Tragedy! Staring at breasts does NOT increase a man’s life expectancy.

Posted: July 25, 2012 in Humour, Popular Culture et al
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

A row of breasts

Well you try Googling a “row of breasts” and see what you come up with. Sheesh. (Incidentally, netizens, why is it OK (I presume) to show this picture with black blobs over the girl’s nipples, but risk giving offence without it? Can anyone explain to me why nipples are somehow “dirty”? Don’t we all have them? Why might it cause offence to show female nipples, but not male ones? Hmmm? Does anybody ever take these politeness issues back to first principles? What about the fact that the photo might cause offence in parts of the US, but not in most of Europe? The logic of it all gives me a headache. Discuss.

An email from a mate (who clearly feels he needs justification for staring at tits for a portion of his day) reminded me of a hoax that is still circulating around the Net (and appearing in many media outlets) since first landing in our inboxes in March / April 2000.

An example of the original email follows:

Email text contributed anonymously in April 2000:

This is not a joke. It came from the New England Journal of Medicine. Great news for girl watchers: Ogling women’s breasts is good for a man’s health and can add years to his life, medical experts have discovered. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, “Just 10 minutes of staring at the charms of a well-endowed female is roughly equivalent to a 30-minute aerobics work-out” declared gerontologist Dr. Karen Weatherby.

Dr. Weatherby and fellow researchers at three hospitals in Frankfurt, Germany, reached the startling conclusion after comparing the health of 200 male outpatients – half of whom were instructed to look at busty females daily, the other half told to refrain from doing so. The study revealed that after five years, the chest-watchers had lower blood pressure, slower resting pulse rates and fewer instances of coronary artery disease.

“Sexual excitement gets the heart pumping and improves blood circulation,” explains Dr. Weatherby. “There’s no question: Gazing at breasts makes men healthier.” “Our study indicates that engaging in this activity a few minutes daily cuts the risk of stroke and heart attack in half. We believe that by doing so consistently, the average man can extend his life four to five years.”

Sadly, don’t get your hopes up, guys. Before you mutter “Oh, those crazy whacky Germans” and fix your eyes on the nearest female, it is a joke. No such study was ever published in the New England Journal of Medicine (if you don’t believe the impeccable credentials of Wellthisiswhatithink you can check for yourself).

And a search of the thousands of peer-reviewed articles contained in the National Institutes of Health PubMed database also turns up zero items documenting the health benefits of staring at women’s breasts, and, for that matter, zero items authored by “Dr. Karen Weatherby” (who probably does not exist, so far as those hunting her down can tell).

If the story smacks of tabloid faux-journalism, well, that’s precisely what it is. The text hit the Internet in March or April 2000, mere weeks after a strikingly similar article appeared in the Weekly World News. A slightly different version had already appeared in the May 13, 1997 issue of the tabloid.

So males who wish to increase their lifespans ought to consider practicing common sense as an alternative — a walk a day is more likely to achieve the desired result than any amount of breast ogling, public or private. It seems if you want to look at women’s breasts you need a better excuse, and probably a good pair of very dark sunglasses.

Admittedly, I don’t have any medical research to back up dismissing the theory, even if it isn’t actually a theory. I mean, you know, perhaps staring at boobs could reduce stress and induce a sense of well-being? Who knows? I wouldn’t, I’m a bum man. But anything’s possible: in fact, I feel a perfectly decent PhD topic coming on. So anyone wishing to join me in a formal double-blind experiment can email me privately.  Confidentiality assured. Er …

(On the upside, me posting another article about tits will get my Google ratings way up again. Whoo-hoo. If you don’t believe me, simply search this site for the word tits. Oh, go on. You know you want to.)

  1. I would be willing to be a test guinea pig for any clinical trials that are going on regarding this…purely in the interest of medical accuracy you understand. Or if someone is looking to explore the medical benefits of watching sport whilst drinking beer.


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