Join 3,424 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


A secret industrial plot to curb male aggression? Study shows PCB's, Dioxin are making men into sissies!
October 24, 2002 3:50 PM   Subscribe

A secret industrial plot to curb male aggression? Study shows PCB's, Dioxin are making men into sissies! A secret Republican/industrialist plot? Hang on to your huevos! - A new study reveals that "prenatal exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins can influence play behaviors that reflect gender differences....Higher prenatal exposure to PCBs was associated with less masculinized play behavior in boys and more masculinized play behavior in girls. In boys as well as in girls, higher prenatal dioxin levels were associated with more feminized play behavior."
posted by troutfishing (21 comments total)

 
A secret Republican/industrialist plot?

Are you referring to "sissy" Republicans like Charlton Heston and Ted Nugent?

If PCBs prevent my kids from growing up into manly men like Al Gore, can someone let me know where I can purchase them in bulk?
posted by oissubke at 3:59 PM on October 24, 2002


Their definition of "masculinized" or "feminized" behavior is pretty meaningless. Plus, are those even words?
posted by signal at 4:22 PM on October 24, 2002


Nothing that repeated viewing of the new Christina Aguilera can't cure.
posted by quercus at 4:27 PM on October 24, 2002


video
posted by quercus at 4:27 PM on October 24, 2002


So that's why all you str8 boys keep falling in love with me!

Thanks Dioxin Dolly!
posted by WolfDaddy at 4:28 PM on October 24, 2002


Why aren't there more metafilter posts about sewing?

sorry to interrupt, guys, it was rude of me.
posted by Hildago at 4:55 PM on October 24, 2002


What's the big deal? This doesn't sound so bad, really.

Oops, gotta go. My EZ Bake brownies are ready.
posted by Samsonov14 at 5:23 PM on October 24, 2002


*snaps towel at Samsonov's butt*
posted by Karl at 5:49 PM on October 24, 2002


I dunno, I think we have more to worry about from PCBs, dioxins, and other pollutants than fewer John Waynes...
posted by whatzit at 6:02 PM on October 24, 2002


so this is why I don't watch football.
posted by clavdivs at 6:07 PM on October 24, 2002


I think we have more important issues with dioxin than gender stratification. If there's a business/Republican plot I would look here first.


Note: not any d@#^ing evidence, but something to think about anyway.


posted by infowar at 6:15 PM on October 24, 2002


Waitaminute. Wouldn't Republicans rather exacerbate existing gender differences so that little boys all became ruff-n-tuff Rambos and little girls all became Suzy Homemakers?

For what it's worth, a free abstract of the Dutch study is available from EHP. But it sounds like a bullshit study. Gender is conceptualized here as the pursuit of activities such as "playing with tools versus playing with dolls, taking care of babies versus climbing, and avoiding dirt versus taking risks." Oh, yeah, now there's a deep and profound conception of gender differences. Also note that while the scientists believe that "PCBs and dioxins probably disrupt hormones related to childhood play behavior early in fetal development" (a reasonable suspicion), "the children's levels of steroid hormones were not measured at birth." So basically there's no way to test that theory on this cohort.

I'm sure there's good work to be done on the effects of dioxin on children, but this doesn't look like it.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:32 PM on October 24, 2002


"...prenatal exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins..."

I read the link on dioxin posted by infowar. It says "..frequent consumption of the contaminated fish could be risky."

Apart from consumption, can these toxic substances get into our body system through inhalation or bodily contact ? Where are these substances normally found ? Any help is appreciated.
posted by taratan at 8:04 PM on October 24, 2002


>Gender is conceptualized here as the pursuit of activities such as "playing with tools versus playing with dolls

Ahhh, I see. So since girls play with tools like spatulas and ladles, and boys play with dolls like G.I. Joe's and Transformers, all ladies use tools and all men pay with dolls. Ok.

