Sunday, August 25, 2019

Gender differences in the behavioral and subjective effects of methamphetamine in healthy humans

Gender differences in the behavioral and subjective effects of methamphetamine in healthy humans. Leah M. Mayo et al. Psychopharmacology, August 2019, Volume 236, Issue 8, pp 2413–2423.

Rationale: Methamphetamine (MA) use is steadily increasing and thus constitutes a major public health concern. Women seem to be particularly vulnerable to developing MA use disorder, as they initiate use at a younger age and transition more quickly to problematic use. Initial drug responses may predict subsequent use, but little information exists on potential gender differences in the acute effects of MA prior to dependence.

Objective: We examined gender differences in the acute effects of MA on subjective mood and reward-related behavior in healthy, non-dependent humans.

Methods: Men (n = 44) and women (n = 29) completed 4 sessions in which they received placebo or MA under double-blind conditions twice each. During peak drug effect, participants completed the monetary incentive delay task to assess reaction times to cues signaling potential monetary losses or gains, in an effort to determine if MA would potentiate reward-motivated behavior. Cardiovascular and subjective drug effects were assessed throughout sessions.

Results: Overall, participants responded more quickly to cues predicting incentivized trials, particularly large-magnitude incentives, than to cues predicting no incentive. MA produced faster reaction times in women, but not in men. MA produced typical stimulant-like subjective and cardiovascular effects in all participants, but subjective ratings of vigor and (reduced) sedation were greater in women than in men.

Conclusions: Women appear to be more sensitive to the psychomotor-related behavioral and subjective effects of MA. These findings provide initial insight into gender differences in acute effects of MA that may contribute to gender differences in problematic MA use.

Keywords: Methamphetamine Monetary incentive delay Gender differences Sex differences Subjective effects Psychomotor activation

From 2018... If all acts of love and pleasure are Her rituals, what about BDSM? Feminist culture wars in contemporary Paganism

From 2018... If all acts of love and pleasure are Her rituals, what about BDSM? Feminist culture wars in contemporary Paganism. Michelle Mueller. Theology & Sexuality, Volume 24, 2018, Issue 1, Jun 20 2017,

Abstract: Since the 1970s, some religious practitioners of the contemporary Pagan movement (a.k.a. Neo-Paganism) have embraced spiritual BDSM, or “sacred kink,” as a spiritual discipline relating to their tradition. The “sex wars,” debates around pornography, prostitution, and sadomasochism, have appeared in the history of Wicca and contemporary Paganism. Pagan feminists have brought theological questions to the same debates. They have focused on the Wiccan Rede (“harm none”) and the affirmation of pleasure in Doreen Valiente’s Charge of the Goddess that states that, “All acts of pleasure are [the Goddess’s] rituals.” While support for BDSM has become the dominant public perspective in twenty-first century Paganism, the movement’s late twentieth-century history includes instances of anguish as individuals wrestled with their personal sexual desire and their feminist principles.

Keywords: Sadomasochism, Pagan, witchcraft, Wicca, BDSM, alternative sexuality

Appetite for destruction: Counterintuitive effects of attractive faces on people's food choices

Appetite for destruction: Counterintuitive effects of attractive faces on people's food choices. Tobias Otterbring. Psychology & Marketing, August 24 2019.

Abstract: Faces in general and attractive faces, in particular, are frequently used in marketing, advertising, and packaging design. However, few studies have examined the effects of attractive faces on people's choice behavior. The present research examines whether attractive (vs. unattractive) faces increase individuals’ inclination to choose either healthy or unhealthy foods. In contrast to the beliefs held by most marketing professors, but consistent with visceral state theories, exposure to attractive (vs. unattractive) opposite‐sex faces increased choice likelihood of unhealthy foods. This effect was moderated by self‐view‐relevant attributes and exerted a particularly powerful influence on individuals who were single (vs. in a relationship) and individuals rating themselves as unattractive (vs. attractive). Furthermore, the effect was mediated by arousal, was stronger for men than for women, but did not generalize after exposure to attractive (vs. unattractive) same‐sex faces. As pictorial exposure is sufficient for the effect to occur, these findings have important implications for marketing, advertising, and public health.

Those with tattoos, especially visible ones, are more short-sighted in time preferences & more impulsive than the non-tattooed; almost nothing mitigates these results

Tat will tell: Tattoos and time preferences. Bradley J. Ruffle, Anne E. Wilson. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, August 24 2019.

Abstract: Survey and experimental evidence documents discrimination against tattooed individuals in the labor market and in commercial transactions. Thus, individuals’ decision to get tattooed may reflect short-sighted time preferences. We show that, according to numerous measures, those with tattoos, especially visible ones, are more short-sighted and impulsive than the non-tattooed. Almost nothing mitigates these results, neither the motive for the tattoo, the time contemplated before getting tattooed nor the time elapsed since the last tattoo. Even the expressed intention to get a(nother) tattoo predicts increased short-sightedness and helps establish the direction of causality between tattoos and short-sightedness.

Keywords: Experimental economicsTattooTime preferencesImpulsivity

Lifespans are becoming more equal, with octogenarians & nonagenarians accounting for most deaths; extrapolation of the trend indicates that most children born this millennium will reach 100.

Vaupel, James W., Francisco Villavicencio, and Marie-Pier B. Boucher. 2019. “Demographic Perspectives on the Rise of Longevity.” SocArXiv. August 25. doi:10.31235/

Background: This article reviews findings about the rise of life expectancy, current levels of life expectancy in countries with high life expectancies, and possible future trends in life expectancy. Maximum lifespans and the equality of lifespans are also considered.
Methods: Demographic data on age-specific mortality are used to estimate life expectancy. Validated data on exceptional lifespans are used to study the maximum length of life. Findings of the most significant publications are critically summarized.
Results: In the countries doing best, life expectancy started to increase around 1840 at a pace of almost 2.5 years per decade. This trend has continued until the present. Contrary to classical evolutionary theories of senescence and contrary to the predictions of many experts, the frontier of survival is advancing to higher ages. Furthermore, lifespans are becoming more equal, with octogenarians and nonagenarians accounting for most deaths in countries with high life expectancy. Extrapolation of the trend indicates that most children born this millennium will celebrate their 100th birthdays. Considerable uncertainty, however, clouds forecasts of life expectancy and maximum lifespans: life expectancy and maximum lifespan might increase very little if at all or longevity might rise much faster than in the past.
Conclusions: Substantial progress has been made over the past three decades in deepening understanding of how long humans have lived and have long they might live. The social, economic, health, cultural and political consequences of further increases in longevity are so significant that the development of more powerful methods of forecasting is a priority.