Monday, August 14, 2017

Impact of Adolescent Educational Expectations on Deviant Coping During the Transition to Adulthood

Great Expectations Unmet: The Impact of Adolescent Educational Expectations on Deviant Coping During the Transition to Adulthood. Patrick Cundiff. Sociological Inquiry, August 2017, Pages 449–471,

Abstract: Previous research has shown that during adolescence, holding high expectations of college education serves as a protective factor for delinquency and substance use. Little is known whether the protective factor of college expectations extends into young adulthood, especially among ambitious youth who do not earn a degree. Using longitudinal data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, this research focuses on the longer term effects of adolescent educational expectations on deviant coping. This study finds that failing to realize realistically high expectations of college education during the transition to adulthood increases an individual's likelihood of deviant coping during the transition to adulthood.

Adult sex ratio and social status predict mating and parenting strategies in Northern Ireland

Adult sex ratio and social status predict mating and parenting strategies in Northern Ireland. Caroline Uggla & Ruth Mace. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: Biological Sciences, Sep 19 2017,

Abstract: Evidence from animal species indicates that a male-biased adult sex ratio (ASR) can lead to higher levels of male parental investment and that there is heterogeneity in behavioural responses to mate scarcity depending on mate value. In humans, however, there is little consistent evidence of the effect of the ASR on pair-bond stability and parental investment and even less of how it varies by an individual's mate value. In this paper we use detailed census data from Northern Ireland to test the association between the ASR and pair-bond stability and parental investment by social status (education and social class) as a proxy for mate value. We find evidence that female, but not male, cohabitation is associated with the ASR. In female-biased areas women with low education are less likely to be in a stable pair-bond than highly educated women, but in male-biased areas women with the lowest education are as likely to be in a stable pair-bond as their most highly educated peers. For both sexes risk of separation is greater at female-biased sex ratios. Lastly, our data show a weak relationship between parental investment and the ASR that depends on social class. We discuss these results in the light of recent reformulations of parental investment theory.

Sexual diversity in the United States: Results from a nationally representative probability sample of adult women and men

Sexual diversity in the United States: Results from a nationally representative probability sample of adult women and men. Debby Herbenick et al. PLoS One, July 2017,

Abstract: In 2015, we conducted a cross-sectional, Internet-based, U.S. nationally representative probability survey of 2,021 adults (975 men, 1,046 women) focused on a broad range of sexual behaviors. Individuals invited to participate were from the GfK KnowledgePanel®. The survey was titled the 2015 Sexual Exploration in America Study and survey completion took about 12 to 15 minutes. The survey was confidential and the researchers never had access to respondents’ identifiers. Respondents reported on demographic items, lifetime and recent sexual behaviors, and the appeal of 50+ sexual behaviors. Most ( > 80%) reported lifetime masturbation, vaginal sex, and oral sex. Lifetime anal sex was reported by 43% of men (insertive) and 37% of women (receptive). Common lifetime sexual behaviors included wearing sexy lingerie/underwear (75% women, 26% men), sending/receiving digital nude/semi-nude photos (54% women, 65% men), reading erotic stories (57% of participants), public sex (≥43%), role-playing ( ≥ 22%), tying/being tied up ( ≥ 20%), spanking ( ≥ 30%), and watching sexually explicit videos/DVDs (60% women, 82% men). Having engaged in threesomes (10% women, 18% men) and playful whipping ( ≥ 13%) were less common. Lifetime group sex, sex parties, taking a sexuality class/workshop, and going to BDSM parties were uncommon (each < 8%). More Americans identified behaviors as “appealing” than had engaged in them. Romantic/affectionate behaviors were among those most commonly identified as appealing for both men and women. The appeal of particular behaviors was associated with greater odds that the individual had ever engaged in the behavior. This study contributes to our understanding of more diverse adult sexual behaviors than has previously been captured in U.S. nationally representative probability surveys. Implications for sexuality educators, clinicians, and individuals in the general population are discussed.

Majority Rules: Gender Composition and Sexual Norms and Behavior in High Schools

Majority Rules: Gender Composition and Sexual Norms and Behavior in High Schools. Kristen Harknett & Stephen Cranney. Population Research and Policy Review, August 2017, Pages 469-500,

Abstract: Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we examine the relationship between the gender composition of high schools and sexual ideals, attitudes, and behaviors reported by 12,617 students. Theory predicts that a surplus of females in a dating market gives males greater bargaining power to achieve their underlying preference for avoiding committed relationships and engaging in casual sex. We find relationships between the gender composition of a high school and sexual norms and behaviors that depart from this theoretical prediction: In high schools in which girls outnumber boys, students report a less sexually permissive normative climate and girls report less casual sex compared with their counterparts at schools in which boys outnumber girls. Our results inform predictions about social consequences following from the feminization of school institutions.

Beauty in the blink of an eye: The time course of aesthetic experiences

Verhavert, S., Wagemans, J. and Augustin, M. D. (2017), Beauty in the blink of an eye: The time course of aesthetic experiences. Br J Psychol. doi:10.1111/bjop.12258

Abstract: Under normal circumstances, perception runs very fast and seemingly automatic. In just a few ms, we go from sensory features to perceiving objects. This fast time course does not only apply to general perceptual aspects but also to what we call higher-level judgements. Inspired by the study on ‘very first impressions’ by Bar, Neta, and Linz (2006, Emotion, 6, 269) the current research examined the speed and time course of three aspects of the aesthetic experience, namely beauty, specialness, and impressiveness. Participants were presented with 54 reproductions of paintings that covered a wide variety of artistic styles and contents. Presentation times were 10, 50, 100 and 500 ms in Experiment 1 and 20, 30 and 40 ms in Experiment 2. Our results not only show that consistent aesthetic judgements can be formed based on very brief glances of information, but that this speed of aesthetic impression formation also differs between different aesthetic judgements. Apparently, impressiveness judgements require longer exposure times than impressions of beauty or specialness. The results provide important evidence for our understanding of the time course of aesthetic experiences.

