexual faculty and become bonded to multiple persons will diminish the power of oxytocin to maintain a permanent bond with an individual," he writes.

Says Slate:

Keroack's professional history suggests a mismatch, to put it mildly, with Title X's goal of educating women about contraception and helping them get it. He has lectured widely for groups like the National Abstinence Clearinghouse, which disparages the use of birth control and disseminates medical misinformation.

Slate's final graf is somewhat hysterical ("at a moment when the need for subsidized birth control is rising, and clinics are struggling to pay for basic services…"), but this guy ought to raise a bushy eyebrow or two. Of course, so should the existence of a federal birth control tzar in the first place.

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  1. i’ve had some delightful experiences misusing my sexual faculty. what’s his problem?

  2. “Keroack claims that that people who engage in premarital sex experience chronic emotional pain, which lowers their oxytocin levels. This in turn impairs their ability to form healthy relationships down the road. “People who have misused their sexual faculty and become bonded to multiple persons will diminish the power of oxytocin to maintain a permanent bond with an individual,” he writes.”

    Translation; “I never got laid in high school or college but all of you people who did are really going to regret it someday!”

  3. A fringe nutbar appointed to a sinecure. Mweh.

  4. Oh the far right, desperately afraid of female orgasms because they’ve never been able to cause any.

  5. I want a job at his old organization. Making up numbers and claiming them as fact sounds like a pretty sweet (and easy) task.

  6. I will never be a Democrat, but God I get tired of the evangelical right. I wish they would just go back to their communes or Jesus camps or whereever the hell it is they came from and leave the rest of us alone. They can go off to their little communities and teach their kids that humans roamed the earth with dinosaurs and jerking off too much makes you go blind and we will leave them alone and they will stop voting and stay out of politics and government. That sounds like a fair deal to me.

  7. From the WaPo today:

    Pearson also acknowledged yesterday that Keroack is not currently certified as an obstetrician-gynecologist. That is not a requirement for the job, but HHS officials had cited Keroack’s expertise in defending his selection.

  8. Oh the far right, desperately afraid of female orgasms because they’ve never been able to cause any.

    LMAO!

  9. “Who are the ad wizards that came up with this one?”

  10. Of course, so should the existence of a federal birth control tzar in the first place.

    This is the entire point, as far as I’m concerned. Of course, I think we could get along quite well without HHS altogether.

  11. He’s also a board member of the Abstinence Clearinghouse who host (or sell planning kits for) those unbearably creepy Purity Balls. Shudder.

    I also really like the almost Scientological level of reasoning that goes into his precious bodily fluids hypothesis on Ocytocin.

  12. Misusing your sexual faculty also causes negative engrams. Our only hope is federal funding for e-meters, with “auditing” as one of the approved activites for Rangel draftees.

  13. Anybody got a good answer for why the fundies are so fixated on sex? There’s a lot of other sins and Jesus barely mentioned bumpin’ uglies.

    Like me, I’m more about avarice and sloth. Tough combo to pull off.

  14. I don’t see the problem. If every federal department were headed up by someone who doesn’t even think the agency should doing what it is intended to do – that’d be the next best thing to a libertarian paradise where the departments don’t exist in the first place. I nominate for our next Secretary of Education someone who believes in abolishing the public school system.

  15. I really think we should quit discussing the policy points about this office and its new occupant and go straight to snark. Unfortuneatly, this guy is such a weirdo he’s broken my snark generator. Please, help.

    Oh, and Purity Balls are really, really, creepy.

  16. I’m afraid to Google for “Purity Balls” while at work. Are they anything like pussy trolls?

  17. I find it hard to believe that the voters in this country tossed the republicans when they make intelligent, moral appointments like this.

    I’m sure Pat Robertson approves.

  18. “People who have misused their sexual faculty and become bonded to multiple persons will diminish the power of oxytocin to maintain a permanent bond with an individual,” he writes.”

    Seems to me this is a falsifiable statement. There must be research to back up the claim, or it should be possible to do the research and prove Dr. Keroack to be wrong.

    I suspect he may be on to something. Humans may imprint on their first sexual partner (similar to goslings on the first living thing they see.) Like the old saying goes: You never forget your first time.

