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Old 10th May 2007, 12:11 AM   #1
Mycroft
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Lesbians twice as likely to be obese

http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegrap...012769,00.html

Quote:
LESBIANS are twice as likely as heterosexual women to be overweight or obese, which puts them at greater risk for obesity-related health problems and death, US researchers said.

The report, published in the American Journal of Public Health, is one of the first large studies to look at obesity among lesbians.
I wonder exactly how it is that a scientist comes to the decision that the best way he can make a contribution to human understanding is by studying obesity in lesbians?
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Old 10th May 2007, 12:48 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
I wonder exactly how it is that a scientist comes to the decision that the best way he can make a contribution to human understanding is by studying obesity in lesbians?
Ulrike Boehmer (the lead author of the paper) is a woman.

Some of her other work is here

Problem with it?
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Old 10th May 2007, 12:51 AM   #3
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i dont know why this is so hilarious but it is. I dont know why they decided to study this at all!
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Old 10th May 2007, 01:00 AM   #4
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Are we sure there isn't an agenda involved...
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Old 10th May 2007, 01:25 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
I wonder exactly how it is that a scientist comes to the decision that the best way he can make a contribution to human understanding is by studying obesity in lesbians?
I don't see any indication that the scientist thought that this was the best way to make a contribution.

What other areas do you think should be off-limits to scientists?
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Old 10th May 2007, 01:47 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by CFLarsen View Post

What other areas do you think should be off-limits to scientists?

can you say 'fallacy' children? I knew you could.
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Old 10th May 2007, 01:55 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by nails3jesus0 View Post
can you say 'fallacy' children? I knew you could.
How is that a fallacy?
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Old 10th May 2007, 01:58 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by CFLarsen View Post
How is that a fallacy?
You upgraded the 'waste of time' implied by the opening post to 'should be off limits'. Strawman.
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Old 10th May 2007, 02:14 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Ian Osborne View Post
You upgraded the 'waste of time' implied by the opening post to 'should be off limits'. Strawman.
If it's a waste of time, obviously it shouldn't be done.
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Old 10th May 2007, 02:17 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by CFLarsen View Post
If it's a waste of time, obviously it shouldn't be done.
Can you really not see the difference between questioning the usefulness of a study and demanding the subject matter be declared off-limits?
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Old 10th May 2007, 02:47 AM   #11
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It's probably useful information for women who are considering choosing to become lesbians. "I dunno, I like the 401k plan, but there seems to be an obesity risk."
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Old 10th May 2007, 02:56 AM   #12
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I don't see what's so useless about the study. It raises quite a few interesting questions. In particular, why should this be?

Speculating, do women strive to keep their weight down at least partly to appeal to men? Or at least, because in their perception of the situation, men are attracted to slim women? Is there a perception that lesbian women care much less about the slimness of a figure, therefore a woman who is interested in appealling to other women may strive less to keep her weight down?

This then leads on to inquiring just how much of the spectrum of weights seen in the community is "natural", and how much at least partly "artificial" as a result of women (in this instance) deliberately modifying their behaviour in some way to come in at a lower weight. Comparing women with different goals as regards whom they are hoping to attract is one way of teasing out the answers to these questions.

I've no idea if any of this was in the discussion of the work referred to, it's just what came to my mind when reading the OP.

So a researcher chose to look at this subject. Is there any reason to believe that by doing this she had taken a conscious decision that this was "the best way [s]he can make a contribution to human understanding"? Why is she obliged to be that serious? Sometimes things are just a bit intriguing.

And none the worse for that.

Rolfe.
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Old 10th May 2007, 03:00 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegrap...012769,00.html
I wonder exactly how it is that a scientist comes to the decision that the best way he can make a contribution to human understanding is by studying obesity in lesbians?
Would you feel differently if it was another factor involved like race or economic status?
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Old 10th May 2007, 03:23 AM   #14
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Having made a lifelong study of women, I do not consider my time has been entirely wasted.
The data, as always, are not yet all in.
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Old 10th May 2007, 03:48 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I don't see what's so useless about the study. It raises quite a few interesting questions. In particular, why should this be?

