Oh, the tangled web we weave: another study suggests birth control skews a woman’s ability to find a good mate

Another study on how hormonal birth control skews women’s wiring. Via CNN:

A recent study shows that women with lower testosterone levels – typically caused by the use of hormone-based oral contraceptives like the pill – are more attracted to men who also have low testosterone levels.

Previous studies have shown that the less testosterone a man has, the less likely he is to cheat, the more supportive he is, and the better he is at providing for his family. Sounds good, right?

Not quite. Previous studies have also shown that most women are historically more sexually attracted to higher testosterone levels. And the mothers in the study who eventually went off birth control post-wedding reported less sexual contentment than other women; they found their husbands less attractive and less sexually exciting once they went off the pill.

Whoops. That doesn’t sound like a recipe for happily ever after, eh?

When a woman uses hormonal birth control containing estrogen, she decreases her levels of available testosterone. And while women have much less testosterone in their systems than men – women’s bodies contain about 10% the amount of testosterone men do – what they do have helps fuel sexual desire, fantasy and the ability to become naturally lubricated in response to arousal.

So it makes sense that when a woman’s testosterone levels are diminished even further by something like the pill, she might be left feeling blasé about sex: hence her potential attraction to a low-testosterone male.

So it may not be as much the issue of going off birth control as it going on it in the first place. Sexual health expert Dr. Madeleine Castellanos cautions women to think carefully about their choice of contraceptive: “Some of these side effects are so serious that I now urge young women to consider just using condoms and leaving the birth control pills behind.”

Emphasis my own. Maybe Sandra Fluke should be thankful the pill is too expensive, no?

And what a warning this is:

Dr. Roberts says women who met their partner while taking hormonal birth control should consider switching to another method several months in advance of tying the knot in order to assess whether their feelings for their partner will change or stay the same.

If a drug has the potential to skew your perceptions of reality–so much so that the man you’ve picked as a potential mate might not be the best mate–it stands to reason that it might have other long-term health effects. But don’t tell the feminists: after all, it’s not about your ability to settle down with one man, it’s about asserting your reproductive freedom to hook up endlessly without “suffering consequences” or some such nonsense, and, more recently, not even having to pay for it yourself.


And we’re left with this

Jonah Goldberg arguing that Romney can attack Obamacare because he … can. Audacity of hope, y’all [emphasis my own]:

Core Republican voters will vote against Obama, not for Romney. Polls show GOPers are more enthusiastic about voting in 2012 than Democrats. Meanwhile, the independents and moderates who dislike Obamacare, but who are not libertarians, will most likely see Romneycare as evidence that Romney is not one of the right-wing crazies the Today show keeps warning them about.

It’s one thing to admit we’re screwed. But it’s entirely another to pretend that Romney’s albatross will attract votes because it isn’t conservatives we’re worried about. It’s that ever-elusive moderate middle. The one McCain was supposed to win.


H/t: HA headlines

Let kids play

In dirt.

Instapundit asked:

Is this an argument in favor of daycare?

In regard to a study published in Nature showing early exposure to germs in childhood confers more immunity. This offers more proof for a known.

It isn’t, however, a justification of childcare. The caption of a picture of kids playing in the mud reads:

 Dig in: eating dirt and playing in the mud are thought to confer protection from allergies and asthma.

Precisely. Studies have always shown farm kids grow up healthier. Kids now either don’t have as much access to dirt or their parents don’t allow them to get … dirty. Rolling around in the mud has always been an excellent means of play (that’s why we have washing machines, folks), and now you can argue with your neighbors that it makes kids healthier, too! Win-win for being the cool mom on the block!

More from Nature:

In a study published online today in Science1, the researchers show that in mice, exposure to microbes in early life can reduce the body’s inventory of invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells, which help to fight infection but can also turn on the body, causing a range of disorders such as asthma or inflammatory bowel disease.

The study supports the ‘hygiene hypothesis’, which contends that such auto-immune diseases are more common in the developed world where the prevalence of antibiotics and antibacterials reduce children’s exposure to microbes.

