Sunday, July 28, 2019

Association of Urban Green Space With Mental Health: Not all greenery is best, tree canopy works better

Association of Urban Green Space With Mental Health and General Health Among Adults in Australia. Thomas Astell-Burt, Xiaoqi Feng. JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2(7):e198209. July 26, 2019, doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.8209

Question  What type of green space is associated with better mental health?
Findings  In this cohort study of 46 786 adults older than 45 years, exposure to 30% or more tree canopy compared with 0% to 9% tree canopy was associated with 31% lower odds of incident psychological distress, whereas exposure to 30% or more grass was associated with 71% higher odds of prevalent psychological distress after adjusting for age, sex, income, economic status, couple status, and educational level. Similar results were found for self-rated fair to poor general health but not physician-diagnosed depression or anxiety.
Meaning  Investments specifically in tree canopy may provide more support for mental health.

Importance  Recent studies indicate that living near more green space may support mental and general health and may also prevent depression. However, most studies are cross-sectional, and few have considered whether some types of green space matter more for mental health.
Objective  To assess whether total green space or specific types of green space are associated with better mental health.
Design, Setting, and Participants  This cohort study included a residentially stable, city-dwelling sample of 46 786 participants from Sydney, Wollongong, and Newcastle, Australia, in the baseline of the Sax Institute’s 45 and Up Study (data collected from January 1, 2006, to December 31, 2009). Follow-up was conducted from January 1, 2012, to December 31, 2015. Analyses were conducted in January 2019.
Exposures  Percentage of total green space, tree canopy, grass, and other low-lying vegetation measured within 1.6-km (1-mile) road network distance buffers around residential addresses at baseline.
Main Outcomes and Measures  Three outcome variables were examined at baseline (prevalence) and follow-up (incidence without baseline affirmatives): (1) risk of psychological distress (10-item Kessler Psychological Distress Scale), (2) self-reported physician-diagnosed depression or anxiety, and (3) fair to poor self-rated general health.
Results  This study included 46 786 participants (mean [SD] age, 61.0 [10.2] years; 25 171 [53.8%] female). At baseline, 5.1% of 37 775 reported a high risk of psychological distress, 16.0% of 46 786 reported depression or anxiety, and 9.0% of 45 577 reported fair to poor self-rated health. An additional 3.3% of 32 991 experienced psychological distress incidence, 7.5% of 39 277 experienced depression or anxiety incidence, and 7.3% of 40 741 experienced fair to poor self-rated health incidence by follow-up (mean [SD] of 6.2 [1.62] years later). Odds ratios (ORs) adjusted for age, sex, income, economic status, couple status, and educational level indicated that exposures of 30% or more total green space (OR, 0.46; 95% CI, 0.29-0.69) and tree canopy specifically (OR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.54-0.88) were associated with lower incidence of psychological distress. Exposure to tree canopy of 30% or more, compared with 0% to 9%, was also associated with lower incidence of fair to poor general health (OR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.57-0.80). Exposure to grass of 30% or more, compared with 0% to 4%, was associated with higher odds of incident fair to poor general health (OR, 1.47; 95% CI, 1.12-1.91) and prevalent psychological distress (OR, 1.71; 95% CI, 1.25-2.28). Exposure to low-lying vegetation was not consistently associated with any outcome. No green space indicator was associated with prevalent or incident depression or anxiety.
Conclusions and Relevance  Protection and restoration of urban tree canopy specifically, rather than any urban greening, may be a good option for promotion of community mental health.

Check also The Nature-Disorder Paradox: A Perceptual Study on How Nature Is Disorderly Yet Aesthetically Preferred. By Hiroki Kotabe, Omid Kardan & Marc BermanJournal of Experimental Psychology: General,

Men’s mate value is an important factor affecting their tendency to engage in short-term mating: High mate-value men were more likely to adhere to a short-term pluralistic mating strategy

Do high mate-value males adopt a less restricted sociosexual orientation? A meta-analysis. Jessica E. Desrochers, Ashley Locke, Graham Albert, Ben Kelly, Steven Arnocky. Human Behavior and Evolution Society 31st annual meeting. Boston 2019.

