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Old 01-28-2013, 12:23 AM   #1
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Boys & Girls Get Different Breast Milk...

...and the difference isn't just male/female but also whether mom is well fed or not (i.e. rich or poor). Or so says a recent study from here:
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Mother's milk may be the first food, but it is not created equal. In humans and other mammals, researchers have found that milk composition changes depending on the infant's gender and on whether conditions are good or bad. Understanding those differences can give scientists insights into human evolution.
Now I'm wondering if mom's breast milk alters for gays or transexuals....

I know there's some sort of fetish plot bunny in this but I ain't gonna go there
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:54 AM   #2
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So... if a breast-feeding mother gives birth to fraternal twins, does that mean that each breast produces a different kind of milk for the male child and the female child? And what happens if she wakes up and forgets which kid gets which boob, did she just royally fuck over their lives? o.O

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Old 01-28-2013, 10:21 AM   #3
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Mother's milk may be the first food, but it is not created equal. In humans and other mammals, researchers have found that milk composition changes depending on the infant's gender and on whether conditions are good or bad. Understanding those differences can give scientists insights into human evolution.



I rather suspect that the research is either very limited or at best, flawed.
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Handley_Page View Post
Mother's milk may be the first food, but it is not created equal. In humans and other mammals, researchers have found that milk composition changes depending on the infant's gender and on whether conditions are good or bad. Understanding those differences can give scientists insights into human evolution.



I rather suspect that the research is either very limited or at best, flawed.

Or, you know... made up by someone with a breast milk fetish who thinks his sister got the better stuff because momma ate more expensive food than when she had him. There's probably some weird, twisted Freudian stuff going on with it, too.
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Handley_Page View Post
Mother's milk may be the first food, but it is not created equal. In humans and other mammals, researchers have found that milk composition changes depending on the infant's gender and on whether conditions are good or bad. Understanding those differences can give scientists insights into human evolution.



I rather suspect that the research is either very limited or at best, flawed.
What are the flaws you see in it?
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:30 PM   #6
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What are the flaws you see in it?
Well, You'll appreciate that [a], I am no medical man, [b] I left mother's milk behind a very long time ago, and [c], My wife didn't have twins, but it strikes me that either the research is flawed in that it's incomplete and un-detailed, or [alternatively] it's been very badly reported.

There are, it seems to me, to be too many 'other cases' [such as Brother/Sister twins, and so on], which may be unrecorded [or reported].

At its simplest, the quoted piece seems to assume that a woman only ever has one child at once; but multiple births are not rare, are they ?
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:25 PM   #7
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What were the controls used for this experiment? Also, the real test would be the composition of the same mother's breast milk from different births in which there were different sexes. The health of the mother and availability of clean water and healthy food for the mother would be the biggest difference in quality of breast milk. It sounds like there were too many variables in order to draw reliable scientific conclusions regarding this study. This is not the first time that a flawed study was reported as fact. This is the problem with too much junk science.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedMonkeyButt View Post
Or, you know... made up by someone with a breast milk fetish who thinks his sister got the better stuff because momma ate more expensive food than when she had him. There's probably some weird, twisted Freudian stuff going on with it, too.
And we have our first Incest plot bunny!
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NekoParks View Post
What were the controls used for this experiment? Also, the real test would be the composition of the same mother's breast milk from different births in which there were different sexes. The health of the mother and availability of clean water and healthy food for the mother would be the biggest difference in quality of breast milk. It sounds like there were too many variables in order to draw reliable scientific conclusions regarding this study. This is not the first time that a flawed study was reported as fact. This is the problem with too much junk science.
Follow the link and see for yourself. I make no claims as to the validity of the study, I just posted it for story inspiration purposes And food had a lot to do with the difference. When moms ate badly (on the cheap) the difference between what boys got and what girls got was different than when they were eating well. That's the interesting thing. Poor diet favors girls. Good diet favors boys.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3113 View Post
Follow the link and see for yourself. I make no claims as to the validity of the study, I just posted it for story inspiration purposes And food had a lot to do with the difference. When moms ate badly (on the cheap) the difference between what boys got and what girls got was different than when they were eating well. That's the interesting thing. Poor diet favors girls. Good diet favors boys.
No, no-- I didn't mean to sound so harsh. It's an interesting idea for a story. I'm sorry if I offended.
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:40 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by NekoParks View Post
No, no-- I didn't mean to sound so harsh. It's an interesting idea for a story. I'm sorry if I offended.
No offense taken at all, I assure you! you didn't come across as harsh. In fact, you came across as very reasonable. You brought up some good points, and absolutely you should question such studies. I just didn't want you to get the wrong idea of why I posted it.

Sorry if I came across as defensive. I wasn't feeling that way at all.
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Handley_Page View Post
Well, You'll appreciate that [a], I am no medical man, [b] I left mother's milk behind a very long time ago, and [c], My wife didn't have twins, but it strikes me that either the research is flawed in that it's incomplete and un-detailed, or [alternatively] it's been very badly reported.

There are, it seems to me, to be too many 'other cases' [such as Brother/Sister twins, and so on], which may be unrecorded [or reported].

At its simplest, the quoted piece seems to assume that a woman only ever has one child at once; but multiple births are not rare, are they ?
Fraternal twins: about 1 in 80 conceptions (more with artificial fertility techniques, not relevant here). Of those, about 50% would be male-female pairs, so you're looking at about 1 in 160 conceptions. There were only 72 mothers in the study, so they probably didn't get any male-female twins to look at - and even if they did turn up a couple, that wouldn't be enough to draw any sort of conclusions about twins.

If by "incomplete" you mean "leaves interesting questions unanswered", then sure. Scientific research ALWAYS leaves some interesting questions unanswered; only religion claims to achieve completion.

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Originally Posted by NekoParks View Post
What were the controls used for this experiment?
You can read the abstract here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/1...22092/abstract

In brief, they divided mothers up into four categories (rich/poor x sons/daughters) and used linear regression to compare the four categories on fat content and frequency of breastfeeding. Without having seen the details of their analysis, that looks like a reasonable approach to me.

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Originally Posted by NekoParks View Post
Also, the real test would be the composition of the same mother's breast milk from different births in which there were different sexes.
Yes and no. In theory that'd be a stronger test, requiring fewer subjects to give the same strength of result. But in practice...

First, you need to hang around in Kenya for a couple of years to conduct the study, so your subjects have time to have a couple of babies. (Fun fact: breastfeeding has a contraceptive effect, so the women in this study would be unlikely to conceive again in a hurry.) That takes a lot more time and money.

Along the way, you lose a lot of your subjects, because keeping in touch for a longitudinal study is a pain in the arse. Maybe they move, maybe they don't want to be studied any more. Then, because you can only use the subjects who had one of each, that's about 50% of your sample lost right there.

Incidentally, your study is now skewed towards people who have a shorter gap between children, and who don't move around much. Both of those risk biasing your results.

Take all those into account, and it probably works out more expensive and less accurate than the method they used. It's definitely going to be slower.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NekoParks View Post
The health of the mother and availability of clean water and healthy food for the mother would be the biggest difference in quality of breast milk.
These things are certainly important - and they're strongly correlated with wealth, which may well be why they chose to use wealth as one of their independent variables.

But if you look at the abstract: well-off women produced an average 2.8 gm/dl fat in milk for boys, but only 0.6 for girls. That's a pretty big difference.
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