Hot Sex Prevents Breast Cancer

By Neuroskeptic | January 4, 2012 8:04 pm

Breast cancer is caused by sexual frustration. Women should ditch their unsexy husbands and find a real man to satisfy them if they want to reduce the risk of the disease.

That’s according to An Essay on Sexual Frustration as the Cause of Breast Cancer in Women: How Correlations and Cultural Blind Spots Conceal Causal Effects, a piece that was published today in The Breast Journal.

Wtf. Really –

Endocrinological processes are important targets in breast cancer research. These processes are also important in human sexual behaviors. I hypothesize that these processes are capable of adjusting or distorting biological active forms of speci?c sex hormones depending on experienced sexual stimuli. These aberrantly metabolized sex hormones will ultimately lead to breast cancer.

…My thesis is that breast cancer is essentially caused by sexual frustration. The focus of this hypothesis is aimed at the (un)consciously experienced tension and sexual dissatisfaction between the chosen mate based on socio-economic, intellectual, ethnic or cultural motives and the nonchosen potential mate who has more appealing sexual incentive properties.

In most western societies the improved economic independence of women has not changed to such a degree that long-term partners are chosen entirely according to sexual incentive properties. If the selected partner has no or weak sexual incentive properties for the other member of the couple, it is likely that sexual frustration will follow in the long run (6), which ultimately will cause breast cancer in some women…

…higher socio-economic group of women pay more than average attention to the assets or status of the potential partner(7)….The chances of some women from higher socio-economic classes to ?nd a sexually compatible mate are considerably reduced. This is due to an often self-imposed very limited range of potential partners. In this group of women, high status of the potential partner compensates for the acceptance of physically less attractive men (9)…

…These women have a disadvantage because they have a smaller pool to choose from if they want a man they will not tower over. This increases the chances to settle for a sexually incompatible partner…


There are 15 references, but they’re all about sex, not cancer. Thus we get a citation to support the statement that “If the selected partner has no or weak sexual incentive properties for the other member of the couple, it is likely that sexual frustration will follow in the long run (6)”, but not for the rather more controversial idea that disappointment in the bedroom somehow leads to malignant mutations in the DNA of cells of the mammary epithelium.

Well, except the line that “aberrantly metabolized sex hormones” are responsible, which is the scientific equivalent of waving your hands and saying “woo”.

How did this happen?

The Breast Journal, so far as I can see, publishes lots of sensible research. It may not be a major journal but it’s MEDLINE indexed and ranked 143/184 for impact in the field of oncology, which means there are 40 cancer journals in the world that have less impact than it.

If I’d published in The Breast Journal, I’d be a bit miffed that my work was appearing in the same pages as this piece. Thankfully I haven’t but as a scientist I’m still insulted that this has been published in a scientific journal, and will be appearing on the shelves of libraries around the world under the heading “science”.

ResearchBlogging.orgStuger, J. (2011). An Essay on Sexual Frustration as the Cause of Breast Cancer in Women: How Correlations and Cultural Blind Spots Conceal Causal Effects The Breast Journal DOI: 10.1111/j.1524-4741.2011.01206.x

CATEGORIZED UNDER: funny, papers
  • Richard

    Jerry Stuger CFA, as in Chartered Financial Analyst?

    He doesn't seem to have any other publications. What a weird article. Is it a hoax? Or a bet?

  • The Neurocritic

    Was this paper one of the rare rejects from Medical Hypotheses?

    I agree with Richard. It seems like a joke or a hoax. Does “Jerry Stuger” really work (or live) here in this garage in Amsterdam?

    It might be worth contacting the editor about how this article passed peer review…

  • Rogue Medic

    Jerry Stuger CFA (drs)?

    I found two medical abbreviations.

    Cryptogenic Fibrosing Alveolitis.

    Certified First Assistant.

    They do not appear to lend any credibility to his article as any kind of science.

    Is he a proud member of the Cat Fanciers' Association?

