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KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 ó For better or worse, Tasek Gelugor MP Datuk Shabudin Yahayaís recent remarks in Parliament has cast a spotlight on child marriages in Malaysia.
With the country aiming for first world nationhood, should marriages of minors be allowed to continue? There have been arguments for and against this practice, with child development advocates heavily in favour of ending it.
To help you understand this issue better, Malay Mail Online has compiled a list of the facts and figures that you should know:
1. What does the law say?
Malaysians are only considered an adult by law when they turn 18, but the legal age applicable on matters like when they can have sex and get married is a different thing altogether.
The age of consent for sexual intercourse in Malaysia is 16, which makes sex with any woman below age 16 a crime, regardless whether they consented to it or not, and punishable by law. However, marital rape is not a crime in Malaysia.
Children are actually allowed to marry under existing Malaysian laws. The legal age to marry also depends on whether you are Muslim or non-Muslim.
Under the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act's Sections 10 and 12, non-Muslims can only be legally married if they are aged at least 18 and will require parental consent for marriage if they are still below 21. Under this law, they are considered minors if they have yet to turn 21 and are not widows.
But the same law provides for an exception, where a girl aged 16 can be legally married if the state chief minister/ mentri besar or in the case of the federal territories, its minister, authorises it by granting a licence; as are ambassadors, high commissioners and consuls in diplomatic missions abroad.
As for Muslims, the minimum legal age for marriage in the states' Islamic family laws is 18 and 16 for a male and female respectively, but those below these ages can still marry if they get the consent of a Shariah judge.
Local Islamic family laws do not list the factors that Shariah courts need to consider before approving underage marriages or impose a limit on how young a Muslim can be married under this exception.
But Shariah Lawyers Association of Malaysia deputy president Moeis Basri told Malay Mail Online that Shariah courts are bound by Shariah laws regardless of whether they are codified.
In practice, he said this means that Shariah judges will exercise their wide discretionary powers to consider all relevant factors before deciding whether or not to approve underaged marriage. This includes looking at physical signs showing puberty such as menstruation in the girl, and also the level of maturity in both the child bride and groom to be.
ìUnder the Shariah law, only (a) person that has attained age of puberty can get married. The age of puberty may differ from one person to another. This is one of the things that any application for underage marriage needs to prove. Of course there are other factors that need to be considered by the court before allowing or rejecting the application,î he said, adding that applications for Muslim underage marriages are not automatically approved but have to be shown to have merits.
2. Women marry young
For the past 40 years, Malaysian women have tended to marry at a younger age than men.
Even as the average marriage ages for both genders have been rising from 25.6 and 22.1 in 1970 to 28 and 25.7 in 2010 for men and women respectively, Malaysian children have still been marrying at a young age and in some cases also ending their marriages at an equally young age.
According to the 2000 census, there were 10,267 out of 2,411,581 children aged between 10-14 who were married, while 229 and 75 children in this age group were widowed, divorced or permanently separated. Girls who were married outnumbered boys in this age group at 58 per cent to 42 per cent.
When broken down according to gender, 4,334 out of 1,237,519 boys aged 10-14 were married as of 2000, while 71 were widowed and 17 were divorced or separated. As for the girls, 5,933 out of the 1,174,062 in this age group were married, while 158 and 58 were respectively widowed and divorced or separated.
The 2010 census oddly does not show any figures for those in the 10-14 age group who were married, widowed or divorced. Instead, it records all 2,733,427 children in this age group as falling under the Never Married category.
As the overall population grew from 22,198,276 in 2000 to 28,334,135 in 2010, the number of those married in the 15-19 age group more than doubled from 65,029 to 155,810, while those who were widowed at these ages went up from 594 to 1,451, and those divorced or permanently separated from their spouse by then increasing from 849 to 1,071.
In 2000, those in the 15-19 age group who were married was overwhelmingly female at 53,196 as opposed to male at 11,833. In 2010, it was split between females at 82,382 and males at 73,428.
3. Demand for child marriages
The census figures reflect what appears to be sustained demand for child marriages in Malaysia.
On March 7, 2016, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim told Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto in a written parliamentary reply that the number of applications for Muslim child marriages between 2005 to 2015 was 10,240. The figure for the approved applications was not provided.
The annual average of applications for Muslim child marriages recorded by the Department of Shariah Judiciary Malaysia between 2005 to 2010 is 849, while the annual average for 2011 to 2015 is 1,029, Rohani had said.
As for non-Muslim child marriages recorded by the National Registration Department during the 2011 to September 2015 period, there were 2,104 girls aged between 16 and 18 involved, Rohani said.
The majority of these teenage girls (68 per cent) or 1,424 of them were married to men aged 21 and above, while the remaining 32 per cent or 680 of them were married off to those closer to their ages at 18-21.
Amid calls for child marriages to be banned in law in Malaysia, civil society groups have also advocated recently for the inclusion of what they dub a ìsweetheart defenceî, where young couples with small age gaps, such as teenagers are spared prosecution.
Critics of child marriages have highlighted high-profile cases such as where a 40-year-old man married a 13-year-old girl that he had raped and a man in his 20s marrying a girl he had raped at the age of 14, while others have raised the chain of problems linked to child marriages such as high-risk pregnancies, greater risk of maternal death and domestic violence, as well as disrupted education.
The Spanish masturbation expert Fran Sanchez Oria argues: "Masturbating for great sexual healthÖ can increase your testosterone levels, specially when combined with ejaculation edging. I could probably make another post just on this, but in a nutshell if you masturbate until you are close to climax then stop, and repeat several times, your testosterone levels will build up significantly." Caught with his pants down, Fran Sanchez Oria (subsequently removed the page, but a printscreen is here and here.
