How Kink Made These People’s Sex Lives Healthier

VICE

Where do you think kink has the most positive effect?
I think body confidence. I like the way I look in the negligee. I like the feeling of the silk on my skin. I like the way my partner looks at me. All of it is cohesive in bringing together a healthy and comfortable approach to my body. So many women struggle with their own body image because we live in a society that is constantly making us feel bad about how we look. Every day it’s like—‘what does society tell us we should look like today?’, ’what does society tell us we should wear?’, ’who is claiming purchase over our bodies today?’ As women we live day to day trying to find a way to own our bodies that doesn’t rely on someone else’s validation. Owning my pleasure through kink is really helping me embrace my body. Rather than being detached to the jiggly wiggly parts of my body, I feel attached to it because it’s my body in its entirety that gives me pleasure.

Source: ncsf

More Evidence Links Diet to Depression

Although the evidence is preliminary, a unique study suggests consumption of fast foods may be linked to depression. In a new review, Australian researchers studied Torres Strait Islanders, indigenous people living on islands in the area of the Torres Strait.

In a natural experiment, James Cook University researchers found that among the Islander people, the amount of fish and processed food eaten is related to depression.

A JCU research team led by Professors Zoltan Sarnyai and Robyn McDermott looked at the link between depression and diet on a Torres Strait island, where fast food is available, and on a more isolated island, which has no fast food outlets.

Dr. Maximus Berger, the lead author of the study, said the team interviewed about 100 people on both islands.

“We asked them about their diet, screened them for their levels of depression and took blood samples. As you’d expect, people on the more isolated island with no fast food outlets reported significantly higher seafood consumption and lower take-away food consumption compared with people on the other island,” he said.

The researchers identified 19 people as having moderate to severe depressive symptoms: 16 were from the island where fast food is readily available, but only three from the other island.

“People with major depressive symptoms were both younger and had higher take-away food consumption,” said Berger.

The researchers analyzed the blood samples in collaboration with researchers at the University of Adelaide and found differences between the levels of two fatty acids in people who lived on the respective islands.

“The level of the fatty acid associated with depression and found in many take-away foods was higher in people living on the island with ready access to fast food, the level of the fatty acid associated with protection against depression and found in seafood was higher on the other island,” said Berger.

Berger explains that the concentration and type of fatty acids is an important variable.

Contemporary Western diets have an abundance of the depression-linked fatty acid (n-6 PUFA) and a relative lack of the depression-fighting fatty acid (n-3 LCPUFA).

“In countries with a traditional diet, the ratio of n-6 to n-3 is 1:1, in industrialized countries it’s 20:1,” he said.

Sarnyai shares that depression affects about one in seven people at some point in their lives. However, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are disproportionately affected by psychological distress and mental ill-health compared with the general population.

“Depression is complex, it’s also linked to social and environmental factors so there will be no silver bullet cure, but our data suggests that a diet that is rich in n-3 LCPUFA as provided by seafood and low in n-6 PUFA as found in many take-away foods may be beneficial,” he said.

Sarnyai said with the currently available data it was premature to conclude that diet can have a lasting impact on depression risk but called for more effort to be put into providing access to healthy food in rural and remote communities.

“It should be a priority and may be beneficial not only to physical health but also to mental health and well-being,” he said.

Source: James Cook University

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In Men, Physical Strength May Be Tied to Political Views

A new Danish study finds that men with large upper-bodies have a tendency to favor inequality in society and limited redistribution of resources.

The researchers say the new results may help explain the paradox of why some men with limited financial resources still favor financial inequality although they would in fact benefit from a greater redistribution of resources.

“Our analysis suggests that these men expect to be able to rise in the hierarchy on their own. And once they reach the top of the hierarchy, an unequal society will increase their chances of maintaining that position,” said Associate Professor Lasse Laustsen from the department of political science at Aarhus University in Denmark.

“This logic was adaptive under the conditions of our hunter-gatherer ancestors, as stronger men here would have been able to secure resources on their own. But it’s an irrational way of dealing with modern day political resource conflicts.”

“Today, physical strength is highly unlikely to affect how big a share of society’s resources you are able to acquire. However, our data shows that physical strength nonetheless continues to affect men’s political attitudes towards redistribution.”

