"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink

Science is best when discussed: leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments!!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Dicks and Assess 

A Canadian survey found that 90% of teenage boys admitted to looking at porn, as did 70% of girls. The authors of the study are of course Very Concerned, in that they imagine that viewing 'too much' porn will damage young people's development, et cetera. They don't have any evidence for this fear, but clearly it's the only conclusion Sensible People could make. The report glosses over the much more important finding - that parents aren't discussing sex (specifically: safer sex) with their kids - and instead goes for thinly veiled moralizing about porn.

Speaking of thinking with the little head, remember the study on circumcision against HIV the NIH stopped because the results were so overwhelming? Well, it seems that the results may be even stronger than previously thought - as much as a 65% reduction in risk! The problem, of course, is that the study was not very well designed, selecting control and treatment groups solely by volunteerism, not randomization*.

Moving around to the other side of the anatomy, it seems that perfectionists and high-stress types may be more likely to develop Irritable Bowel Syndrome after bouts of gastroenteritis. Cognitive therapy is prescribed to train sufferers to be less obnoxiously Type-A.

But really speaking of assholes, the Bush administration looks unlikely to grant state governor's requests for extra SCHIP funding this year, to keep those programs going. The programs provide health insurance to children whose families ear too much to get Medicaid, but not enough to afford insurance, and are proven highly effective.

And finally, the good news: the First Circuit has reaffirmed that bloggers aren't liable for commentors' libel**, and it seems that ginko extract may be helpful in treating the mental retardation that comes with Downs Syndrome, by antagonizing GABA.

* This probably isn't as big a deal here, as placebo effects are totally implausible and the men who received treatment may also have been more likely to engage in risky behavior, given expectation of increased protection. All in all, these methodological issues are probably a wash.
** Why doesn't anybody comment here anymore? It was more fun and more interesting when we had some discourse!

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