Porn Shrinks Your… Brain?

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Your preacher has been telling you for years to stay away from pornography, but is there any solid evidence that he’s actually giving good advice? There’s an endless stream of information for and against viewing pornography and it can be difficult to tell what has validity. Does it really destroy families like we grew up hearing or does it strengthen marriages like popular blogs are trumpeting?

Here is a cringe worthy list of porn facts to help you decide:

  • Porn will shrink your brain!

JAMA Psychiatry, a respected scientific journal, recently published an article by PHD scientists Simone Kuhn and Jurgen Gallinat revealing, “…a significant negative association between reported pornography hours per week and gray matter volume”. Kuhn and Gallinat discovered this by studying the brains of 64 healthy men whose porn viewing ranged between 0 and 20 hours a week. (1)

The scans of those who viewed pornography showed measurable volume loss, including the crucial frontal lobes. “The frontal lobes are considered our emotional control center and home to our personality. There is no other part of the brain where lesions can cause such a wide variety of symptoms… The frontal lobes are involved in motor function, problem solving, spontaneity, memory, language, initiation, judgment, impulse control, and social and sexual behavior.” (2) In this sense porn is a lot like having your head smashed into a pile of bricks.

In analysis of this Kuhn/Gallinat study, NHS explains that “in essence, this suggests porn users might be dampening down the sexual stimulation and reward centers in their brain through over stimulation.” (3) Sound fun to you?

  • Porn is highly addictive.

As humans we have something really cool in our brain called a reward pathway, or more specifically, the mesolimbic dopamine system. Its job is to release chemicals that make us feel good when we do things valuable for our survival. That chemical, largely dopamine, then travels down a path related to the activity you’re involved in and gets absorbed by receptors. (4)This is what makes you feel good when you eat, exercise, have sex, or help an old lady across the street.

Each time you perform a particular rewarding activity the chemical pathway gets stronger and wider, which is at least part of the reason going to the gym gets easier over time. Your brain will do its best to bring you back to that activity as often as possible.

The danger arises when the system gets hijacked and abused by something like cocaine or other similar drugs. They will release an absurd amount of dopamine creating an instantly wide pathway which leads the users back over and over. The crazy thing is pornography does the same thing, causing almost instant addiction and eventually leading the viewer to process seeing their spouse, or someone on the sidewalk, through the same pathway. Sex becomes nothing more than active porn and using someone else for masturbation. (5)

Cambridge University conducted an in depth study where they compared 19 compulsive porn viewers against a control group. Through MRI scans they found that a porn viewer’s brain will react seeing explicit material similar to someone with chemical or substance addiction. Compulsively viewing pornography actually changes how brains are shaped and how they act.  (6)

porn-addiction-brain-scan

Effects of Compulsive Porn Viewing (6)

  • Porn naturally leads to abuse and violence.

“One of the key features of addiction… is the development of a tolerance to the addictive substance.” (7) Since our bodies are not made to handle such large releases of dopamine it will begin shutting down receptors to limit how much dopamine is absorbed into your system.

As receptors are shut down an addict will feel the need to increase time or intensity of their viewing habits to reach the same pleasure levels through even greater dopamine release. In answer even more receptors get shut down and… it’s pretty easy to see how this can spiral out of control. Before the addict knows what’s happening they have gone from Playboy to bondage, and then some inevitably stray into abuse such as rape.

It is important to recognize that some sources point to declining rape in recent years as proof that viewing pornography is harmless and may even prevent rape. That assumption is dangerous, irresponsible, and ignores the scientific effects of pornography on the brain. People jumping to that conclusion would do well to remember that correlation does not imply causation. Since 1990 rape, robbery, assault, theft, burglary, and murder have all fallen due to increased effort of prevention and growing awareness. (8)

And maybe there are less murders because of the declining Red Squirrel population in rural America. See how ridiculous it is to throw random facts together without any correlating science or repeated results to back it up?

  • Porn demeans women

“Pornography itself is about the objectification of women. In this context women are treated as things, receptacles and socially dissociated objects to be used and tossed aside. They are, in a word, not real.” (9)

Imagine the old guy down the street, the one who always creeped you out just a little, turned on his computer to watch his daily porn and the girl being used was someone you knew. He’s watching your daughter get whipped, your sister gagged, or your wife taken advantage of by three strangers.