The new study involves humans, but the overall theory stems from the findings of well-documented animal research showing that physical strength shapes the conflict behavior of animals. In other words, when animals are larger and stronger than their rivals, they are more likely to assert themselves in the struggle for status and resources. But when they are weaker than their competitors, they are more likely to pull away from the conflict.

According to the new study, the same logic applies to modern men when they reason about political conflicts regarding the redistribution of resources in society.

Importantly, the researchers cannot say with absolute certainty that the effect is purely one-way — that physical strength leads to political attitude. The effect can also go the other way.

“We cannot rule out that men with right-wing attitudes are also more prone to go to the gym. That being said, however, there are strong indications that attitudes are actually shaped by physical strength and not the other way round,” said Professor Michael Bang Petersen from the department of political science.

Previous studies have shown that men tend to become more aggressive as their physical strength increases. Research has also found a link between men’s physical strength and their attitudes towards inequality even when exercise habits are taken into account.

Similarly, in the new study, researchers conducted an experiment with a group of men who trained their upper-bodies for two months. During this period, these men became more positive towards inequality.

Overall, the study builds on data from 6,349 people of different nationalities. 1,875 of the respondents are Danish, and the rest are Belarussians residing in Lithuania, Americans, Venezuelans, Ukrainians and Poles.

The data was gathered between 2012 and 2017. During this period, when conducting studies on various political attitudes, the researchers also measured and asked respondents about their physical strength.

Earlier studies have investigated the link between men’s physical strength and their attitude towards the level of equality in society. However, those findings pointed in different directions. In a previous study, for example, Petersen found that physical strength only increased support for inequality among wealthy men, while it decreased support for inequality among men of limited financial means.

The data was pulled from 12 studies that applied a variety of research methods. Some studies relied on questionnaires and participants were asked to evaluate their own strength compared to others of the same sex. Other studies took place in the laboratory and researchers were able to obtain objective measures of, for example, chest strength and handgrip strength.

“The objective laboratory studies actually show a stronger correlation between physical strength and political attitudes than the respondents’ own subjective evaluations. This supports that raw physical strength is indeed the decisive factor,” Laustsen said.

The study involved both men and women, but no link was found between physical strength in women and their political attitudes.

The study is published in the journal Political Psychology.

Source: Aarhus University

 

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Source: spa

A New Academic Hoax–Complete with Fake Articles Published in Academic Journals–Ventures to Show the “Corruption” of Cultural Studies

We should be suspicious when researchers assume their conclusion; when the results of an academic study merely confirm the author’s pre-existing biases. Humans are wired to seek confirmation, a cognitive deficit so deeply engrained that it can be exploited among laypeople and specialists alike. Art historians have been fooled by forgeries, historians by fake manuscripts, and paleontologists by phony fossils. Physicist Steven Weinberg referenced such high-level hoaxes in a 1996 essay in The New York Review of Books, and he placed that year’s academic scandal—known as the “Sokal Hoax”—among them.

The gist of the Sokal affair runs as follows: NYU mathematical physicist Alan Sokal suspected that post-structuralist-influenced cultural studies was jargon-laden, obfuscating BS, and he set out to prove it by authoring his own “postmodernist” text, an article full of misused terminology from quantum physics. He sent it off to the journal Social Text, who published it in their Spring/Summer issue. Sokal then revealed in another journal, Lingua Franca, that the article had been a fraud, “liberally salted with nonsense,” and had only been accepted because “(a) it sounded good and (b) it flattered the editor’s ideological preconceptions.”

Sokal’s hoax, it was roundly claimed, demonstrated that certain fashionable quarters of the academic humanities had deteriorated into babble, signifying nothing more than rigid ideological commitments and a general disregard for the actual meanings of words and concepts. Weinberg wasn’t so sure. At most, perhaps, it showed the editorial failings of Social Text. And while humanists may abuse scientific ideas, Weinberg points out that scientists of the stature of Werner Heisenberg have also been prone to slipshod, quasi-mystical thinking.

But the Sokal hoax did expose to the wider public a tendency among a coterie of academics to indulge in mystifying language, including the misuse of jargon from other fields of study, usually in imitation of French theorists like Jacques Lacan, Julia Kristeva, or Jacques Derrida—whom, it must be said, all wrote in a very different intellectual culture (one that expects, Michel Foucault once admitted, at least “ten percent incomprehensible”). For a good many people in the academic humanities, this wasn’t much of a revelation. (Sokal has since published a more thoroughly critical book with the apt title Beyond the Hoax.)

