Social Ties Boost Survival by 50 Percent

From Scientific American:

Relationships-boost-survival_1 A long lunch out with co-workers or a late-night conversation with a family member might seem like a distraction from other healthy habits, such as going to the gym or getting a good night's sleep. But more than 100 years' worth of research shows that having a healthy social life is incredibly important to staying physically healthy. Overall, social support increases survival by some 50 percent, concluded the authors behind a new meta-analysis. The benefit of friends, family and even colleagues turns out to be just as good for long-term survival as giving up a 15-cigarette-a-day smoking habit. And by the study's numbers, interpersonal social networks are more crucial to physical health than exercising or beating obesity.

“I don't think a lot of people recognize that our relationships can have a physical impact as well as emotional,” says Julianne Holt-Lunstad, an associate psychology professor at Brigham Young University and co-author of the new study, published online July 27 in PLoS Medicine. The researchers analyzed results from 148 studies—which included a total of 308,849 participants—going back to the early 20th century. Most studies assessed survival in contrast to mortality from all causes, although the authors rejected studies that focused on suicide or accidental deaths. “The findings are very exciting and show how important social relationships are for improving survival,” Kira Birditt, an assistant research professor at University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research, who was not involved in the new study, noted in an e-mail to

More here.

Thursday Poem

The Blueness

The blueness reaches from horizon to horizon
wrapping everything in blueness,
poppy fields, a prisoner hanging from his wrists
in Alabama sunshine that I heard about
on the morning news. Is there hope for us?
The phrase, Se frego la cosa is stuck in my brain
and I am trying to resist the temptation
to rhyme it with Julius LaRosa, but who
would remember him? Such buttery
memories I have that dribble down the sky
giving it a sickly green tinge, like those strange
Jerusalem sunsets when we lay expertly pleasing
each other like a single serpent devouring itself.
Now the wind shakes the palm outside the window
so soothingly flapping the blueness back.
This time it's a thin, almost invisible blue
just this side of whiteness, barely audible,
and I want to lie on the carpet with you listening
to whatever blue is saying now. Remember
the first dream is what it says: the closet, the pile
of shoes and the bones you found underneath.
The hell with that. Just look at this sky will you,
how it covers us with its soft, blue fabric of illusion.

by Richard Garcia
from The Blue Moon Review

on the gulf


New Orleans’s Saint Charles Avenue is lined with oak trees whose broad branches drip Spanish moss and Mardi Gras beads from the pre-Lenten parades, and behind the oaks are beautiful old houses with turrets, porches, balconies, bay windows, gables, dormers and lush gardens. There are no refineries for miles, hardly even gas stations on the stretch I was on in mid-June, and the Deepwater Horizon rig that exploded on 20 April and the oil welling up a mile below it were dozens of miles away as the bird flies. So there was no explanation for the sudden powerful smell of gasoline that filled my car for several blocks or for the strange metallic taste in my mouth when I parked at the Sierra Club offices uptown, except that since the BP spill such incidents have been common. As of mid-July, the spill is supposed to be plugged at last, except that the plug is temporary at best, and the millions of gallons of oil are out there in the ocean, on the coast – and in the air.

more from Rebecca Solnit at the LRB here.

vilnius: nostalgia city


What probably marks Vilnius most strongly is the fact that the city is almost always construed as an object of nostalgia. The text of Vilnius is created by people severed from their city and thus extremely sensitive to the particulars of its everyday life: at this point one should remember Kekstas and his extraordinary letters, but also more prominent personalities, for instance, Czeslaw Milosz or Adam Mickiewicz. There is a similarity between Vilnius and Warsaw here, but in the text of Warsaw, nostalgia surfaces either during the war years as, for instance, in Julian Tuwim’s and Aleksander Wat’s texts, or marks the longing for the past, for the irrevocably destroyed pre-war city. In the text of Vilnius, such emotional complexity is also present, but nostalgia here is more frequent, more deeply rooted and more multilayered. And – this is probably the most important aspect – it affects not only individuals but entire ethnic and national groups. I suggested a long time ago that the Lithuanian capital had always been a border city with its border moving from place to place over the years: Vilnius would, for instance, find itself close to the lands of the Teutonic Order (Prussia – ed.) or, in the interwar period, some 30 kilometres from independent Lithuania; now, too, it is located 150 kilometres from Poland and a mere 30 kilometres from Alexander Lukashenka’s Belarus and thus at the eastern border of the European Union. This bordering frequently cut off the nation nostalgic about the city considered theirs: before World War II, these were the Lithuanians; now they are the Poles, Belarusians and Israel-based Jews.