  19. Like the old saying goes: You never forget your first time.

    I know. It was horrible. It gets much better with practice. BTW, virgins are WAY overrated as sex partners.

  20. I remember my first time.

    It was horrible.

    I was scared

    I was alone.

  21. They had a small article about Purity Balls in this week’s Economist (they just love needling us Yanks about this kind of nitwittery). Am I the only one that gets the very creepy impression that these daddies just don’t want to share?

  22. Waitaminit. The Abstinence Clearhouse is hawking Purity Balls?

    Jeebus wept.

  23. Of course, so should the existence of a federal birth control tzar in the first place

    I received an email petition from a Democratic friend opposing Keroack a couple days ago. I replied to the sender and made the same point; they shouldn’t be opposing only Keroack’s nomination, they should be opposing the position that he is being nominated for. Predictably, I was told that we DO need the government involved in family planning and telling us – basically – how to raise children and what women may or may not do with their bodies. The important difference apparently, is that only Democrats know which choices are the correct ones to offer us.

  24. When they were telling this story on NPR this AM all I could think was “What does this have to do with On the Road“.

    Whaaat!! It was early in the morning and I was still half asleep.

  25. For those of you afraid to google, here is the most funny explanation:

    What is a purity ball

    Warning, it is worksafe, but people who see you looking at this will think you are an idiot.

  26. This (nsert intelligence related insults here) makes Jocelyn Elders look like a Nobel prize winner.

    To the George W. administration: Don’t you have any adults working there?

  27. Bob Z: unfortunately, no you are not. I’m not saying that any of these fathers actually touches their daughters, but, yeah, uhhh, creepy. “That’s MY pussy, and you can’t have it!”

    until marriage.

    or, until, of course, she’s a freshman away at college….

  28. Some balls are held for charity, and some for fancy dress, but when they’re held for purity, they’re the balls that I like best.

  29. Tarran’s link was creepy enough, but the cherry on the top has to be “The Way We See Things” quote from Anais Nin.

  30. I figured a “purity ball” was a combination of a chastity belt and a tampon. I guess dressing up like an idiot and dancing with daddy also deters potential sex partners…

  31. Dancing? For Chastity? Do the Baptists know about this?

  32. This appointment is pretty much as outrageous as appointing a pacifist to be the Secretary of Defense.

    However, it’s still better than the apparent rapist Bush appointed for oversee FDA approval process. He was an abstinence-only freak too… and his unique form of birth control was apparently sodomizing his wife in the ass against her will and eventually paying her per sex act. When confronted, he claimed that he couldn’t tell the difference been ass and cooch. Ironically, the guy was an OB/GYN. Niiiiiiice.

    “Seems to me this is a falsifiable statement. There must be research to back up the claim, or it should be possible to do the research and prove Dr. Keroack to be wrong.”

    In fact, what we do know of the situation suggests that he is wrong, and in many cases absurd (for instance, breast feeding seems to have the same effect on the hormone as lots of sex, suggesting that we eschew breast feeding to avoid destroying marriages).

    Of course, we don’t know everything about the effect of such hormones so we can’t say for sure. But this is exactly why this nutcase shouldn’t be making personal and, worse, POLICY claims based on his theory. I mean come on: his sole piece of evidence is a heavily interpreted claim based off a single study on the sexual behavior of VOLES. That’s just ridiculous.

  33. Plunge, link please?

  34. If a radical libertarian got elected POTUS but Congress was not compliant, then I’d expect, hell, I’d demand the same sort of appointments. Nothing wrong with lying for a good cause; in fact, it’s kind of fun, because you get to spit in the eye of those who give you the tools to use against them. So, for instance, I’d appoint people to FDA advisory committees who’d simply opine with their eyes closed that whatever was safe & effective, just to vitiate the statute, because Congress wouldn’t repeal it. I’d make sure all Tax Court judges ruled in favor of taxpayers in any case, the second they filed, and make up whatever bogus reason for such findings as necessary. And so on.

  35. When confronted, he claimed that he couldn’t tell the difference been ass and cooch.

    Best sentence I’ve read all day. Maybe even all month.

  36. Sorry, but how do your hormones know your marital status?

  37. Just google for Hager and rape (and or Plan B). You’ll get plenty of cites, including a long Nation article telling his wife’s story.

  38. So the man is homer sekshall, leave him alone.

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