Wishful thinking study: Housework cuts breast cancer risk


“I hate chores, but I guess I hate cancer more!”
I couldn’t help it, I started laughing when I read the headline of this article.
A new study says that women who exercise by doing housework can reduce their risk of breast cancer.

The research on more than 200,000 women from nine European countries found doing household chores was far more cancer protective than playing sport.
Dusting, mopping and vacuuming was also better than having a physical job.

You hear that ladies? Cleaning could save your life. A job could kill you.
Never mind that the results simply show that moderate, regular forms of exercise may be more effective in cutting cancer risk than “less frequent but more intense recreational physical activity.” No…let’s make sure to push the dusting angle.

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19 Comments

  1. tabitha91
    Posted December 29, 2006 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    I love how they automatically make the leap from “moderate physical activity” to housework. Forget about walking or biking.

  2. Posted December 29, 2006 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    This is the most ludicrous article I’ve ever read. Who the hell poses these studies to people?
    Next, we’ll see an article telling men if they have sex with as many women as possible, they’ll prevent prostate or testicular cancer.

  3. Posted December 29, 2006 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Men get breast cancer too.
    Maybe they should do some housework.

  4. Posted December 29, 2006 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Is The Patriarchy phoning it in today or what? These guys are making your job too easy, Jessica.

  5. Posted December 29, 2006 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Someone flunked research methodology…

  6. Posted December 29, 2006 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    In an effort to promote women’s health, I would like to offer to let someone clean my apartment for me. I even have a French maid outfit you could wear. Drop me an e-mail if you’re interested, Thanks, Biff

  7. unrelatedwaffle
    Posted December 29, 2006 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    So I suppose JiffyMaidInc. will no longer be providing a health plan, because the job IS the health plan! Hallelujah!

  8. Posted December 29, 2006 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    I also heard that masturbating gives you a hairy upper-lip.

  9. Posted December 29, 2006 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    I think what this means is that we working women, who keep the economy buzzing, are doing our homemaking sisters the biggest favor possible: we’re enhancing their life expectancy. As thanks for our selfless enabling of their lifestyles, we ought to get paid back through taxes. Since they don’t have outside incomes, we’ll just have to tax their husbands.
    Seems like a perfect solution to me! I mean, really, you can’t put a price tag on the value of better life expectancy. But it’s only fair to try ;)

  10. Ayla
    Posted December 29, 2006 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Sounds to me like someone had a messy house and cooked up a reallllly elaborate plan to get his wife/girlfriend/mother to clean it.

  11. Tokaia
    Posted December 29, 2006 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    “Next, we’ll see an article telling men if they have sex with as many women as possible, they’ll prevent prostate or testicular cancer.”
    Too late. There’s already proof that more frequent ejacculation equals a smaller prostate cancer risk. Of course, many men take this to mean, “Try to fuck as many women as possible.” Of course, I can understand that. It’s the way nature works.

  12. the15th
    Posted December 29, 2006 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    A number of unfeminine behaviors have been said to cause breast cancer: drinking, staying up late, not having children, eating fatty foods (the last I think has been more or less debunked.) I have to wonder if some researchers are not as scientifically unbiased as they think they are when deciding what things to study.

  13. Posted December 29, 2006 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    15th, you’ve seen studies that claim simply NOT having kids increases the risk of breast cancer? I thought they only tried to tie that silliness into abortion (which by extension would have to include miscarriages, making lesbianism the healthiest sexual orientation for breast cancer-prone women).

  14. SDstuck
    Posted December 29, 2006 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    But if I love housework and do it all the time will it use up all my oxytocin so I will be unable to be a freak in the sack for my church approved husband?
    Or do you only lose oxytocin if your not married yet? I can’t remember. Maybe I should go ask that looney toons Keroack guy?

  15. Arturo
    Posted December 30, 2006 at 2:15 am | Permalink

    Maybe the study was misreported? I mean, doing housework is a sort of exercise (and not only women do it). I’d blame the media, not the people who did the study (who were smart in including something most people without maids do).
    As for cancer being associated with unfeminine things like not having babies… well, there is a correlation (tho as far as I know it isn’t that strong). But it’s just some info that’s been uncovered, it doesn’t mean that women will run to have babies to avoid cancer since pregnancy & childbirth has many health risks as well. Women who don’t have babies just have to consider that when weighing the risks vs. benefits of having her breasts checked for cancer.

  16. Posted December 30, 2006 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Actually, even assuming that the study depicts true causation, the BBC article says, “The women in the Cancer Research UK-funded study spent an average of 16 to 17 hours a week cooking, cleaning and doing the washing.”
    Go back five months. In the US, men who work full-time spend 16 hours on housework on average. Women who don’t work spend 44 hours. Women who do work and men who don’t work spend 23-24 hours.

  17. Del
    Posted December 30, 2006 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    Wasn’t there a vaguely recent study connecting bleach and breast cancer? Just sayin’, the chemicals we’re using to clean things are probably outweighing the good we’re supposedly getting from the mild exercise.

  18. katie
    Posted January 2, 2007 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    that is one of the most ridiculous things i have ever seen, good lord.

  19. hendmik
    Posted January 2, 2007 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    Alon nailed it. This study shows NO causality, but the researchers pile on the speculation.
    They’ve effectively shown that icecream sales go up when the tempurature increases and then they go on to say if they sell more icecream in January, it will get warmer.
    No fucking wonder creepy Christians have no faith in science.

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