A Little Science – Myths, Info, and Understanding
In the world, there’s as much myth as just plain lack of information out there, regarding many everyday life things. Here’s a tiny portion to get started on:
You don’t need 8 glasses of water a day.
Way too many health professionals (in all areas of medicine, “medicine”, and “make-believe, use-your-imagination medicine”), will tell you that you should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. If you ignore the guilt people tack onto themselves for not being ABLE to drink that much, I guess that DOES sound healthy. But, what none of those health professionals will be able to tell you is what scientific study came up with those 8 glasses.
In truth, there’s no evidence that you need that much. In fact, I would FIRST need evidence that you even CAN drink that much, unless you do piles of physical activity.
But now, here’s where most people go wrong. Many who drink very poorly will read something like this, and immediately think, “Ahh, now I can go back to my water-deprived ways, and drink NO water.” Heh, no, you failure-opportunists… Naturally, you still need a good amount of straight water. Until we know the exact amount, I would guess that you should try whatever amount quite simply feels right for your body… but, to determine that amount, you have to actually drink a decent quantity throughout the day.
Men aren’t affected less by relationship issues.
(This study covered unmarried men and women between 18 and 23. However, naturally, it’s likely still a good hint for those married and/or older.)
Due to the concealed way that men express emotions, the writers who power our media have long been brainwashed into thinking – and thus telling us – that men don’t care about relationship issues as much as women do. Perhaps it started with the widespread portrayal of “the leading man”, who was so solid and cool, he just couldn’t look affected by anything (as in almost every action movie ever made)… You’ve also had the common “dumb man”, from sitcoms and comedy movies, who was so confused and… dumb… that his only response to relationship issues was blurting out careless wisecracks, or various other emotionally empty responses. Whatever the case, it seems this type of portrayal of men eventually got a stranglehold on public perception. Thus, many of us were born into a world where we thought men were supposed to be like this: either emotionally unaffected action-heroes-in-training, or dim-witted idiots… often only truly caring for sports, beer, and boobs, with matters of relationships tossed up on a shelf somewhere.
Well, a 2010 study showed that not only is that untrue (of American men 18-23), but relationship issues might even affect men more than women. It’s just that they express themselves differently, and only to very select audiences. (including nobody) It seems that women are more likely to have friends and family that they feel like venting issues to, and they also don’t mind complaining about things in places like Facebook, or over the phone. Men, on the other hand, would rather keep quiet, and translate anguish into a private crying session one night, or, in the right environment, sometimes increase drinking or substance abuse. (This is very easy to do in college, for instance.)
There are probably endless stereotypes that need rethinking in the world… and, unfortunately, it seems that some come merely from exterior impression, then are replicated/exaggerated endlessly on TV, until people believe them. Trouble is, even when we recognize how exaggerated something is on TV, we subconsciously believe that there still must be some connection to reality there; something real that it’s based on. That sense of reality is what makes exaggerration watchable… If it had NO connection to reality, we wouldn’t care. It’s just that we don’t usually know for ourselves exactly where the line is drawn, and the media always wants to push that line.
Where you can read about this: torontosun.com
Life-expectancy in the world has not gotten higher in the modern era.
To make a long story short, bad science created the world-wide understanding that life-expectancy has only improved as society has progressed. For example: a few years ago, science would have told you that, in the year 1900, the average American lived to be 45, whereas Americans in 2005 lived to be 75… but we now know that those numbers were VERY misleading, because infant-mortality was being factored in. (think about that: if a LOT of people are dying at age 0, the average age of death is going to dragged down)
Truth be told, life-expectancy has been roughly the same for at least the last 2,000 years. (or, if we word that more literally, the average age at which most people die – among those who have survived infancy – hasn’t changed over the last 2,000 years)
It still does vary by location, though. You can see your country’s average life-expectancy using this cool Flash page: worldlifeexpectancy.com
As always, women still live longer. A large factor there is likely that most men are still too embarrassed to make healthy choices, like openly pursuing “health stuff”. Anyone knows that health stuff is “sissy”. (<notice that automatic membership card that females get there. “Sissy.”)
Where you can read about this: LiveScience
Shaving doesn’t make hair grow back thicker or faster.
For many, it may seem like it does, because:
1) a freshly-cut hair will regrow with its end at full thickness (rather than gradually sloping off into a point, like an older, worn-down hair), making it look thicker.
2) those short, no-fading-at-the-end hairs feel very hard and poky, as if they were thicker than usual. (in order to bend nicely, and feel soft, hairs need to be longer, and/or have the ends worn down)
3) you can easily notice the daily growth of very short, thick-ended hairs, convincing you that they’re coming out way faster than normal hairs. (the mental “contrast effect” – that is, suddenly being able to track the daily growth of freshly-cut hairs, and contrast it with how it looked yesterday – has a big say in your perception of this)
Where you can read about this: LiveScience
1) Losing weight doesn’t mean not eating.