more from Tomas Venclova at Eurozine here.

man v myth


Jonathan Fenby tells a revealing story. On May 29, 1958, France seemed on the brink of civil war. The army in Algeria had rebelled against the politicians in Paris. The President (René Coty) had told parliament that the country’s only hope was to “turn towards the most illustrious Frenchman, towards the man who, in the darkest year of our history, was our chief for the reconquest of freedom”. Charles de Gaulle, to whom these remarks referred, left his country house in Colombey-les-deux-Églises to go to Paris. His chauffeur drove so fast that he outran the police escort, which was only able to catch up when the general stopped his car so that he could relieve himself by the side of the road. De Gaulle the myth – the most illustrious Frenchman speeding to the capital to save his country once again – met de Gaulle the man – an elderly, retired soldier with a weak bladder.

more from Richard Vinen at the TLS here.

Edward Said on meeting Jean-Paul Sartre

Edward's daughter Najla brought this diary by him to my attention, and while it is now ten years old, it retains interest as one great man's remembrance of another. From the London Review of Books:

EdwardSaid It was early in January 1979, and I was at home in New York preparing for one of my classes. The doorbell announced the delivery of a telegram and as I tore it open I noticed with interest that it was from Paris. ‘You are invited by Les Temps modernes to attend a seminar on peace in the Middle East in Paris on 13 and 14 March this year. Please respond. Simone de Beauvoir and Jean Paul Sartre.’ At first I thought the cable was a joke of some sort. It might just as well have been an invitation from Cosima and Richard Wagner to come to Bayreuth, or from T.S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf to spend an afternoon at the offices of the Dial. It took me about two days to ascertain from various friends in New York and Paris that it was indeed genuine, and far less time than that to despatch my unconditional acceptance (this after learning that les modalités, the French euphemism for travel expenses, were to be borne by Les Temps modernes, the monthly journal established by Sartre after the war). A few weeks later I was off to Paris.

Les Temps modernes had played an extraordinary role in French, and later European and even Third World, intellectual life. Sartre had gathered around him a remarkable set of minds – not all of them in agreement with him – that included Beauvoir of course, his great opposite Raymond Aron, the eminent philosopher and Ecole Normale classmate Maurice Merleau-Ponty (who left the journal a few years later), and Michel Leiris, ethnographer, Africanist and bullfight theoretician. There wasn’t a major issue that Sartre and his circle didn’t take on, including the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, which resulted in a monumentally large edition of Les Temps modernes – in turn the subject of a brilliant essay by I.F. Stone. That alone gave my Paris trip a precedent of note.

When I arrived, I found a short, mysterious letter from Sartre and Beauvoir waiting for me at the hotel I had booked in the Latin Quarter. ‘For security reasons,’ the message ran, ‘the meetings will be held at the home of Michel Foucault.’

More here.

A mind-meltingly stupid homeopathy policy

Martin Robbins in The Guardian:

ScreenHunter_03 Jul. 28 17.26 The government has released its eagerly anticipated response to the Science and Technology Committee's Evidence Check on Homeopathy and, incredibly, it's even worse than I thought it would be. The verdict is “business as usual”, with the main recommendations of the committee ignored in a fog of confusion and double-think.

You get a sense of this confusion very early on, with lines like: “given the geographical, socioeconomic and cultural diversity in England, [policy on homeopathy] involves a whole range of considerations including, but not limited to, efficacy.” I actually have no idea what this means – do medicines work differently in Norfolk from the way they work in Hampshire? The report doesn't elaborate.

As expected, the word “choice” features heavily in the government's response:

There naturally will be an assumption that if the NHS is offering homeopathic treatments then they will be efficacious, whereas the overriding reason for NHS provision is that homeopathy is available to provide patient choice … if regulation was applied to homeopathic medicines as understood in the context of conventional pharmaceutical medicines, these products would have to be withdrawn from the market as medicines. This would constrain consumer choice and, more importantly, risk the introduction of unregulated, poor quality and potentially unsafe products on the market to satisfy consumer demand.”

So we can't regulate these products as medicines because they'd end up being banned, but we'll let them be called medicines anyway? It gives me a headache just trying to think down to the level of the person who wrote this stuff.

More here.

The Greenes: A Talented Tribe of Trailbrazers

From The Telegraph:

Greenesum_1683971d In the early years of the last century, two brothers found themselves living in a small Hertfordshire town. The elder, Charles, was the headmaster of Berkhamsted School; his six children included Graham Greene, the novelist, and Hugh Carleton Greene, the BBC’s controversial director-general in the Sixties and the bête noire of Mary Whitehouse. They were a gifted lot, elegant and clever, with round heads like cannonballs and bulbous blue eyes. A natural reserve was attributed by some to an innate coldness of disposition, by others to shyness.

After making a fortune in the coffee trade, Charles’s younger brother, Edward, bought an enormous house on the edge of Berkhamsted, and he too had six children. The “rich” Greene children had an exotic air – their mother was German and they had spent their childhood in Brazil – but they were thought to be woolly-minded by the “intellectual” Greenes, who considered themselves harder-headed and more down-to-earth. Both sets of cousins were extremely tall – so much so that when Ben Greene, the oldest of the “rich” Greene boys, was interned in Brixton in May 1940 at the same time as Oswald Mosley, his bunk had to be extended with a pile of bricks.

More here.

Experimental Error: Don’t Try This at Home

From Science:

RubenExperimentalerror_160x160_jpg In the terrible 2004 film Godsend, Robert De Niro plays a sinister obstetrician who helps a couple clone their dead son but secretly manipulates “intangibles” in the fetus so that the new child will show traits of his own dead son, who happened to be evil. While uncovering this well-thought-out and plausible scheme, the boy's father (Greg Kinnear) interviews a nanny the obstetrician once hired. “He was a doctor?” the father asks, and she replies, “A baby doctor, yeah.” Then she leans closer and whispers her suspicion: “Only … he seemed more like a scientist to me.”

For me, as a scientist, when I watched the movie, those words weren't exactly the ominous bombshell the screenwriter probably intended. It was as though the nanny had said, “Only … he sometimes ate Corn Flakes.” Her comment made me consider how the public views scientists — and how universal that perception must be for a screenwriter to presume that “scientist” is a zinger of an insult. (Maybe I should try that sometime. “Hey, jerk! Your mother is a synthetic chemist!”) We are distrusted, feared, but most of all, misunderstood. We work, after all, in one of the only two professions that idiomatically follow the word “mad” — the other such profession being “hatter.”

More here.

Wednesday Poem

Liverpool Disappears for a Billionth of a Second

Shorter than the blink inside a blink
the National Grid will sometimes make, when you’ll
turn to a room and say: Was that just me?

People sitting down for dinner don’t feel
their chairs taken away/put back again
much faster that that trick with tablecloths.

A train entering the Olive Mount cutting
shudders, but not a single passenger
complains when it pulls in almost on time.

The birds feel it, though, and if you see
starlings in shoal, seagulls abandoning
cathedral ledges, or a mob of pigeons

lifting from a square as at gunfire,
be warned it may be happening, but then
those sensitive to bat-squeak in the backs

of necks, who claim to hear the distant roar
of comets on the turn – these may well smile
at a world restored, in one piece; though each place

where mineral Liverpool goes wouldn’t believe
what hit it: all that sandstone out to sea
or meshed into the quarters of Cologne.

I’ve felt it a few times when I’ve gone home,
if anything, more often now I’m old
and the gaps between get shorter all the time.

by Paul Farley
from Tramp in Flames
publisher: Picador, London, 2006

Large Hadron Collider not large enough, say scientists who want a Humongous Hadron Collider

Emma Vandore in the Christian Science Monitor:

ScreenHunter_02 Jul. 28 12.59 Scientists behind the European particle collider aimed at uncovering the secrets of the universe pushed Monday to build an even bigger machine — with money and partners from around the world.

Instead of whirling atoms in giant rings, as existing colliders in Switzerland and the United States do, scientists want a new-generation machine that will shoot them straight.

Particle physicists gathering in Paris on Monday for the most important conference in their field say a linear atom blaster is needed to complement what existing colliders are telling scientists about the universe, inching them closer to understanding why we are here.

Mel Shochet, a professor at the University of Chicago, said “this is by far the most exciting time” in his particle physics career.