To determine if Butea superba Roxb., a traditional Thai male potency herb, has androgenic activity in 60-day-old male Wistar rats, we measured its effects on the pituitary-testicular axis and sex organs. Intact and orchidectomized adult male rats were subdivided into five groups (10 rats/group): distilled water, Butea superba (BS)-10, BS-50, BS-250, and testosterone propionate (TP). They received 0, 10, 50, and 250 mg·kg body weight-1·day-1 BS in distilled water by gavage and 6 mg·kg body weight-1·day-1 TP sc, respectively, during the 30-day treatment period. Blood was collected every 15 days and luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and testosterone were measured. Changes of weight and histological appearance of sex organs were determined at the end of the 30-day treatment and 15-day post-treatment periods. TP treatment reduced serum FSH and LH levels and significantly increased the weight of the seminal vesicles and epididymis, in accordance with histopathological changes, in both intact and orchidectomized rats. No changes in serum testosterone, LH, and FSH levels were observed in any of the intact rats treated with BS, but a significant increase in seminal vesicle weight was observed only in the BS-250 group. Although a significant reduction in serum LH was detected in the BS-50 and BS-250 groups of orchidectomized rats, no significant change in weight or histology of sex organs was observed. Thus, we conclude that B. superba needs endogenous testosterone to work synergistically to stimulate the accessory sex organ of intact animals and can potentially exhibit an LH reduction effect in orchidectomized animals.
Butea superba Roxb. (Leguminosae: Fabales: Fabaceae), known in Thai as the red Kwao Krua, is a leguminous plant, which has been claimed to have aphrodisiac properties (1). Many products based on B. superba, such as a capsule formulation or gel cosmetic are claimed to support normal sexual function and to enhance sexual stamina, erectile capacity, sensitivity, and sexual performance, and are widely sold in local markets. It has also been reported that B. superba can improve erectile dysfunction in mature human males (2). It can increase intracavernous blood flow (3) and lead to erection via the inhibition of cGMP and cAMP phosphodiesterase activity (3-5). Accordingly, investigations have been carried out to evaluate the androgenic activity of B. superba on the reproductive system of male animals (6,7).
Manosroi et al. (6) treated intact male rats with a powdered suspension of B. superba at the doses of 2-1250 mg/kg body weight for 8 weeks and found that sperm counts increased by 16% relative to the control group, but without a dose-response relationship. Thus, they concluded that B. superba may contain compounds, which have androgenic activity and that these may increase the release of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) from the hypothalamus, increase the release of male sex hormone and, in turn, stimulate the growth of Sertoli and Leydig cells. However, they did not measure the hormonal levels related to the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis (6). In contrast, it has been recently reported that feeding B. superba at doses of 150 and 200 mg·kg body weight-1·day-1 for 90 days to intact male rats significantly reduced serum testosterone levels and slightly decreased serum luteinizing hormone (LH) levels, with a normal appearance of the testes observed under histological examination (7). The authors concluded that B. superba acts as an androgen disruptor, mainly through the alteration of testosterone biosynthesis or metabolism (7). Thus, an androgenic activity of B. superba in male animals has been suggested, but without strong experiments to support the conclusion. It has also been reported that B. superba at a dose of 250 mg·kg body weight-1·day-1 had an androgenic effect on female reproductive organs by increasing uterine thickness and the number of uterine glands in intact and ovariectomized rats (8).
On the basis of these considerations, we studied the androgenic activity of B. superba in intact and orchidectomized male rats by determining its effects on the pituitary-testicular axis and reproductive organs.
Material and Methods
Adult male Wistar rats aged 60 days and weighing 250-300 g were obtained from the National Laboratory Animal Center, Mahidol University, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand. They were housed in stainless steel cages with sawdust bedding at 5 animals/cage in a room with controlled lighting (lights on 6:00-20:00 h) and temperature (25 ± 1°C) at the Primate Research Unit, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University. The animals were fed rat chow (Pokaphan Animal Feed Co., Ltd., Thailand) and water ad libitum and were acclimatized to the surroundings for two weeks before starting the study. The experimental protocol was approved by the Animal Ethics Committee in accordance with the guide for the care and use of laboratory animals prepared by Chulalongkorn University.
Adult male rats used in this study were divided into two main groups: intact testes and orchidectomy. Each of these two main groups were randomly subdivided into five treatment groups (10 rats/group): distilled water (DW), Butea superba (BS)-10, BS-50, BS-250, and testosterone propionate (TP). DW, BS-10, BS-50, and BS-250 rats were gavaged with a suspension of 0, 10, 50, and 250 mg·kg body weight-1·day-1 B. superba in 0.7 mL distilled water, respectively, during the treatment period. In the TP group, rats were injected subcutaneously with 6 mg·kg body weight-1·day-1 TP in 0.2 mL sesame oil. The experimental schedule was divided into three periods: pre-treatment, treatment and post-treatment for 15, 30, and 15 days, respectively. Rats were administered distilled water during the pre- and post-treatment periods by gavage for the BS group and subcutaneous injection for the TP group.
Intact group. Blood samples (1 mL) were collected at 9:00-10:00 h on the first day and then every 15 days of the study period, designated as D1, D16, D31, D46, and D61. Immediately after collection, all blood samples were centrifuged at 1000 g at 4°C for 20 min, and sera were used for the determination of testosterone, LH, and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). At the end of the treatment period, half the rats (i.e., 5 rats from each group) were randomly euthanized with ether. The testes, epididymis and seminal vesicles were dissected, cleaned of connective and other tissues, weighed and then fixed in 10% (w/v) neutral buffered formalin solution and manipulated for histological examination as described previously (9). The remaining five rats in each group were euthanized at the end of the post-treatment period, and the testes, epididymis and seminal vesicles were processed as described. All rats were weighed once a week throughout the experimental period.
