ICYMI Health features what we’re reading this week.
This week, we found ourselves drawn to stories about sexual politics in health. We were blown away by our colleagues Carina Kolodny and Amber Genuske’s year-long project exploring the history and power of the clitoris. We also read up on an insurance company that said it would stop covering preventative HIV drugs to its peril, and about the retraction of a study that was published in the journal Science last year, claiming that gay canvassers were able to change voters’ minds about gay marriage after only 22 minutes of conversation.
Read on and tell us in the comments: What did you read, listen to, watch and love this week?
1. The Overdue, Under-Told Story Of The Clitoris — The Huffington Post
In an effort to dispel “widespread ilcliteracy,” HuffPost launched a new project chock full of critical information about women’s oft-ignored pleasure organ, including videos, graphics, interviews and more.
Quote: “By the time I was a sex therapist, the main question I was largely hearing from women was, ‘What am I doing wrong?’ … I found myself over and over telling women that there’s nothing wrong. You’re not broken.”
2. The Dad Bod, Quantified — The Upshot
Curious about whether or not your or your significant other’s physique qualifies as a dad bod? The New York Times has put some numbers to this spring’s buzzword.
Quote: “Well, your wish has come true. We have figured out exactly how much softer a man’s body gets, on average, when he becomes a father. To do this, we zeroed in on men 18 to 45, and compared those who had children who were under 18 and at home with those who did not.”
3. What ‘Nashville’ Got Right — And Wrong — About Postpartum Depression — The Huffington Post
How accurately ‘Nashville’ depicts postpartum depression depends primarily on how the show handles new mother Juliette Barnes’ recovery.
Quote: “A lot of women will say to me, ‘I’m crying and feeling sad, but I love my baby — this is what I wanted!’” said Feingold. “So it’s sort of confusing to them why they’re feeling so depressed when they’re so happy to have the baby.”
4. The Case for Black Doctors — The New York Times
Psychiatrist Damon Tweedy makes a compelling argument for narrowing the racial health disparities gap between black patients and white patients by increasing the number of black doctors in the field.
Quote: “In virtually every field of medicine, black patients as a group fare the worst. This was one of my first and most painful lessons as a medical student nearly 20 years ago.”
5. No More Dieting, and 7 Other Things We Do Differently After Reporting on Health Care — Vox
Two health care reporters with 10 years of combined experience share the most important health lessons they’ve learned over the years.
Quote: “We typically think of hospitals as places where we go to get better. And that’s definitely true; we’ve seen lifespans extended and diseases cured as a direct result of advances in modern medicine. At the same time, hospitals are dangerous places. This is something I’ve learned a lot about in the past six months, as I’ve been working on a yearlong series about fatal medical harm.”
6. Why It Pays to Be a Jerk — The Atlantic
While nice guys don’t always finish last, there’s a body of research confirming that “disagreeable givers,” or individuals who use off-putting behavior to further the success of the group, are the most successful business people.
Quote: “When it came to brands like Gucci and Burberry, people were willing to pay more when they felt rejected by the salesperson.”
7. This Story Made an Insurance Company Cover AIDS Drugs — The Daily Beast
One insurance company said it would stop covering Truvada, a preventative treatment for HIV, because taking it — as opposed to using condoms — was a lifestyle choice. That’s when civil rights group Lambda Legal got involved.
Quote: “Shore compares the experience of dating in an area where a lot of guys don’t know they have HIV to traveling to Kenya, with it’s high rate of malaria. ‘I took anti-malarial meds because I was in a high-risk environment,’ he said. ‘Well, I’m in a high-risk environment here for HIV.'”
8. 14 Common Misconceptions About People Who Go to Therapy –The Huffington Post
People who go to therapy aren’t necessarily rich, weak or crazy, and shouldn’t be stereotyped as such.
Quote: “I know my loved ones mean well, and I consider myself lucky; but there’s still that millisecond between saying the variation of words ‘I see a therapist’ and the polite (albeit usually misinformed) reply where the stigma lives.”
9. Canvassers Study in Episode #555 Has Been Retracted — This American Life
In April, This American Life reported on a groundbreaking study about changing public opinion. Door-to-door canvassers were able to change voters’ minds on gay marriage after only 22 minutes, but only if the canvasser herself was gay. There was only one problem: The study was completely fabricated.
Quote: “This is the thing I want to convey somehow. There was an incredible mountain of fabrications with the most baroque and ornate ornamentation. There were stories, there were anecdotes, my dropbox is filled with graphs and charts, you’d think no one would do this except to explore a very real data set.”