Thursday, March 5, 2020

Both women and men, after learning the worker’s gender, upwardly distorted & inflated their quantitative feedback and expressed more positive comments to women, but not men

Zayas, Vivian, and Lily Jampol. 2020. “Gendered White Lies: Women Are Given Inflated Performance Feedback Compared to Men.” PsyArXiv. March 5. doi:10.31234/osf.io/yq24b

Abstract: Are underperforming women given less truthful, but kinder performance feedback (“white lies”) compared to equally underperforming men? We test this hypothesis by using a “benchmark” of truthful (objective) evaluation of performance and then either manipulate (Study 1) or measure (Study 2) the extent to which the feedback given to women is upwardly distorted. In Study 1, participants were asked to guess the gender of an underperforming employee who had been given more or less truthful feedback. Participants overwhelmingly assumed that employees who had been told “white lies” were women. In Study 2, in a naturalistic feedback paradigm, participants first provided a quantitative evaluation of work in the absence of any gender information. After learning the worker’s gender, participants upwardly distorted their quantitative feedback and expressed more positive comments to women, but not men. The findings suggest that women may not receive the same quality of feedback as men.

Dramatic depictions of torture increase public support for the practice; the majority of popular films—including films aimed toward children—have at least one torture scene

Wait, There’s Torture in Zootopia? Examining the Prevalence of Torture in Popular Movies. Casey Delehanty and Erin M. Kearns. Perspectives on Politics, March 3 2020. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1537592719005012

Abstract: Roughly half of the U.S. public thinks that torture can be acceptable in counterterrorism. According to recent research, dramatic depictions of torture increase public support for the practice. Yet we do not know how frequently—and in what context—torture is depicted across popular media. What messages about the acceptability and effectiveness of torture do Americans receive when they watch popular films? To address this question, we coded each incident of torture in the twenty top-grossing films each year from 2008 to 2017 to analyze how torture is portrayed in terms of its frequency, efficacy, and social acceptability. Results show that the majority of popular films—including films aimed toward children—have at least one torture scene. Across films, the messages sent about torture are fairly consistent. As expected, movies tend to depict torture as effective. Further, how movies portray torture is also a function of who is perpetrating it. Specifically, protagonists are more likely to torture for instrumental reasons or in response to threats and are more likely to do so effectively. In contrast, antagonists are more likely to use torture as punishment and to torture women. The frequency and nature of torture’s depiction in popular films may help explain why many in the public support torture in counterterrorism.


Intellectual humility, the admission that one’s beliefs may be fallible, robustly curbed affective polarization, the resentment over one's political opponents being jerks

Harm to Others Acts as a Negative Reinforcer in Rats. Julen Hernandez-Lallement et al. Current Biology, March 5 2020. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2020.01.017

Highlights
• Independently of sex and familiarity, rats avoid actions harming a conspecific
• Prior experience with footshocks increases harm aversion
• Rats show large individual variability in harm aversion
• Anterior cingulate cortex deactivation abolishes harm aversion

Summary: Empathy, the ability to share another individual’s emotional state and/or experience, has been suggested to be a source of prosocial motivation by attributing negative value to actions that harm others. The neural underpinnings and evolution of such harm aversion remain poorly understood. Here, we characterize an animal model of harm aversion in which a rat can choose between two levers providing equal amounts of food but one additionally delivering a footshock to a neighboring rat. We find that independently of sex and familiarity, rats reduce their usage of the preferred lever when it causes harm to a conspecific, displaying an individually varying degree of harm aversion. Prior experience with pain increases this effect. In additional experiments, we show that rats reduce the usage of the harm-inducing lever when it delivers twice, but not thrice, the number of pellets than the no-harm lever, setting boundaries on the magnitude of harm aversion. Finally, we show that pharmacological deactivation of the anterior cingulate cortex, a region we have shown to be essential for emotional contagion, reduces harm aversion while leaving behavioral flexibility unaffected. This model of harm aversion might help shed light onto the neural basis of psychiatric disorders characterized by reduced harm aversion, including psychopathy and conduct disorders with reduced empathy, and provides an assay for the development of pharmacological treatments of such disorders.

Keywords: altruismcostly helpingantisocialrodentother-regardingsocialvicariousmirror neuronsex differencepersonal distress

Intellectual humility, the admission that one’s beliefs may be fallible, robustly curbed affective polarization, the resentment over one's political opponents being jerks

Bowes, Shauna, Madeline C. Blanchard, Thomas H. Costello, Alan I. Abramowitz, and scott lilienfeld. 2020. “Intellectual Humility and Between-party Animus: Implications for Affective Polarization in Two Community Samples.” PsyArXiv. March 5. doi:10.31234/osf.io/qn25s

Abstract: The extent to which individual differences in personality traits and cognitive styles diminish affective polarization (AP) is largely unknown. We address this gap by examining how one poorly understood but recently researched individual difference variable, namely, intellectual humility (IH), may buffer against AP. We examined the associations between domain-general and domain-specific measures of IH, on the one hand, and AP, on the other, in two community samples. Measures of IH were robustly negatively associated with AP and political polarization. Moreover, IH significantly incremented measures of allied constructs, including general humility, in the statistical prediction of AP. There was little evidence to suggest that IH buffers the relationships between strong political belief and AP. Future research is needed to clarify whether and if IH is sufficient to protect against AP in the presence of ideological extremity.

Measures of intellectual humility were robustly negatively associated with affective & political polarization

Birth Order and Sibling Sex Ratio in Androphilic Males and Gynephilic Females Diagnosed With Gender Dysphoria from Iran

Khorashad BS, Zucker KJ, Talaei A. Birth Order and Sibling Sex Ratio in Androphilic Males and Gynephilic Females Diagnosed With Gender Dysphoria from Iran. J Sex Med 2020;XX:XXX–XXX. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsxm.2020.02.004

Abstract
Background: This study investigated the effect of older brothers on sexual orientation in male adults diagnosed with gender dysphoria and the effect of older sisters on sexual orientation in female adults diagnosed with gender dysphoria from Iran.

Aim: To assess for the presence of a fraternal birth order effect in transgender androphilic males and a sororal birth order effect in transgender gynephilic females.

Methods: The subjects were 92 transgender males and 107 transgender females (all of whom met the DSM-5 criteria for gender dysphoria), together with 72 male and 78 female clinical controls. All the transgender males were androphilic, all the transgender females were gynephilic (preferentially attracted to members of their own biological sex), and all of the clinical controls were heterosexual (none were transgender or had a diagnosis of gender dysphoria).

Outcomes: In relation to the probands, we analyzed the sibship composition of our groups with regard to birth order and sibling sex ratio (brothers to sisters).

Results: The results for the transgender males confirmed the findings of 2 recent meta-analyses that older brothers increase the odds of androphilia in later-born males. The results for the transgender females did not clearly confirm one previous finding that older sisters increase the odds of gynephilia in later-born females—a finding obtained in a relatively large study that included gynephilic cisgender girls as well as girls diagnosed with gender dysphoria who will probably be predominantly gynephilic.

Clinical Implications: The fraternal (later-born) birth order effect that we found for the transgender androphilic males, similar to that found in gay men, suggests a common underlying causal mechanism.

Strengths and Limitations: Our study on Iranian patients diagnosed with gender dysphoria provides further generalizability for the study of birth order and sibling sex ratio that has, more often than not, been restricted to Western samples of adults diagnosed with gender dysphoria. It would be important to study these variables in Iranian gay men and lesbian women (without gender dysphoria) to further examine evidence for cross-cultural similarities when compared to Western samples.

Conclusions: In contrast to the well-established fraternal birth order effect for males, the possible sororal birth order effect for females needs to be examined with additional samples.

Key Words: Male AndrophiliaHomosexualityTransgenderBirth OrderSexual OrientationGender DysphoriaFemale Gynephilia

Evaluating photos of applicants for a position of software developer gave highest competence to smiling faces, then to faces with a neutral expression, the worst rating was associated with a thinking pose

How to pose for a professional photo: The effect of three facial expressions on perception of competence of a software developer. Petra Filkuková  Magne Jørgensen. Australian Journal of Psychology, March 3 2020. https://doi.org/10.1111/ajpy.12285

Abstract
Objective: Prospective employers can nowadays easily access applicants' photos via Internet, for instance on for instance on professional and social networks or previous employers' websites. In our study, we investigated whether a facial expression in a picture affects evaluation of one's competence for a position where facial qualities are not crucial, namely a position of a software developer.

Method: In Study 1, both “models” and participants were employed in IT companies. The experiment followed a 3 x 3 x 2 design, with facial expression (smile, neutral, and thinking) and evaluator's experience in hiring as between‐subjects factors and gender of the model as a within‐subjects factor.

Study 2 was a survey among software specialists where we investigated their awareness of the impact of applicants' face on the evaluation of his/her competence.

Results: When the models smiled, they were perceived as more competent than when they had a neutral expression. When models adopted a thinking pose, they were evaluated as the least competent. Fifty‐five percent of the sample was previously involved in hiring employees; the amount of hiring experience had no impact on this effect. Women were perceived as less competent than men and an interaction analysis revealed that this effect was driven by participants without prior experience in hiring. In Study 2, software specialists assigned a significant role in hiring decisions to the applicant's competent physical appearance, only 10% of participants thought that employers were hardly ever affected by the applicant's face.

