Skepchick Quickies 10.23


Amanda works in healthcare, is a loudmouthed feminist, and proud supporter of the Oxford comma.

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  1. X-rays: I predict that by X-Mass somebody will be selling “Anti-Cancer” sellotape, possibly a homeopath, along the lines of “X-Rays cure Cancer –> Sellotape emits X-Rays –>Wear sellotape to prevent yourself from getting cancer”

    It’s the perfect scam, huge mark up on ordinary sellotape re-sold as “special sellotape”, it’s harmless and if someone uses it and doesnt get cancer, well thats proof it works. Bastards.

    Cervical Model: It seemed odd but plausable at first but a few things set my skepti-sense off:

    1) a 22 year old man who hasn’t seen a vagina in the flesh! I’m not buying that for a moment, perhaps in 1908

    2) Students fainting at the sight of her vagina! Thats even more ridiculous. There’re not going to have much of medical career if they faint at the sight of a vagina. I’m not buying that full stop (not even from some anacdote about Victorian Medical Students). I’ve tagged alone on student trips to the Romanian Body Farm where I saw students gip at the sight of a 3 week old bloated green corpse, but no one fainted.

    3)Anal/Vaginal exams without consent. That would NEVER happen. People are reticent to be examined “below the belt” (that’s why bowel cancer kills more people than it should) as it is and if it got out no one would allow themselves to be on that Consultants service. Besides Medical Ethics would crucify the Consultant who let that go on. When I had tonsilitis I had to sign three forms to allow medical students to look down my throat!

    4) The previous Mrs Sugden is a Cytologist specialising in Cervical Smears and she says training is “on the job” under supervision with the patient’s express consent

  2. @Steve: Next thing you know there’ll be Steve, Other Steve, Entirely Different Steve, Not That Steve, and we’ll be overrun. :)

    And now that I’ve posted the pelvic model story, I have to say that I’m going to spend the rest of the day giggling about, “I’m going to put my hand in your vanilla.”

  3. ALERT!: the devil/communists have been planting more transitional therapod/bird fossils in china. These fake evilutionist fossils are really coming thick and fast from the area we would expect, in the approximate forms we would expect. The Global conspiracy is mounting!

    Seriousely, it’s nice to see an article that seems, to the best of my knowledge, to be fairly accurate in dicussing an actual interesting question about early avian evolution.

  4. @russellsugden: I don’t know, I think I’d take the corpse over examining another person’s genitals while they look on and comment. Personally, I’d be much more likely to faint from the prospect of accidentally hurting someone’s reproductive than from looking at a corpse.

    She didn’t say that nonconsensual exams are being performed currently, but that they have in the past. Pre-1970’s from the way she’s worded it, though it’s unclear. If I remember correctly, Mary Roach brings up this previous practice in her book Stiff. Medical consent laws, HIPAA, etc. are far more developed today then they were in even the recent past.

  5. @Amanda:

    I don’t know, I think I’d take the corpse over examining another person’s genitals while they look on and comment.

    I was going to have a great comment about this, but then my funny fuse blew.

    I am a Hedge

  6. About the games industry bit, where do statements like this come from:

    If women really are less willing to put in twelve hours, seven days a week, maybe game companies should take it as a sign that such a system really isn’t healthy for anyone.

    So, what does that mean? If men say “such a system really isn’t healthy” they’re just being girly-men whiners, and they aren’t to be taken seriously? But if women say “such a system really isn’t healthy”, then Lordy-mama it’s fact?


    We could go out on a sillylimb and extrapolate from that statement that anything men complain about is meaningless, but if women kick the dust, look out brother it’s a civil rights issue. I’m being silly and extreme, of course, but….

    I’m full of whine and whinge this morning.

  7. I guess my wife had it (easy?) when she went to midwifery school. Since it was all female students they had the honor and privilege of reciprocal examinations. My fantasies that she’d bring the breast exam homework home with her never materialized. Though she did make me (I stress that, MADE ME) feel her cervix once just to see what it was like. I made her watch three episodes of 24 as payback.

  8. @FFFearlesss: Reciprocal Examinations! I’m glad I’v never had to endure that (and I played College Rugby). Obviously it’s important to be close to your colleagues but that would have been a deal breaker for me. I’ve a friend who’s a midwife and the next time I see her I’ll ask her about that.

    If one cervical exam = 3 episodes of 24, what does a breast exam equal? I’m openning the bidding at 2 episodes of Macgyver lol :-)

  9. @SicPreFix:
    But men are expected to work long hours, be breadwinners, and not complain about it. If women, who are expected to balance career and family, are complaining about the industry, it stands to reason that it is also hard on men who want to have a life but don’t feel as if they can complain about it. Men aren’t supposed to want to spend time with their families.

    @FFFearlesss: The first time I got to see my cervix, I told everyone about it.

    @Steve: Can’t stop laughing every time I picture that. :) I do actually say “argh” in real life, too.

  10. @FFFearlesss: I don’t even like reviewing other people’s research, it feels too much like I’m invading their personal space. Sending my own stuff off is still a nerve wracking ordeal.

  11. @russellsugden If one cervical exam = 3 episodes of 24, what does a breast exam equal?

    Oh breast exams are free of course.

  12. So much for donating my body to science. Do the fine people at the Tennessee Anthropological Research Facility molest you after death or do they just watch you rot?

  13. @FFFearlesss:
    We also have the “privilege” of reciprocal practice examinations in my program (ultrasound). In fact just today I was told that I have “lovely ovaries” while my instructor pushed down (hard!) on my nearly full bladder so that my classmate could see them. Good times.

    I’m so glad we get to use a dummy for practicing our endovaginal exams.

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