Sunday, August 27, 2006

Off Topic: Praise for Librarians, and I Need Boxes

Off Topic Professional Self-Promotion:
Found via David, Stanford professor Bob Sutton offers this praise of librarians.

Bob really gets what modern librarians are trying to do when he says:
"There is an ever growing pile of information out there and it keeps getting harder and harder to tell what is true and what is not. Librarians like Daphne and Paul have become even more important because they care about facts and accuracy and are extremely skilled at finding sources – so they can actually help stop the spread of claims that are wrong or inaccurate and can find the true sources of ideas and claims that are actually correct...

We’ve learned that librarians can play key roles in the evidence-based management movement, and have learned to view Daphne and Paul as key partners in this adventure, as people who do the work with us rather than for us...

In short, although the rise of the web has changed what librarians do, it also means that we need them more than ever because there are so many facts out there now and they are so easy to get, and it is so hard to tell which ones to believe – and they actually care about facts and evidence, and know where to get them."

Even More Off Topic: If any of you local bloggers have unneeded boxes coming in and piling up, I'll take 'em. I'm thinking everybody's favortive BBQ joint may have some... Your little medical librarian blogger is moving soon!

Technorati Tags:
MeSH Tags: Librarians

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Plan B Approved for OTC Sales

On Thursday, the FDA approved over-the-counter sales of Plan B emergency contraception for women 18 and older. The drug will be behind the counter at pharmacies. It is not clear how some pharmacists' refusal to dispense prescribed Plan B will be affected by the ruling, given that the pharmacisits will still be in a dispensing role.

FDA Resources:
  • FDA Press Release
  • Memo from von Eschenbach explaining his rationale for making the age limit 18 instead of 17 (PDF)
  • Memo from Dr. Galson, addressing previously raised issues from the approval process (PDF)
  • Plan B Questions and Answers
  • Approval Letter (PDF)
  • Labeling (PDF)
  • Additional Plan B info

  • CNN: Morning-after pill to be available without prescription
  • Washington Post: FDA approves Plan B's over-the-counter sale
  • MSNBC: FDA OKs nonprescription 'morning-after' pill - includes links to NBC and CNBC video
  • New York Times: New York women see 2 sides of prescription-free morning-after pill and FDA approves broader access to next-day pill [NYT - would it have been so far to spell out "two," or to use the proper names of Plan B or emergency contraception?]
  • NPR: Plan B gets FDA's over-the-counter approval, How Plan B works, Plan B pill to be sold over-the-counter,

    Responses, from Organizations:
  • Concerned Women for America - see multimedia content for response. The organizations chief counsel says the decision "borders on malfeasance in office for the head of the FDA." She also invokes the spectre alcohol and sex parties for teens, and calls the decision "a dream come true for statutory rapists." The interviewee thinks men will slip the drug into the drinks of their statutory rape victims, and uses the number of pregnant teens who have sex with adult men as a rational against the drug.
  • Human Life International, and another, calling for the withdrawal of von Eschenbach's nomination.
  • Focus on the Family
  • Planned Parenthood press release
  • NARAL Pro Choice America (NARAL also just released their Congressional Record on Choice report.)
  • Center for Reproductive Rights
  • National Organization for Women
  • Pharmacists for Life International simply links to a news story on the approval, with an image of the drug and the caption, "BETRAYAL."

    Responses, from Bloggers:
  • Salon's Broadsheet
  • Feministing on the news and the conservative response
  • Mother Jones blog
  • Molly Saves the Day - Too Little, Too Soon
  • Typecasted
  • WE Blog - makes the point that those complaining that politics led to the approval should recall the politics that delayed the process for years in the first place. Lots of comments.
  • Needlenose
  • The Consumerist
  • Women's Bioethics Project
  • All Girl Army
  • Woozle Madness
  • Thoughts of an Average Woman
  • The Well-Timed Period is angry, and makes some good points.
  • Bitch PhD has a tale of the runaround women can experience when attempting to obtain emergency contraception.