Conclusion: Facial expression in a photo affects perceived competence of applicants for a position of a software developer regardless of evaluators prior hiring experience for this type of job.

What is already known about this topic:
Prospective employers are frequently exposed to applicants' pictures, as the majority of companies use social media for recruiting and/or screening job applicants.
People can make judgments on the basis of a photo after only 0.1‐second exposure and these correlate highly with judgments made in the absence of time constraints
Smile is the most studied facial expression. Smiling has been associated with submission, warmth and happiness, findings on the relationship between smiling and perceived intelligence are mixed.

What is new:
Software specialists evaluating photos of applicants for a position of a software developer ascribed highest competence to smiling faces, followed by faces with a neutral expression, the worst competence rating was associated with a thinking pose.
Female applicants were perceived as less competent than male applicants and this effect was driven by evaluators without prior experience in hiring.
Software specialists are aware that their hiring decisions are affected by applicants'facial attributes.

Mobile-based dating applications users were significantly different from non-users on rates of negative drinking behaviors, drug use, sexual compulsivity, sexual deception, stalking, consensual & non-consensual explicit photo /message sharing

Tinder Tales: An Exploratory Study of Online Dating Users and Their Most Interesting Stories
Ashley K. Fansher & Sara Eckinger. Deviant Behavior, Mar 4 2020. https://doi.org/10.1080/01639625.2020.1734170

ABSTRACT: The present study examines the differences between users and non-users of mobile-based dating applications, along with individual user experiences. To better understand the typical online dating application consumer, this research utilized quantitative analyses to compare traditional college-age users versus non-users on behavioral and attitudinal measures. Qualitative coding took place to analyze open-ended survey responses from participants regarding personal experiences. Those who use mobile-based dating applications were significantly different from non-users on all variables examined, including rates of negative drinking behaviors, drug use, sexual compulsivity, sexual deception, and negative sexual behaviors. The review of qualitative responses revealed users experiencing a wide range of negative behaviors including stalking, consensual and non-consensual explicit photo sharing, consensual and non-consensual message sharing, and deception. This article provides a framework for the identification of potential risks of using online dating applications and highlights prevention programming that will enhance the awareness of problematic online dating behaviors.

Quality parties: The marks of men's marginal class positions are written on their bodies, flagging an automatic reject at the door; intuitive calculations to get in include "How many beautiful girls can I get to offset how I look?"

Very Important People - Status and Beauty in the Global Party Circuit. Ashley Mears. Princeton University Press, May 2020. https://www.amazon.com/Very-Important-People-Status-Circuit-ebook/dp/B0824B49LS/

Comments by Tyler Cowen, Mar 2020. https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2020/03/very-important-people.html:

Excerpts about "the Miami club where renting an ordinary table for the night costs 2k, with some spending up to 250k":
Any club, whether in a New York City basement or on a Saint-Tropez beach, is always shaped by a clear hierarchy. Fashion models signal the "A-list," but girls are only half of the business model. There are a few different categories of men that every club owner wants inside, and there is a much larger category of men they aim to keep out.

Bridge and tunnel, goons, and ghetto. These are men whose money can't compensate for their perceived status inadequacies. The marks of their marginal class positions are written on their bodies, flagging an automatic reject at the door.

A clever man can try to use models as leverage to gain entry and discounts at clubs. A man surrounded by models will not have to spend as much on bottles. I interviewed clients who talked explicitly about girls as bargaining chips they could use at the door.

The older, uglier men may have to pay 2k to rent a table for the evening, whereas "decent-looking guys with three or four models" will be let in for free with no required minimum. And:
Men familiar with the scene make these calculations even if they have money to spend: How many beautiful girls can I get to offset how I look? How many beautiful girls will it take to offset the men with me? How much money am I willing to spend for the night in the absence of quality girls?
Girls determine hierarchies of clubs, the quality of people inside, and how much money is spent.

I revisit a second critical insight of Veblen's on the role of women in communicating men's status.  In this world, girls function as a form of capital. Their beauty generates enormous symbolic and economic resources for the men in their presence, but that capital is worth far more to men than to the girls who embody it.