>taking care of babies versus climbing

Well, IIRC, a lot of the girls playing house had to climb the "house" gymboree, etc. and boys, once they got a little older, were often told to keep their little brother safe, girls climb and boys take care of babies.

>avoiding dirt versus taking risks

Again, what with most asian boys enjoying video games so much, they hardly ever see any dirt, and girls taking risks cooking, I guess boys avoid dirt and girls take risks.

But hey, who am I to question these people, other than to say their study is reversed.
posted by shepd at 8:13 PM on October 24, 2002


Representative questions include whether a child prefers playing with tools versus playing with dolls, taking care of babies versus climbing, and avoiding dirt versus taking risks.

So acoring to this study the following are female traits:
-Playing with Dolls
-Taking Care of Babies
-Avoiding Dirt


Stay home, take care of the kids, and clean the house, eh?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 8:38 PM on October 24, 2002


You're an incurious lot. I guess you've never heard of the concept of persistent organic/environmental pollutants and are not aware that most life on earth is organized by subtle chemical mediation. Lack of biology/organic chemistry courses?.....*Sigh*.....Oh yeah, PCB's shrink PENIS SIZE and IQ's too!

But the US National Institute of Health notes: " (of one recent study) Further studies on this cohort by these investigators are anticipated. It is important to determine whether the relatively subtle neurological, hormonal, and immunological effects noted in infants persist in the children as they grow up. While exposure during lactation is quantitatively highly significant, it is important to note that the effects observed in the children correlated with their prenatal, rather than their lactational, exposure. These children and their mothers all come from among the general population, with no known "excess" exposure to PCBs and dioxins. Yet, children whose mothers are at the "high end" of the background population, in terms of TEQ and total PCBs, appear to function less well than children whose mothers are at the "low end" of the population. These results, which are in general agreement with those involving other populations in the United States and Japan (15-20) support the recent WHO recommendation to continue to reduce exposure to these ubiquitous pollutants. "

Denial is a river in...........
posted by troutfishing at 9:04 PM on October 24, 2002


Nahhh, we're not ignoring this because we're stupid. We're ignoring it because we're informed.

It seems too many biology mistakes happen all too often, especially when coupled with the pseudo-science that is environmentalism.

A few of biggies come to mind:

GRIDs and global cooling (strangely enough, I'm told this may be back in fashion), and that trees are a major source of clean air (they aren't, unlike what most schools here teach). I don't even want to get into CFCs, it's more messy than an SUV sporting Firestones.

It's hard to recall things like these. They usually get covered up/buried because it even makes newspapers look stupid. Maybe I'll remember some others.
posted by shepd at 11:02 PM on October 24, 2002


Hang on to your huevos!

Eggs? Don't you mean cajones? Might be time for you to get those checked out.
posted by yonderboy at 11:07 PM on October 24, 2002


mmmmmm.... me like feminized play behaviour......
posted by sgt.serenity at 12:53 AM on October 25, 2002


Well, Trout, I wasn't commenting on the general effects of dioxins, merely this study. I saw New York's Love Canal neighborhood as a kid: believe me, it was an early and visceral lesson in what PCB's can do. However, I think this study is bad science and bad politics: bad science for the reasons I noted above, bad politics because it's bad science. And bad enviromentally-related science only helps those who don't want to believe (or don't want others to believe) that dioxins are harmful. Anouncements of "feminizing" chemicals might make good copy, but that, too, only provides false support for reductionist arguments that all gendered behavior is biologically determined.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:01 AM on October 25, 2002


Where are these substances normally found ? Any help is appreciated.

taratan - since you asked - toxic chemicals now pervade our environment. If you want to limit your exposure remember that "over 90 percent of human exposure to dioxin comes from the foods we eat, particularly meat, fish, poultry, cheese, milk, butter, and other foods with animal fat."
posted by soyjoy at 10:53 AM on October 25, 2002


« Older Making huge leaps between memepool and Stanislaw L...  |  One Dollar Cuts... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments