It is with consternation that Alf reports on the results of research showing men are the weaker sex.
Scientists have found that boys are more likely to develop complications during a mother’s pregnancy.
Males are more vulnerable to infections, too, and less able to withstand diseases than women.
The findings come from work by a Professor Marek Glezerman, who studied 66,000 births at Israel’s
Rabin Medical Centre between 1995 and 2006.
So it’s no longer an old wives’ tale that boy fetuses are more troublesome in the womb and the delivery room.
Prof. Glezerman also takes the notion one step further.
“This research not only confirms an old wives’ tale, but adds to what we know about the male gender. Males are also associated with higher risk in the neonatal period after birth, and are more likely to expose themselves to risky behavior later in life.”
Boys may take more risks as the result of peer pressure, and the presence of testosterone in a boy’s bloodstream could also lead to more dangerous behavior. But this is not necessarily a bad thing, Prof. Glezerman believes.
“Men become soldiers, construction workers, and work as firefighters,” he notes. “They take on these risks quite naturally to protect their society, and they’re trained to do this without question.”
This Glezerman bloke is chairman of the Helen Schneider Women’s Hospital, and deputy director of the Rabin Medical Centre. He also founded the Israeli Society for Gender Based Medicine and has done foundational work in support of a gender-based approach to medicine.
Prof. Glezerman suggests that a new view of the role of gender in medicine is needed in all fields ― internal medicine, gastroenterology, orthopedics, cardiology, and many others.
“It’s almost like males and females are a different species,” he says. “They complete and complement each other, but a ‘one-size fits all’ medical approach does an injustice to both males and females. Men and women are different in so many respects, and these differences are more significant than the similarities between them.”
But Alf is tempted to wonder how many Gentiles were included in the study, and further wonders about the health effects, when bits of your anatomy are lopped off within days of being born.
He refers, of course, to the Jewish practice of circumcising new-born males. There’s no lopping off of girls’ bits (“female circumcision” has nothing to do with Judaism.)
The removal of foreskins has everything to do with religion, and nothing (directly) to do with health.
Very few Jews are convinced by those who believe circumcision to be mentally or physically damaging, and as far as it being medically unnecessary, it was never practiced for that reason. Like many mitzvot, circumcision is performed simply because God has commanded it and any practical benefits are secondary.
So Alf won’t yet be buying into the belief – yep, for him it remains a belief – that men are the weaker sex.
And he certanly won’t be drawing the Israeli research to the attention of Mrs Grumble.