Orchidectomy group. Before submitting the rats to the pre-treatment period, a blood sample was collected at 9:00-10:00 h and the animals were then orchidectomized, and this day was designated as D-14. A 14-day recovery period was allowed before including the animals in the study. The experimental protocol for this group was similar to that described above for the intact group.
Preparation of B. superba suspensions
The tuberous roots of B. superba were collected from Lampang Province, Thailand (voucher specimen No. BCU 11046), as reported in Cherdshewasart et al. (10). The B. superba roots used throughout this study were from the same lot. The root was sliced and dried at 70-80°C, pulverized in a mortar, and filtered through a 100-μm mesh screen. The filtered powder was stored in an airtight container in the dark as a stock at room temperature. During treatment, the dried powder of B. superba was mixed with distilled water to obtain a stock suspension from which the required dilutions were made to a final volume of 0.7 mL of a final dose of 0, 10, 50, and 250 mg/kg body weight (8). The suspension was administered to the rats at 8:00-9:00 h using a gastric feeding needle.
Preparation of testosterone propionate
TP powder (Sigma, Merck, USA) was weighed and dissolved in a small volume of absolute ethanol (GR Grade, Merck, USA). After the powder had completely dissolved, sesame oil was added and the solution was allowed to stand at room temperature with the ethanol evaporated. This stock solution was then diluted with sesame oil to provide a final dose of 6 mg·kg body weight-1·day-1·200 µL sesame oil-1. The stock TP solution was kept in dark bottles at room temperature until used. The solution was injected subcutaneously into rats between 8:00 and 9:00 h.
After overnight fixation in formalin, the testes, epididymis and seminal vesicles were dehydrated in a series of ethanol gradients, cleared in xylene and embedded and blocked in paraffin prior to preparing 5-µm sections and staining with hematoxylin and eosin, as reported (9,11). The permanent slides of testis, epididymis and seminal vesicle sections were then examined under an Olympus light microscope and representative sections were photographed.
The number of seminiferous tubules in intact male rats that contained a small number of spermatozoa, defined here as being <50% of the amount of spermatozoa observed in the normal seminiferous tubule of the control DW group, was evaluated histologically from the stained sections. Three sections/rat from each of 10 rats/group were counted.
Determination of serum testosterone, LH, and FSH levels
Serum testosterone levels were measured using the established radioimmunoassay technique of the World Health Organization (WHO) after the samples were extracted with ether (12).
Serum FSH and LH levels were measured by radioimmunoassay techniques using reagents obtained from the National Hormone and Pituitary Program. Iodination preparations were rat NIDDK-rat FSH-I-5 and rat LH-I-5. The antisera were anti-rat FSH-S11 and anti-rat LH-S11. The results obtained are reported in terms of the rat FSH-RP-2 and rat LH-RP-3 reference standards (13).
To minimize interassay variations, all samples were run in a single assay. The intra-assay coefficients of variation for testosterone, FSH, and LH were 10.6, 7.3, and 8.1%, respectively.
Data are reported as means ± SEM. The weights of the testis, epididymis and seminal vesicle collected at the end of the treatment and post-treatment periods were compared by the Student t-test. Differences in serum hormone levels between the pre-treatment, treatment and post-treatment periods in each group, and between the DW, BS, and TP groups in each experimental period, were analyzed by one- way analysis of variance (ANOVA) followed by the post hoc LSD test. In all cases significance was set at P < 0.05.
Effect of B. superba on rats with intact testes
Serum testosterone, FSH, and LH levels. When compared to the pre-treatment period (D1), serum testosterone levels in rats from the negative control (DW) group did not change significantly throughout the study period (Figure 1A), while the testosterone levels of the positive control (TP- treated) group were markedly and significantly increased throughout the treatment period (D16-46) and then returned to the pre-treatment level during the post-treatment period (D61). Since the assay can detect the exogenous-injected TP, in addition to endogenous testosterone levels, this is to be expected and does not address by itself the endogenous levels. The average serum testosterone levels in the groups receiving the three B. superba dose (BS) were not significantly different from each other or from those of the control DW group throughout the study period.
The average serum FSH levels of rats from the control (DW) and all three B. superba dose (BS) groups were not significantly different from each other throughout the study period, both within each treatment group over time, and between treatment groups (all P > 0.05; Figure 1B). In contrast, serum FSH levels were markedly and significantly decreased (P < 0.01) in the TP group during the treatment period (D31-D46), but then returned to pre-treatment levels during the post-treatment period.
The changes in serum LH levels in all five groups of intact rats were broadly similar in pattern to those observed for the FSH levels (Figure 1C), with no significant changes within or between the DW control and all three BS treatment groups throughout the study period, but with a significant decrease in serum LH levels being observed in the TP group from D31 through D61 of the post-treatment period. In slight contrast was the weak recovery of serum LH levels in the TP-treated group during the post-treatment period.
Body weight and reproductive organ weight
Relative to D1, the mean rat body weights increased gradually over the 61-day period for the control (DW), TP and all three BS treatment groups, but there was no significant difference between them or compared to the DW control group at each time throughout the study period (data not shown). The body weight gain of the TP group was numerically lower than that of the DW and BS groups but there was no statistically significant difference between them.
