Sunday, July 25, 2021

Greece: Gay people were not less likely than people of other sexual orientations to be in a relationship; gay men but not women experienced longer spells of singlehood than people of other sexual orientations

The effect of sexual orientation on singlehood: Evidence from the Greek cultural context. Menelaos Apostolou. Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 183, December 2021, 111150.


• Finds that, homosexual people were not less likely than people of other sexual orientations to be in a relationship.

• Finds that, homosexual people were considerably less likely to be married than people of other sexual orientations.

• Finds that, homosexual men but not women experienced longer spells of singlehood than people of other sexual orientations.

Abstract: The social stigma attached to same-sex attraction, along with the limited availability of same-sex outlets, are likely to cause difficulties to homosexual people in attracting intimate partners. Based on this reasoning, the current study aimed to test the hypothesis that homosexual people would be more likely to be involuntarily single, and would experience longer spells of singlehood than people of other sexual orientations. Evidence from a sample of 10,939 Greek-speaking participants, indicated that homosexual people were not less likely than people of other sexual orientations to be in a relationship than involuntarily single. However, homosexual people were considerably less likely to be married than people of other sexual orientations, with the effect being more pronounce for men than for women. In addition, male homosexuals experienced longer spells of singlehood than men of other sexual orientations, but no such effect was found for women.

Keywords: SinglehoodInvoluntary singlehoodSexual orientationHomosexuality

COVID-19: Across 17 countries with lower fluctuations in births, the number of births fell on average by more than 5% in Nov & Dec 2020 & 8.9% in Jan 21, YoY; Spain births plummeted by 20% in Dec 20 and Jan 21

Sobotka, Tomas, Aiva Jasilioniene, Ainhoa A. Galarza, Kryštof Zeman, Laszlo Nemeth, and Dmitri Jdanov. 2021. “Baby Bust in the Wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic? First Results from the New STFF Data Series.” SocArXiv. March 24. doi:10.31235/

Abstract: Past evidence on fertility responses to external shocks, including economic recessions and the outbreaks of infectious diseases, show that people often put their childbearing plans on hold in uncertain times. We study the most recent data on monthly birth trends to analyse the initial fertility responses to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research, based on new Short-Term Fertility Fluctuations (STFF) data series (, embedded in the Human Fertility Database (HFD), shows the initial signs of the expected “birth recession”. Monthly number of births in many countries fell sharply between October 2020 and the most recent month observed, often bringing about a clear reversal of the previous trend. Across 17 countries with lower fluctuations in births, the number of births fell on average by 5.1% in November 2020, 6.5% in December 2020 and 8.9% in January 2021 when compared with the same month of the previous year. Spain sustained the sharpest drop in the number of births among the analysed countries, with the number of births plummeting by 20% in December 2020 and January 2021. The combined effect of rising mortality and falling birth rates is disrupting the balance of births and deaths in many countries, pushing natural population increase to record low levels in 2020 and 2021.

Additional wealth and unearned income effects: An extra dollar of unearned income in a given period reduces pre-tax labor earnings by about 50 cents, decreases total labor taxes by 10 c, & increases consumption by 60 c

How Americans Respond to Idiosyncratic and Exogenous Changes in Household Wealth and Unearned Income. Mikhail Golosov, Michael Graber, Magne Mogstad, and David Novgorodsky. Becker Friedman Institute, Working Paper 2021-76. Jul 2021.

Abstract: We study how Americans respond to idiosyncratic and exogenous changes in household wealth and unearned income. Our analyses combine administrative data on U.S. lottery winners with an event study design that exploits variation in the timing of lottery wins. Our first contribution is to estimate the earnings responses to these windfall gains, finding significant and sizable wealth and income effects. On average, an extra dollar of unearned income in a given period reduces pre-tax labor earnings by about 50 cents, decreases total labor taxes by 10 cents, and increases consumption by 60 cents. These effects are heterogeneous across the income distribution, with households in higher quartiles of the income distribution reducing their earnings by a larger amount. Our second contribution is to develop and apply a rich life-cycle model in which heterogeneous households face non-linear taxes and make earnings choices along both intensive and extensive margins. By mapping this model to our estimated earnings responses, we obtain informative bounds on the impacts of two policy reforms: an introduction of UBI and an increase in top marginal tax rates. Our last contribution is to study how additional wealth and unearned income affect a wide range of behavior, including geographic mobility and neighborhood choice, retirement decisions and labor market exit, family formation and dissolution, entry into entrepreneurship, and job-to-job mobility.