Abstract: Due to sex differences in obligatory parental investment males, relative to females, have the potential to benefit more from short-term, pluralistic mating. Yet not all men enact such a mating strategy. Both Sexual Strategies Theory and Strategic Pluralism Theory together suggest that mate value is one important individual difference factor that should directly influence the adoption of longer-term versus shorter-term mating. It has previously been hypothesized that high mate value men should be most likely to adopt a short-term mating strategy. Yet evidence to support such a link has been mixed. We conducted a meta-analysis with all available data in order to obtain a better representation of the true nature of the relationship between self-perceived mate value and sociosexual orientation scores and to determine whether there may be a publication bias regarding this link. Although explained variance in SOI-R ranged as high as 39% in individual studies, a meta-analysis suggested that self-report mate value accounts for roughly 6% of the variance in men’s sociosexual orientation. Findings provide compelling evidence that men’s mate value is an important factor affecting their tendency to engage in short-term mating: High mate-value men were more likely to adhere to a short-term pluralistic mating strategy, as demonstrated by their higher SOIR scores.

Predicting Personality Traits From Physical Activity Intensity

Predicting Personality Traits From Physical Activity Intensity. IEEE Computer, vol 52, issue 7. Nan Gao et al.

Abstract: Call and messaging logs from mobile devices have successfully been used to predict personality traits. Yet accelerometer data have not been applied for this purpose. Here we used accelerometer data, along with data from call and messaging logs, to predict five key personality traits.

The orgasm gap and what sex-ed did not teach you

The orgasm gap and what sex-ed did not teach you. MENAFN, Monday, July 29 2019 01:24 GMT.

(MENAFN - The Conversation) There is a clear disparity between men and women when it comes to achieving orgasm; a phenomenon scientists call the orgasm gap.
Studying orgasms is no easy task. We work as psychology of sexual behaviour researchers in the lab ofDr. James Pfausat Concordia University and were interested to explore the'controversy'of clitoral versus vaginal orgasms.
We conducted a literature review on the current state of the evidence and different perspectives on how this phenomenon occurs in women. Particularly, the nature of a woman's orgasm has been a source of scientific, political and cultural debate for over a century. Althoughscience has an ideaof what orgasms are, we are still quite uncertain as to how they occur.
Orgasms areone of the few phenomena that occur as a result of a highly complex interaction of several physiological and psychological systems all at once. While there may be evolutionary reasons whymen aremore likely to orgasm during sex, we shouldn't doom ourselves to this idea. Indeed, part of the problem lies in what happens in the bedroom.
We all have different preferences when it comes to what we like in bed. But one commonality we share is that we know when we orgasm and when we do not. We don't always orgasm every time we have sex, and that can be just fine, because we may have sex for many different reasons. However, studies repeatedly show that women reach climax less often than men do during sexual encounters together.
For example, a national survey conducted in the United States showed thatwomen reported one orgasm for every three from men . Heterosexual males said they achieved orgasm usually or always during sexual intimacy, 95 per cent of the time.
The gap appears to become narrower among homosexual and bisexual people, where 89 per cent of gay males, 88 per cent bisexual males, 86 per cent lesbian women, and 66 per cent of bisexual women orgasm during sexual interactions.
When we take a closer look at what might explain the orgasm gap, we can see the type of relationship we have with our partner matters. If you are in an established committed relationship, thegap tends to close , but it widens during casual sex.
That is, women in a committed relationship report reaching an orgasm as often as 86 per cent of the time, whereas women in casual sex encounters report they orgasm only 39 per cent of the time. Furthermore, heterosexual women achieve orgasm easily and regularly through masturbation.
Likewise, the more knowledge about the female genitalia (especially about the clitoris) the partner has, the higher the likelihood is for women to orgasm more frequently. Finally, and most importantly, the respondents reported the most reliable practice to achieve an orgasm for women is oral sex.
We don't know why this gap occurs in casual sex versus sex in a committed relationship, but part of it might be how we communicate what we want sexually, what we expect sexually and attitudes toward sexual pleasure.

