Saturday, June 15, 2019

The Madonna-Whore Dichotomy Is Associated With Patriarchy Endorsement; US men’s dichotomy endorsement negatively correlated with their sexual satisfaction in romantic relationships

The Madonna-Whore Dichotomy Is Associated With Patriarchy Endorsement: Evidence From Israel, the United States, and Germany. Rotem Kahalon et al. Psychology of Women Quarterly, May 2, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1177/0361684319843298

Abstract: The madonna-whore dichotomy denotes polarized perceptions of women as either good and chaste or as bad and promiscuous. In the present research, we examined the correlates of madonna-whore dichotomy among samples of heterosexual Israeli, U.S., and German women and heterosexual U.S. and German men. Demonstrating cross-cultural generalizability, madonna-whore dichotomy endorsement correlated with endorsement of patriarchy-supporting ideologies across samples. U.S. (but not German) men’s madonna-whore dichotomy endorsement negatively correlated with their sexual satisfaction in romantic relationships, which in turn predicted lower general relationship satisfaction. Among women, madonna-whore dichotomy endorsement did not correlate with sexual or general relationship satisfaction. These findings (a) support the feminist perspective on the madonna-whore dichotomy, which points to the role of the stereotype in policing women and limiting their sexual freedom, and (b) provide evidence that madonna-whore dichotomy endorsement can have personal costs for men. Increasing awareness to the motivations underlying the madonna-whore dichotomy endorsement and its costs can be beneficial at the social and personal levels for women and men, by providing knowledge that may help in developing focused interventions to change existing perceptions and scripts about sexuality, and perhaps foster more satisfying heterosexual relationships.

Keywords: madonna-whore dichotomy, gender attitudes, sexual satisfaction, relationship satisfaction, sexism, patriarchy-supporting ideologies


It may be that open relationships are common in the gay male community, because gay men benefit psychologically from both relationships and from casual sexual activity

Gay men, casual sex, and psychological well-being. Jeremy Bolton. PhD Thesis, Alliant International University, 2019. https://search.proquest.com/openview/378799404c75ab693c6335008cc5f517/

Abstract: Casual sex is common in the gay male community. Gay men typically have more partners and engage in more types of exual activities than heterosexualmen. Despite this, there is little in the way of empirical evidence regarding the impact casual sexual activity may have on gay men’s mental health. Traditionally, voices within the gay male community, and especially early gay rights leaders, have claimed that casual sex is integral to gay male identity and politics. Others in the gay male psychotherapeutic and self-help community have associated casual sexual activity with emotional woundedness. Evidence drawn from evolutionary psychology and primarily heterosexual studies on casual sex have suggested that casual sexual activity is likely to have a positive benefit for gay men. This study collected data from 152 gay men via an on line survey.The data were analyzed using structural equation modeling. Demographic and relationship status information were collected, as well as information about the participants’ sexual activity over the previous 12 months. Sexual activity information included the number of sex partners, the number of times they had engaged in group sex, and the primary relational context of the majority of their sexual activity. Measures of psychological well-being were also utilized. The results showed that casual sexual activity had a significant positive influence on the participants’ psychological well-being (β=0.25, p<.005). The latent Demographics variable utilized, which was indicated by relationship status and age, also had a positive influence on participants’ psychological well-being (β=0.81,p<.005). The results suggest that gay men benefit psychologically from both casual sex and relationships. It may be that open relationships are common in the gay male community, because gay men may naturally tend towards open relationships in order to benefit psychologically from both relationships and from casual sexual activity. The results suggest that clinicians treating gay men need to avoid bias against casual sexual activity, as casual sexual activity can have psychological benefits for gay men.

Size Matters After All: Experimental Evidence that Sexually Explicit Material Consumption Influences Genital and Body Esteem in Men

Size Matters After All: Experimental Evidence that SEM Consumption Influences Genital and Body Esteem in Men. Kaylee Skoda, Cory L. Pedersen. SAGE Open, June 14, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244019857341

Abstract: Previous research has found that images depicted in the mainstream media have a negative influence on self-esteem, particularly among women. With the ease of accessibility and distribution of sexually explicit material (SEM) in recent years, due largely to the rise of the Internet, it has been postulated that consumers of SEM may experience reduced self-esteem in an effect similar to that found in research on exposure to mainstream media imagery. This experimental investigation explored whether exposure to SEM influenced self-esteem in consumers and whether this effect was comparable with that of exposure to mainstream media. Male and female participants were randomly assigned to no imagery, mainstream media imagery, or SEM imagery conditions and asked to report levels of overall global self-esteem, as well as levels of body-specific and genital-specific self-esteem. Mean scores were significantly lower for female participants relative to males overall, but exposure to SEM imagery revealed a significant negative effect on body-specific and genital-specific self-esteem among men only. Implications and limitations of these findings are discussed.

Keywords: sexually explicit material, pornography, media, self-esteem, body image, genitalia

Nonreligious and religious participants had similar levels of empathy and showed similar patterns of moral reactions to different moral violations involving both disgusting and nondisgusting contents

Rabelo, A. L. A., & Pilati, R. (2019). Are religious and nonreligious people different in terms of moral judgment and empathy? Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/rel0000277

Abstract: Benevolence, kindness, and empathy are valued virtues among many of the world’s major religions. It is common that people in many cultures see religion as the source of these moral virtues and that one must believe in God to be moral. Despite these widespread assumptions about the associations of religion with morality, some studies raise doubts about the causal connection between them. The main goal of the present study was to test whether religious participants differ from nonreligious ones in terms of how extreme their judgments about moral violations are, how empathic they are, and how disgusting they consider moral violations with disgusting content. It is also our purpose to describe moral judgment processes in an understudied cultural context that has a relevant indigenous characteristic associated with morality. Six hundred fifty-six participants read 6 moral scenarios describing moral violations involving disgusting or nondisgusting contents. They reported their moral reactions using a moral judgment and a moral disgust scale. Measures of empathy, religiosity, religious affiliation, and sociodemographic questions were included in the study. Nonreligious and religious participants had similar levels of empathy and showed similar patterns of moral reactions to different moral violations involving both disgusting and nondisgusting contents. Across 6 moral scenarios, both groups agreed on the most morally wrong and the most disgusting moral violations in similar magnitude. These results question the commonly assumed moral deficit in nonreligious people and support the idea that they can be like religious people when it comes to empathy and judging moral violations.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Parents perceived parenting more positively than did adolescents; divergence is higher for younger & male adolescents; in more individualistic societies (like the US); in ethnic minority families; etc.

Hou, Y., Benner, A. D., Kim, S. Y., Chen, S., Spitz, S., Shi, Y., & Beretvas, T. (2019). Discordance in parents’ and adolescents’ reports of parenting: A meta-analysis and qualitative review. American Psychologist, http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/amp0000463

Abstract: Parents and adolescents often provide discordant reports on parenting. Prior studies are inconsistent regarding the extent, predictors, and consequences of such discordance. The current study aimed to robustly estimate the extent, potential moderators, and consequences of discordance between parent- and adolescent-reported parenting by (a) meta-analyzing a large number of studies involving both parent- and adolescent-reported parenting (n = 313) and (b) qualitatively summarizing the main methods and findings in studies examining how parent−adolescent discordance in reports of parenting relates to adolescent outcomes (n = 36). The meta-analysis demonstrated a small yet statistically significant correlation between parent- and adolescent-reported parenting (r = .276; 95% confidence interval [CI: .262, .290]); parents perceived parenting more positively than did adolescents, with a small but statistically significant mean-level difference (g = .242; 95% CI [.188, .296]). The levels of parent−adolescent discordance were higher for younger (vs. older) and male (vs. female) adolescents; for nonclinical parents (vs. parents with internalizing symptoms); in more individualistic societies such as the United States; and in ethnic minority (vs. White), low (vs. high) socioeconomic status, and nonintact (vs. intact) families among U.S. samples. The qualitative review highlighted current methodological approaches, main findings, and limitations and strengths of each approach. Together, the two components of the current study have important implications for research and clinical practice, including areas of inquiry for future studies and how researchers and clinicians should handle informant discordance.

Political Learning from Newspapers: The contemporary effects of newspapers on representative-specific awareness are one-half to one-third estimates from earlier eras

Not Dead Yet: Political Learning from Newspapers in a Changing Media Landscape. Erik Peterson. Political Behavior, June 14 2019. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11109-019-09556-7

Abstract: Shrinking audiences and political coverage cutbacks threaten newspapers’ ability to inform the public about politics. Despite substantial theorizing and widespread concern, it remains unclear how much the public can learn from these struggling news sources. I link measures of the newspaper-produced information environment with large-scale surveys that capture the public’s awareness of their member of Congress. This shows the contemporary effects of newspapers on representative-specific awareness are one-half to one-third estimates from earlier eras. Despite this decline newspapers remain an important contributor to political awareness in a changing media landscape, even for those with limited political interest. These results establish broader scope conditions under which the public can learn from the media environment.

Keywords: Political communication Media and politics Media decline Political information

Despite popular beliefs that self-esteem plays a causal role in a wide range of both positive and negative social behaviors, research shows that it actually predicts very little beyond mood and some types of initiative

The "Self-Esteem" Enigma: A Critical Analysis. David A. Levy. North American Journal of Psychology 21(2):305-338. Jun 2019. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/332817129_The_Self-Esteem_Enigma_A_Critical_Analysis

Abstract: Despite popular beliefs that self-esteem plays a causal role in a wide range of both positive and negative social behaviors, research shows that it actually predicts very little beyond mood and some types of initiative. This is likely attributable to myriad conceptual and methodological problems that have plagued the literature. Consequently, this article utilizes specific critical thinking principles (metathoughts) to address five key questions: Why does there continue to be a lack of consensus in defining and understanding self-esteem? Given the heterogeneity of selfesteem, where do the distinctions lie? What are the most prominent problems with self-esteem research? Why does our obsession with selfesteem persist? What are the clinical implications for misunderstanding and misusing self-esteem? Metathoughts include: availability bias, confirmation bias, linguistic bias, naturalistic fallacy, nominal fallacy, emotional reasoning, correlation-causation conflation, reification error, assimilation bias, fundamental attribution error, belief perseverance, insight fallacy, and Barnum effect. Recommendations for improvement are discussed.

Cigarette Smoking and Personality Change Across Adulthood: Current smoking is related to detrimental personality change, but smoking cessation was mostly unrelated to personality change (you get no relief from cessation)

Cigarette Smoking and Personality Change Across Adulthood: Findings from Five Longitudinal Samples. Yannick Stephan et al. Journal of Research in Personality, June 14 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrp.2019.06.006

Highlights
•    Current smoking is related to detrimental personality change.
•    Smoking cessation was mostly unrelated to personality change.
•    Smoking is related to personality development across adulthood.