JEL Codes: D15, J22, H21, H31, H53

Keywords: income effects; labor supply elasticities; lottery winning; taxation; universal basic income; wealth effects

Historical language records reveal a surge of cognitive distortions in recent decades: Maybe recent socioeconomic changes, new technology, and social media are associated with a surge of those distortions

Historical language records reveal a surge of cognitive distortions in recent decades. Johan Bollen et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, July 27, 2021 118 (30) e2102061118;

Significance: Can entire societies become more or less depressed over time? Here, we look for the historical traces of cognitive distortions, thinking patterns that are strongly associated with internalizing disorders such as depression and anxiety, in millions of books published over the course of the last two centuries in English, Spanish, and German. We find a pronounced “hockey stick” pattern: Over the past two decades the textual analogs of cognitive distortions surged well above historical levels, including those of World War I and II, after declining or stabilizing for most of the 20th century. Our results point to the possibility that recent socioeconomic changes, new technology, and social media are associated with a surge of cognitive distortions.

Abstract: Individuals with depression are prone to maladaptive patterns of thinking, known as cognitive distortions, whereby they think about themselves, the world, and the future in overly negative and inaccurate ways. These distortions are associated with marked changes in an individual’s mood, behavior, and language. We hypothesize that societies can undergo similar changes in their collective psychology that are reflected in historical records of language use. Here, we investigate the prevalence of textual markers of cognitive distortions in over 14 million books for the past 125 y and observe a surge of their prevalence since the 1980s, to levels exceeding those of the Great Depression and both World Wars. This pattern does not seem to be driven by changes in word meaning, publishing and writing standards, or the Google Books sample. Our results suggest a recent societal shift toward language associated with cognitive distortions and internalizing disorders.

Keywords: cognitive distortionsinternalizing disordershistorical language analysis

Check also Individuals with depression express more distorted thinking on social media. Krishna C. Bathina, Marijn ten Thij, Lorenzo Lorenzo-Luaces, Lauren A. Rutter & Johan Bollen. Nature Human Behaviour, February 11 2021.

“You don’t believe in God? You ain’t Black”: Identifying as atheist elicits identity denial from Black ingroup members

Howard, S., Kennedy, K. C., & Vine, K. T. (2021). “You don’t believe in God? You ain’t Black”: Identifying as atheist elicits identity denial from Black ingroup members. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, Jul 2021.

Abstract: Objective: Anecdotal narratives and recent qualitative research with Black atheists document experiences of racial identity denial from the target’s perspective. However, no research to date has examined whether Black perceivers perceive Black atheists as being weakly identified with their race. Because belief in God is often inextricably linked with Black racial identity in the Black community, we hypothesized that Black atheists would be perceived as less Black than nonatheists.

Method: Black/African American adults (n = 343) were randomly assigned to view one of three Black individual’s social networking profiles (i.e., a Christian, an atheist, and religion not explicitly mentioned). After, they reported their perceptions of the targets’ perceived racial identity and trustworthiness.

Results: Black participants, regardless of how strongly they identified racially, perceived a Black Atheist as less racially identified than a Black Christian or someone whose religious affiliation was unknown. Additionally, a Black atheist was perceived as less trustworthy than a Black Christian.

Conclusions: Black atheists experience general anti-atheist bias (e.g., perceived as untrustworthy), as well as unique anti-atheist bias in the form of racial identity denial. These findings extend previous research on identity denial and intragroup dynamics and advance our understanding of the relationship between religious identification and racial identity denial within the Black community.