There were no significant differences in average testis weights between the treatment and post-treatment periods in the DW and in each BS group, or between the control (DW) and all three BS groups (Figure 2A). In contrast, the average testis weight of the TP group during both the treatment and post-treatment periods was significantly lower than those of the control DW and BS treatment groups (P < 0.01) and, additionally, the testis weight of TP-treated rats during the post-treatment period was significantly lower than that observed during the treatment period (P < 0.05).
There were also no differences in average epididymis weight between the treatment and post-treatment periods in the control DW group and in each of the BS treatment groups, or between the control and all three BS treatment groups during the treatment and post-treatment periods (Figure 2B). In contrast, the average epididymis weight of the TP group during both the treatment and post-treatment periods was significantly higher than those of the DW and BS groups (P < 0.01) and, additionally, the weight during the post-treatment period was significantly lower than that during the treatment period (P < 0.05).
Changes in average seminal vesicle weight in the control and all three BS groups were similar to those of the epididymis weights, except that the seminal vesicle weight of the BS-250 group was higher than those of the control DW and the BS-10 and BS-50 treatment groups (P < 0.05; Figure 2C). In contrast, the average seminal vesicle weight of the TP group during both the treatment and post-treatment periods was significantly higher than those of the DW and BS treatment groups (P < 0.01), while the weight during the post-treatment period was significantly lower than that during the treatment period (P < 0.05).
Histology of testis, epididymis and seminal vesicle
The histology of the testis in DW and BS-treated rats during the treatment period showed numerous spermatogenic cells in various stages, including primary spermatocytes (S1), secondary spermatocytes (S2), spermatids (S3), and spermatozoa (S) (Figure 3). In contrast, the testis of TP-treated rats showed a thin layer of spermatogenic cells and a small number of spermatozoa when compared to the control DW and all three BS-treated groups. The testis histology for the DW and BS groups did not differ between the treatment and post-treatment periods, but spermatogenic cell types seemed to increase in the TP group during the post-treatment period. Thus, the percent of seminiferous tubules with a low sperm number counted (or impaired spermatogenesis) did not differ between the DW and the three BS-treated groups, but was significantly higher (P < 0.01) in the TP group, which was in a partially recovered state during the post-treatment period (Table 1).
During the treatment period, the histology of the epididymis of control DW rats and of rats treated with all three doses of BS showed a similar composition mainly consisting of columnar and cuboidal ciliated epithelial cells (EP) with numerous spermatozoa (S) inside the tubules (Figure 3). Comparable to the reduction of sperm production in the testis, the sperm number in the epidymidis of TP-treated rats was also decreased, and the columnar ciliated cells showed a thicker layer. The histology of the epididymis of the control DW group and of all three BS-treated groups did not differ between the treatment and post-treatment periods. However, during the post-treatment period the epididymis of the TP group showed a thinner layer of epithelial cells.
The seminal vesicles of control DW rats and of those treated with all three doses of BS showed a high papilla folding (EX) of the tubular glands and muscular layers (Figure 3). A whitish-yellow viscous material (SF) was secreted into the lumen of the seminal vesicle (Figure 3). In the BS-250 group, the folded tubular glands were similar to those of other BS groups, but the amount of secretory material was higher. In the TP group, the number of folded tubular glands and the level of secretory material were higher than those of the DW and BS groups. While there were no differences in seminal vesicle histology between the treatment and post-treatment periods in the DW and BS groups, in the TP group the number of folded tubular glands and the quantity of secretion material were lower during the post-treatment period than during the treatment period (Figure 3).
Effects of B. superba in orchidectomized rats
Serum testosterone, FSH, and LH levels. There were no significant differences between the five groups before (D-14) and after (D1) orchidectomy. However, for 14 days after orchidectomy, serum testosterone levels of rats were significantly decreased (286.1 ± 56.9 and 17.7 ± 2.1 pg/mL for D-14 and D1, respectively; Figure 4A). Compared to D1, there were no significant changes in serum testosterone levels in the DW and BS groups throughout the study period, whereas the serum testosterone levels of TP-treated rats were significantly increased (P < 0.01) during the treatment period to over a 3-fold higher level than that prior to orchidectomy. Although serum testosterone levels decreased during the post-treatment period, and fell back below the pre-orchidectomy level, they were still significantly higher than the D1 level (P < 0.05).
In agreement with the decrease in serum testosterone levels, serum FSH levels of rats were significantly increased by 14 days after orchidectomy (5.3 ± 0.3 and 26.4 ± 2.9 ng/mL for D-14 and D1, respectively; Figure 4B), and compared to the D1 levels, continued to increase significantly throughout the study period in the DW and BS groups. Although the serum FSH levels in all three BS-treated groups were numerically lower than those of the DW group, there was no statistically significant difference. In contrast, during treatment, the serum FSH levels of TP-treated rats were significantly lower than those of the control DW group (D31-D46), before rising again during the post-treatment period.
Likewise, in agreement with the changes in serum testosterone and FSH levels, serum LH levels of rats were significantly increased by 14 days after orchidectomy (0.7 ± 0.2 and 21.4 ± 3.3 ng/mL for D-14 and D1, respectively; Figure 4C). Serum LH levels of control DW rats (P < 0.01) and of the BS-10 treatment group (P < 0.05) increased significantly throughout the study period but no statistically significant differences were observed between these two groups. In contrast, the serum LH levels of rats from the BS-50 and BS-250 treatments were significantly lower than those of the control DW group at D31-D61 (P < 0.01). The serum LH levels of TP-treated rats started to be lower than those of the DW group from D16, and were significantly different on D31-D61 (P < 0.01).
