27 October 2006

What's up in Sex Science these days?

"Great" piece in Forbes(?!?) touting the myriad(1) benefits of sex. Here, just look at the list of paragraph heads:

  • Improved sense of smell
  • Reduced risk of heart disease
  • Weight loss, overall fitness
  • Reduced depression
  • Pain-relief
  • Less-frequent colds and flu
  • Better bladder control
  • Better teeth(2)
  • A happier prostate?
Reduced risk of heart disease: In a 2001 follow-on to the Queens University study mentioned above, researchers focused on cardiovascular health. Their finding? That by having sex three or more times a week, men reduced their risk of heart attack or stroke by half. In reporting these results, the co-author of the study, Shah Ebrahim, Ph.D., displayed the well-loved British gift for understatement: "The relationship found between frequency of sexual intercourse and mortality is of considerable public interest."

I've specifically called out his paragraph because of the bad science(3). While Dr. Ebrahim didn't specifically state that there was causality, I believe it is implied. As is so often the case, there is causality, but it is inverted.

Fatties don't fuck frequently. They're not fat because they don't fuck; they don't fuck because they're fat. Seeing a positive correlation between frequency of sexual activity and cardiovascular health is really seeing a correlation between overall fitness and CV health. Duh.

I thought the article was awfully damn funny. Funny for its content, funny for its attempt to serve as a compendium of the top research efforts in the sex sciences, and funny for being in Forbes. Did I mention that this was in Forbes?

1 Well, fewer than 10K, but still a lot of reasons.
2 You think I have something smarmy to say here, don't you? Well, I couldn't surpass Alan Farnham, who apparently thinks he's writing for Maxim: "Seminal plasma contains zinc, calcium and other minerals shown to retard tooth decay. Since this is a family Web site, we will omit discussion of the mineral delivery system."
3 Noting bad science in a cheeky article about sex in the popular press is a bit like reviewing the acting in porn, but by gum, someone's gotta do it.


Shroom-Monkey said...

better mental health- mine goes to shit if I go tooo long without some.... for sure.....

R.A. Porter said...

Perhaps that would explain why I'm blogging from a padded room? It is so very, very hard to type with my nose, but the straight jacket takes the hands out of the picture.

Angela said...

Maybe I can gangbang my way to happines...Too bad I'm a one-dick kind of girl. Too bad I have a dick.

R.A. Porter said...

Well, pre-operative trannies need love, too.