February 17, 2007

Duh Research

This week Tanya Chartrand takes a bow with her groundbreaking research. The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology has kindly pandered to her small contribution to the world.

“It’s been called selective deafness, passive aggressiveness and forgetfulness.

But spouses who apparently ignore their partner’s requests may be disobeying instructions on purpose.

The research findings show that often people do not follow instructions even if they are for their own benefit, simply to avoid doing what other people want them to do.”

Fancy that. Who knew, ‘ey?

Equally unremarkable, and not worth remarking upon, Chartrand was inspired to pursue this research after noticing that her very own husband appeared to ignore her requests for help around the house. Go figure.

The far more impressive University of Arizona professor, Charles Gerba, on the other hand, pursued a line of research for which a quick call to his Mum would not have provided all the answers.

In the process, the clever-buggalugs professor has inadvertently uncovered where all the food that could feed the entire third world has been going – women’s work desks.

Yes, really.

The good Prof went in search of germs at work and discovered that a woman’s desk harbors a squillion more bacteria than a man’s desk. This is partly attributed to women harboring all manner of grooming products on and around the place, such as hand lotion and makeup, but by far the biggest contribution is all the emergency food supplies that women have stashed away at work. The Prof found that 75% of women kept food in their work area.

“I was really surprised how much food there was in a woman’s desk” he said

“If there’s ever a famine that’s the first place I’ll look for food.”

The germiest thing about men is their wallets, which, when being held captive in warm clammy back pockets is the perfect incubator for bacteria.

Via Melbourne commuter newspaper mX, February 16 2007


  1. I object to this sexist study... my desk is totally food-free!!!

    I'm very wary. How scientifically rigorous is this study in the first place?

    I think these "studies" are such a waste of money. Just think how many poor people could be fed with the money these studies waste.

  2. He was looking for germs, not targeting women Cubicle. He actually said that he expected men to be germier, so was surprised by the results.

    The research was sponsored by Clorox, so it was done in America.

    I was surprised at just how high the figure was for women & food, but must also add that I have never worked with men who have food all over the place, while I have, and currently do, work with women who have remarkable supplies of all manner of food on their desks. I've always found that highly unprofessional, and entirely unnecessary. But that's just my view. I've never understood the practice, or the need to be surrounded by food all day in an office environment.

    But then, I've never understood women who have long conversations in the ladies toilets either. Eeeeewwweeee - why would anyone want to hang around chatting in public toilets. Icky, icky, oooooo. Don't get that one at all either.

    Women DO these things: it's a factual statement or observation, rather than sexist. Just because you and I don't do these things doesn't mean that other women don't Cube!