    Technorati Tags: ; ; ;
    MeSH Tags: Contraception, Postcoital; Levonorgestrel
  • Sunday, August 20, 2006

    Translated into English, "von Eshenbach" means "political pawn"

    Here's the post I started earlier this week but was too annoyed to finish...

    Via the Kaiser Network, anti-abortion groups such as Concerned Women for America and the National Pro-Life Action Center (release downloads as Word doc) are calling for President Bush to withdraw the nomination of Andrew von Eshenbach (currently Acting Commissioner) to head the FDA because the agency may approve over-the-counter access to Plan B emergency contraception.

    The NPLAC release quotes the organizations Executive Director (Paul Chaim Schenck) as saying, "According to the drug’s own manufacturer, it has the potential of killing a newly conceived baby in the womb by preventing implantation and poses an array of dangers to a woman’s health as well."

    Medically, a fertilized egg is not a "newly conceived baby." A woman is not considered pregnant until said fertilized egg successfully implants in the uterus. It's a zygote, then a blastocyst. It has a few undifferentiated cells, as the blastocyst "moves down the tube into the uterus. This journey takes about 3 days, during which the blastocyst reaches the 8- or 16-cell stage.[1]" Or, "the embryo may arrive at the uterus in any form, from 32 cells to the early blastula stage. [blastula=100-200 cells][2]" I'm not even going to get into how often women's bodies kick ou fertilized eggs on their own, or the implications for other types of hormonal birth control if we try to redefine the start of pregnancy as "sperm conquers egg." Just imagine how many times you may have been unknowingly pregnant if that were the standard. I try to stay semi-neutral while blogging, but I cannot bring myself to blog in an unbiased way about people who think ~100 cells have more rights than a fully grown woman society has invested in.

    It also quotes the group's Executive Vice President (Kimberly Zenarolla) as stating, "Sadly, our modern pop culture encourages women to treat their fertility like a disease, rather than the great gift that it is. Making Plan B, a highly potent and potentially dangerous drug, available over the counter will likely only further perpetuate that distortion, and increase the likelihood of physical and sexual abuse of women." She goes on to say, "We must put a stop to political decisions that do nothing more than continue to enable the objectification of women." I know she didn't just suggest that preventing rape victims from easily obtaining a legal medication and tryinig to force women to bear children prevents the objectification of women. Because viewing women as nothing but baby-makers, whether they want to be or not, couldn't possibly be objectification, right?

    Anti-abortion folks aren't the only ones playing games with the FDA nomination, however. Pro-choice politicians, including Senator Clinton, previously announced that they would hold up the nomination pending a sign from the FDA that they were planning to move forward on the Plan B OTC application, due to the agency's ongoing delays and their past refusal to decide based on the information provided by their own scientific advisors. A previous Commissioner of the agency (Lester Crawford) also resigned admist the Plan B controversy.

    On both sides, it's as though Plan B is the only thing the FDA has to worry about, and politics matter more than sound science.

    Seed magazine Plan B timeline
    Mother Jones Plan B timeline
    How Plan B Works

    1. Review of Medical Physiology. 22nd ed.
    2. Comprehensive Gynecology. 4th ed.

    Technorati Tags: ; ; ;
    MeSH Tags: Contraception, Postcoital; Levonorgestrel

    Monday, August 14, 2006

    Blood Donations Needed in Nashville Area

    I'm a sucker for Red Cross guilt. Today's American Red Cross, Tennessee Valley Blood Region press release (emphasis added):

    Nationwide Heat Wave Affects Blood Donor Commitments
    Blood Shortage Exacerbated by Extreme Heat

    The summer heat has taken its toll on the state, breaking record-high temperatures. It’s also affected the blood supply. Donors have stayed inside and cancelled their plans to donate blood.

