Saturday, August 6, 2022

Men, particularly those who declare being interested in politics, take longer than women to admit that they do not know the answer to political knowledge items

How long does it take to admit that you do not know? Gender differences in response time to political knowledge questions. Mónica Ferrín, Gema García-Albacete, Irene Sánchez-Vítores. Research & Politics, August 5, 2022.

Abstract: The implications of the persistent gender gap in political knowledge are a puzzle that the literature is still disentangling; and research has evidenced important differences in the way women and men respond to survey questions. We argue in this article that political knowledge survey items not only inform about differences in cognition but also about other latent traits related to gender stereotyping. Gender stereotypes around political knowledge push men to be knowledgeable but not so much women, which we expect to affect men and women’s survey responses differently. To test this expectation, we explore response times of do not know answers to political knowledge items. Our results show that men, particularly those who declare being interested in politics, take longer than women to admit that they do not know the answer to political knowledge items.

Keywords: political knowledge, do not know, gender gap, response time, stereotypes

This article contributes to the literature on gender and politics by showing that gender-conformity affects both men and women. Our interpretation of the longer time men take to respond DK is that men are gender stereotyped to be politically knowledgeable. As a consequence, they are reluctant to verbalize their lack of knowledge, which implies that they take as much time as possible before yielding and admitting they do not know the answer.

While some authors have argued that do not know answers simply reflect ignorance on behalf of respondents, regardless of the question format or their personality traits (Jessee, 2017Luskin and Bullock, 2011), this article shows that DK responses do not distribute randomly. Gender differences in DK response latencies provide an additional piece of evidence regarding the effects of stereotype threat on respondents (Davis and Silver, 2003Pereira, 2019) and how it results in a further overestimation of men’s actual levels of political knowledge, compared to women’s. Further research should explore the extent to which priming other social identities (McGlone et al., 2006Shih et al., 1999), amongst other strategies, could enhance respondent’s confidence and provide more accurate depiction of what they know about politics.

This article also opens an avenue for further research on survey methodology. We have shown that response latencies of do not know answers hide differentiated traits for women and men, based on gender stereotypes. To date, little research has explored the potential interpretation of groups’ differences in response times in relation to data quality and comparability. We offer here evidence that response times differ significantly between women and men, which implies different reactions to survey items. This finding should encourage the use of response latencies as a tool to explore heterogeneity in responses to survey items.

In contrast to many other growth models we find that the taxation of human capital has a substantial negative effect on its accumulation; this in turn reduces innovation and, consequently, the income growth rate

Human capital, innovation, and growth. Clas Eriksson, Johan Lindén, Christos Papahristodoulou. International Journal of Economic Theory, May 16 2022.

Abstract: This paper explores the interaction between human capital and innovation in the process of economic growth. Using a model of endogenous growth, we focus on how taxes and other policy instruments affect the incentives to invest in human capital. In contrast to many other growth models we find that the taxation of human capital has a substantial negative effect on its accumulation. This in turn reduces innovation and, consequently, the income growth rate. More surprisingly, other policies that are intended to stimulate growth may have opposing effects on innovation and the accumulation of human capital. For example, while subsidies to research and to intermediate inputs do have positive effects on innovation and growth, they lead to a lower stock of human capital, in the empirically relevant case when the elasticity of intertemporal substitution in consumption is low.


Human capital and innovation are important drivers of economic growth. This paper explores a model in which both the acquirement of human capital and innovation are endogenous, and where a share of the human capital is used in research. We examine the incentives to undertake research and spend time in schooling, in particular with respect to the role of economic policy for those growth-promoting activities.

We develop a model similar to Romer (1990), with the important difference that human capital is endogenous. In addition, contrary to the simpler standard formulation in many other growth models where labor taxes drop out of the equations, our household's optimization implies that the taxation on human capital has a substantial negative effect on the formation of this factor. Since human capital is an essential input in research, this in turn lowers the income growth rate. Similarly, if the tax on unskilled labor is higher, more time will be spent in schooling to build human capital, resulting in a higher growth rate.

While subsidies to research and to intermediate inputs have positive effects on growth, they do not necessarily lead to a larger long-run stock of human capital in the economy. If the elasticity of intertemporal substitution in consumption is sufficiently low, these policy instruments stimulate growth by inducing a reallocation of a smaller stock of human capital toward more research.

