Saturday, May 7, 2011

Sexist Science

I've been busy working on music and enjoying the warm weather, so haven't had much time to update the blog. Today I decided to catch-up on the news and what's going on in the world. While reading some technology articles at popsci (short from popular science) I came across an article that most feminist would term sexist science

Back in 2002, psychologists at the State University of New York at Albany published a study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior looking at the potential role of semen in alleviating depression in women. The researchers presented evidence supporting an earlier hypothesis that the hormones in semen have a mood-boosting effect on women. 

Did you read that correct...are they saying the semen has anti-depressant properties? Yes, you did and Yes, that is what they are saying. This research is not only being examined it has quite a bit of evidence to support the claim. 

Semen is a mixture of several different compounds, and sperm only makes up a small amount of it. When you remove the sperm, what's left is seminal plasma. Three compounds in seminal plasma being researched are estrogen, prostaglandins and oxytocin. Estrogen and prostaglandins have been linked to lower levels of depression, while oxytocin (which women release during birth, breastfeeding and orgasm) promotes social bonding.

Last February, Lazar Greenfield, the incoming president of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), wrote an editorial about this research in Surgery News. The backlash was so strong that he had to resign from his job at the college and position as editor for Surgery News. This is volatile science and even highly respected academics are treading cautiously. 

If you want to read the whole article including the studies done on 293 different women who had protected and unprotected sex to research the results. Do a search for this article Controversial Ideas: Does Semen Act As an Anti-depressant to the Recipient?
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