Why do you answer dumb questions?

Originally Published: February 4, 2000 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: September 2, 2014
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Dear Alice,

i was just looking at your column to see if i had gotten an answer to my question that i asked about yeast infections and i see no answer and that is okay but i read on and see some of the Q and As and i have to say that i am very disappointed you answer dumb questions like who do i have to thank for my penis size and can we have sex when i am pregnant. why do you answer dumb questions like that?

—Betty

Dear Betty,

First off, it's important for you to get the information you need about yeast infections. Although it's not clear from this question, if you suspect you have a yeast infection, it's best to get a diagnosis and treatment from your health care provider; as wonderful as the Internet is, no online service can replace your health care provider's in-person judgment. If you're a student at Columbia, you can make an appointment by contacting Medical Services (Morningside) or the Student Health Service (CUMC). You can also find many questions related to yeast infections, and other vaginal irritations, in the sexually transmitted infection section of our Sexual & Reproductive Health archive and in the related questions below. Good luck!

Now on to the rest of your question — about questions. As teachers 'round the world love to say, "there are no dumb questions." While we all may find certain questions trivial, it's likely that what's dumb to one person is thought provoking or relevant to someone else out there. Sure, at face value, from which parent a guy inherits his penis might seem inconsequential to some readers, but maybe this letter was just the tip of larger phallic concerns — a safer way to start discussing more serious insecurities about length, appearance, or "performance." Judging by the number of similar questions Go Ask Alice! recieves on this topic, there are in fact many people who are interested in the finer points of penile heredity.

The readers of Go Ask Alice!, varied and many as they are, have a broad spectrum of health issues, interests and questions, which all deserve well researched and reasoned responses. And though Go Ask Alice! is never able to give instant responses or diagnoses, we will continue provide relevant, sound, reliable health information as long as there are people asking questions — so keep them coming!

Alice