Archive for ‘Sex’

April 20, 2016

Cheerleader Effect

Cheerleader effect

The cheerleader effect, also known as the group attractiveness effect, is the cognitive bias which causes people to think individuals are more attractive when they are in a group. The concept has been backed up by clinical research by psychologists Drew Walker and Edward Vul. The effect occurs because of the brain’s tendency to calculate the average properties of an object when viewing a group.

Walker and Vul proposed that this effect arises due to the interplay of three cognitive phenomena: the human visual system takes ‘ensemble representations’ of faces in a group; perception of individuals is biased towards this average; average faces are more attractive, perhaps due to ‘averaging out of unattractive idiosyncrasies.’

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March 17, 2016

Witzelsucht

thats what she said

david brent by Anne D Bernstein

Witzelsucht [vit-sel-zuhkt] (from the German ‘witzeln,’ meaning ‘to joke or wisecrack,’ and ‘sucht,’ meaning ‘addiction or yearning’) is a set of rare neurological symptoms characterized by a tendency to make puns, or tell inappropriate jokes or pointless stories in socially inappropriate situations. A less common symptom is hypersexuality, the tendency to make sexual comments at inappropriate times or situations. Patients do not understand that their behavior is abnormal, therefore are nonresponsive to others’ reactions. This disorder is most commonly seen in patients with frontal lobe damage, particularly right frontal lobe tumors or trauma.

Those with the condition often show no emotional reaction to humor, whether produced by themselves or others. This lack of responsiveness is due to dissociation between their cognitive and affective responses to humorous stimuli. That is, even when a patient understands that a joke is funny (based on quantitative brain activity), they do not respond with laughter, or even a smile. While they have grasped the cognitive basis of humor, they do not affectively respond. This also considered a cognitive component of empathy, affecting ability to take the perspective of others; hence why patients often do not respond to humor produced by other people.

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January 12, 2016

Hedgehog’s Dilemma

porcupines by Slug Signorino

The hedgehog’s dilemma is a metaphor about the challenges of human intimacy. It describes a situation in which a group of hedgehogs all seek to become close to one another in order to share heat during cold weather. They must remain apart, however, as they cannot avoid hurting one another with their sharp spines. Though they all share the intention of a close reciprocal relationship, this may not occur, for reasons they cannot avoid.

German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer and psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud have used this situation to describe what they feel is the state of the individual in relation to others in society. The hedgehog’s dilemma suggests that despite goodwill, human intimacy cannot occur without substantial mutual harm, and what results is cautious behavior and weak relationships. The hedgehog’s dilemma demands moderation in affairs with others both because of self-interest, as well as out of consideration for others, leading to introversion and isolationism.

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December 1, 2015

Mechanophilia

arse elektronika

campaign against sex robots

Mechanophilia [muh-kan-uh-fil-ee-uh] is a paraphilia (atypical sexuality) involving a sexual attraction to machines. It is a crime in some nations, such as the UK, with perpetrators placed on a sex-offender registry. Motorcycles in particular are often portrayed as sexualized fetish objects to those who desire them. Designers such as Francis Picabia and Filippo Tommaso Marinetti have been said to have exploited the sexual attraction of automobiles. In 2008, an American named Edward Smith admitted to ‘having sex’ with 1000 cars.

Biologist Edward O. Wilson is quoted describing mechanophilia, the love of machines, as ‘a special case of ‘biophilia,” the instinctive bond between human beings and other living (or lifelike) systems. Conversely, psychologists such as Erich Fromm would see it as a form of necrophilia.

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July 30, 2015

Battered Person Syndrome

Cycle of Abuse

learned helplessness

Battered person syndrome is a physical and psychological condition of a person who has suffered (usually persistent) emotional, physical, or sexual abuse from another person. The condition is the basis for the battered spouse defense that has been used in cases of spouses who have killed their abusers. The condition was first researched extensively by American psychologist Lenore E. Walker, founder of the Domestic Violence Institute, who used psychologist Martin Seligman’s ‘learned helplessness’ theory to explain why abused spouses stayed in destructive relationships.

The syndrome develops in response to a three-stage cycle found in domestic violence situations. First, tension builds in the relationship. Second, the abusive partner releases tension via misconduct while blaming the victim for having caused the event. Third, the abusive partner makes gestures of contrition, but does not find solutions to avoid another phase of tension building and release so the cycle repeats. The repetition of the cycle despite the abuser’s attempts to ‘make nice’ results in the abused partner feeling at fault for not preventing recurrences. However, since the victim is not at fault and the violence is internally driven by the abuser’s need to control, this self-blame results in feelings of helplessness rather than empowerment.

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July 22, 2015

Fan Service

Love Dodecahedron

Fan service is a term originating from anime and manga fandom for material in a series which is intentionally added to please the audience (i.e. ‘giving the people what they want’). Fan service usually refers to ‘gratuitous titillation,’ but can also refer to intertextual references to other series and other ‘indulgent’ inclusions.