Abstract: Personality traits are related to cigarette smoking. However, little is known about the link between smoking and change in personality. Therefore, the present study examined whether current cigarette smoking and smoking cessation are associated with personality change across adulthood. Participants (n=15,572) aged from 20 to 92 years were drawn from five longitudinal cohorts with follow-ups that ranged from 4 to 20 years. Compared to non-smokers, current smokers were more likely to increase on neuroticism and to decline on extraversion, openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness over time. Compared to the persistent smokers, those who quit had a steeper decline in agreeableness. Cigarette smoking is related to detrimental personality changes across adulthood, and the pattern was not improved by smoking cessation.

Our findings suggest that the results of persistence studies, and of spatial regressions more generally, might be treated with some caution in the absence of reported Moran statistics and noise simulations

The Standard Errors of Persistence. Morgan Kelly. June 2019. DOI:
10.13140/RG.2.2.26903.21922

Abstract: A large literature on persistence finds that many modern outcomes strongly reflect characteristics of the same places in the distant past. However, alongside unusually high t statistics, these regressions display severe spatial auto-correlation in residuals, and the purpose of this paper is to examine whether these two properties might be connected. We start by running artificial regressions where both variables are spatial noise and find that, even for modest ranges of spatial correlation between points, t statistics become severely inflated leading to significance levels that are in error by several orders of magnitude. We analyse 27 persistence studies in leading journals and find that in most cases if we replace the main explanatory variable with spatial noise the fit of the regression commonly improves; and if we replace the dependent variable with spatial noise, the persistence variable can still explain it at high significance levels. We can predict in advance which persistence results might be the outcome of fitting spatial noise from the degree of spatial au-tocorrelation in their residuals measured by a standard Moran statistic. Our findings suggest that the results of persistence studies, and of spatial regressions more generally, might be treated with some caution in the absence of reported Moran statistics and noise simulations.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Moral opportunism: A unique genetic grounding associates lesser guilt from perpetrating injustice with greater sensitivity to being the victim of it

Moral opportunism: A unique genetic grounding associates lesser guilt from perpetrating injustice with greater sensitivity to being the victim of it. Nikolai Haahjem Eftedal, Thomas Haarklau Kleppestø, Nikolai Olavi Czajkowski, Jonas Kunst, Espen Røysamb, Olav Vassend, Eivind Ystrøm, Lotte Thomsen. Human Behavior and Evolution Society 31st annual meeting. Boston 2019. http://tiny.cc/aa1w6y

People vary in their general propensity to perceive and react to injustice. However, moral rules of justice may be gamed through selective endorsement depending on one’s own role as victim or perpetrator. Here, we demonstrate a unique genetic grounding for this latter strategy (as well as for injustice sensitivity in general). The Justice Sensitivity (JS) scale distinguishes between four sub-types of injustice sensitivity. A perceiver of an injustice can either be a victim, an observer, a beneficiary, or a perpetrator to this injustice, and sensitivity to these facets correlate robustly. We use a genetically informative sample of 544 monozygotic- and 736 dizygotic twin pairs to estimate the etiological sources of these associations, analyzing the underlying factor structure while separating the contributions of genetic- versus environmental influences. We find evidence for two substantially heritable latent traits influencing responses across the JS-facets: 1) a generalized injustice sensitivity factor leading to increased sensitivity to injustices of all categories, and 2) a moral opportunism factor causing increased victim sensitivity combined with a decreased propensity to feel guilt from being the perpetrator. This latter moral opportunism factor shares further genetic underpinnings with social dominance orientation.


We examine children’s responses to unequal resource allocations in the Inequity Game by varying the direction of inequity (advantageous vs disadvantageous inequity) and normative information (to be fair or to act autonomously)

Be fair: Do explicit norms promote fairness in children? Gorana T. Gonzalez, Katherine J. McAuliffe. Human Behavior and Evolution Society 31st annual meeting. Boston 2019. http://tiny.cc/aa1w6y

Abstract: Children have an early-emerging expectation that resources should be divided fairly amongst agents (e.g. Sommerville et al., 2013), yet their behavior does not begin to align with these expectations until later in development. This dissociation between knowledge and behavior (Blake, McAuliffe, & Warneken, 2014) raises important questions about the mechanisms that encourage children to behave how they know they should behave. Here we tested whether explicitly invoking fairness norms encourages costly fair decisions in 4- to 9-year-old-children. We examine children’s responses to unequal resource allocations in the Inequity Game (Blake & McAuliffe, 2011) by varying the direction of inequity (advantageous vs disadvantageous inequity) and normative information (to be fair or to act autonomously). Our results show children are more likely to reject advantageous allocation in the fairness norm condition than in the autonomous choice condition, but we do not see this difference when children are presented with disadvantageous allocations. This study showcases children’s costly fairness norm enforcement as a flexible process, one that can be brought in and out of alignment with their knowledge of fairness by shining a spotlight on how one ought to behave.

Long-term mating strategies are associated with greater religiosity; since exposure to religious stimuli down-regulate traits associated with short-term mating strategies, we predicted less provocativeness of dress in women

Religion causes decreases in women’s provocativeness of dress. Liana S. E. Hone, Michael E. McCullough. Human Behavior and Evolution Society 31st annual meeting. Boston 2019. http://tiny.cc/aa1w6y

Abstract: Long-term mating strategies are associated with greater religiosity and studies demonstrate that exposure to religious stimuli down-regulate traits associated with short-term mating strategies in men. Based on tentative evidence that women might also occasionally pursue short-term mating strategies, we evaluated the effects of religiosity on a trait associated with women’s mating strategies: Provocativeness of dress (POD). We predicted that women’s baseline religiosity would be negatively correlated with their POD (measured via skin exposure) on the premise that POD is typically associated with women’s short-term mating strategies. We also predicted that women who completed a religious writing task would illustrate less skin exposure than their peers when asked what they would wear to a hypothetical social gathering with attractive members of the opposite sex in attendance. In a sample of 817 participants, women who classified themselves as highly religious exposed less skin in their day-today lives. Likewise, women who completed a religious writing task illustrated less skin exposure than did their peers. A significant religiosity by writing task condition assignment interaction indicated that the religious writing task was more effective in reducing skin exposure for highly religious participants than it was for less religious participants.

Facial aging trajectories: A common shape pattern in male and female faces is disrupted after menopause

Facial aging trajectories: A common shape pattern in male and female faces is disrupted after menopause. Sonja Windhager et al. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, June 12 2019. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.23878

Abstract
Objectives: Despite variation in lifestyle and environment, first signs of human facial aging show between the ages of 20–30 years. It is a cumulative process of changes in the skin, soft tissue, and skeleton of the face. As quantifications of facial aging in living humans are still scarce, we set out to study age‐related changes in three‐dimensional facial shape using geometric morphometrics.

Materials and methods: We collected surface scans of 88 human faces (aged 26–90 years) from the coastal town Split (Croatia) and neighboring islands. Based on a geometric morphometric analysis of 585 measurement points (landmarks and semilandmarks), we modeled sex‐specific trajectories of average facial aging.

Results: Age‐related facial shape change was similar in both sexes until around age 50, at which time the female aging trajectory turned sharply. The overall magnitude of facial shape change (aging rate) was higher in women than men, especially in early postmenopause. Aging was generally associated with a flatter face, sagged soft tissue (“broken” jawline), deeper nasolabial folds, smaller visible areas of the eyes, thinner lips, and longer nose and ears. In postmenopausal women, facial aging was best predicted by the years since last menstruation and mainly attributable to bone resorption in the mandible.

Discussion: With high spatial and temporal resolution, we were able to extract a shared facial aging pattern in women and men, and its divergence after menopause. This fully quantitative three‐dimensional analysis of human facial aging may not only find applications in forensic and ancient human facial reconstructions, but shall include lifestyle and endocrinological measures, and also reach out to studies of social perception.

[Full text and charts at the link above]

1 INTRODUCTION

Throughout life, facial shape changes systematically due to growth, maturation, and senescence. What we see on the surface is the joint effect of aging and other processes in several tissue layers. Despite variation in lifestyle and environment, the first signs of facial aging become apparent between the ages of 20 and 30 (Albert, Ricanek Jr., & Patterson, 2007; Windhager & Schaefer, 2016). Facial aging results from cumulative age‐related changes in the skin, soft tissue, and skeleton of the face (Mendelson & Wong, 2012). Its manifestations reflect the combined effects of gravity, facial volume loss, progressive bone resorption, decreased tissue elasticity, and redistribution of fat (Coleman & Grover, 2006). In this article, we focus on age‐related changes in facial shape, leaving aside changes that occur in facial texture, color, and amount of facial hair. Quantifying aging patterns is not only crucial in the fields of facial reconstruction and aesthetic rejuvenation, but is also important in studies of facial recognition as well as interpersonal perception and stereotyping.

In the centennial anniversary issue of this journal, Bogin, Varea, Hermanussen, and Scheffler (2018) have just updated the Bogin classification system of human life history stages. In our study, we focus on those stages underrepresented in the physical anthropological literature (Ice, 2003): gradual decline (35–50 years), transition/degeneration age (>50 years to senescence), and senescence/old age, which shows variable onset and progression as a function of prior levels of somatic and cognitive reserves. Also, Kirkwood (2017) stresses the variability of aging, caused by “a process of progressive accumulation of defects that stem ultimately from random damage” (p. 1070). Despite individual variation in onset and progression, human facial aging shows a common pattern of morphological, histological, and dermatological changes, as addressed in numerous biomedical studies (Figure 1). Bone tissues along the orbital rim, especially superomedially and inferolaterally, have been shown to recede with increasing age, while the central orbital parts remain relatively stable throughout life (Kahn & Shaw Jr., 2008). This contributes to a more prominent medial fat pad, elevated medial brows, and the typical lengthening of the lid‐cheek junction in older age (Mendelson & Wong, 2012). Retrusion of the bony midface and the maxilla in adds to building and deepening the nasolabial folds and to increasing facial flatness (Pessa et al., 1998; Shaw Jr. & Kahn, 2007). The lengthening of the nose results from an enlargement of the piriform aperture as the bony edges recede, especially in the ascending process of the maxilla. Together with reduced soft‐tissue laxity, this also leads to a drooping nose tip (Rohrich, Hollier Jr., Janis, & Kim, 2004; Shaw Jr. & Kahn, 2007). Moreover, the height and length of the mandible decrease in older ages, whereas the mandibular angle increases (Shaw Jr. et al., 2010). Mendelson and Wong (2012), however, noted that these standard linear measures fail to identify in‐between areas of reduced facial projection, such as the mandible's prejowl region, which becomes more concave with increasing age (Pessa, Slice, Hanz, Broadbent Jr., & Rohrich, 2008; Romo, Yalamanchili, & Sclafani, 2005; Zimbler, Kokoska, & Thomas, 2001).