Sexual Orientation, Sexual Arousal, and Finger Length Ratios in Women

Sexual Orientation, Sexual Arousal, and Finger Length Ratios in Women. Luke Holmes, Tuesday M. Watts-Overall, Erlend Slettevold, Dragos C. Gruia, Jamie Raines & Gerulf Rieger. Archives of Sexual Behavior, Jul 23 2021.

Abstract: In general, women show physiological sexual arousal to both sexes. However, compared with heterosexual women, homosexual women are more aroused to their preferred sex, a pattern typically found in men. We hypothesized that homosexual women’s male-typical arousal is due to their sex-atypical masculinization during prenatal development. We measured the sexual responses of 199 women (including 67 homosexual women) via their genital arousal and pupil dilation to female and male sexual stimuli. Our main marker of masculinization was the ratio of the index to ring finger, which we expected to be lower (a masculine pattern) in homosexual women due to increased levels of prenatal androgens. We further measured observer- and self-ratings of psychological masculinity–femininity as possible proxies of prenatal androgenization. Homosexual women responded more strongly to female stimuli than male stimuli and therefore had more male-typical sexual responses than heterosexual women. However, they did not have more male-typical digit ratios, even though this difference became stronger if analyses were restricted to white participants. Still, variation in women's digit ratios did not account for the link between their sexual orientation and their male-typical sexual responses. Furthermore, homosexual women reported and displayed more masculinity than heterosexual women, but their masculinity was not associated with their male-typical sexual arousal. Thus, women’s sexual and behavioral traits, and potential anatomical traits, are possibly masculinized at different stages of gestation.


The present data confirmed that homosexual women had more male-typical sexual arousal patterns than heterosexual women, as indicated by both their genital arousal and their pupil dilation. However, there was no evidence that they had more male-typical digit ratios, or that digit ratios mediated the relationship between women’s sexual orientation and their male-typical sexual arousal patterns. Moreover, even though homosexual women were more masculine than heterosexual women in their self-reports or via observer ratings, this pattern, too, did not explain their male-typical arousal patterns.

The finding that homosexual women had stronger responses to their preferred sex than heterosexual women is consistent with previous research both for genital arousal and pupil dilation (Chivers et al., 20042007; Rieger et al., 20152016). However, the finding that 2D:4D was not significantly lower in homosexual women than heterosexual women is puzzling, as it was confirmed previously in a meta-analysis (Grimbos et al., 2010). This may have been due to methodological reasons: Although between-rater reliability was high, and computer-assisted measurement techniques, such as those employed in the current study, have been shown to have the highest reliability compared to other methods of measuring 2D:4D (Allaway et al., 2009), we cannot say with certainty that our measure was valid.

Indeed, there is an ongoing debate about the utility of 2D:4D: Although it is regarded as a valid measure with respect to sex differences and female sexual orientation differences, it is also the case that there is much variability in this measure across individuals, and findings only apply on aggregate and do not apply to single people (Swift-Gallant et al., 2020). Furthermore, the aforementioned meta-analysis suggested a publication bias in reported relationships of sexual orientation with 2D:4D (Grimbos et al., 2010), and the true effect could therefore be smaller than usually published. In the present data, the strongest linear relationship of sexual orientation with 2D:4D was r (or β) = − 0.12 in the right hand. With this effect, post hoc power analyses indicated a minimum sample of 542 women for it to be significant. If our a priori sample size estimate had returned such a large number, we would have considered it an unreasonable goal for a laboratory-based study like ours.

