To the Philippine Media Outlets Concerned:
I have done some checking and found that the basis for your respective feature stories on “Philippine women as having the smallest breasts in the world”—posted in your print and online editions or broadcast on TV from July 7 onwards—is likely fake, a downright fabrication.
That undated research study, “Scientific Analysis Reveals Major Differences in the Breast Size of Women in Different Countries” <http://tinyurl.com/z6olu2e>, turns out to be of highly doubtful provenance. Uploaded on the web as a PDF document, the 24-page supposedly scientific report indicates page-by-page that it was published in The Journal of Female Health Sciences. However, the document gives neither the journal’s volume nor date of issue nor any verifiable particulars about how the research was conducted. Also, nowhere on the web could the name of that journal be independently found except in the citation itself for that study.
That dubious research study was the basis of a feature story, “US women have the biggest breasts in the world – study reveals,” in the June 29 online edition of The Telegraph UK <http://tinyurl.com/ja2hfb9>. Also, the June 28 online edition of the US-based Seventeen magazine came out with a substantial variation of that feature story under the headline “American Women Apparently Have the Biggest Boobs in the World” <http://tinyurl.com/zoc7vg7>.
Neither the author of the Telegraph story nor that of the Seventeen story indicated who made representations to have the findings of the supposed research study publicized, but it is worth noting that the Telegraph story casually provided a companion boxed story, “How to Ensure Your Bra Fits Correctly.” The credits for that boxed story indicated that it was supplied by experts of Rigby & Peller, a London-based company that identifies itself as curators and sellers of luxury negligee, brassieres, and swimwear <http://tinyurl.com/hstl46a>.
What seems to have been overlooked by the London-based and New York-based media outlets is that research study’s apparent doubtful provenance. There are several telltale signs that it is spurious. The supposed primary author, “John D. L. Anderson—Curator of Human Anatomy, New Delhi School of Applied Sciences,” is very likely fictitious. A search on the web shows not a single indication of that person’s existence and that of the position and institution appended to his name. All of the names of that research study’s co-authors—Susan C. Chandler, Megan A.B. Mason, Chennan B. Khan, Jennifer E. Lindsay, Richard M. Sandler, and Liu G. Wong—are apparently also fictitious along with their respective academic or research institutions.
After the appearance of the online Telegraph feature article in the UK, it was rehashed for the Philippine Star by a staff contributor and came out in the paper’s July 8 online edition under the headline “Study: Filipino women have the smallest breast size in the world” <http://tinyurl.com/jrxqe4p>. On July 7, ABS-CBN News also featured on its website a rehash of that story under the headline “Study: PH women have smallest breasts in the world” <http://tinyurl.com/zragzo2>, and I think it’s very likely that the story had also been broadcast in both the ABS-CBN commercial TV network and in the ANC cable channel. The Philippine Daily Inquirer also ran in its July 7 print and online editions a shorter feature story about that study under the headline “Filipino women have smallest breasts—study” <http://tinyurl.com/hd6oxh6>.
Based on my subsequent fact-checks, I am now practically certain that the supposed research study is spurious and that several media outlets here and abroad have been misled into thinking that it is authentic. I, therefore, believe that it should not be accorded the level of credence it is getting. I also strongly suggest that a retraction of the stories about it by all the Philippine media outlets concerned be undertaken in the interest of honest and truthful journalism.
Visit Jose Carillo’s English Forum at <http://josecarilloforum.com>. Visit me on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter @J8Carillo. E-mail: <email@example.com>.