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Sex in an MRI scanner—a glance again at probably the most widespread BMJ articles of all time

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

This Christmas marks the 20th anniversary of the publication of “Magnetic resonance imaging of male and female genitals during coitus and female sexual arousal” in The BMJ.

In its first yr, it picked up the IgNobel prize for medicine, and has since change into probably the most downloaded BMJ articles of all time.

Dr. Tony Delamothe, a former editor at The BMJ, ponders on its success.

Despite some setbacks (reluctance by hospital officers; “sniffing press hounds” and a few issues with sexual efficiency), the researchers have been capable of obtain good photos of coitus in progress.

The essential findings, based mostly on 13 experiments carried out with eight couples and three single ladies, have been that in intercourse within the “missionary position” the penis is neither straight nor “S” formed as had been beforehand thought, however is, the truth is, the form of a boomerang.

What’s extra, throughout feminine sexual arousal the scale of the uterus doesn’t enhance, as had been beforehand reported.

The researchers concluded that taking magnetic resonance photos (MRIs) of the female and male genitals throughout sexual activity is possible and provides to our information of anatomy.

At the time, no person at The BMJ thought the research was significantly helpful clinically or scientifically, but it surely contained “a striking image using a new technology, and everyone agreed that readers might be interested to see it,” writes Delamothe.

It was hardly the medical equal of a moon touchdown, so why did “lay” guests come flocking in such numbers?

He means that the prospect of seeing coitus on display screen (at no cost) was the attraction, even when all that was on supply was a collection of black and white nonetheless pictures.

“If that’s the explanation, it’s hard to think ourselves back to such an innocent age, given today’s explicit online offerings,” he says. Nevertheless, the “sniffing press hounds” have saved curiosity alive these previous 20 years, recurrently rediscovering the unique paper and sending new generations to it.

He factors out that the IgNobel awards are given to articles that make you smile, then assume. How a lot pondering this text has occasioned since publication is moot, he writes. But it’s nonetheless making individuals smile (and giggle), a lot to the annoyance of creator and participant Professor Ida Sabelis.

She despairs that associates, household, and even colleagues at VU University in Amsterdam—one of many world’s most progressive cities—nonetheless discover the research amusing.

“Why that’s the case, 20 years after the article’s original publication, is worth a study of its own,” concludes Delamothe.


Female sexual arousal: Facilitating pleasure and copy


More data:
Feature: Round the bend, BMJ (2019). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.l6654 , https://www.bmj.com/content material/367/bmj.l6654

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Sex in an MRI scanner—a glance again at probably the most widespread BMJ articles of all time (2019, December 18)
retrieved 29 May 2020
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