Archive for May, 2011

Forced to Resign After Mentioning Semen

Saturday, May 7th, 2011

Top surgeon dr Lazar Greenfield has been forced to resign as the president elect of the American College of Surgeons. Why this drastic measure, you may find yourself asking? Well, it appears dr Greenfield made a public comment about semen that outraged women.

So what was this horrible comment?

In fact, they [researchers] found ingredients in semen that include mood enhancers like estrone, cortisol, prolactin, oxytocin, and serotonin; a sleep enhancer, melatonin; and of course, sperm, which makes up only 1%-5%. Delivering these compounds into the richly vascularized vagina also turns out to have major salutary effects for the recipient. Female college students having unprotected sex were significantly less depressed than were those whose partners used condoms (Arch. Sex. Behav. 2002;31:289-93).

Hmm, what’s so horrible about reporting actual research and the most plausible explanation for said research?

To be fair, dr Greenfield concluded his piece with this:

So there’s a deeper bond between men and women than St. Valentine would have suspected, and now we know there’s a better gift for that day than chocolates.

He actually alludes to sex. How dare he!

All jokes aside, these comments from dr Greenfield outraged many female surgeons. One of them said:

Some things you can’t recover from if you’re in a leadership role. But the resignation does demonstrate that the surgery association’s leadership does understand the continued challenges women face as they join and mature in the surgical profession.

Really? Female surgeons are so sensitive that they cannot read about semen potentially having a positive effect on women’s mood?

My take on this debacle is that the pendulum has swung to far. In the past sexist jokes may have been a real issue for female surgeons, but the hypersensitivity of the above comment is astonishing. Just like sexual harassment laws have started to go to far in their implementation, general sensitivity to perceived sexism has gone off the charts in some cases.