Medical editor sacked over study of oral sex

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The Independent Online
THE DEFINITION of sex is at the heart of the trial of Bill Clinton. But an effort to investigate the subject led to the sacking of the editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association, one of the leading academic journals in the profession.

Dr George Lundberg, who had edited the prestigious publication for 17 years, was called at home yesterday and dismissed.

The Associated Press reported the reason was an article he had published on college students' sexual attitudes in the forthcoming edition of the journal, which was apparently released to coincide with the trial.

President Clinton argued that he had not had sex with Monica Lewinsky because only oral sex had taken place. A study of 599 college students in 1991 found that 59 per cent of them agreed, as it turned out.

"I'm absolutely shocked,'' said June M Reinisch, author of the article and the retired director of the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction. "There was nothing unusual about this paper." She said that the case centred on academic freedom, though the association seemed to believe that Mr Lundberg had been playing politics.