Assuming you’re not a psychopath, you felt extremely uncomfortable reading that. And you should! Pornography takes women, and at times men, and turns them into nothing more than an object for others to take advantage of.

So as it turns out, your preacher was right…

“Pornography works in the most basic of ways on the brain: It is Pavlovian. An orgasm is one of the biggest reinforcers imaginable. If you associate orgasm with your wife, a kiss, a scent, a body, that is what, over time, will turn you on; if you open your focus to an endless stream of ever-more-transgressive images of cybersex slaves, that is what it will take to turn you on. The ubiquity of sexual images does not free eros but dilutes it.” (10)

  1. http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1874574
  2. http://www.neuroskills.com/brain-injury/frontal-lobes.php
  3. http://www.nhs.uk/news/2014/05May/Pages/Watching-porn-associated-with-male-brain-shrinkage.aspx
  4. http://neuroscience.mssm.edu/nestler/brainRewardpathways.html
  5. http://www.fightthenewdrug.org/get-the-facts#porn-is-like-a-drug
  6. http://www.webmd.com/men/features/is-pornography-addictive
  7. http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/uscrime.htm
  8. http://internet-filter-review.toptenreviews.com/internet-pornography-statistics-pg2.html
  9. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/enlightened-living/200808/female-objectification-and-emotional-availability
  10. http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/trends/n_9437/index1.html

Image Credit: By num_skyman, published on 12 October 2012 Stock Photo – image ID: 100106294, http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

Can Mormons Live Plant Based?

Because of the health benefits associated with a plant based lifestyle many members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are wondering if cutting animal products from their diet lines up with their beliefs/doctrine. After all, isn’t meat meant for man? So let’s go to the best sources we have available to answer this important question.

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(Originaly published @http://theinmanclan.wordpress.com/2014/09/10/why-im-a-mormon-who-eats-plant-based/)

Why Whole Food Plant Based Life?

Spiritual

  • Adam and Eve were apparently vegetarian: “the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” (Genesis 1:29-30.) The first reference to eating meat doesn’t come until after the flood, “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.” (Genesis 9:3.)

As with other times we are given permission to eat meat a strong caution follows: And surely, blood shall not be shed, only for meat, to save your lives; and the blood of every beast will I require at your hands.” (JST Genesis 9:10-11)

  • I find it an interesting correlation that men’s life spanned hundreds of years before the flood and fell drastically as men began eating meat. Brigham Young will touch on this later.
  • Let’s look at similar instruction given by the Lord through the Prophet Joseph Smith:

“Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly; And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine… And these hath God made for the use of man only in times of famine and excess of hunger.” – D&C 89:12-13, 15

In March 1831(D&C 49), it was revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith that though vegetarianism was not to be enforced as a doctrine for mankind, men were still responsible for their killing of animals. – LDS.org “The Gospel and Animals”. This makes sense since there have been, and likely will be in the future, times when eating meat is a necessity.

“And whoso forbiddeth to abstain from meats, that man should not eat the same, is not ordained of God; For, behold, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which cometh of the earth, is ordained for the use of man for food and for raiment, and that he might have in abundance. But it is not given that one man should possess that which is above another, wherefore the world lieth in sin. And wo be unto that man that sheddeth blood or that wasteth flesh and hath no need.”(D&C 49:15, 18-21)

  • Does this not seem to say that the Lord has given us meat to eat when there is little other choice available to us, such as was the case in times of winter, cold, and famine? It seems meat is only meant to be eaten when it is needed to survive. And there may yet be a time that we, like Lehi’s family traveling through a mostly barren wilderness, need to eat meat to survive because there is little else.
  • “Am I or my family hungry? If so, of course man is justified in killing animals or birds to satisfy his or his family’s hunger. But if he has not any want of meat he ‘sheddeth blood,’ and he exposes himself to this wo which the Lord has pronounced.” – First Counselor George Q. Cannon
  • ‘I refer to a revelation given in the year 1833, called the Word of Wisdom.  We fail to obey it today, and we shall fail tomorrow unless we make a short turn and determine in our own minds that we will obey it.  How many of us have disregarded that revelation, in every particular? -Brigham Young, Jrnl of Disc., Vol. 15, p. 193-5, Oct. 8, 1872

“It was not right to neglect one part of the Word of Wisdom and be too strenuous in regard to other parts.” – President Lorenzo Snow