Part of the problem with his hoax as a serious critique is that it began with its conclusion. Cultural studies are rife with crap arguments, ideology, and incomprehensible nonsense, Sokal believed. And so, when his paper was accepted, he simply rested his case, making no effort to engage charitably with good scholarship while he ridiculed the bad. Which brings us to the current state of the academic humanities, and to a contemporary, Sokal-like attack on them by a trio of writers who rest their case on a slightly broader base of evidence—20 fraudulent articles sent out to various niche cultural studies journals over a year: four published (since retracted), three accepted but not published, seven under review, and six rejected.

The authors—academic philosopher Peter Boghossian and writers Helen Pluckrose and James A. Lindsay—revealed the hoax this week in an article published at the Pluckrose-edited Areo magazine. One needn’t read past the title to understand the authors’ take on cultural studies in general: “Academic Grievance Studies and the Corruption of Scholarship.” While all three hoaxers identify as left-leaning liberals, the broad-brush characterization of whole fields as “grievance studies” reveals a prejudicial degree of contempt that seems unwarranted. In the article, they reveal their motivations and methods, outline the successes of the project, and post the comments of the articles’ referees, along with a video of themselves having a good laugh at the whole thing.

This last bit is unnecessary and obnoxious, but does the new hoax—“Sokal Squared” as it’s been called—genuinely undermine the credibility of cultural studies as a whole? Is it “’hilarious and delightful,’” asks Alexander C. Kafka at The Chronicle of Higher Education, or “an ugly example of dishonesty and bad faith?” Harvard political scientist Yascha Mounk tactfully finds in it a serious case for concern: “Some academic emperors—the ones who supposedly have the most to say about these crucial topics [discrimination, racism, sexism]—have no clothes.”

This is a point worth pursuing, and certain recent scandals should give everyone pause to consider how bullying and groupthink manifest on the academic left at the highest level of prestige. But the great majority of academics are not “emperors” and have very little social or economic power. And Mounk is careful not to overstate the case. He points out how the hoax has unfortunately given welcome “ammunition” to right-wing conservative axe-grinders:

Many conservatives who are deeply hostile to the science of climate change, and who dismiss out of hand the studies that attest to deep injustices in our society, are using Sokal Squared to smear all academics as biased culture warriors. The Federalist, a right-wing news and commentary site, went so far as to spread the apparent ideological bias of a few journals in one particular corner of academia to most professors, the mainstream media, and Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The Federalist specializes in irresponsible conspiracy-mongering, the kind of thing that sells ads and wins elections but doesn’t belong in academic debate. The question Mounk doesn’t ask is whether the hoaxers’ own attitudes encourage and share in such hostility, an issue raised by several of their critics. As physicist Sean Carroll wrote on Twitter, “What strikes me about stunts like this is their fundamental meanness. No attempt to intellectually engage with ideas you disagree with; just trolling for the lulz.” McGill University political theorist Jacob T. Levy expressed similar reservations in an interview, notes The New York Times, saying

even some colleagues who are not fans of identity-oriented scholarship are looking at the hoax and saying ‘this is potentially unethical and doesn’t show what they think it is showing.’ Besides, he added, “We all recognized that this kind of thing could also be done in our disciplines if people were willing to dedicate a year to do it.”

Therein lies another problem with Sokal Squared. Hoaxes have been perpetuated by smart, dedicated forgers, con-artists, and pranksters in nearly every field, showing up all sorts of experts as potential dupes. The singling out of cultural studies for particular ridicule—the characterization of studies of race, gender, disability, etc. as “grievance studies”—reveals an aggrieved agenda all its own, one that ignores the serious problems corrupting other disciplines (e.g. industry funding in academic sciences, or the gross overuse of undergraduate students as the main subjects of studies—groups that hardly represent the general population.)

Some, but not all, of the successfully-published hoax papers sound ludicrous and terrible. Some, in fact, do not, as Justin Weinberg shows at Daily Nous, and should not shame the editors who published them. Some of the journals have much higher editorial standards than others. (An early hoax attempt by Boghossian targeted an ill-reputed, pay-to-play publication.) The whole affair may speak to broader failures in academic publishing that go beyond a tiny corner of the humanities. In part, those failures may stem from a general trend toward overworked, underpaid, increasingly precarious scholars whose disciplines, and funding, have been under relentless political attack since at least the 1990s and who must keep grinding out publications, sometimes of dubious merit, as part of the overall drive toward sheer productivity as the sole measure of success.