Another possible explanation for the present null finding with respect to 2D:4D is the ethnic makeup of the sample. We did not factor this into planning the present study because the meta-analysis pointed to an ethnicity effect only in men and not in women (Grimbos et al., 2010), although other research has found an influence of ethnicity on 2D:4D in women (Lippa, 2003). Indeed, excluding all non-Caucasian participants from the present sample made the association between 2D:4D and sexual orientation stronger (although still nonsignificant) in both hands (Fig. 4). Thus, future research measuring the relationship between 2D:4D and sexual orientation may wish to either employ a racially homogenous participant sample, or recruit enough participants that per-race comparisons are feasible. Note that even within the white sample, 2D:4D did not appear to explain (mediate) any relationship of women's sexual orientation with their sexual response patterns.

It is impossible to draw any conclusions from the present data about whether the relationship between 2D:4D and sexual orientation mediates the relationship between sexual orientation and sexual responses, simply because 2D:4D in itself did not relate to sexual orientation. With regard to masculinity–femininity, if anything, statistically controlling for any of the three masculinity–femininity variables made the correspondence of women’s sexual orientation with their male-typical sexual arousal stronger. This pattern—a strengthening of the effect of sexual orientation on sexual response when measures of behavioral masculinity are statistically controlled for—has been previously noted (Rieger et al., 2016). In combination with present findings, it appears unlikely that it was previously a chance finding.

If one assumed for a moment that the present findings are accurate, what could be their reasons? For females, it is possible that there exist several “sensitive periods” of masculinization during prenatal development, and that these periods differ for different traits (McCarthy et al., 2018; Xu et al., 2019). At least in non-human primates, exposure to testosterone at different stages of gestation may masculinize sexual behaviors independently from non-sexual behaviors (Goy et al., 1988). Specifically, Goy et al. reported that female rhesus macaques exposed to testosterone during their prenatal development had different behavioral outcomes depending on the timing, with those exposed early in gestation displaying male-typical sexual behaviors (e.g., mounting other females) and those exposed late in gestation displaying male-typical non-sexual behaviors (e.g., rough play). It is possible that behavioral traits and sexual arousal patterns are masculinized at different stages of development in humans also, and thus, are not necessarily interlinked within individuals—for example, those who have male-typical arousal may not have male-typical gender-related behaviors and vice versa.

A final point concerns bisexual women, who were intermediate between heterosexual and homosexual women in their sexual arousal and masculinity–femininity, but were significantly more feminine in their 2D:4D. One hypothesis is that due to intermediate dosages of genetic or prenatal hormonal influences, bisexual individuals, who could be considered to have sexual orientations between heterosexual and homosexual, also fall intermediate with respect to correlates of sexual orientation (Rieger et al., 2020). Thus, regarding bisexual women's 2D:4D, we assumed that they could also be intermediate between heterosexual and homosexual women on this measure. Contrary to this assumption, bisexual women had more feminine 2D:4D than both heterosexual and homosexual women (Table 1). It has been proposed that personality differences between homosexual and heterosexual women may be caused by exposure to androgens during prenatal development, whereas the distinct personality traits of bisexual individuals (e.g., higher sociosexuality compared to heterosexual and homosexual) may be a correlate of their higher levels of postnatal androgens (Lippa, 2020). If the present findings are valid, they would suggest that bisexual women also differ from heterosexual and homosexual women with respect to prenatal androgenization, but this would imply that they have been less masculinized than other groups, and we cannot offer an explanation for why this would be the case.

In sum, the findings of the present research suggest that there is no link between the male-typical sexual responses of homosexual women and putative markers of prenatal androgenization. Other purported markers of androgen exposure may reveal a different pattern than the one reported here. Such markers include the distance between the anus and the genitalia (Barrett et al., 2018) and otoacoustic emissions, which are tiny sounds emitted by the inner ear (McFadden & Pasanen, 1998). Another avenue for future research would involve individuals with conditions affecting the availability of androgens, or their sensitivity to them. To our knowledge, no studies to date investigated the arousal patterns of women with CAH. If androgen exposure does indeed impact sexual responses—and given the apparent impact of excessive androgens on the sexual orientation of women with CAH (Meyer-Bahlburg et al., 2008; Zucker et al., 1996)—women with CAH may show male-typical specificity in their sexual arousal.