  • Do we pay attention to “every particular” or merely abstain from what is necessary to enter the Temple and take the sacrament and neglect the rest?
  • “To a great extent we are physically what we eat… What needs additional emphasis are the positive aspects – the need for vegetables, fruits, and grains, particularly wheat. In most cases, the closer these can be, when eaten, to their natural state – without over refinement and processing – the healthier we will be.  To a significant degree, we are an overfed and undernourished nation digging an early grave with our teeth, and lacking the energy that could be ours because we over-indulge in junk foods…we need a generation of young people who, as Daniel, eat in a more healthy manner than to fare on the ‘king’s meat’ – and whose countenances show it.” – Ezra Taft Benson,-“Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson”, SLC Bookcraft, 1988,p.476-7.
  • “Let men attend to these instructions; let them use the things ordained of God; let them be sparing of the life of animals….” (Times and Seasons III [June 1, 1842]: 801.)
  • The prophet Joseph Smith, wrote: “I exhorted the brethren not to kill a serpent, bird, or an animal of any kind during my journey unless it became necessary in order to preserve ourselves from hunger.” (DHC 2:71.)
    • “To kill, when not necessary, is a sin akin to murder.” Hyrum M. Smith (D&C Commentary, p. 286.)
    • David was held accountable for the murder of Uriah even though he didn’t physically kill him since he is the reason Uriah was killed. Would we not then be accountable for the animal’s death required for us to eat meat? This is especially important considering the gross and torturous way many animals are raised and killed today.

The prophet Joseph Smith also taught: “Men must become harmless before the brute creation, and when men lose their vicious dispositions and cease to destroy the animal race, the lion and the lamb can dwell together, and the suckling child can play with the serpent in safety.” (TPJS; p. 71)

  • President Lorenzo Snow said he “thought the time was near at hand when the Latter-day Saints should be taught to refrain from meat eating and the shedding of animal blood.” (Journal History, November 3, 1897.)
    • ‘Near at hand’ may have been used similarly to how Joseph Smith used it when saying the Second Coming was ‘near at hand’.
    • President Lorenzo Snow related in his journal the change of heart he had concerning hunting shortly after his baptism: “While moving slowly forward in pursuit of something to kill, my mind was arrested with the reflection on the nature of my pursuit—that of amusing myself by giving pain and death to harmless, innocent creatures that perhaps had as much right to life and enjoyment as myself. I realized that such indulgence was without any justification, and feeling condemned, I laid my gun on my shoulder, returned home, and from that time to this have felt no inclination for that murderous amusement.” – The Gospel and Animals, BY GERALD E. JONES
  • “President Heber J. Grant, the seventh President of the Church, taught that “the Word of Wisdom … would solve the economic problems … of every … country, if it were obeyed by the people of the world” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1936, 48). How do you think this could be so?

Consider the amount of land, money, and other resources that are used to produce harmful substances, advertise them, purchase them, and treat the consequences of their use.” – Lesson 22: The Word of Wisdom: “A Principle with Promise”

  • “Even with increased climate change and ominous weather extremes, we are producing enough grain globally to feed two times as many people as there are on Earth. In 2011, there was a record harvest of grain in the world, with over 2.5 billion tons, but half of that was fed to animals in the meat and dairy industries. Seventy-seven percent of all coarse grains (corn, oats, sorghum, barley) and over 90 percent of all soy grown in the world was fed to livestock.” – Forks over Knives
  • “The strength, power, beauty and glory that once adorned the form and constitution of man have vanished away before the blighting influences of inordinate appetite and love of this world. Doubtless we are about the best looking people today upon this footstool, and about the healthiest; but where is the iron constitution, the marrow in the bone, the power in the loins, and the strength in the sinew and muscle of which the ancient fathers could boast? These have, in a great measure, passed away; they have decayed from generation to generation, until constitutional weakness and effeminacy are bequeathed to us through the irregularities and sins of our fathers. The health and power and beauty that once adorned the noble form of man must again be restored to our race; and God designs that we shall engage in this great work of restoration. Then let us not trifle with our mission by indulging in the use of injurious substances.  These lay the foundation of disease and death in the systems of men, and the same are committed to their children, and another generation of feeble human beings is introduced into the world.  Such children have insufficient bone, sinew, muscle, and constitution, and are of little use to themselves, or to their fellow creatures; they are not prepared for life, but for the grave; not to live five, six, eight and nine hundred years, but to appear for a moment, as it were, and pass away.

