Does Your Man Have a Potty Mouth? New Science Suggests That Makes Him Manly

Note: I am trying my hand at science blogging. This is my first attempt. So it probably sucks. Be gentle on me. 😉

If you’re dating someone who peppers his sentences with cuss words, it makes it harder to get a stamp of approval from your parents during your annual visit home for the holidays. But new science suggests that your significant other’s dirty mouth might just mean he’s tougher than all your other previous boyfriends.

Researchers have found that men with higher testosterone levels were more likely to use sexual language and swear words with their partners rather than with co-workers or their children. This was based on a sample of 56 heterosexual men who lived with their partner and children between the ages of one and two years old. There’s no need for your parents to be alarmed that this finding affects you negatively, however. Most of the time, the swear words were pointed at themselves or inanimate objects, such as saying, “I’m cold as f—.”

The study also examined the interaction between testosterone, a gene known as CAG, and language, since previous research has shown that lower CAG numbers in men make them more sensitive to testosterone. And, yep, lower CAG made it more likely that a man with high testosterone would swear in front of their partners. High testosterone and high CAG resulted in tamer language.

The authors propose that the data could mean that testosterone is most influential in times when men feel the most relaxed. Which means that you could interpret your man’s explicit words as a sign that he feels more comfortable with you than he does with anyone else. How sweet.

Granted, there were fewer recordings around co-workers than there were with partners, which could also explain the difference. So we’ll give you the go ahead to keep getting annoyed at your significant other for his word choice.

Of course, being tough and cussing frequently doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll stay with him forever. The research did not explore whether the man’s potty mouth made a woman more or less satisfied with the relationship. But if you’re looking for mommy dearest’s thumbs up, we can only guess how the findings of a study that measured that statistic would turn out…

Advertisements

Daily-ish Faithful Feminist Health Roundup (September 3, 2018)

Happy Labor Day everyone! I hope you’re enjoying a day off. That’s one of the best ways to stay healthy and happy, after all. 🙂

  • It wasn’t until I embraced feminism that I realized how important it was to find pro-women feminine products.
  • During an NFP meeting last week, a guy mentioned that it was really rare to hear a couple say they weren’t on the same page about having kids. Really? Because questions like these are pretty common, and I think more people need to talk about it. Heck, my fiance and I aren’t even married yet and we’re already on different pages about when to start having kids.
  • Did one of your favorite chain restaurants make the list for super unhealthy meals? I don’t eat at any of the ones mentioned that often, so it made me feel less bad about the Wendy’s lunch during our road trip this weekend. :-/
  • This is a pretty good feature about oxytocin if you need a little biology lesson.
  • I’m actually not sure how I feel about the world’s first music festival exclusively for women and transgender and nonbinary people. Are we suggesting that only cis men participate in sexual assault? I’m sure that’s not true. Also, I still struggle with how the transgender issue fits into femininity.

I’m going to go ahead and say I didn’t write a post yesterday because there wasn’t much to post. Only six articles today, and some of them are from sources that I saved yesterday!

Proof that there needs to be more articles and writings about women, their health, and their faith – all at once!

Daily-ish Faithful Feminist Health Roundup (September 1, 2018)

Day 3!!!

Back at the AirBnB after the wedding. And since the fiancee is reading on the couch, I thought I might as well keep up my blog streak since I already tagged things to share earlier this morning. Maybe this will be a lasting thing…

Although, clearly, there isn’t as much news that I felt was worthy of sharing today.

Faithful

How did I never realize that the patron saint of pregnancy is super hardcore?

Feminism

I wish I had read this book that teaches young girls about their bodies. But I also wish such a thing existed from a Catholic POV.

Health

No, you don’t have to spend hours at the gym, even if you’re a runner. I sure don’t.

Health is good, but these books imagine a world where it’s taken a little too far.

Better healthcare means a change in politics – but for better or for worse?

Even I’m a little bored by today’s news. Maybe because it’s the weekend? Here’s to hoping tomorrow is better, friends!

 

Daily-ish Faithful Feminist Health Roundup (August 31, 2018)

Look! Day 2! I wonder how long I’ll keep this streak up. I’m out of town for a wedding this weekend, so I’m thinking this habit might be difficult to keep up with…

Also, a note. Yes, this feature is called the Faithful Feminist Health roundup. And the faithful piece has been sort of lacking. Mainly because the only news about the Catholic Church right now is…well…sex abuse. Which pisses me off. And I truly believe the Church needs to go through some cleansing. But I really can’t read another article about how horrible people who were supposed to be good were. So I’m not. And I’m not sharing it in the roundup. Just know that the “faithful” piece of the title is because I’m doing my best to look at these articles with the lens of Jesus.

So here we go.

Health

Glad to see that hormone imbalance was listed as one little known cause of depression. I feel like so few women realize that they need to track what their hormones are doing in their body!

I didn’t recognize how reliant I was on grocery stores until I lived in a community where people struggle to meet their nutritional needs. Now it’s always on my mind.

