Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sex with Twenty Women Reduces Men's Chances of Prostate Cancer, Study Finds

For gay men, however, the fewer partners the better.

By Anna Pulley
Tue, Nov 18, 2014 at 11:59 AM

click image FLICKR/JEAN KOULEV
  • Flickr/Jean Koulev
Rejoice, straight men of the world! You can now sleep with twenty-plus partners and feel no shame about it! Oh wait, you already don't, never mind! That's women! We forgot. But hey, good news is good news (sorta). Researchers at the University of Montreal found that straight men who have sex with 21 women have a decreased chance (28 percent) of getting prostate cancer. So bang away, gentlemen — it's for your health.

For gay men, on the other hand, the results were not as chipper.

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The study, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, found that men who slept with twenty-plus men doubled their chances of getting prostate cancer, a finding that researchers couldn't readily explain.

"It could come from greater exposure to STIs, or it could be that anal intercourse produces physical trauma to the prostate," said lead researcher Dr. Marie-Elise Parent in Science Daily. But, the STI hypothesis flies in the face of the study's other highlight, which points out that there's "[n]o association found between sexually transmitted infections and prostate cancer." 

The researchers surmised that the lower prostate risk in straight men was possibly due to more frequent ejaculations, but, as anyone with ten minutes and a bottle of Jergen's can attest, ejaculation is not an act that requires twenty partners.

"It is possible that having many female sexual partners results in a higher frequency of ejaculations, whose protective effect against prostate cancer has been previously observed in cohort studies," Dr. Parent said.

So while they may not know exactly WHY there's a correlation between number of sex partners and prostate cancer prevalence, it's interesting to note that there's a correlation at all. Hopefully further studies will elucidate a little more clearly why the results between gay and straight men are inverse, and what, exactly "traumatic prostate sex" might entail. And, of course, this study doesn't mean public health authorities will start doing anything "crazy," like recommending that men sleep with a bunch of women: "We're not there yet," Parent said.

That's what she said.

Follow @annapulley on Twitter. She'll tweet you right. 

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