Reilly: HSE to review 'threesomes' article on SpunOut.ie

Reilly: HSE to review 'threesomes' article on SpunOut.ie

Reilly: HSE to review 'threesomes' article on SpunOut.ie

Health Minister James Reilly said today that he believes that discussions about “threesomes” on a State-funded website is not an appropriate use of that cash.

Minister Reilly was speaking as SpunOut.ie came under fire from a number of Government TDs over an article on its site promoting the pros and cons of this form of sexual encounter.

Minister Reilly said that the HSE are looking into the situation.

"They are going to review it," he said.

"I think the people who own the site themselves are concerned now about perhaps the editorial review and oversight, and will be looking into it.

"From my personal point of view as a doctor, and also as a politician, I just think this is not the appropriate sort of information that the State should be putting out there."

The page includes a definition of a threesome as “getting sexually intimate with two people rather than just one person” involving “any combination of guys and gals” and the pros and cons of taking part in one.

The HSE said SpunOut had been asked to consider the tone and appropriateness of the article in question.

Ian Power, spokesman for the youth organisation, said some language, including words like “shenanigans” and “spiced up”, was amended over the weekend, but he stressed they have no intention of making any changes in response to further criticisms.

He added: “We just removed a certain word. The substance of the article has not changed, it will not change and it will remain on the website.”

It is understood the article has been on the Spunout.ie website for a number of years before it came to light this weekend. It has crashed from the volume of people trying to access it.

SpunOut added the organisation deals with topics such as employment, mental health, suicide prevention, education, alcohol, drugs and sexuality, adding that the threesomes article runs alongside information on contraception, STIs and safe sex.

Sexual abuse support group Cari said Spunout is usually a very valuable resource for teenagers and young adults, but it warned the normalising of extreme behaviour means that early sexual exploration can become risky and, in some cases, exploitative and abusive.

Therapist Majella Ryan said: “What Spunout really missed out on was outlining the potential emotional impact of engaging in this type of sexual act.

“Spunout had the opportunity to have made it clearer within their article that young people who engage in a threesome, without thinking through the consequences, could feel shame, regret and jealousy within their relationship which can permanently damage a relationship.

“It did not explore the risks of their private lives being exposed through gossip and social media adding to a sense of shame and ridicule.”

Elsewhere, the pro-Catholic pro-marriage Iona Institute said any review has to be comprehensive.

“It must review SpunOut in full because no parent would ever want their teenage children being given a great deal of the advice that the website offers to them,” said spokesman David Quinn.

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