Brazil has seen a recent uptick in cases of syphilis affecting the eyes, but this article sure doesn’t explain why!

It really pisses me off when people and institutions take advantage of programs designed to help low-income and vulnerable populations. More skepticism means less help to people who actually need it. Ugh.

You thought fake news was bad…how about fake health news which fuels diseases.

I’m not surprised there’s now a study that shows that relationship cycling is bad for your mental health…when I was in my “sexual revolution” phase of life (which I convinced myself was freeing and just so empowering), I was the most unhappy.

Feminism

So someone outside of the Catholic modesty speaker world is realizing that what we wear matters – and that the clothes society sells girls and women teaches them outdated notions about their feminine identity.

Feminist Health

Why do even women insist on putting a cost to their feminine body? I mean, I’m all for the solutions she cites at the end of the article, but she didn’t have to frame it in such a way to make a woman hate her body.

Finally, doctors are actually being told to screen new moms for depression instead of assuming she’s just being dramatic.

Daily-ish Faithful Feminist Health Roundup

Okay, so I’ve been wishing for some sort of news aggregate that only showed me what I care about: women’s health, Catholic feminists, women’s running and fitness community. Right now, what I currently do for that is look at a handful of news sites. But for you, dear reader (if you’re even out there), I’ll put it all in one place for you.

Plus it might be helpful for me months from now when I finally get a chance to write a book on the intersection of faith, feminism, and health. (I hope.)

I want to try to do this every day, but we’ll see how that goes. Right now I’ll just link to all of the articles. Maybe some of them I’ll expand on a bit more, to explain why I decided to include it. But I also don’t want to stress myself out.

Health

A computer engineer has found a way to detect breast cancer without radiation, which could help poorer people in the world.

While I don’t agree entirely with how the Dutch do sex ed, I do agree teaching young children that human anatomy and reproduction are normal—even mundane—makes way for the most essential lessons about our bodies: how to care for, respect, and enjoy them.

While sexual activity is decreasing in the U.S., it’s getting riskier.

After working out, many of us move less, undermining our best intentions to stay fit.

Feminism

I’m rolling my eyes at the fact that even badass women like Venus Williams have to deal with dress code issues in the work place.

Researchers say that women’s ability to vote surely led to longer-term benefits. A quite from the article: “What we find is that when women got power, there were changes in spending that closed various gaps—any kind of spending: health care, education.”

Only black people are shamed when they choose to wear hairstyles consistent with their natural hair texture.

Feminist health

It’s sad how much all female runners can relate to stories of harassment and fears whenever they go out for a run.

Scotland has become the first country to provide free sanitary products to students in an effort to banish “period poverty.”

Please seek the advice of your physician instead of trying to cure a yeast infection yourself.

Some 76,000 millennial women are expected to freeze their eggs in the United States this year. (This article deserves a lot of commentary from me. Quotes like “You take care of your body as you would your home…You hope your house doesn’t flood, but you get the insurance just in case it does” and “Biology is often at odds with feminist ideals” made my blood boil. But I don’t have time to explain why. Maybe tomorrow.)

If you have any ideas about where to find news about women’s health, feminism, faith, etc…just drop me a note so I can add it to my morning reading! 🙂

Anthropology, Senegalese women, and the Church: An Unlikely Combination

It’s official – I’ll be taking a teacher certification course through SymptoPro to become a symptothermal teacher! I can’t wait to start learning about fertility and helping other women learn more about it, too.

This has made me think about what my degree in anthropology could contribute to the Church in terms of fertility-awareness and natural family planning. The department I received my degree from was renown for its focus on medical anthropology. And my thesis was a biocultural model of health among women who received tattoos. Since fertility is related to a woman’s health, I definitely think medical anthropological methods could contribute to the Church’s desire to encourage the use of fertility awareness and natural family planning.

From what I’ve seen so far, the Church is unfortunately developing NFP programs in the same way that international health organizations like USAID develop interventions to increase contraception. But…uh…international health interventions on fertility aren’t working. So why would it work for the Church?

Let’s look at a research article I found in Medical Anthropology Quarterly to see why USAID-type interventions aren’t working. Maybe then we can apply the problems to the Church.

The International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in Cairo in 1994 called for a global commitment to reducing fertility. Unlike other population reduction platforms, however, the one in Cairo seemed more progressive and equality-oriented, since its objectives emphasized responding to the needs of individuals, rather than an attempt to slow population growth. Sounds good to me! I always feel a bit icky reading family planning articles that merely want to have less people in the world. That smacks to me of a scarcity and fear mentality, which is not what God would want.

And yet, in Senegal where this research took place, high fertility patterns within marriage remain relatively unchanged despite this seemingly positive approach to fertility reduction.

Why? A lack of awareness of contraception does not seem to be the explanation for Senegal’s high fertility rates. Three decades of family planning programs encouraged by the Cairo conference have established widespread familiarity with contraceptives on the part of the Senegalese public.

