The Way I See It: Wasted research

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There are research studies done for just about everything and many of them are funded by government grants. In other words, taxpayer dollars.

Some of the studies are quite beneficial, such as one on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome that found placing babies on their backs dramatically reduced SIDS. Another study found that drinking coffee is beneficial to one’s health.

Another study for which results were recently released was, in my opinion, a complete waste of time and money. Any working housewife and mother could have told the brilliant scientific minds at the University of California what they found out in a five-minute telephone call.

The study confirmed that women who work and have children need help with housework to reduce stress levels and improve health. Well, duh!

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The researchers studied a group of 30 dual-earning couples for a week,  monitoring their daily activities and tracking levels of a stress hormone called cortisol. If I understood it correctly, cortisol primes the body for physical and mental challenges during the day. Cortisol is supposed to recede at day’s end in anticipation of rest and relaxation.

According to the article, people with chronically high levels of cortisol or those whose levels fail to decline in the evening not only feel stressed but are vulnerable to a wide range of physical and mental illnesses.

The brilliant scientists found that the cortisol levels in women did not go down proportionately to their husbands. Well, duh again!

Out of the 30 couples, there were a few husbands who helped with the evening chores such as doing dishes and helping put the kids to bed. In their cases, the cortisol didn’t drop as low as the husbands who spent the evening channel surfing, however, it did drop lower than their wives.

I suspect that is because the husbands helped the wives, but the wives still had the bulk of the evening chores to do. Still, I’ll give the men credit for helping.

It’s amazing to me that it took a bunch of brilliant scientists and who knows how great an expense to figure out scientifically what every housewife has known for centuries.

Any housewife can tell the brilliant scientists about a lot of other differences between husband and wife and stress levels, but the way I see It, they won’t ask because they are probably planning a great research study to figure it out.

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