I'll admit, I felt pretty dumb last week when I wrote a whole post about that Yale student's miscarriage-inspired art project that later was revealed to be a piece of "performance art." However, Wednesday I noticed two stories in the New York Times about the hoax. One said that the student, Aliza Shvarts, had contradicted her denial and was now refusing to sign a statement saying that she did not in fact repeatedly impregnate herself, induce miscarriages and use the resulting blood and videos in her senior art project. The other piece (and here, another from Discover's blog) points out that if we really wanted to get scientific, some quick tests on the blood in Shvarts' project would reveal whether she really was pregnant. (Shvarts' latest stance is that the project was real, but that without definitive medical tests, she herself doesn't even know if she managed to impregnate herself.)
Dr. Edward Funai of Yale-New Haven Hospital offered his own gambit on what actually happened:
"The most likely scenario is that all Shvarts was seeing every month was her own menstrual blood. Half of the Yale community sees art of similar quality when taking care of their monthly hygiene."
Catherine Price is an award-winning journalist and author of Vitamania: How Vitamins Revolutionized the Way We Think About Food. Her written and multimedia work has appeared in publications including The Best American Science Writing, The New York Times, Popular Science, O: The Oprah Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Post Magazine, Salon, Slate, Men’s Journal, Mother Jones, PARADE, Health Magazine, and Outside. Price lives in Philadelphia.