2) You shouldn’t eat till you’re full.
1) Never say, “Okay, no more eating,” when you decide to lose weight. In fact, starving yourself, and specifically keeping certain foods away, is more likely to make you develop a desperate attraction to food.
2) At the same time, don’t stuff yourself. Eat till you’re satisfied, not till you’re full. Remember this: feeling “full” is your body saying, “Great, thanks, that was way too much.” It’s punishment.
The puzzle of weight loss is bigger than just these two factors, but they’re things that lots of people get wrong.
Where you can read about this: realsimple.com
(A Pile of Beauty-Related Myths)
- Drinking water doesn’t keep your skin moist.
- Rubbing your eyes won’t create wrinkles.
- Brushing your hair excessively won’t make it shine more.
- Crossing your legs won’t give you varicose veins.
- Putting vaseline (petroleum jelly) on your face every night won’t keep your skin young. (certain other things can help, beyond a mere temporary impression of fixing up your skin – do your research– but vaseline has actual drawbacks, like sometimes causing outbreaks, and getting oil on your bedsheets…)
- Cutting your hair a little won’t make it grow faster. (in fact, this has actually been known to cause slightly shortened hair…)
- You don’t need to wash your hair every day. (different types of hair require different levels of washing) It seems that every-day-washing is just a newfound madness of the western world.
- Makeup isn’t nearly as important as the “composition”. (see my article about that.)
These things, and many others, can be read about all over the internet: try this search.
Read with a grain of salt, however, because sometimes there are other factors at play that the writers don’t disclose… thus, if you find something that’s important to you, look for a 2nd (and maybe 3rd) opinion. Just in researching for this article, I came across a couple topics that had lots of mixed info out there. (tip: it’s often a good idea to add the word “study” to your searches, so that you find actual scientific studies.)
You think your teens aren’t interested in sex, but that likely isn’t true at all.
Exterior impressions sway us more than they should. We think that a person who displays a certain image (such as with an innocent son/daughter, in this case) must carry the essence of that image, simply because that’s all we see of them. With that in mind, think for a second: why would your kid necessarily not be interested in sex? Starting from your teens, was there EVER a time you weren’t interested in sex?
A North Carolina study suggests that most parents believe their kids aren’t interested in sex, fearing instead that everyone else’s kids are. They also fear that it’s those other peoples’ kids who might tempt theirs.
It’s easy to see things this way. Most kids never display ANY hints of interest while their parents are around, allowing parents to nurture and grow the more comforting idea that their kids are at least pretty clean.
This may scare those parents, but, from a psychologist’s perspective, there’s not that much to worry about: in fact, you should actually be MORE worried if your teens have no interest in sex at all. As parents should remember from their own earlier years, when you’re in your teens, your psychology demands that sex be a big deal for you.
Just bear in mind two things: first, having a real interest has absolutely nothing to do with wanting to sleep around with just anyone. Second, it doesn’t mean your kids automatically support the media’s McDonaldsization of sex, where getting it should be stupid-easy, and there’s nothing wrong with trying shake-n-bake relationships with people you JUST met. (There’s a lot to be said about not putting yourself in the arms of people you know absolutely nothing about.)
That said, a real problem DOES arise: often, even if someone is opposed to the idea of sex before marriage, “the moment” will come. When it comes, they’ll reconsider whether or not holding back is worth it, or just an empty obstacle. No matter WHAT one believes, lovers just have this chronic tendency to get caught up in each other (often for the right reasons), after which there’s a huge desire to draw new lines. Given temptation, it’s incredibly common for the mind to try furiously to find any kind of excuse to reassess its boundaries… or just stuff those boundaries into a box, because “the moment” has far more value.
To understand how powerful this is, bear in mind that, in America, 80% of the population at least identifies itself as Christian, with 40% actually going to church regularly… and yet, we have 2 big points to look at: 1) About 95% of the population has had premarital sex… and 2) The median age for that is 17.
Ultimately, just remember: while it’s likely that your teens are way, way interested in sex, just remember that it doesn’t mean they automatically agree with the idea of loose sex, or the McDonaldsization of it. Even if they end up having sex before marriage, that usually isn’t because they’re “sleeping around” in some brainless way (life isn’t reality TV), or trying shake-n-bake relationships. Young people most often couple up under highly regular terms – one guy with one girl, in love – and they play their cards in a way that is much less terrifying than you probably fear. Maybe not perfect, but certainly not terrifying.
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