CAMBRIDGE, MA -- A recent study by the infectious disease division of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's microbiology department has indicated that STD rates among the nation's Dungeons and Dragons, or D&D, players is holding steady at 0 percent.
"This new data is right in line with previous assessments of the D&D STD rate," said Dr. Bill Howser, the study's lead author. "In fact, the STD rate for this population has remained essentially unchanged since 1978, the first year for which we have data."
"There was a brief spike in the late 80s, when Revenge of the Nerds led to a handful of 'bouncy-castle hot-girl' rapes, but even then we were talking about a bump from 0.000 percent to 0.001 percent. Basically, STDs are, and always have been, a complete non-issue for D&D players."
Members of the D&D community expressed disbelief at the unchanging numbers.
"Obviously I'm happy that no one's getting into anything unsavory -- pun intended!" said long-time Dungeon Master Harold Pittman, snorting wetly, "but I hardly find it credible that a population of hundreds -- I mean hundreds of THOUSANDS -- could be so universally free from diseases afflicting sexually active people."
"I say this as a certified sexer of two women. Three, if you count my right-hand gal, 'my right hand,'" he concluded.
Scientists attribute the consistently-low rates of disease to a number of factors, including a slightly higher IQ among players, which may lead to a better understanding of the risks associated with unprotected sex, as well as less time for sexual encounters, due to the time-consuming nature of D&D play. Some even posit that the additional time spent in basements, away from contact with the majority of the species, has led to a stronger immune system in serious players, capable of fighting off the most common sexual infections before they take root.
Howser, however, disagrees with this theory.
"Listen, these guys are almost universally lactose-intolerant, and most of their asthmatic disorders have persisted well past childhood. The idea that they're somehow all immuno-superheroes is just not plausible."
"It is, however, entirely plausible that they are all still virgins."
Find more of the most important news the world still doesn't know at The Smew
Follow Jilly Gagnon on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jillygagnon