Dr. Keynes Was Right

It's the Distribution, Stupid
MARCH 29, 2012 1:10PM

Water, Water Everywhere

Rate: 3 Flag

Nor any drop to drink.  Remember that sentence?  "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" by Coleridge, opium fiend.  Today, the overriding meme is Big Data, as if all analyses have to shift through the entire population of interest every time for every question.  Yet, there isn't always the data one needs to answer a question.

For example, I'm told that all humans dream and that some remember these dreams clearly, while others (including humble self) remember them vaguely or not at all.  Sometime before dawn, the dogs invaded the bed and woke me in dreamus interruptus.  The narrative of the dream was clear for a few moments, I remember that I'd remembered if you get my drift, but now it's much less clear.  The dream involved Joanie and an off-hand remark she made about minor surgery.  In some way, the question I became concerned with involves Joanie, who left me for her husband lo those many years ago.  Ah, to be told that Dante, her son, was looking forward to me being "Dad".  Didn't work out that way.

But, here's the question.  As she and I were preparing to do the deed for the first time (and not on our first date, either), she says, "I hope you don't need a tight [euphemism of choice, she used the one woman abhor]".  (To quote the late Lou Gottlieb, "Here comes the smut Martha!  No indeed.  Fortunately, it's a subject which can be handled delicately".)  Never having spent time with a MILF before, or even considered it, I hadn't any thoughts on the subject.  Turned out not to disappoint, since I was stark raving IN LOVE, although the experience is different.

Which leads to my data problem.  How many women, either by country, economic stratum, religion, whatever; choose C-section in order to preserve that mechanical superiority (I can now admit, sorry Joanie, that tighter is better)?  How many?  Is the documented rise in C-sections ( this article doesn't list this motivation) due in some part to try to Keep Daddy Home?  I quick review (on Amazon; I don't own it) of the "Freakonomics" index offers no C-section section.  How could they miss this topic?

There is a downside to each choice.  Go for down the chute, and you give up any chance of comparisons to a vacuum cleaner.  Go for the C-section, and you have a scar.  The latter choice is less intrusive than in decades past, due to smaller transverse incision which is below all but a Paris Hilton bikini.  The WikiPedia article includes this aside:  "The women in these studies have indicated that their preference for Caesarean section is more likely to be partly due to considerations of pain and vaginal tone."  Hmmm.  I may be on to something, after all.

Would Mom admit the motivation to her Ob/Gyn?  Replaying some conversations with Joanie dredged up a memory of her talking about the birth of Dante (around the same time??), and mentioning "Father's Knot".  Well, that gets some response from Google.  A rather long discussion; and frank too.  Alas, no data.  I need data.  I want to make graphs and regressions!!!  Come on ladies, give it up.

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There's more to this than meets the I, my good fellow. I have it on pretty good authority that delivery docs much prefer to do a c-section, since it is far less risky -- and thus far less likely to result in a lawsuit -- than a normal delivery. And yes, there is the side-benefit for the husband. Or as the old joke goes -- have seen my car-keys?
Yes, the various links make the point that some physicians view C-section as less risky. I'm not so sure whether that assumption has been put to a statistical test. It is, after all, full surgery. In any case, my interest is in the degree to which C-section is chosen (either by Mom or Doc) for "cosmetic" reasons.

After I put this up, I read my dead trees NYT, and there's a long article on an MIT professor who seems to be the only researcher who's modelled healthcare. I find that hard to believe, but I'll be looking into this a bit more, in due time. My recollection is that child-bearing is a substantial proportion of healthcare, which may have decreased a bit in the last few years, and if elective surgery is being done for cosmetic reasons, it's fair game for analysis.
Rated for your search for love.