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Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Links - 8th May 2013

Evidence to Suggest that Copulatory Vocalizations in Women Are Not a Reflexive Consequence of Orgasm - "With regard to the reasons females gave for making copulatory vocalization, 66% reported using these to speed up their partner’s ejaculation. This was done to relieve discomfort/pain, boredom, and fatigue in equal proportion, as well as because of time limitations. Importantly, 92% of participants felt very strongly that these vocalizations boosted their partner’s self-esteem and 87% reported using them for this purpose. To further emphasize the secondary nature of a female’s orgasmin their motivation towards engaging in sexual intercourse, 68% of females responded positively (i.e., [5 cm approximate mid point on the 10 cm visual analogue scale used) to the question asking whether they would stay with an otherwise satisfactory partner, even if they never reached orgasm with them... all women in this study made copulatory vocalizations and that at least some of these were under conscious control... the intensity of vocalizations increased prior to the male orgasm and coincident with this. Once male orgasm had been achieved, however, lower levels of female vocalization were reported. Together, these data clearly illustrate that human female orgasm and copulatory vocalizations are dissociated during sexual intercourse... These are reflexive, honest or dishonest signals of their state of arousal. To reinforce the point concerning conscious control, nearly 80% of females reported making copulatory vocalizations even when they knew they were not going to orgasm themselves. As such, the expression of these vocalizations can and probably is used to manipulate the behavior of the partner and in particular to influence the timing of his orgasm... These data were remarkably consistent with findings reported in non-human primates, where, for example, in Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus) the likelihood of male ejaculation is related to the intensity and speed of female vocalizations during copulation (Todt, Hammerschmidt, Ansorge,& Fischer, 1995; Todt&Pohl, 1984) and this appears to be independent of the male’s copulatory effort"
"Their recent observations of a clan of horny Barbary macaques revealed that when the females made noise during sex, the males ejaculated 59 percent of the time, as opposed to less than 2 percent of the time when the females kept quiet. The scientists also noticed that the females made more noise when they (the macaques, not the scientists) were most fertile, and the power and speed of the male macaque's thrusting increased accordingly"

Why There Will Never Be Viagra for Women - "Psychologist Richard Lippa teamed up with the BBC to survey over 200,000 people of all ages from all over the world concerning the strength of their sex drive and how it affects their desires. He found a similar inversion of male and female sexuality: for men, both gay and straight, higher sex drive increased the specificity of their sexual desire. Straight guys with higher sex drives tended to be more focused on women, while higher octane gay guys were more intent on men. But with women—at least nominally straight women— Lippa found the opposite effect: the higher her sex drive, the more likely a woman was to report being attracted to both men and women. Self-identified lesbians showed the same pattern as men: a higher sex drive meant more women-only focus. Perhaps this explains why nearly twice as many women as men consider themselves bisexual, while only half as many consider themselves to be exclusively gay... Sexologist Lisa Diamond spent over a decade studying the ebb and flow of female desire, finding that many women experience sexual attraction to specific people, rather than to a particular gender. She writes, “The hypothesis that female sexuality is fundamentally fluid provides the most robust, comprehensive, and scientifically supported explanation for the research data.”"

Women in Bed: What's All the Noise About? (Part II) - "British primatologist Stuart Semple found that, “In a wide variety of species, females vocalize just before, during or immediately after they mate. These vocalizations,” Semple says, “are particularly common among the primates and evidence is now accumulating that by calling, a female incites males in her group….” Precisely. There’s a good reason the sound of a woman enjoying a sexual encounter entices a heterosexual man. Her “copulation call” is a potential invitation to come hither, thus provoking sperm competition. Semple recorded more than 550 copulation calls from seven different female baboons and analyzed their acoustic structure. He found that these complex vocalizations contained information related both to the female’s reproductive state (the vocalizations were more complex when females were closer to ovulation) and to the status of the male “inspiring” any given vocalization (calls were longer and contained more distinct sonic units during matings with higher-ranked males). Thus, in these baboons at least, listening males could presumably gain information as to their likelihood of impregnating a calling female, as well as some sense of the rank of the male they’d find with her if they approached. Primatologist Meredith Small agrees that the copulation calls of female primates are easily identifiable: “Even the uninitiated can identify female nonhuman primate orgasm, or sexual pleasure," she says. "Females,” Small tells us, “make noises not heard in any other context but mating”... William J. Hamilton and Patricia C. Arrowood analyzed the copulatory vocalizations of various primates, including three human couples going at it. They noticed that “female sounds gradually intensified as orgasm approached and at orgasm assumed a rapid, regular (equal note lengths and inter-note intervals) rhythm absent in the males’ calls at orgasm.” Still, the authors can’t help sounding a tad let down when they note, “Neither sex [of human] … showed the complexity of note structure characteristic of baboon copulatory vocalizations.” But that’s probably a good thing, because elsewhere in their article we learn that female baboons’ copulation calls are clearly audible to even human ears from three hundred meters away."

