Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Oatmeal Does What?

Nearly twenty-five years ago, when I was studying for my comprehensive exams for my Ph.D. in sexology, I had to learn a certain amount of history as it pertained to cultural beliefs about sexuality. I learned it – though I had no picture of why some of it might be particularly useful. But because of my study of history, it turned out that I got to have a private chuckle a few days ago.

But, before the chuckle, here’s the bit of history that came to mind.

In the early 20th century, there was a strong cultural urge to suppress sexual self-stimulation. The most creative (if not diabolical) minds developed many inventions to curb this practice of masturbation – some of them quite “pinchy.” They had a fairly righteous agenda in mind. But, the entrepreneurs of the time also spotted a ripe opportunity in the hysteria.

All it took was the widespread circulation of the equivalent of today’s “urban legend” that hot cereal, when consumed at breakfast, stimulated the urge to masturbate. Enter John Harvey Kellogg (of Battlecreek fame) with his line of cold cereals and a certain Sylvester Graham of Graham Crackers. These dry morsels of food (served with cold milk) certainly could not be accused of stimulating the libido – and, as it turned out, also claimed the supposed moral high ground of suppressing it. And so, a few fortunes began.

With the colder weather setting in, lately I had been serving my eight-year old son oatmeal for breakfast. When he and I happened to be alone at the kitchen table, he said, “Mom, I don’t think I want oatmeal for breakfast any more.”

“Why not, do you want something else?”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“This cereal gives me erections.”

“Is that right?”

“Yes, I’ve got one right now.”

“Oh, sweetie. That’s just your body’s way of checking that your penis is working fine. It will do that from time to time while you’re awake and four to six times at night while you’re sleeping.”

“Really?”

“Yep, really. So, it’s not the cereal, though there are some famous men who thought so and made a bunch of money telling other people that it did.”

“OK, Mom.”

Related Topics:

Technorati Tags: , ,

Important:

The opinions expressed in WebMD Second Opinion are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. Second Opinion are... Expand

Newsletters

Subscribe to free WebMD newsletters.

  • WebMD Daily

    WebMD Daily

    Subscribe to the WebMD Daily, and you'll get today's top health news and trending topics, and the latest and best information from WebMD.

  • Men's Health

    Men's Health

    Subscribe to the Men's Health newsletter for the latest on disease prevention, fitness, sex, nutrition, and more from WebMD.

  • Women's Health

    Women's Health

    Subscribe to the Women's Health newsletter for the latest on disease prevention, fitness, sex, diet, anti-aging, and more from WebMD.

By clicking Submit, I agree to the WebMD Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of WebMD subscriptions at any time.

URAC: Accredited Health Web Site TRUSTe online privacy certification HONcode Seal AdChoices