Example facial surface scan with aging‐related features labeled. They are the combined result of skeletal and soft‐tissue alterations and robust age markers in both sexes. Lines and wrinkles are signs of aging too, yet their locations across individual faces are more variable, so that they average out in studies of age‐specific average shapes like ours. Also, they are more susceptible to lifestyle and environmental influences. The 3D model of the example face is publicly available from Artec 3D (https://www.artec3d.com/de/3d‐models/gesichtsscan)

Collagen fibers are responsible for the resilience and main mass of the dermis. Males have more collagen than females throughout adult life (Shuster, Black, & McVitie, 1975). With increasing age, the amount, quality, and type of collagen change (Galea & Brincat, 2000; Shuster et al., 1975). In both sexes, total skin collagen and skin thickness decrease. Yet, especially after menopause, collagen becomes reduced both in the skin and bone of female faces. Experimental estrogen administration increases skin thickness (as summarized by Brincat, Baron, & Galea, 2005), but mice models indicate that also androgen contributes to the thicker male skin (Markova et al., 2004).
The amount and distribution of subcutaneous fat further contribute to the observable facial shape. This fat is thicker (especially in the medial cheek) and more unevenly distributed in the female than in the male face (Keaney, 2016). With increasing age, however, soft tissue thickness decreases, especially between 20 and 60 years (Wysong, Joseph, Kim, Tang, & Gladstone, 2013). Midfacial ptosis is further enhanced by muscle loss and progressive muscle shortening and straightening (Buchanan & Wulc, 2015). Donofrio (2000) ascribed the physical appearance of tissue sagging to either too little or too much fat (hence the term “sagging paradox”): fat is stored diffusely in young faces, but older faces pocket fat in distinct areas. Such processes also account for ptosis of the brows and eyelid drooping, which already become apparent before age 30 (Zimbler et al., 2001).

Human lips also change throughout adulthood. Dryness increases with age and is higher on the lower lip than on the upper one (Lévêque & Goubanova, 2004). In a qualitative illustration of an aged face, Zimbler et al. (2001) described upper lip flattening and lengthening as well as a thinning and atrophy of the vermilion (red lip). Like the lips, the external ear is built solely from soft tissue. Total ear height increases with age mainly due to lobal height increase in both sexes (Asai, Yoshimura, Nago, & Yamada, 1996; Brucker, Patel, & Sullivan, 2003). Heathcote (1995) reported a lengthening of the ear by 0.22 mm per year in a cross‐sectional study of people aged 30–93 years.
Based on linear measurements of facial photographs of the same person at two ages, Pitanguy et al. (1998) derived a second‐order polynomial model to best fit the ptosis of the midfacial tissues in women with increasing age. Leta, Pamplona, Weber, Conci, and Pitanguy (2000) extended this approach toward lateral views, and both research teams further support most of the above‐described soft‐tissue patterns regarding eyes, lips, and ears in Brazilian patients of European descent. Schmidlin, Steyn, Houlton, and Briers (2018) obtained similar results in African faces and graphed their values in relation to the work of Sforza and colleagues in Italian faces. They confirmed the overall pattern, notwithstanding absolute thickness differences between the populations at a given age stage.
Despite some recent efforts to quantify age‐related shape features of the face beyond single regions (Chen et al., 2015; Mydlová, Dupej, Koudelová, & Velemínská, 2015), the evidence is still largely qualitative for faces of living humans. Combining the scarce quantitative studies is also hindered by the diverse ethnic backgrounds of the participants in these studies (Vashi, Buainain De Castro Maymone, & Kundu, 2016). Therefore, we set out to study age‐related facial shape changes in adults using a geometric morphometric approach. More specifically, we transferred—for the first time—the geometric morphometric toolkit of physical anthropology and its study of growth trajectories (Bulygina, Mitteroecker, & Aiello, 2006; Coquerelle et al., 2011; Mitteroecker, Gunz, Bernhard, Schaefer, & Bookstein, 2004) to human facial aging, including soft tissue. We study changes in appearance with chronological age in a genetically and environmentally homogeneous group from two Croatian islands and a near‐by coastal town, based on three‐dimensional facial surface scans. Local linear regressions allow for an unprecedentedly high temporal and spatial resolution.





These data suggest that, for capuchins, potential competitors (male & female) garner more attention than potential mates

A competitive drive? Same‐sex attentional preferences in capuchins. Elizabeth V. Lonsdorf, Lindsey M. Engelbert, Lauren H. Howard. American Journal of Primatology, June 12 2019. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajp.22998

Abstract: In primates, faces provide information about several characteristics of social significance, including age, physical health, and biological sex. However, despite a growing literature on face processing and visual attention in a number of primate species, preferences for same‐ or opposite‐sex faces have not yet been examined. In the current study, we explore the role of conspecific sex on visual attention in two groups of capuchin monkeys. Subjects were shown a series of image pairs on a Tobii Pro TX300 eye tracker, each depicting an unfamiliar male and an unfamiliar female face. Given the behavioral evidence of mate choice in both sexes, we hypothesized that capuchins would preferentially attend to images of unfamiliar conspecifics of the opposite sex. Our alternative hypothesis was that capuchins would preferentially attend to same‐sex individuals to assess potential competitors. Our results provide support for our alternative hypothesis. When comparing attention to each stimuli type across sexes, females spent significantly larger percentages of time than males looking at female photos, whereas males spent significantly larger percentages of time than females looking at male photos. Within each sex, females looked for significantly larger percentages of time to female versus male images. Males also looked for larger percentages of time to same‐sex images, though not significantly. To our knowledge, these data are the first to demonstrate significant sex‐biased attentional preferences in adult primates of any species, and suggest that, for capuchins, potential competitors garner more attention than potential mates. In addition, our findings have implications for studies of visual attention and face processing across the primate order, and suggest that researchers need to control for these demographic factors in their experimental designs.

HIGHLIGHTS
    Capuchins exhibit preferential attention to images of same‐sex faces.
    Female capuchins look significantly more at unfamiliar female images.
    Male capuchins look significantly more at unfamiliar male images.

Does political polarisation occur among those relying on social media as their primary politics news source? We found little evidence for this polarisation, lending credence to a rejection of social media’s “echo chamber” effect

Testing popular news discourse on the “echo chamber” effect: Does political polarisation occur among those relying on social media as their primary politics news source? An Nguyen, Hong Tien Vu. First Monday, Volume 24, Number 6 - 3 June 2019. https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v24i6.9632

Abstract: Since 2016, online social networks (OSNs), especially their “big data” algorithms, have been intensively blamed in popular news discourse for acting as echo chambers. These chambers entrap like-minded voters in closed ideological circles that cause serious damage to democratic processes. This study examines this “echo chamber” argument through the rather divisive case of EU politics among EU citizens. Based on an exploratory secondary analysis of the Eurobarometer 86.2 survey dataset, we investigate whether the reliance on OSNs as a primary EU political news source can lead people to more polarisation in EU-related political beliefs and attitudes than a reliance on traditional media. We found little evidence for this polarisation, lending credence to a rejection of social media’s “echo chamber” effect.


Using a covert approach, women can often compete with rivals (undetected) through gossip & reputation derogation; men often risk retaliation for the possible status benefits - leading to a potential increase in reproductive success

Resource accessibility and intrasexual competition: Does a lack of direct access to resources drive covert strategies? Nicole Hudson, Jessica D. Ayers, Athena Aktipis. Human Behavior and Evolution Society 31st annual meeting. Boston 2019. http://tiny.cc/aa1w6y

Abstract: Males are thought to compete directly in same-sex competition while females are thought to compete more indirectly (Campbell, 1999). By using a covert approach, women can often compete with rivals (undetected) through gossip and reputation derogation. Men, however, often risk retaliation for the possible status benefits - leading to a potential increase in reproductive success. (Campbell, 1999). Research has yet to investigate if traditional sex differences in competitive strategies are influenced by whether resources can be acquired directly or indirectly. We hypothesized that individuals will endorse covert tactics when resources can be obtained indirectly and overt tactics when resources can be obtained directly. To assess this, participants read vignettes that described a summer internship with direct access or indirect access to one post-internship job and answered questions to assess competition strategies. When this opportunity was attainable indirectly through another individual, we predicted that both men and women would use more covert tactics. On the other hand, when the opportunity was directly attainable based on individual performance, we expected both men and women to use more overt tactics. Our results could have implications for the reduction of harmful workplace behaviors and misperceptions (i.e., men confusing women’s competition tactics for mating signals).

What are rules for? Fundamental motives of social rules: Rules on average were rated as being most relevant for affiliating with a group, followed by avoiding exclusion, achieving/maintaining status, and kin care

What are rules for? Fundamental motives of social rules. Jung Yul Kwon, Michael Barlev, Douglas T. Kenrick, Michael E.W. Varnum. Human Behavior and Evolution Society 31st annual meeting. Boston 2019. http://tiny.cc/aa1w6y

Abstract: What do people think social norms for? At the group level, mutually agreed upon rules or expectations of appropriate social behavior serve to solve coordination problems and maintain order in society. At the individual level, people may perceive norms to facilitate achieving desired outcomes in various life domains, which leads to increased probability of reproductive success. We examined how people construe social norms in terms of their relevance to fundamental social motives. In the first study, U.S. participants free-listed ten social rules they considered important, and then rated how relevant each rule was for achieving positive outcomes in the fundamental social motive domains. In subsequent studies, rather than generating their own rules, participants were given a well-known set of rules in society to rate. Across these studies, we consistently found that rules on average were rated as being most relevant for affiliating with a group, followed by avoiding exclusion, achieving/maintaining status, and kin care.

All of the meta-analyses do in fact point to the conclusion that, in the vast majority of settings, violent video games do increase aggressive behavior but that these effects are almost always quite small

Finding Common Ground in Meta-Analysis “Wars” on Violent Video Games. Maya B. Mathur, Tyler J. VanderWeele. Perspectives on Psychological Science, June 12, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691619850104

Abstract: Independent meta-analyses on the same topic can sometimes yield seemingly conflicting results. For example, prominent meta-analyses assessing the effects of violent video games on aggressive behavior have reached apparently different conclusions, provoking ongoing debate. We suggest that such conflicts are sometimes partly an artifact of reporting practices for meta-analyses that focus only on the pooled point estimate and its statistical significance. Considering statistics that focus on the distributions of effect sizes and that adequately characterize effect heterogeneity can sometimes indicate reasonable consensus between “warring” meta-analyses. Using novel analyses, we show that this seems to be the case in the video-game literature. Despite seemingly conflicting results for the statistical significance of the pooled estimates in different meta-analyses of video-game studies, all of the meta-analyses do in fact point to the conclusion that, in the vast majority of settings, violent video games do increase aggressive behavior but that these effects are almost always quite small.

