Correlation is not causation

From The Scotsman:

HAVING sex without a condom is good for your mental health, according to controversial research conducted by a leading Scottish psychologist. Professor Stuart Brody concludes that unprotected heterosexual sex can significantly boost men and women’s mental wellbeing.

Conversely, Mr Brody claims that heterosexual sex with a condom is associated with poorer mental health, problems with dealing with stress and even conditions such as depression.

Mr Brody said: “Evolution is not politically correct, so of the very broad range of potential sexual behaviour, there is actually only one that is consistently associated with better physical and mental health and that is the one sexual behaviour that would be favoured by evolution. That is not accidental.”

I hope he took the basic precaution of trying to compensate for things such as marital¬†status, economic situation, education, drug (including alcohol) use, etc. If he did then his finding are very interesting. If he did not then his “study” is complete crap.


2 thoughts on “Correlation is not causation

  1. Interesting and provocative!

    My guess is that “sex using a condom” is a proxy for “sex with someone you don’t know very well”. I doubt that condoms cause mental health issues, stress or depression.

    On the other hand, sex with someone you know well and are really crazy about can be a “zesty enterprise” (The Big Lebowski) and usually doesn’t require a condom, hence the association.

  2. That’s my guess too. But you would think that someone smart enough to write a paper would be smart enough to think of that too.

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