Hundreds of Americans have received tissue from plundered corpses. Roughly a million transplants each year come from corpses; from 2004 to 2005, at least 134 patients got tissue now known to have been stolen without the deceased's (pre-death) consent. Recipients' complaints: 1) My new body part is from an old person, not a young one as the doctors claimed. 2) My new body part is from someone who didn't want to be "chopped up." 3) My new body part gave me syphilis. Authority quoted by the Washington Post on the wrongness of corpse-looting: FDA spokesman Stephen King.
Sex lowers your blood-pressure response to stress for days, according to a small study. For two weeks, 46 volunteers "kept diaries of how often they engaged in penile-vaginal intercourse (PVI), masturbation," or other "partnered sexual activity." Then they were assigned public speaking and measured for stress. Results: Those who had PVI "were least stressed, and their blood pressure returned to normal faster than those who'd only masturbated or had non-coital sex. Those who abstained had the highest blood-pressure response." Researchers' theory: The duration of the effect, and the fact that you get more of it from PVI than from other sex, suggests the benefit comes not from orgasm but from oxytocin, a pair-bonding hormone. Translation: It's not the sex; it's the love. Skeptics' suspicions: 1) People who volunteer to record and report their sex acts are not a representative sample. 2) Great, this news will really help us control teen pregnancy. 3) Maybe the low stress causes the sex, not the other way around. 4) This isn't a study; it's a pickup line. (For Human Nature's takes on noncoital sex acts, click here, here, here, or here. For PVI between unauthorized pairs, click here or here. For the costs of abstinence, click here or here. For the pope's take on love and sex, click here.)
Latest Human Nature columns: 1) Men, women, and the joy of punishment. 2) Scalia on abortion and suicide. 3) Teachers who have sex withboys. 4) Our creepy genetic experiment on dogs. 5) The pope's anti-gay tendencies. 6) Does Alito treat women like girls? 7) Bill Bennett's racial determinism. 8) The mainstreaming of anal sex. (Click here to return to top of page.)