Archive for 'Boys Will Be Boys'

Ig Nobellian Miller’s new use for 3D printing: Women’s penis size recall

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

Geoffrey Miller, who shared a 2008 Ig Nobel Prize, for research on lap dancers’ fertility and earning power, continues his relentless pursuit of knowledge. Professor Miller and several colleagues have come up with a new use for 3D printing. They tell all in the new study:

DSC_1346Women’s Preferences for Penis Size: A New Research Method Using Selection among 3D Models,” Nicole Prause [pictured here, right], Jaymie Park, Shannon Leung, Geoffrey Miller, PLoS ONE, 10(9), September 2, 2015: e0133079. The authors, at UCLA and the University of New Mexico, explain:

Studies of women’s penis size preferences typically have relied on their abstract ratings or selecting amongst 2D, flaccid images. This study used haptic stimuli to allow assessment of women’s size recall accuracy for the first time, as well as examine their preferences for erect penis sizes in different relationship contexts. Women (N = 75) selected amongst 33, 3D models. Women recalled model size accurately using this method, although they made more errors with respect to penis length than circumference. Women preferred a penis of slightly larger circumference and length for one-time (length = 6.4 inches/16.3 cm, circumference = 5.0 inches/12.7 cm) versus long-term (length = 6.3 inches/16.0 cm, circumference = 4.8 inches/12.2 cm) sexual partners. These first estimates of erect penis size preferences using 3D models suggest women accurately recall size and prefer penises only slightly larger than average.

Here’s graphical detail from the study:

Millers 3d offerings


Here’s graphic detail from the study:

During the inspection, she was asked not to measure the model using any objects in the room, but no instruction was provided regarding how she used her own hands. Then, the experimenter left for 30 seconds (without observing the participant’s inspection process), returned, took the test model from the participant and out of the testing room, and asked the participant to select which penis model (from the 33 described above) was most similar in size to the test model she just handled. The participant recorded the letter code from the bottom of that model into the computer.

The 2008 Ig Nobel Prize for economics was awarded to Geoffrey Miller [pictured below, holding an object in one hand], Joshua Tybur and Brent Jordan of the University of New Mexico, for discovering that professional lap dancers earn higher tips when they are ovulating. Their prize-winning study is: “Ovulatory Cycle Effects on Tip Earnings by Lap Dancers: Economic Evidence for Human Estrus?” Geoffrey Miller, Joshua M. Tybur, Brent D. Jordan, Evolution and Human Behavior, vol. 28, 2007, pp. 375-81.

geoffrey miller summer2013

“Penises of the Animal Kingdom” poster in museum-boosting video

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Jim Knowlton’s poster “Penises of the Animal Kingdom”, for which Mr. Knowlton was awarded the 1992 Ig Nobel Prize for art, is featured in this travel video. The video, made by Pommie Travels, is called “Giant Animal Penises: The Phallological Museum, Iceland”:

Evaluating a fake teacher (à la a fake babe on a dating site)

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Two medical educators injected a fake teacher into an evaluate-your-teachers survey, in a medical school. Ivan Oransky, writing in MedPage Today, describes the study and the incident that motivated those two medical educators:

Dear medical school faculty members, here’s a question that may come to mind as the new academic year gets underway: What if you earned an evaluation for a course you hadn’t taught?

00-Sebastian-UYou might keep it to yourself, I suppose, if the evaluation was good. But if it was just average — as happened to Sebastian Uijtdehaage, PhD [pictured here], of the Geffen UCLA School of Medicine in 2006 — you might be “flummoxed.”

In fact, if you’re Uijtdehaage, the episode might raise “the sticky question of whether medical students are completing [teaching evaluations] mindlessly, without due diligence,” and might prompt you to study the subject — which Uijtdehaage and his colleague Christopher O’Neal, PhD, did.

The researchers went so far as to  include a photo “of an attractive young model who, perhaps regretfully, did not resemble any of our faculty members.” That fake teacher-babe drew some responses — though fewer responses when her picture was included than when she was a mere textual description.

The study itself is: “A curious case of the phantom professor: mindless teaching evaluations by medical students,” Sebastian Uijtdehaage and Christopher O’Neal, Medical Education, Volume 49, Issue 9, September 2015, pages 928–932.

“Why does coffee make you poop?” Four videos.

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

Several organizations try to answer the same question (a question that is laden with assumptions): “Why does coffee make you poop?”

Discovery News:


ACS Reactions:

Nathan and Rose:

(Thanks to Vaughn Tan for bringing this to our attention.)


Tyrannosaurus Rx: “The day I removed a toy dinosaur from a woman’s vagina”

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

The Guardian published an article called “The day I removed a toy dinosaur from a woman’s vagina“.

It’s a firsthand medical report by a student nurse who uses the pen name Poppy Ward. The article includes the image you see here, from an entity named Alamy:


(Thanks to Adam K. Olson for bringing this to our attention.)

BONUS QUESTION: Should Poppy Ward have done a more formal writeup and submitted it to a medical journal, rather than a newspaper?