is this really science?

I guess fat bodies don’t have satisfying sex, says a new study. Thanks to my friend Riley for finding this. 

My response to this news over facebook was this: 

“The article fails to address that much of these issues might not be about the person themselves but about the way our society is conditioned to think about overweight and obese people (socialization versus medicine). The biggest pointer to this in the article is the fact that these are all people who were enrolling in weight-loss programs, and therefore, likely already had low self-esteem. The study does not investigate people who are happy or confident about their overweight bodies. It also singles overweight people out from the general population, otherizing fat bodies even more. I also don’t know how I feel being compared with cancer patients either or why they are a separate category in the first place. 

One of the other issues I immediately see is that this research fails to problematize the issue of envisioning women as less sexually fulfilled than men (and perhaps an extension of this is the issues of gender binary in the research). Perhaps its not the obesity but rather that sex, more often than not, is focused on the pleasure of the man and not the woman herself (if we are thinking about heterosexual relationships). My interactions from heteronormative male culture are that women are not supposed to derive pleasure from sex. I think more of those issues need to be taken into account. 

It’s also a problem in my eyes that satisfaction and masturbation are two separate categories, as if sex and masturbation are not really comparable. True, there are differences but I think masturbation is a form of sex.

I cannot see more issues at the moment, but I am sure there are a plethora of issues. I would love to hear more complaints about this article. Especially, this doesn’t look like science to me at all. Rather, it really appears to be normative statements masquerading as science to reinforce the notion that fat people are lonely, sad and pathetic. It really reminds me of the argument that queer people are a threat to society. Since it is a normative opinion it can be masqueraded as a scientific fact, when the the empirical data suggests that it has no basis in reality (just like queers being child molesters or the notion that children need two parents of the opposite sex).” 

Riley also noted, “Yes, to all of wha[t] you said, Chance. Also, the study shows absolutely no causation. Maybe people who have less satisfying sex lives are more likely to be overweight! Maybe those are the people who don’t care as much what other people think because sex isn’t all that great a motivator to them. Also there are many things that cause both obesity and sexual complications both physical and mental healthwise….” 


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