An economy which taxes interest income at a higher rate will experience lower growth, because the representative household decides to shift some consumption from the future to the present in response to the lower net interest rate. The total stock of human capital is lower on the BGP and the relative wage increases.

Our model implies a substantial negative tax effect on economic growth. The analysis thus indicates that the design of the tax system may be important for the rate of growth in an economy. This theoretical finding is consistent with some important recent empirical research.

Impression formation at zero-acquaintance: Penises which were wider, longer, and moderately hairy were perceived more positively in terms of personality and sexual appeal; shorter and narrower penises were perceived as more neurotic

Personality and Sexual Perceptions of Penises: Digital Impression Formation. Thomas R. Brooks & Stephen Reysen. Sexuality & Culture, Aug 4 2022.

Abstract: Dating app users are likely to experience a high frequency of viewing the sexually explicit material of potential partners prior to a physical meeting. The present study aimed to investigate what information is inferred from a picture of a penis at zero-acquaintance. Past research in impression formation at zero-acquaintance has demonstrated a stability with regard to personality and trait perceptions of faces. Utilizing 106 participants, our study extends this paradigm by testing the hypothesis that penis prototypicality would be associated with attractiveness, as well as explore the personality and sexual perceptions of penises along the dimensions of girth, length, and amount of pubic hair. The hypotheses were confirmed and the analysis of penis dimensions revealed strong results. Penises which were wider, longer, and moderately hairy were perceived more positively in terms of personality and sexual appeal. Shorter and narrower penises were perceived as more neurotic. The results demonstrate the function of impression formation within the digital sexual landscape with regard to sexually explicit material.

Free-ranging long-tailed macaques: Do monkeys use sex toys? Evidence of stone tool-assisted masturbation.

Do monkeys use sex toys? Evidence of stone tool-assisted masturbation in free-ranging long-tailed macaques. Camilla Cenni,Jessica B. A. Christie, Yanni Van der Pant, Noëlle Gunst, Paul L. Vasey, I Nengah Wandia, Jean-Baptiste Leca. Ethology, August 4 2022.

Abstract: Recent reports on tool use in nonforaging contexts have led researchers to reconsider the proximate drivers of instrumental object manipulation. In this study, we explore the physiological and behavioral correlates of two stone-directed and seemingly playful actions, the repetitive tapping and rubbing of stones onto the genital and inguinal area, respectively, that may have been co-opted into self-directed tool-assisted masturbation in long-tailed macaques (i.e., “Sex Toy” hypothesis). We predicted that genital and inguinal stone-tapping and rubbing would be more closely temporally associated with physiological responses (e.g., estrus in females, penile erection in males) and behavior patterns (e.g., sexual mounts and other mating interactions) that are sexually motivated than other stone-directed play. We also predicted that the stones selected to perform genital and inguinal stone-tapping and rubbing actions would be less variable in number, size, and texture than the stones typically used during other stone-directed playful actions. Overall, our data partly supported the “Sex Toy” hypothesis indicating that stone-directed tapping and rubbing onto the genital and inguinal area are sexually motivated behaviors. Our research suggests that instrumental behaviors of questionably adaptive value may be maintained over evolutionary time through pleasurable/self-rewarding mechanisms, such as those underlying playful and sexual activities.

Naturism & Casual Stripping Predict Social Body Appreciation & less social physique anxiety; sexting predicts social physique anxiety in men

Good Nudes and Bad Nudes: How Naturism, Casual Stripping, and Sexting Predict Social Physique Anxiety and Body Appreciation. Keon West & Eliza Kukawska. Sexuality & Culture, Aug 5 2022.

Abstract: Prior research suggests that naturism leads to less social physique anxiety and more positive body image, but that other forms of public nudity (e.g., casual stripping, sexting) may be harmful, particularly for women. Two cross-sectional studies built on those previous findings. Study 1 (N1 = 6670) found a positive relationship between generalised nude activity and body appreciation which was not moderated by gender. Study 2 (N2 = 331) found that both naturism and casual stripping predicted more body appreciation, a relationship mediated by less social physique anxiety. Again, these relationships were not moderated by gender. In contrast, sexting did not predict body appreciation and predicted more social physique anxiety, but only in men. These findings highlight that some types of nudity may be more beneficial or harmful than others, and that future research and policy should specify the type of nudity under consideration in order to maximise positive effects.

