Friday, April 25, 2008

It's For Medicinal Purposes

If it's good for you, it can't be a sin, right?


Gino said...

"The protective effect was greatest while the men were in their 20s. "

so, if you married young, and didnt need to handle things personally, does that mean the risk is higher?

Jade said...

Gino - from the article it seems like your risk was only higher if you were at risk for STD's from multiple partners. If you are married, and monogamous, then the risk of STD's is low... it's logical you should still get the same benefit as going it alone.

kr said...

The first round of this Australian research came out about seven years ago ... apparently I correctly called the nextplay: their initial findings (very similar) caused a lot of money to flow into a new, larger, 'conformation' study, that proved verylittle of interest to sexual partnership but a lot of interest to people who want to justify frequent masturbation. As I recall, even with the counfounding factors of STDs and partner/no partner, the statistical correlations were clear the first time: more ejaculations, especially young, meant less chance of prostate cancer.

They didn't of course look into the question I thought might be most interesting as a follow up: I wonder what correlation might exist between the man's personal opinions/beliefs about sexuality and his prostate health. Whether or not masturbation is a sin, conflicted emotions(/etc.) regarding his sexual/fertility functions would necessarily confound the health processes of that area of the body. (I apologize to all the homosexual men in the crowd if "fertility functions" was offensive--but that is of course why males have a prostate, yes?) So, the more a man doubted it was OK to masturbate, the more likely he would be to suffer prostate damage despite masturbating, while a man who thought it was a sin and disciplined himself to live in as peaceful a conformity as possible to that belief might experience greater prostate health with less masturbation. Designing something resembling an accurate statistical study around that question would be a massive headache, though, so I'm sure there will never be one.

I love, though, how the researchers are all, "well, it cleans out this horrible toxin that is common, so that's great, go for it"--when perhaps a better set of "medical advice" might be "hmm, maybe you should avoid this toxin," or, "did you know cigarettes can lead to prostate cancer?" I mean, seriously, how Western Medicine _is_ that? "Hmm, you seem to have gathered a lot of carcinogens in these extremely growth-sensitive tissues ... make sure you clean them out regularly"?? How about, "hey, cigarettes cause prostate cancer, too--an even better reason to stop poisoning yourself (and whomever you might be shooting that crap into when you do have partner-sex)"?

(heh, I just had to add an "m" to whoever ;) )

"It's good for you," in any case, is (as I am sure you know) an assertion that they are basing on analysis of one (dramatic but singular) aspect of a man's health. (I believe a similar result, from a very different basis, would be found in women.) I would not say that the traditional Christian teaching is dismissible based on this study. Which opinion I offer not because I expect ANYONE to share it ;). Simply to be clear.

In my personal life-path, I am continualy and increasingly astounded by the degree to which many seemingly "simple" teachings are actually point-confluences of the entirety of Christian morality and a deeper understanding of Creation. In my growing awareness of the interconnectedness of holistic reality and morality, I am especially loathe to dismiss weird-seeming traditional teachings. "Don't masturbate" seems intuitively to go against nature, especially for men ... and so I suspect there is a lot to be learned from that teaching, rather than that it is to be dumped for a more modern understanding.

But I am of course not a man, so y'all are on your own to figure out what's up with that ;).

kr said...

'confirmation' study, not 'conformation' study--Freudian slip two ways!