AfraidtoAsk, Inc. publishes a health education Web site, www.AfraidToAsk.com. Dr. Jonathan Bertman, the president and medical director of AfraidtoAsk.com, is a family practice physician in rural Rhode Island and a clinical assistant professor of family medicine at Brown University.
AfraidtoAsk.com's mission is to provide detailed information on sensitive health issues, often of a sexual nature, such as sexually transmitted diseases, male and female genitalia, and birth control, sought by people of all ages who would prefer to learn about sensitive health issues anonymously, i.e., they are "afraid to ask." As part of its educational mission, AfraidtoAsk.com often uses graphic images of sexual anatomy to convey information. Its primary audience is teens and young adults. Based on survey data collected on the site, half of the people visiting the site are under 24 years old and a quarter are under 18.
AfraidToAsk.com was founded in 1996 by Jonathan Bertman, MD. Initially it was focused on the normal size of the erect male genitalia. Its first product, The Male Genitalia Kit, was product which included a Penis Measuring Device (PMD) which was essentially a flexible plastic ruler. This kit was sold through the website along with condoms and literature which discussed a number of medical studies evaluating male erection size. The site gained national attention after the Howard Stern Show used the Male Genitalia Kit and PMD during a segment to determine which member of the show was the most endowed.
In 1996, AfraidToAsk.com was found to be blocked by several leading software blocking products as containing sexually explicit content. The software products were installed by vaious schools and libraries in response to the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA). Working with the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Library Association, AfraidToAsk.com challenged the law as impinging on its First Amendment rights to Free Speech.
The federal district court in Pennsylvania struck down the law as unconstitutional. The government appealed this decision, and on June 23, 2003, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the law as constitutional as a condition imposed on institutions in exchange for government funding. In upholding the law, the Supreme Court, adopting the interpretation urged by the U.S. Solicitor General at oral argument, made it clear that the constitutionality of CIPA would be upheld only "if, as the Government represents, a librarian will unblock filtered material or disable the Internet software filter without significant delay on an adult user's request."
This article is based on "AfraidToAsk.com" from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org). It is licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation Licencse. In the Wikipedia you can find a list of the authors by visiting the following address: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=AfraidToAsk.com&action=history