The ten most underreported studies from 2010

One: Breastfeeding improves boys’ literacy

Are anti-breastfeeding feminists robbing boys? “Researchers found that children who were predominantly breastfed for six months did better in mathematics, reading, writing and spelling. The effect was strongest in boys,” reported The Telegraph UK’s medical editor, Rebecca Smith. “It is thought that the bonding between mother and baby fostered during breastfeeding may mean mothers are more attentive and supportive of their children.” Doctor Wendy Oddy, from the Centre for Child Health Research at Perth’s University of Western Australia, found more evidence “that breastfeeding for at least six months has beneficial effects on optimal child development.”

Two: California’s gay-on-gay violence is violent

Gay-bashers are ugly people. But when homosexuals assault homosexuals, the media seems suspiciously silent and disinterested (meaning no investigations). From the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research: “Nearly 4 million Californians report sexual or physical violence from a spouse or companion.” And: “UCLA Study Find that Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals Are at Particularly High Risk.” The study’s lead author said: “This is not a group commonly associated with violence.” Blame politics. For years, campaigning journalists have been focused on activist-first issues like DADT and gay marriage.

Three: American teens face culture of rejection

The US Index of Belonging and Rejection looked at America’s family culture and found evidence of a culture of rejection. The parents of a majority of teenagers have rejected each other, reports the Family Research Council. “55% of teenagers live in families where their biological parents have rejected each other. The families with a history of rejection include single-parent families, stepfamilies, and children who no longer live with either birth parent but with adoptive or foster parents.” Shockingly, “Only 17% of African-American youth — less than one in five — live with both married parents.”

Four: UK’s healthcare unhealthy

The Lancet medical journal’s focused study on four cancers — breast, bowel, lung and ovarian — in the UK (not including Scotland), Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, paints a grim picture. Based on survival rates between 1995 and 2007, the UK’s famous NHS is in the worst shape, although left-leaning Denmark displayed a similarly shoddy record. Australia, which looked more like the United States in the Bush era, turned out to be the best, followed by Canada, although most of the nations were socialist. (Side note: Canadians are known to travel to the States for cancer treatments.)

Five: Kids embrace abstinence-only education strategies

While some major newspapers gave this study time, it certainly wasn’t enough, in light of its explosive findings. So what did the husband-and-wife research team of John and Loretta Jemmott find? Their study, which was published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, found that not only is abstinence-only intervention remarkably effective but (and here’s where things get very interesting) it is effective in a randomized controlled trial. Penn Current notes: “Those results were staggering: The study showed a 33 percent reduction in self-reported sexual intercourse among the abstinence-only group, compared to the control group.”