relationships

‘Elle lui rendit son baiser. L’appartement tourna. Il n’y voyait plus.’ –Gustave Flaubert

2.jpg

Sometime after four in a dark and cold Italian morning, a young woman accompanied a band of men to a duck shoot. After it was over and the frigid hunters sat by the fire, the eighteen-year old Adriana Ivancich, the only woman in the gathering, asked for a comb for her long black hair. Nearly all the men in the party ignored her and kept up their talking. Ernest Hemingway, however, was not ever one to let a lady go unattended. After rooting around in his pockets, he produced a comb, broke it in half and gave it to her.

{ Long Reads | Continue reading }

photo { Self-portrait of Adriana Ivancich }

*swipes right*

78tfur.jpg

The convergence in physical appearance hypothesis posits that long-term partners’ faces become more similar with time as a function of the shared environment, diet, and synchronized facial expressions.

While this hypothesis has been widely disseminated in psychological literature, it is supported by a single study of 12 married couples. Here, we examine this hypothesis using the facial images of 517 couples taken at the beginning of their marriage and 20 or more years later. […]

The results show that while spouses’ faces tend to be similar at marriage, they do not converge over time.

{ PsyArXiv | Continue reading }

oil on canvas { Édouard Manet, Young Lady in 1866, 1866 }

Maybe it’s those two old crony aunts held them out to the water front. Queer Mrs Quickenough and odd Miss Doddpebble.

212.jpg

S is a woman if and only if:

S is systematically subordinated along some dimension (economic, legal, political, social, etc) and S is ‘marked’ as a target for this treatment by observed or imagined bodily features presumed to be evidence of a female’s biological role in reproduction.

To be a woman is to be subordinated in some way because of real or imagined biological features that are meant to indicate one’s female role in reproduction.

{ Aeon | Continue reading }

is there a role for interoception in self-other distinction?

37.jpg

In this study, we examine whether perceived loneliness is greater among the Baby Boomers—individuals born 1948–1965—relative to those born 1920–1947, and whether older adults have become lonelier over the past decade (2005–2016). […]

Overall, loneliness decreases with age through the early 70s, after which it increases. We find no evidence that loneliness is substantially higher among the Baby Boomers or that it has increased over the past decade.

{ PsyArXiv | Continue reading }

quote { Going at the heart of social cognition: is there a role for interoception in self-other distinction? }

Can we live without certainty?

love.jpg

The next one on my list was Doris Devermont, an old flame of mine. With her I’d had the most honest relationship I’d ever had with a woman. The only thing I’d lied about was my name. I’d told her I was Teddy Novak… So she couldn’t track me down if I got her pregnant.

{ Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, 1982 }

art { “I Can’t Love Anyone!” from My Love #33, March 1975, originally published in My Love #19, September 1972 | Christian Marclay, Whomp, 2006 }

And then he’s drunk and never even told her that he cared

27.jpg

Does a new partnership differ from its preceding one? […] This study sought to understand whether a new relationship differs from the one that preceded it.

[T]he answer to that question seems to be “mostly no.” One year into a new partnership (P2T2) our sample was no different from one year prior to the breakup of their previous union (P1T1) on relationship and sexual satisfaction, perceptions of relational instability, and the frequency of conflictual and intimate exchanges. While sexual frequency and perceived admiration did improve across unions in the full sample, there was no change for either in our follow-up analysis with the subgroup of participants where relationship duration at P1T1 corresponded to P2T2.

Given stability in the majority of constructs examined in this study, why does it seem as though a new partnership is different from those in the past?

Sandwiched between these points of stability are periods of change and upheaval: one partnership deteriorates and draws to a close and the bliss of new love is discovered before disillusionment pulls individuals back to old patterns. The deterioration prior to termination may be especially salient in perpetuating the belief that new unions are different.

{ Journal of Family Psychology | Continue reading }

photo { Fred Herzog, Man With Bandage, 1968 }

‘Ne nous prenons pas au sérieux, il n’y aura aucun survivant.’ –Alphonse Allais

42.jpg

Contrary to the belief that happiness is hard to explain, or that it depends on having great wealth, researchers have identified the core factors in a happy life. The primary components are number of friends, closeness of friends, closeness of family, and relationships with co-workers and neighbors. Together these features explain about 70 percent of personal happiness.

