Why do you answer dumb questions?

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. That is okay, but I read on and see some of the Q&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,

As teachers 'round the world love to say, "there are no dumb questions." While one person may find certain questions trivial, it's likely that what's dumb to one person is quite thought provoking or relevant to someone else out there. Sure, at face value, from which parent someone inherits their penis might seem inconsequential to some readers, but for another reader, this question was just the tip of larger phallic concerns and serves as a safer way to start discussing more serious insecurities about length, appearance, or performance. Judging by the number of similar questions Go Ask Alice! receives on this topic, there are in fact many people who are interested in the finer points of penile heredity. By answering all of these questions, Go Ask Alice! can serve as a place where all questions are free to be asked and answered without shame or judgment. 

You may be wondering about questions that seem as though they were submitted as a joke. However, it doesn't really matter as what one person submitted as a joke can be serious for someone else. The team at Go Ask Alice! treats every question as an opportunity to share health information. Each question receives the same consideration and respect, regardless of whether the reader intended for the question to be a joke. These types of questions may be hard to ask in person, and by treating each question seriously, the Go Ask Alice! team can ensure that those who are seeking the answer are able to find it. 

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. Additionally, the prior knowledge and access to reliable health information is also varied among the Go Ask Alice! audience. What may seem like common sense to one reader may be completely new information to another. While Go Ask Alice! is never able to give instant responses or diagnoses, the team will continue to focus on providing relevant, sound, reliable health information as long as there are people asking questions — so keep them coming!

Finally, it's key 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 a good idea 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. You can also find many questions related to yeast infections, and other vaginal irritations, in the Sexually Transmitted Infections category of the Go Ask Alice! Sexual & Reproductive Health archives and in the related Q&As.

Good luck and thanks for reading!

Last updated Jan 07, 2022
Originally published Feb 03, 2000

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