Taxpayers Bankroll Feminist Hoax

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Remember
the Super Bowl hoax?

That
was back in 1993, when feminist groups called a press conference
to claim that Super Bowl Sunday was "the biggest day of the
year for violence against women." NBC executives, cowed by
the hysteria, agreed to run a public service spot just before the
big game, reminding men to not beat up their wives after every touchdown.

Of
course, the whole thing turned out to be a farce.

But
there is another myth that many persons still accept at face value
that women were shortchanged by medical research.

It
all began in 1990, when Rep. Patricia Schroeder of Colorado made
the claim that "When you have a male-dominated group of researchers,
they are more worried about prostate cancer than breast cancer."

Apparently,
Rep. Schroeder was ignorant of the fact that spending
on breast cancer has long outstripped prostate research by a 3:1
ratio at the National Institutes of Health
.

And
when Sen. Barbara Mikulski learned that 9.7% of the NIH budget was
allocated to women's health, newspaper headlines were filled with
her shrill allegation of "Blatant discrimination." Sen.
Mikulski was obviously unaware that only 4.5% of the NIH budget
was allocated to men's health. The remainder of the money went to
research that benefited both sexes.

The
mass media has contributed to the disinformation campaign, as well.
For example, the General
Accounting Office published a report in 2000 showing that men represented
only 37% of research participants
.

Then
USA Today ran an editorial on May 5, 2000 summarizing the GAO report.
The column made this bizarre claim: "Moreover, the habit of
overlooking women in medical research is deeply ingrained and hard
to shake." Predictably, the editorial writer blamed it all
on men: "And the research hierarchy is still largely dominated
by the interests and concerns of white males."

Even
medical researchers succumbed to the hysteria surrounding the female
exclusion myth. In 1993, editor Marcia Angell wrote in the prestigious
New England Journal of Medicine, "There is little doubt that
women have been systematically excluded as subjects for study….it
is not surprising that most clinical trials have been heavily, if
not exclusively, weighted toward men".

But
according to the NIH Inventory of Clinical Trials, women were included
in 96% of clinical trials as early as 1979.

More
troubling is that government officials would also mislead. Dr. Vivian
Pinn, director of the NIH Office of Research on Women's Health (www4.od.nih.gov/orwh/),
alleged in a 1997 interview that "women were routinely excluded
from medical research supported by NIH."

Problem
is, the reverse is the truth. Women have been routinely included
in NIH research studies.

For
example, Curtis
Meinert of Johns Hopkins University did a head count of subjects
in all clinical trials published in five leading medical journals
in 1985, 1990, and 1995.
Professor Meinert tallied over 906,000
participants in these trials, of whom 61% were female and 39% were
male.

So
where's the "routine exclusion" of women?

To
this day, officials from the NIH Office of Research on Women's Health
continue to spin the claim that women were shortchanged by medical
research.

And
every year, U.S. taxpayers cough up millions of dollars devoted
to the bogus proposition that women's health needs to play catch-up.

June
30, 2003

Carey
Roberts [send him mail]
is a researcher and consultant who tracks gender bias in the mainstream
media.


     

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