    Because so many people who might otherwise donate blood have stayed indoors to escape the heat, anyone who is able is urged to donate blood. The Red Cross needs at least 3200 blood donations a week to meet area needs. The only way to rebuild the community blood supply is for healthy individuals to donate in the coming days at local blood drives and donor centers.

    “Our blood drive sites are indoors, comfortable and the process is safe and easy,” said Carol Miller, Director of Donor Resources. “There are activities that can be curtailed because of extreme outdoor temperatures, but helping to save lives cannot be among them.”

    The supply of critical blood types O- and O+ are at a 12-hour supply, with supplies of most other blood types below normal operating levels. To date this month, collections in our area are 20% lower than what is needed to adequately supply hospitals.

    The blood donation center located at 2201 Charlotte Avenue is open Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. until 6:30 p.m., Fridays from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. and Saturdays from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. Eligible donors can give whole blood every 56 days. For more information or to schedule your blood donation appointment, please call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543).

    Giving blood is a safe process, is easy and takes relatively little time. If you are at least 17 years of age, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and are in good general health, you may be eligible to donate blood. There is no upper age limit for donating blood.

    You can see the current local blood supply online. Find out more and schedule an appointment at Also, be sure to read the Red Cross's blood donation eligibility guidelines.

    Top 10 Reasons to Give Blood.

    [Full disclosure: this blogger won't be donating tomorrow because her 56 day waiting period isn't up yet. :P ]

    Technorati Tags:
    MeSH Tags: Blood Donors

    Sunday, August 13, 2006

    What's Up With the "MeSH" Tags?

    Today we're going to delve a bit into a spot where blogging and librarianship collide - subject assignment, or tagging. It's not a women's health thing, but will explain something I regularly do on this blog. You may have noticed that, at the end of each of my posts, there are two sets of tags: Technorati and MeSH. You may already be familiar with Technorati, which helps people find blog posts on a particular tag/topic, but probably wonder what the MeSH is all about. I've never really explained it or why I add them, but was prompted to by fellow medical librarian blogger David Rothman (who facilitated this great list of medical lib blogs).

    What are MeSH Tags?
    MeSH (pronounced just like "mesh"), or Medical Subject Headings, is the set of controlled vocabulary from the National Library of Medicine. According to the NLM, "It consists of sets of terms naming descriptors in a hierarchical structure that permits searching at various levels of specificity." In plain English, it's a set of terms that can be assigned to things to indicate what they are about and help you find things about the subject you want, not unlike Technorati tags, but it's used in medical applications. For example, the PubMed (or MEDLINE, for you sticklers) database indexes* articles from health-related academic journals, such as the Journal of the American Medical Association. When they add a record for an article from JAMA, they assign subject terms, so people searching for research on that subject can find the articles. Those terms are MeSH terms.
    [*indexes=includes in the database and assigns info such as author, title, issue, subjects to help you search and find]

    MeSH terms are set up in hierarchy, to help find specifically what you are looking for. It's a "tree," sort of like when you learned about the animal kingdom (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, etc.). MeSH starts with 16 basic categories, like Anatomy, Organisms, and Diseases. If you're looking for breast cancer, though, you probably don't want to search for "Diseases," because you'll get every disease under the sun. The folks who assign the MeSH terms would navigate down the tree, from Diseases, to Neoplasms (cancers), to Neoplasms by Site, to Breast Neoplasms, so you can search for articles tagged as being about "Breast Neoplasms" and get much closer with your search to what you actually want to read and learn about. It's a way to make your search results better, and the search process less frustrating.

    Now, librarians would refer to MeSH as a "controlled vocabulary" (loosely meaning there are specific terms meaning specific things that you have to choose from) rather than "tags," and the assignment of these subject terms as "indexing" rather than "tagging," but you and I can see the similarity, no?

    So far, so good, right?

