by Elizabeth Hemmerdinger | bio

Thank you, Stacy Schiff, for bringing to our attention a fallacious attempt to co-opt women’s hormones by Eric Keroack, the new deputy assistant secretary for population affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Keroack oversees the $288 million Title X program, the only federal program "designed to provide access to contraceptive supplies and information to all who want and need them, with priority given to low-income persons," and yet he previously was the director of an organization that opposes contraception on the grounds that it is "demeaning to women."

In her New York Times op-ed from Jan. 20, Schiff gives us more background into this guy’s wacko theories. In the finest American tradition, Keroack spins a yarn based in part on research with prairie voles. He postulates that oxytocin, which Schiff describes as the hormone that "moves a new mother to comfort and nurse a squalling baby rather than to toss it from the window," is in limited supply. It is the "hormone of intimacy," she adds, the drug of "trust and partnership and attachment." (It is not the drug Rush Limbaugh was on.)

"Basically," says Dr. K, if you engage in premarital sex, "you will end up damaging your brain’s ability to use the oxytocin system as a chemical mechanism that serves to help you successfully bond in future relationships."

Oh, please. You’ve got to read the rest for yourself (it’s TimesSelect but found elsewhere). And offer some suggestions and examples to prove this guy is shooting blanks.

Plus: For more on Keroack, read Ellen Goodman’s column in which she declares his PowerPoint lectures worthy of "The Colbert Report," or view the lengthy list of editorials and op-eds against his appointment.

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  • tracy January 24, 2007 at 2:01 pm

    It’s so interesting to me that Bush always appears at the March for Life by videotaped message — as if that distances himself from the pro-life movement just enough not to be called an extremist. Appointments like Keroack confirm how off-the-wall he is.
    When will a conservative poiltician ever show genuine compassion for women?

  • Laura Sillerman January 24, 2007 at 11:27 am

    Only Elizabeth can reach this pitch without losing control. We need to be reminded to act and are so lucky to have her as our conscience.