What does it mean to feel loved: Cultural consensus and individual differences in felt love

What does it mean to feel loved: Cultural consensus and individual differences in felt love. Saeideh Heshmati et al. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships,

Abstract: Cultural consensus theory is a statistical framework (CCT) for the study of individual differences in the knowledge of culturally shared opinions. In this article, we demonstrate how a CCT analysis can be used to study individual differences and cultural consensus on what makes people feel loved, or more generally any social behaviors that are governed by cognitive schemata. To highlight the advantages of the method, we describe a study in which people reported on their everyday experiences of feeling loved. Our unique approach to understanding this topic is to focus on people’s cognitive evaluations on what feeling loved (both romantically and nonromantically) entails by exploring the shared agreement regarding when one is most likely to feel loved and the individual differences that influence knowledge of these shared agreements. Our results reveal that people converge on a consensus about indicators of expressed love and that these scenarios are both romantic and nonromantic. Moreover, people show individual differences in (1) the amount of knowledge they have about this consensus and (2) their guessing biases in responding to items on love scenarios, depending on personality and demographics—all conclusions made possible by the CCT method.

In our exploration of relationships between people’s ability in knowing the consensus on felt love and their demographic background, we found that depending on people’s gender, race, personality traits, and relationship status, they have differential ability of knowing the consensus on felt love. More specifically, we found that male participants show less knowledge of the consensus on felt love than female participants. This gender difference about experiences of love aligns with many of the past research on this topic (Fehr & Broughton, 2001; Hendrick, Hendrick, Foote, & Slapion-Foote, 1984; Sprecher & Toro-Morn, 2002). Specifically, research has shown that men and women differ in their thought process about the concept of love. Men are more likely to think about sexual commitment and the pleasure of intercourse when thinking about love, whereas women are more prone to thinking about love as emotional commitment and security (Buss, 2000; Cimbalo & Novell, 1993; Hazan & Shaver, 1987). This distinction between male and female perceptions of romantic love, not to be confused with love experienced in casual day-to-day interactions, could partially explain why men displayed less knowledge of the consensus in the scenarios of love presented in this study. Our items on felt love were less centered on sexual and intimate relationships and behaviors and more centered on emotional support and supportive behavior from others during everyday momentary experiences. Thus, an everyday nonsexual approach to love could be more in line with the cognitive framework of women than men.

In terms of relationship status, we also found that people in relationships know more about the consensus on felt love than people who are single. Since love is defined as an interpersonal connection between two people who share a micro-moment of positivity in the midst of their daily life (Fredrickson, 2013), people who are in a relationship and have more chances of experiencing and receiving these signals of love may have more knowledge of what makes them feel loved than those who are not in a relationship. Moreover, based on previous research, people who have maintained a good quality relationship show better relational characteristics (Stafford & Cannary, 1991) and higher emotional intelligence (Brackett, Warner, & Bosco, 2005) than people who have not and thus could be an explanation why these people know more about the shared belief about love among people.

Understanding the Therapist Contribution to Psychotherapy Outcome: A Meta-Analytic Approach

Understanding the Therapist Contribution to Psychotherapy Outcome: A Meta-Analytic Approach. Robert J King et al. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, September 2017, Volume 44, Issue 5, pp 664–680,

Abstract: Understanding the role that therapists play in psychotherapy outcome, and the contribution to outcome made by individual therapist differences has implications for service delivery and training of therapists. In this study we used a novel approach to estimate the magnitude of the therapist contribution overall and the effect of individual therapist differences. We conducted a meta-analysis of studies in which participants were randomised to receive the same treatment either through self-help or through a therapist. We identified a total of 15 studies (commencement N = 910; completion N = 723) meeting inclusion criteria. We found no difference in treatment completion rate and broad equivalence of treatment outcomes for participants treated through self-help and participants treated through a therapist. Also, contrary to our expectations, we found that the variability of outcomes was broadly equivalent, suggesting that differences in efficacy of individual therapists were not sufficient to make therapy outcomes more variable when a therapist was involved. Overall, the findings suggest that self-help, with minimal therapist input, has considerable potential as a first-line intervention. The findings did not suggest that individual differences between therapists play a major role in psychotherapy outcome.

how feminist scholars can employ empirical evidence to weaken the popularized, patriarchal theory of sexual economics

Myths of Sexual Economics Theory: Implications for Gender Equality. Laurie A. Rudman
Psychology of Women Quarterly, Volume: 41 issue: 3, page(s): 299-313.

Abstract: The authors of sexual economics theory (Baumeister & Twenge, 2002; Baumeister & Vohs, 2004) argue that sex is a female commodity that women exchange for men’s resources; therefore, women (not men) are responsible for the cultural suppression of sexuality, ostensibly to preserve the value of sex. In this article, I describe the central tenets of sexual economics theory and summarize a growing body of research contradicting them. I also explain the negative implications of the claims of sexual economics theory for gender equality and heterosexual relationships. Researchers, clinicians, and educators engaged in understanding human sexuality may use the arguments provided in this article to counteract gender myths. This article also serves as a case study of how feminist scholars can employ empirical evidence to weaken a popularized, patriarchal theory.

Keywords: sexual economics theory, close relationships, human sexuality, gender equality