    Why assign MeSH tags to blog posts?
    The short and sweet answer is, "For the same reason as the Technorati tags - to help you find more stuff on whatever I'm talking about." The audience for this blog is largely "regular people" rather than medical librarians. In the beginning, I started adding MeSH terms to the bottom of the posts so those few medical librarian readers could see what MeSH terms are used to represent a topic and click on them for medical articles if they so desired. I began to realize that I was learning a ton of new MeSH terms that sped up my professional work by adding them to posts on this blog (because I already knew some of the right terms rather than having to look them up), so that was a second motivation to keep it up. Finally, transparency is a big motivator for providing them to my non-medical, non-librarian audience. Women's health topics are often controversial (abortion, emergency contraception, whether condoms reduce HPV transmission, etc.), and I obviously don't have time to read every single piece of research that is published on every topic I post about. However, if you click on one of the tags, you can easily find a list of articles on whatever subject I've posted on, read the research, and make up your own mind. Overall, I think assigning the tags makes me a better librarian, and allows the reader to explore a topic in more detail if he or she chooses to do so.

    Why not construct PubMed searches that explicitly find articles on the topic (like HPV AND condoms), rather than separate terms (i.e. one for HPV, one for condoms)?
    Because I was interested in displaying the specific individual terms rather than forcing the reader into my set of search results. Combine as needed.

    What happens if I click on one of your MeSH tags?
    If you click on one of the terms, you'll be taken to the PubMed database (the major medical research database), directly to a search on that term. That means you'll see a list of articles published in medical/nursing journals that are about that topic. For example, here's one on "Contraception, Postcoital" (emergency contraception).

    Can I read the articles in the list?
    Sometimes. Publishers (except the open access ones) obviously have an economic interest in selling subscriptions rather than giving everything away for free. However, PubMed has a set of icons to let you know just what is available. Beside each citation in the results list, you'll see what looks like a piece of paper. If it is beige with lines, you can read the abstract. If it has a green stripe, you should be able to read the full-text of the article for free (although this doesn't always work). If it has green and orange, the whole article is definitely available for free, via PubMed Central. If something particularly tickles your fancy but is not free online, try your local library, which may be able to get it for you via Interlibrary Loan.

    How do you create the MeSH tags? (you should probably just skip to the next part if you're not a librarian or otherwise interested in this particular level of detail)
    Unfortunately, I have to do this by hand. Here's how it works:

    1) PubMed includes the MeSH Database, which lets you look for the right terms, tells you what they mean, and lets you select them to include in your search. It also lets you narrow down your search in certain ways, by applying subheadings (a way to focus in on things like prevention, drug therapy, etc.) I start there, and do a search for the concept. For example, I might search the MeSH Database for "abortion."

    2) The MeSH database translates my term into what it thinks I might mean and gives me a list of choices for the right term. In the abortion example, I get a list of options such as "Abortion, Induced" and "Abortion, Spontaneous" and "Abortion, Criminal." Say I want abortion the way most people think of it, in the Planned Parenthood sense, then I want to choose "Abortion, Induced." I can tell that by reading the definition it gives me, "Intentional removal of a fetus from the uterus by any of a number of techniques."

    3) Looking at the info for "Abortion, Induced," I can see a set of limits (the subheadings) to apply. If I want articles on the legal aspects of abortion, I would click on the "legislation and jurisprudence" box to limit my search to that. I'm also going to click on the "Restrict Search to Major Topic Headings Only" box, because I want articles that are primarily about legal/judicial aspects of abortion.

    4) Click on the "Send to Search Box with AND" option in the Send To pull down menu. I'll see ""Abortion, Induced/legislation and jurisprudence"[MAJR]" in my search box, and then click on "Search PubMed" to run the search.

    5) Whee, I have my search results! But I can't just copy the URL in the top of my browser (well, I could, but sometimes it doesn't work for more complex searches, so I'm in the habit). Nope - have to click on the "Details" tab, then the URL button, then I can copy/paste the URL from the browser.