Keywords: meta-analysis, effect sizes, video games, aggression

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Behavioral Patterns in Smartphone Usage Predict Big Five Personality Traits

Stachl, Clemens, Quay Au, Ramona Schoedel, Daniel Buschek, Sarah Völkel, Tobias Schuwerk, Michelle Oldemeier, et al. 2019. “Behavioral Patterns in Smartphone Usage Predict Big Five Personality Traits.” PsyArXiv. June 12. doi:10.31234/osf.io/ks4vd

Abstract: The understanding, quantification and evaluation of individual differences in behavior, feelings and thoughts have always been central topics in psychological science. An enormous amount of previous work on individual differences in behavior is exclusively based on data from self-report questionnaires. To date, little is known about how individuals actually differ in their objectively quantifiable behaviors and how differences in these behaviors relate to big five personality traits. Technological advances in mobile computer and sensing technology have now created the possiblity to automatically record large amounts of data about humans' natural behavior. The collection and analysis of these records makes it possible to analyze and quantify behavioral differences at unprecedented scale and efficiency. In this study, we analyzed behavioral data obtained from 743 participants in 30 consecutive days of smartphone sensing (25,347,089 logging-events). We computed variables (15,692) about individual behavior from five semantic categories (communication & social behavior, music listening behavior, app usage behavior, mobility, and general day- & nighttime activity). Using a machine learning approach (random forest, elastic net), we show how these variables can be used to predict self-assessments of the big five personality traits at the factor and facet level. Our results reveal distinct behavioral patterns that proved to be differentially-predictive of big five personality traits. Overall, this paper shows how a combination of rich behavioral data obtained with smartphone sensing and the use of machine learning techniques can help to advance personality research and can inform both practitioners and researchers about the different behavioral patterns of personality.


Evidence that a specialized bluff detection mechanism exists, which is dissociable from cheater-detection and is only triggered by conditional costs deriving from a social agent

Do humans have cognitive adaptations for reasoning about threat? Evidence from the Wason selection task. Aaron Daniel Lenihan. Human Behavior and Evolution Society 31st annual meeting. Boston 2019. http://tiny.cc/aa1w6y

Abstract: Rational choice theory says people think about and respond to future costs and benefits using a single optimization algorithm. However, cost-benefit optimization is illsuited for situations where future costs and benefits are the conditional promises of other social agents. In these situations, one must not only weigh the promised costs and benefits, but also assess their sincerity. This task poses unique computational problems, requiring unique cognitive solutions. Interestingly, the problems and solutions are different depending on whether the conditional promise is a benefit (social exchange) or a cost (threat). Heeding conditionally promised benefits makes one vulnerable to cheating. This problem is solved by cognitive adaptations that detect cheaters. Heeding conditionally promised costs makes one vulnerable to bluffs. This problem should have selected for cognitive adaptations to detect bluffs. To test for the existence of a hypothesized bluff detection mechanism, I conducted an experiment using the Wason selection task to compare people’s ability to infer conditional rule violations for rules framed as threats with rules framed as social exchanges and natural hazards. Experimental results provide evidence that a specialized bluff detection mechanism exists, which is dissociable from cheater-detection and is only triggered by conditional costs deriving from a social agent.

Lonely hearts and angry minds: Online dating rejection increases male (but not female) hostility

Lonely hearts and angry minds: Online dating rejection increases male (but not female) hostility. Luca Andrighetto, Paolo Riva, Alessandro Gabbiadini. Aggressive Behavior, June 11 2019. https://doi.org/10.1002/ab.21852

Abstract: The present work explores the hostile tendencies elicited by romantic rejection in the increasingly common context of online dating. To empirically investigate this issue, we created an ad hoc online dating platform in which fictitious online dating partners romantically rejected heterosexual male and female participants. Results revealed that male—but not female—participants who were rejected by desired dating partners displayed increased hostility. This pattern of findings was consistent across different measures, which considered both aggressive tendencies against the rejecting partners and hostile attitudes against the opposite gender. Further, increased feelings of anger explained the relationship between online romantic rejection and increased male hostility.

Our work and its findings have both theoretical and methodological implications for the understanding of interpersonal processes in online interactions and the growing body of literature on online dating.

Many animal species demonstrate a capacity for basic prospection of immediate outcomes; humans can deliberately shape their environment & future capacities; prospection is resource intensive, error prone & entails costs to wellbeing

Prospection and natural selection. T Suddendorf, A Bulley, B Miloyan. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 24, December 2018, Pages 26-31. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cobeha.2018.01.019

Highlights
•    Prospection, or thinking about the future, has strong adaptive significance.
•    Many animal species demonstrate a capacity for basic prospection of immediate outcomes.
•    Complex prospection in humans can involve comparison of multiple and remote future possibilities.
•    Humans can deliberately shape their environment and their own future capacities.
•    Yet, prospection is resource intensive, error prone and entails costs to wellbeing.

Abstract: Prospection refers to thinking about the future, a capacity that has become the subject of increasing research in recent years. Here we first distinguish basic prospection, such as associative learning, from more complex prospection commonly observed in humans, such as episodic foresight, the ability to imagine diverse future situations and organize current actions accordingly. We review recent studies on complex prospection in various contexts, such as decision-making, planning, deliberate practice, information gathering, and social coordination. Prospection appears to play many important roles in human survival and reproduction. Foreseeing threats and opportunities before they arise, for instance, drives attempts at avoiding future harm and obtaining future benefits, and recognizing the future utility of a solution turns it into an innovation, motivating refinement and dissemination. Although we do not know about the original contexts in which complex prospection evolved, it is increasingly clear through research on the emergence of these capacities in childhood and on related disorders in various clinical conditions, that limitations in prospection can have profound functional consequences.

Social & Reproductive Success in the US: Results show that education & intelligence had negative relationships with number of children across birth cohorts during most or all of the 20th century; family income has only minor effects

Social and Reproductive Success in the United States: The Roles of Income, Education and Cognition. Gerhard Meisenberg. Mankind Quarterly, Volume 59, No. 3, Mar 2019. http://www.mankindquarterly.org/archive/issue/59-3/5

Abstract: Although the relationship between social dominance status and reproductive success is universally positive in those species in which the relationship has been studied, in human societies today the relationship is more often negative. The present study uses detailed information from the General Social Survey in the United States to address this apparent paradox. Results show that education and intelligence had negative relationships with number of children across birth cohorts during most or all of the 20th century. Family income has only minor effects, especially when marital fertility rather than total cohort fertility is considered. The results do not support sociobiological predictions that modern humans turn material resources into reproductive success. Religion, ideology and income are identified as factors that influence the relationship between intelligence and fertility. Results are discussed in the broader context of emerging knowledge in demographics and molecular genetics, especially with respect to the direction of biological and cultural evolution in the modern United States and in modern societies more generally.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Same-sex competitors’ attractiveness influenced women’s, but not men’s, attitudes concerning benevolent sexism & traditional family values; competitors’ income affected men’s attitudes towards wealth redistribution

Can mating market competition shift socio-political attitudes? An experimental test. Francesca Romana Luberti, Khandis R. Blake, Robert C. Brooks. Human Behavior and Evolution Society 31st annual meeting. Boston 2019. http://tiny.cc/aa1w6y

Abstract: Socio-political attitudes, such as preferring progressive or conservative social norms, markedly vary among individuals. Here we investigated whether these attitudes are influenced by the characteristics of the mating market one is engaged in. In two studies, we manipulated the attractiveness or income of same-sex competitors in an individual’s local mating market. In Study 1, a between-subjects design randomly allocated single participants (N = 151 women and 229 men) to experimental conditions where the same-sex peers in their local county were attractive, average-looking, or unattractive, or to a control group. In Study 2, a between-subjects design randomly allocated single participants (N = 173 women and 234 men) to experimental conditions where the same-sex peers in their local county had high incomes, average incomes, or low incomes, or again to a control group. Results showed that same-sex competitors’ attractiveness influenced women’s, but not men’s, attitudes concerning benevolent sexism and traditional family values. Same-sex competitors’ income affected both men’s attitudes towards wealth redistribution, and women’s attitudes towards traditional family values. We interpret these results in light of the costs and benefits of holding specific socio-political attitudes given the degree of romantic competition in the local mating market.

The evolution of innovation and economic complexity: Four-factor model of intelligence, adolescent fertility, population density, and atmospheric cold

The evolution of innovation and economic complexity. Severi Luoto. Human Behavior and Evolution Society 31st annual meeting. Boston 2019. http://tiny.cc/aa1w6y

Abstract: Evolution causes biological diversity through adaptation to environmental conditions. With a dataset comprising 122 nations, I explored ecological and demographic predictors of global variation in innovation and economic complexity. The results show that economic complexity is higher in countries with colder winters (r = .58, p < .00001), an effect mediated almost completely by intelligence. Economic complexity is constrained by population-level adolescent fertility rates (r = −.75, p < .00001), showing a tradeoff between early reproduction and investment into economic development and innovation. Population density is another demographic variable that significantly predicts global variation in economic complexity (r = .27, p < .003). A four-factor model of intelligence, adolescent fertility, population density, and atmospheric cold demands predicts 64% of global variation in economic complexity in 1995 and 72% of the variation in 2016. With the exception of adolescent fertility rate, these results remain robust even after controlling for per capita GDP, population size, and trade distance from Europe. This research sheds light on the ways in which evolutionary processes shape human adaptation to local environments. The results indicate that these adaptive processes occur both at the level of psychological traits (intelligence, innovative capacity) and realised behaviours, indexed by global variation in reproductive timing, innovation, and economic complexity.

Check also Response to Commentaries: Life History Genetics, Fluid Intelligence, and Extended Phenotypes. S Luoto. Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology, March 2019, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 112–115. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40750-018-0103-6

and An Updated Theoretical Framework for Human Sexual Selection: from Ecology, Genetics, and Life History to Extended Phenotypes. Severi Luoto. Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology, https://www.bipartisanalliance.com/2018/12/sexual-selection-typically-centers-on.html

Do humans reason about cultural group identities as if they were fixed? Participants must decide the group identity of a hypothetical child who is born to parents from one group, but raised by parents from a different group

Do humans reason about cultural group identities as if they were fixed? Cristina Moya, Richard McElreath, Joseph Henrich. Human Behavior and Evolution Society 31st annual meeting. Boston 2019. http://tiny.cc/aa1w6y

Abstract: In some societies people expect children will inherit social group identities from their birth parents, even in their absence. This belief in intergenerationally inherited and fixed identities is puzzling given the importance of socialization for membership in most cultural groups. We meta-analyse results from over 3000 decisions made by children and adults from different societies in switched-at-birth vignette studies. In these, participants must decide the group identity of a hypothetical child who is born to parents from one group, but raised by parents from a different group. We compare these to studies where people were asked about the species identities of animals in a similar scenario. We find that across development beliefs about species identity beliefs homogenize towards notions of identity being stable, whereas social identity beliefs diversify and tend to move towards beliefs that identities are not fixed at birth. This diversity of beliefs is patterned, with groups marked by status differences being associated with more fixed notions about identity. Importantly, phenotypic differences are not particularly likely to trigger essentialist inferences in children or adults. These patterns suggest that the cognitive mechanisms used for reasoning about human cultural groups are qualitatively different than those used for reasoning about species.