Body weight and reproductive organ weight
Relative to D-14, the mean rat body weights gradually increased numerically over the 75-day period for the control DW, TP, and all three BS treatment groups, but with no significant difference between each other or compared to the DW group at each time throughout the study period (data not shown). Thus, at least under these unrestricted food and standardized conditions, the BS treatments had no effect on body weight. In contrast, the body weight gain of TP-treated rats at the end of the study period was significantly higher than those of the control DW and all three BS treatment groups (124.5 ± 10.8 g vs 70.2 ± 7.9 g, respectively) but there were no differences between DW, BS10, BS50, and BS250 groups.
There were no significant differences in the average epididymis and seminal vesicle weights between the treatment and post-treatment periods within the control DW and each of the three BS treatment groups, or between the control DW and all three BS treatment groups (Figure 5A,B). In contrast, the average epididymis and seminal vesicle weights of TP-treated rats during both the treatment and post-treatment periods were significantly higher than those of the DW and BS groups (P < 0.01), and the weights during the post-treatment period were significantly lower than during the treatment period (P < 0.05).
Histology of the epididymis and seminal vesicle
Orchidectomized rats showed the absence of stereocilia in the ductus tubulus epididymis, a smaller lumen size with many layers of vacuoles in the epithelial lining (EP) and the absence of spermatozoa in the lumen during the treatment period compared to intact male rats (Figure 6). There were no differences in the histology of the epididymis between the treatment and post-treatment periods in the control DW or in each of the three BS doses, nor between the control DW and all three BS groups (Figure 6). In contrast, during the treatment period the tubular epithelium of the ductus epididymis of the TP group was pseudostratified, consisting of tall columnar principal cells with long sterocilia and small basal cells without vacuoles. During the post-treatment period, the number of stereocilia and their height in the tubular epithelial cells were diminished.
After orchidectomy the DW control and BS-treated rats showed a decrease in the number of epithelial foldings (EX) and an absence of seminal secretion (SF; Figure 6). In contrast, TP-treated rats revealed a highly developed papilla folding pattern of the seminal vesicle tubular glands with numerous primary, secondary, and tertiary foldings, filled with secretory material, which then decreased during the post-treatment period.
Although the products prepared from B. superba are widely consumed for various reproduction-related activities in men, the androgenic activity of B. superba is not known. The present study was, therefore, carried out to determine the androgenic effects of B. superba on the pituitary-testis axis and the reproductive organs (weights and histology) of intact and orchidectomized adult male rats. Distilled water and TP (6 mg·kg body weight-1·day-1) were used as negative and positive controls of androgenic activity, respectively (8,14-17). The doses of B. superba used in this study, 10, 50, and 250 mg/kg body weight, were based on previous studies carried out with female (8) and male (6,7) rats.
The response of body weight gain of adult male rats to TP treatment was decreased in intact and increased in orchidectomized rats, despite the fact that orchidectomy decreased the body weight gain in the DW control group. These changes are in accordance with previous reports (14-16), but are different from the reported effects of estrogens and ovariectomy (8,18,19).
The positive control (TP-treated group) showed the expected androgenic effects occurring in intact male rats that is decreased serum LH and FSH levels. Indeed, after FSH and LH secretion from the pituitary gland is reduced (20), the endogenous testosterone secretion from Leydig cells should subsequently be reduced. Although the serum LH and FSH levels were decreased during the TP treatment, the extent of reduction of LH levels was greater than that of FSH levels, and only the serum FSH levels returned to pre-treatment values during the post-treatment period. These differences are expected to be largely attributable to the effect of inhibin, the main suppressor of FSH secretion in rats (21). The decrease in serum LH and FSH levels induced by the TP treatment causes a decline in testosterone production by Leydig cells and, therefore, a reduction in the intratesticular testosterone concentration that, in turn, causes a shrunken testis and reduces sperm production in the seminiferous tubules of intact male rats (17). This likely explains the decreased testis weight that was detected in the TP-treated rats in the present study. In contrast to the decline in testicular weight with TP treatment, the seminal vesicle and epididymal weights of the rats increased and the hypertrophy corresponded to mild, though noticeable, histological changes in cell growth and secretion (14,16,17,22).
In contrast to the effects of TP, B. superba powder did not alter the serum testosterone, LH, and FSH levels or the weights and histological appearances of the reproductive organs (testis and epididymis) in intact male rats, except that the seminal vesicle weight increased only in the BS-250 group. It was previously reported that B. superba significantly reduced serum testosterone levels with no abnormal appearance of the testicular and epididymal histology or tissue weights. However, this study did not determine if there were any changes in the seminal vesicle (7), the most sensitive organ of androgenic or anti-androgenic activity in the Hershberger bioassay (16,22).