A Preindustrial Sea‐Level Rise Hotspot Along the Atlantic Coast of America: We found evidence in Nova Scotia, Maine, & Connecticut for rapid sea‐level rise in the 18th century, which was almost as rapid as the 20th century sea‐level rise

A Preindustrial Sea‐Level Rise Hotspot Along the Atlantic Coast of North America. W. R. Gehrels et al. Geophysical Research Letters, February 13 2020. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019GL085814

Abstract: The Atlantic coast of North America north of Cape Hatteras has been proposed as a “hotspot” of late 20th century sea‐level rise. Here we test, using salt‐marsh proxy sea‐level records, if this coast experienced enhanced sea‐level rise over earlier multidecadal‐centennial periods. While we find in agreement with previous studies that 20th century rates of sea‐level change were higher compared to rates during preceding centuries, rates of 18th century sea‐level rise were only slightly lower, suggesting that the “hotspot” is a reoccurring feature for at least three centuries. Proxy sea‐level records from North America (Iceland) are negatively (positively) correlated with centennial changes in the North Atlantic Oscillation. They are consistent with sea‐level “fingerprints” of Arctic ice melt, and we therefore hypothesize that sea‐level fluctuations are related to changes in Arctic land‐ice mass. Predictions of future sea‐level rise should take into account these long‐term fluctuating rates of natural sea‐level change.

Plain Language Summary: Measurements of sea‐level change have shown that during the 20th century sea‐level rise along the Atlantic coast of North America between Cape Hatteras and Nova Scotia has been faster than the global average. We investigated whether this anomaly also occurred earlier by reconstructing historical sea‐level changes from salt‐marsh sediments and microscopic salt‐marsh fossils (foraminifera). We found evidence in three locations (Nova Scotia, Maine, and Connecticut) for rapid sea‐level rise in the 18th century, which was almost as rapid as the 20th century sea‐level rise. Using additional sea‐level reconstructions from across the North Atlantic, we propose an explanation for the periods of enhanced sea‐level rise. We hypothesize that they occur during distinct phases of the North Atlantic Oscillation and during periods of enhanced ice melt in the Arctic. The fluctuations are a reoccurring feature and should be considered in planning for future sea‐level rise and coastal hazards.


3 Historical Sea‐Level Changes

The resulting three sea‐level reconstructions, plus previously published records from New Jersey (Kemp et al., 2013) and North Carolina (Kemp et al., 2011), are shown in Figure 1. To place the records in a larger‐scale geographical context, a recent record from Viðarhólmi, Iceland, is also shown (Gehrels et al., 2006; Saher et al., 2015). The record from Nova Scotia (Chezzetcook) spans a full millennium and is arguably the best‐dated sea‐level reconstruction over this time interval from any coastline in the world (70 dated levels, Table S1). The Maine and Connecticut sea‐level records span the last ~300 and ~450 yr, respectively, and help to constrain the spatial and temporal extent of recent sea‐level signals observed in Nova Scotia. The most recent part of each record is compared to nearby tide‐gauge observations obtained from the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) (Holgate et al., 2013) (Figures 1a and S7). In all cases, 20th century sea‐level trends from our proxy reconstructions agree with those from nearby tide‐gauge records in the common periods of overlap (Figure S8) demonstrating that the reconstructions accurately capture recent multidecadal‐to‐centennial sea‐level changes along these coastlines. We also compared the sea‐level reconstructions to sea‐level index points obtained from the base of the Holocene lithostratigraphic sections (Donnelly et al., 2004; Gehrels, 1999; Gehrels et al., 2005) to assess possible compaction in the sequences. If there were significant compaction in our records, we would expect the points from the basal sections, which are all located directly on a hard substrate, to plot higher than the reconstructions. However, they are in good agreement (Figure 1a), so we conclude that compaction has little impact on our sea‐level records. Partly due to spatially variable crustal motion rates controlled by GIA, the long‐term sea‐level trends differ between the sites (Piecuch et al., 2018). We adjusted the sea‐level records for GIA by removing the linear late Holocene trend for the common period between 4000 cal yr BP and 1900 CE (Engelhart & Horton, 2012), which in Nova Scotia is 1.7 mm/yr (Gehrels et al., 2005), in Maine is 0.7 mm/yr (Gehrels, 1999; Gehrels et al., 2002), and in Connecticut is 1.0 mm/yr (Donnelly et al., 2004). For the North Carolina sea‐level reconstruction, which is based on two nearby sites in Sand Point and Tump Point, we used GIA corrections of 1.0 and 0.9 mm/yr, respectively (Kemp et al., 2011). The New Jersey and Viðarhólmi records were corrected for a GIA contribution of 1.4 and 1 mm/yr, respectively (Gehrels et al., 2006; Kemp et al., 2013).
The rates of the GIA‐corrected sea‐level (GCSL) reconstructions from all sites are shown in Figure 2 and are marked by two distinct features. The first feature is the 19th to 20th century GCSL acceleration, which is visible in all five North American records as well as the record from Iceland, although their exact timing and amplitude may differ between sites. This feature is also present in other salt‐marsh‐based sea‐level reconstructions from the Atlantic coast of North America (Kopp et al., 2016). The second feature is a previously unreported, multidecadal‐centennial GCSL fluctuation along the North American Atlantic coast, with maximum rates of rise occurring in the middle‐to‐late 18th century, and lower or negative rates thereafter. The timing appears to differ slightly from record to record, most likely due to dating uncertainties. Based on the 1,000 Monte Carlo ensemble members at each site, we determine for five sites best estimates for the timing of maximum rates of change, over the period 1550 to 1850, as follows: 1735 (North Carolina), 1745 (New Jersey), 1752 (Maine), 1762 (Nova Scotia), and 1783 (Connecticut). Moreover, between 85% (Nova Scotia) and 98% (New Jersey) of ensemble members show greater‐than‐zero rates averaged over the 18th century. These numbers suggest significant, larger‐than‐usual (with respect to longer‐term GIA) rates of change peaking in the middle‐to‐late 18th century. The GCSL fluctuation is more pronounced in Maine and Connecticut, compared to Nova Scotia and North Carolina. In Connecticut, GCSL rates were close to zero before ~1700 and increased to values of ~2.4 ± 2.4 mm/yr (± indicates twice the standard error) towards the end of the 18th century. High preindustrial GCSL rates are similarly visible in the Maine record (~3.2 ± 3.2 mm/yr), although the record only starts in the mid‐18th century. The New Jersey record includes the late 18th century period of enhanced sea‐level rise but overall shows greater variability than all other records. In Nova Scotia and North Carolina, rates during this period were also enhanced compared to long‐term background rates of change, but they did not exceed values of ~0.5 ± 1.0 mm/yr. It is important to note that spatial variations in the amplitudes of multidecadal sea‐level variations along this coastline are also observed in tide‐gauge records over the 20th century (Sallenger et al., 2012). Interestingly, relatively high preindustrial GCSL rates are also seen in the Viðarhólmi data from Iceland. The records from North America and Iceland are out of phase: rates of change in Iceland are anomalously low around 1700 CE and high around 1800 CE, suggesting that peak rates of preindustrial GCSL rise occurred in North America ~60–80 yr earlier than in Iceland. Possible reasons for this are considered below.

