Friday, April 27, 2012 at 1 p.m.
On Wednesday, reporter New Times
Chris Sweeney brought you an interview with St. Petersburg medical researcher Adam Ostrzenski, who says he may have discovered the fabled G spot
in a dead 83-year-old.
The peer-reviewed paper Ostrzenski wrote about it got a lot of attention in the interblags, but not all of it was of the "here we go; let's all have orgasms" variety -- plenty of places poked holes (heh) in the research, so here's the other side of things.
Indiana University Professor Debbie Herbenick wrote on the Daily Beast that the case report by itself doesn't have much value.
"It's a single case study involving the dissection of the body of one woman whose sexual experiences are unknown to us," she wrote "Did she find G-spot stimulation to be pleasurable or erotic or more or less likely to lead to orgasm? We don't know. We also don't know much about the anatomical structure identified in the study, described as being bluish and grapelike in appearance. We don't know how many women (if any) have similar structures. And we certainly don't know if the structure has anything to do with G-spot stimulation, sexual pleasure, erotic sensations, or orgasm. It's not like body parts come with pre-labeled signs indicating what they are -- and calling this structure the "G spot" doesn't make it so."
Another researcher told the magazine that until the tissues are actually analyzed instead of just looked at, "the significance of the organ that has been uncovered is unclear."
Beverly Whipple, also from Rutgers, was the researcher who popularized the term "G spot" in the early '80s, according to the L.A. Times.
She told the paper Ostrzenski didn't find it because "there is not an 'it'... It is not one entity
Over at Scientific American
, researcher and textbook author Ricki Lewis criticized the study on several fronts
: The first problem, she said, was that the report was based on one person's anatomy.
"Case reports are okay in medical journals, for a rare condition perhaps," she said, "but claiming discovery of a new body part -- a spleen, for example -- requires finding it in more than one body."
(Ostrzenski said that's what he plans to do, but he hasn't yet.)
Lewis also criticized the review system that let Ostrzenski's paper into the discourse, pointing out that in the paper, he mixes up the sexual G spot with a genetic "G spot," which is a reference to a specific DNA sequence and not at all to sex.
"I don't really care about the status of the G-spot," she said. "My greater concern is with the peer review process that this paper passed."
Author and researcher Petra Boynton also has an extensive blog post
about the media hype around "discoveries" like this one and of G-spot coverage in general, if you're interested.