I didn't say many words at Thanksgiving dinner with family but of the words I did say, I believe "study," "evidence," and "research" made up a substantial wedge of my conversation pie chart. Anything for which there is no evidence doesn't interest me much, unless we are talking about the lack of evidence for it...
However, there is that period of time when something interests me, and I don't know what the evidence is, and I engage with the experts or believers to get that evidence. I always expect people to care about what research there is to support practices... how else do you determine what is true? What is true is important, why would you want to consume untrue things?
2004: Read in the tone of optimism and curiosity: "Hey [insert faith based institutions and teachers], havin some problems reconciling these teachings with these other teachings from the same source or with reality, can you please help me?"
>>> "You have a head faith, not a heart faith." "I'm going to cling to this theory and ignore anything else you say that conflicts with it." "All that matters is [insert not the thing I'm asking about]."
2008: Read in the tone of optimism and concern: "Hey fellow Republicans, I'm having a hard time reconciling social conservatism with personal liberty. If we are the party of fiscal conservatism lets just focus on that and not controlling personal choices because clearly we are alienating a bunch of people who might otherwise agree, why are we doing this? Help?"
>>> "WHAT'S NEXT SEX WITH MY DOG????" um I don't know what that has to do with... "HOW DO I EXPLAIN THIS TO MY CHILD????" I just... "LIBERAL MEDIA!" OMG I'm on your side stop yelling at me in all caps!
2012: As always, optimistic: "Whoa fellow birth professionals! Did you know these studies totally conflict with these principles many of us are teaching in our classes? We should for sure work together and make sure we are providing the best evidence possible! I'm so excited to work with you!"
>>> "What's the big deal with evidence lately?" "This [insert fringe expert] says [insert claim] and I respect them so I believe that claim instead." "I did this and this happened so those studies are not true." "That evidence conflicts with what I already believe so, it's wrong." *crickets*
2016: Enthusiastically joins every baby sway group on the internets: "OMG there is SO MUCH cool information and so many options! PGS and IVF, sorting, spinning, diet, pH, positions, timing, supplements, turkey basters, charts, ions... so there has to be some studies and research I can look up on some of the basic principles of swaying like that X and Y sperm are significantly different and are impacted by changes in pH and I'd love to hear some success stories from sorting families or families conceive a baby of the opposite sex after 4+ more of one sex. I am SO ready to mix semen with lime juice (splime) and conceive this baby via turkey baster if you can just tell me if there is any evidence this could possibly work! So excited, thanks for the help everyone!"
Skip to general shunning. Just fucking ignored over and over.
[insert not that clever Snakes on a Place reference about crickets on the internets that I'm resisting the urge to write.]
I always feel like I'M the asshole. Someone on DiaperSwappers even wrote a blog post about what a troll I was, almost 10 years ago... but the trend continues. Like, I'm the big buzz kill for wanting to know what is true and real in this world. Fuck me right? What is true is so important! Are things for which there isn't great evidence that are still valuable? Totally. I incorporate a number of them into my life, but I'll readily share "Yeah, so we don't have quality evidence for this thing, here is why that may be, here is why this thing still may be valuable, here's options, alternatives, etc" or "There is not great evidence to support this thing but I really enjoy it and it adds to my quality of life and I have reasonable expectations as to what I'm going to get out of this thing." Super valid.
In one group there was a share that really excited me. Another mom looking for evidence shared this thread from a swaying coach that I thought made a lot of sense. Most of the comments were about how that coach had ripped people off. Ok so the messenger maybe sucks but what about the studies she is linking to? No interest.
So what are WE going to do regarding swaying? I've been planning to go low tech, so influencing my body's pH with a multitude of methods... but I've been sifting through these studies and I'm SO disappointed. One of the primary resources for people, and what many methods are based off of, is the research done by Tamara at InGender. Many of the studies are not studies, or don't seem to support her theory, like support some aspect of it but not enough to connect more dots. Here's a link to her studies.
I understand that the things for which we don't have evidence are often times the more comforting thing and that's why I end up looking like a troll, knowing that makes it no less frustrating when trying to find true things. If you have amazing resources, help me please.