The Media’s Tales Of A Deadly New “Sex Superbug” Are Greatly Exaggerated

The Internet exploded today with stories about an incredibly dangerous “sex superbug” at our doorstep. Some of the more provocative headlines included “Sex superbug could be ‘worse than AIDS’” (CNBC) and “New sex superbug could be global killer, doctors warn” (The Sun). All of these stories went on to talk about a very aggressive strain of gonorrhea known as HO41 that is resistant to all known antibiotics (and, no, I don’t know whether scientists were trying to be funny when they named this STI “ho-41”). Moreover, the stories talked about how the infection is spread quickly and easily and can lead to death “in a matter of days.” Time for a global panic, right? Hold your horses, because in the rush to report this news quickly, a number of journalists failed to check their facts.
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Have Scientists Really Found The Next Viagra?

There was a recent media frenzy about a new study suggesting that the hormone oxytocin may improve male sexual desire and functioning. Among some of the more provocative headlines I came across were “Oxytocin could be new Viagra” and “Forget Viagra, the 'Cuddle drug' could be the new way to boost performance in the bedroom.” These and numerous other headlines around the world made very bold claims about oxytocin’s ability to enhance men’s sexual abilities. But were they justified? A closer look at the research reveals yet another case of the media jumping the gun and making sensationalized claims that go far beyond the available science.
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