[Figure 2 Sea‐level changes from proxy records along the North American Atlantic (blue) and Icelandic (red) coast. Shown are the nonlinear trends calculated by a Gaussian Process Regression including their 1 and 2 sigma uncertainties (dark and light blue/red bands, respectively) for the six salt‐marsh reconstructions corrected for site‐specific GIA effects. The black dotted line marks a rate of 0 mm/yr in each panel.]

While the high 18th century rates of sea‐level rise are a consistent feature in our records across sites, patterns become more complex in earlier periods. For example, the New Jersey and North Carolina records are very similar, but in North Carolina sea‐level variability was more muted prior to the 18th century (a finding that is robust against different choices of the Gaussian process priors). These differences between records might be explained by different driving mechanisms or could reflect issues with the salt‐marsh reconstructions (e.g., dating resolution or quality of transfer functions). These remain open questions.
The multidecadal to centennial sea‐level fluctuations found in our records are not seen in previously published reconstructions. There are several possible explanations for this. First, some of the recently published sea‐level records from the Atlantic coast of North America (Kemp et al., 2011, 2014) are from south of Cape Hatteras and outside of the main hotspot region of the MAB identified by Sallenger et al. (2012) from tide‐gauge records over the period 1950–2009. Second, the proxy records that are from that region, i.e. New York City (Kemp et al., 2017) and eastern Connecticut (Kemp et al., 2015), lack high‐resolution data in the 18th and 19th centuries; we suggest that more detailed investigations here could reveal the same sea‐level fluctuations.

5 Conclusions

We provide evidence, based on proxy sea‐level reconstructions derived from salt‐marsh sediments from the Atlantic coast of North America, for a preindustrial sea‐level rise “hotspot” during the 18th century. The rate of sea‐level rise during this period was only slightly smaller than during the latter half of the 20th‐century. Indeed, the region where the most pronounced sea‐level rise during this preindustrial period is recorded (Nova Scotia to Cape Hatteras) is similar to the area where, during the last half century or so, tide‐gauge observations suggest a recent “hotspot” of accelerated sea level rise. We propose that the magnitude (~±5–10 cm) and duration (~50–100 yr) of this preindustrial sea‐level rise event along eastern North America, along with its out‐of‐phase relationship to sea‐level fluctuations in Iceland and coincidence with centennial variations in the NAO, favor an explanation in terms of mass changes of Arctic land ice, although we acknowledge that uncertainties are large and other processes (e.g., involving an ocean contribution) cannot be entirely excluded. Examination of sea‐level output from coupled climate‐model experiments, geometries (“fingerprints”) of sea‐level change resulting from land‐ice melt, and paleoclimate proxy records of Arctic temperature all support the hypothesis that centennial variations in the retreat and advance of Arctic glaciers render important contributions to the sea‐level long‐term variability seen in the salt‐marsh records. Our findings suggest that enhanced rates of sea‐level rise along eastern North America are not necessarily symptomatic of anthropogenic forcing, as was argued in past work (Sallenger et al., 2012), but might arise from other forcing mechanisms in the coupled climate system. Our results also suggest that these multidecadal‐centennial periods of low or high sea level might dampen or amplify any future sea‐level signal that is generated by greenhouse‐gas forcing, and should be taken into account in projections of future coastal vulnerability and risk.

