Skepchick Quickies, 1.31


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. I like how there are implications within the HPV and oral cancer article. Such as only sluts get STIs (6 or more oral partners) and the fact that there is a link made between my generation being promiscuous and the rise in these cancers. I also love that their solution is be aware, not “use protection” or “get vaccinated”.

  2. For general information: Darryl Jones’ innocent-sounding “Vitamin B-17” is another name for Laetrile, the hydrogen cyanide releasing cancer “treatment” that is banned in the USA. It is not a vitamin but was so named by its proponents because its alleged destructive impact on cancer was similar to that of the B-17 bomber.

  3. @Siveambrai: I think maybe you’re reading the judgementalism into that article, cause I don’t really see it.

    Are they *not* supposed to point out that having more partners leads to an increased risk? Would it make you feel better if they just left out those data points?

  4. @Mrmisconception I agree we should adopt a suck it and see attatude (sorry couldn’t resist)

    also as it only mentioned women getting it does that mean me and the bf can still do it?

  5. @QuestionAuthority:

    The B-17 and Laetrile overlapped in the early 1950s, Laetrile just wasn’t scrapped as quickly.

    @scribe999: Laetrile is derived from amygdalin (see Wikipedia for loads of detail) which comes from the pits of several fruits such as apricots and black cherries. It is a classic case of “natural” isn’t necessarily good for you.

  6. Is there a reason why we can’t bring people like Powerbands or other quacks to court and sue them for false advertising?

  7. The article does mention that the overall incidence of neck and throat cancer is going down.

  8. @Siveambrai:

    I think sowellfan is right that you are seeing something that isn’t there.

    Also, “use protection” for oral sex? Doesn’t that partly defeat the whole purpose of it? And anyway, cancer isn’t an STD that one can avoid by using condoms — is HPV?

  9. At the end of the oral sex article it says:

    If you find a lump in your neck, even if you’re only 20 or 30, “pay attention to it,” Lydiatt said.

    What do you think the authors were talking about when they used the word ‘lump’? The mouth and throat cancer or … a certain something that may cause mouth and throat cancer?

  10. So mandatory gardisil vacinations could help reduce cancer? And the fundamentalists are against this because they want the sluts to die? I hate Texas a little more today than I did yesterday.

  11. @GabrielBrawley: “And the fundamentalists are against this because they want the sluts to die? ”

    Just like those with AIDS. Doesn’t matter if they got it from blood transfusions, etc. They should just go off and die like the lepers in the Babble.

    “Laetril = natural = good.”
    Class, substitute cyanide or strychnine in the equation and solve…

  12. @John Greg:

    I use protection for oral sex, or I just don’t do it at all. The risks are far lower, but still not worth taking, IMO. And I’m not a prude in any conceivable way, which is why I need the protection , because I have multiple partners.

  13. I found the wording of the title (which Skepchick, un-skeptically picked up in its link) a bit loaded. “Oral sex causes cancer” does it? Hammering nails does not hurt your thumb. Missing the nail does. It’s actually the HPV virus transmitted through the act of oral sex that causes cancer, not the act itself. A small distinction, but reveals some biases.

  14. @sadunlap: Neither the article nor Skepchick actually said that. They both said oral sex and cancer are linked. Correlation is not causation. All skeptics should know that.

    That said, I think this is one of the most commonly used logical fallacies by the lying mofo liars* who are trying to mislead and exploit other people, and it would have been better to either explain this up front in the article or to have avoided the issue all together by using a different headline.

    [*] Lying mofo liars is a registered trademark of Elyse and the WTF Foundation and is used with permission.**

    [**] That was a lie.

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