Related Content:

Noam Chomsky Explains What’s Wrong with Postmodern Philosophy & French Intellectuals, and How They End Up Supporting Oppressive Power Structures

John Searle on Foucault and the Obscurantism in French Philosophy

Noam Chomsky Slams Žižek and Lacan: Empty ‘Posturing’

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

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TPCS Podcast: The Paradoxes of Masculinity



 

Blue is for boys and pink is for girls, right? That depends on what generation you live in. Today, many people disregard such silly color assignments, or at least go for “gender neutral” colors. But a hundred years ago, all the top fashionistas insisted that pink was a masculine color and blue was feminine. Masculinity has long had an identity complex. How much “girly” stuff can a man enjoy without being viewed as non-masculine? Women have redefined femininity, so why can’t men redefine what it means to be masculine? Listen to this week’s episode and you might begin to understand.

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Show Highlights:

“We do want men to be vulnerable sometimes or to be more in touch with their feelings, but we don’t want them to be too much in touch with their feelings. That’s the paradox!” ~ Esther Perel

  • How do men define masculinity?
  • How do we go beyond the binary system of identifying gender?
  • Why haven’t men redefined masculinity the way women have redefined femininity?
  • Do men feel less masculine when around other men?

 

About Our Guest

Esther Perel is a psychotherapist and New York Times bestselling author, recognized as one of today’s most insightful and original voices on modern relationships. Fluent in nine languages, she helms a therapy practice in New York City and serves as an organizational consultant for Fortune 500 companies around the world. Her celebrated TED Talks have garnered more than 20 million views and her international bestseller, Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence, is a global phenomenon that has been translated into 25 languages. Her newest book is the New York Times bestseller The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity. Esther is also an executive producer and host of the award-winning podcast Where Should We Begin? Learn more at EstherPerel.com or by following @EstherPerelOfficial on Instagram.

About The Psych Central Show Podcast Hosts

Gabe Howard is an award-winning writer and speaker who lives with bipolar and anxiety disorders. He is also one of the co-hosts of the popular show, A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast. As a speaker, he travels nationally and is available to make your event stand out. To work with Gabe, please visit his website, gabehoward.com.

 

 

Vincent M. Wales is a former suicide prevention counselor who lives with persistent depressive disorder. He is also the author of several award-winning novels and creator of the costumed hero, Dynamistress. Visit his websites at www.vincentmwales.com and www.dynamistress.com.

 

 

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Simple Approaches to Get Mild Diarrhea Under Control

by Noelle Patno, PhD This is part two of a two-part series; read the first part on possible causes of diarrhea. For mild and occasional diarrhea, consider these approaches: Diet. Mild diarrhea is accompanied by an inherent fluid loss, so it’s important to stay hydrated. Maintaining adequate water intake helps to ensure the diet is […] More

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The Cornell Note-Taking System: Learn the Method Students Have Used to Enhance Their Learning Since the 1940s

How should you take notes in class? Like so many students who came before me and would come after, I had little idea in college and even less in high school. The inherently ambiguous nature of the note-taking task has inspired a variety of methods and systems, few of them as respected as Cornell Notes. […]

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Source: spa

The History of Philosophy Visualized in an Interactive Timeline

The connections we make between various philosophers and philosophical schools are often connections that have already been made for us by teachers and scholars on our paths through higher education. Many of us who have taken a philosophy class or two leave it at that, content we’ve got the gist of things and that specialists […]

The History of Philosophy Visualized in an Interactive Timeline is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don’t miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

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My Journey to Wholeness: How I Learned to Embrace My Flaws to Create a Joyful Life

I believe there is not enough dialogue out there about soul-sickness, especially among wealthy communities. We are taught to believe from a young age that once we have the perfect partner, house, car, children, and careers, we will be happy. And often times this is not the case; the happiness does not come. There is an insatiable need for more. Because there is no dialogue about this, most people think, I am the only one, something is wrong with me, or no one understands me. This leads to deep despair and usually a diagnosis of depression and medication.