Now, when a person is fifty years of age he or she is considered an old man or an old woman; they begin to feel decrepit, and think they must feel old, appear old, and begin to die. Premature death is in the marrow of their bones, the seeds of early dissolution are sown in their bodies, they feel old at fifty, sixty, and seventy years, when they should feel like boys of fifteen, sixteen, and seventeen.  Instead of feeling decrepit at those years they should feel full of strength, vigor, and life, having attained to early maturity, prepared now to enter upon the duties of a long future life, and when two hundred years have been attained, they should then feel more vigorous than the healthiest of men do in this age at forty and fifty years…” Brigham Young – Jrnl of Disc., Vol. 2, p. 269-71.

Health

  • Humans just aren’t made to eat meat on a regular basis.
    • “I think the evidence is pretty clear. If you look at various characteristics of carnivores versus herbivores, it doesn’t take a genius to see where humans line up,” Cardiologist William C. Roberts
    • “Comparing the length of our intestines with that of carnivores, Dr. Colbert has also postulated that we are designed to eat mostly plants. Our intestines are four times longer than we are tall. In carnivores, on average, their intestines are only twice as long as their height. This allows for meat to pass through the digestive tract quickly before it starts to rot. Our longer tract, however, allows for more time to process the complex carbohydrates within plants. However, as we eat meat with little fiber, especially red meat, it has a higher chance of getting stuck within our intestines – causing constipation or bloating. In fact, because Jesus and people around Him ate a mostly plant-based diet with little red meat, there’s little mention of “constipation” in the bible.” – Dr Oz
    • “Our saliva is alkaline and full of enzymes, like amylase, that are designed to process plants and carbohydrates. After analyzing this and comparing it with other animals, Dr. Colbert postulates that this means we are more suited to digest plants instead of meat. Carnivores, on the other hand, have mostly acidic saliva without amylase.” – Dr Oz
    • “Human bodies, on the other hand, weren’t designed to process animal flesh, so all the excess fat and cholesterol from a meat-based diet makes us sick. Heart disease, for example, is the number one killer in the U.S., according to the American Heart Association, and medical experts agree that this ailment is largely the result of the consumption of animal products. Meat-eaters have a 32 percent higher risk of developing heart disease than vegetarians do!” -http://www.peta.org/living/food/natural-human-diet/#ixzz3Cub3dJUY
  • A vegetarian diet can meet protein requirements, provide all the essential amino-acids (the building blocks of protein), and improve health. It can also provide all the necessary vitamins, fats, and minerals, and can improve one’s health. – American Dietetic Association, “Position of the American Dietetic Association: Vegetarian Diets”
  • Diets high in animal protein cause the body to excrete calcium, oxalate, and uric acid—the main components of kidney stones and gallstones. A diet high in animal protein is responsible for the high rates (15% of men and 7% of women) of kidney stones in the United States. – David S. Goldfarb and Fredric L. Cole, “Prevention of Recurrent Nephrolithiasis,” American Family Physician, Nov. 15, 1999
  • Eating meat increases the chances of getting diabetes in men(Rob M. van Dam, MSC, et al., “Dietary Fat and Meat Intake in Relation to Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in Men,” Diabetes Care, Mar. 2002).
    • Women too! (Yiqing Song, et al., “A Prospective Study of Red Meat Consumption and Type 2 Disbetes in Middle-Aged and Elderly Women”)
  • A 2012 peer-reviewed study of 121,342 people found that eating red meat was associated with an increased risk of death from cancer and cardiovascular disease. – An Pan, PhD, and Qui Sun, MD, ScD, et al., “Red Meat Consumption and Mortality,”
  • “Traditionally, research into vegetarianism focused mainly on potential nutritional deficiencies, but in recent years, the pendulum has swung the other way, and studies are confirming the health benefits of meat-free eating. Nowadays, plant-based eating is recognized as not only nutritionally sufficient but also as a way to reduce the risk for many chronic illnesses. In July 2009, the American Dietetic Association weighed in with a position paper, concluding that “appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases” (Journal of the American Dietetic Association, July 2009).” Harvard Health
