Category Archives: psychology

Chimp Study: Assault Aids Procreation?

Mean chimps

Mean chimps

Violence against women may aid procreation?

Some evolutionary psychologists actually think so.

After all, mean male chimps sire more offspring than their friendlier brothers, an Arizona State study findsRead the rest of this entry

Sometimes Long Hair Is For Boys

Anne Hathaway

Anne Hathaway

Andre Agassi

Andre Agassi

Women may wear their hair short because it’s chic or easy to care for. And some guys favor long, sexy locks, a la Andrea Agassi — before he went bald.

But some women cut it short to express a more masculine sense of themselves. Just as some men — cross-dressers — don girlish wigs to bring out their feminine side.

So hair holds symbolic meaning: Long is feminine; it’s for girls. Short is masculine; it’s for boys.

Except when it’s notRead the rest of this entry

How to Deal with Repression

shame2Repression is not what you might think it is. I recently wrote:

A lot of us think it’s about working to suppress sexual desire. And while the early stages can be at least partly conscious, after a while you’re not actively blocking anything. You’ve simply lost sexual feelings and energy. Plus, plenty of punishing messages targeted at women’s desire get internalized. And sex is too often used as a weapon. Read the rest of this entry

Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze

Della Calfee. Ass Like That

Della Calfee. Ass Like That

Men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at.

That’s what art critic John Berger famously observed.

But some feminist artists have turned the tables in the exhibit, Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze:

With a gallery filled with men stripped naked this body of work exposes women’s cheeky, provocative and sometimes shocking commentaries on the opposite sex (which) may make the viewer squirm a little. But that is precisely the point.

Read the rest of this entry

Using Racism to Excuse Sexism

You’ve probably seen this anti-street harassment video:

It’s part of Hollaback’s ongoing work to empower women by boosting empathy, understanding and change.

But the video has been called racist for over representing men of color.

Here’s what Dr. Brittany Cooper, a Rutgers University professor of women, gender and Africana studies, had to say about that: Read the rest of this entry

Guys Care About Their Looks, But It’s Complicated

Men care about their looks, tooGuys care about their looks.

Less so than girls — who are more strongly judged by their appearance. But they do care.

And no wonder, since looks are one way to gain sex, status and self-esteem. (So no surprise that Casanovas — who want A LOT of sex partners — are especially body-conscious.)

But it’s complicated.  Read the rest of this entry

We Like People Who Like Us

What attracts?

What attracts?

Just knowing that someone likes us spurs attraction to them.

In one experiment a young woman acted interested in men via eye contact, leaning toward them, and listening attentively. Afterward, the men said they liked her very much.

In fact, “liking” — or not — can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

If you expect someone won’t like you, you probably won’t act like you like them. And then they won’t like you. This has been borne out in experiments, too.  Read the rest of this entry

Vote to Lower Your Wages

RIP American middle-class

RIP American middle-class

A lot of folks are voting Republican this November in frustration with stalled wage growth.

Yet Democrats voted for — and Republicans voted against:

  • Projects to build and repair roads, bridges and schools — which create good-paying jobs
  • Raising the minimum wage
  • Equal pay for women
  • Union-friendly bills — which pressure nonunion companies to raise wages, too

Read the rest of this entry

A Sexy Halloween for Grade Schoolers?

Check out the change in Halloween costumes over the years. Girls are learning that a big part of their job is to look sexy. And they’re getting that message at a tender age.

Now that’s scary!

Then and now images, via Sociological Images:

Halloween Costumes, Then and Now 1 Read the rest of this entry

Repression: Not What You Think It Is

A culture of sexual repression

A culture of sexual repression

Misconceptions surround sexual repression. And both women and men can be confused.

Some women feel insulted if anyone suggests they might be repressed.

And conversations with guys have made me realize that plenty of them think that repression means, “I really want to have sex with you but I’m going to consciously repress the idea.”

Repression isn’t quite like that.  Read the rest of this entry

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