Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Eat your soy

By Michael J.W. Stickings

You know conservatives are crazy, right? Especially the anti-gay right? Well, just when you thought they couldn't get any crazier, out comes some evangelical idiot named Jim Rutz at WorldNetDaily, a forum for all things crazy, with the immensely stupid and completely unfounded argument that "[a] devil food is turning our kids into homosexuals". And what is that "devil food"? Soy:

There's a slow poison out there that's severely damaging our children and threatening to tear apart our culture. The ironic part is, it's a "health food," one of our most popular...

The dangerous food I'm speaking of is soy. Soybean products are feminizing, and they're all over the place. You can hardly escape them anymore...

Soy is feminizing, and commonly leads to a decrease in the size of the penis, sexual confusion and homosexuality. That's why most of the medical (not socio-spiritual) blame for today's rise in homosexuality must fall upon the rise in soy formula and other soy products.

I don't want to devote more space to this nonsense than I have to, but it's worth remembering that these sorts of arguments are out there in the public sphere and have traction not just on the extreme evangelical right but within conservatism more broadly. WorldNetDaily is a popular site, after all. Conservatives love it.

I would add, if I even need to, that there is no scientifically proven connection betwen soy consumption and homosexuality. Rutz fails to cite even a single study or to provide any basis for his "evidence," relying instead on homophobic hearsay and speculation. Anything to explain why "homosexuality is always deviant".

For more, see Shakespeare's Sister, Pharyngula, Feministing, World O' Crap, The Raw Story.

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  • Dude, I'm not eatin' soy no more. I don't want my wang fallin' off.

    By Blogger ., at 1:38 AM  

  • Wow - that's must mean there are at least a billion gays in China, what with all the Tofu they eat!

    Here in my little county in Florida the current argument is about adding Flouride to the water. Never mind that it contains pesticides and fertilizers, Floudide is there as a Communist plot to turn us all into liberals with no will to fight.

    I'm not joking.

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 10:22 AM  

  • Setting aside the irrelevant questions about dental health, this is not a new issue, entirely. It seems to present two issues.

    Estrogens and estrogen-like compounds are becoming more omnipresent in our human environment. Some of them have been banned (remember DDT?) while others are ignored or promoted. The term "feminising" is something of a red herring here: try "sterilizing" instead. (BTW, did you know that sperm counts in the Great Lakes basin have dropped 50% since the 1940's? If you hope to have grandchildren, you may find this significant.)

    Soy products have been marketed as a form of HRT for menopausal women. There appears to be at least theoretical and anecdotal support for this strategy. It does, however, raise a question; if HRT, using soy products or pharmaceuticals is a risky strategy for adult women, why is it acceptable for developing children?

    The second point is, why is this potentially disastrous public health problem a source of amusement? Why do people who would never laugh at, say, a food source which delivers unmonitored doses of androgens to growing girls, think it's hilarious that the normal development of male children is being screwed around with?

    It's one thing to refute, however inaccurately, the science behind the statements. It's another to dismiss it without consideration.

    For that matter, why isn't anyone even concerned about the inevitable effects on growing girls? There have been incidents of third world poultry plants that pumped chickens full of hormones to make them fatter, plumper juicier... and then the girls in the neighbourhood of the plants started hitting puberty at the age of eight. Nobody has a problem with that?

    Is the public dialogue completely derailed every time that anything vaguely related to sex - even endocrinology - is mentioned?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:40 AM  

  • My point was that soy products have been a major component of the diet of a very, very large population for a very long time and there seems no evidence of early puberty or abnormal levels of homosexuality in China attendant upon this fact. Changes in the health of that population seem to have much to do with increased calorie and fat intake related to prosperity and the westernization of the diet - not increased soy intake.

    As the diet and the environment in the Great Lakes Basin has changed in a great many respects in the last century, it is only unscientific and unfounded speculation on your part to make such a grand conclusion. Farm animals ae fed a great deal of soy - are we plagued with gay pigs? Where is your evidence.

    I mentioned the flouride matter because those most vehemently against it cite terrible dangers but don't seem to have statistics showing adverse effects any more than you give statistics excepting an unrelated anecdote concerning chickens. Do you have human or animal studies in peer reviewed journals that relate all dietary factors to age of puberty? More importantly, do you have one legitimate study relating soy consumption to homosexuality? If not, your comment is an irrelevant rant and not very useful to anyone.

    The kind of conclusions you started out with need corroborating evidence that eating soy proteins reduce sperm count and induce early puberty. You need to show that these conditions describe reality, are measurable and that other environmental and nutritional factors do not dominate. You have none of the requirements for a conclusion other than anger. Without such, you don't get to talk about science with such sarcasm because science is not about conjecture or speculation.

    I don't know what might have come off the rails in your opinion, but again, I have no evidence that you were on the rails to start with.

    As long as we are having emotional therapy here - I eat a good deal of Tofu and yes, my grandchildren are quite well, thank you.

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 3:15 PM  

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