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Friday, December 06, 2013

Links - 6th December 2013 (2)

Friendship between Gay Men and Heterosexual Women: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis - "both gay male and heterosexual female participants were satisfied... A lack of sexual tension was portrayed by most female interviewees, indicating that the friendship between heterosexual women and gay men may be privileged by the lack of an underlying sexual agenda. Female participants reported feeling free to express their emotions and inner thoughts to their gay men friends; they believed that they achieved open, intimate and affectionate friendships with them... Some female participants claimed that they gained more from their gay male friends than their heterosexual female friends. This is because their friendships with gay men could offer them a male presence in their lives as well as a male viewpoint on various matters. Moreover, gay male participants appeared to contribute to female participants’ positive self-esteem, as women reported feeling good about themselves because they were valued for their personality and not their sexuality. Gay male participants frequently reported their disappointment with regard to friendships within the gay community. This finding is not consistent with previous research which argues that gay men benefit from their friendships with other gay men and therefore they prefer to form friendships within the gay community. Most participants reported a lack of trust in the gay world which was described as ‘back stabbing’ and ‘bitchy’... The lack of trust characterising the gay male participants’ friendships with other gay men was reflected in their reporting a lack of close and intimate friendships of this kind. Indeed, most gay male participants claimed that their needs for intimacy and closeness were fulfilled by their friendships with heterosexual women as they could trust them and rely upon them"

Negotiating a Friends with Benefits Relationship - "Attitudes about FWB were strongly associated with firsthand experience. The overwhelming majority of participants who had had a FWB thought that people could have sex and stay ‘‘just friends.’’ By contrast, those who had not experienced FWB were much more likely draw a distinction and believe that friends do not have sex. The causal order likely works both ways... talking about a relationship topped the list of taboo topics for both platonic and intimate couples. Further, avoiding talk about the relationship is especially likely when partners differ in desired level of commitment... Sternberg (1986, 1987) proposed three building blocks which determine different types of love and that are useful in distinguishing some types of relationships from others: intimacy, passion, and commitment. Intimacy includes feelings of warmth, understanding, communication, support, and sharing. Passion is characterized by physical arousal and desire. Finally, commitment includes decisions to devote oneself to a relationship and the desire to maintain the relationship. Intimacy, passion, and commitment are each one side of a triangle that describes the love individuals can share... Participants rated their FWB on Sternberg’s (1988) Triangle Love Scale. On the average, FWB participants indicated moderate intimacy, and low passion and commitment with there friend. According to Sternberg, this indicates the majority of FWB participants experienced the liking type of love for their friend, suggesting that the individuals really were ‘‘just friends’’ at the time of sexual activity. When scores were compared to previous findings with romantic couples, scores on all three dimensions were lower, with the largest differences observed in commitment followed by passion... The primary advantage seemed to be recreational, non-exclusive sex with a known and trusted other. The primary disadvantages were concerns that sex will harm the friendship or create unreciprocated desires for romantic exclusivity. Thus, the findings revealed an irony that the primary reasons for FWB were also a primary disadvantage."

Alpha Women, Beta Men - When wives are the family breadwinners - "In 2001, for example, wives earned more than their spouses in almost a third of married households where the wife worked. Yet this proud professional achievement often seems to have unhappy consequences at home... there’s little evidence to show that as women acquire financial muscle, relations between the sexes have evolved successfully to accommodate the new balance of power. Neither the newly liberated alpha women nor their shell-shocked beta spouses seem comfortable with the role reversal... According to psychologists (and divorce lawyers) who see couples struggling with such changes, many relationships follow the same pattern. First, the wife starts to lose respect for her husband, then he begins to feel emasculated, and then sex dwindles to a full stop... “He never spent money that wasn’t his in an extravagant way,” she says while taking therapeutic sips of a Sea Breeze at Tribeca Grill on a recent evening. “But by not helping, he was freeloading”... Among the reasons these women were originally attracted to their husbands—sex appeal, sense of humor, charisma—earning power may not have been high on the list. But that could be because it was a given. Unfortunately, the other qualities start to fade over time if the husband isn’t adding something tangible to the equation... When it works, it tends to be when the wife’s respect for her husband remains intact. “Women need to admire their partner,” says psychologist Harriette Podhoretz... Sometimes it’s the Alpha woman who needs reassurance that she’s still feminine... "he forces me to be a partner rather than the boss. It’s what keeps our marriage healthy. He won’t give me an inch of satisfaction. He won’t acknowledge my superiority"... Among the more tantalizing facts scientists at the Center for Research on Families at the University of Washington have uncovered is that the more money the wife makes, the more housework she does in proportion to her husband, and it’s not nearly as equitable as when both partners are working... even in the best of marriages, where the husbands stay home while the wives go off to work, the women seem unable to avoid doubt over their decision... Anna has promised to be more tough-minded in her choice of mate if and when she slips back into the dating scene. “I didn’t ask the right questions,” she laments. “ ‘What have you done? Where have you come from, and how much have you made?’”"
Sexual equality + hypergamy = An illustration of the law of second best.