    6) Then I use that URL just like any other URL you would link, surrounding the MeSH term I've selected. So you see in my MeSH Tags: Abortion, Induced/legislation and jurisprudence. You click on that, you get search results on that topic, like "Increase in obstacles to abortion: the American perspective in 2004" and "Prenatal screening, autonomy and reasons: the relationship between the law of abortion and wrongful birth."

    It sounds like a tediously long process, but it goes fairly quickly once you are used it and start to have many of the terms memorized.

    Anything else?
    Yes - in the interest of keeping the list of search results relatively short when you click on a tag, I limit the searches in certain ways. Sometimes that will mean limiting the search to English, and usually means "majoring" the term, which means I restrict the search to return articles where that subject term is part of the main focus of the article. You can always see exactly what I've done by looking at the search box or clicking on the "Details" tab.

    Also, here are a ton of tutorials for learning how to search PubMed and use the MeSH Database.

    Finally, I don't use my site statistics tool to keep track in any way of which MeSH tags people leave through, or who uses them to search for a topic. It's all about your privacy.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments or send me an email.

    [Off-topic, Related, for David: My RSS feeds for keeping up with everything, sorely in need of additions.]

    Technorati Tags: ; ; ; ; ;
    MeSH Tags: Abstracting and Indexing; Librarians; Medical Subject Headings; MEDLINE; Vocabulary, Controlled

    Women's Health Updates

    Your friendly neighborhood medical librarian has been beating her head against the wall of a particularly frustrating clinical question this week. Here are some things read on some sites well worth checking out but not yet blogged (please note that for some of the research-based items, I haven't had a chance to fully examine them all):

    via Feministing:
  • "Please keep this away from my cervix"
    The Conception Cap, which purports to "to concentrate all the available semen, unexposed to the vaginal environment, at the opening of the cervical os where it will be in contact with the cervical mucus. From there the sperm leave the semen, swim through the cervical mucus and into the uterus, and then swim on into the fallopian tube in search of an egg." Also: "The sperm are shielded from hostile environmental factors in the vagina."

    First of all, the personification of sperm bothers me in some inexplicable way. They're swimming, they're searching, bound to succeed but for the dastardly vaginal environment! Maybe I want my vaginal environment to keep out underachieving sperm, eh? Here's the other thing - the instructions say, "The couple should have sex normally using the non-latex semen collector and sperm-friendly intimate moisturizer. The semen is then immediately squeezed from the collector into the Conception Cap. The Conception Cap is placed over the cervix for six to eight hours, or overnight." Here's the thing - the kit costs $299.95. If this actually worked, couldn't you rig your own for about $40 with a Keeper and some non-latex condoms?

  • "Spread the truth about emergency contraception"
    BitchPhD is selling shirts to advocate clearing up the confusion about how Plan B works.

  • "The Great [ahem] Debate of 2006"
    To shave or not to shave? Sparked by an article in Salon.

  • "Rape culture gone wild"
    Joe Francis, of Girls Gone Wild fame, is a terrifying human being. You had to have seen this already. Aunt B has a good response to this, on the difference between warning a woman that a situation might not be safe and suggesting that the got what she deserved. I have four words: too drunk to consent.

    via the Kaiser Network:
  • "Significant' Decrease in Sexual Experience Among Teenagers; Increase in Condom Use, Study Says"
  • "FDA's Expected Approval of Plan B for Nonprescription Sales to Women Ages 18, Older Is Near Victory for Advocates, Opinion Piece Says"
  • "Majority of U.S. Women Unaware of Cervical, Breast Cancer Screening Recommendations, Survey Says"

    via The Well-Timed Period:
  • "FDA approves Implanon"
    Kind of like Norplant, but one rod. See the Implanon site, Healthfinder story, and MedlinePlus story.