Scary and nasty beasts: Self‐reported fear and disgust of common phobic animals

Scary and nasty beasts: Self‐reported fear and disgust of common phobic animals. Jakub Polák et al. British Journal of Psychology, June 11 2019. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjop.12409

Abstract: Animal phobias are one of the most prevalent mental disorders. We analysed how fear and disgust, two emotions involved in their onset and maintenance, are elicited by common phobic animals. In an online survey, the subjects rated 25 animal images according to elicited fear and disgust. Additionally, they completed four psychometrics, the Fear Survey Schedule II (FSS), Disgust Scale – Revised (DS‐R), Snake Questionnaire (SNAQ), and Spider Questionnaire (SPQ). Based on a redundancy analysis, fear and disgust image ratings could be described by two axes, one reflecting a general negative perception of animals associated with higher FSS and DS‐R scores and the second one describing a specific aversion to snakes and spiders associated with higher SNAQ and SPQ scores. The animals can be separated into five distinct clusters: (1) non‐slimy invertebrates; (2) snakes; (3) mice, rats, and bats; (4) human endo‐ and exoparasites (intestinal helminths and louse); and (5) farm/pet animals. However, only snakes, spiders, and parasites evoke intense fear and disgust in the non‐clinical population. In conclusion, rating animal images according to fear and disgust can be an alternative and reliable method to standard scales. Moreover, tendencies to overgeneralize irrational fears onto other harmless species from the same category can be used for quick animal phobia detection.

Rolf Degen summarizing: Belief in the paranormal was not linked to any reasoning deficits and showed little relationship with personality

Personality, cognition, and morbidity in the understanding of paranormal belief. José M. Pérez Navarro, Xana Martínez Guerra. PsyCh Journal, June 11 2019. https://doi.org/10.1002/pchj.295

Abstract: A large number of theories about the development and maintenance of paranormal beliefs have been raised in the literature. There is, however, a lack of studies designed to integrate the different perspectives. We reviewed the literature and explored a series of factors in a sample of 180 individuals. Seven variables showed significant correlation indices at α = .01. A regression analysis revealed subjective paranormal experience as the variable that contributed the most to the explanation of paranormal belief, z = .43, 95% confidence interval (CI) [.24, .56]. Need for achievement (z = .31, 95% CI [.11, to .46]), conditional reasoning (z = .10, 95% CI [.09, .28]), and schizotypy (z = .29, 95% CI [.09, .45]) also contributed significantly in the equation. The associations found between the subscales of the Needs Questionnaire and belief in the paranormal support the hipothesis that paranormal belief may serve basic psychological needs. Similarly, the association found in the case of schizotypy suggests that paranormal belief might be held within the context of psychopathology. There was no evidence, however, supporting the hypothesis of a reasoning deficit in believers. It was concluded that, once paranormal beliefs develop, there is an interaction between belief and experience that strongly contributes towards its maintenance.

Wild chimpanzees deprived a leopard of its kill: Implications for the origin of hominin confrontational scavenging

Wild chimpanzees deprived a leopard of its kill: Implications for the origin of hominin confrontational scavenging. Michio Nakamura et al. Journal of Human Evolution, Volume 131, June 2019, Pages 129-138. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2019.03.011

Abstract: This study reports the first observed case of wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) obtaining animal prey freshly killed by a sympatric leopard (Panthera pardus) and scavenging it with the leopard still nearby. This observation has important implications for the emergence of confrontational scavenging, which may have played a significant role in human evolution. Many scholars agree that eating meat became important during human evolution, and hominins first obtained meat by scavenging. However, it is debatable whether scavenging behavior was “passive” or “confrontational (power).” The latter is more dangerous, as it requires facing the original predator, and it is thus considered to have been important for the evolution of several human traits, including cooperation and language. Chimpanzees do scavenge meat, although rarely, but no previous evidence of confrontational scavenging has hitherto emerged. Thus, it was assumed that they are averse to confrontation with even leopard-sized predators. However, in the observed case the chimpanzees frequently emitted waa barks, which indicated that they were aware of the leopard's presence but they nevertheless continued to eat the scavenged meat. In addition, we compiled and reviewed 49 cases of chimpanzee encounters with animal carcasses in the Mahale Mountains of Tanzania in 1980–2017. Chimpanzees scavenged meat in 36.7% of these cases, and tended to eat the meat when it was fresh or if the animal species was usually hunted by chimpanzees. However, no evidence indicated that carcasses were avoided when leopard involvement was likely. These results suggest that chimpanzee-sized hominins could potentially confront and deprive leopard-size carnivores of meat.

Infidelity and Its Associated Factors: A Systematic Review

Haseli A, Shariati M, Nazari AM, et al. Infidelity and Its Associated Factors: A Systematic Review. J Sex Med 2019, June 10 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsxm.2019.04.011

Abstract
Background: Infidelity can be facilitated and/or inhibited as a result of interrelations among multilevel contexts. Despite the existence of numerous studies about infidelity, there is no developmental model that considers multilevel contexts of factors associated with infidelity.

Aim: To review published articles addressing factors associated with infidelity and to apply the ecological model to these factors.

Methods: A systematic review of the literature was conducted using the PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and PsychoInfo. Literature search was restricted to articles published in English up to June 2018. All quantitative and full-text studies that addressed associated factors with infidelity were included. This study was conducted following PRISMA guidelines.

Main Outcome Measures: This article reports a review of the literature on the factors associated with infidelity based on the ecological model.

Results: We retrieved 5,159 titles, of which 82 were qualified after the qualitative synthesis. The Ecological Couples Systems Diagram (ECSD) is proposed as a developmental model similar to Bronfenbrenner’s Bioecological Systems Model. There was an inconsistency between variables of microsystem and infidelity engagement. However, the results of some studies indicated the impact of demographic factors, personality traits, and sexual information on infidelity, considering partner characteristics. Variables belonging to a mesosystem had a more stable association with infidelity than those from other systems. In addition, the review reveals the complexity of infidelity, associated with following factors: 68.3% (n = 56) of the studies were based on microsystem variables, 48.8% (n = 40) used mesosystem variables, 19.5% (n = 16) used exosystem variables, 26.8% (n = 22) used macrosystem variables, 6.1% (n = 5) used chronosystem variables, and 50% (n = 41) included variables from 2 or more levels.

Clinical Implications: The ECSD can be used not only for assessing couple compatibility in premarital counseling, but also for consulting couples who want to have a long-term romantic relationship. As a potential clinical application, therapists can use the ECSD to assess unfaithful clients and their partners, improving the quality of counseling.

Strengths & Limitations: This study reveals different environmental layers of various variables related to infidelity. Determining the effect size of variables associated with infidelity was not possible due to the heterogeneity of infidelity assessment tools and test analysis.

Conclusion: Apparently, incompatibility of interpersonal characteristics is more likely associated with infidelity than incompatibility of intrapersonal characteristics. It is important to consider couple compatibility before starting an exclusive relationship, such as marriage, for individuals who intend to maintain a long-term exclusive romantic relationship.

To replace all UK-based vehicles today with electric vehicles would take near 2 times the total annual world cobalt production, nearly the world's neodymium, 3/4 the world’s lithium & at least 1/2 the world’s copper in 2018

Leading scientists set out resource challenge of meeting net zero emissions in the UK by 2050. National History Museum, Jun 5 2019. https://www.nhm.ac.uk/press-office/press-releases/leading-scientists-set-out-resource-challenge-of-meeting-net-zer.html

The metal resource needed to make all cars and vans electric by 2050 and all sales to be purely battery electric by 2035. To replace all UK-based vehicles today with electric vehicles (not including the LGV and HGV fleets), assuming they use the most resource-frugal next-generation NMC 811 batteries, would take 207,900 tonnes cobalt, 264,600 tonnes of lithium carbonate (LCE), at least 7,200 tonnes of neodymium and dysprosium, in addition to 2,362,500 tonnes copper. This represents, just under two times the total annual world cobalt production, nearly the entire world production of neodymium, three quarters the world’s lithium production and at least half of the world’s copper production during 2018. Even ensuring the annual supply of electric vehicles only, from 2035 as pledged, will require the UK to annually import the equivalent of the entire annual cobalt needs of European industry.

The worldwide impact: If this analysis is extrapolated to the currently projected estimate of two billion cars worldwide, based on 2018 figures, annual production would have to increase for neodymium and dysprosium by 70%, copper output would need to more than double and cobalt output would need to increase at least three and a half times for the entire period from now until 2050 to satisfy the demand.

Energy cost of metal production: This choice of vehicle comes with an energy cost too.  Energy costs for cobalt production are estimated at 7000-8000 kWh for every tonne of metal produced and for copper 9000 kWh/t.  The rare-earth energy costs are at least 3350 kWh/t, so for the target of all 31.5 million cars that requires 22.5 TWh of power to produce the new metals for the UK fleet, amounting to 6% of the UK’s current annual electrical usage.  Extrapolated to 2 billion cars worldwide, the energy demand for extracting and processing the metals is almost 4 times the total annual UK electrical output

Energy cost of charging electric cars: There are serious implications for the electrical power generation in the UK needed to recharge these vehicles. Using figures published for current EVs (Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe), driving 252.5 billion miles uses at least 63 TWh of power. This will demand a 20% increase in UK generated electricity.

Challenges of using ‘green energy’ to power electric cars: If wind farms are chosen to generate the power for the projected two billion cars at UK average usage, this requires the equivalent of a further years’ worth of total global copper supply and 10 years’ worth of global neodymium and dysprosium production to build the windfarms.

Solar power is also problematic – it is also resource hungry; all the photovoltaic systems currently on the market are reliant on one or more raw materials classed as “critical” or “near critical” by the EU and/ or US Department of Energy (high purity silicon, indium, tellurium, gallium) because of their natural scarcity or their recovery as minor-by-products of other commodities. With a capacity factor of only ~10%, the UK would require ~72GW of photovoltaic input to fuel the EV fleet; over five times the current installed capacity. If CdTe-type photovoltaic power is used, that would consume over thirty years of current annual tellurium supply.

Both these wind turbine and solar generation options for the added electrical power generation capacity have substantial demands for steel, aluminium, cement and glass.

It’s time to talk about sexual incompatibility and possible solutions, like opening things up: Consensual non-monogamy works for many people by allowing them to maintain wonderful, close relationships


It’s time to talk about sexual incompatibility. Posted by Stylist Team for People. Stylist, Jun 10 2019. https://www.stylist.co.uk/people/sexual-incompatibility-relationship-taboo-advice/271732

Excerpts:

But often, incompatibility comes down to a contrast in sexual tastes and appetites – most notably, a mismatch in libidos. Data from Natsal, the British National Surveys of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (one of the broadest and most detailed scientific studies of its kind worldwide) indicates one in four UK couples are imbalanced in their desire for sex.

“It’s common, but it can be devastatingly destructive,” observes psychosexual therapist Aoife Drury. “If the higher-libido individual pushes for sex, the partner with the lower drive can feel anxious or angry, thus losing desire further. The higher-libido individual may then stop initiating sex for fear of rejection or being seen to nag. Intimacy grinds to a halt, creating feelings of resentment or disconnect.”

A survey by dating site eHarmony found that 20% of Brits feel they’re somehow sexually incompatible with their partners. Problems cited include one person being more focused on the physical rather than emotional side of sex and differences in degrees of erotic adventurousness or allure towards a fetish. Yet there are two commonalities running through virtually all incidences.

“Firstly, people expect sex to be unrealistically harmonised in a way nothing else in relationships, or life, is,” says Kate Moyle, resident therapist on BBC Three’s new counselling series Sex On The Couch. “And secondly, perhaps because Brits find sex excruciating to talk about, they may write issues off as inherent, unfixable incompatibility and move on, rather than attempt to address them in any real, practical manner.”

