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The Tally Ho

Friday, June 03, 2005

bad news, ladies...

It may not get any better than this.

The Kaiser RH report mentions a new study by the Boston University School of Medicine that says hormonal contraception may decrease a woman's sex drive even after she stops taking it. The big boost in sex drive we were all patiently expecting, after years of non-ovulatory ennui? It might happen. It might not. The study is small, and hotly contested, and the researchers are "very surprised" by the results. (Quote is from Panzey, one of the study's authors, not from the article.) Meanwhile, the other side claims that "the link between testosterone and libido is ... not proven." Um, the last time I looked at the research it seemed clearly proven. Anecdotally, the stories from a female on testosterone and a person who has been there and back are compelling, and seem to show that the relationship between testosterone and sex drive is fairly straightforward. I know more than a few women who would sign up for a little extra testosterone if it weren't so toxic.

This dismissal of the study results reminds me of a statement made recently by a male doctor (whose medical opinion I generally respect) that women didn't gain weight on "the shot" (Depo) because of the hormones, but because they knew they couldn't get pregnant and this subconscious knowledge contributed to their weight gain. Well and good, except:
1) It's not parsimonious. Instead of assuming this common side effect is due to the drug, it's being attributed to the female's emotions (literally, "it's all in her head").
2) Some women do get pregnant on Depo. This doesn't seem to have any relation to whether or not they've gained weight.
3) This drug was originally developed for use on male sex offenders, in hopes of lowering their sex drive. They gained weight, too.

grrr....

************
other news from the war:

I don't even know if Brownbeck understands what he's proposing. Since the Catholic Church believes that assisted reproductive technologies are a "grave violation of the principle that procreation should occur naturally," (quote from the Washington Post), it seems absurd that they would go along with anyone donating "adopting" embryos. If you can only create embryos that some one else is willing to donate, then the only folks who will make the list are the very rich. These donations/adoptions are carefully screened, as well, so if your beliefs and lifestyle don't fit with those of the person offering fertilized eggs, they don't have to give them to you.

A gentle reminder to Wells and the other former villagers: if this is all getting a little too feminist for you, you can come back and post, too. The dear readers might welcome something un-ranty at this point.

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