Long shots of robots in mecha shows, nudity, violent episode-long fight scenes, and emphasis on ‘shipping’ (the desire by fans for two people, either real-life celebrities or fictional characters, to be in a relationship, romantic or otherwise) can all be considered fan service as they are specifically aimed at pleasing the fans of any given show. Meta-references are intended to be seen and understood by the fans, as a way for creators to acknowledge and engage the more knowledgeable members of the fanbase.

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May 6, 2015

Male Bra

the bro

A male bra (also known as a compression bra, compression vest, or gynecomastia vest) is a brassiere worn by a man. Adolescent boys and middle-aged men sometimes develop breasts (gynecomastia). Although there are options for treating gynecomastia, some elect surgery to reduce their breasts or wear a male bra, which typically flatten rather than lift. Other men wear bras for cross-dressing, for sexual purposes such as transvestic fetishism or feminization, or as a form of submission to their partner.

Additionally, some male athletes – more specifically runners – may choose to wear a sports bra under their shirts in order to prevent a common medical condition called jogger’s nipple, also known as nipple chafing. This condition is caused by excessive rubbing of wet sweat-soaked material over one’s nipples. In an episode ‘Seinfeld,’ titled ‘The Doorman,’ Kramer invented a male bra, which he called a ‘bro,’ for Frank Costanza, who was said to have very large breasts. Frank initially decided to market the invention, but disagreed on the name, instead wanting to call it a ‘Manssiere.’

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March 23, 2015

Yaeba

yaeba

Yaeba [yah-ey-bah] is a term used to describe human teeth, especially upper canines, with an uncommonly fang-like appearance. In Japan it is perceived as a sign of youthfulness. For that reason, undergoing a body modification procedure to produce such an appearance for cosmetic purposes is gaining popularity among Japanese females

Cosmetic alterations to teeth have been practiced for centuries among many cultures throughout the world. In some cultures sharpening teeth is seen as a rite of passage for adolescents into adulthood.

December 21, 2014

Shalom Bayit

shalom bayit by Avrum Ashery

Shalom [shuh-lohm] bayit [buy-eet] (Hebrew: ‘peace of the home’) is the Jewish religious concept of domestic harmony and good relations between husband and wife. In a Jewish court of law, shalom bayit is the Hebrew term for ‘marital reconciliation.’

Throughout the history of the Jewish people, Jews have held an ideal standard for Jewish family life that is manifested in the term shalom bayit. Shalom bayit signifies completeness, wholeness, and fulfillment. Hence, the ideal Jewish marriage is characterized by peace, nurturing, respect, and ‘chesed’ (roughly meaning ‘kindness,’ more accurately ‘loving-kindness’), through which a married couple becomes complete. The Jewish religion advocates that God’s presence dwells in a pure and loving home.

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October 25, 2014

LOVEINT

the lives of others

LOVEINT is the practice of intelligence service employees making use of their extensive monitoring capabilities to spy on their love interest or spouse. The term was coined in resemblance to intelligence terminology such as SIGINT (signals intelligence) or HUMINT (human intelligence). The term originated at the NSA, where at least one incident is reported every year. They are the lion’s share of unauthorized accesses reported by the NSA. Most incidents are self-reported, for example during a polygraph test.

The NSA sanctions include administrative action, up to termination of employment. In five of the cases, the NSA employee resigned, preempting any administrative action. In two other cases, they retired. The worst administrative sanction handed out was a ‘a reduction in pay for two months, a reduction in grade, and access to classified information being revoked.’ One case was forwarded to the Department of Justice, which however declined to prosecute.

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September 24, 2014

Flehmen Response

cat butt

The flehmen [fley-muhnresponse is a common animal behavior when investigating sites of particular interest (e.g. a male smelling female urine) characterized by curling back the top lips exposing the front teeth and gums, then inhaling and holding the posture for several seconds. The behavior may be performed over particular locations, in which case the animal may also lick the site of interest, or it may be performed with the neck stretched and head held high in the air.

Flehmen (German: ‘to bare the upper teeth’) is performed by a wide range of mammals including ungulates (hoofed animals) and felids (cats). The behavior facilitates the transfer of pheromones and other scents into the vomeronasal organ (pheromone detector) located above the roof of the mouth via a duct which exits just behind the front teeth of the animal.

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September 17, 2014

Error Management Theory

Johnny Bravo

Error Management (EM) is an extensive theory of perception and cognitive biases that was created by psychologists David Buss and Martie Haselton. They describe a set of heuristics (mental shortcuts) that have survived evolutionary history because they hold slight reproductive benefits. The premise of the theory is built around the drive to reduce or manage costly reproductive errors. According to the theory, when there are differences in the cost of errors made under conditions of uncertainty, selection favors ‘adaptive biases,’ which ensure that the less costly survival or reproductive error will be committed.

When faced with uncertainty, a subject can make two possible errors: type I (false-positive or playing it safe, e.g. a fire alarm that later turns out to be a false alarm) and type II (false-negative or siding with skepticism, e.g. ignoring an often faulty fire alarm during an actual emergency). Error Management Theory asserts that evolved ‘mind-reading’ agencies will be biased to produce more for the first type of error, which explains the ‘sexual overperception bias,’ the tendency for men to incorrectly assume a platonic gesture from a woman is a sexual signal.

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