  • "Condoms found to, you know, prevent stuff"
    Winer RL, Hughes JP, Feng Q, O'Reilly S, Kiviat NB, Holmes KK, Koutsky LA. Condom Use and the Risk of Genital Human Papillomavirus Infection in Young Women. N Eng J Med. 2006 Jun 22. 354(25):2645:2654.
    Ooh, free full-text of this article. Researchers followed 83 university women (small study, would like to see larger) who had just begun sexual intercourse with male partners. The women completed diaries about their sexual activity and had cervical testing done every four months.

    According to the researchers: "Women whose partners used condoms 100 percent of the time during the previous eight months were significantly less likely to acquire HPV than were those whose partners used condoms less than 5 percent of the time (Table 3). A linear categorical dose–response effect was observed, since the risk of incident HPV infection decreased with the increasing percentage of time a condom was used for intercourse (P=0.005 by the test for trend). Similar trends were observed through an analysis of risk factors for high-risk types of HPV, low-risk types of HPV, and HPV types 6, 11, 16, and 18 (Table 4) and for incident cervical and vulvovaginal HPV infection. Among the subgroup of women reporting 100 percent condom use by their partners during the previous eight months, the association between condom use and HPV infection was similar, regardless of whether any unprotected genital skin-to-skin contact was reported."

    Previous research has suggested that condoms do little to prevent HPV transmission, and religious/abstinence promotion groups have used that past research to advocate against safer sex education (example: Concerned Women for America). Takes on the story:
    ObGyn News
    Conservatives hit a dead end on HPV - Slate
    "Groups not impressed by new condom, HPV study" - The Christian Post
    Focus on the Family's response - read: but it's not 100%!

  • "Connect the dots"
    Ema smells a rat in new developments on Plan B OTC approval.

    via the Women's Bioethics Project:
  • "Women's Bioethics Project and Center for Women Policy Studies Organizations Launch State Legislative Advisory Board on Women and Bioethics"
    Legislators from around the country will descend on Gaylord on 8/14 for the first meeting of the first-ever State Legislative Advisory Board on Women and Bioethics. According to the blog, "The advisory board meeting will feature a presentation by Dr. Robin N. Fiore, who is the Adelaide R. Snyder Professor of Ethics at Florida Atlantic University. Dr. Fiore's presentation will cover a full range of bioethics issues ranging from end-of-life issues and the effect of the Terry Schiavo case to stem cell research and its impact on women's reproductive rights and health. Following the presentation, the legislative leaders attending the meeting will assist the Center for Women Policy Studies and the WBP in planning a Bioethics Seminar for Women State Legislative Leaders, which will take place in 2007."

  • "Ultrasound might affect baby's brain development"
    It's a mouse study, finding "In baby mice whose mothers were exposed to ultrasound for 30 minutes or longer during pregnancy, a small but significant number of nerve cells did not migrate to their proper locations in the brain." Researchers plan to try to replicate the results in larger animals more similar to humans. The news piece reports that an Australian study did not find effects in humans. If they're found to be real, however, it's more bad news for Tom Cruise, but what about the pregnancy crisis centers who use them to play on pregnant women's emotions to try to convince them to bear children?

  • "DES daughters face high breast-cancer risk"
    "After compensating for other breast-cancer risk factors, the researchers found that women who were exposed to DES in utero had a 91 percent higher risk of breast cancer after age 40, and a three-fold increased risk of breast cancer after age 50, when compared to women not exposed to the drug."

  • "Many teens don't use condoms correctly"

    Technorati Tags: ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
    MeSH Tags: 3-keto-desogestrel (Implanon); Bioethics; Condoms; Contraception; Contraception, Postcoital; Fertilization; Levonorgestrel (Plan B); Papillomavirus, Human; Sexual Behavior
  • Saturday, August 12, 2006

    Pediatrics Takes on Women's Health

    The journal Pediatrics has several women's health-related articles in its August 2006 issue.