Graham believes this second factor is key. “Natsal’s report showed the strongest predictor of sexual problems, short and long-term, to be a lack of effective communication,” she adds. Learning to communicate and collaborate is the best thing anyone can do for their love life.

But what does that actually look like? If you and your lover decide that trying to increase your sexual rapport is worth a shot, the following advice – while not comprehensive – is better than taking a clueless shot in the dark. Consider it a jumping-off point. It might give you hope that you don’t need to jump ship. Start by viewing sex as something most people work on, rather than something that should just work. “If we see incompatibility as inevitable, we can remove some of the shame and start to think creatively and constructively about it,” suggests Meg-John Barker, co-author of Enjoy Sex: How, When And If You Want To.

Acknowledge the awkward

Therapeutic exercises can feel excruciatingly contrived when you first attempt them. Many have a tree-huggy vibe that makes you cringe. “Recognising how silly and vulnerable you feel out loud helps break the tension, and laughing about it together is bonding,” says psychosexual therapist Sarah Berry. Studiously pretending that embarrassment doesn’t exist is a form of performance, when your real goal should be to share authentic, honest experiences.

Darrell, 31, was suffering from erectile dysfunction (along with 11.7 million other men in the UK, according to online medical service Zava), in his case caused by anxiety, so he and his partner Sheena, also 31, tried rebooting their strained sex life using the ‘sensate focus’ method.

“You start by touching each other while still fully clothed, avoiding erogenous zones, then gradually build up intensity over a series of weeks, to help you tune into sensations and emotions,” he explains. “We both felt like dicks, but by week four, my dick worked. Removing expectations I had to get it up helped, but so too did giggling at the ridiculousness. For months our bedroom had been the site of tearful rows.”

Make peace with the situation

Certain couples do find that they never erotically align, so some decide to draw a line under their relationship. “I grafted at sex for eight years with a man I loved but whose natural drive was far lower and plainer than mine,” says Kathryn, 32. “We both tried so hard, but I hit a stage where whatever I was learning by trying to meet him in the middle was outweighed by what I lost by leaving my satisfaction on the sidelines.”

Yet even if sexual incompatibility remains, ‘sadly stay’ or ‘go, gutted’ are not the only options. “I challenge that binary,” says Barker. “You might consider opening things up. Consensual non-monogamy works for many people by allowing them to maintain wonderful, close relationships while having their sexual needs met elsewhere.

But there are also many folks who simply decide sex isn’t important to them after all, especially over time. I undertook a study into ‘enduring love’ with Jacqui Gabb, professor of sociology and intimacy at The Open University, which found that many, if not most, long-term couples had sincerely happy relationships that didn’t feature much sex together.”

For some ‘incompatible’ pairings, concluding that sex isn’t the be-all and end-all is the key to a happy ending. But for others, taking sex seriously enough to wholeheartedly commit to discovering and nurturing the parts where their individual Venn diagrams of sexuality overlap – that’s what prevents it being over.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Evolutionary mismatch: A physical characteristic once tied to antisocial tendencies in ancestral environments is—in modern environments—not predictive of such behaviors

A Case of Evolutionary Mismatch? Why Facial Width-to-Height Ratio May Not Predict Behavioral Tendencies. Dawei Wang et al. Psychological Science, June 10, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797619849928

Abstract: This study contributes to the growing literature linking physical characteristics and behavioral tendencies by advancing the current debate on whether a person’s facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR) predicts a variety of antisocial tendencies. Specifically, our large-scale study avoided the social-desirability bias found in self-reports of behavioral tendencies by capturing survey data not only from more than 1,000 business executives but also from evaluators who reported knowing the focal individuals well. With this improved research design, and after conducting a variety of analyses, we found very little evidence of fWHR predicting antisocial tendencies. In light of prior research linking fWHR to social perceptions of evaluators, our results are suggestive of an evolutionary mismatch, whereby a physical characteristic once tied to antisocial tendencies in ancestral environments is—in modern environments—not predictive of such behaviors but instead predictive of biased perceptions.

Keywords: evolutionary psychology, facial features, physical appearance, social behavior

Pathogen sensitivity shapes preference for romantic and sexual partner health

Pathogen sensitivity shapes preference for romantic and sexual partner health. Marjorie L. Prokosch, James B. Moran, Damian R. Murray. Human Behavior and Evolution Society 31st annual meeting. Boston 2019. https://osf.io/4smp6/?view_only=dfc749b9130448748d0da6afe336e2c7

Abstract: Ecological contexts have long influenced romantic and sexual partner choice, such that specific partner traits may be especially valued in contexts where they help to mitigate or solve a salient adaptive problem. The current research examined how the adaptive problem posed by pathogens shapes people’s preference for health when selecting mates. We hypothesized that people who report high vulnerability (infectability, sickness history) and sensitivity to pathogens (germ aversion, disgust, current pathogen threat) would emphasize health when selecting potential romantic and sexual partners. Participants (N = 365) reported their standards and desire for 9 different partner traits (including health) when choosing a mate, followed by self-report measures of pathogen vulnerability and sensitivity. While results did not support the notion that vulnerability to infection is related to increased desire for healthy partners, they did reveal a positive relationship between pathogen sensitivity and partner health. Further, there was a main effect of pathogen sensitivity, such that highly sensitive people were exacting in their preferences for a variety of partner traits beyond health. Implications of these results will be discussed.

2016 Election: Continued positive associations between conservatism, negatively-biased credulity, and conspiracism despite changes to the power structure in conservatives’ favor

Samore, Theodore, Daniel M Fessler, Adam M Sparks, and Colin Holbrook. 2019. “Electoral Fortunes Reverse, Mindsets Do Not: Political Orientation, Credulity, and Conspiracy Mentality in the Trump Era.” Human Behavior and Evolution Society 31st annual meeting. Boston 2019. Version May 30, osf.io/v8n6g

Conservatives and liberals have previously been shown to differ in the propensity to view socially-transmitted information about hazards as more plausible than that concerning benefits. Given differences between conservatives and liberals in threat sensitivity and dangerous-world beliefs, correlations between political orientation and negatively-biased credulity may thus reflect endogenous mindsets. Alternatively, such results may owe to the political hierarchy at the time of previous research, as the tendency to see dark forces at work is thought to be greater among those who are out of political power. Adjudicating between these accounts can inform how societies respond to the challenge of alarmist disinformation campaigns. We exploit the consequences of the 2016 U.S. elections to test these competing explanations of differences in negatively-biased credulity and conspiracism as a function of political orientation. Two studies of Americans reveal continued positive associations between conservatism, negatively-biased credulity, and conspiracism despite changes to the power structure in conservatives’ favor.

We present chimpanzees with a realistic injury: a familiar human experimenter with a prosthetic wound & artificial running blood; they inspect others’ injuries & become aroused by seeing injuries even without observing behavioral cues

Spontaneous attention and psycho-physiological responses to others’ injury in chimpanzees. Yutaro Sato, Satoshi Hirata, Fumihiro Kano. Animal Cognition, June 10 2019. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10071-019-01276-z

Abstract: Previous studies have shown that humans experience negative emotions when seeing contextual cues of others’ pain, such as injury (i.e., empathic pain), even without observing behavioral expressions of distress. However, this phenomenon has not been examined in nonhuman primates. We tested six chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) to experimentally examine their reactions to others’ injury. First, we measured viewing responses using eye-tracking. Chimpanzees spontaneously attended to injured conspecifics more than non-injured conspecifics, but did not do so in a control condition in which images of injuries were scrambled while maintaining color information. Chimpanzees did not avoid viewing injuries at any point during stimulus presentation. Second, we used thermal imaging to investigate chimpanzees’ physiological responses to others’ injury. Previous studies reported that reduced nasal temperature is a characteristic of arousal, particularly arousal associated with negative valence. We presented chimpanzees with a realistic injury: a familiar human experimenter with a prosthetic wound and artificial running blood. Chimpanzees exhibited a greater nasal temperature reduction in response to injury compared with the control stimulus. Finally, chimpanzees were presented with a familiar experimenter who stabbed their (fake) thumb with a needle, with no running blood, a situation that may be more challenging in terms of understanding the cause of distress. Chimpanzees did not physiologically distinguish this condition from the control condition. These results suggest that chimpanzees inspect others’ injuries and become aroused by seeing injuries even without observing behavioral cues, but have difficulty doing so without explicit (or familiar) cues (i.e., open wound and blood).

Keywords: Pan troglodytes Injury Pain Attention Skin temperature Emotion

These results do not corroborate the assumption of a strong link between video gaming and body mass as respective associations are small and primarily observed among adults

Exploring the myth of the chubby gamer: A meta-analysis of studies on sedentary video gaming and body mass. Caroline Marker, Timo Gnambs, Markus Appel. Social Science & Medicine, June 9 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2019.05.030

Highlights
•    Higher video gaming was positively associated with higher body mass.
•    The association was small in size, rho = .09, 95% CI [0.03, 0.14].
•    A significant link was found for adults but not for children or for adolescents.
•    We identified a small indirect effect for physical activity as a mediator.

Abstract
Rationale: High body mass and obesity are frequently linked to the use of sedentary media, like television (TV) or non-active video games. Empirical evidence regarding video gaming, however, has been mixed, and theoretical considerations explaining a relationship between general screen time and body mass may not generalize to non-active video gaming.

Objective: The current meta-analysis had two main goals. First, we wanted to provide an estimate of the average effect size of the relationship between sedentary video gaming and body mass. In doing so we acknowledged several context variables to gauge the stability of the average effect. Second, to provide additional evidence on processes, we tested the displacement effect of physical activity by video gaming time with the help of a meta-analytic structural equation model (MASEM).

Method: Published and unpublished studies were identified through keyword searches in different databases and references in relevant reports were inspected for further studies. We present a random-effects, three-level meta-analysis based on 20 studies (total N = 38,097) with 32 effect sizes.

Results: The analyses revealed a small positive relationship between non-active video game use and body mass,..., 95% CI [0.03, 0.14], indicating that they shared less than 1% in variance. The studies showed significant heterogeneity, Q (31) = 593.03, p < .001, I2 = 95.13. Moderator analyses revealed that the relationship was more pronounced for adults, , 95% CI [0.04, 0.40], as compared to adolescents, , 95% CI [-0.21, 0.23], or children, ..., 95% CI [-0.07, 0.25]. MASEM found little evidence for a displacement of physical activity through time spent on video gaming.

Conclusion: These results do not corroborate the assumption of a strong link between video gaming and body mass as respective associations are small and primarily observed among adults.



