Friday, November 17, 2006

Bush Appoints an Abstinence Jack Ass to Oversee Title X Funding

It's bad enough that Abstinence only programs think that they are the only successful route to keeping teenagers and other would-be hussies from having sex and getting pregnant. But, it's worse when Abstinence only programs try to offer "scientific" evidence in support of these worthless programs. But, what really takes the cake is when our lame duck fearless leader appoints a pseudo-scientist who strings together silly arguments in support of abstinence to oversee Title X funding. That's right folks. Jessica at Feministing posted yesterday that Bush has appointed Dr. Eric Keroack to oversee the only federal program devoted entirely to family planning and reproductive health. The SF Chron points out:

The appointment, which does not require Senate confirmation, is the latest provocative personnel move by the White House since Democrats won control of Congress in this month's midterm elections. Last week, President Bush pushed the Senate to confirm John Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations, and this week, he renominated six appellate court nominees who have previously been blocked by lawmakers.

Dr. Eric Keroack is a gynecologist who thinks he is a cutting edge neuroendocrinologist. I guess having an M.D. sometimes gives physicians the impression that they know everything. Keroack is big on the anti-choice circuit, wherein he argues that it all comes down to oxytocin. Yes, the hormone responsible for emotional bonding. What is his argument against pre-marital sex: everytime you have sex, you deplete your "finite" store of oxytocin, so that that you will impair your ability to create bonds with your future husband. Keroack also argues that oxytocin is responsible for a powerful bond between mother and fetus. Hence, if you show the mother an ultrasound of the developing fetus, her hormonal bond becomes so strong that it makes abortion unthinkable. (You'll love how they describe their study, give me a break!)

If you poke around online and take a look at the arguments Keroack makes against abortion and comprehensive sex education, you soon learn how scientifically inept the pro-life crowd is. This is, afterall, the same crowd that wants to ban the teaching of Evolution in the classroom. But, hey, if they can make up some unsupported medical hypotheses, and not subject them to serious scientific study and peer review, they can get the entire pro-life crowd believing it. It's amazing to me how gullible this crowd is to any pro-life jack ass with an M.D. who purports to have conclusive evidence that women are, afterall, nothing but their oxytocin. And, I guess the minor premise here is that God made women with more oxytocin so that they would be good mothers. It is an offense to God to deplete your oxytocin, cause God only gave you a little bit and you better use it wisely.

Just in case there are readers who actually believe this bullshit, you should know that (a) men synthesize oxytocin too, (b) there is not a finite amount that can be depleted, (c) evidence is inconclusive about the role that oxytocin plays in maternal behaivor.

For more on Keroack, I urge you to read moiv's account at Alternet. You can access the Powerpoint slides from Dr. Keroack's presentation entitled, "Oxytocin: Is This Nano-Peptide A Chemical Type of Human Super-Glue?"