General Discussion

These two studies replicated, clarified, and built on previous findings concerning nudity and psychological outcomes. Using a large, age-diverse and gender-diverse sample, Study 1 found that participation in public nudity generally predicted more positive body image (i.e., higher levels of body appreciation). Furthermore, the lack of moderation by gender, despite the substantial sample size in that study, is a strong indicator that this moderation may be very small or genuinely absent. The positive associations between public nudity and body image appear to apply for those who identify as men, women, or neither.

Study 2 extended these findings by investigating three specific types of public nudity simultaneously: naturism, casual stripping, and sexting. In line with prior research (West, 2021) naturism predicted more body appreciation, and that this relationship was mediated by lower levels of social physique anxiety. Seemingly in contrast with prior research (Sherman & Hackathorn, 2020), casual stripping was also associated with positive outcomes: less social physique anxiety and (indirectly) more body appreciation. As in Study 1, these positive associations were not moderated by gender. Only sexting was associated with negative outcomes and this was the only association moderated by gender: sexting predicted more social physique anxiety in men (but not in women) and had no relationship with body appreciation. Below, we discuss these findings considering their implications, strengths and limitations, and suggestions for future research.


The positive effects of naturism on body image have been already documented in previous research (e.g., West, 2018, 2020, 2021). Nonetheless, these findings add to the generalisability of the relationship between naturism and body image. In particular, Study 1 used a very large sample of German participants, and Study 2 used a sample of mixed European participants. The consistency between these findings and prior research can increase our confidence about the positive effects of naturism, and the generalisability of these effects beyond a limited range of English-speaking countries.

Perhaps more surprising, these findings appear to contradict previous research which found that casual stripping was associated with negative (not positive) psychological factors (i.e., Sherman & Hackathorn, 2020). However, we can propose some potential reasons for these divergent findings. First, as mentioned before, Sherman and Hackathorn’s measure of casual stripping included items that could have applied to other forms of public nudity, making it unclear exactly what the scale was measuring. Second, Sherman and Hackathorn investigated different variables. Specifically, they found (1) associations between casual stripping and paternal neglect (which seemed to be a precursor and not consequence of casual stripping) and (2) associations between casual stripping and sociosexuality, a variable that can only be interpreted as negative if one holds a priori beliefs about the value of a woman’s modesty and sexual selectivity. It seems quite reasonable to interpret their findings differently, in line with prior research (e.g., Lewis & Janda, 1988) that found positive associations between nudity and comfort with one’s sexuality. In that light, it is also understandable that casual stripping may be similarly associated with lower levels of social physique anxiety and higher levels of body image in both men and women. In any case, research on stripping and psychological outcomes remains scarce and somewhat unclear, with some finding associations even between professional stripping and positive psychological outcomes (see, e.g., Sweet & Tewksbury, 2000; Wood, 2000). Thus, future research could be useful to clarify what the positive and negative effects of stripping may be.

Only one finding indicated associations between some form of public nudity and negative psychological outcomes (i.e., the association between sexting and social physique anxiety) and this finding only applied to men. While these findings do not go beyond prior research showing that sexting was sometimes associated with negative outcomes (Liong & Cheng, 2019), they do add meaningfully to these current findings in two ways. First, they clarify that not all forms of public nudity have similar associations with psychological outcomes; while naturism and casual stripping were associated with positive outcomes, sexting was associated with negative outcomes. Second, they undermine the simplistic interpretation of our findings that high levels of body image and low levels of anxiety about one’s body are necessarily the causes of more involvement in public nudity. At the very least, lower levels of anxiety about one’s body is associated with less frequent sexting (though more frequent naturism and casual stripping) suggesting that a more complex relationship exists between nudity and body image.

Finally, though this was not a central aspect of the study, it is noteworthy that a large proportion of the participants in both studies had engaged in some communal nude activity (Study 1 – 46%, Study 2 – 88% naturism, 62% casual stripping, 57% sexting). This suggests that willingness to take part in nude activity may be more widespread than it is often assumed to be.

Limitations and Future Research

These studies benefit from a number of strengths including theoretical replication across two studies, a very large sample size in Study 1, participants of varied nationalities, and participants who were more diverse than the widely overused student samples common in social psychology (Henrich, Heine, & Norenzayan, 2010). Practically, this research also provides a valuable tool for assessing body image in German-speaking countries by using the translation of the most recent version of the BAS-2, which has several advantages over the previous versions of the Body Appreciation Scale (Tylka & Wood-Barcalow, 2015a).