  • “If you stop eating red meat (whether or not you become a vegetarian), you’ll eliminate a risk factor for colon cancer. According to a 2007 report from the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research, red meat consumption is the only “convincing” dietary association with colon cancer.” – Harvard Health
  • “Eating more veggie-based meals can help you shrink your shape, and studies show that losing just 10 pounds is enough to boost sex hormones and improve your love life. In addition, the most powerful libido-boosting foods are plant-based. And avoiding meat may be the key to improving your “aromatic appeal.” A Czech study compared body odor pads collected from meat-eating and non-meat eating men, and found that samples from the latter group were rated as significantly more attractive and pleasant.” – Cynthia Sass on Fox, registered dietitian with master’s degrees in both nutrition science and public health
  • “Vegan diets are usually higher in dietary fiber, magnesium, folic acid, vitamins C and E, iron, and phytochemicals, and they tend to be lower in calories, saturated fat and cholesterol, long-chain n–3 (omega-3) fatty acids, vitamin D, calcium, zinc, and vitamin B-12. In general, vegetarians typically enjoy a lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), obesity, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. A vegan diet appears to be useful for increasing the intake of protective nutrients and phytochemicals and for minimizing the intake of dietary factors implicated in several chronic diseases.” – Winston J Craig, Health effects of vegan diets, American Society for Nutrition
  • One Danish study stated that “[m]en peddling on a stationary bicycle until muscle failure lasted an average of 114 minutes on a mixed meat and vegetable diet, 57 minutes on a high-meat diet, and a whopping 167 minutes on a strict vegetarian diet.” Many of the world’s top athletes are meat-free, including Sports Illustrated “Olympian of the Century” Carl Lewis, top ultra-marathon runner Scott Jurek, tennis legend Chris Evert, football star Ricky Williams, baseball slugger Prince Fielder, boxing champion Keith Holmes, and NBA standouts Raja Bell and Salim Stoudamire. – PETA
  • “One of the biggest culprits contributing to erectile dysfunction is heart disease. Studies have found that up to 75% of heart disease patients have erectile dysfunction.  A large study released last year found that the vegetarian diet can reduce the risk of heart disease by 1/3, which means less erectile dysfunction as well.” – http://plenteousveg.com/vegetarians-better-lovers/
  • Vegetarians smell better “because red meat causes toxins to be released into the bloodstream and large intestines, which then make it out through our pores. Another reason is because of the bacteria on our skin.  The bacteria love to consume proteins and fats – things are plentiful in meat.  So, the bacteria thrive on meat eaters and their waste produces a vile smell.” – The Effect of Meat Consumption on Body Odor Attractiveness, Jan Havlicek and Pavlina Lenochova
  • What about infants?
    • “Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths that seem to have taken hold in the public. And these are largely based on the relatively small handful of tragic cases of child abuse or neglect where the children were fed a very poor diet, a diet that the media or the criminal defense labeled as ‘vegan.’ But the diets weren’t poor because they were vegan; they were poor because they were completely inappropriate,” says Dina Aronson, MS, RD, president of Welltech Solutions, a business that specializes in wellness technology. Regarded as an expert, author, and speaker on vegetarian diets, Aronson has successfully navigated one (going on two) vegan pregnancies and raised her son predominantly vegan.” – No Meat, No Problem — Vegetarian Diets Can Support Optimal Health for Infants and Children, By Sharon Palmer, RD
  • “Consumption of processed foods (which are laced with sugar) cost the American public more than $54 billion in dental bills each year, so the dental industry reaps huge profits from the programmed addiction of the public to sugar products. …Today we have a nation that is addicted to sugar. In 1915, the national average of sugar consumption (per year) was around 15 to 20 pounds per person. Today the average person consumes his/her weight in sugar, plus over 20 pounds of corn syrup. To add more horrors to these facts there are some people that use no sweets and some who use much less than the average figure, which means that there is a percentage of the population that consume a great deal more refined sugar than their body weight. The human body cannot tolerate this large amount of refined carbohydrates. The vital organs in the body are actually damaged by this gross intake of sugar.”

