Warning: Only just this second noticed this and it has annoyed me into knocking-this-out very quickly, so if the maths is off, it's totally my fault. Please pick me up on it. This post will also include lots of euphemisms for sexy-time.
Update I: Said 'colon' when meant 'prostate' cancer. As I said I'm not a (medical) doctor. Fixed now. Though my shame remains.
Saying that the BBC story is quite good actually, pointing out that the sample size is too small and so on, but the others are worse. The Italian one starts like so:
Sexual abstinence, besides opening the gates to paradise, also seems to prolong the lives of men.That's a neutral point of view if every I saw one. But more importantly not a single one of these articles mentions the increase in terms of the quantitative risk of getting the disease (aka the natural frequency, or in this case how many people per 100,000 will get prostate cancer every year). As we will see is kind of a big deal. I've had a spare ten minutes so I've just guesstimated what that would be.
Which means that at maximum if everyone had lots and lots of how's-your-father, then the number getting prostate cancer would increase from 117 in every 100,000 to 140 in every 100,000.
Or to put it another way by having lots of hide-the-sausage your chance of catching prostate cancer skyrockets from 0.116% to a absolutely no less scary 0.140%. A massive 0.024% increase! QUICK TO CELIBACY! Never shall my loins mingle again!
Remember this isn't to do with the legitimacy of the science involved. This is purely an issue about the way it has been reported. For this, my friends, is how the media turns non-scary medical research into scary everything-you-love-kills-you stories. I know it may come over a little pedantic to say this, but a lot of people would have read this today and felt guilty over a natural part of their lives, and the media hid the values that might have reassured them that the sex is so fucking worth it in order to make it scarier.