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#6095 - 11/25/09 02:18 PM How's it hangin'?
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Intriguing conjectures about Why do human testicles hang like that? at
http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=why-do-human-testicles-hang-like-th-2009-11-19

However, I seem to recall an article vintage ca 1970 which relates the asymmetry of testicular hang to handedness — right-handed males will have the right testis higher than the left and left-handed males will have the left testis higher. This has to do with greater muscular tone on the side with dominance (and, as such, the explanation conflicts with the opinion expressed in this article).
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#6099 - 11/26/09 01:18 AM Re: How's it hangin'? [Re: grelber]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Further to my previous note ...
I was off by a bit: The article originated at the University of Hong Kong and was published in 1960. The full citation is:
Chang KSF, Hsu FK, Chan ST, Chan YB. Scrotal Asymmetry and Handedness. J Anat Oct 1960; 94(4): 543-548.

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#6107 - 11/26/09 08:20 AM Re: How's it hangin'? [Re: grelber]
alternaut Offline

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Registered: 08/04/09
OK, I'll bite. laugh
Originally Posted By: grelber
... an article vintage ca 1970 which relates the asymmetry of testicular hang to handedness [...] This has to do with greater muscular tone on the side with dominance (and, as such, the explanation conflicts with the opinion expressed in this article).

Interesting that you see a conflict between the two explanations where I see them more as complementing each other. If handedness predisposes toward a particular resting inclination, why would that interfere/conflict with a control system that may also require asymmetry for optimal cooling while remaining actively adjustable by cremaster activity?

It may help to recall that many systems (both biological as mechanical) are subject to a variety of influences that all have to be dealt with in order to optimize performance. In other words, rather than singular solutions many implementations of a critical functional requirement often are 'compromises' of that main as well as of other requirements. It's not necessarily one or the other, but 'bofum' (as some friends of mine might say in certain situations).

Then again, I'm sure I don't have to tell you that... wink

Btw, not being hindered by extensive reading on the topic (although I perused both articles you referred to, see below), Gallup's 'activation' theory strikes me as a warmed up rehash of old data. shocked

- Chang et al. (1960) paper
- Gallup et al. (2009) paper (pdf)
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#6109 - 11/26/09 09:10 AM Re: How's it hangin'? [Re: alternaut]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
I concur with your last statement.

What I meant by 'conflict' is essentially that Gallup and Bering do not recognize and indeed do not seem to be aware of the earlier research on the topic.
This might be construed as sloppy research.

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#6112 - 11/26/09 10:47 AM Re: How's it hangin'? [Re: alternaut]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: alternaut
If handedness predisposes toward a particular resting inclination, why would that interfere/conflict with a control system that may also require asymmetry for optimal cooling while remaining actively adjustable.......


Even beginning with the caveat that I am neither a biologist nor a mechanical engineer, I'm guessing that I'd be correct to conclude: "Pliers are out."

ryck
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#6113 - 11/26/09 11:00 AM Re: How's it hangin'? [Re: ryck]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Unless you're trying extract information from a terrorist and/or are trying sadomasochism on for size. wink
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#6125 - 11/27/09 10:31 AM Re: How's it hangin'? [Re: grelber]
alternaut Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: grelber
This might be construed as sloppy research.

I tend to agree, but like to qualify that. The two papers are different in both approach and goal. The Chang paper is a straightforward investigation of a simple observation and related hypotheses. It is performed by anatomists collecting a sizeable number of specimens, taking and correlating relevant measurements, and discussing possible confounds and previous findings. The conclusion makes sense, but isn't necessarily the whole story nor does it purport to be.

The Gallup study is more of a broad-based functional explanation of a phenomenon by (evolutionary) psychologists, based on observations essentially made by others. The fact that the Chang paper isn't mentioned may be seen as sloppy (and this would apply to the peer reviewers as well), but it doesn't detract from the thesis proposed as I outlined above. The fact that their conclusion is based on a literature review contributes to the 'deja vu' effect I experienced. This is unfortunate for the authors, as their conclusion may not have been forwarded by others in this particular form.