  • Pregnant teens have unrealistic views of motherhood
    Rosengard C, Pollock L, Weitzen S, Meers A, Phipps MG. Concepts of the Advantages and Disadvantages of Teenage Childbearing Among Pregnant Adolescents: A Qualitative Analysis. Pediatrics 2006; 118(2): 503-510.
    The 4woman link above has a good summary. Here is some additional information from the Pediatrics article:
    Researchers recruited 247 pregnant teens (ages 12-19) in Providence, RI during their first prenatal visit to a women's health clinic. The participants responded in writing to open-ended questions about the advantages and disadvantages of motherhood. Among the findings:

  • "Fifty-eight girls (23.5%) indicated that their current pregnancy was intended (by indicating that they wanted to be pregnant immediately, within the next few months, or within the next year), and 189 (76.5%) indicated that it was unintended."
  • "Seventy-three girls (29.8%) reported at least 1 previous pregnancy, and of those, 36 (14.7% of the total sample and 49.3% of those with a previous pregnancy) indicated that they already had at least 1 child. Of those 73 who reported a previous pregnancy, 18 (24.7%) reported a previous abortion, and 31 (42.5%) reported a previous miscarriage."

    Quotes from some of the teens are particularly alarming. While many expressed no advantages of teen motherhood, others responded with statements such as:
  • "'An advantage is that I feel a baby will make me and my boyfriends relationship closer' (14-year-old, Hispanic, unintended pregnancy, no previous pregnancy)."
  • "'being able to play along with your child not only being his/her parent but being a friend' (13-year-old, non-Hispanic, unintended pregnancy, no previous pregnancy)."
  • "'[A]lso if I have a infant now later on when I want to become a lawyer my baby will be old enough' (15 non-Hispanic, unintended pregnancy, no previous pregnancy)."

    Hispanic teens, teens with previous pregnancy, and those who intended the pregnancy reported fewer negative aspects of the pregnancy compared to other teens.

    DuRant RH, Champion H, Wolfson M. The Relationship Between Watching Professional Wrestling on Television and Engaging in Date Fighting Among High School Students. Pediatrics 2006; 118(2): e265-e272.
    Forget the wrestlling; this is the interesting bit: "Among females, 8.5% said that a date had started a physical fight with them or hit them during the previous 12 months, but 9.4% stated that they had initiated a date fight. Only 4.6% of males confessed to being the perpetrator of a date fight, but 6.3% said that they had a date, girlfriend, or boyfriend start a fight or hit them during the previous 12 months."
    Okay, so more girls reported starting physical fights with dates than boys, and none of the percentages really match (9.4% of girls reporting starting a fight with a date, vs. 6.3% of boys who reported having a date start a fight). Is the difference in same-sex couples? What are the motivations for the different reporting? Recall bias or response bias?

    Taylor CV, Bryson S, Celio Doyle AA, Luce KH, Cunning D, Abascal LB, Rockwell R, Field AE, Striegel-Moore R, Winzelberg AJ, Wilfley DE. The Adverse Effect of Negative Comments About Weight and Shape From Family and Siblings on Women at High Risk for Eating Disorders. Pediatrics 2006; 118(2): 731-738.
    Researchers retrospectively looked at 455 college women who had high weight and shape concerns who participated in an eating disorder prevention program, regarding "perceived family negative comments about weight, shape, and eating; social adjustment; social support; self-esteem; and childhood abuse and neglect." According to their analysis: "Negative comments were significantly associated with retrospective report of greater maximum body size before age 18 years, minority status, and biological father's maximum body size. It was not related to parental education or biological mother's maximum body size. In a multivariate analysis, higher levels of parental criticism were associated with higher reported emotional abuse and neglect regardless of the body size. High levels of sibling criticism interacted with higher maximum body size before age 18 years to predict emotional abuse and neglect. Higher maximum body size before 18 years was related to higher levels of emotional neglect."