Complete orchidectomy caused lower serum testosterone and higher serum FSH and LH levels in orchidectomized rats than in normal male rats. No effects of B. superba on the serum testosterone levels of orchidectomized rats were observed in the present study, although BS-50 and BS-250 significantly suppressed the increased serum LH levels. In contrast, serum LH and FSH levels were significantly decreased in TP-treated rats after 15 days of treatment. Thus, we conclude that the doses of B. superba administered can partially suppress the hypothalamic-pituitary axis in orchidectomized rats, which seems to indicate the weak androgenic activity of B. superba. At present, it is unknown what chemicals in B. superba exhibit androgenic activity and further investigation is still needed. B. superba root contains the flavonoid and flavonoid glycoside (4,23), which showed inhibitory effects on cAMP phosphodiesterase activity (4). Currently, three phytoestrogens, daidzein, coumestrol and genistein, have been isolated from the tuberous root of B. superba (24). Genistein reduced the pituitary contents and prostate weights of male mice (25), interfered with the coupling of transmembrane LH receptors to G proteins and suppressed the steroidogenesis of the testicular Leydig cells in adult male rats (26). Coumestrol can suppress the pulsatile LH secretion from the pituitary gland of ovariectomized rats (27). Previously, we reported that Pueraria mirifica, a phytoestrogen-containing herb, can suppress serum LH and FSH levels in female as well as in male rats, although the response of females was greater than that of males (13). In addition, orchidectomized rats are more sensitive to weak endocrine disruptors than intact rats (28). Taken together with no changes in weight or histological appearances of the epididymis and seminal vesicles in all three BS treatment groups of the orchidectomized rats, this suggests that the decrease in serum LH levels in BS-50- and BS-250-treated rats is caused by a weak estrogenic activity of phytoestrogen constituents in B. superba. It is difficult to know if the reduction of LH levels in orchidectomized rats is due to the estrogenic activity or androgenic activity of B. superba. Higher doses of B. superba are suggested to be used. However, because the B. superba powder suspension has a high viscosity, a dose higher than 250 mg/kg body weight, the highest dose used in the present study, could not be administered by gavage. Thus, each substance isolated from B. superba should be tested separately for androgenic activity as well as estrogenic activity in male rats.
On the basis of the results obtained here in intact and orchidectomized rats, we conclude that B. superba needs to work synergistically with an endogenous testosterone to stimulate accessory sex organ in intact animals and can potentially exhibit an LH reduction effect in orchidectomized animals.
Science is slowly getting to know what erectile dysfunction actually is. It's not a lack of sexual interest, nothing wrong with penile tissue. Erections are a vascular event. And erectile dysfunction is a weakness of vasodilation in the penile blood supply. Botox injections into the penis solve the problem elegantly. Muscles exposed to Botox can't contract. That makes for easy erections, and an enlarged penis at all times.
Feminism, by creating artificial scarcity of sexual resources, is responsible for much of the deadly infighting among men, as well as male suicides.
Many of these children were known for their famous parent's celebrity status, though their deaths are tragedies no matter the circumstances. Famous children can have a hard time establishing names for themselves to the media. Many try to escape their parents' shadows but fall short of achieving the high statuses to which they've grown accustomed. Due to this, the children born to famous parent often collapse under domicile insecurity. Many of these kids became drug addicts and had long contemplated killing themselves. As a result of their addictions, death by drug overdose became a common behavior for these celebrity offspring.
Hollywood actor Ray Milland lost his son, Daniel Milland, to suicide in 1981. Cheyenne Brando, daughter of Marlon Brando, died by committing suicide at her mother's house. Other suicides by children of celebs include Willie Nelson's son Billy and Paul Newman's kid Scott.
A loss of a child is irreparable and, sadly, these famous people who had these poor children probably never saw it coming.
Marlon Brando is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 16 Celebrities Whose Children Committed Suicide
Marlon Brando's daughter, Cheyenne Brando, hanged herself in 1995 at age 25. After becoming pregnant, the Tahitian-born model moved with the baby's father, Dag Drollet, to Marlon's house in Los Angeles. Shortly after moving, in 1990, Cheyenne's half-brother, Christian, shot and killed Drollet. After that, Cheyenne's mental state deteriorated until she was diagnosed with schizophrenia, losing custody of her son, Tuki Brando. She hanged herself at the home of her mother, Tarita Teriipaia.
Gregory Peck is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 16 Celebrities Whose Children Committed Suicide
Gregory Peck was unable to work for two years after the suicide of his son, news reporter Jonathan Peck, in 1975. Jonathan suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound. At the time, he was going through a broken relationship and dealing with arteriosclerosis and severe fatigue.
Marie Osmond is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 16 Celebrities Whose Children Committed Suicide
Marie Osmond's 18-year-old son, Michael Blosil, jumped from the 8th floor of an LA apartment building in 2010. Michael had previously suffered a lifelong battle with depression, and at the age of 16, had gone to rehab for undisclosed reasons. At the time of his suicide, Michael was said to be clean and sober.
Paul Newman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 16 Celebrities Whose Children Committed Suicide
In 1978, Paul Newman's son, Scott Newman, who was an aspiring actor in his own right, was found dead in a hotel after overdosing on pills and alcohol. He was 28. Scott Newman had issues with drinking and had been arrested for some alcohol-related incidents. He suffered a motorcycle accident in 1978 for which he then also began taking pain pills. On the night of his death, Scott mixed a lethal dose of Valium, alcohol, and other drugs.
L. Ron Hubbard
L. Ron Hubbard is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 16 Celebrities Whose Children Committed Suicide
On October 28, 1976, Quentin Hubbard, son of Scientology mastermind L. Ron Hubbard and his third wife, Mary Sue, was found outside of Las Vegas, unconscious in his car with a tube leading from the exhaust to the window. After his older half-brother, Ron Jr., quit the Church in 1959, Quentin had been groomed by their father to succeed him as the leader of the organization. However, according to former fellow Scientologists, Quentin was gay (or, at least, semen was found in his rectum when he died), which was at odds with Church doctrine and a great source of personal torment. Two weeks after his apparent suicide attempt, he died at 22 years old, having never regained consciousness.
Gloria Vanderbilt is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 16 Celebrities Whose Children Committed Suicide
Gloria Vanderbilt's oldest son, Carter Vanderbilt Cooper, committed suicide on July 22, 1988, when he was 23. He jumped from the 14th floor terrace of his mother's Manhattan apartment. In her memoir, Vanderbilt wrote that she believes the suicide was caused by a psychotic episode induced by an allergic relationship to Carter's anti-asthma medication, salbutamol.