However, this research also has limitations. As both studies are cross-sectional, it is not possible to infer causal effects. Thus, a potential criticism is that this research merely shows that people who like their bodies are more likely participate in nudity. While it is plausible that a causal relationship exists in that direction, neither these current data nor prior research support the simplistic interpretation that this is the only causal relationship. As mentioned, this interpretation is incompatible with the finding that less anxiety about one’s body is associated with more of some forms of public nudity (naturism and casual stripping), but less of other forms (sexting). Furthermore, prior experimental research has shown a causal effect of public nudity on social physique anxiety and body image (West, 2021).

While the participants were diverse in some ways, most participants identified as White, and sexual orientation and cisgender or transgender status was not explicitly investigated. Also, despite the large samples, some amount of self-selection likely occurred, meaning that only participants were likely already interested in body image. Similar limitations found in other research on nudity and body image (West, 2018, 2020, 2021). Nonetheless, future research should specifically investigate whether the effects of public and communal nudity differ for participants who are not White, cisgender, and heterosexual.

We note that the effect size of the relationship between nude activity and body image in Study 1 was quite small. However, this could be due to the use of a relatively crude all-or-nothing measure of participation in nude activity; participants merely indicated (“yes” vs. “no”) whether they had ever taken part in such activity. Effect sizes were notably larger in Study 2, in which we used more nuanced measures. This further suggests that even more nuanced studies that include measures of how frequently, recently, or under what conditions participants took part in such activities may yield yet larger effect sizes, as well as more information about the ways to maximise the link between nudity and body appreciation.

Finally, though this research investigated specific, positive relationships between nude activities and body appreciation, future research should also continue to investigate the possible relationships between nude activity and negative outcomes. Several potential outcomes were not included in this research, such as body shame, body surveillance, overall life satisfaction, or even self-esteem. Including such outcomes may provide a more rounded picture of the positive and negative effects of all these activities.

Più povero è il linguaggio, meno esiste il pensiero

′′La graduale scomparsa dei tempi (congiuntivo, passato semplice, imperfetto, forme composte del futuro, participio passato…) dà luogo ad un pensiero al presente, limitato al momento, incapace di proiezioni nel tempo.

La generalizzazione del “tu”, la scomparsa delle maiuscole e della punteggiatura sono altrettanti colpi mortali portati alla sottigliezza dell'espressione.

Cancellare la parola ′′signorina′′ non solo è rinunciare all'estetica di una parola, ma anche promuovere l'idea che tra una bambina e una donna non c'è nulla.

Meno parole e meno verbi coniugati rappresentano inferiori capacità di esprimere le emozioni e meno possibilità di elaborare un pensiero.


Senza parole per costruire un ragionamento, il “pensiero complesso” caro a Edgar Morin è ostacolato, reso impossibile.

Più povero è il linguaggio, meno esiste il pensiero.

La storia è ricca di esempi e gli scritti sono molti da Georges Orwell in 1984 a Ray Bradbury in Fahrenheit 451 che hanno raccontato come le dittature di ogni obbedienza ostacolassero il pensiero riducendo e torcendo il numero e il significato delle parole .

Non c'è pensiero critico senza pensiero. E non c'è pensiero senza parole.

Come costruire un pensiero ipotetico-deduttivo senza avere il controllo del condizionale? Come prendere in considerazione il futuro senza coniugare il futuro? Come comprendere una contemporaneità o un susseguirsi di elementi nel tempo, siano essi passati o futuri, nonché la loro durata relativa, senza una lingua che distingua tra ciò che sarebbe potuto essere, ciò che è stato, ciò che è, cosa potrebbe accadere, e cosa sarà dopo ciò che potrebbe accadere? Se un grido dovesse farsi sentire oggi, sarebbe quello rivolto a genitori e insegnanti: fate parlare, leggere e scrivere i vostri figli, i vostri studenti.

Insegna e pratica la lingua nelle sue forme più svariate, anche se sembra complicata, soprattutto se complicata. Perché in questo sforzo c'è la libertà. Coloro che spiegano a lungo che bisogna semplificare l'ortografia, scontare la lingua dei suoi “difetti", abolire generi, tempi, sfumature, tutto ciò che crea complessità sono i becchini della mente umana. Non c'è libertà senza requisiti. Non c'è bellezza senza il pensiero della bellezza".

Cristoforo Clavé