Gender is a minefield

The editor-in-chief of Surgery News, a trade journal, wrote an editorial for Valentine's Day. The editorial read in part (read the whole thing here):
It’s been known since the 1990s that heterosexual women living together synchronize their menstrual cycles because of pheromones, but when a study of lesbians showed that they do not synchronize, the researchers suspected that semen played a role. In fact, they 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). Their better moods were not just a feature of promiscuity, because women using condoms were just as depressed as those practicing total abstinence. The benefits of semen contact also were seen in fewer suicide attempts and better performance on cognition tests.
People (presumably with no sense of humor or proportion) complained, and the whole issue of the magazine was retracted. The editor-in-chief had to resign his post and his elevation to be head of the professional society is under review.

I don't see what the problem is. In fact, it sounds very human and is even footnoted. Presumably, the people who published those studies used high falutin' language, so none quite noticed what they they were saying. But then, I didn't quite see what the whole hullabaloo about Larry Summers' comment was either.  I suppose that I have a tin ear to these things. Good thing that my work doesn't involve, even tangentially, anything about gender. I would never be able to avoid these minefields!

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