Speaking at a Paris news conference, Shochet said “exciting new phenomena” would be seen first by existing colliders “and then followed up in great detail” by future machines, he said at a Paris press conference.

Depending on who wants to host it — and how much they are willing to pay — the next-generation collider could potentially be built anywhere in the world — with Japan, Russia, the U.S. and Switzerland all possible hosts for the most advanced project.

More here.

Scientists Fallen Among Poets


When one mentions the Romantics, poetry and not science is the first thing that comes to mind. The iconic Romantic image of the scientist is William Blake’s highly unflattering Newton (1795), a color print finished in watercolor, hanging in London’s Tate Gallery. The scientist appears as a heroic nude, imposingly muscled like a triumphant warrior. However, the figure’s pose is a far cry from the virile address of Michelangelo’s David or Cellini’s Perseus. Newton sits on a rock ledge, folded over so that his chest rests on his knees — an attitude that, assumed for more than thirty seconds, would serve as an acute stress position under enhanced interrogation. With a geometrician’s compass he is inscribing a semicircle within a triangle, and he embodies the mathematical order in which he is rapt. The muscles outlining his back ribs form a perfect row of rhomboids; an equilateral triangle set on its vertex and a larger triangle that caps the first define the junction of his hip and lower back; his left hand drops from his wrist at a right angle, quite uncomfortably, it would seem, and the fingers of that hand are bent to form a triangle along with one leg of the compass that they hold, so that the hand appears to be of a piece with the instrument; his left foot protrudes from beneath the ledge he is sitting on, as though he were riveted to matter; and he is clearly oblivious to everything but the figure he is drawing, the calculations he is making. What Newton cannot see is the spectacular iridescence of the immense rock he is perched on, and the tremulous darkness of the night sky that one would expect to entrance a natural philosopher, as it clearly does the artist. The appropriate amazement at nature’s magnificence is far beyond poor Newton. He is a grind, without imagination, without insight, without a chance of ever understanding what he is supposed to be doing on this earth.

more from Algis Valiunas at The New Atlantis here.



The American Museum of Folk Art American Folk Art Museum is one of my favorite museums in America. It’s also one of my least favorites. I love the museum because it’s committed to showing so-called “outsider art,” which I would define as art so visionary that the “real” art world can’t process it without relegating it to this ridiculous niche. (All great art is visionary; all great artists are in some way self-taught.) I hate the museum because its horrendous building smothers the art and vision contained within. And now the institution faces a new challenge: Last week brought the sad, startling news that curator Brooke Davis Anderson has been snatched up as Deputy Director for Curatorial Planning at the ambitious Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In the last decade as AFAM’s curator, Anderson, a brilliant scholar, organized extraordinary exhibitions of Martin Ramirez, Henry Darger, and Adolf Wolfli — three of the greatest artists of the 20th century. Come September, LA’s gain will be New York’s loss. (This, by the way, makes the fourth such coup, after Anne Philbin leaving the Drawing Center to become Director of the Hammer, Michael Govan departing Dia to work as Director of LACMA, and Jeffrey Deitch being named Director of LA MoCA.)

more from Jerry Saltz at New York Magazine here.

Mieczyslaw Weinberg


If someone were to tell me that there is a Soviet composer of whom I’ve barely heard, who composed 26 symphonies and 17 string quartets, many of which deserve to be in the standard repertoire, my first reaction would probably be to assume they meant Nikolay Myaskovsky – that modest, noble-minded ‘musical conscience of Moscow’ who composed 27 symphonies and 13 quartets, some of which do speak with a unique and treasurable voice. But if that same informant said no, it’s someone entirely different, then I should probably have to stifle a groan. What, yet another ‘neglected genius’? Presumably one of those countless moderate or eccentric talents who deserved a better roll of the dice but who is never going to be more than a footnote in musical history? And even if I should come to share my enthusiast’s point of view, isn’t life too short to add such a quantity of must-know music to the in-tray? And if those are my hypothetical reactions – as a supposed specialist in the field – what can I expect when I’m the one trying to do the persuading? Well, if you are reading this essay, I suppose I can at least count on your curiosity.

more from David Fanning at Sign and Sight here.

