Skepchick Quickies, 3.3


Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

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  1. From the cooking article:

    Erectus also had a similar body shape to us. Shorter arms and longer legs appeared, and gone was the large vegetable-processing gut, meaning that Erectus could not only walk upright, but could also run.

    Does anyone here know how the gut size of Australopithecus, Habilis and Erectus has been determined? Direct fossil evidence such as shape of … the intestine bones? Or is it an assumption based on presumed diet habits?

  2. In response to the article on pubic hair, I have to agree that burning the field, so to speak, makes you look a lot younger, and it creeps me the fuck out in some cases. Doing a little yard work is fine, but I’m not much for the goal to be salting the earth at the end.

  3. @Bjornar: I was wondering that too, and while I find this an interesting hypothesis, I need to know more about the science involved (how much is speculation, comparative anatomy, etc). I am intrigued by the notion though.

    @LtStorm: I’d agree that trimming is sufficient, but clear-cutting is excessive. A little landscaping is all one needs, imho.

  4. They treat pubic grooming as if it’s a new phenomenon. It’s really only new to post-puritan America. Has anyone done a retrospective on pubic grooming in recorded history? I think it’s be interesting reading.

    I sincerely doubt that our recent fascination with hardwood floors (with or without a hall runner) is symptomatic of a cultural shift towards pedophilia. As much as it’s helpful to learn the biological roots of physical attributes, presupposing biological sources for cultural practices is really quite dangerous.

  5. @whatbluedot: I sincerely doubt that our recent fascination with hardwood floors (with or without a hall runner) is symptomatic of a cultural shift towards pedophilia.

    I agree with that statement.
    I’m pretty sure I heard somewhere that porn actors shave their pubes to make their “stuff” look bigger and excessive pube hair would certainly hinder the “view” down there. For St-Valentine I switched from “carpet to hardwood floors” and I’ll admit to having enjoyed the looks and feel of it thouroughly. And I don’t think my boyfriend is a pedophile for enjoying “hardwood”.

  6. @Izzy: Agreed also.

    Preference for youth in sexual attraction isn’t equal to preference for children. There’s plenty of biological advantage to procreating with those who are in the range between fully fertile adults and adults who have waning fertility. With females in particular, fertility and likelihood of healthy offspring is strongly associated with a certain age range, so any indication towards being younger in general is going to be naturally attractive.

    We can culturally define 50 as beautiful, but let’s be honest: procreation is more likely to be successful at 20. So if someone who is 30 alters themselves in a way that evokes the image of being even younger than 20, it’s sort of an averaging-out in terms of overall appearance. That could be shaving, pigtails, schoolgirl outfits, whatever. Being attracted to those things doesn’t mean someone is attracted to an actual child.

    In fact, wouldn’t an actual pedophile be less attracted to child-like things on an adult, much in the same way that those of us who aren’t pedophiles are less attracted to young-adult things on seniors? If you think low-cut jeans on a 20-year-old are attractive, are you as likely to find them attractive on an 80-year-old?

    I’m betting pedophiles are attracted to children because they are children, and aren’t necessarily into adults wearing child-like styles.

  7. The argument could just as easily be made that hard wood floors are symptomatic of a cultural shift toward the unnatural. Fake blond hair, fake boobs, fake lips that look like an anaphalactic reaction- they’re all considered beautiful and it escapes me as to why.

    Did anyone else get weirded out by the intro story for the pubes article? The baby was growing adult pubic hair with an adolescent penis and the parents didn’t do anything about it FOR TEN MONTHS! And then the cause was the dad’s testosterone gel! What a weird (and interesting) story. I’d keep my eye on those parents- they strike me as the type who might not notice their child making out with a light socket.

    Elyse, any chance we can send them links to your podcast? I think these folks need some serious child rearing assistance.

  8. @ Displaced Northerner

    I think these folks need some serious child rearing assistance.

    I’d agree, but it may also be that they hoped it would stop before they’d have to admit that they looked (as ridiculous as it might seem to suggest that one could change diapers without looking). People are way, way over-cautious about appearing improper with children. I wouldn’t be surprised if this played a role in their hesitance.