“We as a species are not exposed to the same germs that we were exposed to in the past,” says study co-author Dennis Kasper, a microbiologist at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts.

The researchers induced two groups of mice — germ-free (GF) mice, which are raised in a sterile environment, and specific-pathogen-free mice raised under normal laboratory conditions — to develop forms of asthma or ulcerative colitis. GF mice had more iNKT cells in their lungs and developed more severe disease symptoms, indicating that exposure to microbes was somehow influencing iNKT cell levels and making the GF mice more susceptible to inflammatory diseases.

Go out. Play with your kids. Let them get dirty. It’s good for them developmentally but it also makes them stronger!

UPDATE: linked by Pundette as a Recommended Read. Thanks!

And Chris Wysocki at Theo Spark. Thanks!

How disengenous can you get, NYT? This isn’t a battle for *access* to birth control.

From today’s paper, with the ominous headline, Centrist Women Tell of Disenchantment with Republicans (emphasis my own):

As baby showers go, the party Mary Russell attended to celebrate her niece’s first child was sweet, with about a dozen women offering congratulations over ice cream and cake.

But somewhere between the baby name game and the gifts, what had been light conversation took a sharp turn toward the personal and political — specifically, the battle over access to birth control and other women’s health issues that have sprung to life on the Republican campaign trail in recent weeks.

“We all agreed that this seemed like a throwback to 40 years ago,” said Ms. Russell, 57, a retired teacher from Iowa City who describes herself as an evangelical Christian and “old school” Republican of the moderate mold.

Until the baby shower, just two weeks ago, she had favored Mitt Romney for president.

Not anymore. She said she might vote for President Obama now. “I didn’t realize I had a strong viewpoint on this until these conversations,” Ms. Russell said. As for the Republican presidential candidates, she added: “If they’re going to decide on women’s reproductive issues, I’m not going to vote for any of them. Women’s reproduction is our own business.”

Dear Mary Russell,

This isn’t a battle over access to birth control. You can head on over to Target and pay $5 for the prescription. No one’s stopping ya, honey. Go buy it for all your friends, too, and then you won’t even have to go to any more baby showers.

But please don’t tell me that you now fear Republican candidates because they want to “decide on women’s reproductive issues.”

I don’t care what you do. But don’t force me to pay for it. Don’t force the Church to pay for it. Pay for it out of your own damn purse at the Target check out line rather than looking to Big Brother Government to take care of you (and how patriarchal is that?!)

This isn’t a battle for access.

This is a war over who will pay. And if you’re not willing to fund your own sex life, then you have no business telling me that I have to.

H/t: Althouse, who adds:

Man, I loathe this pandering to women! Don’t treat us like we’re stupid. Don’t act like we need your special protection. Don’t buy us things.

UPDATE: a “Recommended Read” at Pundit & Pundette. Thanks!

A little Friday night fun, Fluke edition

I’ve long been a fan of Remy, and though I prefer his singing voice to the rapping variety, this is fun:

A little Mark Steyn to reinforce the idiocy of Sandra Fluke’s demands:

All of us are born with the unalienable right to life, liberty and a lifetime supply of premium ribbed silky-smooth, ultrasensitive, spermicidal, lubricant condoms. No taxation without rubberization, as the Minutemen said. The shot heard round the world and all that.


Ask the Greeks how easy it is for insolvent nations to wean the populace off unaffordable nanny-state lollipops: When even casual sex requires a state welfare program, you’re pretty much done for.

No, the most basic issue here is not religious morality, individual liberty or fiscal responsibility. It’s that a society in which middle-age children of privilege testify before the most powerful figures in the land to demand state-enforced funding for their sex lives at a time when their government owes more money than anyone has ever owed in the history of the planet is quite simply nuts.

At least Remy’s just asking for cough drops. And I do hope Mr. Steyn doesn’t mind the pairing with a rapper.

UPDATE: linked by Pundette as a “Recommended Read,” (with a much better title, btw). Thanks!

