Friday, March 4, 2022

Women in relationships may be disadvantaged by hookup culture norms suggesting sex is freely available, putting pressure on them to acquiesce to the withdrawal method

Norms, Trust, and Backup Plans: U.S. College Women’s Use of Withdrawal with Casual and Committed Romantic Partners. Christie Sennott & Laurie James-Hawkins. The Journal of Sex Research, Feb 24 2022.

Abstract: This study integrates research on contraceptive prevalence with research on contraceptive dynamics in hookup culture to examine college women’s use of withdrawal with sexual partners. Drawing on in-depth interviews with 57 women at a midwestern U.S. university, we analyzed women’s explanations for using withdrawal for pregnancy prevention and framed our study within the research on gender norms, sexual scripts, and power dynamics. Findings showed withdrawal was normalized within collegiate hookup culture, and that women frequently relied on withdrawal as a secondary or backup method or when switching between methods. Women often followed up with emergency contraceptives if using withdrawal alone. With casual partners, women advocated for their own preferences, including for partners to withdraw. In committed relationships, women prioritized their partner’s desires for condomless sex, but also linked withdrawal with trust and love. Thus, women in relationships may be disadvantaged by hookup culture norms suggesting sex is freely available, putting pressure on them to acquiesce to withdrawal. Many women used withdrawal despite acknowledging it was not the most desirable or effective method, emphasizing the need for a sexual health approach that acknowledges these tensions and strives to help women and their partners safely meet their sexual and contraceptive preferences.

Trivialization of concepts of harm: Concept creep, the contemporary down-defining of notions of harm & trauma, makes people downplay the seriousness of the phenomenon as a whole

Broadened Concepts of Harm Appear Less Serious. Brodie C. Dakin et al. Social Psychological and Personality Science, March 3, 2022.

Abstract: Harm-related concepts have progressively broadened their meanings to include less severe phenomena, but the implications of this expansion are unclear. Across five studies involving 1,819 American participants recruited on MTurk or Prolific, we manipulated whether participants learned about marginal, prototypical (severe), or mixed examples of workplace bullying (Studies 1 and 3a), trauma (Studies 2 and 3b), or sexual harassment (Study 4). We hypothesized that exposure to marginal examples of a concept would lead participants to view the harm associated with it as less serious than those exposed to prototypical examples (trivialization hypothesis). We also predicted that mixing marginal examples with prototypical examples would disproportionately reduce perceived seriousness (threshold shift hypothesis). All studies supported the trivialization hypothesis, but threshold shift was not consistently supported. Our findings suggest that broadened concepts of harm may dilute the perceived severity and urgency of the harms they identify.

Keywords: concept creep, concept breadth, trauma, bullying, moral psychology

Specific cognitive abilities (fluid reasoning, processing speed, quantitative knowledge, & 13 another abilities) show a similar high heritability as general intelligence, some even a higher one

The genetics of specific cognitive abilities. Francesca Procopio, Quan Zhou, Ziye Wang, Agnieska Gidziela,  View ORCID ProfileKaili Rimfeld,  View ORCID ProfileMargherita Malanchini, Robert Plomin. bioRxiv Feb 8 2022.

Abstract: Most research on individual differences in performance on tests of cognitive ability focuses on general cognitive ability (g), the highest level in the three-level Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) hierarchical model of intelligence. About 50% of the variance of g is due to inherited DNA differences (heritability) which increases across development. Much less is known about the genetics of the middle level of the CHC model, which includes 16 broad factors such as fluid reasoning, processing speed, and quantitative knowledge. We provide a meta-analytic review of 863,041 monozygotic-dizygotic twin comparisons from 80 publications for these middle-level factors, which we refer to as specific cognitive abilities (SCA). Twin comparisons were available for 11 of the 16 CHC domains. The average heritability across all SCA is 55%, similar to the heritability of g. However, there is substantial differential heritability and the SCA do not show the dramatic developmental increase in heritability seen for g. We also investigated SCA independent of g (g-corrected SCA, which we refer to as SCA.g). A surprising finding is that SCA.g remain substantially heritable (53% on average), even though 25% of the variance of SCA that covaries with g has been removed. Our review frames expectations for genomic research that will use polygenic scores to predict SCA and SCA.g. Genome-wide association studies of SCA.g are needed to create polygenic scores that can predict SCA profiles of cognitive abilities and disabilities independent of g. These could be used to foster children’s cognitive strengths and minimise their weaknesses.

Increasing love feelings, marital satisfaction, and motivated attention to the spouse

Langeslag, S. J. E., & Surti, K. (2022). Increasing love feelings, marital satisfaction, and motivated attention to the spouse. Journal of Psychophysiology, Mar 2022.

Abstract: Love typically decreases over time, sometimes leading to divorces. We tested whether positively reappraising the spouse and/or up-regulating positive emotions unrelated to the spouse increases infatuation with and attachment to the spouse, marital satisfaction, and motivated attention to the spouse as measured by the late positive potential (LPP). Married individuals completed a regulation task in which they viewed spouse, pleasant, and neutral pictures without regulation prompt as well as spouse and pleasant pictures that were preceded by regulation prompts. Event-related potentials were recorded, and self-reported infatuation, attachment, and marital satisfaction were assessed. Viewing spouse pictures increased infatuation, attachment, and marital satisfaction compared to viewing pleasant or neutral pictures in the no regulation condition. Thinking about positive aspects of the spouse and increasing positive emotions unrelated to the spouse did not increase infatuation, attachment, and marital satisfaction any further. Motivated attention, measured by the LPP amplitude, was greatest to spouse pictures, intermediate to pleasant pictures, and minimal to neutral pictures. Although the typical up-regulation effect on the LPP amplitude was observed for pleasant pictures, positively reappraising the spouse did not increase the LPP amplitude and hence motivated attention to the spouse any further. This study indicates that looking at spouse pictures increases love and marital satisfaction, which is not due to increased positive emotions unrelated to the spouse. Looking at spouse pictures is an easy strategy that could be used to stabilize marriages in which the main problem is the decline of love feelings over time.