Weight gain in smokers after quitting cigarettes: meta-analysis - "Smoking cessation is associated with a mean increase of 4-5 kg in body weight after 12 months of abstinence, and most weight gain occurs within three months of quitting. Variation in weight change is large, with about 16% of quitters losing weight and 13% gaining more than 10 kg."

Momentous Corp.’s Company’s ban on smokers leaves people asking ‘Who’s next?’ - "if smoking were to be a protected status, it would have to be on the grounds of disability. Both the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. “Nicotine addiction might be treated as a disability under human rights legislation, as is alcohol or drug addiction. If that is the case, then a rule banning smoking during leisure time would probably amount to unlawful disability discrimination, as would asking questions during recruitment about whether the employee smokes,” said David Doorey, professor of employment and labour law at York University... Much of the debate over such policies centres around the question: Who’s next? The obese? People who like to hanglide?... Michael Lynk, law professor at the University of Western Ontario, said companies who ban smokers argue they tend to have more illnesses, and be away from work more often. The same thing, he said, can be true for someone who has cancer, or heart disease... “We wouldn’t say [that] an employer could say ‘We don’t want to hire someone with one leg’ unless that’s a bona fide occupational requirement, like you’re a place-kicker for the Argonauts”... The one organization Mr. Lynk believes has a good argument on those grounds is the Canadian Cancer Society (which has a no-smoker policy), since so much of their work revolves around the advocacy of tobacco cessation."

Ship just got real in Leviathan: Warships trailer - "At some point, if you’ve seen enough indie game trailers, you might start to sour on how each game acts completely unaware that it’s just another physics-based puzzle platformer with a “retro” aesthetic. The developers behind Leviathan: Warships seem to be fully aware that strategy games are slow and difficult to convey as exciting in a short trailer. So, they thankfully played to that, and gave the world one of the best video game trailers we’ve seen in recent memory."

Secretly photographed? - Krystal Choo on moral courage for kids - "offenders repeatedly intrude upon the modesty of such girls, unfairly robbing them of their dignity... Girls need not be afraid to speak up and should not fear that others might accuse them of “asking for it” when they become such victims. This is because no one ever asks for violation and there is never a good reason to violate anyone. Knowing that society is always on your side and not the pervert’s side can also help girls overcome the fear and shock that such violation inflicts."
Excellent - taking photos of women in public is intruding upon their modesty and "violation" (note the similarity to rape rants). Now we can throw them in prison (as long as they're not STOMP contributors)!

Study: Belief in an angry God associated with variety of mental illnesses - "belief in a forgiving, loving God is associated with positive psychological traits, “almost protecting against psychopathology”"

Jason Collins Is No Hero; Mark Bingham Was - "You see, I'm old enough to know black people who weren't allowed to eat in the same places I did. And if they tried, they'd see the hurtful end of a water hose and German Shepard. I just can't get excited about Collins' news. Big deal. He had nothing on the line. His "coming out" benefits no one but himself. If a ton of endorsements were in jeopardy, or if his spot on a team were in doubt and he came out anyway ... well, then that would be impressive. Let's be honest: Collins is an uber-wealthy and talented super athlete in our celebrity-obsessed society. I doubt he has much to worry about outside of his bubble. So I'm sorry if I can't get worked up about this... Was I always rejecting gay heroes? Perhaps the problem is who the gay community chooses to hold up for praise: Barney Frank, Dan Savage, Rosie O'Donnell. These people aren't heroic, they are attractive meme-advancers. All three are quite mean human beings, I might add."

The Hidden Hand: Middle East Fears of Conspiracy - "As the first full-length study of conspiracy theories in the Middle East, The Hidden Hand reveals how such theories play a powerful role in the political life of the region. Placing conspiracy theories in their historical context, Daniel Pipes shows how the idea of the conspiracy has come to suffuse life in the Middle East, from the most private family conversations to the highest and most public levels of politics. Pipes then looks at conspiracies and their strength as a partial explanation for much of the region’s problems, including its record of political extremism, its culture of violence, and its lack of modernization"

Not for the first time: Oborne and Morrison wrong on Iran - "Some people can be accused of warmongering against Iran. Others can be accused of completely denying reality... The article goes on for some time afterward, and not a single mention of Iranian’s regional destabilization is mentioned. In fact, in the entirety of the piece, one would be hard pressed to find a reason to fear the acquisition of a nuclear arsenal by clerical fascists. Claims of ‘sheer ignorance’ regarding Iran’s aggression are deliciously funny when one can point to a bare-faced terrorist organization like Hezbollah... It is of course no secret that Hezbollah is sponsored to the sum of $200 million annually from Tehran and has received training from the Revolutionary Guards. Oh, and did anybody notice the Iranian-built rockets flying from Gaza in December? Not Oborne and Morrison it would appear. Instead the pair issue a compulsory dig at Israel"
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