You know the feeling that results from hearing these auditory indecencies: It's like you've been psychologically violated. Like you've been seeded, against your will, with a nauseating thought, a thought that's going to germinate within the nurturing and impressionable recesses of your brain.
Now, you might think that science would be above such vulgarity, but it's not. Science's most quintessential goal is the pursuit of knowledge, and that pursuit, as well as the knowledge it uncovers, can be supremely awkward. Studies abound that tell us things that we'd much rather not know, and that make us want to recoil and cry, "Geez, Science; way too much information!"
Without further ado, here are five of science's worst "TMI" offenders, expressed in the scientists' very own gauche writing:
5. Do Left and Right Armpits Smell Differently? Human Axillary Odor: Are There Side-Related Perceptual Differences?"
"The aim of the present study was to test whether odor samples from the right and left axillae provided by right- and left-handed men were perceived differently by female raters. Participants were 38 males and 49 females, aged 19-35 years. Fresh odor samples (cotton pads worn underarm for 24 h) were evaluated for attractiveness, intensity, and masculinity, with left and right samples being presented as independent stimuli. A side-related difference emerged in left-handers only (no difference in right-handers): The odor from the axilla corresponding to the dominant side (left) was rated more masculine and more intense than the other side (right)."4. Cockroaches in Your Colon. "Caught on camera: an unusual type of bug in the gut."
"During screening colonoscopy, a cockroach was encountered in the transverse colon of a 51-year-old woman with a history of schizophrenia. It was <1 cm in size and had a green, aqueous substance sticking to its legs. Despite extreme caution during extraction, the cockroach disintegrated and was removed by using suction. The patient denied any knowledge of accidental ingestion or history of pica. The most plausible explanation was inadvertent intake of the cockroach while the patient was consuming green gelatin shortly before the procedure."
3. What's in Your Hot Dog? "Applying morphologic techniques to evaluate hotdogs: what is in the hotdogs we eat?"
"A variety of tissues were observed besides skeletal muscle including bone (n = 8), collagen (n = 8), blood vessels (n = 8), plant material (n = 8), peripheral nerve (n = 7), adipose (n = 5), cartilage (n = 4), and skin (n = 1)... In conclusion, hotdog ingredient labels are misleading; most brands are more than 50% water by weight. The amount of meat (skeletal muscle) in most brands comprised less than 10% of the cross-sectional surface area. More expensive brands generally had more meat. All hotdogs contained other tissue types (bone and cartilage) not related to skeletal muscle; brain tissue was not present."
2. Sex Histories of Catholic Priests. "Sexual and intimacy health of Roman Catholic priests."
"This study explores the sexual experiences and sexual health of Roman Catholic priests. The qualitative research design looked at priests' responses to the question, "Please share one or more sexual experiences in your lifetime..." The data were analyzed by frequency of responses and percentages within each of the seven categories. The results indicate the need for early intervention and education during seminary, ongoing education after ordination, and psychotherapy support for priests."
1. Prisons and Gay Pornography. "In the slammer: the myth of the prison in American gay pornographic video."
"The purpose of this paper is to discuss the significance of the prison scenario and its various permutations in the texts of American commercial pornographic video. The paper will identify the prison as a highly eroticised all male environment, an arena where the active/passive dichotomy of gay pornography is staged and re-staged... Prison scenarios take many shapes in gay pornography such as the American penitentiary, the military brig, and the fantasised dungeon of the leatherman. I see these scenarios as performing an important function within gay porn by offering idealised spaces for the acts of pornography: voyeurism, narcissistic display and active/ passive role-play."
In searching for these "TMI" studies, Discover's Discoblog was an invaluable resource. Check it out!
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