What sex-ed did not teach you
Formal education teaches us a vast amount of relevant topics in school, yet sexual education has been and is still a matter of (moral) debate. For many of us, sexual education covered reproductive biology and how not to get pregnant or contract sexually transmitted infections.
Sex-ed has been focusedon preventing kids from having sex. 'Always use condoms' was sometimes the most progressive sex-ed message. Education is now progressing into teaching what sex is about and how to engage in ethical and respectful sex, but that is still not the whole picture.How about pleasure or how to have fun and to explore what we like , how to communicate to our partners and many other crucial aspects of intimate life?
The key to the ultimate goal of enjoying ourselves is to know what you and your partner want and how to satisfy each other. Consequently, incomplete and biased sex education fails both men and women, omitting the fact sex is not only for reproduction but also for enjoyment.
Maybe the first thing we should learn about sex is that it is one of the favourite pastimes of adults. Preventing it from happening will only increase the likelihood of future generations engaging in it more, only with less knowledge about to how get the most out of it.

Some advice for sexual partners

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Friend or foe: How familiarity of the competition affects female intrasexual competition

Friend or foe: How familiarity of the competition affects female intrasexual competition. Ella R. Doss, Emily Sophia Olson, Carin Perilloux. Human Behavior and Evolution Society 31st annual meeting. Boston 2019.

Abstract: Evolutionary psychologists have studied female intrasexual competition, but there has been little research investigating specific contextual factors that affect women’s degree of intrasexual competitiveness. In the current study, female MTurk users (N = 203) between the ages of 18 and 25 read a vignette describing an upcoming party and chose an outfit they would potentially wear to it. Within the vignette, we manipulated the presence of a male crush, the familiarity of a female party companion (close friend or acquaintance), and the relative attractiveness of the companion and measured the sexiness and revealingness of clothing choices. We calculated overall revealingness and sexiness scores for each outfit by averaging ratings obtained from a separate sample (N = 100). As predicted, women told to imagine attending the party with a close friend chose the same degree of revealing clothing, regardless if their crush would be present at the party or not. However, women asked to imagine attending the party with an acquaintance chose significantly more revealing clothing if a crush was present than absent. These findings indicate that women’s intrasexual competition mechanisms are complex and appear to take into account both familiarity of rivals and presence of potential mates.

Taiwan, 1 mn siblings: Parental divorce occurring at ages 13-18 led to a 10.6 percent decrease in the likelihood of university admission; parental job loss occurring at the same ages have very little effect

Understanding the Mechanisms of Parental Divorce Effects on Child's Higher Education. Yen-Chien Chen, Elliott Fan, Jin-Tan Liu. NBER Working Paper No. 25886, May 2019.

Abstract: In this paper we evaluate the degree to which the adverse parental divorce effect on university education operates through deprivation of economic resources. Using one million siblings from Taiwan, we first find that parental divorce occurring at ages 13-18 led to a 10.6 percent decrease in the likelihood of university admission at age 18. We then use the same sample to estimate the effect of parental job loss occurring at the same ages, and use the job-loss effect as a benchmark to indicate the potential parental divorce effect due to family income loss. We find the job-loss effect very little. Combined, these results imply a minor role played by reduced income in driving the parental divorce effect on the child’s higher education outcome. Non-economic mechanisms, such as psychological and mental shocks, are more likely to dominate. Our further examinations show that boys and girls are equally susceptible, and younger teenagers are more vulnerable than the more mature ones, to parental divorce.