Science: Human males not horny

| 26 Comments

Most mammals (the males, anyway) have a baculum, or penis bone. Human males, however, do not. Inasmuch as men and women have the same number of ribs, some people have suggested that the human baculum had to be sacrificed in order to make Eve (see here for a survey). For my part, I think it is just as well to have an upright posture and no baculum.

Now comes a report in Science to the effect that the penises of most male mammals are covered with spines of keratin, the substance of which horns are composed. Owing to a gene deletion, however, male humans lack these spines and therefore are not horny.

Additionally, we see that the human penis not only has no backbone, but also no spine.

26 Comments

Let the jokes begin.

J. Biggs said:

Let the jokes begin.

I believe they already have.

I approve of this post.

My (former) mother-in-law actually was astounded when my (former) wife revealed to her that there is no bone in there. Never mind spines. My (former) father-in-law didn’t have a lot say on the subject, as you might guess.

No joke, just a (mostly) sober observation on a serious scientific topic.

The paper (rather than the news report) is in Nature, not Science. (And I don’t know about anyone else, but I miss my ancestral spines and sensory vibrissae.)

Additionally, we see that the human penis not only has no backbone, but also no spine.

Yet, judging from world population, they do rise to the task occasionally.

The paper (rather than the news report) is in Nature, not Science.

Sorry, that’s right. The Science article is just a news report; I hadn’t noticed that the actual paper was published in Nature. You may read it here for a mere $32 US.

If we had all that they what would take place of all those viagra emails I get? Maybe it is part of “god’s” plan to make us suffer. I mean if we had a baculum then we’d never have the shame of saying “Honestly! This has never happened to me before!”

Wayne Francis said:

If we had all that they what would take place of all those viagra emails I get?

Increase-the-size-of-your-baculum pills.

Maybe it is part of “god’s” plan to make us suffer.

I disagree. The baculum is a bone and can therefore break through an accident. That’s physical suffering enough but imagine what your dignity would also have to suffer as you hobbled round with that plaster cast on.

Roger said:

Wayne Francis said:

If we had all that they what would take place of all those viagra emails I get?

Increase-the-size-of-your-baculum pills.

Maybe it is part of “god’s” plan to make us suffer.

I disagree. The baculum is a bone and can therefore break through an accident. That’s physical suffering enough but imagine what your dignity would also have to suffer as you hobbled round with that plaster cast on.

Unfortunately, even without a baculum, the human penis is vulnerable to fracture. It’s awkward for everyone involved, even the doctor.

“Unfortunately, even without a baculum, the human penis is vulnerable to fracture.”

Broke back mounting?

On quite another topic, can anyone reach scienceblogs.com? Pharyngula, Tetzoo, etc. Seems to have gone off the planet. Why?

Now if human males still had a baculum the most masochistic of us could use distraction osteogenesis to lengthen our, errr, baculums. The process of lengthening long bones requires a corticotomy (sectioning the bone into two pieces) and using a device that has two circular pieces that implant into each section of bone with titanium pins. Each day a screw is turned counter-clockwise and it separates the two sections by 1mm. This process is repeated until the bone reaches the desired length. It would give the phrase, “getting screwed” a whole new meaning.

heleen said:

On quite another topic, can anyone reach scienceblogs.com? Pharyngula, Tetzoo, etc. Seems to have gone off the planet. Why?

There’d been news of a DDoS attack. As of yesterday it appeared to have been thwarted, but perhaps it was only a brief remission.

The baculum must have existed in the Garden of Eden, because everything was created to be perfect. Its absence is a reminder of the price we all pay because of original sin.

For a very long time, I assumed that the Biblical account of Eve’s creation out of Adma’s rib was a charming myth accounting for an odd anatomical fact – that women have one rib fewer than men. Never having had any reason to count ribs on skeletons, I was in middle age before learning that the odd anatomical fact was not a fact at all. Then I wondered how the story came to be. Apparently there is some variation in the number and symmetry of human ribs, and some people do have one rib fewer. But why would this random oddity become something to be explained in a creation myth? Now, it makes more sense if the Biblical “rib” is the baculum. But then, how would the authors have known about that?

CJColucci said: Now, it makes more sense if the Biblical “rib” is the baculum. But then, how would the authors have known about that?

I get the joke but to answer it seriously:

(1) they were herders. I’d think it would be surprising if they didn’t know about baculum (bacula?)

(2) Just guessing about this, but I’d be surprised if hebrew didn’t use a different word for a human’s rib and an animal’s baculum…so the english translation “rib” probably means exactly that.

Just guessing about this, but I’d be surprised if hebrew didn’t use a different word for a human’s rib and an animal’s baculum…so the english translation “rib” probably means exactly that.

The original paper which suggested that the Hebrew tsela’ meant baculum is reproduced here. The word has several possible meanings, but in context it seems to me nearly conclusive that they meant baculum.

CJColucci said:

Apparently there is some variation in the number and symmetry of human ribs, and some people do have one rib fewer.

One rib fewer is actually extremely rare. An extra cervical, or less commonly, a lumbar rib is sometimes seen. As to bacula, I once saw a dachshund that had just failed to clear a wire fence. Sympathetic eye-watering ensued…

We gave up the bone and moved our brain there

Lewis thomason said:

We gave up the bone and moved our brain there

Ah; so that’s why we are bone-headed.

CJColucci said:

For a very long time, I assumed that the Biblical account of Eve’s creation out of Adma’s rib was a charming myth accounting for an odd anatomical fact – that women have one rib fewer than men. Never having had any reason to count ribs on skeletons, I was in middle age before learning that the odd anatomical fact was not a fact at all. Then I wondered how the story came to be. Apparently there is some variation in the number and symmetry of human ribs, and some people do have one rib fewer. But why would this random oddity become something to be explained in a creation myth? Now, it makes more sense if the Biblical “rib” is the baculum. But then, how would the authors have known about that?

if the biblical rib is the baculum…where did “god” put it in women?

OT:

There was a MASSIVE 8.9 earthquake off of Japan a couple of hours ago; tsunamis have already wiped out several towns north of Tokyo.

There is a Tsunami warning for the entire Pacific Coast, from the US to NZ.

If you live near the coast, I highly suggest you keep an eye on the data for your area.

you only have a few hours to about 12 hours to prepare, depending on how close to Tokyo you are.

Wonder how long it’s going to take Scienceblogs to fend off the DDOS attacks of a bunch spineless dickheads?

I can’t be the only one suffering from PZWS (PZ Withdrawal Syndrome).

Enjoy.

I get the joke but to answer it seriously:

I don’t get the joke. I didn’t mean to make one, and I’d hate to make one by accident and never know what it was.

This comment has been moved to The Bathroom Wall.

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This page contains a single entry by Matt Young published on March 9, 2011 5:05 PM.

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