One State/Two States: Rethinking Israel and Palestine

Danny Rubinstein in Dissent:

Against the background of Barack Obama’s attempt to defend the idea of “two states for two peoples” in Israel/Palestine, consider a recent talk given by the Palestinian Sufian Abu-Zayda. Abu-Zayda is fifty years old. He was born in the Jabalya refugee camp in northern Gaza, the largest of the Palestinian camps, and he is considered the Palestinian spokesman most fluent in Hebrew, which he learned during the fourteen years that he spent in an Israeli prison on charges of participating in terrorist activities. After his release in 1993, he was one of the senior Fatah leaders in Gaza and was appointed to various positions in the Palestinian government. Among other activities he has been active in the Israeli-Palestinian Geneva Initiative, in which moderates from both sides argue that it is possible to find a just two-state solution.

It was quite surprising, therefore, that Abu-Zayda, in his talk to an Israeli audience, announced that he had changed his mind. Like other Palestinians who spoke to the Israeli media over the last months, he was responding to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech at Bar Ilan University—itself a response of sorts to President Obama’s June 2009 speech at the University of Cairo. With some drama, Netanyahu had agreed that a Palestinian state should be established in territory of the Land of Israel to the west of the Jordan River. This was a significant change for Netanyahu, whose roots are in the nationalist movement that has given up its earlier slogan—“There are two banks to the Jordan, this one is ours, and so is that one”—but that still demands Israeli rule in the “Greater” Land of Israel west of the Jordan. Commentators talked of a “fissure” on the Israeli Right; it was widely believed that as long as Ben Zion Netanyahu is still alive, his son wouldn’t dare rebel against the nationalist traditions of the family.

But what might have seemed unbelievable a short time ago has become a reality. Netanyahu, at the head of the nationalist, right-wing government with members like Benny Begin (son of Menachem Begin) who have consistently rejected all concessions, has accepted the idea of a Palestinian state.

In his talk at Tel Aviv University, Abu-Zayda responded to what the prime minister had said: “Many thanks to Benjamin Netanyahu. After twenty years of the peace process [since the Madrid Conference in 1991], and after the mutual recognition of Israel and the PLO [in the Oslo Accords], he finally agrees to a Palestinian state.” There was irony in his voice as he continued, “Do you think you are doing us a favor when you agree to two states? No favor at all. From my side, from the Palestinians’ side—let there be one state, not two…. I was introduced to you as Sufian Abu-Zayda from the Jabalya camp, but I’m not from Jabalya. I might have been born there, but my family had been exiled in 1948 from a village named “Breer,” where Kibbutz Bror Hayill now stands, near the Gaza border. If there will be one state, I’ll be happy to rent or buy a house near the kibbutz and live there.” And then Abu-Zayda said in a loud voice, “You are doing yourselves a favor by establishing two states, not us.”

He isn’t alone in his opinion.

Slowed Food Revolution

100706_rogers_leadHeather Rogers in The American Prospect:

Morse Pitts has been cultivating the same land in New York's Hudson Valley for 30 years. His operation, Windfall Farms, is the very picture of local, sustainable agriculture. From early spring to late fall, the farm's 15 acres are luxuriant with snap peas, squash, mint, kale, and Swiss chard. Its greenhouses burst with sun gold tomatoes and an array of baby greens. Pitts, who is in his 50s and is tall with gray hair, doesn't use chemical fertilizers or pesticides or any genetically modified seeds. He cultivates biodiversity, not just vegetables.

Twice a week, he hauls his produce 65 miles south to Manhattan to sell at the lucrative Union Square farmers market. His converted school bus runs on biodiesel he makes from used vegetable oil, which he is also trying to use to power his greenhouses. Pitts does a brisk trade; demand for his produce is high, and the way he farms is increasingly valued. Since the mid-1990s the number of farmers markets has shot up 300 percent, and the organic sector has seen annual double-digit expansion.

But despite having no mortgage debt (he inherited the place), a ready market, and loyal customers, Pitts wants to leave his farm. His town recently rezoned the area as industrial, and if he wants to cultivate soil that's not surrounded by industry and its attendant potential for water and air pollution, he has to move. The problem is, he can't afford to.

Aside from the standard instability farmers must endure — bad weather, pests, disease, and the vagaries of the market — holistic and organic growers face great but often overlooked economic hardship. They must shoulder far higher production costs than their conventional counterparts when it comes to everything from laborers to land. Without meaningful support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, their longevity hangs in the balance. In the meantime, the USDA showers billions on industrial agriculture. Growers who've gone the chemical, mechanized route have ready access to reasonable loans, direct subsidy payments to get through tough years, and crop insurance, plus robust research, marketing, and distribution resources. Whether organic and holistic growers raise crops, like Pitts does, or grass-fed, free-range livestock, they must contend with circumstances made harder by a USDA rigged to favor industrial agriculture and factory food.

