Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Less Sex, but More Sexual Diversity: Changes in Sexual Behavior during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Less Sex, but More Sexual Diversity: Changes in Sexual Behavior during the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic. Justin J. Lehmiller et al. Leisure Sciences, Jun 26 2020. https://doi.org/10.1080/01490400.2020.1774016

Abstract: Recreational sex is a popular form of leisure that has been redefined by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. “Social distancing” rules have imposed limits on sex for leisure while also creating new opportunities. We discuss results from an online survey of 1,559 adults who were asked about the pandemic’s impact on their intimate lives. While nearly half of the sample reported a decline in their sex life, one in five participants reported expanding their sexual repertoire by incorporating new activities. Common additions included sexting, trying new sexual positions, and sharing sexual fantasies. Being younger, living alone, and feeling stressed and lonely were linked to trying new things. Participants making new additions were three times more likely to report improvements in their sex life. Even in the face of drastic changes to daily life, many adults are adapting their sexual lives in creative ways.

Keywords: coronavirus, COVID-19, sexual behavior, sexual novelty, social distancing

Reasons for females to feign death, inter alia: To ward off unwanted suitors & to select a persistent, strong male that fights best risks (like predators or drowning under too many males at mating)

Reproductive behaviour of the European Common Frog (Rana temporaria). Carolin Dittrich. Humbold University at Berlin, Dissertations, Jun 26 2020. DOI: 10.18452/21476

Abstract: In my thesis, I examine the mating and reproductive behaviour of the European Common Frog (Rana temporaria) in an evolutionary context. I aim to understand which mechanisms lead to the formation of pairs, if mate choice shapes the patterns of mating that we can observe and if there are benefits derived from pairing with a specific mate. The search and competition for mating partners lead to the evolution of various mating systems, strategies and tactics to increase lifetime reproductive success. The mating behaviour is influenced by natural and sexual selection, whereby both could act in different directions. For most individuals, survival is essential in order to reproduce as often as possible to increase lifetime reproductive fitness. On the other hand, reproduction could increase predation risk due to conspicuous behaviour and risks associated with mating itself. Sexual selection could favour specific secondary sexual traits, either due to advantages in intrasexual competition, or by specific preferences of the choosy sex (intersexual selection). For mate choice to evolve, there need to be benefits associated with the chosen mating partner, because choosiness involves costs in terms of energy and time constraints during mating. As an explosive breeder, the European Common Frog has to deal with time constraints during the short breeding season. The males are competing for the access to females and it is assumed that females are passive during breeding due to a high male-biased operational sex ratio. However, from an evolutionary perspective females should be the choosy sex and should decide with whom to mate, as they invest more energy into the production of eggs.

We find that participants self-report higher disgust and have stronger physiological responses to pictures of out-party leaders compared to in-party leaders

Yikes! Are we disgusted by politicians? Bert N. Bakker, Gijs Schumacher, and Maaike D. Homan. Jun 2020. https://osf.io/cp3tb/

Abstract: In the political domain disgust is primarily portrayed as an emotion that explains individual differences in pathogen avoidance.1We hypothesized that political rhetoric that accuses opponents of moral transgressions also elicits disgust responses. In this registered report, we present results from a laboratory experiment. We find that participants self-report higher disgust and have stronger physiological responses to pictures of out-party leaders compared to in-party leaders. Participants reported higher disgust in response to moral violations of in-party leaders. There is more suggestive evidence that in-party leaders evoke more labii activity when they commit moral violations than when out-party leaders do. The impact of individual differences in moral disgust and partisanship strength is very limited to absent. Intriguingly, on average the physiological and self-reported disgust responses to the treatment are similar, but individuals differ in whether their response is physiological or cognitive. This motivates further theorizing regarding the concordance of emotional responses.

Keywords:Moral violation; disgust; physiology; self-report, registered

Happy Planet, Happy People? No Impact of Pro-Environmental Behaviour on Psychological Well-Being

Happy Planet, Happy People? The Impact of Pro-Environmental Behaviour on Psychological Well-Being . Samuel Elliott van Ginkel. Carleton University Master's Thesis. Jun 2020. https://doi.org/10.22215/etd/2020-14079

Abstract: The present study was the first (to our knowledge) to experimentally manipulate pro-environmental behaviour in order to assess its causal effects on affect and meaning in life. Participants (N = 343) were randomly assigned to either 1) a group who chose and engaged in a pro-environmental behaviour from a provided list of options; or 2) a control group who found and photographed public art from a provided list of options. The analyses found that there were no significant differences between the pro-environmental group and the control group, and all pre-registered hypotheses were unsupported. Exploratory analyses revealed a within-participants effect, whereby both conditions produced a significant effect on positive and negative affect, as well as meaning in life when compared to participants' average over the last four weeks. However, given that all findings were exploratory, the results should be considered speculative and can serve as direction for future research.