Willie Nelson is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 16 Celebrities Whose Children Committed Suicide
In 1991, Willie Nelson's son Billy, 33, hanged himself in his family's Tennessee cabin following a period of financial difficulty.
Burt Bacharach is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 16 Celebrities Whose Children Committed Suicide
Burt Bacharach and Angie Dickinson's daughter, Nikki Bacharach, suffocated in 2007, at age 40, using a plastic bag and helium. Nikki grew up with emotional issues and, many believe, a then-undiagnosed case of Asperger's syndrome. She struggled through school and her adult life.
Sylvia Plath is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list 16 Celebrities Whose Children Committed Suicide
In 2009, 46 years after his mother's own suicide, Sylvia Plath's son, Nicholas Hughes hanged himself. He was 47. Hughes was a successful biologist and a faculty member at UAF, but suffered from depression.
Carroll O'Connor is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list 16 Celebrities Whose Children Committed Suicide
In 1995, Carroll O'Connor's son, Hugh, committed suicide after a long battle with drug addiction at the age of 32. Hugh had become addicted to painkillers after a battle with cancer, and then eventually moved to harder drugs. He called his father to tell him he was going to end his life. Police arrived at Hugh's home, but it was too late, as he had already shot himself.
Jim Arness is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list 16 Celebrities Whose Children Committed Suicide
Jim Arness's daughter, Jenny Lee Aurness, committed suicide in 1975, a few weeks shy of her 25th birthday. Arness was said to have been despondent over a previous break-up with Greg Allman, and took a lethal dose of pills.
Charles Boyer is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list 16 Celebrities Whose Children Committed Suicide
In 1965, actor Charles Boyer's only child, Michael Charles Boyer, committed suicide at age 21 while playing Russian Roulette after a bad breakup. Thirteen years later, Charles Boyer too would take his own life with a lethal dose of seconal.
Louis Jourdan is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list 16 Celebrities Whose Children Committed Suicide
The proxy burden of fame took actor Louis Jourdan's only child, Louis Henry Jourdan, who committed suicide in 1981. Louis Henry, 29, had suffered for years from a drug problem that created a manic-depressive type of disorder that left him unable to work. His father and mother discovered his body at their home in Bel Air.
Ray Milland is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list 16 Celebrities Whose Children Committed Suicide
IN 1981, actor Ray Milland's son, Daniel, shot himself in the head in the bedroom of his Beverly Hills home. No suicide note was found. Milland was said to have a history of drug abuse, and when his roommates had last seen him, they noted he was heavily intoxicated.
Robert Taylor is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list 16 Celebrities Whose Children Committed Suicide
Robert Taylor's stepson, Michael Theiss, died of a drug overdoes in 1968, a year before the actor lost his battle with cancer. The 23 year-old's body was found by his mother in a Los Angeles motel room.
Universal education for women is not in the interest of men. For some women, a good education is OK. For the majority, it is unneeded.
Senator Feinsteinís quest to declassify her committeeís report on the CIAís post-9/11 torture program has increased attention on the agencyís illegal ñand decades-oldñ interrogation techniques. Now, newly-declassified portions of the CIAís infamous 1963 KUBARK manual, a comprehensive guide for teaching interrogators how to effectively create ìa world of fear, terror, anxiety, [and] dread,î helps to further contextualize the agencyís long-standing interrogation practices.
The fear of Communist expansion into the Western Hemisphere after Fidel Castroís 1959 victory in the Cuban Revolution was the geo-political background for the 1963 KUBARK manual. Castroís victory not only encouraged the 1964 U.S.-supported overthrow of democratically elected Brazilian President Joao Goulart; it also encouraged the CIA to spread KUBARK across the continent to help prop up pro-U.S. governments. After the Brazilian coup, right-wing military leaders across Latin America began seizing control from democratically elected governments with US encouragement, School of the Americas degrees, and a copy of the KUBARK manual.
The Secret, 127-page KUBARK manual, first declassified (with redactions) in 1997 thanks to a Baltimore Sun FOIA request, is a comprehensive guide for training interrogators in obtaining intelligence from ìresistant sources.î According to the National Security Archiveís 2004 posting, Prisoner Abuse: Patterns from the Past, KUBARK ña CIA cryptonym for itselfñ ìdescribes the qualifications of a successful interrogator, and reviews the theory of non-coercive and coercive techniques for breaking a prisoner.î
The report contains veiled references to the use of electric shock, saying that when choosing an interrogation site ìthe electric current should be known in advance, so that transformers and other modifying devices will be on hand if needed.î The manual also notes ìthe threat of coercion usually weakens or destroys resistance more effectively than coercion itself. The threat to inflict pain, for example, can trigger fears more damaging than the immediate sensation of pain.î Under the subheading ìPain,î the manualís guidelines discusses theories behind various thresholds of pain, and recommends that a subjectís ìresistance is likelier to be sapped by pain which he seems to inflict upon himselfî rather than by direct torture. According to Alfred McCoy, author of A Question of Torture, self-inflicted pain, like stress positions, ìcauses victims to feel responsible for their suffering and thus capitulate more readily to their torturers.î
Now, thanks to a mandatory declassification review request (MDR) filed by MuckRock user Jeffrey Kaye, a less-redacted version of the KUBARK manual is available. Revelations from the new release include the CIAís admission to doctoring detaineesí interrogations tapes, a practice it considered ìeffectiveî in making it seem as though the detainee had confessed, and using foreign intelligence services for detention and interrogation purposes. The references to foreign intelligence services mean that rendition is not a product of the post-9/11 world; it is a practice at least 50 years old. Supporting this, CIA ex-Deputy Counsel John Rizzo said in a recent Democracy Now interview that ì[r]enditions were not a product of the post-9/11 eraÖ renditions, in and of themselves, are actually a fairly well-established fact in American and world, actually, intelligence organizations.î
It was only after congressional committees began questioning the CIAís interrogation techniques in Latin America in the early 1980s, particularly in Honduras, that the agency began to revise its practices, if only temporarily. The result of the congressional attention was an editing ñby handñ of the CIAís ìHuman Resource Exploitationî manual, based largely off of the earlier KUBARK manual, to alter passages that appeared to advocate coercion and stress techniques to be used on prisoners. CIA officials also attached a new prologue page to the manual stating: ìThe use of force, mental torture, threats, insults or exposure to inhumane treatment of any kind as an aid to interrogation is prohibited by law, both international and domestic; it is neither authorized nor condoned,î but with the caveat that forms of torture and coercive techniques ìalways require prior [headquarters] approvalî first.
