Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Sexual assault interventions may be doing more harm than good with high-risk males

Sexual assault interventions may be doing more harm than good with high-risk males. Neil Malamuth, Mark Huppin, Daniel Linz. Aggression and Violent Behavior,

•    With high-risk men, currently used sexual assault interventions are problematic.
•    These interventions appear to be having opposite than intended effects.
•    Such boomerang effects are likely due to these men's hostile reactance.
•    Reactance may underlie both their sexual violence and responses to interventions.
•    Failure to acknowledge this danger may be due to a lack of suitable strategy.

Abstract: Based on legal requirements and other considerations, there have been many well-meaning interventions intended to reduce sexual assault on university campuses throughout the US. There is no legal requirement, however, to evaluate the effectiveness of these programs, and few evaluations have been conducted. Those that have suggest that at best only a small number of these interventions have been effective and those involve bystander interventions. More importantly, there has been very little research examining the effects of such interventions on men at high risk for sexual aggression, who presumably are a key target of such interventions. Research on similar campaigns in other domains should have alerted investigators to the possibility of boomerang reactance effects wherein interventions can actually have the opposite of the intended effects for high-risk college males. The few studies that directly have examined this possibility indeed are supportive of the substantial likelihood of such negative effects. Commonly used interventions may fail with high-risk men because they are likely to generate “hostility reactance” — one of the key causes of both sexual violence itself and the unintended adverse effects of the interventions. We raise the question of why universities have failed to address this possible effect of interventions and why previous reviews have not highlighted this possible danger.

Keywords: Interventions to reduce sexual assault; Men at high risk for sexual assault; College students; Sexual aggression

Subjective life expectancy and actual mortality: People is quite accurate, but those with more education shrink their expectation

Subjective life expectancy and actual mortality: results of a 10-year panel study among older workers. Hanna van Solinge, Kène Henkens. European Journal of Ageing, June 2018, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 155–164.

Abstract: This research examined the judgemental process underlying subjective life expectancy (SLE) and the predictive value of SLE on actual mortality in older adults in the Netherlands. We integrated theoretical insights from life satisfaction research with existing models of SLE. Our model differentiates between bottom-up (objective data of any type) and top-down factors (psychological variables). The study used data from the first wave of the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute Work and Retirement Panel. This is a prospective cohort study among Dutch older workers. The analytical sample included 2278 individuals, assessed at age 50–64 in 2001, with vital statistics tracked through 2011. We used a linear regression model to estimate the impact of bottom-up and top-down factors on SLE. Cox proportional hazard regression was used to determine the impact of SLE on the timing of mortality, crude and adjusted for actuarial correlates of general life expectancy, family history, health and trait-like dispositions. Results reveal that psychological variables play a role in the formation of SLE. Further, the results indicate that SLE predicts actual mortality, crude and adjusted for socio-demographic, biomedical and psychological confounders. Education has an additional effect on mortality. Those with higher educational attainment were less likely to die within the follow-up period. This SES gradient in mortality was not captured in SLE. The findings indicate that SLE is an independent predictor of mortality in a pre-retirement cohort in the Netherlands. SLE does not fully capture educational differences in mortality. Particularly, higher-educated individuals underestimate their life expectancy.

Trends in flood losses in Europe over the past 150 years: There is large underreporting of smaller floods beyond most recent years

Trends in flood losses in Europe over the past 150 years. Dominik Paprotny, Antonia Sebastian, Oswaldo Morales-Nápoles & Sebastiaan N. Jonkman. Nature Communications, volume 9, Article number: 1985 (2018). DOI:10.1038/s41467-018-04253-1,

Abstract: Adverse consequences of floods change in time and are influenced by both natural and socio-economic trends and interactions. In Europe, previous studies of historical flood losses corrected for demographic and economic growth (‘normalized’) have been limited in temporal and spatial extent, leading to an incomplete representation of trends in losses over time. Here we utilize a gridded reconstruction of flood exposure in 37 European countries and a new database of damaging floods since 1870. Our results indicate that, after correcting for changes in flood exposure, there has been an increase in annually inundated area and number of persons affected since 1870, contrasted by a substantial decrease in flood fatalities. For more recent decades we also found a considerable decline in financial losses per year. We estimate, however, that there is large underreporting of smaller floods beyond most recent years, and show that underreporting has a substantial impact on observed trends.

Are Men’s Religious Ties Hormonally Regulated? It seems that too much androgen load reduces those ties. Author think it is causal, not just correlation.