“And so obsessed with maintaining their choice, many people are content to remove the choice from others in order to serve their choice”

So writes Matthew Archibold of CMR at the National Catholic Register. It’s the little ironies, isn’t it?

He observes (correctly, I might add):

I know a guy who married the wrong woman because for the first time in his  life he was having sex. And he was fooled into thinking he was in love—for a  while.

I know a girl who was smarter than seven colleges. She dropped out of high  school when she got pregnant.

I know a guy who’s haunted by the abortion of a casual hook up.

I know a young woman who’s confused and angry because she never had a  father.

I know a man who has a venereal disease and after a few dates with women he  has to explain it to them and watch them recoil.

I knew a man who died of AIDS.

I don’t know who came up with the idea that sex was consequence free; whether  it was the genius advertisers pushing The Pill, or Hugh Hefner, or just some  kind of agreed upon cultural delusion, it doesn’t really matter. The reality is  that we’re all stuck with the consequences of the myth of consequence free sex.  In fact, we’ve promulgated the myth for so long we have generations for whom the  thought of consequences to sexual relations is an oddity. Abstinence has become  a cultural punchline.

Now, not only do we have an expectation of consequence free sex but we have a  right. And this supposed “right” has left generations pursuing an unnatural myth  with calamitous consequences for our culture. The myth has fostered the “right” to abortion and now the “right” to contraception, even at the expense of  religious institutions.

I was always taught that one’s “rights” ended where another’s begin. But I guess the Chicago-school doesn’t support that view after witnessing the “rights” to birth control literally trump the Constitutionally protected right to worship.

But that’s just me, I guess.

Read the rest.

“It feels like even prisoners have more human rights than we do.”

So says the unnamed obese British mother whose four children have been permanently removed for being too fat. To what lengths did Big Brother go? And how many hoops did the family jump? Unreal:

The couple were ordered to send their children to dance and football lessons and were given a three-month deadline to bring down their weight. When that failed, the children were placed in foster homes but were allowed to visit their parents.

After the couple objected to this arrangement, the council agreed to move them into a two-bedroom flat in a supported unit run by the Dundee Families Project. They insisted on the couple living with only three of their children at a time.

At meal times, a social worker stood in the room taking notes. Doctors raised concerns that the children put on weight whenever they spent time with their parents, a claim they vehemently denied.

The couple and their children also had to adhere to a strict 11pm curfew. This involved ‘clocking’ in and out by filling in a sheet held by an employee who lived on site.

I cannot imagine living under this kind of scrutiny for three years. Curfew? Supervised meals? Forced ballet and football. This more than any other gives the best example of what happens when government runs amok:

Although the children’s weight was the major concern, other allegations were included in a report. It showed that social workers were worried when the youngest child was found crawling unsupervised. The parents point out they were never far away and the flat had no stairs.

The crime of crawling unsupervised.

When the government controls the healthcare system, the government has reason and cause to control your lives: after all, if you’re too fat, it costs more money. This is a cautionary tale, not of the terrible quality of “free healthcare for all,” but of the intervention a nanny-state.

H/t: Hot Air headlines.

Fat Head (no, not Obama… at least not this time)

Have you seen “Fat Head,” the documentary by Tom Naughton? Naughton wanted to disprove Morgan Spurlock’s popular “Supersize Me” theories and does so with gusto.

I watched it a few weeks ago on Netflix. Watch brilliance, counter to everything you’ve ever been taught in health class. The USDA food pyramid this ain’t:

Naughton mentions Gary Taubes frequently. Taubes of “Good Calories, Bad Calories” fame just published another article on sugar which is … well, unsettling: Is Sugar Toxic? Beyond the evidence that sugar contributes more to heart disease than saturated fat, it also feeds cancer. Yes, feeds it. It’s not the sugar per se, but the insulin response.

Could you give up sugar? Or severely limit it to a once-a-month type treat?

How would you coerce convince your family to do the same?

Oh, heartbreaking

I missed this story last week but can’t get it out of my head this morning.