I ruined my life searching for peace. I pushed away everyone and everything I loved. I allowed myself to be emotionally, psychologically, and sexually abused. I allowed myself to be brainwashed in seemingly unhealable ways. And what I finally discovered, after all of my searching, is that the peace and happiness for which I had been searching was inside of me all along. But, and this is a big but, I had to be shattered by life to find it. I had to be shattered to finally stop living a life that was not mine. I had to be shattered to finally decide that following my own heart and being true to myself and creating a life that brought me joy was more important than living a life to please other people. I had to be shattered to start questioning what the hell I had been doing and why the hell I had been doing it and to what point.

Why do we feel the need to say, “to death do us part” and bind ourselves to another person? Why do we ignore the intense fear that comes with this decision? How can we even know that this will be in our best interest or the other person’s for the rest of our lives? Many of us do it because everyone else does. Why do we forgo choosing work that we are born to do, work we are naturally skilled at doing, work we love, work that makes our hearts sing and instead choose a career we hate because it pays more? We do this because we are told to do it by our parents or our teachers, and because everyone else does. Why do we dress the way we dress and worship the way we worship and pick romantic partners the way we do? So often it is because we were told to do it this way, or because everyone else does. Often we don’t question any of this. I know I didn’t.

I believe the only way to true joy, to true bliss, to true freedom, is to begin the work of uncovering our real selves—to chip away at the parts of us that are false, the façade we created to please our families, the mask we built so the world would approve of us. Only when we are willing to stand tall in our own uniqueness, with our own idiosyncrasies, will we be able to do the work we came to do, to build the life we always dreamed of, to excel beyond our wildest dreams, and to live in true joy and abundance. When we finally tap into what we naturally are, we discover we already have the exact right skill set to become everything we have always secretly wanted to be.

We are all flawed, we are all damaged, and we are all beautiful. Each one of us is unique; there is no carbon copy. So how can we possibly follow what others are doing? How can what they are doing be right for us? We were born to blaze our own trails. We were all born with unique abilities and skill sets, with unique damage and unique wounds. I believe we are meant to use this combo to discover who we truly are and why we are truly here. Our wounds are not a mistake, they are given to us for a reason, they are Divine. In the healing of them we soften and we open, and we learn how to help others overcome similar damage. In our speaking about them and our owning of them, we encourage others to do the same and as more and more of us speak our Truth, we all eventually realize we are not alone. We have never been alone. We are surrounded by each other, our brother and sister humans, and we are here to support each other on this crazy amazing Earth Walk.

Yes, the decision to live this way is terrifying; but once we decide to do it, we feel the life force energy coursing through us again, we feel the blood pumping through our veins, we rediscover passion and the thrill of not knowing what tomorrow will bring. We are here for such a very short time; I simply cannot believe we were meant to spend that time in loveless relationships stressed about paying bills.

In my journey to wholeness I discovered that me just being me, dressing the way I want to dress, saying the things I want to say, doing the activities I love to do, putting myself first and making sure I am taken care of before I take care of others—living this way brought me so much joy that I began to radiate joy and light and love and kindness. I discovered a joyful me was a radiating me. A joyful me was a kind me. A joyful me was a patient and compassionate and forgiving me. After destroying myself and my life and all that I loved in order to become Enlightened, in order to become Saint-like, I finally realized that the key to my becoming Saint-like was just being me. When we create a life of joy we stop worrying about what others are doing or not doing. We stop pushing against. And instead we begin loving. And we add our light to the sum of light; we shift the consciousness of the planet from fear to love. What better use of our time here on earth than that?   

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Would a BDSM Sex Robot Violate Asimov's First Law of Robotics?

Gizmodo

The foundations of healthy, happy, satisfying, and pleasurable sexual experiences are trust, effective communication, and of course, consent between people. The role of consent for the human in any situation is physical and psychological safety. At the same time, human sexuality includes many behaviors that rely on someone’s interior life and what uniquely excites them, and for some people that includes role playing and other creative interactions that sometimes involve testing and teasing physical and emotional limits of the body with their trusted partner(s), or practicing things that society may consider taboo. However, in this case we are discussing scenarios between a (let’s say non-sentient) robot and human(s), so the idea of consent should be human-centered, as in the Laws.

 

Source: ncsf