Sunday, June 9, 2019

University research has required additional integration & transformation to become economically useful; no denying of contributions, but large corporate labs may have distinct capabilities which have proved to be difficult to replace

The changing structure of American innovation: Some cautionary remarks for economic growth. Ashish Arora, Sharon Belenzon, Andrea Patacconi, Jungkyu Suh. NBER Working Paper No. 25893, May 22, 2019. https://www.nber.org/chapters/c14259.pdf

Abstract: A defining feature of modern economic growth is the systematic application of science to advancetechnology. However, despite sustained progress in scientific knowledge, recent productivity growth in the U.S. has been disappointing. We review major changes in the American innovation ecosystem over the past century. The past three decades have been marked by a growing division of labor between universities focusing on research and large corporations focusing ondevelopment. Knowledge produced by universities is not often in a form that can be readily digested and turned into new goods and services. Small firms and university technology transfer offices cannot fully substitute for corporate research, which had integrated multiple disciplinesat the scale required to solve significant technical problems. Therefore, whereas the division ofinnovative labor may have raised the volume of science by universities, it has also slowed, at leastfor a period of time, the transformation of that knowledge into novel products and processes.

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In this chapter, we suggest that this division of innovative labor has not, perhaps, lived up to its promise. The translation of scientific knowledge generated in universities to productivity enhancing technical progress has proved to be more difficult to accomplish in practice than expected. Spinoffs, startups, and university licensing offices have not fully filled the gap left by the decline of the corporate lab. Corporate research has a number of characteristics that make it very valuable for science-based innovation and growth. Large corporations have access to significant resources, can more easily integrate multiple knowledge streams, and direct their research toward solving specific practical problems, which makes it more likely for them to produce commercial applications. University research has tended to be curiosity-driven rather than mission-focused. It has favored insight rather than solutions to specific problems, and partly as a consequence, university research has required additional integration and transformation to become economically useful. This is not to deny the important contributions that universities and small firms make to American innovation. Rather, our point is that large corporate labs may have distinct capabilities which have proved to be difficult to replace.

‘I see you sharing, thus I share with you’: indirect reciprocity in toddlers (18-24 mos.) but not infants (6 mos.)

‘I see you sharing, thus I share with you’: indirect reciprocity in toddlers but not infants. Elena Nava, Emanuela Croci & Chiara Turati. Palgrave Communications 5, Article number: 4 (2019). https://www.nature.com/articles/s41599-019-0268-z

Abstract: Human societies are organised around cooperative interactions, the origins and development of which have become a timely topic. In this study, we investigated the development of indirect reciprocity in 18–24-month-old toddlers, and infants aged 6 months, on a two-phase sharing task with non-familiar individuals. In the first phase, we observed whether infants and toddlers differentiated and manifested a preference toward an individual altruistically sharing or acting selfishly. In the second phase, infants and toddlers interacted with the same prosocial and antisocial individuals seen in the first phase, and we observed whether they were willing to share with one of the two. Indirect reciprocity was assessed as the match between the preferences for the prosocial individual in phase one, and the first-person sharing in the second phase. Evidence showed that toddlers, but not infants, indirectly reciprocated the prosocial individual, suggesting that understanding of such a complex behaviour as indirect reciprocity may require prolonged experience in order to emerge.



Human societies are organised around cooperative interactions, the origins and development of which have become a timely topic. In this study, we investigated the development of indirect reciprocity in 18–24-month-old toddlers, and infants aged 6 months, on a two-phase sharing task with non-familiar individuals. In the first phase, we observed whether infants and toddlers differentiated and manifested a preference toward an individual altruistically sharing or acting selfishly. In the second phase, infants and toddlers interacted with the same prosocial and antisocial individuals seen in the first phase, and we observed whether they were willing to share with one of the two. Indirect reciprocity was assessed as the match between the preferences for the prosocial individual in phase one, and the first-person sharing in the second phase. Evidence showed that toddlers, but not infants, indirectly reciprocated the prosocial individual, suggesting that understanding of such a complex behaviour as indirect reciprocity may require prolonged experience in order to emerge.

Can events be accurately described as historic at the time they are happening?

Predicting history. Joseph Risi, Amit Sharma, Rohan Shah, Matthew Connelly & Duncan J. Watts. Nature Human Behaviour (2019). June 3 2019. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41562-019-0620-8

Abstract: Can events be accurately described as historic at the time they are happening? Claims of this sort are in effect predictions about the evaluations of future historians; that is, that they will regard the events in question as significant. Here we provide empirical evidence in support of earlier philosophical arguments1 that such claims are likely to be spurious and that, conversely, many events that will one day be viewed as historic attract little attention at the time. We introduce a conceptual and methodological framework for applying machine learning prediction models to large corpora of digitized historical archives. We find that although such models can correctly identify some historically important documents, they tend to overpredict historical significance while also failing to identify many documents that will later be deemed important, where both types of error increase monotonically with the number of documents under consideration. On balance, we conclude that historical significance is extremely difficult to predict, consistent with other recent work on intrinsic limits to predictability in complex social systems2,3. However, the results also indicate the feasibility of developing ‘artificial archivists’ to identify potentially historic documents in very large digital corpora.

Individuals in committed relationahips with a high position engaged in all types of online sexual activity more frequently; perceived position and sense of power significantly predicted OSAs

The influence of power on online sexual activities among Chinese men and women in committed relationships. Guangju Wen, Lijun Zheng. Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 149, 15 October 2019, Pages 88-93. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2019.05.032

Highlights
•    Individuals with a high position engaged in all types of OSA more frequently.
•    Perceived position and sense of power significantly predicted OSA.
•    Attitude toward infidelity mediated the relationship between power and OSA.

Abstract: Power has been empirically demonstrated to influence infidelity. This study investigated the influence of power on online sexual activity (OSA), as a form of online infidelity, among Chinese men and women in committed relationships. We also explored the potential mediating effect of attitude toward infidelity on the relationship between power and OSA. We hypothesized that powerful individuals would engage in OSA more frequently than would less powerful individuals. Participants (N = 425) completed questionnaires assessing their OSA experience within the past 12 months, as well as their own sense of power and their attitude toward infidelity. The OSAs were categorized as viewing sexually explicit material, sexual partner seeking, cybersex, and flirting. Three aspects of power were measured: position, perceived power, and sense of power. The results showed that individuals with higher positions engaged in all types of OSA more frequently than did individuals with lower positions. Power, a latent variable comprising perceived power and sense of power, also significantly predicted OSA, while attitude toward infidelity played a mediating role in this relationship. The findings demonstrate a common mechanism underlying the effect of power on both offline and online infidelity.

Compared to the participants lower in dark traits, those with higher narcissism & boldness reported higher sexual motivation, sexual self-esteem & sexual assertiveness & lower negative emotions in sex

The Dark Triad and the quality of sexual life. Irena Pilch, Klaudia Smolorz. Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 149, 15 October 2019, Pages 78-82. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2019.05.041

Abstract: This study investigated sexual functioning with respect to differences in the Dark Triad traits in a large community sample (N = 1116). The participants completed an online survey examining dark traits (Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy domains: boldness, meanness and disinhibition) and measures of sexual functioning. The Dark Triad traits were positively associated with sexual preoccupation in both sexes. Compared to the participants lower in dark traits, those with higher narcissism and boldness reported higher sexual motivation, sexual self-esteem and sexual assertiveness and lower negative emotions in the sexual context, which can be interpreted as higher quality of their sexual experience. In turn, those higher in Machiavellianism and disinhibition reported higher sexual fear and anxiety; women additionally showed lower sexual self-esteem and/or sexual assertiveness. Boldness was the only dark trait positively related to sexual satisfaction, especially in men.

Women who faked orgasm in order to elevate their own sexual arousal had greater orgasm consistency; opposite for women who faked orgasm out of fear or insecurity

Motivations for faking orgasm and orgasm consistency among young adult women. Michael D. Barnett et al. Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 149, 15 October 2019, Pages 83-87. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2019.05.031

Abstract: Women fake orgasm for partner-focused reasons and self-focused reasons, the latter of which include elevating their own sexual arousal. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between motivations for faking orgasm and orgasm consistency within the sexual activities of receiving oral sex and sexual intercourse among young adult women (N = 998). For both receiving oral sex and sexual intercourse, women who faked orgasm in order to elevate their own sexual arousal had greater orgasm consistency, whereas women who faked orgasm out of fear or insecurity had lower orgasm consistency. Overall, the results suggest that self-focused motivations for faking orgasm – particularly elevating arousal – are more closely associated with orgasm consistency than partner-focused motivations for faking orgasm.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Boys with violent attitudes & behaviours are mostly preferred for hooking up, & boys with non-violent traits are mostly preferred for stable relationships

Girls’ perceptions of boys with violent attitudes and behaviours, and of sexual attraction. Lidia Puigvert, Loraine Gelsthorpe, Marta Soler-Gallart & Ramon Flecha. Palgrave Communications 5, Article number: 56 (2019). May 28 2019. https://doi.org/10.1057/s41599-019-0262-5

Abstract: Violence against women is a reality that is still present in Europe and a serious public health threat worldwide. Fortunately, investment is being made to raise awarness at the national and EU levels and among diverse publics. However, more research is needed in order to better explain its underlying factors, and thus identify effective actions that could contribute to preventing young girls and women from becoming victims. Drawing on a theoretical approach to the preventive socialization of gender violence, in this study we report data from the quasi-experimental research project ‘Free Teen Desire’ (Marie Sklodowska-Curie Grant, 2015–2016, No 659299). Through a survey conducted on 100 female adolescents (aged 13–16) in different European secondary schools (in England, Spain, Cyprus and Finland), we analysed their pattern of attraction for both ‘hooking up’ and stable relationships towards boys with either violent attitudes and behaviour or boys with non-violent behaviour, what would be linked to gender violence victimization at a later stage in their lives. Our findings suggest that in the different European secondary schools studied, a similar pattern of attraction is recognized by female participants: although non-violent boys are highly preferred to those with a violent profile, we observed that boys with violent attitudes and behaviours are mostly preferred for hooking up, and boys with non-violent traits are mostly preferred for stable relationships. In addition to the novelty of providing quantitative data on these links (non-violent/stable relationships; violent/hook-ups) in the case of adolescents, the findings regarding the pattern of attraction towards boys with violent traits for sporadic relationships are in line with previous extensive qualitative research. This body of research marks the existence of a coercive dominant discourse that associates attraction with violence and influences the socialization processes of many girls during their sexual-affective relationships’ awakening, which has been shown to constitute a risk factor for gender violence victimization.








Introduction

In 2013, the World Health Organization, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the South African Medical Research Council published a report on ‘Global and regional estimates of violence against women: prevalence and health effects of intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence’. The report constituted the first global systematic review and synthesis of scientific data on two forms of violence against women: violence by an intimate partner (intimate partner violence) and sexual violence by someone other than a partner. It reveals that 35% of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or intimate partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner at some point in their lives; almost a third of all women who have been in a relationship have experienced physical and/or sexual violence committed by their intimate partner. Beyond this, at the global level, 38% of all murders of women are committed by intimate partners, and women who have suffered physical or sexual abuse by their partners suffer from serious health problems at a later stage (WHO, 2014).