    Martino SC, Collins RL, Elliott MN, Strachman A, Kanouse DE, Berry SH. Exposure to Degrading Versus Nondegrading Music Lyrics and Sexual Behavior Among Youth. Pediatrics 2006; 118(2): e430-e441
    "Multivariate regression analyses indicated that youth who listened to more degrading sexual content at T2 were more likely to subsequently initiate intercourse and to progress to more advanced levels of noncoital sexual activity, even after controlling for 18 respondent characteristics that might otherwise explain these relationships. In contrast, exposure to nondegrading sexual content was unrelated to changes in participants' sexual behavior."
    Another Nashville blogger mentioned the researchers' failure to distinguish between causation and correlation. For the life of me, I can't figure out who it was to link to it. Punk Ass Blog says, "To summarize for all the people who hear “sex” and then tune everything out after being blinded with repressed lust in the form of moral outrage, in this study sexual content doesn’t correlate to sexual behavior. Objectification does."

    Off Topic from Pediatrics:
    McGeehan J, Shields BJ, Wilkins JR, Ferketich AK, Smith GA. Escalator-Related Injuries Among Children in the United States, 1990–2002. Pediatrics 2006; 118(2): e279-e285.
    Did you know there are still an estimated 2,000 injuries to children (ages 0-19) from escalators every year? Children younger than 5 had the most injuries, and most were from falls. This caught my eye: "Six percent of injuries to children who were younger than 5 years involved a stroller, with most injuries occurring when a child fell out of the stroller while on the escalator." I swear I heard a comedian on television within the last week making a joke about stroller/escalator injuries and how every escalator he's ever seen had a sign reading "No Strollers." Uh, and, "amputations and avulsions were uncommon." [shudder]

    Technorati Tags: ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
    MeSH Tags: Adolescent; Adolescent Behavior; Body Image; Eating Disorders; Elevators and Escalators; Music/psychology; Pregnancy in Adolescence; Sexual Behavior; Violence; Wounds and Injuries

  • Thursday, August 03, 2006

    The Breasts and Drugs Quick Update

    Breastfeeding is A-OKAY
    In response to the Baby Talk magazine controversy, Rob says:
    "I've yet to see one negative post or comment on breastfeeding and/or the magazine picture on the blogosphere. Is it that bloggers and their readers are smarter, or that out of any sufficiently large group you can find a few loonies?"

    I haven't seen any blogs react negatively to the cover, either. I have seen a ton of blogs and discussion boards support the cover image. A few worth a visit that I didn't list in the previous post:
  • Belly Tales
  • Birthmother; Reprise (lots of good bf'ing pics)
  • Milliner's Dream - more pics
  • Wet Feet - lots o' links, good comments discussion
  • Sage Femme has a spiffy new design
  • Lizzie Q Homemaker
  • The Consumerist
  • The Imperfect Parent
  • Interrupted Wanderlust

    "Pregnancy and Pot Don't Mix"
    In mice, that is. Says the story, "Marijuana's active ingredient, THC, can disrupt the body's finely tuned signaling system and interfere with a fertilized egg's ability to implant in the lining of the uterus, the study found." --- "Marijuana use, Schuel said, could also increase the risk of ectopic or tubal pregnancies, a serious situation in which the embryo lodges outside the uterus, typically in the fallopian tube." Still waiting to see if this is used to make pot smoking a more serious crime for all of us pre-pregnant women, just in case.

    The FDA, Again
    The Feministing folks don't think the FDA is serious about making a move on OTC Plan B.. They point to the timeline of the drug's OTC approval process for historical context. Meanwhile, survey results suggest that a lot of women have never heard of the drug, and 1/3 of those who have don't understand how it works. Maybe because of the confused mess of idealogy vs science that has surrounded the debate (see also: FDA)? The folks in Congress certainly have something to say to the (maybe) new guy at the Agency about keeping science and politics separate.

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    MeSH Tags: Breast Feeding; Marijuana Smoking, Adverse Effects; Contraception, Postcoital; Levonorgestrel