    Did he answer a Call For Abstracts?

    I do not see any connection between this and Alan Sokal's “A Physicist Experiments With Cultural Studies.”

    A list of uses of the CFA acronym can be found at –


  • Neuroskeptic

    Richard: At first I thought it must be some kind of hoax, maybe an April Fool's article that was meant to be published in the April edition and appeared online too early… but if it is a hoax it is a very good one.

    Neurocritic: I will try contacting the editor. They have some explaining to do.

  • Ivana Fulli MD

    Since we lack ideas it is not bad in itself to try little ideas in observation studies -if you are careful about your presenting it for what it is worth. Like:

    Yawn Contagion and Empathy in Homo sapiens

    They could have call their little piece of research something like An essay on social isolation…

    What is ludicrous is to be ignorant or dishonest in the writing of your conclusions or hypotheses and the editor of that Journal cannot say the subject is foreign to their main interest.

    Just a few examples of bias for that essay- but I have not read the full article:

    My clinician experience-and I bet I am not alone – is that men in stress are very often relieved by sex and look for it not always wisely

    when stressed women tend to avoid sex and they sometimes need to think about it before accusing the partner

    (idem for the overstressed man accusing his partner for his need of prostitutes services).

    And stress and cancer may have a link-also a stressed woman might be reluctant to follow her instinct not to go too often to pass a mamograph test.

    NB:Of course sexually frustated persons do exist some people are just not very sexual and should be left alone. In aspies you get all the spectrum from great sexual needs to no sexual needs.May be those researchers have read too much popular press aim at women where they make people feel unworth if they do not have incredible sex all the time…

    Of course sex steroid hormones have they role but it seems to be counterintuitive -ar least in some women-who appears to desire more sex when their sexual steroid hormonal level is low around and after the menopause but also around the menstruation-it can be so strong for some women that it becomes a complaint to the physician included into PMT specially when the partner do not want to have sex with a menstruating woman(Jewish religion but not only that ).

    For the younger female clients competing with online porn is a real stress in their sexual lifes and feeling obliged to perform what they do not like starting with the regulation of their hairy parts…

    Complicated stuff, they need more modesty in their writing and choice of tittle.

  • Anonymous

    Are any of you neuroscientists breast specialists? Obviously not. As a women with two healthy breasts, this essay makes sense to me.

  • Ivana Fulli MD

    Anonymous 5 January 2012 11:18

    In what sense this essay does makes sense to you?

    I mean, do you feel they got it right or do you think they might have a legitimacy in asking questions?

    May I hope that your two breasts do no include French crook made implants who contain industrial cheap material instead of medically approved one and were not properly controlled before selling it to surgeons lavishly treated in good restaurants by the crook manufacturers.

    But beware that since many women get breast cancer (1 in 8 in France I think)
    -serious braest cancer or overdetection ones-

    and I think 30 000 women in France went under the knife to get implants to please themselves or somebody else or to have their breast repared after breast cancer surgery

    it will not suffice to get breast cancer

    and having have those French crook produced enhancing breast material inside your body to conclude that those crooks are giving women cancer.

    For scientific reasons it is best to allow scientists to work on it on that new cancer etiology( stats from epidemiologists mainly on that point but the labs men and the white coats men can do their useful bit here.

  • Neurobonkers

    Nice job, I've done a slightly more juvenile blog post based on your post…

    (Link is in the name URL in my name above because I know blogger autoblocks comments containing URL's)

    Hope you enjoy!

  • omg

    Ivana, sarcasm. I love this post. The essay advocates sex, it's organic and refreshing. Instead of 'sexual frustration' Jerry S. could've said 'sex drive' and omit the Cs – Cause, Correlations, Cultural, Conceal, Causal. But in a way it's like the Ivory Tower is opening up, BURSTING to belong with the Crowd. Sex! Sex! Sex! We need more sex!!! Love it.

