No evidence to suggest link between beer and homosexuality – Dr Anil Jasinghe

There is no evidence to suggest a direct link between beer consumption and homosexuality, National Health Services Director General Dr Anil Jasinghe said.

Nor has there been any medical research conducted on the matter, he added.

Dr Jasinghe was speaking at a special press conference held at the Health Promotion Bureau today where he touched on the near-moral panic triggered by a prominent Buddhist monk yesterday when the latter suggested a causal relationship between being gay and sharing a pint.

The Sunday Times had quoted Prof. Medagoda Abayatissa Thero as saying that “there is a direct connection between beer and homosexuality”. Social media erupted with reactions to the monk’s bold pronouncement, with some calling it a groundbreaking discovery.

Dr Jasinghe took it upon himself to set the record straight.

“We cannot say whether there is consensus or not on this matter, but we haven’t researched it or seen results of such research elsewhere,” he said.

Prof. Abayatissa Thero was in the centre of a separate controversy last week over his disparaging comments on a proposed sex educattion handbook for grade 7 students.

Commenting on the matter, Dr Jasinghe told reporters that the Health Ministry and the Education Ministry will hold discussions on the book and arrive at a final decision on its distribution.

Acknowledging that sex education should be an essential part of the school curriculum, Dr Jasinghe said that it is difficult to push it on Sri Lankan youth given the country’s culturally conservative society, unlike in the West where such education is accepted by parents and society at large.

Another obstacle, he said, is the nature of the teacher-student relationship in Sri Lanka, which could result in a culture shock for the students. However, said Dr Jasinghe, this could be solved by assigning teachers from the respective zonal office specifically for this subject.

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“This handbook was not made overnight but after lengthy discussions held among Health Ministry and Education Ministry officials, specialists and intellectuals,” he added.

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