‘Screwed U’: Canadian Taxpayers Federation releases list of ‘wacky university research funding’

EDMONTON – A University of Alberta study on casual sex in Jasper tops the Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s list of “the most wacky grants handed out by the federal government’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.”

The CTF’s tongue-in-cheek ceremony on Parliament Hill was called “Screwed U.”

It highlighted four completed master’s scholarship projects that each received $17,500 in federal tax dollars; as well as a doctoral, post-doctoral, and a master’s research project currently in progress with $57,500 in federal funding.

The  U of A study was entitled “Sexual Consent to Heterosexual Casual Sex among Young Adults Living in Jasper.” (Read the full study below).

“This $17,500 post-doctoral fellowship, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, is a landmark,” said CTF Federal Director Gregory Thomas, “no doubt certain to rank with the discovery of insulin and the Canadarm amongst Canadian research accomplishments.”

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“Among the study’s findings, gleaned from interviews with no fewer than 21 Jasper residents, was: regardless of who made the initial approach, eye contact is considered very important… Several men mentioned that it is not advisable to approach a woman prior to making eye contact,” said Thomas.

“Now that it’s public knowledge that the federal government will pay you $17,500 to hang out in a ski resort for a couple of months and investigate casual sex, we expect every frat boy in the country to be lining up for a research grant to replicate this critical knowledge in Whistler, Banff, Tremblant, you name it.”

Thomas and an intern joined the CTF mascot Porky the Waste Hater to award the Screwed U honorary doctorate to the research council for “its careless handling of taxpayer cash.”

A University of Guelph study from 2008 on pole dancing classes (that the CTF says also received $17,500 in federal funding) included interviews with 17 women.

“One insight from the author of the report: an example of post-feminist sexual ideals can be seen in the television series Sex and the City, most clearly through the character Samantha,” Thomas said.

 WATCH: Canadian Taxpayers Federation presents award in wasteful spending

Other projects that were highlighted by CTF:

–          A completed University of Ottawa study looking at the experiences of three school teachers with tattoos and body piercings ($17,500)

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–          A University of British Columbia post-doctoral fellowship that is still in progress called “Letters to a porn star: an epistolary analysis of Nina Hartley’s fan mail” ($20,000)

–          A York University doctoral fellowship that is still in progress called “Digital designs: cultural identity, nationalism, and China’s online role-playing game industry” ($20,000)

–          A Memorial University of Newfoundland master’s scholarship called “Linguistic identity creation through communities of practice in World of Warcraft” ($17,500).

“SSHRC may be giving a few students free money for wacky research,” said Tyler Lively, a CTF intern and coordinator of the Generation Screwed movement. “They’re actually burdening all Canadian students with higher taxes and millions added to federal government debt.”

To access links to the research papers, click here.


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