Clear and Hold

Walker_35.4_moses Casey Walker reviews Roberta Brandes Gratz's The Battle for Gotham: New York in the Shadow of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs, in the Boston Review:

For half a century, rich men have talked about building a stadium at the tangled intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues in Brooklyn. Walter O’Malley hoped to construct a stadium for his Brooklyn Dodgers there, but Robert Moses—New York’s “master builder,” the bureaucrat through whom nearly all of the city’s major projects ran—refused to play nice. O’Malley took his ball and went home; the Dodgers decamped for Los Angeles in 1958.

But last March a new stadium project broke ground at Flatbush and Atlantic, where I live, and it promises to bring Brooklyn its first major sports franchise since the Dodgers’ departure—the NBA’s New Jersey Nets. In the 50 years since O’Malley’s stadium was thwarted, much has changed in the head-butting politics of American city building—and much has not.

Walk down Atlantic Avenue from Flatbush as I often do—carefully, because panel vans and car services menace pedestrians from all sides—and you will be in the footprint of the projected arena, the Barclays Center, anchor of the 22-acre Atlantic Yards project. Atlantic Yards is a familiar urban story: surrounding neighborhoods are braced for upheaval; architects have come and gone; redesigns have been announced, lambasted, tweaked, disowned; lawsuits multiply like kudzu; millions of dollars are all but blowing through the air; and the likely date of actual completion is anyone’s guess (Forest City Ratner, the developer, contends the Barclays Center will be finished by 2011, but the Web site does not give a timetable for the rest of the project).

Though I have closely followed the Atlantic Yards scuffle for years, I barely know what the project is anymore, what it will look like, or what it will contain. My guess is you would find city officials who are similarly unsure.

The Culture of Sex

ID_BS_CRISP_DAWN_AP_001 Jessa Crispin reviews Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá, in The Smart Set:

I largely agree with the thesis that we have built our relationships around ideas that are actually toxic — that lifelong monogamy is not only an achievable goal but the absolute ideal, that infidelity must be met with swift divorce or else you are a doormat, that deviation from this template means there is something wrong with you. Yet while reading Sex at Dawn I was angry, frustrated, and bored, not to mention bewildered that grown adults striving to be taken seriously would write in a never ending torrent of puns — the names of the chapters alone (from “Who’s Your Daddies?” to “Mommies Dearest”) are a table of contents of horrors. Their simplistic ideas, their denial of the dark side of sexuality, seemed no better than my junior high belief in the brutal force of male sexuality. The truth lies somewhere between “men oppress women with their uncontrollable needs” and “women oppress men with their socially constructed monogamous love.”

Ryan and Jethá are not just writing a book of anthropology — they want to change modern marriage. They are not researchers, but a psychologist and a psychiatrist, respectively. Their idea of real world application, then, will say a lot about the book as a whole, as it reveals their agenda. Men need sex. Lots of it. With lots of different women. And this final chapter of the book tilts the balance heavily. Young men, newly charged with hormones, need sex in order to keep from becoming violent. As an example, they mention a society in which a special house is established so adolescent boys and girls can engage in sex freely. (Never mind the studies that report that early sexualization of girls is harmful to them, such as Harold Leitenberg’s study that showed the younger girls started having sex, the more likely they were to engage in drug and alcohol use and suffer from depression. Ryan and Jethá don’t mention those.) And for women who are not comfortable with the idea of allowing their husbands to fool around on the side, the authors have some guilt for them:

Monogamy itself seems to drain away a man’s testosterone… Researchers have found that men with lower levels of testosterone are more than four times as likely to suffer from clinical depression, fatal heart attacks, and cancer when compared to other men their age with higher testosterone levels.

They continue, “We know that many female readers aren’t going to be happy reading this, and some will be enraged by it, but for most men, sexual monogamy leads inexorably to monotony.” And death, apparently. Despite their evidence that women’s orgasms and sexual needs are fulfilled by multiple partners, one after the other, there is no corresponding “Men aren’t going to like hearing this, but your wives are going to need to bang the entire German World Cup team — this is what she needs it to be fully orgasmic.”