Maggie A's Meanderings




October 2, 2011

The Single Stupidest Thing I've Ever Heard
or How To Prove a Stereotype

In my entire life, the single stupidest statement of "fact" I've ever been informed of was this:
Baby boys are not born with testicles in their scrotum because they don't get testicles there until they hit puberty.1

The hysterically funny part is that this assertion of fact came, not from a woman, but from a man who in addition to having testicles himself also had three boys. Yet somehow despite having grown up male and raised three prepubescent males, he had failed to notice that he or they had nuts in the nut sack.

I actually have more respect for people who believe the Earth is flat. And I think they're complete morons. But, after all, unless you're on a slope, the Earth looks flat and feels flat. As a child observing the world you didn't intuitively realize the Earth was a sphere. It's something you learned as you grew older. But here we've got a guy who didn't notice his own balls and couldn't feel them until he hit puberty. A guy who still hasn't learned as he grew older. He's in his 50s and manages not to see his sons' balls or to notice they're there even when he was changing their diapers or bathing them.

And before you think, "That's impossible"...............back in the days of the witch trials one of the most common charges leveled against the accused witch was that she had stolen a man's penis. And this wasn't off a dead body. Some guy walking around would be convinced that his penis was missing and the witch had taken it. Not only was he convinced, but there are records of men dropping trou in front of other men to prove it and the other men couldn't see the penis either. The same sort of men who could look directly between a man's leg and not see a penis are the same sort of men who could be convinced they were ball-less until they hit puberty when they suddenly got nuts in the nut sack.

In short, to quote Robert A. Heinlein, "Never underestimate the power of human stupidity!"

What I don't know if I find to be sad or funny is that this assertion about boys not having balls comes from a man who doesn't just match the stereotype of stupid, he hits the trifecta:
  1. He's from Mississippi.
  2. He's a redneck.
  3. He's a prison guard.
All three of those have the reputation of being stupid.

And, yes, there is some basis in fact for the stereotypes:
  • Mississippi does score 50th out of 50 states in educational performance. (It did when I went to school there and, last time I checked the test data, it still does.)
  • Traditionally, people from poor rural areas had less education than people from urban areas.
  • Some people who become correctional officers do so because they cannot pass the qualifying tests to become police officers. 
Stereotypes become stereotypes for a reason. That's because some of the people in that category fit the description.

But stereotypes are wrong because they assume all the people in the category fit the description.

I grew up in Mississippi. The reality is that I've known plenty of Mississippi rednecks and can state categorically that only some of them were stupid. I can't say that I've known plenty of prison guards ---- I've only known a few and not all of them were stupid. 

But the problem is there are enough people that do fit the description for the stereotype to stick. And then there's this Mississippi, redneck prison guard who doesn't just fit the stereotype, he could be the poster boy for walking around stupid........

This Mississippi, redneck prison guard who believes the single stupidest thing I've ever heard...........believes it so strongly you can't tell him otherwise. Baby boys do not have testicles in their scrotum. Boys get testicles in their scrotum when they reach puberty and their balls drop. That's the meaning of phrase "balls drop" ----- it's the testicles lowering into the scrotum. Until then, no testicles in the scrotum.

Because that's the other thing about stupid: Stupid alters the facts to fit their ideas. And if you try to tell them the actual facts, you're wrong; they're right.

Or as Bertrand Russell said, "The trouble with
the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

But in this case, the intelligent are sure baby boys are born with testicles in their scrotum.

Dunce Cap
1 Stereotypes aside, since stupid isn't confined to rednecks, people from Mississippi and prison guards but is found throughout the population, especially on the internet, I include the following information from the Mayo Clinic:
"Before birth, the testicles develop inside the male infants' abdomen. Usually, they move down into their permanent place in the scrotum 1 month before birth. A small percentage of male infants are born with one or both testicles undescended.
In most of these babies, the testicles will descend into the scrotum during the first few years of life, without any medical intervention. In some cases, however, medication or surgery may be necessary. A testicle that remains undescended by age 5 may not be able to make sperm later in life."
"How Serious Is Undescended Testicle?
The absence of a testicle is not serious. In the case of infants or young children, the condition often corrects itself or can be corrected with medication or surgery. After age 5, however, the situation can lead to a non-functional testicle. Even after it descends, or after surgical correction, a testicle that was undescended will be more vulnerable to cancer than a normal testicle."
David E. Larson, M.D. ed., Mayo Clinic Family Health Book Second Edition (New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1996), p. 1202.

To read about me being stupid check out "The Suburban Wilds." For mass stupidity and blindness check out "Why "Birthers" Are Idiots," but not if you are a Birther. That piece is for non-Birthers only. For corporate stupidity there's "Three Major Nationwide Restaurant Chains that Have Completely Jumped the Shark." For government stupidity with our tax dollars read "Social Insecurity." For articles on topics other than people being stupid take a look around the Archive.



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