New York Times (01/23/90), P. A23
Glasnost has caused the eroticization of popular culture in the Soviet
Union, opening subjects once considered taboo--pre-marital sex,
contraceptives, abortion, venereal disease, and prostitution--to public
scrutiny, writes Dmitri N. Shalin, visiting scholar at the Russian
Research Center at Harvard University. Premarital sex is increasingly
common, Shalin writes, and unwanted pregnancies and sexual transmitted
diseases are rising at alarming rates. With the country's belated sexual
revolution, says Sahlin, has come a fresh concern: AIDS. In the Soviet
Union, contraceptives are unreliable or nonexistent, he says, and
carrying a sexually transmitted disease is a criminal offense.
Prostitution ranks as a prestigious occupation among young women, says
Shalin, who writes that "to serve this hidden front in the battle for
perestroika," the U.S. should "send condoms, not computers," donate
anesthetics, deliver disposable syringes to combat the spread of HIV, and
provide family planning and sex education experts.