Abstinence from Masturbation and Hypersexuality: Despite the lack of evidence for negative health effects of masturbation, abstinence is frequently recommended as a strategy to improve one’s sexual self-regulation


Abstinence from Masturbation and Hypersexuality. Felix Zimmer & Roland Imhoff. Archives of Sexual Behavior, Mar 4 2020. https://rd.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10508-019-01623-8

Abstract: Despite the lack of evidence for negative health effects of masturbation, abstinence from masturbation is frequently recommended as a strategy to improve one’s sexual self-regulation. We adopted a framework of perceived problems with pornography to collect first hints about whether abstinence from masturbation stems from a psychological and behavioral “addiction” or conflicting attitudes. In an online questionnaire survey recruited via a non-thematic Reddit thread (n = 1063), most participants reported that they had tried to be abstinent from masturbation. As visible from zero-order correlations and multiple linear regression, motivation for abstinence was mostly associated with attitudinal correlates, specifically the perception of masturbation as unhealthy. While there were associations with hypersexuality, no significant correlation with behavioral markers such as maximum number of orgasms was found. Higher abstinence motivation was related to a higher perceived impact of masturbation, conservatism, and religiosity and to lower trust in science. We argue that research on abstinence from masturbation can enrich the understanding of whether and how average frequencies of healthy behavior are pathologized.


Discussion

This explorative study aimed to evaluate the associations of motivation for abstinence from masturbation. On the level of zero-order correlations and multiple linear regression, support for both hypothesized pathways, physiological and psychological dysregulation, and conflicting attitudes, was found. Yet, evidence for a pathway of conflicting attitudes was richer in quantity and quality.
For the pathway of physiological and psychological dysregulation, which can be conceptualized as a “masturbation addiction,” only the subscales of the HBI were associated with abstinence motivation. The HBI subscale Consequence as well as Dyscontrol showed positive associations to abstinence motivation, yet only Dyscontrol showed variance explanation within the regression model. Since abstinence from masturbation is an endeavor of controlling sexual behavior, the connection to feelings of dyscontrol regarding sexual activity is unsurprising. For the HBI subscale Coping, there was no zero-order correlation, but a significant negative relationship with the regression criterion was found. This implies that higher ratings on items such as “I use sex to forget about the worries of daily life” have been accompanied by less motivation to abstain. A possible explanation is that a functional role of masturbation, e.g., as a coping mechanism, for relaxation, etc., is a motivational counterpart to efforts to abstain. Other variables assigned to this pathway, the mean masturbation frequency before reduction, maximum number of orgasms, and onsets of masturbation and pornography consumption, showed no significant zero-order correlation or variance explanation in the regression. Descriptively, the all-time maximum number of orgasms was even lower in men with high abstinence motivation and vice versa, r(845) = − 0.11, p = .001 (without Bonferroni correction). Although it cannot be taken as a proof of the null, it speaks toward a low relevance of behavioral variables in the phenomenon of abstinence motivation.
The other pathway explains abstinence motivation by conflicting attitudes, specifically higher perceived impact, lower trust in science, higher conservatism, religiosity, and belief in a negative health impact. In zero-order correlations, all of these associations except for one subscale of perceived impact could be confirmed in the hypothesized direction. In the regression model, only social impact and perception of masturbation as unhealthy achieved significant variance explanation while exhibiting the largest predictor weights. Interestingly, the associations with the two facets of the perceived impact, health and social, pointed in different directions. Contrary to expectation, perceived impact of masturbation on health-related variables (e.g., cancer or acne) showed no zero-order correlation and even tended toward a negative predictor weight in the regression (β = − .07, p = .066). These results suggest that seeing a possibility to improve social life, rather than to avoid illnesses, might promote abstinence motivation. Summarizing the evidence from both pathways, abstinence motivation was mostly associated with attitudinal correlates, specifically the perception of masturbation as unhealthy.
Due to ongoing debates about pornography-induced sexual dysfunctions, we considered them as potential correlates of abstinence motivation. Of the five candidates, only men suffering from decreased genital sensitivity showed a higher abstinence motivation. Rather than viewing masturbation as problematic, one suggested line of interpretation is a reduced incentive to masturbate.