Are Men’s Religious Ties Hormonally Regulated? Aniruddha Das. Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology,


Objectives: Studies based on the “challenge hypothesis” have linked men’s androgens—testosterone and DHEA—to short term mating and antisocial behaviors. Causal direction at a given stage of the life cycle remains ambiguous. Religion is a major social institution through which actions violating social norms are controlled. Thus, ties to this institution may be lower among men with higher androgen levels. The present study queried these linkages.

Procedures: Data were from the 2005–2006 and 2010–2011 waves of the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project (NSHAP), a national probability sample of older U.S. adults. Analysis was through autoregressive cross-lagged panel models (minimum N = 1071).

Results: Higher baseline levels of both testosterone and DHEA prospectively predicted religious ties, whether measured through attendance at services or network connections to clergy. Moreover, contrary to arguments of sociocultural modulation of androgens, the pattern of associations was most consistent with hormonal causation of religious connections. Results were robust to a range of time invariant and time varying confounders, including demographics, hormone supplements, and physical health.

Conclusions: Findings add to the growing evidence that religiosity may have physiological and not simply psychosocial roots. Implications for hormonal confounding of previously published religion-deviance linkages, and for neuroendocrine underpinnings of population-level social and cultural patterns, are discussed.

Mate copying has been documented in female Drosophila melanogaster; we report on experimental evidence for mate copying in males of this species in which females can actively reject males and prevent copulation

Mate copying in Drosophila melanogaster males. Sabine Nöbel, Mélanie Allain, Guillaume Isabel, Etienne Danchin. Animal Behaviour, Volume 141, July 2018, Pages 9–15.

•    Reported evidence of male mate copying is rare, but common in females of many taxa.
•    We provide first evidence for male mate copying in D.melanogaster.
•    Measuring courtship behaviour is a good indicator to evaluate male mate choice.

Abstract: To assess potential mates' quality individuals can observe sexually interacting conspecifics. Such social information use is called mate copying and occurs when observer individuals witnessing sexual interactions of conspecifics later show a mating preference for mates that were seen mating. Most studies have focused on female mate copying, as females are usually the choosy sex. However, much less is known about the existence of male mate copying, probably because of the usual strong asymmetry in sex roles. Mate copying has been documented in female Drosophila melanogaster, and here we report on experimental evidence for mate copying in males of this species in which females can actively reject males and prevent copulation. As mate choice implies high costs for males we assumed that they perform mate copying as well. We created two artificial female phenotypes by randomly dusting females with green or pink powders, and virgin naïve observer males were given the opportunity to see a demonstrator male choosing between a pink and a green demonstrator female. Immediately afterwards, observer males were given the choice between two new females, one of each colour. To circumvent the difficulty of determining actual male mate preference, we used two complementary indices of male mate choice, both of which provided evidence for male mate copying. Informed observer males showed a bias towards females of the colour they saw being chosen during demonstrations, while uninformed males chose randomly between pink and green females. This suggests that male fruit flies can also perform mate copying. Although significant, our results in males were less clear-cut than in females in previous studies. However, like females, D. melanogaster males can mate copy based on a single observation. The importance and generality of such mate copying abilities in nature, and their potential impact on the evolution of Drosophila and probably other invertebrates, need further exploration.

Keywords: fruit fly; male mate copying; public information; social learning

Laughter Is (Powerful) Medicine: the Effects of Humor Exposure on the Well-being of Victims of Aggression

Laughter Is (Powerful) Medicine: the Effects of Humor Exposure on the Well-being of Victims of Aggression. David Cheng, Rajiv Amarnani, Tiffany Le, Simon Restubog. Journal of Business and Psychology,

Abstract: Aggression at work is an expensive and widespread problem. While a large body of research has studied its antecedents and consequences, few studies have examined what victims can do to help mitigate the damage once it has occurred. Many practitioners and scholars have suggested that workers seek out humor to help them deal with the impact of stressors such as aggression, but little is known about whether humor can actually help victims deal with the psychological damage caused by aggression in the workplace. This paper presents a programmatic series of four experimental studies that examine whether and how exposure to humorous stimuli improves well-being among victims of interpersonal aggression by integrating the superiority theory of humor with Lazarus and Folkman’s transactional model of stress and coping. Study 1 (N = 84 students) showed that exposure to humor had a positive effect on well-being in a sample based in the Philippines. Consistent with theoretical prescriptions from the superiority theory of humor, this effect was mediated by increased momentary sense of power. Study 2 (N = 205 students) found the same positive effects of humor exposure on well-being in a sample based in Australia even when manipulating perpetrator power. These findings were replicated in studies 3 (N = 175 MTurk workers) and 4 (N = 235 MTurk workers) among a diverse sample of workers based in the USA.