John Rock's Error is a

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 02, 2001

John Rock's Error is a very interesting article by Malcolm Gladwell from last year on the Pill and how it may be harmful to women as it is currently utilized:

"In other words, what we think of as normal—frequent menses [bleedings]—is in evolutionary terms abnormal. 'It's a pity that gynecologists think that women have to menstruate every month,' Strassmann went on. 'They just don't understand the real biology of menstruation.'

"To Strassmann and others in the field of evolutionary medicine, this shift from a hundred to four hundred lifetime menses is enormously significant. It means that women's bodies are being subjected to changes and stresses that they were not necessarily designed by evolution to handle."

Some reproductive specialists are making a case for longer contraceptive periods to bring a woman's number of lifetime periods down to the historically normal rate (from 400 to around 100), thereby reliving them of much pain and sharply decreasing the risk of ovarian and breast cancers in the process.