Didgeridon’t

(Welcome, Pharyngula readers! If you liked this post, click through to the front page and have a browse.)

This AFP report made my day:

Australian girls were warned Wednesday that playing the Australian Aboriginal didgeridoo could lead to infertility as a consequence of messing with “men’s business”. […]

The Victorian Aboriginal Education Association said instructing girls on how to play the instrument was an extreme cultural indiscretion and has called for the book to be pulped.

The section on the didgeridoo was “part of a general ignorance that mainstream Australia has about Aboriginal culture,” the association’s general manager Mark Rose told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

“We know very clearly that there’s a range of consequences for a female touching a didgeridoo — infertility would be the start of it, ranging to other consequences,” he said, adding: “I won’t even let my daughter touch one.”

I can’t help wondering: how do they “know very clearly” that didgeridoos cause infertility? Was there a double-blinded controlled study? What did they use as a control – a piece of PVC pipe? And can I read the findings anywhere? Inquiring minds want to know!

Update: related, and hilarious in a nerdy way, is this paper from the BMJ: Parachute use to prevent death and major trauma related to gravitational challenge: systematic review of randomised controlled trials.

At the risk of spoilerage, here’s the “Results” section:

We were unable to identify any randomised controlled trials of parachute intervention.

(hat tip for the BMJ paper: Felix Salmon)

This entry was posted in Miscellaneous. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Didgeridon’t

  1. DrB says:

    There are such things as PVC didgeridoos. My intro to archaeology instructor had one (as well as a more-traditional wooden one).
    Anyhoo, there’s delicious irony in the dude’s basically saying, “How dare they tell girls how to dare to do this!,” since the book’s called The Daring Book for Girls.

  2. astephens says:

    Yes, my girlfriend learned to play the didgeridoo using a PVC pipe. I’m not sure what that means for her fertility.

  3. zayzayem says:

    How long before someone starts advocating this as an alternative traditional medication to The Pill…
    damn I should keep all the good ideas to myself.

Comments are closed.