Dr. Helen

Dr. Helen

Orthorexia Nervosa: The ‘Disease Disguised as a Virtue’

August 31st, 2015 - 5:38 am

The Independent:

The deluge of nutritional and health advice on the internet and in the media could be fuelling a dangerous but as yet unrecognised eating disorder called orthorexia.

Orthorexia nervosa, a term coined in 1997 by Dr Steven Bratman, is a fixation with healthy eating, to the point where it becomes a crippling compulsion, described as “a disease disguised as a virtue”.

It differs from eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia in that the goal is not usually to become thin. In fact, ironically, sufferers are initially motivated by a desire to be well, and to consume pure, “clean” foods, often to recover from illness.

One high-profile sufferer is Jordan Younger, who became a poster girl for health with her New York food blog. The Blonde Vegan had become a successful brand, spawning an app and even a clothing line featuring slogans such as “Oh Kale Yes!” A fervent believer in “clean eating”, Younger shared her advice on detoxing and juicing (she would regularly embark on 10-day cleanses) with her 100,000-plus Instagram followers.

Despite seemingly glowing with health, Younger was struggling. Her lethargy increased and her periods stopped. She also began to be anxious about her routine, panicking when faced with eating a meal she hadn’t planned, or something that didn’t fit in with her rules. Younger gradually began to realise that there was something distinctly unhealthy about her restrictive diet.

I really think, as the article points, that a lot of women are using these restrictive diets to fill their time because they don’t have love. As one woman said in the article: “I had to find something to fill my time that loved me back. Food doesn’t do that.” As the dynamics of male/female relationships change and men are put on the backburner, women are turning to harmful diets to give them a sense of purpose. Why not look for love instead?

Duped ‘Dads’ Aren’t the Only Ones Hurt by Paternity Fraud”

Terry Brennan emailed this interesting story on paternity fraud by Diana Diamond from a paper in Santa Barbara:

Countless children go through life not knowing the true identity of their fathers.
Shame on their mothers, and shame on the U.S. court system that — more often than you realize — forces child support on men with no DNA connection.

These false establishments of paternity, as they are called, happen in courts across the country. Our broken family-court system is intent on getting someone — anyone — on record as being responsible for the child so the state won’t be.

The result? Circles of victimized people.

First, the children who are denied the truth about whom their biological father is, the hereditary disease they may develop, their heritage, extended family and inheritance rights.

Then there is the innocent man and his family. They are robbed of hard-earned cash and emotional well-being, living with an unfair court order — one that demands compliance for as long as 18 years — takes a terrible toll.

I agree that others besides the duped dad are hurt by paternity fraud and the group Women Against Paternity fraud mentioned in the article are fighting for consideration for grandmothers, aunts and wives of falsely accused men.

However, why aren’t men worthy of being fought for in these cases? Why is it that only when a female or child is harmed will society, groups or legislators consider doing something? Why don’t men’s rights matter here?


August 27th, 2015 - 10:59 am

There is a new book out called Date-onomics: How Dating Became a Lopsided Numbers Game that explains why educated women can’t get dates (via Newsalert). From the Washington Post:

For many women these days, it’s not “He’s just not that into you” that’s the problem. It’s that “There aren’t enough of him.”

So says Jon Birger, the author of a new book called “Date-onomics: How Dating Became a Lopsided Numbers Game.” The book, which Birger describes as “the least romantic book ever written about dating,” uses demographics, statistics, game theory and other wonky techniques to shed light on the surprising and growing gap between the number of college-educated women and the number of college-educated men.

The main idea is that women have been attending college at much higher rates than men since the 1980s, in the U.S. and in other countries around the world. That has led to a big demographic mismatch for people who want to date and marry others of the same educational level. The dating pool for college-educated people in their 30s now has five women for every four men. For people in their 20s, it’s four women for every three men.

The gap is even more extreme in certain places. In Manhattan, there are 38 percent more female college grads under the age of 25 than college-grad men, according to Birger’s data. The gap is 49 percent in Raleigh, N.C., 86 percent in Miami, 49 percent in Washington and 37 percent in Los Angeles. And it’s not just cities – many rural areas also have these “educated man deficits.”…

If we had had this conversation in the ’50s or ’60s, the gender ratios would be reversed. Many more men than women were graduating from college, and there was gender bias both in secondary schooling and in college admissions. Back then, there was this mindset that young women went to college not to prepare for careers, but to get their “MRS.” So the passage of Title IX in 1972 certainly leveled the playing field.

But I’m reluctant to attribute how we got to “50/50” entirely to Title IX, because women were making gains in college enrollment not just in the U.S., but throughout the Western world, even in countries where the policy push for equal rights evolved more slowly.

There is not much mention of the hostile environment that colleges have become for men and how they are now finishing schools for women. Many men have decided that college is not a welcoming place and that has to play into why men have left in droves. The comments to the article are interesting, particularly this one:

1:33 PM EDT
So what happens to these women when faced with the scarcity of targets? Do they poach from each other?

‘Go ahead and drop off mom too.’

August 24th, 2015 - 2:54 pm

I listened to Mark Steyn substituting for Rush today and discussing an Old Dominion University story about the frat guys that hung sexually suggestive banners across their private house to welcome the incoming freshman girls:

NORFOLK, Va. — Sexually suggestive banners hung from a home near the Old Dominion University campus have prompted a response from university officials, according to WTKR. The signs, directed at parents dropping off their daughters for school read:

Rowdy and Fun. Hope your baby girl is ready for a good time.
Freshman daughter drop off.
Go ahead and drop off mom too.

Naturally the white-knight president of the university had to ride his white horse to the rescue:

In response to the banners, Old Dominion University president John R. Broderick wrote a letter to ODU students, faculty and staff.

Dear Colleague:

I am outraged about the offensive message directed toward women that was visible for a time on 43rd Street. Our students, campus community and alumni have been offended.

While we constantly educate students, faculty and staff about sexual assault and sexual harassment, this incident confirms our collective efforts are still failing to register with some.

A young lady I talked to earlier today courageously described the true meaning of the hurt this caused. She thought seriously about going back home.

Seriously? Let her go back home–anyone this fragile belongs in a glass bubble surrounded by medical personnel. I actually thought it was kind of tolerant that they were willing to take moms in too. Older women are always complaining about how men find them invisible. Here are some guys who found moms attractive and the response is to get them suspended.

Sure, it’s tacky behavior but it doesn’t warrant this kind of response. As Mark Steyn pointed out, this sounds like a prank that was tolerated in the ’60s but today’s SJWs have made the country, in particular the universities, a place of intolerant prudes. If women and white-knight university presidents are too fragile for this type of prank, they should have their own free-standing universities (asylums) where they can live in a bubble filled with other people just like them filled with unicorns and butterflies. These people are idiots and the frat guys are freedom fighters. Fight the good fight and stand up for free speech, even if it is offensive.

“Growing up in some places — especially liberal ones — makes people less likely to marry, new data shows.”

Update: Thanks to Mark Steyn for mentioning this post today, it’s important to spread the word about the idiocy of college administrators by calling them out by name and reminding people that we don’t have to take this ridiculous PC behavior.

Do You Have a Tween or Teen with Aspergers?

August 24th, 2015 - 5:32 am

If so, then you might find some good suggestions in a book I came across by Jennifer O’Toole called The Asperkid’s (Secret) Book of Social Rules: The Handbook of Not-so-obvious Social Guidelines for Tweens and Teens With Asperger Syndrome. From the description:

Being a teen or tween isn’t easy for anyone — but it’s especially tough for Asperkids. I know. I was one, I taught a whole bunch, and I am going to be raising three! That’s also why I know that Asperkdis deserve their very own guide to all of the hidden social rules that are awfully confusing to us, even if they seem obvious to everyone else. “The Asperkids’ (Secret) Rule Book of Social Rules.” This isn’t your momma’s Emily Post, and there is no “don’t do this” finger-wagging or patronizing “high and mighty preaching” here. Instead, the “Secret” Book gives Asperkids (aged 10-17) respectful, funny insights written “for Aspies by an Aspie.” Chock full of illustrations, logic and even a practice session or six (in comic strip style, thank you very much!), this is the handbook every adult Aspie wishes we’d had growing up, but never did.

The book is for the teens themselves but might be helpful to parents as well.

I was traveling to the Midwest and stopped by a Target store to pick up supplies when it started pouring rain. There was a tornado watch that was not serious, but the rain was torrential. The shoppers all stood by the door and watched the downpour and some brave souls ran out to get their car to pick up their families who were inside. Some were moms who ran out to get the minivan to pick up their daughters. Others were men running out to get their girlfriends, wives or kids.

As I watched the scene, I noticed one couple in their twenties or early thirties with a young child. The mother held the child and looked sourly at the father who did not say much. He tried to put a blanket around the kid but she gave him a look that said he was incompetent (at least from what I could observe). She looked put out with him as he pulled his jacket hood over his head and ran out to get the car in the downpour, looking like a soaked rat, and then pulled up to retrieve her and the child, who got into the warm car and left. I thought about how men quietly go about their day helping in ways that are often not recognized, or worse, greeted with a sour expression and a sense of entitlement from the women in their lives (and sometimes from other men). “Is this the life of a man in a relationship?” I wondered.

I often think men’s contributions to families and society are overlooked these days or taken for granted. It’s no wonder so many men feel that it is better to flip through women on Tinder than to get into a long-term relationship. A smile from a woman you don’t know might be better at times than a smirk of irritation from the one you do.

I understand that men have faults and that women’s look of disgust might be warranted, but in a relationship of caring, research by John Gottman, author of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert, shows that facial expressions of disgust and anger are not good signs for a marriage.

Perhaps if the woman in Target had thanked her partner for going to get the car or trying to help with the kid, it would have been better for their relationship. A sneer doesn’t seem like a good idea. Over time, it can wreak havoc on a marriage. The society sneers at men, making it easier for women to do the same. It is no wonder so many men avoid marriage altogether. Being taken for granted is not a good feeling.

More from Dr. Helen:

Tinder and The Dating Apocalypse

Whistle if You Have Survived Whistling Abuse…



New York Times: “How Your Hometown Affects Your Chances of Marriage”:

The place where you grow up doesn’t affect only your future income, as we wrote about last week. It also affects your odds of marrying, a large new data set shows.

The most striking geographical pattern on marriage, as with so many other issues today, is the partisan divide. Spending childhood nearly anywhere in blue America — especially liberal bastions like New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and Washington — makes people about 10 percentage points less likely to marry relative to the rest of the country. And no place encourages marriage quite like the conservative Mountain West, especially the heavily Mormon areas of Utah, southern Idaho and parts of Colorado.

August 17th, 2015 - 5:07 am

CNBC (USA Today): Low libido? FDA weighs drug for women that drives desire:

The Food and Drug Administration will decide the fate of a drug to treat low libido in women by Tuesday.

Depending on your point of view, the “little pink pill,” flibanserin — popularly but incorrectly dubbed the “female Viagra” — is either the answer to a woman’s prayers or a risky drug that turns a normal condition into a medical problem that only pharmaceuticals can solve.

It will be FDA’s third consideration of flibanserin in five years. The agency has rejected the drug twice since 2010.

This time around, the drug is benefiting from a major public relations push from an advocacy group, Even the Score, which is supported by flibanserin’s manufacturer, Sprout Pharmaceuticals of Raleigh, N.C. High-profile supporters include the National Organization for Women and 11 members of Congress who wrote to the FDA on flibanserin’s behalf.

I wonder what “Even the Score” will do if the drug turns out to be dangerous to women. They will probably even the score by getting back at the horrible manufacturer for putting it out even though they pushed for the drug. You can’t win with these people; they always want their cake and to eat it too, with no responsibility on their part.

Amy Alkon: Are You a “Survivor”— of Whistling?:

But yes, for realz, at UCSB, the activities now on the list of things that constitute sexual assault include, in the “Cat Calls” category:

…verbal advances that include whistling, shouting, and/or saying sexually explicit or implicit phrases or propositions that are unwanted by the survivor.

Yes, whistling. Really.

Tinder and The Dating Apocalypse

August 12th, 2015 - 10:13 am

Vanity Fair has an interesting article on Tinder and how it is creating a dating apocalypse (via Newsalert):

“I think that iPhones and dating apps have really changed the way that dating happens for our generation,” says Stephanie, the one with an arm full of bracelets.

“There is no dating. There’s no relationships,” says Amanda, the tall elegant one. “They’re rare. You can have a fling that could last like seven, eight months and you could never actually call someone your ‘boyfriend.’ [Hooking up] is a lot easier. No one gets hurt—well, not on the surface.”

They give a wary laugh.

They tell me how, at their school, an adjunct instructor in philosophy, Kerry Cronin, teaches a freshman class in which an optional assignment is going out on an actual date. “And meet them sober and not when you’re both, like, blackout drunk,” says Jane. “Like, get to know someone before you start something with them. And I know that’s scary.”

They say they think their own anxiety about intimacy comes from having “grown up on social media,” so “we don’t know how to talk to each other face-to-face.”

Sad stuff.