Limitations and Future Research

The main limitation of this study is the exploratory nature and the loose attachment to a theoretical framework. Specifically, the usage of the pathway model on another level of analysis, namely motivation for abstinence instead of the originally applied problem awareness, and post hoc assignment of the variables to the two paths, shall be discussed. To seamlessly transfer the model, one needs to assume an obvious theoretical step from problem awareness to abstinence motivation. Yet, there are other plausible pathways leading to abstinence motivation. For example, it can also be part of an effort to change sexual outlet toward more penile–vaginal intercourse. The interpretation of the association with decreased genital sensitivity also applied the possibility of abstinence motivation without the view of masturbation behavior as problematic. Therefore, it remains debatable whether the pathway model is suitable for abstinence motivation. Secondly, the assignment of the studied variables to the pathways of dysregulation and conflicting attitudes is not unambiguous for all variables. Take the HBI item “I do things sexually that are against my values and beliefs” for example. In this study, it was assigned to the pathway of dysregulation for its function as a marker of hypersexuality. However, it fits in perfectly with the pathway of attitudinal correlates, since an arbitrary amount of sexual activity, determined solely by moral standards, can justify a high score for the item.
The majority of participants of this study presumably were visitors or subscribers of the subreddit “r/everymanshouldknow.” Although limiting analyses to this subsample were performed in an attempt to reduce sampling bias (see Methods section), it remains questionable whether conclusions can be extrapolated to an intended population of male adults. On a theoretical note, sampling bias might be introduced by correlates of the apparent affinity toward a manliness theme such as more conservative sexual attitudes and behavior. Empirically, the average HBI sum score of 41.91 (SD = 15.16) showed a significant deviation from a previous “healthy” sample (M = 34.2, SD = 14.5, n = 147, Reid et al., 2011, t(1187) = 5.80, p < .001) indicating a relatively increased prevalence of hypersexuality within this sample. Therefore, it cannot be ruled out that associations with masturbation abstinence differ in the general population. Another important limitation is the cross-sectional nature of the study and the associated limitations regarding causal inferences. For example, since the HBI is a self-administered tool and open to subjective interpretation (e.g., “My sexual behavior controls my life”), the causal direction of an association between an HBI score and abstinence motivation remains unclear. According to the pathway of conflicting attitudes, pathologization of average frequencies of behavior might also lead to notions of excessive behavior and high HBI scores.
The scope for study design improvements is particularly evident in the variables covered. Asking about current abstinence from masturbation and the view of one’s own masturbation as problematic should be included in future research. This would also facilitate comparison to existing research on Internet pornography. Furthermore, abstinence motivation might not be a criterion of preference. Within this study, 36.3% of the participants reported no motivation on a scale from 0 to 100, which due to the need for transformation can be considered a high limitation of variance. Assuming a normal distribution of the underlying construct, an item with higher difficulty, e.g., Do you consider reducing your frequency of masturbation?” may resolve this issue. 64.2% of participants in this study indicated that they have tried to be abstinent from masturbation at least once. Although we could not find a comparative figure, we regard it as unexpectedly high and possibly subject to scrutiny. Regarding sexual dysfunction, our questionnaire design prevented us from differentiating the indication of no sexual dysfunctions and otherwise missing values, e.g., lacking willingness of specification.
Although these limitations represent notable reservations, we would like to emphasize that the focus of this study is to encourage further efforts to design and eventually test hypotheses. It has already been demonstrated that inclusion of masturbation can be fruitful for understanding correlates of pornography consumption. For example, solo masturbation might actually explain the negative association of pornography viewing and relationship quality (Perry, 2019). Understanding the constituents of both abstinence from pornography and abstinence from masturbation might eventually be a basis for reducing pathologization of average and healthy frequencies of sexual behavior.

Gender and the intergenerational transmission of antisocial behavior: The largest associations were between mothers' and daughters' antisocial behavior

Gender and the intergenerational transmission of antisocial behavior. Stacy Tzoumakis et al. Journal of Criminal Justice, March 4 2020, 101670. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2020.101670

Highlights
•    We determined the extent of gender-specific intergenerational antisocial behavior.
•    Gender-specific associations were not larger than associations across-gender.
•    The largest associations were between mothers' and daughters' antisocial behavior.