“Sugar also makes the blood very thick and sticky, inhibiting much of the blood flow into the minute capillaries that supply our gums and teeth with vital nutrients” -The Harmful Effects Of Sugar On Mind And Body, Macrobiotics.co.uk

  • Sugar and other junk foods, due to their powerful effect on the reward centers of the brain, function similarly to drugs of abuse like cocaine and nicotine – Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2008; 32(1): 20–39.

Word of Caution

This is not official Church doctrine. However, it is supported by the Prophets as wise counsel.

Careful study and prayer has brought my family to the conclusion that a whole food plant based diet was how we are supposed to live the Word of Wisdom more fully. That does not mean that everyone will receive that same answer, and we encourage everyone to pray and ask for themselves before making this life changing decision.

Be wise when deciding to eat a plant based diet. Just as eating only meat and chips would cause massive health issues so would eating only lettuce and apples. Eat a varied diet that gets you all the needed nutrients, and in some cases supplements may be a good thing to look into.

Photo Credit: By Photokanok, published on 13 January 2014
Stock Photo – image ID: 100226601 @ http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

Should Vaccines be Forced?

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(First posted @http://theinmanclan.wordpress.com/2014/10/03/should-vaccines-be-forced/) 

A recent measles outbreak has raised the question of just how much power a parent should have in deciding whether their children are vaccinated. Should my neighbor, or parents at my child’s school, have the right to put others at risk by not vaccinating?

According to Douglas S. Diekema, in the Michigan Law Review, it’s an obvious choice. “First, vaccination offers direct, demonstrated benefit to the child. Second, the safety of childhood vaccines is well established and the risk of serious side effects or complications is exceedingly rare. Finally, existing data clearly support the conclusion that the risks to a child remaining unvaccinated, even in the United States, exceed any risks that might be attributable to vaccines themselves. Given this, placing a duty on parents to vaccinate their children is reasonable and represents prudent public policy.” (1)

Let’s start by looking at the data. Since measles are a major current concern and the “most deadly of all childhood rash/fever illnesses” (2) they seem to be a good focus point.

  • Does the MMR vaccine work?
    • Prior to the measles vaccination program in 1963 there were between 3 and 4 million cases of measles each year in America. Then in 2000 the CDC officially announced that measles had been eradicated from the country. (3)
    • Our current outbreak of measles, not the first since 2000, represents a 20 year high for infection rates. However, of those infected a whopping 90% aren’t vaccinated. (4) That’s even more incredible when you consider that nearly 90% of children born between 2009 and 2011 have been vaccinated for measles. (5) So unless you have some crazy facts hidden up your sleeve it’s obvious that MMR does its job of fending off measles the majority of the time.
  • Does the MMR vaccine cause autism?
    • The MMR vaccine is regularly given at 12-15 months and signs of autism tend to show at 15-18 months. (6) While it is not surprising that people drew a connection between the two based on timing there is little to no evidence that supports this conclusion.
    • Much of the concern grew from Andrew Wakefield’s study done in 1998 where he made claim that vaccines directly contribute to autism. Most of those involved in the study have since pulled their support and the medical journal that published it has since retracted the study citing ethical misconduct. The study has yet to be conducted with similar results. (6)
    • Concerns over thimerosal, an ingredient in several vaccines, led to the removal or reduction of thimerosal in almost every vaccine. This was likely only done to appease the public since a scientific review by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) concluded that “the evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between thimerosal–containing vaccines and autism.” (7)
    • Since Autism now affects 1 in 68 children and is one of the fastest growing developmental issues in America there are still many questions unanswered. (8) With little to no evidence supporting vaccines’ connection with autism and based on current studies we have to conclude MMR does not contribute to autism’s increase.
  • How dangerous are measles?
    • Prior to 1963 over 90% of Americans were infected with measles by the time they turned 15 and it was viewed as a rite of passage. (9) This meant 3-4 million people were infected, 48,000 hospitalized, and 1,000 suffered brain damage or became deaf each year. 450 died yearly of measles. (10)
    • Globally today there are still an estimated 20 million cases and 164,000 deaths each year from measles. (11)
    • “One out of 1,000 people with measles will develop inflammation of the brain, and about one out of 1,000 will die.” (12)

It seems like an obvious answer doesn’t it? It’s time to force parents to vaccinate before it’s too late! California is already considering a bill that would have children vaccinated without their parent’s consent or knowledge.

But wait… Is that all of the story, or are we leaving something out? Let’s take a closer look at some of the numbers and ‘facts’ being thrown at us by vaccine advocate groups and the CDC to see if we really want to rip parents’ rights away over this issue.