Pointing out that these two papers were written by anatomists and psychologists respectively wasn't meant to introduce a bias regarding one or the other, but to suggest a different point of view and potentially different methods etc. Looking at data from different perspectives has a long history of producing novel and valuable insights between distracting bouts of painful drivel. The chance of the latter should not stop anyone from thinking outside the box but neither should they wield their ridicule prematurely.
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#6126 - 11/27/09 11:54 AM Re: How's it hangin'? [Re: alternaut]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Having engaged Dr Gallup in e-discussion, I can add another study to the mix:
Bogaert AF. Genital asymmetry in men. Human Reproduction 1997; 12(1): 68–72.
This study utilizes a vast store of data from men who were interviewed by the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction from 1938 to 1963.

As noted on p 69 of Bogaert's article:
''... one (i.e. which testicle hangs lower) was marginally significant (P < 0.07). Given that some previous research (i.e. Chang et al., 1960) suggests nonright-handers are less likely than right-handers to have a lower left testicle, a directional (one-tailed) t-test for proportions was performed on this variable (i.e. which testicle hangs lower). As expected, a significant difference was observed (P < 0.05). Thus, a small but observable relationship seems to occur between genital asymmetry and handedness in men.''

The ethnic imbalance probably plays a role, as Bogaert notes, between Chang et al and his study of the Kinsey data.

I find it passing curious that the more recent researchers on this topic come from psychology departments, as opposed to medicine or physiology.

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#6127 - 11/27/09 02:17 PM Re: How's it hangin'? [Re: grelber]
roger Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Vermont
don't most women have one breast larger than the other?
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#6137 - 11/28/09 03:36 AM Re: How's it hangin'? [Re: roger]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
True.

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#6139 - 11/28/09 04:59 AM Re: How's it hangin'? [Re: grelber]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
Is that claim based upon personal observation? Measurements that you have personally made? How many women were in your sample group? Are the results statistically significant? wink
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#6140 - 11/28/09 05:06 AM Re: How's it hangin'? [Re: jchuzi]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
I'll never tell. But my sources are impeccable.

By the bye, what are your GPS coordinates? I'm sailing on the Hudson around Newburgh and thought I might test-fire one of my missiles. (And don't try giving me your nasty neighbor's coordinates. I always double-check my sources.) wink shocked
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#6141 - 11/28/09 06:10 AM Re: How's it hangin'? [Re: jchuzi]
roger Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Vermont
Originally Posted By: jchuzi
Is that claim based upon personal observation? Measurements that you have personally made? How many women were in your sample group? Are the results statistically significant? wink


1. yes
2. yes
3. not nearly enough
4. some were significant, others less significant, but that's just fine!

cool
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#6142 - 11/28/09 06:43 AM Re: How's it hangin'? [Re: grelber]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
Originally Posted By: grelber
I'm sailing on the Hudson around Newburgh and thought I might test-fire one of my missiles.
I'm just outside of Kingston but you'll have to find my coordinates on your own. If the weather on the Hudson is anything like the weather here in Hurley, you are not lacking for wind.

I'm intrigued by the "research" that has gone into this forum. I wouldn't mind doing further research about breast size but not only does my wife look askance at this, but my age is a factor. Here's an illustration:

A 70-year-old man walks into a party with a drop dead gorgeous 25-year-old blond on his arm. A friend of his takes him aside and says, "Nice girlfriend." He replies, "She's not my girlfriend, she's my wife." The following exchange ensues:

"How did you get her to marry you?"
"I lied about my age."
"You told her that you were 50?"
"No, I told her that I was 90."

I find this very depressing. When I was 18, I was too young for 25-year-old girls. At 64, I'm still too young. frown
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#6143 - 11/28/09 06:52 AM Re: How's it hangin'? [Re: jchuzi]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
From my perspective it's always good to be young. Let others worry about the definition.
As for the other, let your spouse be your sole experimental subject; I'll bet that sweetens the pot, so to speak (meaning very little more looking askance).
And make sure to TiVo/PVR every Dr Oz show.
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