The problem, instead, seems to be in the lack of cultural awareness on the part of these public health interventions. Senegalese women desire to have many children, so they have a lot of anxiety about using contraceptives. This is because women in polygynous unions gain power and social status in the household through their children, and additional children increase their share of their husband’s estate.

The author of the paper explains it best: “For many Senegalese women, the strategic deployment of their bodily resources, including their sexual availability and reproductive potential, are the basis of social and material security.”

If women have no other option but to get married and have lots of babies in order to have a good life, then of course they won’t use contraceptives.

The Cairo conference platform wanted to empower women by offering contraceptives and high-quality reproductive health-care (the latter of which I wholeheartedly agree with, not so much the former). But those things are band-aids. Real empowerment would mean the creation of new social norms or economic opportunities for women outside of having babies.

Now let’s talk about what this has to do with the Church’s attempts to expand the use of NFP.

The Senegal research shows that reproduction and fertility are not individual medical choices, but rather complex social phenomena. Women don’t experience the full benefits of life until they make a decision that is in line with the cultural formula for reproductive success – and that’s different in each cultural context. In this case, it means popping out babies.

I think the tradition of the Church wholeheartedly encourages us to remember that cultural norms and gender relations constrain women’s abilities to make autonomous reproductive choices. After all, the Catechism states that one requirement of committing a mortal sin is complete consent, i.e. “a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice” (CC, 1859). But right now, this idea is not being implemented when the rubber hits the road. The low rate of NFP use not a technical problem stemming from lack of discipline or limited knowledge of the benefits of this method. It’s a complex and variable decision made in particular settings with particular cultural constraints. Programs with generalized, simplified understandings of NFP won’t work.

I believe that God understands how much culture plays into our decisions to follow Him. It’s why Jesus came in the flesh, in a particular time and place and cultural context, to deliver the Word in a way that people of his time would understand. And it is a Christian’s job to do the same thing – to preach the Gospel in a way that people in each cultural context (family, church, diocese, country, etc.) can understand and respond to.

This is why I think my anthropology skills could contribute to the Church’s desire to increase the use of fertility awareness and natural family planning. Anthropological studies would allow us to develop NFP programs that decrease the scope of the curriculum so that they can be unique to each geographical areas.

For example, how would the curriculum be taught in my own Lexington, Kentucky? Los Angeles, California? New York, New York? Or what would happen to the curriculum if it was taught in Latin America, where cultural norms around reproduction and fertility are different than they are in the United States?

Just something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately…

Santification of the Body

I have discovered a new idea to incorporate into my research on Catholicism, health, and women’s bodies! It’s called sanctification.

From a Christian vantage point, sanctification is an inherently mysterious process through which God transforms profane objects into sacred entities. And of course, the Catholic Church talks a lot about sanctification. I feel like I’ve heard that word more in my two years of being a Catholic than I did for the five years I was an Episcopalian or growing up Jewish. (Although, granted, Judaism does have quite a reverence for the body. I just don’t think in quite the same way as Catholicism.)

Anyway, apparently sanctification is big on psychological studies, as well. The secular definition of sanctification is a psychological process through which aspects of life are perceived by people as having divine character and significance.

Mahoney et. al. (1999) have shown that this definition of sanctification can occur in two ways. First, through a “Manifestation of God” process, where someone can perceive
an object as being a manifestation of one’s images, beliefs, or experience of God. Second, sanctification can occur without reference to a specific deity. In this case, people perceive an object as having attributes of transcendence (e.g., holy, heavenly, miraculous), ultimate value and purpose (e.g., blessed, sacred), and timelessness (e.g., everlasting, eternal). This second process is called “Sacred Qualities.” I haven’t quite wrapped my head around what the difference between these two are. I guess the latter just suggests someone finds something holy without it being associated to a deity? I feel like that could be dangerous…

But anyway. There have actually been some pretty cool studies into how measures of sanctification can affect behavior. For example, with health, Mahoney et al. (2005) studied the relationship between sanctification of the body and health protective behaviors such as exercise and use of alcohol and drugs in college students. They found that higher levels of both belief in the body as manifestation of God and belief in the body as having sacred qualities were related to higher levels of health protective behaviors, lower levels of illicit drug use and disapproval of alcohol consumption, as well as greater satisfaction with the body.

And with sex, Murray-Swank, Pargament and Mahoney (2005), again with a sample of college students, studied the beliefs about the sacredness of sexual intercourse in non-marital loving relationships. Forty percent reported Protestant affiliation and 40% Roman Catholic. Seventy percent of the sample reported having engaged in sexual intercourse (Murray-Swank et al., 2005). Murray-Swank et al. found that the more the respondents perceived sexual intercourse as having sacred characteristics, the more likely they were to engage in sexual intercourse. The more they believed that God was a part of sexual intercourse, the more positive their affective responses about sexual intercourse.

Sanctification offers SUCH a unique perspective in this ongoing project of mine to explore the connection between Catholicism and women’s health. I can’t wait to dig into it more!