  • Anonymous

    “And stress and cancer may have a link”

    May they? Is there any evidence for this?

    And what exactly is “stress” anyway?


  • omg

    NS recent blog entries.. WTF? Wet, dreams, chic, KABOOM click click click..

  • Ivana Fulli MD


    Good for you but as much as I like you as a person for your free spirit in comment and your openess of mind,

    scinetific journal are squpposed to help clinicians advise clients, researchers to look in interesting directions, policy maker to promote health etc…

    For feeling good i advise a novel, film, spending time with people of your choice etc…

    I am worried when “scientists” are writing titles for their articles susceptible to get them invitzed to speak at the BBC and have their names printed in non scientific journals and reviews.

  • Tiel Aisha Ansari

    What are they talking about? Breast cancer is caused by women playing rough sports, e.g. rugby, and getting hit in the chest. I thought everyone knew that.

  • ivana Fulli MD

    Anonymous 5 January 2012 14:25 J


    “And stress and cancer may have a link”
    May they? Is there any evidence for this?And what exactly is “stress” anyway? DC”

    For examples in answer to the two first questions:

    Eur J Cancer. 1999 Oct;35(11):1603-7.
    Psychoneuroimmunology and cancer: fact or fiction?

    A Scottish study founfing a link except for lung cancer:

    J Epidemiol Community Health. 2007 May; 61(5): 455–460.
    doi: 10.1136/jech.2006.052043

    Effect of conjugal bereavement on mortality of the bereaved spouse in participants of the Renfrew/Paisley Study

    You have meta analysis about stress and immunity, one is :

    Stress and Immunity in Humans: A Meta-Analytic Review.HERBERT AND. COHEN …

  • omg

    Ivana, I absolutely agree with you. I'm obviously not a researcher but if I was I'd raise an eyebrow. Since I'm merely commenting I feel the need to liberate my inhibitions. We need to talk more about sex as a society like we do for food.

  • Ivana Fulli MD


    Let's the nuns concentrate and keep worrying about eternel salvation and not about a very high imaginery breast cancer risk because of lack of sexual intercourses!

    Humans are quite a diverse lot in matter of sexual appetite and for that subject, it is not fair nor healthy to impose any collective values upon individuals. To replace victorian values for women by mandatory hippies values is not what liberty and freedoom means to me.

    By all means enjoy your life.

  • Ivana Fulli MD


    There might also be a lot of money involved there for the very costly material and the radiologists fees that goes with breast cancer risks…

    Some aspies are very prudish: I have a 30 years old bright client who is starting this week a new job – because he had to quit a good job last year where he did very well on a technical level, because some male colleagues had discovered that my client is very prudish and he was bullied with sexual snearing remarks.

  • Anonymous

    As soon as I learned that I needed a mastectomy for stage 3 breast cancer, I began thinking about reconstruction. My surgeon referred me to a reconstructive surgeon, and I contacted my insurance to determine if I was eligible for the procedure. I was advised by the doctors to have the reconstruction performed immediately following the mastectomy. .


  • omg

    Ivana, we do impose collective values… power of democracy. Open dialogue, and not open practice, could alleviate sexual frustrations. Constructive dialogue and not social slurs.

    I desired to write a thesis on sex in philosophy with the intentions of a career in academic sex research. The potential supervisor looked at me, gulped, then told me to pick something else.

    Perhaps the likes of Darwin, Freud are popular because it was about sex. Why did Freud get banned? The power to control nations through sex is a secret mandate and not an open one?

  • Ivana Fulli MD


    Darwin's theory -to my mind – is not about sex but about natural selection of genes in the evolution of the species.

    I did homework for your sake and found:

    Robert-an aspie-
    wrote an article “Why I am Single”
    in “Asperger United” ed 69 January 2012.Edited by the Nat Autisitc Soc; the nation being GB and Northen ireland I suppose.

