Archive for 'Boys Will Be Boys'

Nasality in Homosexual Men, Compared to Heterosexual Men and Women

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

Do homosexual men sound different from other people, when they talk? This Belgian study is a new attempt to answer that question:

Nasality in Homosexual Men: A Comparison with Heterosexual Men and Women,” Belle Vanpoucke [pictured here], Marjan Cosyns, Kim Bettens, and John Van Borse, Archives of Sexual Behavior, epub 2018. The authors, at Ghent University, Belgium, explain:

“Several studies reported that pitch and articulation may vary according to a person’s sexual orientation. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether homosexual males also demonstrate differences in nasal resonance compared to heterosexual males. Speech samples of 30 self-identified homosexual males, 35 heterosexual males, and 34 heterosexual females were compared both instrumentally and perceptually. Nasalance scores were calculated for the sounds /a/, /i/, /u/, and /m/ and for an oronasal, oral, and nasal text. In addition, the Nasality Severity Index was determined. Spontaneous speech samples were used for a perceptual evaluation of nasal resonance. Neither the nasalance scores nor the Nasality Severity Index were significantly different between the homosexual and heterosexual males. Heterosexual females, on the other hand, showed significantly higher nasalance values for the oronasal and oral text and a significantly lower Nasality Severity Index than both the homosexual and the heterosexual males. The perceptual judgment revealed no significant differences between the three groups. The results of this study suggest that, in contrast to pitch and articulation, nasality does not tend to vary with sexual orientation.”

“The Duck Guy” in German—A Book for All Ages

Friday, September 7th, 2018

Today is publication day for the German edition of Kees Moeliker’s Tell-All-About-The-Duck book. As you probably know, Kees was awarded the 2003 Ig Nobel Prize for biology, for his research study “The first case of homosexual necrophilia in the mallard Anas platyrhynchos.” This nifty video shows Kees gamely talking about it in German, rather than his native Dutch.

The Original Dutch title is De Eendenman. The German edition, is called Der Entenmann: Von Spatzenklöten, aussterbenden Filzläusen und nekrophilen Enten. Mysteriöse Todesfälle aus dem Tierreich. If you prefer  numbers, you’ll note that the ISBN is 978-3841906106.

The book’s name translates, into English, as “The Duck Guy.” If you prefer English, you will have to wait until some sensible, greedy book publisher wises up and asks Kees to do an English language edition. In the meantime, you can see and hear Kees telling the basic story of the duck, in this TED Talk (which you can also find by Googling the four words “TED Talk dead duck”):

Kees Moeliker, an ornithologist, is director of the natural history museum in Rotterdam. You are always welcome to visit him and the preserved remains of one of the ducks, at the museum. The most fun time to visit, of course, in any year on June 5, when the museum and the city of Rotterdam celebrate Dead Duck Day, on the anniversary of the incident, involving two ducks and a glass wall, that led to all this.

UPDATE: Kees interviewed on the DAS! TV program, September 7, 2018

UPDATE: “Die tote Ente ist immer dabei“, Spiegel, September 7, 2018

Savoring some salacious scientific discoveries: Ducks

Friday, August 24th, 2018

True Facts produced this short video called “True Facts About The Duck.”

Some of those facts were discovered by Patricia Brennan and Kees Moeliker, both of whom contributed to production of this video.

Some years ago Patricia Brennan summarized her discoveries in a 24/7 Lecture at the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony.

Some years before that Kees Moeliker was awarded an Ig Nobel Prize for biology, for his study “The First Case of Homosexual Necrophilia in the Mallard Anas platyrhynchos (Aves: Anatidae).”

(Thank you to Daniel Rosenberg for bringing this to our attention.)


Inventiveness: “The portable bidet compatible with your plastic bottle”

Thursday, August 9th, 2018

“The portable bidet compatible with your plastic bottle”—that’s what the promoters say in promoting their invention called CuloClean. It’s a propulsive bottle cap. The promotional video and crowdfunding campaign, like the device itself, comes with minimal information.

You may find it tricky to flush out information about the people behind CuloClean. Their press kit says only this:  “This is Ana and Guillermo, two young engineers from Madrid (Spain) concerned about the environment and willing to offer an efficient, reusable, discreet and cheap solution to everyone’s intimate hygiene​.”

Their materials make the claim “there hasn’t been until now an actual discreet, portable bidet that can fit in a pocket.” Here is a promotional photo-spread showing the device viewed from three different vantage points:(Thanks to Ig Nobel Prize winner Lluis Pallarés, co-inventor of Babypod, the device that delivers vagina music to pregnant women, for bringing CuloClean to our attention.)

“Lesbians Evolved to Please Men” Theorist Menelaos and the Single Men of Reddit

Wednesday, August 8th, 2018

Menelaos Apostolou, Associate Professor of Evolutionary Psychology at the University of Nicosia in the Republic of Cyprus, wondered why so many men on Reddit do not have an intimate partner.

Apostolou is also lead author on a recent study that explains that lesbians have evolved to please men. We wrote about that study. That study is called “The evolution of female same-sex attraction: The male choice hypothesis.”

On the new question—about why so many men on Reddit do not have an intimate partner—Apostolou did what professors of evolutionary psychology sometimes do when wondering about a question. He looked at data, and wrote a study about what he saw and what he thought about what he saw.

Here is a little chunk of a data table from the study:

The study is:

Why Men Stay Single? Evidence from Reddit,” Menelaos Apostolou, Evolutionary Psychological Science, epub 2018. The author [pictured below], at the University of Nicosia, Cyprus, explains:

“In Western societies, a substantial proportion of the adult population does not have an intimate partner. The current paper puts forward an evolutionary theoretical framework, where people stay single for three main reasons, namely the mismatch between ancestral and modern conditions has resulted in several individuals lacking the adaptations necessary for attracting and retaining mates, individuals can increase their fitness by opting out of relationships, and individuals have constraints that prevent them from attracting a mate. The paper attempted to identify the reasons that drive men to be single and to investigate whether they were consistent with the proposed theoretical framework. More specifically, 13,429 responses from a recent Reddit thread were analyzed, and 6794 responses were coded and classified in 43 categories. Among the most frequent reasons that men indicated for being single included poor flirting skills, low self-confidence, poor looks, shyness, low effort, and bad experience from previous relationships.”

Apostolou also wondered “Why Do Men Play and Watch Sports?” He has thought and written about that question:

“[This] gives rise to another question, namely “Why people’s mind interprets doing and watching sports as entertaining?” In an evolutionary perspective, people interpret as entertaining and enjoyable these activities which, in an ancestral context, enabled them to increase their reproductive and survival success, usually termed fitness…

“In human species, one way for men to gain access to the reproductive capacity of the opposite sex is to fight other men and monopolize access to women. This so-called male-male competition results in fights between men which can…”

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