genders

the ends, the knees, the houghs of the knees

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[B]oth men and women show roughly the same neural activity during orgasm. […] “What we see is an overall activation of the brain; basically it’s like all systems go.”

This may explain why orgasms are so all-consuming – if the whole forest is blazing, it’s difficult to discriminate between the different campfires that were there at the start. “At orgasm, if everything gets activated simultaneously, this can obliterate the fine discrimination between activities,” Komisaruk adds. It is maybe why you can’t think about anything else. […]

The penis has just one route for carrying sensations to the brain, the female genital tract has three or four. […]

After orgasm, however, some important differences do emerge, which might begin to explain why men and women react so differently after climax. Komisaruk, with Kachina Allen, has found preliminary evidence that specific regions of the male brain become unresponsive to further sensory stimulation of the genitals in the immediate aftermath of orgasm, whereas women’s brains continue to be activated: this may be why some women experience multiple orgasms, and men do not.

{ BBC | Continue reading }

photos { Scott Tolmie | William Eggleston }

Brass and reeds, brace and ready!

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A study has shown that in contemporary hunter-gatherer tribes, men and women tend to have equal influence on where their groups lives and who they live with. The findings challenge the idea that sexual equality is a recent invention, suggesting that it has been the norm for humans for most of our evolutionary history.

Mark Dyble, an anthropologist who led the study at University College London, said: “There is still this wider perception that hunter-gatherers are more macho or male-dominated. We’d argue it was only with the emergence of agriculture, when people could start to accumulate resources, that inequality emerged.” […]

Dyble said that egalitarianism may even have been one of the important factors that distinguished our ancestors from our primate cousins. “Chimpanzees live in quite aggressive, male-dominated societies with clear hierarchies,” he said. “As a result, they just don’t see enough adults in their lifetime for technologies to be sustained.”

{ Raw Story | Continue reading }

Langsome heels and langsome toesis

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A paper on gender bias in academia was recently rejected by an academic journal, whose reviewer told the two female authors to “find one or two male biologists to work with” if they wanted to get their work published.

That work, by the way, was a scientific survey of how and why men in academia tend to publish more papers, and in more prestigious academic journals, than women.

{ Bloomberg | Continue reading }

Your reputation precedes you

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The idea of two sexes is simplistic. Biologists now think there is a wider spectrum than that.

The presence or absence of a Y chromosome is what counts: with it, you are male, and without it, you are female. But doctors have long known that some people straddle the boundary — their sex chromosomes say one thing, but their gonads (ovaries or testes) or sexual anatomy say another. Parents of children with these kinds of conditions — known as intersex conditions, or differences or disorders of sex development (DSDs) — often face difficult decisions about whether to bring up their child as a boy or a girl. Some researchers now say that as many as 1 person in 100 has some form of DSD. […]

That the two sexes are physically different is obvious, but at the start of life, it is not. Five weeks into development, a human embryo has the potential to form both male and female anatomy. Next to the developing kidneys, two bulges known as the gonadal ridges emerge alongside two pairs of ducts, one of which can form the uterus and Fallopian tubes, and the other the male internal genital plumbing: the epididymes, vas deferentia and seminal vesicles. At six weeks, the gonad switches on the developmental pathway to become an ovary or a testis. If a testis develops, it secretes testosterone, which supports the development of the male ducts. It also makes other hormones that force the presumptive uterus and Fallopian tubes to shrink away. If the gonad becomes an ovary, it makes oestrogen, and the lack of testosterone causes the male plumbing to wither. The sex hormones also dictate the development of the external genitalia, and they come into play once more at puberty, triggering the development of secondary sexual characteristics such as breasts or facial hair. […]

For many years, scientists believed that female development was the default programme, and that male development was actively switched on by the presence of a particular gene on the Y chromosome. In 1990, researchers made headlines when they uncovered the identity of this gene, which they called SRY. Just by itself, this gene can switch the gonad from ovarian to testicular development. For example, XX individuals who carry a fragment of the Y chromosome that contains SRY develop as males.

{ Nature | Continue reading }

‘Let’s break shit.’ –Guy Vidra

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The Male Idiotic Theory (MIT) stipulates that the reason men are more prone to injury and death is simply because they “are idiots and idiots do stupid things“. Despite tons of anecdotal evidence confirming MIT, there’s never been a systematic analysis on sex differences in idiotic risk taking behaviour. Until now.

In a new study published in BMJ, researchers obtained 20 years worth of data from the Darwin Awards to tally up the sex of each year’s winner. For those not in the know, the Darwin Awards are given to people who die in such astonishingly stupid ways that “their action ensures the long-term survival of the species, by selectively allowing one less idiot to survive”. […]

Men made up a staggering 88.7 % of Darwin Award winners in 318 examined cases.