    I cite him:

    “Certain workplace strategies like exposing someone's lack of sex life and making them feel inferior to you because you have had a very active sex life are thankfully now rezcognized as bullying and not tolerated where I work. another annoying experience is when, on discovering your lack of girlfriends, somebody asks”Are you gay”-this is generally by people of immature years though.(…)””

    I do not know where you live omg but I know that France is full of disgusting people who -on the work place, at school, at university,at parties bully heavily and heartlessly people for their lack of sex life.

    Why do you want to be one of them. and beware that sexuality is funny sometimes: gayhaters become gays; gays activists can suddenly feel bi-sexual, very sexually active and attractive persons -like you imply you are- can feel without any interest in sex because of depression, stress, medication and not only antipsychotics or antidepressants that can have that effect- ablation of the uterus with or even without ovariectomie, you name it

  • ivana Fulli MD


    By the way, Freud was Jewish at a time when antisemitism was strong but-and you are not alone in ignoring it with every reasons since an academic didn't take you to do your PhD on sex philosophy- the intelectuals in Vienna in Freud times were absolutly obsessed with sex;

    Actually, Freud is the product of a society obsessed by sex repression and he has nothing of a very original thinker as far as sex repression is concerned. He thought gay were ill also.

  • omg

    Offspring production is sex. Aspies are in the minority, they have workplace laws for bullying. Prestigious firms require prestigious personal lives. Work colleagues will always regard those areas as leverage to beat you up that ladder. This isn't what I was talking about. Sex talk was much more prevalent in Eastern than Western Germany before the collapse of Communism. Sex was addressed than repressed – they led better sex lives amongst marriage couples than their Western counterparts. Sex in India… I could go on and on.

  • Ivana Fulli MD


    My point is that scientific journals have to be careful with their titles and discussions in order not to raise premature claims that might be unfounded- false alarms about cancer in your breast because of a lack of sex lives in that ludicrous case.

    when may be the nuns are under terrible pressure because the catholic church is not a democracy -just a passing thought-

    and the food is cheap and unhealthy, and many nuns did not have had children before becoming nuns, etc…

    Worrying that you personal life gives you a hugher risk of breast cancer is not fun.

    And I do not really care what the corporate world teaches about. (Watch the excellent movie Shame, dear omg)- Some young overgifted persons are working like mad for banks and on Friday night it is cocaine and prostitutes…

    False alarms can lead to dangerous behaviours like proclaiming autism risk in your children if you protect them against death by diphtéria or mental retardation following measles encephalitis etc..,whatever.

    Scientists have moral responsabilities; “Scinece without conscience is the ruin of the soul” François Rabelais XVI century

  • omg

    I think the article was examining the absurdity of breast cancer research in finding it's causes. You could virtually come up with anything in terms of correlation etc. which could in fact be blinding us to the real causes. I'd examine the title and read between the lines. I think the essay communicates a valid point and that was probably the whole point of it and not so much towards finding a cure or doing science per se.

  • Rogue Medic


    You are now suggesting that this is a satire of science.

    This only becomes a satire of the journal publishing it, not a satire of science.

    This should not have been published in any journal.

    You claim that science has no standards, but that appears to be due to a lack of understanding of science on your part.

    Reality is not whatever you want it to be.

  • omg

    I don't find it funny so not a satire but an actual scientific article examining the absurdity of finding causes with blindspots.

    You obviously have a lack of understanding on what the “standards” in your field are. This article was published via your scientific standards.

    I'm going to assume you're a medic though and not a scientist, so don't have as much researchy brain cells to fathom what I've just said.

  • Rogue Medic


    “I don't find it funny so not a satire but an actual scientific article examining the absurdity of finding causes with blindspots.”

    Science is about decreasing blind spots. This paper appears to be about ignoring blind spots and assuming that makes the blind spots go away. This paper is not valid science.

    “You obviously have a lack of understanding on what the “standards” in your field are. This article was published via your scientific standards.”

