Yes, I know, that was a somewhat crude title. It is not, however, misleading.
You see, a little while ago I read on Inhabitots (Inhabitat’s despicable hellspawn) the following headline:
I was intrigued, naturally. And being a responsible and intelligent member of the human race, I naturally look up the original study every time the word “study” is mentioned in a news story.
Apparently I’m the only person in the world who does that, because there isn’t one. The study doesn’t exist. Inhabitat got the story from the local CBS site in Washington, D.C., who don’t cite the original study at all. They cite Gordon Gallup — although it’s worth noting that they never actually quote him — and link to his bio page at the University at Albany, and they mention that he agrees with a 2000 PubMed study’s abstract, but still no study. I decided to search further.
The story was picked up by the NY Daily News, Huffington Post (which cited the NYDN), and the Daily Mail (which cited the CBS DC article and the PubMed study from 12 years ago). Still no quotes, still no study. Just a bunch of people linking in circles to each other.
So what’s the theory? I’ll let Inhabitots explain.
While many women will read this and think “Well, obviously a man ran this research,” the explanation for why this works actually does make sense. According to Gallup, pregnant women feel nauseous and vomit as a reaction to the unfamiliar sperm that has impregnated them. By performing oral sex and introducing the father’s ejaculate into her system, the mother can build up a tolerance to the semen that is already present in her body.
Ok, just a few things. First, a man did do this research. You already told us that. Second, that explanation does not make sense. Semen is not a drug to which a tolerance can or needs to be built up. And third, THERE IS NO SEMEN PRESENT IN THE BODY OF A PREGNANT WOMAN.
When a man impregnantes a woman, he puts something on the order of a billion sperm into her. Of those billion, only one gets to the egg to begin the process of becoming a tiny, naked, toothless, shirtless human being with a bag of its own crap taped to its waist. I’m not a huge fan of kids.
The rest of the billion, along with the fluid that carries them, get … I don’t know, washed out in the shower or something. Women are mysterious. The point is that it doesn’t just sit around in there somewhere making you feel sick. Even the single solitary sperm that does stay inside the woman is only a sperm for a few days before it merges with the egg and becomes not a sperm anymore. It’s sure as hell not still there a few months later.
Besides, we already have a solid theory of where pregnancy sickness comes from, and it’s not sperm (are you sick of me saying “sperm” yet? I’ve used it 8 times already. Sperm.). Pregnant women have a heightened sense of smell, which means they also have heightened sensitivity to smells that already make you want to throw up a little, except in pregnant women they make you want to throw up a lot. The leading theory is that this is a defense mechanism to prevent the woman from eating anything that may contain toxins that would harm the fetus. That’s supported by the fact that morning sickness is very common in pregnant women, that it peaks at around three months into the pregnancy — when the fetus is most vulnerable to toxins — and that there is a solid correlation between toxic foods and nauseous smells. Also, women who don’t experience pregnancy sickness are more likely to miscarry.
So that sort of wraps that up. But what about the PubMed study that Gallup likes? Well that’s linked here, and it’s called “Correlation between oral sex and a low incidence of preeclampsia.” In case you were curious, preeclampsia is high blood pressure and blood protein in pregnant women, has nothing to do with pregnancy sickness, and in fact is symptomized by not feeling sick. So that’s not it.
This sort of begs the question of who the fuck Gordon G. Gallup, Jr. actually is. His website says he’s a professor in the psychology department, so he’s not necessarily a biologist, nor does he have any medical background. He’s also fucking obsessed with semen.
He’s written journal articles about how the penis is designed as a “semen displacement device,” the anti-depressant properties of semen, the psychobiology of semen as a means of altering a woman’s hormones to discourage cuckoldry, the correlation between facial attractiveness and semen quality, the effects of circumcision on semen displacement, and something called “semen hydraulics.”
So apparently this whole thing came up when he just suggested it at the 2012 Northeastern Evolutionary Psychology Society, and there’s been no research done on it at all. I’ve gotta say, though, I doubt being poked in the back of the mouth is going to help much.
But here’s the best part of the whole article. At the end of the Inhabitots post, they say “Do you think this method works and have you tried it? Tell us in the comments below.” It’s entirely in keeping with Inhabitat’s family of morons to ask their audience if science is true or not, but I love the idea of soliciting stories of how much you blew your husband when he was pregnant. Here’s my favorite:
I’m going to ignore the fact that we don’t have a control here and that this woman may not have gotten sick anyway. She didn’t throw up and her husband’s happy.
You go girl.