In short, a mom became profoundly disabled as a result of medical mishaps during the delivery of her triplets. Dad divorces mom after a year realizing she’ll never recover. Mom now in care of her parents on opposite side of the country, and dad seemingly does what he can to prevent the kids from knowing their mother.

How low have we sunk as a whole in devaluing life that disability must be hidden away? That children cannot know their mother because she nearly died giving birth? Or, as Wesley Smith asks: Do profoundly disabled people have parental rights?

Abby Dorn is that mom. A court issued a temporary ruling last week that she does have the right to see her children, regardless of her disability.

Thank God.

More from Dr. Manny.

UPDATE: linked as a Recommended Read by Pundette. Thanks!

From the inbox: Happy Birthday to Obamacare by the numbers

From Congressman John Fleming (R-LA):

Today, on the one year anniversary since government-approved health care was signed into law, a look at the implementation of the new health care reform reveals how the legislation has failed to deliver on costs, premiums, spending, and preserving Americans’ existing coverage:

19 — States where parents can no longer buy child-only insurance policies as a result of the law
30 — States suing to block the law from taking effect, or requesting waivers from its requirements
51 — Percentage of American workers who will lose their current health coverage by 2013, according to the Administration’s own estimates
1,270 — New bureaucrats requested by the Internal Revenue Service to implement the law this year
$2,100 — Increase in individual insurance premiums due to Obamacare, according to the Congressional Budget Office
$2,500 — Premium reduction promised by candidate Obama “by the end of my first term as President”
6,578 — Pages of new regulations issued implementing Obamacare through March 14, 2011
800,000 — Reduction in the American labor force due to Obamacare provisions that “will effectively increase marginal tax rates, which will also discourage work,” according to the CBO
2,624,720 — Total individuals in 1,040 plans granted waivers thus far exempting them from the law’s insurance mandates; nearly half of whom participate in union plans
7,400,000 — Reduction in Medicare Advantage enrollment as a result of Obamacare, resulting in a loss of choice for seniors and millions of beneficiaries losing their current health plan
40,000,000 — Firms subject to the health law’s new 1099 reporting requirements, which the National Federation of Independent Business called a “tremendous new paperwork compliance burden”
$118,000,000,000 — New costs imposed on states to implement Obamacare—budgetary costs that will lead to reduced services for other state programs like education or to higher state taxes
$310,800,000,000 — Projected increase in health costs due to Obamacare, according to the independent Medicare actuary, who called its promise of lower costs “false, more so than true”
$552,200,000,000 — Amount of higher taxes Americans will pay if Obamacare remains in place
$1,390,000,000,000 — Federal spending on new entitlements during fiscal years 2012-2021 according to the CBO, a 48 percent increase from an earlier estimate

Incredible, no, to see Hopenchange in action. This echos Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson’s WSJ article yesterday in which he recounts the medical miracles that kept his now-adult daughter alive as an infant. He writes:

Since 1970, American doctors have won more Nobel Prizes for Medicine than all other countries combined. According to McKinsey and Co., thousands of foreigners come to the United States every year for medical care they cannot get at home—due to rationing or because it is simply not provided. And cutting-edge drugs to treat serious illnesses are more widely available in the U.S. than abroad.

Take cancer as one example. Compared to the U.S., breast cancer mortality is 9% higher in Canada (according to the government statistics of each country), 52% higher in Germany and 88% higher in the United Kingdom (according to studies published in Lancet Oncology). Prostate cancer mortality is 604% higher in Britain.

Those in need of timely care from specialists are better off in the U.S. Drawing on several peer-reviewed studies, Dr. Scott Atlas of the Stanford University Medical Center notes that patients who need knee and hip replacement, cataract surgery, and radiation treatment wait months longer in the United Kingdom and Canada than in the United States.

Wait schmaite, eh? Joe Canadian would prefer to emphasize that no one in Canada ever receives a bill for treatment. True enough. Hard to deliver bills to dead folks, eh, Joe Canadian?  You can take your free health care, dude. Enjoy every minute and hope you don’t get prostate cancer. Or cataracts. Or need a new hip. It might blunt your appreciation for that no-bill-treatment.