Are girls too clean for their own good?
Thursday 27 January 2011
Announced on January 26, a US philosopher raises questions on whether or not teaching little girls to be clean and tidy is negatively affecting their health in the long run, raising their risks of asthma, allergies, and autoimmune disorders such as Crohn's disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
In a new study published in the journal Social Science and Medicine, Oregon State University philosopher Sharyn Clough points out that women have higher rates of all of these illnesses, yet no one knows why.
"Girls tend to be dressed more in clothing that is not supposed to get dirty, girls tend to play indoors more than boys, and girl's playtime is more often supervised by parents," said Clough. "There is a significant difference in the types and amounts of germs that girls and boys are exposed to, and this might explain some of the health differences we find between women and men."
A recent Harvard University study found that being too clean is bad for a child's health, and that exposure to bacteria could help prevent asthma.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that asthma prevalence is higher among females. Also, the National Institutes of Health statistics show that autoimmune diseases strike women three times more than men.
Clough adds that a simple solution is to encourage outdoor playtime, for both girls and boys, even if that means your kid gets dirty. "Getting everyone, both boys and girls, from an early age to be outdoors as much as possible is something I can get behind," she said.
Simon Calder looks at communities fighting back against the poachers
Arsenal 1 Everton 1: Substitute equalises with six minutes to go
booksGeese, gorillas, grandads... and growing up
Life & Style blogs
- 1 Turning up the voice of America
- 2 The poorest pay the price for austerity: Workers face biggest fall in living standards since Victorian era
- 3 The man who made Femen: New film outs Victor Svyatski as the mastermind behind the protest group and its breast-baring stunts
- 4 Mass murder in the Middle East is funded by our friends the Saudis
- 5 Japan cracks down on leaks after scandal of Fukushima nuclear power plant
- < Previous
- Next >
£80000 - £100000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior C++ De...
£25000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C++ Server Dev...
£300 - £350 per day: Harrington Starr: Leading Electronic Trading Software Ven...
£23999 - £32001 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: An independent ac...