{ Neurorexia | Continue reading }

related { Males are more likely to die than females while in the womb }

‘Friends have all things in common.’ –Plato

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Everybody knows that men are women have some biological differences – different sizes of brains and different hormones. It wouldn’t be too surprising if there were some neurological differences too. The thing is, we also know that we treat men and women differently from the moment they’re born, in almost all areas of life. Brains respond to the demands we make of them, and men and women have different demands placed on them. […]

They report finding significant differences between the sexes, but don’t show the statistics that allow the reader to evaluate the size of any sex difference against other factors such as age or individual variability. […] A significant sex difference could be tiny compared to the differences between people of different ages, or compared to the normal differences between individuals.

{ The Conversation | Continue reading }

The most important thing to take from this research is – as the authors report – increasing gender equality disproportionately benefits women. This is because – no surprise! – gender inequality disproportionately disadvantages women. […] But the provocative suggestion of this study is that as societies develop we won’t necessarily see all gender differences go away. Some cognitive differences may actually increase when women are at less of a disadvantage.

{ Mind Hacks | Continue reading }

‘Solomon made a great mistake when he asked for wisdom.’ –Chekhov

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This paper studies gender differences in strategic situations. In two experimental guessing games - the beauty contest and the 11-20 money request game - we analyze the depth of strategic reasoning of women and men. We use unique data from an internet experiment with more than 1,000 participants. We find that men, on average, perform more steps of reasoning than women. Our results also suggest that women behave more consistently across both games.

{ SSRN | Continue reading }

related { How Males and Females Differ in Their Likelihood of Transmitting Negative Word of Mouth }

Can you imagine a world with no hypothetical situations?

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Women hold about 60 per cent of the total jobs in the thirty occupations projectedby the US Bureau of Labor Statistics to have the most net job growth in the decade through 2022. […]

The projections obviously should be interpreted more as a guide to current trends than as a reliable forecast. But combined with the number from the NWLC, they suggest that if those trends don’t change, then the recent struggles of men — and especially young men — finding work in a labour market that continues to shift towards traditionally female-dominated occupations will only worsen. […]

The jobs of the new labour market are lower-paying, and therefore difficult to accept for men who were accustomed to making more, even if the old jobs aren’t coming back. Many of these jobs are in traditionally female-dominated occupations, which require training that men are less likely to have. And they pay higher wages to college grads, the vast majority of which are now women. […]

The composition of future jobs is unlikely to get “manlier”.

{ FT | Continue reading }

Sketch of a History of the Doctrine of the Ideal and the Real

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“Saying there are differences in male and female brains is just not true. There is pretty compelling evidence that any differences are tiny and are the result of environment not biology,” said Prof Rippon.

“You can’t pick up a brain and say ‘that’s a girls brain, or that’s a boys brain’ in the same way you can with the skeleton. They look the same.” […]

A women’s brain may therefore become ‘wired’ for multi-tasking simply because society expects that of her and so she uses that part of her brain more often. The brain adapts in the same way as a muscle gets larger with extra use.

{ Telegraph | Continue reading }

photo { John Gutmann, Freaky Faces Graffiti (Masks Graffiti), San Francisco, 1939 }

Yes, some spinach. Crucial moment.

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Almost half of all disturbing dreams contain primary emotions other than fear, study finds […]

The research also found that men and women tend to have different dreams. Men were “significantly” more likely to report themes involving disaster or calamity as well as insects while women’s dreams were more likely to feature interpersonal conflicts.

{ Telegraph | Continue reading }

related { Use what hotels know about sleeping to build your own dreamland }

Now back to Gene Krupa’s syncopated style

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It was about a study by Dean Snow reporting that, contrary to decades of archaeological dogma, many of the first artists were women. […]

Another group of researchers is claiming the study’s methods were unsound. […] Snow’s study focused on the famous 12,000- to 40,000-year-old handprints found on cave walls in France and Spain. Because these hands generally appear near pictures of bison and other big game, scholars had long believed that the art was made by male hunters. Snow tested that notion by comparing the relative lengths of fingers in the handprints […] because among modern people, women tend to have ring and index fingers of about the same length, whereas men’s ring fingers tend to be longer than their index fingers. […] Snow developed an algorithm that could predict the sex of a given handprint. […]

The new study, published Monday in the Journal of Archaeological Science, found that Snow’s algorithm predicted female hands fairly well, but was useless for males, making it overall a bad predictor of sex.

{ Phenomena | Continue reading }

Who rides, so late, through night and wind?

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A current theory regarding language functions is that women use both hemispheres more equally, whereas men are more strongly lateralized to the left hemisphere. This theory is supported by fMRI and PET studies, but the strongest evidence is that after lesions to the left hemisphere men more often develop aphasia than women.

{ Wikipedia | Continue reading }

screenshot { Robert Bresson, Au hasard Balthazar, 1966 }