Speculating, do women strive to keep their weight down at least partly to appeal to men? Or at least, because in their perception of the situation, men are attracted to slim women? Is there a perception that lesbian women care much less about the slimness of a figure, therefore a woman who is interested in appealling to other women may strive less to keep her weight down?
My totally not evidence-based speculation would be that being a lesbian does not make life easier in general (family, neighbors, society etc.), therefore making them more prone to things like eating out of frustration (does such a thing really exist?).
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Old 10th May 2007, 06:52 AM   #16
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<obvious_joke>I think the problem is that they eat out too often.</obvious_joke>
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Old 10th May 2007, 07:03 AM   #17
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Lesbians and gay men have different health profiles, just as do poor people, people of different races, people from different ethnic groups, people who live in different physical environments, and so on and so forth.

From a public health point of view it's useful to know why lesbians are different, and how you can educate populations and help them protect themselves.
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Old 10th May 2007, 07:39 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by wahrheit View Post
My totally not evidence-based speculation would be that being a lesbian does not make life easier in general (family, neighbors, society etc.), therefore making them more prone to things like eating out of frustration (does such a thing really exist?).
Would you then expect the same incidence of obesity amongst gay males?
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Old 10th May 2007, 07:51 AM   #19
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Now I know why a lot of the women I hit on turn out to be lesbians -- I like 'em round...
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Old 10th May 2007, 07:54 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by chulbert View Post
Would you then expect the same incidence of obesity amongst gay males?
Which I don't think is the case. Which is why I suspect it may be to do with how the subject believes that the group she (or he) is trying to attract might prefer a mate to look. Or perhaps some lesbians want to look more butch and macho, and gaining weight is one way to do this, as men are on average heavier than women.

Anyway, I fail to see why any study of the subject should be seen as a matter for surprise or derision.

Rolfe.
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Old 10th May 2007, 08:10 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by chulbert View Post
Would you then expect the same incidence of obesity amongst gay males?
Not to the same extend, since (I am guessing, not knowing) gay males are somewhat more accepted in society than out lesbians. That's at least true were I grew up, big cities in central Europe. For example, while Hamburg and Berlin have gay governing mayors, I am pretty sure a lesbian would have bigger troubles getting elected into such an office.
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Old 10th May 2007, 08:31 AM   #22
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Both gay males and lesbians have higher instances of risk taking behavior (drugs, alcohol, not seeing the doctor). I think the difference is cultural. Being heavy is more accepted among lesbians, so lesbians are less likely to diet and exercise to look better.

Gay men, on the other hand, are extremely critical of each others looks. So in gay men you see the opposite behavior--more diet and exercise to improve looks.
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Old 10th May 2007, 08:33 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by wahrheit View Post
Not to the same extend, since (I am guessing, not knowing) gay males are somewhat more accepted in society than out lesbians. That's at least true were I grew up, big cities in central Europe. For example, while Hamburg and Berlin have gay governing mayors, I am pretty sure a lesbian would have bigger troubles getting elected into such an office.
Well lesbians have to marks against them. Women and homoseuxal, gay males only have the homosexual mark against them.
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Old 10th May 2007, 08:37 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by chulbert View Post
Would you then expect the same incidence of obesity amongst gay males?
That assumes that whatever it is that makes men gay also makes women lesbian. If it's purely genetic, for instance, there's no reason to think that the same gene that causes women to be attracted to women would cause men to be attracted to men.
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Old 10th May 2007, 08:41 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by ChristineR View Post
Both gay males and lesbians have higher instances of risk taking behavior (drugs, alcohol, not seeing the doctor). I think the difference is cultural. Being heavy is more accepted among lesbians, so lesbians are less likely to diet and exercise to look better.