  • How dangerous are measles in America?
    • While it is commonly repeated that 2-3/1000(.0025) infected with measles will die, usually referring to children, this includes malnourished and underdeveloped countries which account for the majority of deaths. (13) Those numbers look much different for developed countries like America where we have proper nutrition and medical supplies.
      • 450(American deaths prior to 1963) / 3,500,000(Infected) = .00013
        • 1.3/10,000  instead of 1/1,000
      • This number is likely to be even smaller in light of medical advancements made since 1963.
    • Even with recent outbreaks there has not been a single death contributed to measles since 2003 in America. (14)
  • What is more likely to kill you than measles?
    • Chance of death from measles pre vaccine in America was 2.5/1,000,000 or .0000025
      • 450(deaths) / 179,323,175(US Population 1963) = .0000025
    • Odds of dying in order of likelihood(based on 317,000,000 American Population):
      • Heart disease – .0019
      • Cancer – .0018
      • Diabetes – .00023
      • Accidental Poisoning – .00011
      • Car Crash – .00011
      • Obesity – .000095
      • Accidental Fall – .000086
      • Text and Drive – .000019
      • Drowning – .000013
      • Falling from Home Furniture – .0000028
      • Black Friday – .0000025
      • Measles(without vaccines) – .0000025
      • Falling from Bed – .0000014
      • Lightning – .00000016

Yes, you have a greater chance of dying from falling off your couch than you do from measles. Venturing out on Black Friday for that discounted big screen TV puts you at as great a risk of death as measles if you aren’t vaccinated!

I don’t want to come across anti-vaccine! The usefulness and miracle of vaccines should not be diminished, and I agree with distributing vaccinations to people all over the world who lack adequate nourishment or proper medical care. I also don’t want to dissuade anyone else from vaccinating their children or themselves since there is strong evidence that vaccines protect from disease and save lives.

However, I hope to make it clear how ignorant the movement for forced vaccinations is. Parenting is a God given right and unless serious abuse is taking place it should not be infringed upon by government. I dread the day vaccinations are forced because few rights will be safe then. Individual rights and religious liberties of every kind would quickly slip away in exchange for government intervention and ‘public safety’.

I have friends who insist they won’t allow their children to play with non vaccinated friends. Besides feeling sad, as of right now my son is not vaccinated, I’m confused. They say it’s not worth risking their child’s life. While I fully support parents making good informed decisions regarding their children’s safety I think it might help to consider the actual danger. First, we already know that if all of us were not vaccinated for measles your child would have a .0000025 chance of catching and dying from the disease. Second, since your child is vaccinated they have 90% less risk of catching measles, according to recent outbreak statistics, which means their chance of dying from it is now .00000025 or 2.5/10,000,000.

Do you know what that means?! Almost everything your child does during the day is more dangerous than being around my non vaccinated son, including sitting on a couch watching a movie. It’s high time to invest your life savings in the lottery if those kind of odds sound good to you. Why are the dangers associated with swimming, driving, going on walks, or Black Friday shopping worth the risk but letting your children play with my son isn’t?

I also want to address Douglas S. Diekema’s desired injunction described in the Michigan Law Review mentioned earlier. Since when did something having a greater perceived reward than known risk mean it should be forced on people? Feeding your kids a homemade salad instead of a Big Mac has obvious health benefits and poses very little risk, but that doesn’t mean we are going to ban you from fast food or force salad down your kid’s throat. Likewise, it’s not your place, my place, or the governments to force parents to vaccinate their children no matter how prudent it may seem.

“If the State can tag, track down and force citizens against their will to be injected with biological products of known and unknown toxicity today, there will be no limit on which individual freedoms the State can take away in the name of the greater good tomorrow.” Barbara Fisher (15)

  1. http://www.michiganlawreview.org/articles/choices-should-have-consequences-failure-to-vaccinate-harm-to-others-and-civil-liability
  2. http://www.vaccines.gov/diseases/measles/
  3. http://www.cdc.gov/measles/about/faqs.html
  4. http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p0529-measles.html
  5. http://consumer.healthday.com/public-health-information-30/centers-for-disease-control-news-120/vaccine-coverage-high-in-u-s-but-measles-a-concern-cdc-680153.html
  6. http://www2.aap.org/immunization/families/mmr.html
  7. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/concerns/autism/
  8. http://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/facts-about-autism
  9. http://jid.oxfordjournals.org/content/189/Supplement_1/S1.full#ref-1
  10. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/measles/fs-parents.html
  11. http://www.cdc.gov/measles/about/overview.html
  12. http://shotofprevention.com/2014/03/11/measles-outbreaks-are-concerning-even-to-the-vaccinated/
  13. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs286/en/
  14. http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/04/25/deaths-from-measles-outbreak-may-be-inevitable-as-cases-surge-in-us/
  15. http://vaccines.procon.org/