1. Introduction

The link between parental and offspring offending has been well
established from some of the earliest longitudinal criminological studies
(Glueck & Glueck, 1950). The relationship has been particularly demonstrated
for fathers and their offspring (Hjalmarsson & Lindquist,
2012; Rowe & Farrington, 1997; Thornberry, 2009), in part because
many of the major cohort studies included only males. Moreover, because
the base rate of offending is lower for females, even fewer studies
have been able to reliably examine offending and antisocial behavior
between mothers and daughters. It is important to determine the nature
of the association for females, considering that there are gender differences
in the development of antisocial behavior and its associated
risk factors (Broidy et al., 2015; Herrera & Stuewig, 2017; Moffitt,
Caspi, Rutter, & Silva, 2001). There is also evidence that the needs and
profiles of females involved in delinquency and offending are different
to that of males and as a result, prevention and rehabilitation programs
should be gender-responsive (i.e., developed based on the unique needs
of girls) to be effective (Lanctôt, 2018; Matthews & Hubbard, 2008;
Wright, Van Voorhis, Salisbury, & Bauman, 2012). Most of the work on
the role of gender in prevention programs has focused on adolescence
or adulthood, ignoring the earlier developmental periods. One recent
study has shown that a childhood (under age 12 years) gender-specific
risk assessment tool is effective at predicting offending up to age
21 years (Koegl, Farrington, & Augimeri, 2019). In addition, a review of
50 systematic reviews on developmental prevention programs for individuals,
families, and schools concluded that these programs were
effective with varying effect sizes (Farrington, Gaffney, Lösel, & Ttofi,
2017). Considering that those individuals who have conduct problems
and difficulty regulating their behavior in childhood are more likely to
continue offending over the life course (DeLisi & Vaughn, 2014; Moffitt
et al., 2001), it would be important from a policy perspective to invest
in these early intervention programs. Little research has examined
whether females have different needs compared to males in childhood
and how this might influence the development of these early intervention
programs. This study will investigate the gender differences in
the intergenerational transmission of antisocial behavior across three
different developmental periods (i.e., early childhood, middle childhood,
and early adolescence), which could potentially be targeted for
the development of family preventative intervention programs.
Adopting a developmental criminology approach means that we
need to look at a wider range of antisocial behavior from the earliest
developmental periods to better understand the etiology of offending
(Loeber & Le Blanc, 1990; Moffitt, 1993). There is increasing research
suggesting that the risk of intergenerational transmission can be detected
as early as infancy and early childhood (Hay et al., 2011;
Laurens, Tzoumakis, Kariuki et al., 2017; Tremblay, 2010; Tzoumakis,
Lussier, & Corrado, 2014). In addition, there is some evidence that the
mechanisms underpinning the intergenerational transmission of externalizing
behavior might differ by gender during toddlerhood (Kim,
Capaldi, Pears, Kerr, & Owen, 2009). Understanding whether and how
the intergenerational transmission of antisocial behavior operates at
key developmental periods, and whether there are gender-specific
pathways in this transmission, can help to tailor prevention and intervention
efforts.
Little research has included a sufficient number of mothers and
daughters to examine the extent and magnitude of the transmission to
antisocial behavior across the life course. Importantly, much of the
research that has investigated the gender specificity of the intergenerational
transmission of offending has focused on convictions between
generations either in adulthood or on lifetime convictions.
Several studies have shown similar links between mothers' and
daughters' antisocial behavior. For instance, Giordano (2010) completed
a twenty-five-year follow-up of the high-risk girls who participated
in the Ohio Life-Course Study and found that many of the women
continued to be involved in antisocial behavior and their children often

Clear associations between lower-order personality facets & conspiracy beliefs emerged; humility was also a significant negative correlate; those beliefs were also associated with a range of personality disorder features & internalizing symptoms

Bowes, Shauna, Thomas H. Costello, Winkie Ma, and scott lilienfeld. 2020. “Looking Under the Tinfoil Hat: Clarifying the Personological and Psychopathological Correlates of Conspiracy Beliefs.” PsyArXiv. March 4. doi:10.31234/osf.io/9pv38

Abstract
Objective: We sought to replicate and extend research on the personological correlates of conspiracy beliefs by examining their associations with abnormal- and normal-range personality domain-level traits and, for the first time, lower-order personality facets; we also examined internalizing symptoms.

Method: The study comprised four samples of community and student participants (Ntotal=1,927), and examined the cross-sectional relations between self-reported conspiratorial ideation and measures of (a) the six-factor model of general personality, (b) intellectual humility, (c) personality disorder traits (narcissism, psychopathy, disinhibition), and (d) internalizing symptoms (depression, anxiety, anger).

Results: Agreeableness and conscientiousness were significant negative correlates of conspiracy beliefs, although other general personality dimensions tended to manifest negligible associations. Significant associations between lower-order personality facets and conspiracy beliefs, not evident at the domain level, emerged. Indices of humility were also significant negative correlates. Conspiracy beliefs were also associated with a range of personality disorder features and internalizing symptoms.

Conclusions: Our results provisionally suggest that the nonclinical individual prone to conspiratorial ideation is likely to display distress, immodesty, impulsivity, and negative affect. Future research should investigate potential multiplicative relations among personological variables in predicting conspiracy beliefs.