Even though Feinsteinís report does not recommend any further inquiries into the CIAís interrogation practices, I hope it will generate more resistance to torture than the CIAís own secret 1985 handwritten changes have.
Judge: Rape facilitates a natural society where men are protectors
David Brown has been sentenced to 20 years in jail for abusing children in the orphanage he opened in Tirana seven years ago
A British paedophile who ran a Christian missionary orphanage for abandoned street children in Albania has been sentenced to 20 years in jail after being found guilty of sexually abusing children.
David Brown, 57, a charity worker from Edinburgh, opened the orphanage seven years ago, claiming to be receiving instructions from God. He was found guilty in Tirana's district court today of "sexual relations with minors".
When the Guardian recently interviewed him in prison, Brown denied ever abusing the boys at the "His Children" orphanage, a ramshackle and overcrowded home for Gypsy children in Tirana, Albania's capital.
"I came to Albania because I wanted to help the Albanian children," he said. "Everything that I set out to do has been violated. I was these children's father."
During his trial Brown accused two other British helpers at the home of committing the abuse. Dino Christodoulou, 45, a social therapy nurse from Blackburn in Lancashire, and Robin Arnold, 56, a salesman from Cromer in Norfolk were extradited to Albania in May and are being tried separately for their alleged role in the abuse.
Brown was arrested in May 2006, following a raid on the orphanage. Sentencing him to the maximum sentence in a high security jail in Albania, the judge said he hoped the punishment would serve as a warning to other paedophiles. He ordered Brown to be expelled from Albania when he is released from prison, in 2028.
Before travelling to Albania, Brown provided bible lessons and camping holidays to boys in Scotland over two decades.
When women don't have sex to trade, they are inferior to men in almost every capacity. That is why in a future world in which sex robots are the partners of men, women won't have influence. They seldom had, anyway, throughout history.
Men risk their lives in wars so women can enjoy societies where they can pursue feminist goals, such as punishing men for sexist language.
Is marijuana like herbal Viagra for women?
The aphrodisiac effects of the indica marijuana strain Mr. Nice have led some to dub it the ìherbal Viagra for women.î
Sexxpot founder Karyn Wagner discovered the strain maximized her sexual pleasure and decided to develop the strain for retail sales, as reported by The Cut.
Sexxpot is a low-THC marijuana strain derived from the Mr. Nice strain, and itís packaged and sold as ìaphrodisiac weedî for women.
Sexxpot isnít the only cannabis product claiming to increase sexual pleasure these days. A number of cannabis-based oils, sprays and sexual lubricants are also marketed specifically as female pleasure enhancers.
The California-based makers of a cannabis-infused lubricant called Foria point out that cannabis is one of the oldest known aphrodisiacs and that THC mimics a neurotransmitter called anandamide, which is responsible for producing feelings of euphoria and arousal, as reported by East Bay Express.
Alt-rights that are against Third World immigrants, against Muslim refugees, or against gay men got it wrong. Feminism is the enemy. Nothing else. And because women are natural cowards, the more violence there is, the quicker they will abandon feminism.
Ruth Langsford, Coleen Nolan, Nadia Sawalha and Stacey were discussing Rebekah Vardyís brave post-baby body pictures when the conversation moved onto how childbirth affects other parts of your body.
Speaking about her body changed after having her children, Leighton and Zachary, Stacey opened up about how childbirth affected more intimate parts of her anatomy.
She said: ìI was really worried about that, Iíve pushed two children out of here you know, whatís left of it?
ìI was more worried about that than this,î she said pointing to her midriff.
She continued: ìThis canít do whatever it wants,î before pointing to her nether regions and saying: ìbut I want THIS to be goodî.
ìI donít want to have a baby shaped hole.î
Nadia agreed and said: ìLetís be honest, if you have a vaginal birth, it does go a bit doo lallyî.
When asked if she thought about having a vaginoplasty, she laughed and said: ìI have on occasion thought if I could do it on my lunch break and no one would know, it would be nice to feel a bit more normal.î
Ruth admitted she was shocked by the changes in her body after giving birth to her son Jack with husband Eamonn Holmes.
She said: ìNo one told me that the belly doesnít go away straight away. I put on three and a half stone because I lived on carbohydrates and I took ages to lose my baby weight. It was like jelly, it moved on its own.î
Mum-of-three Coleen said: ìI liked my flabby tummy after they were born, it was like a marshmallow.
ìI was ginormous with all three, when I was five months pregnant with Ciara they brought me in for a scan because they thought it was twins but she was just that big.î
The multiverse theory explains why each of us lives in an own universe in which we may as well be immortal.
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