Archive for 'Boys Will Be Boys'

Conscientiousness with Fellatio as a Mate-Retention Activity

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

Conscientiousness and aggreeableness are key to whether women are able to keep up a relationship with a mate, if fellatio is involved, suggests this new study:

selaWomen’s mate retention behaviors, personality traits, and fellatio,” Yael Sela [pictured here, above], Todd K. Shackelford [pictured here, below], Michael N. Pham, Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Personality and Individual Differences, vol. 85, October 2015, pp. 187–191. The authors, at Oakland University, Rochester, Minnesota, in report:

“Women perform oral sex on their male partner (i.e., fellatio) as part of a Benefit-Provisioning mate retention strategy, and women’s personality predicts their interest in, and time spent, performing fellatio. We explored whether women’s mate retention behavior mediates the relationship between their personality traits and their performance of fellatio in a long-term romantic relationship.shackleford Women (n = 401) reported their personality traits, the frequency with which they performed mate retention behaviors during the past month, and their interest in and the time they spent performing fellatio on their partner during their most recent sexual encounter. The results indicate that women higher in Conscientiousness spend more time performing fellatio on their partner, and this relationship is mediated by their Benefit-Provisioning mate retention. Women higher in Agreeableness report greater interest in performing fellatio on their partner…. The current research is the first to investigate the relationship between women’s personality traits and oral sex behaviors…”

Here’s further, graphic detail from the study:


Podcast #12: Ostrich courtship of humans

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

Ostriches, sea monsters, and sex figure heavily in this week’s Improbable Research podcast.

LISTEN on or iTunes (or DOWNLOAD it, and listen later).
SUBSCRIBE on or iTunes, to get a new episode every week, free.
[NEWS: Soon, the podcast will also be available on Spotify.]

This week, Marc Abrahams tells about:


The mysterious John Schedler perhaps did the sound engineering this week.

The Improbable Research podcast is all about research that makes people LAUGH, then THINK — real research, about anything and everything, from everywhere —research that may be good or bad, important or trivial, valuable or worthless. CBS distributes it, both on the new CBS web site, and on iTunes (and soon, also on Spotify).

Finnish solution of the nude body / brain question

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

A team of Finnish researchers reached new partial understanding of how human brains react to nude bodies. They published a study about it:

Facilitated early cortical processing of nude human bodies,” Jussi Alho, Nelli Salminen, Mikko Sams, Jari K. Hietanen, Lauri Nummenma, Biological Psychology, epub May 7, 2015. (Thanks to Neil Martin for bringing this to our attention.) The authors at Aalto University, the University of Tampere, and the University of Turku, Finland, report:

“it remains unresolved whether nude and clothed bodies are processed by same cerebral networks or whether processing of nude bodies recruits additional affective and arousal processing areas. We recorded simultaneous MEG and EEG while participants viewed photographs of clothed and nude bodies. Global field power revealed a peak ∼145 ms after stimulus onset to both clothed and nude bodies, and ∼205 ms exclusively to nude bodies. Nude-body-sensitive responses were centered first (100–200 ms) in the extrastriate and fusiform body areas, and subsequently (200–300 ms) in affective-motivational areas including insula and anterior cingulate cortex. We conclude that visibility of sexual features facilitates early cortical processing of human bodies, the purpose of which is presumably to trigger sexual behavior and ultimately ensure reproduction.”

Here’s further detail from the study:



BONUS (possibly unrelated): Measuring a person’s incoherence

‘RTFM’ – is life too short?

Monday, May 18th, 2015

89e5408609f92fecabaf7ab2694152d3-bpfullFor some, ‘Life Is Too Short to RTFM’ say Professor Thea Blackler and colleagues at the School of Design, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Australia. In the journal Interacting with Computers they explain that those who don’t tend to bother to RTFM (which they de-acronymize as ‘read the field* manual’) tend to be male, young-ish and more educated.

see: Life Is Too Short to RTFM: How Users Relate to Documentation and Excess Features in Consumer Products

*Note: not everyone translates RTFM as politely as ‘Read the field manual’.

The photo shows QUT paper co-author Professor Vesna Popovic

Enders’s “Darm mit Charme”: What’s what about the gut

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Giulia Enders gave seven-minute talk (at Science Slam Berlin) about being a medical student studying the gut. The talk got people talking,  and got a a book publisher offering a book contract, and got Enders writing a book, and got lots of people reading that book after it was written. Here’s video of the talk, in German, called “Darm mit Charme”. The book has the same name, and is now also being published in other languages.

The Guardian has two articles that give details and an appreciation:

Gut reaction: book celebrating digestive tract becomes German bestseller

The truth about poo: we’re doing it wrong

(Thanks to Adrian Smith for bringing this to our attention.)