Gay men, on the other hand, are extremely critical of each others looks. So in gay men you see the opposite behavior--more diet and exercise to improve looks.
There's another explanation. Higher than normal testosterone in a woman can cause both weight gain and masculine characteristics that could conceivably make someone a lesbian.

My wife has polycystic ovarian syndrome. This is believed to be caused by an excess in male hormones, and causes cysts in the ovaries as well as a risk for obesity and diabetes.
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Old 10th May 2007, 08:59 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Well lesbians have to marks against them. Women and homoseuxal, gay males only have the homosexual mark against them.
I guess you are right. "A female mayor? Hm... okay. A woman _and_ lesbian for mayor? No, that's asking too much."

Plus, I'd like to second what ChristineR said, regarding gay men typically being more critical of each others looks.

I certainly lack the expertise to comment on aggle-rithm's post, but it does sound reasonable.
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Old 10th May 2007, 09:44 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by wahrheit View Post
I certainly lack the expertise to comment on aggle-rithm's post, but it does sound reasonable.
Don't worry, I lack it as well.

There's no scientific evidence that I know of that there is a link between masculine characteristics in women and lesbianism, but there certainly seems to be in my (admittedly unscientific) observation.

Every time I see a lesbian portrayed on TV as being drop-dead gorgeous and having a perfect body, I wonder: "Why have I never met a lesbian who looks like that?"

(Of course, none of these observations are meant to disparage lesbians as people; just trying to be objective.)
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Old 10th May 2007, 09:45 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by chulbert View Post
Would you then expect the same incidence of obesity amongst gay males?
No. And exactly by the same principle. Heteros try to appeal to the other sex, but lets face it, men are a lot more visual than women. So (and note that my comment is only my opinion) gays will tend to care a lot more than regular man about their appearance, and lesbians will consider it as a "male domination thing" and will neglect it.
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Old 10th May 2007, 10:01 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I don't see what's so useless about the study. It raises quite a few interesting questions. In particular, why should this be?

Speculating, do women strive to keep their weight down at least partly to appeal to men? Or at least, because in their perception of the situation, men are attracted to slim women? Is there a perception that lesbian women care much less about the slimness of a figure, therefore a woman who is interested in appealling to other women may strive less to keep her weight down?

This then leads on to inquiring just how much of the spectrum of weights seen in the community is "natural", and how much at least partly "artificial" as a result of women (in this instance) deliberately modifying their behaviour in some way to come in at a lower weight. Comparing women with different goals as regards whom they are hoping to attract is one way of teasing out the answers to these questions.

I've no idea if any of this was in the discussion of the work referred to, it's just what came to my mind when reading the OP.

So a researcher chose to look at this subject. Is there any reason to believe that by doing this she had taken a conscious decision that this was "the best way [s]he can make a contribution to human understanding"? Why is she obliged to be that serious? Sometimes things are just a bit intriguing.

And none the worse for that.

Rolfe.
Well said - anytime there is a group of type X who share more condition Y than groups A,B,C etc. it is useful medically/psychologically to seek out the why.
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Old 10th May 2007, 01:55 PM   #30
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I guess Mycroft just likes his lesbians obese. Hey, more skinny and average-sized lesbians for me.
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Old 10th May 2007, 08:23 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by HarryKeogh View Post
Would you feel differently if it was another factor involved like race or economic status?
My comments were intended to be more humorous than serious. While I think the topic is inherently funny, I would also be curious to learn why this would be true.
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Old 10th May 2007, 08:35 PM   #32
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Funny, I just thought lesbians were twice as likely to have a mullet.
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Old 10th May 2007, 08:39 PM   #33
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I'll tell you why lesbians are fat.

