In Vitro is Chauvinist: The Sex Ratio of IVF Babies is Skewed Towards Males

Got to admit, I thought this was about eugenics and culture.

In vitro fertilization (IVF) accounts for up to five percent of babies born in developed countries, and the technique has yielded some five million people ever since Louise Brown was born in the UK on July 25, 1978. And that’s just humans; the technology has been a huge boon in breeding farm animals. Yet there are hints that the procedure can have some unwanted effects on the resultant embryos. One such indication is a skewed sex ratio.

Source: In vitro is chauvinist: The sex ratio of IVF babies is skewed towards males

Looks like the fix is just a change in culture medium. It will take some time for this to become mainstream for human IVF. It also looks like (from the abstract) that this extra bath doesn’t harm male embryos in any way, so it won’t require genetic testing of embryos to sort out the girls (extra $$$ and mandatory freeze).

The best part is that this fix will likely increase overall success rates as those female embryos that would have failed instead thrive. Even a small % increase in success means so much to people desperately trying for a child, regardless of gender.

Study: The Body Shape That Protects Women From Diabetes

I’m in shape – “round” is a shape.

Pear-shaped women are “significantly” less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those with smaller hips, according to new research.

The findings, which were presented this weekend at the American Society of Human Genetics’ annual meeting, traced the connection to a genetic variation carried by women with hips that are larger in comparison to the rest of their body.

Source: The Body Shape That Protects Women From Diabetes

Regardless, as we gain weight – the likelihood of getting [type 2] diabetes increases.

Your Mom Was Right: Being Friends With Boys in High School Lowers Your GPA

Dudes: Cramping your style since the dawn of time, and, now possibly cramping your career prospects. New research has found that being friends with the opposite gender in high school can lead to lowered GPAs—and that the effect is three times more significant for girls, especially in areas like math and science. Thanks, dudes! Stay cool this summer! Don’t go changin’!

Source: Your Mom Was Right: Being Friends With Boys in High School Lowers Your GPA

Maybe boys shouldn’t dress so distractingly?

Court: Female Athlete With Male Hormone Levels Has a Right to Compete

The final appeals court for global sports further blurred the line separating male and female athletes on Monday, ruling that a common factor in distinguishing the sexes — the level of natural testosterone in an athlete’s body — is insufficient to bar some women from competing against females.

Source: Dutee Chand, Female Sprinter With High Testosterone Level, Wins Right to Compete

Yesterday that I posted news about people with special genetic conditions

I like that the findings present that gender is not as “black & white” as we generally perceive it to be.  Consider transgender, which is quickly becoming an issue in other competitive sports.  Particularly male-to-female (M2F) competing as the gender they identify as.  Female crossfit competitors were contesting against M2F competitors being allowed in their category, as M2F would have a physiological advantage for muscle.  There’s been some news about M2F MMA competitors who hit/etc harder/different than female competitors – to this, I’ve understood it to be a matter of technique rather than physical strength.

Competing against peers has always been the primary goal.  Otherwise, if there was no gender distinction – some events, no female would ever win.  Which wouldn’t encourage women to compete…  There are also para-olympic games, for those with physical disability.  And I know a few who’ve represented my country in the transplant games, where competitors are transplant recipients.  With enough community support, I could see transgender games in the same fashion as para or transplant.  Or maybe we’ll see a leveling of the field via the testosterone/etc testing to determine which category a competitor falls into?

Another issue to consider is that the Olympics are motivated by business – viewership determines what coverage will occur, and what events will happen at all.  The winter Olympics including curling had a tremendous impact on people coming out for curling, so it’s important for advertising ones sport.

Men Who are Bad at Video Games More Likely to Show Hostility to Women

If you’re a man who is crap at games, like me, then you are significantly more likely to be a dick to any women who rock up and start playing games alongside you. That’s according to a study published on PLOS ONE that sought to test the hypothesis that “female-initiated disruption of a male hierarchy incites hostile behaviour from poor performing males who stand to lose the most status.”

Source: The worse you are at games, the more likely you are to be hostile to women, says one study

I don’t think video games are intrinsic to this for the reason most would think.  Any online game, where people can be set against others, would illicit the response.  The likelihood is higher for games that support more than two players (chess, checkers, etc), but will happen all the same.  Online game play provides more random sampling, otherwise you’re playing people who are acquaintances or known by acquaintances.

I’m curious to see how low ranked/poor players deal with other known trigger groups – various minorities, etc.

Science Has Finally Discovered Why Men Exist

Since in many species, sperm is males’ only contribution to reproduction, biologists have long puzzled about why evolutionary selection, known for its ruthless efficiency, allows them to exist.

Now British scientists have an explanation: Males are required for a process known as “sexual selection” which helps species to ward off disease and avoid extinction.

Source: Why do men exist? Scientific study offers an explanation

This research seems more like evolutionary biology than psychology, since the focus is entirely on the genetic benefits of sexual selection rather than how said selection explains much about our behavior.

Also jars. Those damn jam jars can be just too hard to opens. And then I’d be sad without jam.

The Unique Difficulties that Women Face with Weight Loss

If you’re a woman who has tried to lose weight, you may have noticed something: it’s hard. Much harder than simply cutting your calories and watching the weight fall off.  There are complexities beyond simple math; emotional, physical and social barriers that simply aren’t addressed by a male-dominated fitness industry.

Source: The Unique Difficulties that Women Face with Weight Loss

From my experience, it’s self compassion, self-criticism, patience and tenacity.  It might take months to see results.  And keep in mind that body fat is not a complete indication of health – there are lots now who have high blood pressure/etc but low body fat.