    No. The paper makes plenty of unjustifiable assumptions. The peer reviewers should have asked the author to provide better evidence (in many cases, any evidence would have been nice) to support these assumptions.

    “I'm going to assume you're a medic though and not a scientist, so don't have as much researchy brain cells to fathom what I've just said.”

    You seem to enjoy demonstrating the kind of biases that science seeks to avoid.

    If you read the paper, you will find that one third of the references are from just one book. Most of the references are from books, rather than from research. One is from a TV show.

    Apparently, Jerry Stuger read a book and really, really liked the book. Reading research appears to be too much to ask of Jerry Stuger. Are you Jerry Stuger?

    While books may be based on excellent research, it is the research that should be cited, since the research is what is peer reviewed.

    This paper should have been better reviewed. An error on the part of the reviewers for one paper does not invalidate science, nor any field of science.


  • omg

    CFA – Community First Aid.

    Aren't you supposed to be a medic?

    What you just said is obvious. Think outside your scope. The reality of science is much more broader than you think. This was titled an essay much like an opinion piece. Editors aren't stupid.

  • Neuroskeptic

    omg said “This article was published via your scientific standards.”

    Yes and no. Any competent peer reviewer would throw this out in 5 minutes. The fact that it got through shows in fairly dramatic fashion that not all peer reviewers are competent.

  • Rogue Medic


    “Aren't you supposed to be a medic?”

    I am a paramedic.

    “What you just said is obvious.”


    “You seem to enjoy demonstrating the kind of biases that science seeks to avoid.”

    “Think outside your scope.”

    I generally do, but what does that have to do with anything? Do you have any idea what you are writing?

    “The reality of science is much more broader than you think.”

    Tell me what I think. I love your psychic abilities.

    “This was titled an essay much like an opinion piece.”

    And evolution is just a theory, which is no different from a hunch. Right?

    This is presented in a scientific journal, not in a newspaper.

    “Editors aren't stupid.”

    Do you have any evidence to support that statement?

    Is there some higher minimum standard for editors than for everyone else?


  • omg

    Competent reviewer in that field. When did brain researchers review breast literature? I'd say I have more authority on the matter because I have a pair of breasts. Rogue Medic, Mr. Paramedic, take your shirt off.

  • Rogue Medic


    “Competent reviewer in that field. When did brain researchers review breast literature?”

    You do not need to be a specialist in the field to understand when a paper does not come close to scientific validity.

    “I'd say I have more authority on the matter because I have a pair of breasts. Rogue Medic, Mr. Paramedic, take your shirt off.”

    You would say that, but that only makes it clear that you do not begin to understand what you are writing about.

    If you have dementia, does that qualify you to understand dementia research?

    PS Men get breast cancer, too.


  • omg

    Actually I take that back. I'm on my way to sainthood I'm attracted to no man. Put your shirt back on.

    Baywatch, Paramedic, same thing, if you had dementia you still have more authority as per ethical rights of test subject.

    Last time I checked, men have nipples and pecs unless you're a brain researcher ok man boobs but that's fatty deposit get fit nerd.

    Do you have man boobs?

  • omg

    Every week I palpate my somewhat sizeable breast for lumps. Do you do that too? Even if you had man boobs I still have more spatial area than you, hence more authority towards prevention research as per my democratic right.

  • Rogue Medic


    Why are you spreading misinformation?


  • omg

    Buddy, you can speculate all you like but the article was published. Just because you don't get it doesn't mean everyone else doesn't either.

  • Rogue Medic


    As you wrote earlier –

    “Ivana, I absolutely agree with you. I'm obviously not a researcher but if I was I'd raise an eyebrow.”

    You are “obviously not a researcher.”

    As everyone else has pointed out, the same probably applies to Jerry Stuger.


  • omg

    Oh, so only PhDs are allowed to read BREAST journals. Who gave people like you the god given right to write about my breasts? My breasts, my life! Fck researchers. Don't you have a cat to save? Meow along nerd.