{ Murray & Peacock, A model-free approach to the study of subjective well-being, 1996 }

related {  Having Poor Quality Relationships Is Associated With Greater Distress Than Having Too Few }

photo { Janice Guy }

I’ll take a rusty nail, and scratch your initials in my arm

21.jpg

Leveraging popular social networking sites, individuals undertake certain forms of behavior to attract as many likes and followers as they can. One platform that symbolizes people’s love for strategic self-presentation to the utmost degree is Instagram. […]

Narcissism is characterized by grandiose exhibition of one’s beauty and pursuit of others’ admiration. Posting selfies/groupies is associated with narcissism and need for popularity. […]

Instagram selfies and groupies symbolize social media users’ public display of narcissism. From an evolutionary psychological perspective on the renovated hierarchy of fundamental human motives and needs, this study examined the interaction effects of Instagram photo types (selfies, group selfies, long-shot photos taken by others, and neutral photos) and Instagram peer viewers’ individual difference factors (intrasexual competition [ISC] for mates, need for popularity [NfP], loneliness, and need to belong [NtB]) on intersexual attraction. […]

The findings confirmed the assumption that a potential mate who posts selfies and groupies is perceived by opposite-sex viewers to be more narcissistic compared to a potential mate who posts neutral photos.

{ Evolutionary Psychology | Continue reading }

photo { Thierry Mugler, Monster Show, Elle US, November 1991 }

A word now against Kant as a moralist

w1.jpg

If a rat sees another rat drowning, for example, it will forgo a chunk of chocolate to save its imperiled friend. […]

Scientists at the University of Chicago […] found that a white rat raised among only white rats will do nothing to save a black rat from a trap. Rats, like humans, can be biased in how they act on, or don’t act on, their empathy.

In a variant of the experiment, a white rat raised among only black rats would save a black rat from a trap — but would fail to save other white rats.

And a white rat raised among black and white rats rescued rats of both colors. The researchers found that it is not the rat’s color that determines which type of rat it will show empathy for, but the social context in which it was raised.

{ Henry James Garrett/NY Times | Continue reading }

related { when given a choice, do people avoid empathy? And if so, why? }

linocut on transfer paper { Christian Waller, The spirit of light, 1932 }

‘There are some people who choose for whatever reason to handcuff themselves to the Titanic,’ said John Weaver, an adviser to Ohio Gov. John Kasich

32.jpg

Ghosting, or avoiding technologically-mediated contact with a partner instead of providing an explanation for a breakup, has emerged as a relatively new breakup strategy in modern romantic relationships. […]

Distinct differences between ghosting and direct strategies suggest developments in technology have influenced traditional processes of relationship dissolution.

{ PsyArXiv | Continue reading }

Making the right choice does not always lead to a good outcome—sometimes there are only bad outcomes to choose from

41.jpg

Albania is a country in the Balkans that has a long history of patriarchal traditions. Albania is traditionally a patricentric society, so having sons in the family is very important. When a family does not have sons, or loses their sons, then a sworn virgin can be a suitable replacement.

A sworn virgin is a woman who, either at birth, or by her own choice, decides to take on male gender roles. The sworn virgin makes a vow of chastity, does traditionally male labor, and usually wears male styled clothing. The vow of becoming a sworn virgin means that the woman no longer has marital obligations, the woman can become the head of her own household and would then have rights to inheritance. One of the main causes that make taking the vow necessary for Albanian families is the power of the Kanun. The Kanun is a medieval code of rules that are the foundation of Albanian culture. Many of the rules focus on honor and regulate the community life.

The Kanun regulates all aspects of Albanian life. The Kanun focuses on aspects of familial honor. A major part of this idea results in “blood feuds.” Blood feuds are deadly feuds between families. A blood feud can start from an insult or theft; they serve the purpose of righting a perceived wrong, honor being more important that a human life. When families become enemies “the enemy family’s honor can only be repaired with more blood. Any male member of the…family tall enough to lift a rifle is a legitimate target.” If a woman is murdered, according to the code, her death can be avenged by killing a woman in the enemy family of killing their dog.