Hong Kong's Troubling Shortage of Men - "there were 209,000 women living alone, a figure that is rapidly rising. It’s believed that one in five Hong Kong women born today will remain single for the rest of their lives... “Most of my single girl friends are all panicking about finding their other half now because men have a tendency to favor younger girls,” she explains. “Asian men seem to be attracted to girls around 25 rather than girls over 30, so if we don't find the right man soon, our chances of meeting a future partner will get slimmer”... “With so many more women than men in Hong Kong, older men can easily find younger women as their other halves”... even if you remove migrant women from the data, population demographics remain significantly lopsided in favor of women. So what accounts for the phenomenon? One explanation is the increasing number of cross-border marriages between Hong Kong men and mainland women, which, in 2012, accounted for more than 30 percent of all registered marriages in the city... “Hong Kong women are highly qualified and independent, but the marriage norm of men marrying down and women marrying up has remained largely intact. So some men may be unable to find a local wife due to their comparative socioeconomic disadvantages"... Despite the shortage of eligible partners, women in Hong Kong are renowned for being selective... while Hong Kong women are not necessarily prepared to “lower their standards,” they are willing to go to greater lengths than ever before to meet their dream partner... Many of the coaches’ suggestions, which included gazing at men while leaning forward at a 45 degree angle and avoiding showing excitement during any conversation, provoked considerable outrage both in the national press and on social media... The numbers of women seeking professional dating advice have risen rapidly over the past decade, and there are now almost 50 practicing plastic surgeons in the city... Some enterprising individuals have set up dating companies to try and match lonely Hong Kong women with eligible men in South China, but the number of these relationships remains small. Dr. Choi believes that unless social traditions change over the next two decades and Hong Kong women become more prepared to accept men with the same or less earning power, the city will face profound social problems... "The implications would be... increased hostility towards mainland wives of Hong Kong men""

The Modern Corporate Harem | Chateau Heartiste - "There you have it, the modern corporate harem, in all its flowcharted glory. Seven women per one high status man. A more illuminatingly succinct snapshot of the Western sexual market aligned with the globalizing economic market you won’t see. The only surprising thing about it is the lack of any land whales or witches among the female staff. This is Britain; you’d have to spend years scouring the countryside to find and place that many bangable women under one corporate umbrella. So you know a lot of hard work went into developing a staff that looks like a country with all its men and war pigs removed."
The staff chart IS suspicious...

Selling Santa: I never bought the Tooth Fairy. Why should I convince my kid that Santa is real? - "You can go too far with these things, as a 2012 episode of This American Life showed. It told the story of a man named Adam Mutchler, who was scarred for life because of his parents’ Santa lie. His parents went so far to sell Santa that they hired some dude to pose as Kris Kringle and show up on their lawn. They had a mythology about a vindictive Christmas elf named Jeko. Adam’s siblings eventually wised up, but Adam believed until he was a teenager, and felt humiliated and angry when he realized his parents were putting him on. He remained furious about it for years. According toThis American Life’s reporter, “One year, he came home from college and accused his parents for being the reason he couldn't trust anyone enough to have a serious girlfriend.”"

Why Women Are Unhappy - "Another theory could be that the feminist movement taught women to see themselves as victims of an oppressive patriarchy in which their true worth will never be recognized and any success is beyond their reach. Feminist organizations such as the National Organization for Women held consciousness-raising sessions where they exchanged tales of how badly some man had treated them. Grievances are like flowers — if you water them, they will grow, and self-imposed victimhood is not a recipe for happiness... Women’s studies courses require students to accept as an article of faith the silly notion that gender differences are not natural or biological but are social constructs created by the patriarchy and ancient stereotypes. This leads feminists to seek legislative corrections for problems that don’t exist... The feminists whine endlessly using their favorite word "choice" in matters of abortion, but they reject choice in gender roles. The Big Mama of feminist studies, Simone de Beauvoir, said: "We don’t believe that any woman should have this choice. No woman should be authorized to stay at home to raise her children … precisely because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one.""

Viral Journalism and the Valley of Ambiguity - "TED videos, often seasoned with cheery platitudes, become viral for the same reason that grumpy cat pictures do. They don't ask us to think critically — just to enjoy, or be amused and enlightened without the time-consuming labor of skepticism and doubt clouding our clicks. Why do we want to share these stories? Because in some sense they are not open to interpretation. You don't have to worry whether your friends will wonder why you shared this – it's obvious... To share a story is in part to take ownership of it, especially because you are often able to comment on a story that you are sharing on social media. If you can share a piece of information that's an absolute truth – whether that's how to uninstall apps on your phone, or what the NSA is really doing – you too become a truth teller. And that feels good. Just as good as it does to be the person who has the cutest cat picture on the Internet."
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