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Jul 16, 2016
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A week ago, Filipino netizens were all up in arms when several news sites cited a study that said Filipinas have the smallest breasts in the world. The offending study, "Scientific Analysis Reveals Major Differences in the Breast Size of Women in Different Countries," was found in a journal called "The Journal Of Female Health."

"The Journal Of Female Health" is not a legitimate academic journal if Google searches are to be believed. Type the title on the search engine, and you won't find a result directly relating to the said journal other than the study mentioned above. On the first page of the query, other female health-related journals and resources appear: Journal of Women's Health, Women's Health Issues, Health Science Journals, International Journal of Health Sciences, Ethiopian Journal of Health Sciences, and the Journal of Health Science.

The academic institutions associated with the researchers in the study are also non-existent in Google. These are the New Delhi School of Applied Sciences, Braga Medical School, Department of Mathematical Statistics, UISS, New Delhi School of Applied Sciences, ND Garment Ltd, Camiry University, and the Atape Institute of Human Anatomy. We Googled all of these terms, and none of them appeared on the first page of the search returns. It is possible that the The Journal of Female Health and these universities and institutions merely do not have an online presence but the lack of it makes it hard to verify that the study is true. Unless this can be completely verified by a representative from the parties mentioned above, let's settle on a consensus: Don't believe the study.

Sites such as Mediaequalizer.com and Dailycaller.com have declared the study a hoax. Nydailynews.com has appended a note to the respective article acknowledging the error as have weTelegraph.co.uk has taken down the article. Articles featuring the study are still up in sites such as Teen Vogue, Seventeen, ABS-CBN, Coconuts Manila, and Philstar.com.

How did this get past editors? Mediaequalizer.com has some insight:

"What caused this probable Internet prank to suddenly gain so much attention over the past 48 hours? Most likely, the copycat nature of today’s 24/7, content-hungry websites.

Recognizing the high traffic potential of a titillating story, one fell for it and others quickly re-wrote their own versions. Most focused on the 'finding' that American women have the world’s largest breasts."

Just goes to show that any site—whether it's a reputable news site or a lifestyle-centric site—can be vulnerable to misinformation on the internet.

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That being said, we're sorry for belittling you, ladies.

 

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