Although resources have been invested in programmes and campaigns by European institutions, and legislation has been passed in the EU in order to pressure member states to act upon the issue of gender violence, figures reveal that there has been little change in practice. In this regard, in 2014, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) published a report called the ‘Violence against women: an EU-wide survey’ (FRA, 2014). This report gathered data from the 28 European member states on experiences of physical, sexual and psychological violence, including intimate partner violence (domestic violence) and sexual harassment. The FRA declared that violence and abuse are affecting the lives of European women but that this situation is being systematically under-reported to the authorities. Data collected in the survey indicates that an estimated 13 million women in the EU had experienced physical violence in the course of 12 months before the survey interviews, and an estimated 3.7 million women in the EU had experienced sexual violence in the course of 12 months before the survey interview. Regarding minors, FRA figures revealed that one in three girls and young women had experienced physical and/or sexual violence by the age of 15 years old and that out of all women who had a (current or previous) partner, 22% had experienced physical and/or sexual violence committed by a partner since the age of 15. Regarding non-partner violence, one in five women had experienced physical violence committed by someone other than their partner since the age of 15.

As observed, violence against women is a reality that is still present in Europe and a serious public health threat worldwide, which fortunately is being addressed more and more with the aim of tackling its multiple manifestations, from the domestic sphere to the trafficking of human beings, considering its gendered dimension (Limoncelli, 2017). However, more research is needed in order to inform two central socio-legal debates related to the prevention and tackling of gender violence: on the one hand, how to unveil effective actions that prevent girls and young women from falling in the coercive dominant discourse that fosters attraction towards violence (Puigvert, 2014; Racionero-Plaza et al., 2018), and on the other hand, to contribute to sensitizing the penal systems in the EU to gender differences (Burman and Gelsthorpe, 2017; Gelsthorpe, 2017) while providing insights on how to advance legislation of consent and, specifically, on the affirmative ‘yes’ (Vidu and Tomás-Martínez, 2019). In this sense, an in-depth analysis of this complex problem should help us to better recognize which of the risk factors already identified in the literature are the ones which are more prominent in perpetuating the cycle of the violent victimization of youth.

A coercive dominant discourse: attraction to violence

Research on risk factors related to gender violence conducted from a preventive socialization approach has identified that there is a coercive dominant discourse in which people with violent attitudes and behaviours are socially portrayed as attractive and exciting. On the other hand, people and relationships with non-violent attitudes and behaviours are portrayed as less exciting (Gómez, 2015; Soler-Gallart, 2017). Accordingly, due to imbalanced power relationships between men and women, this coercive dominant discourse (e.g., through TV, teen magazines, social networks, popular media, among other things) influences many girls’ and women’s socialization into linking attractiveness to people with violent attitudes and behaviours.

Different qualitative investigations have analysed the impact of this coercive dominant discourse. In this regard, research on the ‘Impact of communicative acts and new masculinities’ (Soler-Gallart, 2008–2011) conducted with adolescents showed how some communicative acts (those acts that include not only speech acts but also other types of communication) reinforced hegemonic masculinities, which are the ones linked to dominant and violent attitudes and behaviours. However, other communicative acts, based on dialogic interactions, contribute to better recognizing new masculinities, which are represented by boys who reject violence while maintaining desirability. Oliver (2010–2012) directed a research project in order to deepen our understanding of what has been defined by Flecha and Puigvert as the ‘mirage of upward mobility’, the mistaken perception of some girls and young women who believe that having a sexual-affective relationship with boys/men who respond to the hegemonic model of masculinity (Connell, 2012) will lead to an increase in their status and attractiveness. Nonetheless, research has revealed that in these cases, instead of increasing the girls’ or young women’s status or attractiveness, it decreases those qualities (Tellado et al., 2014). In turn, girls who fall for the mirage of upward mobility more easily identify when other girls go through this mirage than when it affects themselves (Puigvert, 2015–2016).

The Free_Teens_Desire project (2015–2016), in which the present study is framed, also investigated to what extent dialogue situations based on a ‘language of desire’ instead of on a ‘language of ethics’ can question adolescent girls’ desires that link attractiveness to violent behaviours, gathering for the first time quantitative data on this link (Puigvert, 2015–2016). The language of ethics is often used to educate children in a non-sexist way, in both home and school contexts (Rios-González et al., 2018). Parents and teachers thus talk about what ‘is good’ or what ‘should be done’, using cognitive schemata to assess sexual-affective lives that are grounded in ethics. In the case that is under examination here, the employment of a ‘language of ethics’ when talking about men with violent behaviour and attitudes would imply that adults are saying something such as ‘that boy is not convenient for you’, ‘he is a bad boy’ or ‘he has inappropriate behaviour’. Dialogues using the language of ethics are sometimes seen by adolescents as boring, unattractive or ‘moralistic’. In contrast, a ‘language of desire’ predominates among adolescents’ dialogues; this language is also used by media, in social networks and in those contexts which adolescents consider attractive. The language of desire is not exerted within the realm of ethics, but within the realm of aesthetics, taking into account adolescents’ desires and likes; as a result, this triggers emotions and actions. The disassociation between both types of languages and the ‘language of desire’ missing from many gender violence campaigns prevents them from being effective. In not using the language which adolescents and the media tend to use, the campaigns do not challenge the dominant model of socialization and the association between violence and attraction that this imposes (Flecha and Puigvert, 2010).

Building upon the findings of research studies on the preventive socialization approach, three different masculinity models have been recognized and accordingly theorized (Flecha et al., 2013). These are considered as ideal types in a Weberian way, identified in order for us to be able to develop social theory. First, the Dominant Traditional Masculinities (DTM) is the model represented by those men who embrace the values of the patriarchal society and consider themselves to be the ones who ‘know about sex’, and they are sometimes linked with violent attitudes. Second, the Oppressed Traditional Masculinities (OTM), the model which, drawing from a perspective merely limited to the language of ethics, is represented by those men who hold egalitarian values but are considered ‘not sexy’. In this second model, the capacity to increase attraction and be desired has not yet been transformed, so they are not an alternative to gender violence, as they do not challenge the values embodied by the DTM. Radically opposed to OTM and DTM are the New Alternative Masculinities, a model situated within the realm of language of desire, represented by men who oppose violent attitudes and behaviours while also being considered sexy.

When is the risk taken? Hook-ups vs. stable relationships with men with violent attitudes and behaviours

Research in the field of psychology has also studied how, under certain conditions, aggressive men and those men considered more masculine are preferred to other men. Giebel and colleagues (2013) conducted a study in which they analysed whether appetitive aggression in men serves as an additional signal for a favoured partner choice. The authors defined appetitive aggression as ‘the intrinsic motivation to act violently even when not being threatened’ (p. 248). Testing participating women’s responses in relation to different descriptions regarding a soldier’s experience after returning from war, they observed that the preference for the ‘warrior’ was higher for women in their fertile window of the menstrual cycle and for short-term relationships. Accordingly, their findings reveal that women preferred a soldier higher in appetitive aggression as a short-term mate but not as a partner in a long-term relationship.

In another research study, Giebel et al. (2015) investigated personality traits and to what extent these traits predict the desire to choose a dominant partner. The authors observed that those individuals who declared wanting to avoid boredom and looked for exciting social activities have a stronger desire for a dominant partner. According to this study, those perceived as dominant are considered more interesting, attractive and appealing for people with higher boredom susceptibility. Additionally, people who like new and exciting social activities such as parties, social drinking and casual sex also prefer a dominant partner. In a similar vein to this investigation, Houser et al. (2015) observed that dating preferences were positively correlated with popularity, social preference and overt and relational aggression. Popular and overtly aggressive girls were seen as desirable dating partners by their male peers, and relational aggression was linked with dating popularity for both boys and girls.
On dating violence in adolescence and young adulthood

Participants in current debates on increasing rates of violence among young people agree that some specific types of experience, such as adolescents’ experience of violence during intimate partner relationships, including former or present long-term partners and dating violence (violence occurred in sporadic relationships or hook-ups), are a growing problem and an increasing concern (Erickson et al., 2010; Bramsen et al., 2012; Leen et al., 2013). Dating violence perpetration and victimization is of major relevance, especially considering the influence that it may have on future intimate partner violence and, as highlighted by Theobald and colleagues (2016), the burden of coping with violence from one generation to the next (p. 225).

Within the field of criminology, many researchers are advancing knowledge about the risk factors that may lead to dating violence. In this regard, Rebellon and Manasse (2004) investigated the association between delinquency and other risk-taking behaviours with dating behaviour among adolescents, showing that delinquency serves to increase romantic involvement. According to their results, risk-taking adolescents attract the romantic interest of others, and such attention may provide indirect reinforcement for delinquency among both male and female adolescents. In a different study about risk factors for first time sexual assault, Bramsen et al. revealed that the 6-month period following the 15th birthday is characterized by a high risk for initial sexual victimization by peers (Bramsen et al., 2012, p. 524). Authors identified two elements that predicted initial adolescent peer-on-peer sexual victimization (APSV): first, the number of sexual partners, and second, sexual risk behaviours that place girls in close association or proximity to potential offenders.

At the core of identifying these violent situations lies the idea suggested by some authors, that victimization and revictimization are either caused by an impaired ability to recognize potentially threatening situations (Bramsen et al., 2011; Messman-Moore and Brown, 2006) or are a function of how youths perceive common dating risk situations that may place them at risk not only of suffering dating violence but also a variety of other problematic behaviours (Helm et al., 2015). In this line, it has also been suggested that among those adolescents with high acceptance of dating aggression, peer aggression and delinquency significantly predicted recurrent aggression in a new relationship (Williams et al., 2008).

Research has also found that some adolescents tend to maintain violent dating relationships that become chronic, and some teens engage in multiple violent relationships in which the severity of violence increases from the first to subsequent relationships (Burke Draucker et al., 2012). There is evidence that intimate partner violence and violence in hook-ups is widespread among adolescents and young adults and leads to a life trajectory that includes violence, either as victims or perpetrators (Bramsen et al., 2011; Burke Draucker et al., 2012; Exner-Cortens et al. 2013; Lundgren and Amin, 2015). As mentioned above, peer influences and attitudes towards violence (e.g., acceptance of rape myths, tolerance of violence, and justification of using violence) appear to be the most extensively evidenced risk factors for dating violence perpetration (Bramsen et al., 2011; Tapp and Moore, 2016).

All in all, the present article draws, on the one hand, on classic works of feminist authors such as Mary Wollstonecraft (1972) who in the 18th century, advocated for the rights of women to receive the education needed to realize their full faculties and rights on equal footing with men. On the other hand, it draws on the large amount of current literature on associated risk factors for violence perpetration and victimization. This work adds to these bodies of literature by introducing quantitative data on the female adolescents’ pattern of attraction towards either boys with violent attitudes and behaviours or boys with non-violent traits, looking at the differences in such attraction patterns when the young women consider either hook-ups or stable relationships. Despite reporting data on both violent and non-violent boys, the analysis is mostly focused on the scenarios involving boys with violent behaviours, as these are the ones at the very centre of the coercive socialization that leads to the link between attraction and violence. Unveiling the mechanisms behind this coercive discourse and how it operates in a different way in hook-ups and in stable relationships will help to contribute to prevention strategies of gender violence as well as to untangle how violence acts as an underlying force within the current patriarchal system, perpetuating the coercive model of socialization.