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View Diary: Open Science Thread: Smackdown Edition (222 comments)

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  •  On Dr. Keroak's science (14+ / 0-)

    The Boston Globe had an article on him yesterday since he's local.  One of the many things they mentioned was

    When the American Medical Association recommended against using any "unproven" sex education approach in 2004 -- a reference to abstinence programs -- Keroack criticized the AMA in The Washington Times.  "Abstinence education is the first mechanism that has actually made a positive impact on the devastation caused by the errant sexual education programs of the 1970s and 1980s," he said.

    In a 2003 presentation to the International Abstinence Leadership Conference in Las Vegas, Keroack wrote in a PowerPoint item that "PRE-MARITAL SEX is really MODERN GERM WARFARE." The presentation outlined a purported scientific basis for how premarital sex ruins later relationships.  Keroack said teenage sexual activity blunts the brain's ability to develop emotional relationships. Comparing sex to drug use, he said the hormone produced by the brain after orgasm, oxytocin, will eventually diminish a person's ability to form emotional attachments. Keroack said premarital sex can lead to overproduction of oxytocin.

    In the 2001 paper for Abstinence Medical Council that he co authored with Diggs, the two doctors concluded: "People who have misused their sexual faculty and become bonded to multiple persons will diminish the power of oxytocin to maintain a permanent bond with an individual. . . . Just as in heroin addiction . . . the person involved will experience 'sex withdrawal' and will need to move on to a . . . new sex playmate."  Scientists involved with research into bonding called Keroack's theories, based on research on prairie voles, a type of rodent, an extreme reading of the data.

    Never let it be said that I'm not a big fan of oxytocin, which is well known to nusing mothers as the hormone that lets the milk flow to the baby.  It has also been found to decrease stress.  So as someone who nursed a critically ill child, and was an extended breast feeder throughout my son's 5 surgeries, I'm a big fan of oxytocin and its assistance with stress reduction.  But it occurs to me that this rodent research on which Dr. Keroack bases his opinions might be about a different type of bonding.  Given that oxytocin is essential for breastfeeding, perhaps the biological imperative with bonding is actually targeted to mother and child.  It also occurs to me to wonder if multiple uses of oxytocin cause diminishment of bonding, then why isn't Dr. Keroack advocating for single child families?  If the problem is oxytocin surges with multiple people then wouldn't that also apply to children?

    Iif oxytocin is such a problem with multiple sex partners then why is it not a problem with multiple children?  That is an incredibly selective use of research that has dubious credibility to generalize across species.  Surely if he were that concerned about the impact of oxytocin with multiple sex partners he could put together a research study with actual human beings.  I'm sure that he'd get plenty of subjects at any college who would be willing to answer questionnaires and have their blood drawn for a small stipend.  He might have problems finding the controls though unless he looks to evangelical colleges and even then I doubt there is 100% abstinence.  But if this issue is really that important, wouldn't one want to rely on multiple studies of actual people rather than one study of rodents?

    "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, and the dream shall never die." Ted Kennedy

    by sobermom on Sat Nov 18, 2006 at 03:54:16 AM PST

    •  There you go (9+ / 0-)

      trying to get all sciency and all.

      Ten bucks says this guys got some major fetish type behavior in his closet. Recent revealations about these people lead me to that thought right away.

    •  Religous colleges, My mom went to a Methodist.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sobermom, Liberal Protestant

      college in the late '50s and said the drop out rate for unwed pregnancies was extremely high and that less than 10% of the freshmen class women ever graduated. But college for women in the '50s was only for finding husbands, don't cha know.

      Nov 8, 2006, And the clouds parted...

      by ERyd on Sat Nov 18, 2006 at 06:42:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  one-child families: brilliant! (0+ / 0-)

      I'd give you ten recommends if I could.

      Clearly if Keroack was consistent he would be advocating for one-child families.  

      If implemented worldwide, that would solve all of our sustainability problems in a couple of generations.

      On the other hand have you ever heard of the "natalist" or "full-quiver" movements?  They advocate that families (white religious-rightie families of course) should have lots and lots of babies.  

      Strictly speaking, Keeroack should keep his paws off our neurotransmitters.  If government wants to legislate behavior based on events that occur entirely within an individual's brain, that's the ultimate form of totalitarianism.  


      Meanwhile, God is still pondering how to get the humans to remember that what S/he originally said was, "Be fruitful and multiply until your number reaches two billion, and then stop at two children per couple."  

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