Results of another "I could tell you that for nothing study" about sex are not surprising

These studies drive me crazy. From NewsNet5:

Researchers hypothesized women would look at faces and men at genitals, but, surprisingly, they found men are more likely than women to first look at a woman’s face before other parts of the body, and women focused longer on photographs of men performing sexual acts with women than did the males, the study found.

You are kidding me, right? These findings play into the stereotype that men will you know what anything. Hated phrase, but now we know – it has some truth: female genitals are the last location they’ll look at before getting stimulated. My speculation? If they can see in the face that it’s a woman, that’s all they’re thinking – that it’s a woman, done deal (again, repeating the stereotype that negates the need for the study). Likewise, for women, the results seem to indicate that size does matter.

So. what.

Those of us who don’t fall into the stereotype never did anyway – and this study just confirms that too. Woohoo. Not.

The only thing surprising is that someone is spending money on these studies. Especially if some branches of society are working to regulate the bewhosis out of the sex industry.

Oh – what was their goal?

The study, funded by the Atlanta-based Center for Behavioral Neuroscience (CBN), was designed to help researchers understand human sexual desires and its ultimate effect on public health.

Are researchers really the people who need to understand human sexual desires and those desires’ ultimate effect on public health?

What does “ultimate effect” mean? What ultimate effect? Which ultimate effect? Perpetuity? Extinction? What?


3 thoughts on “Results of another "I could tell you that for nothing study" about sex are not surprising

  1. bonobo – Very informative, thank you.From a stand point of ignorance (really not being a smart a**, I am sincere) I have read where scientists at Washington State University, I think, are conducting a study on increasing the male sex drive of sheep.(Personal views aside) One of the reasons given was if the sex drive of male sheep can be increased, they may somehow be able to isolate the causing factor and try to change something in men that are homosexual to being straight.The other is I believe they want to see if they can turn gay sheep straight, then try it on humans.Just seems something like this study being done with public dollars is a little out of line.I have no more knowledge on the theory behind this stuff than a normal lay person, but am sincerely interested.Homosexuality is a hot bed topic to begin with. But spending time and money on this…..Is there not other research that is not more important. In some scientific way the sheep thing may benefit us or our country as a whole down the road, just seems we have more pressing items such as, Cancer, Aids, medical, ethanol, etc….Thanks

  2. Wow. I completely disagree with almost everything you’ve said here, Jill, and that’s really a rare thing.Let’s start with the basic assumption that you wouldn’t need a study to tell you this. I guarantee that if the results had shown that men look at breasts and women look at faces that you would say the exact same thing. Everybody is an expert post hoc.Next, as you say, there are a lot of assumptions about male sexual behavior that underlie the attempts to regulate the sex business. It would be a cliche to say that guys “don’t go to those places to look at women’s faces,” but this research suggests that it is the first thing that they do.Then, it is common conventional wisdom that men are visually stimulated, whereas women are stimulated by communication, hence the different audiences for visual porn and literary erotica. Once again, the conventional wisdom is proven to be inadequate by this study.Further, eye movements are largely automatic, and happen without conscious control. Because of this, you get much different information from tracking eye movements than you get by asking people to report what they tink or feel, or even choose between different options.And finally, basic research by definition does not specify a problem that the results will solve. This is true in physics, this is true in biology, and this is true in behavioral science. Basic Science fills in knowledge gaps to create the knowledge base from which problems are solved.To sum up, even if this study had been addressing an unimportant question, using unnecessary technology, and had come up with entirely uninteresting and useless results, I would vigorously defend funding it as part of the price of advancing human knowledge. I don’t have to be put in that position, though, because unlike many studies that fit one or more of those descriptions, this one actually appears to be pretty solid research.My MA is in Psych, and my research was in psycholinguistics and cognitive neuroscience, so this tends to be a touchy subject with me. Contrary to the opinions of many folks, the NIH doesn’t tend to fund poor research proposals. They convene study sections of highly regarded experts in several sub-fields to examine the scientific merits of each proposal. The majority of these are deemed unworthy of further consideration. The rest are scored using a point system, and ranked. Most of the studies do not rank highly enough to be funded.If this process does not prevent bad studies from being done, nothing short of starving NIH and NSF will. Said another way, if a layperson says that a federally funded study is useless or unimportant, I’d lay my money down that they are operating from a position of ignorance every time.But that’s just me.

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