  9. I think the doctor who prescribed the testosterone gel for the father should have warned him not to get it all over everyone else in the family. From the rxlist entry on AndroGel:


    * Virilization has been reported in children who were secondarily exposed to testosterone gel.
    * Children should avoid contact with any unwashed or unclothed application sites in men using testosterone gel.
    * Healthcare providers should advise patients to strictly adhere to recommended instructions for use.

    Re: Hardwood v. shag carpeting: I say, bring back the merkin! In fluorescent colours! One to match every outfit! [I always felt sorry for writer Daphne Merkin, especially when she wrote about the NYC BDSM crowd for the New Yorker.] Seriously, paedophiles would probably prefer size 00 stick figures to buxom or muscled adults who shave their fiddly bits.

    I find it somewhat amusing that women in the US who don’t shave under their arms are decried as barbarians and women who do shave their pubes are held up as being in thrall to child molesters.

    My former OB/Gyn once mentioned that he’d had more than one unfortunate patient who had tried to bleach her pubic hair to match her artificial platinum [‘I want to look like a natural blonde’]; think of all the pain that would have avoided had the Brazilian been in vogue at the time.

  10. I agree that shaving pubes has little to do with pedophilia. I like men who shave their facial hair and no one has accused me of being a pedophile. Most women shave their legs and both men and women shave their armpits. There are plenty of adults who just have naturally less hair, and it’s ok to like them because they’re just as much adults as the hairier folk. I prefer men who have little body hair, but they certainly don’t look like any children that I’ve ever seen so I don’t feel weird about it. I’ve also had some people suggest that I prefer “feminine” men, but I’ve never seen any women who look like the men I’m attracted to either. While men tend to have more body hair than women, there are plenty of real men who have very little and plenty of real women who have a lot.

  11. @DominEditrix:

    My former OB/Gyn once mentioned that he’d had more than one unfortunate patient who had tried to bleach her pubic hair to match her artificial platinum [‘I want to look like a natural blonde’]

    A lot of natural blonds have dark pubic hair anyway. Even brunettes tend to have darker hair down there than on their head. It’s a completely different type of hair, so why should we expect it to match?

  12. The reason we have springy, thick hair on our genitals is to cushion them. If I did not have a tuft over my clitoris I would be miserable all day long. It keeps out a lot of nasty stuff too by shielding the goods or redirecting flow around the hair. Liquids tend to follow the path of least resistance. Useful stuff and kind of cool looking. I do not think the fad of shaving/ waxing has anything to do with pedophilia. A hairless adult woman does not look like a hairless 5 year old female at all. I think it is just a fad to highlight those differences really. You can see the goods better if there is less hair. It also looks better under bikinis. Most women only remove some of it anyway to look neat.

  13. I’d agree that the motivation for shaving the pubes need not be to look preadolescent. For instance, the article mentions the problem of flossing during oral sex, and just as some people prefer a smooth face, some prefer smooth genitals.

    Having said that, though, I’m kind of a hippie who doesn’t shave anything (I’ve been called Grizzly Adams) as is my wife. We both came of age in the ’70s, so our tastes run in that direction.

  14. @catgirl: Yeah, I know – but it seems to be some kind of myth that head hair colour = pubic hair colour, tho’ not, I think, amongst those of us who were born blonde.

    Back in my youth, I used to change my hair colour at the drop of a hat, but it never, ever occurred to me that dyeing pubic hair was an option, however misguided. Or batshit insane.

    @bug_girl: It would never have occurred to me to search for a pubic hair shaving discussion. [Shaking head, wandering off to shave the cats, or at least Furminate them…]

  15. Hi there!

    Wow. After reading all these other responses, I feel a like some kind of deviant for actually wanting to comment on the BOOZE article. [blush]

    Does anyone else think that oxygenated booze that gets you drunk slower sound suspiciously like the de-fanged alcohol substitute that they served on Star Trek TNG? (Or at least the one with James Doohan guest-starring, I don’t know if it was ever mentioned again)

    I like the idea of hangover-free, slower to buzz booze, but it makes me fear that when I’m in my twilight years, I’ll have to find a dealer in some dimly-lit back-alley to get booze that hasn’t been oxygenated to to the point where it makes a wine spritzer seem like Everclear. :(

    I mean, they’ve already taken our clove cigarettes away. :( [tinfoil hat]

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