The Kanun has specific rules for the role of women in Albania, perpetuating male dominance in a patriarchal society. Albania has roots as a peasant society where gender roles are very significant. The man is the head of the family, the owner and over seer of the land and the main decision maker. The importance of gender roles and the man’s position of power breed the desire for a passive and compliant woman. According to the article by Arsovska, the Kanun states, “a man has the right to beat and publicly humiliate his wife if she disobeys him. He is also allowed to cut her hair, strip her nude, expel her from the house and drive her with a whip through the village. The Kanun specifies that a man may kill his wife for two reasons: infidelity and betrayal of hospitality.” Further, a woman is considered half of a man, equivalent to a dog and always subservient to her husband or father before she is married.

[…]

In a situation where all the male family members are killed during a blood feud, the family would be destitute, or an unmarried daughter can take the vow to be a sworn virgin. The sworn virgin would then be the head of the household, have rights to the inheritance and be in charge of retaliation of the blood feud. Women are also forbidden from being an active participant in their engagements and marriages. If the woman does not want to marry the man she is arranged to be married to and runs away, her family would bring her back to the man with a single bullet. The meaning of the bullet is if the wife tries to leave again the husband can kill her with the bullet. Some women receive a locket with a bullet inside on their wedding day, the bullet being the bullet she would be killed with if she were to be unfaithful or try to leave her husband. The only honorable way for a woman to avoid an unwanted arranged marriage would be to take the vow. If a woman refuses an arranged marriage it could incite a blood feud between the two houses. Another reason some women take the vow to become a sworn virgin is if their parents do not produce a son. It is considered shameful if a family has no male offspring and some girls will be raised as boys from birth. All cases of a female becoming a sworn virgin have to do with familial honor.

The vow to become a sworn virgin is not to be taken lightly. The vow is considered sacred and is meant for life. The woman making the vow goes before twelve elders of the community and makes a vow of chastity. The traditional punishment for breaking the vow is death. If a sworn virgin is found to break her vow of celibacy she would traditionally be burned alive, although it is unrecorded how often this punishment gets carried out.

[…]

A sworn virgin is able to enjoy the status of being a man, they are able to interact freely with men, smoke cigarettes, carry guns and leave their houses without a male escort.

[…]

The role of the sworn virgin should not be considered lesbianism, as the traditional role of sexual intercourse in Albania is strictly for procreation. Homosexuality was illegal for men in Albania until 1995, and lesbians have never been mentioned in the Kanun or by the state, which would imply that it is a completely foreign or non existent concept to traditional Albanians.

[…]

Even as a sworn virgin, there are times when they are still discriminated against by men and still treated as less than a man. One sworn virgin was not able to become a member of a marksmen club, and another example is of a sworn virgin who, after their death, was buried as a man but did not receive the traditional mourning that men usually receive.

[…]

It is unknown how many sworn virgins are still in existence today, as the post communist Albanian government does not recognize tradition rules from the Kanun. A ‘cultural revolution’ took place in Albania in 1974, declaring all traditional customs as non-existent, so there is no new official records kept of women that take the vow.

{ Elizabeth Rush, The Cultural Role and Identity of Albanian Sworn Virgins | Continue reading }

oil on canvas { Picasso, Femme en bleu, 1944 }

quote { The lesser of two evils: Explaining a bad choice by revealing the choice set }

‘A happy memory is perhaps on this earth truer than happiness itself.’ –Alfred de Musset

33.jpg

This research examined eroticism and nurturance among individuals in polyamorous and monogamous relationships.

As expected, polyamorous participants experienced less eroticism but more nurturance in their relationships with their primary partner compared to secondary.

Furthermore, people in polyamorous relationships reported more nurturance with primary partners and eroticism with secondary partners compared to people in monogamous relationships.

{ PsyArXiv | Continue reading }

Rolls-Royce radiator mascot { Charles Sykes, Spirit of Ecstasy, 1910 }