  • Rogue Medic


    Whether you read the journal is not important to me.

    Research is about minimizing bias, but you seem to revel in your biases.

    PhDs can be as biased as anyone else, so peer review is supposed to act as an significant barrier to the publication of biased research (or research that does not acknowledge, and attempt to correct for, its biases).

    You do not have to be a PhD to understand research, but you do need to stop trying to make the research say what you want it to say.

    Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself. The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.
    – Richard Feynman.

    This applies to everyone, not just to you.


  • omg

    Technically no, because I don't think this journal is about science per se but a health one which considers things outside of science.

    I've read much stranger articles about cancer research.. what was it pop tarts can alleviate it?

    You only read science perhaps and I applaud that, I see the bigger picture – at the detriment of science for the greater good, oh well.

  • Rogue Medic


    Science is about finding out what works. If something cannot be shown to work consistently when we eliminate what may be misleading, then we should conclude that we have been misleading ourselves.


  • omg

    Science faults everything. Everyone and everything is FAIL in the eyes of science. It's like that kid standing at the back pointing and heckling AHAHAHAHA FAIL! when presenting something in front of the class.

    I'm not really into the philosophies of science – science is just one of numerous paradigms to discover facts, truths, whatever. I think society is progressing onto better paradigms than science though.

    The scientific way of thinking and discovery was great the last 5oo years but now it's like the plot is being lost to cumbersome autonomies. I reckon continuing on this tangent could hurt humanity, in the way religion burnt those witches.

    I mean look at you for instance, you're accusing those who don't conform to the “scientific” way of thinking as heretics. You're concerned about people's titles, I mean who cares? When was science about titles?

    The avenue for truth is waning for science, much in the way it did for religion. Truth is like that ring Frodo was carrying – if paradigms house it for too long it leads to destruction.

    I wonder where truth will emerge next.

  • Rogue Medic


    Again, you need to stop with the misinformation. Lies are not a way to any truth.

    Science does not fault everything.

    Science is only a route for learning the truth. When you do not like the truth, attacking the messenger is just the route of ignorance.

    I never expressed any concern about anyone's title. You brought titles into this conversation and now that is a straw man for you to attack.

    Nobody has yet found any better way to the truth than science.

    Why does your criticism of science require misrepresentation of the truth?


  • omg

    Science is not a messenger. The Messiah is. Science is a model like religion, capitalism, socialism etc.

    I suggest you study the history of science before making up what you think and accusing truth seekers like me as peddling falsehoods. Not cool.

  • Rogue Medic


    Science is not a messenger.

    I did not claim that science is a messenger. I, and the rest of the literate people here, are the messengers telling you that you can't just make up your own truth.

    The Messiah is.

    Which “Messiah”? There are so many that it is difficult to reconcile their many contradictory messages.

    Science is a model like religion, capitalism, socialism etc.

    No. Science is a method for learning the truth. Nothing better has been found, so you will either have to get used to disappointment or continue to delude yourself.

    I suggest you study the history of science before making up what you think and accusing truth seekers like me as peddling falsehoods. Not cool.

    I do not expect that your understanding of history is any better than your understanding of science, so why would this further misguided claim be any more convincing than any previous misguided claim?

    You do not seek truth in any reasonable way. You promote ignorance, but I guess that is what passes for “cool” among trolls these days.


  • omg

    Do you always have nasty spats with ladies? You're an idiot, I'm awesome. Piece of truth for you – women are ALWAYS right.

  • Rogue Medic


    This has nothing to do with your gender.


  • omg

    Yeah it does. It kills you I have breasts.

  • omg

    Professor Paramedic come back!

    Waaaaaaaaaaaaa :(



No brain. No gain.

About Neuroskeptic

Neuroskeptic is a British neuroscientist who takes a skeptical look at his own field, and beyond. His blog offers a look at the latest developments in neuroscience, psychiatry and psychology through a critical lens.


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