Turmoil Over Testosterone Study Leaves Doctors, Patients Dangling

The news was enough to make a testosterone induced manly man shrivel.

It was late last year that JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, published the results of research that claimed that men who use testosterone supplementation have a 29 percent greater chance of dying from a heart attack or stroke within three years of use.

Until the study, testosterone was the hottest medical product on the market. You couldn’t listen to talk radio or watch a sporting event without being asked if you had “low-T” during the commercial break. That would explain why you were sitting on your couch instead of playing basketball, having sex and generally enjoying your life. The announcer then promised that a gel, a pill, or an injection would transform you from a disinterested lump of flesh into a man again.

Now those ads have been replaced new ones from law firms looking to sign up clients for class action lawsuits. Read more »

The Dangers of a Marijuana Gold Rush

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Shutterstock.com

My neighbor’s son packed up his car and headed west to find his fortune, like thousands of other people who heard about a modern day gold rush.

But it isn’t a pot of gold they seek, just pot. Specifically, the business of pot.

The hope of those filling the west-bound highways in a modern wagon train is that they will learn the business of legalized marijuana in Colorado and Washington and then come home to open their own businesses as more states see the tax benefits of legalization.

Early reports from the West are positive, or at least they were. Both Washington state and Colorado report a huge tax influx to the treasuries and a strange side benefit – crime is down: win-win.

Not quite.

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Elliot Rodger, Misguided Male Entitlement, and the “Nice Guy” Fallacy

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown, right, walks past a board showing the photos of suspected gunman Elliot Rodger and the weapons he used in Friday night's mass shooting that took place in Isla Vista, Calif., after a news conference on Saturday, May 24, 2014, in Santa Barbara, Calif. Sheriff's officials say Rodger, 22, went on a rampage near the University of California, Santa Barbara, stabbing three people to death at his apartment before shooting and killing three more in a crime spree through a nearby neighborhood. (AP Photo | Jae C. Hong)

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown, right, walks past a board showing the photos of suspected gunman Elliot Rodger and the weapons he used in Friday night’s mass shooting that took place in Isla Vista, Calif., after a news conference on Saturday, May 24, 2014, in Santa Barbara, Calif. Sheriff’s officials say Rodger, 22, went on a rampage near the University of California, Santa Barbara, stabbing three people to death at his apartment before shooting and killing three more in a crime spree through a nearby neighborhood. (AP Photo | Jae C. Hong)

We acculturate our children in a culture of domestic violence. In playgrounds across the country this summer and into the following school year and those to come, little girls will learn that the boys who push them into the grass are the ones that like them. They will grow older and become teenage girls who accept the sting of a “love tap” in their arm as a sign that they have been chosen.

With any luck, the young women will unlearn these expectations.

And with hope, the young men will, too.

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#YesAllWomen Is the Equivalent of Having a Peace Sign Bumper Sticker

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On Friday, Elliot Rodger murdered six people in Santa Barbara. We know — from documents and videos — that Rodger, who took his own life, was motivated by misogyny. He made it very clear: These people were injured and killed because women didn’t want to have sex with him.

In the coming days and weeks, we’ll no doubt learn more about Rodger’s mental health, but less than 24 hours after the murders, the world had already learned that Rodger’s motivations are not all that unique. On Saturday,#YesAllWomena hashtag started by two friends, spread through cyberspace like wildfire. Women from all over the world shared personal stories of sexual abuse, street harassment and everyday examples of gender-based hatred.

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In Pennsylvania Same-Sex Marriage Ruling, Straight People Win, Too

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Let me tell you about Don and Ken.

I can’t remember if those are their real names, precisely. What I can tell you is that I met them 13 years ago in Nashville, Tennessee, at a national gathering of Mennonites brought together to celebrate the merger of two formerly disparate strands of the church.

Only, I didn’t meet them at the convention, precisely. A group that ministered specifically to gay and lesbian Mennonites had been forbidden from a formal presence in the convention center hall, so the group set up shop in a hotel across a street and —as I remember it — a very large parking lot. They held afternoon worship sessions every day of the convention, and while I considered myself liberal, it was curiosity as much as anything that led me to join those afternoon sessions.

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Well, at Least Donald Sterling Doesn’t Talk in Code

One of the most fascinating things about the Internet is the way it uncovers how many bigots lie in our midst every day. Especially since most of my columns are centered on the tender subjects of race and class, a quick scroll to the bottom of the page here or here or here (nope, it’s not just the philly.com that serves as venue space for digital Klan meetings), and you can see what I’m talking about. It’s not just about your standard differences in opinion; it’s a fundamental belief system that, as the late great Michael Jackson once said, is “too high to get over, and too low to get under.”

The fact that bigotry generally hides in plain sight is one of the reasons LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling is such a fascinating oddity, a walking, talking, living relic of just how staunchly committed a certain type of person can be to their indefensible racism and prejudice. His absurdity was laid bare in his recent interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, where he said he was not a racist and that he was with Cooper “to apologize and to ask for forgiveness for all the people” he hurt.

Minutes later: “Here is a man who acts so holy,” he said of Magic Johnson, the man featured in the photo with Sterling’s friend V. Stiviano. “I mean, he made love to every girl in every city in America and he has AIDS.”

Read more »

15 Reasons Las Vegas Sucks

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Here’s a sad fact: Las Vegas had more visitors in March than in any other month in its history. Sure, it’s the go-to place for conferences, events and conventions, which is why I have to go there about a dozen times a year. And each time I go I’m reminded of why I hate the place. I’m an experienced visitor to Las Vegas and you should know: Las Vegas sucks. And here are 15 reasons why.

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The Confidence Gap: Do Women Lack Confidence, or Does the World Lack Confidence in Women?

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Photo |Shutterstock.com

Women lack confidence —  so says a piece in The Atlantic called “The Confidence Gap,” written by two women with impressive careers at ABC World News and BBC America. Confidence, they say, is just as important as competence in getting ahead, and many women suffer from self-doubt. But the confidence gap between men and women doesn’t necessarily reflect the lack of confidence women have for themselves. Perhaps it’s about a lack of confidence the world places in women.

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