It's because they always eat out, and they never do d*ck.
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Old 10th May 2007, 08:58 PM   #34
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It seems that this study found a correlation between higher incidence of obesity and lesbian sexual orientation. Everyone seems to be regarding this as if women who are lesbian are also more likely to become heavy. But what if we consider the possibility that women who are already heavy are more likely to be lesbian?

Instead of wondering what it is about their being lesbian that leads to a higher incidence of being heavy, we could ask what it is about being heavy that makes them more likely to be lesbian.

I'm simply throwing out the question, I have no position to promote.
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Old 10th May 2007, 09:54 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by DoubtingStephen View Post
It seems that this study found a correlation between higher incidence of obesity and lesbian sexual orientation. Everyone seems to be regarding this as if women who are lesbian are also more likely to become heavy. But what if we consider the possibility that women who are already heavy are more likely to be lesbian?

Instead of wondering what it is about their being lesbian that leads to a higher incidence of being heavy, we could ask what it is about being heavy that makes them more likely to be lesbian.

I'm simply throwing out the question, I have no position to promote.
Good questions. What about the mullets?
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Old 11th May 2007, 01:15 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by fowlsound View Post
Good questions. What about the mullets?
Well, Peter Stringfellow has a mullet and he's always surrounded by pretty girls. Maybe they think it will work for them too?
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Old 11th May 2007, 06:52 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegrap...012769,00.html



I wonder exactly how it is that a scientist comes to the decision that the best way he can make a contribution to human understanding is by studying obesity in lesbians?
You chose not to make it clear but from the nature of your comment it appears that you believe this study is of no value. Did you reach your clearly scientific derision because it affects any of the following: -
a/ women
b/ lesbians
c/ womens health
d/ obesity

Who knows? Who cares?
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Old 11th May 2007, 10:15 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by DoubtingStephen View Post
It seems that this study found a correlation between higher incidence of obesity and lesbian sexual orientation. Everyone seems to be regarding this as if women who are lesbian are also more likely to become heavy. But what if we consider the possibility that women who are already heavy are more likely to be lesbian?

Instead of wondering what it is about their being lesbian that leads to a higher incidence of being heavy, we could ask what it is about being heavy that makes them more likely to be lesbian.

I'm simply throwing out the question, I have no position to promote.
I had the same thought.
I've also wondered about gay men and "lisps." I knew some guys in late elementary and Jr. High who spoke with lisps, and turned out to be gay years later. I've wondered before if it's some kind of biological thing, or if being repeatedly accused of having homosexual traits somehow makes one more inclined to explore (and ultimately enjoy) homosexuality.
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Old 11th May 2007, 10:27 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
I had the same thought.
I've also wondered about gay men and "lisps." I knew some guys in late elementary and Jr. High who spoke with lisps, and turned out to be gay years later. I've wondered before if it's some kind of biological thing, or if being repeatedly accused of having homosexual traits somehow makes one more inclined to explore (and ultimately enjoy) homosexuality.
Well, to some extent it has to be both. There are social circumstances where many people would have sex with the "other" gender (as opposed to the other gender, whichever they prefer). Some people have a strong biological preference to the same sex yet voluntarily chose heterosexual relationships because being gay is a social disadvantage.

I do think that there is some evidence that women do not have as strong an orientation towards one gender, but women do have sexual preferences. So if a woman prefers big strong men, but she finds herself in a social situation where lesbian relationships make sense, she will likely be attracted to big, strong women.
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Old 11th May 2007, 10:41 AM   #40
CFLarsen
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 42,367
Originally Posted by E.J.Armstrong View Post
You chose not to make it clear but from the nature of your comment it appears that you believe this study is of no value. Did you reach your clearly scientific derision because it affects any of the following: -
a/ women
b/ lesbians
c/ womens health
d/ obesity

Who knows? Who cares?
Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
My comments were intended to be more humorous than serious. While I think the topic is inherently funny, I would also be curious to learn why this would be true.
Mycroft thinks fat lesbians are funny. Inherently.
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