men

A new study shows a link between the amount of pornography a man views and the size of his brain. The study, conducted by lead author Simone Kühn of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, included testing on 64 men the ages of 21 and 45.

Researchers discovered that the more porn men said they watched, the smaller their brains were. Also, men who watched more porn showed less activity in the “reward center” of the brain when they were shown pornographic images during the tests.

The scientists involved made clear that their study could not determine whether there was a causal relationship between pornography viewing and brain size/function. In other words, they don’t know if porn makes the brain smaller and less responsive to sexual imagery, or if people with smaller, less responsive brains simply view more porn.

But what is undeniable is that there is a relationship between brain function and porn consumption. And the results of this latest study simply confirm what most of us know by way of common sense–pornography does produce a gradual dulling of the senses. Thus it leads users to ever more extreme imagery in order to arouse the equivalent response.

Like most addictions, in other words, porn is progressive in nature. The obvious consequence is that users of porn find real world sexual relationships less and less satisfying. A related study out of Florida State University showed a connection between porn use and relationship commitment. The more porn men or women watched, the less committed they were to their real world romantic relationships.

Those of us who claim that porn is damaging often do so with a view toward its darkening effect on the soul. But the latest neuroscience is giving us biological evidence to support those claims. The more scientists learn about the connection between porn and the brain, the more difficult it is to believe that porn is harmless.

Nathan Harden is editor of The College Fix and author of the book SEX & GOD AT YALE: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad.

Follow Nathan on Twitter @NathanHarden

(Image: FalconWriting.Flickr1)

(Via Drudge)

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Robby Soave writes for The Daily Caller:

Feminist groups at more than a dozen universities are planning to participate in another mass “edit Wikipedia day,” because the free, volunteer encyclopedia website is obviously horribly sexist.

Sarah Stierch, a Wikipedia contributor and researcher for the Wikimedia Foundation, said the problem isn’t just that most Wikipedia user are male. The layout of the website is itself “very masculine,” she said.

“It’s aesthetically very masculine in its design,” said Stierch in a statement to The Daily Dot, also noting that, “The average Wikipedia editor is a well-educated white male. Well-educated white males have been writing history and the story of the world since ancient times.”

(Image: nojhan.flickr)

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A new study published in the Journal of Social, Evolutionary & Cultural Psychology has found that women derive more satisfaction than men from basic childcare duties such as changing diapers. In addition, the study found that men were far less likely than women to take advantage of paid paternity leave in order to stay home with newborn children.

Every once in a while you read about a new “study” that comes to conclusions that are so obvious, you can’t believe anyone thought they needed a study to figure it out. Likewise, I frequently encounter studies in which liberal academics appear to be shocked to learn that there are differences between men and women. The tone of these articles always seems to be: Differences between men and women? No! What evil in our society could have caused such a thing!

The latest such study tracked how male college professors use their “paternity leave.” (In the liberal utopia of higher-ed, fathers actually get paid leave just like new mothers, oftentimes.) However, only about one in ten fathers actually takes advantage of the leave time. And those who do tend to work on writing or research, rather than spending their time tending the new baby. Surprise conclusion? In other words, men don’t change as many diapers as women.

Most surprising of all, for the authors of the study, was their finding that women actually derive a high sense of “satisfaction” from taking care of new babies, and even doing rather less pleasant jobs, such as changing diapers. Bloomberg Businessweek reports details:

The writers, Steven Rhoads of the University of Virginia and his son, Christopher Rhoads, of the University of Connecticut, studied a sample of 181 married, heterosexual, tenure-track professors all of whom had children under two and taught at schools with parental-leave policies. While 69 percent of the women in the sample took post-birth parental leave, only 12 percent of the men took advantage of the available leave—even though it was paid. They also learned that the male professors who did so performed significantly less child care relative to their spouses. Worse yet, they report that male tenure-track professors may be abusing paternity leave by using the time to complete research or publish papers, an activity that enhances their careers while putting their female colleagues at a disadvantage. One female participant quoted in the study put it this way: “If women and men are both granted parental leaves and women recover/nurse/do primary care and men do some care and finish articles, there’s a problem.”

The Rhoads’ findings may come as a shock to supporters of gender equality. Although it is targeted at men, paternity leave is also thought to improve the lot of women… Steven Rhoads says he was interested in putting these notions to the test among university professors because he thought young men and women in academia “would be the most progressive on gender roles.”

Not quite. As the authors of the paper state: “Most of the academics in our study said they believe that husbands and wives should share equally, but almost none did so.” To be precise, only three men out of 109 reported that they performed half the child-care work. One possible explanation, according to the father-and-son duo, is that women derive a higher enjoyment of many of the activities involved in the care of small children. The Rhoads asked the men and women to report their level of enjoyment in performing 25 different tasks—everything from playing with the baby to washing his clothes. On almost every count, women said they experienced a higher level of satisfaction. Steven Rhoads admits the discovery that mothers enjoy changing diapers was, to his own mind, the most surprising aspect of his findings. “It shows you gender roles go pretty deep,” he says…

For most of us, it doesn’t come as any surprise that women, on average, experience “a higher level of satisfaction” than men when taking care of new babies. It’s just nature and common sense. And no matter how many social engineering projects the liberal elite undertake with a view toward eradicating this gender “problem”–no matter how many times they give little boys dolls to play with, or little girls trucks and legos–they aren’t going to be able to re-wire the human brain.

Nor are the liberal elite ever going to convince me that forcing men and women to be exactly the same would be a good thing for society–even if such a thing were possible.

By the way, why is it that liberals are so in love with “diversity”–except when it comes to the sexes? They don’t simply want men and women to have equal opportunity; they actually want men and women to be and behave exactly the same.

It’s sad that academic culture is so adversarial when it comes to gender issues. For example, consider the woman in this study who said “there’s a problem” if men are taking advantage of paternity leave to get ahead at work. Presumably, she means that it might give men a competitive edge over women in the workplace.

What these academic elites haven’t figured out is that men and women are designed to be cooperative and complimentary–not adversarial. In my own family, my wife and I split childcare and housework, sure. In addition, both of us do work outside the home. But I would never pretend that it’s an even split, or that either of us would want it to be. She focuses more on the home and the kids than I do; I focus more on earning a living. Every couple has to find what works for them, I suppose. But I think our elite professional culture sets ludicrous expectations for men when it comes to childcare. These are expectations that, for reasons that have to do with nature and economics, men are never ever going to meet.

For radical feminists, a woman’s happiness and satisfaction is less important than maintaining a competitive edge over men–her sexual “adversaries” in the workplace. Sounds like a recipe for misery to me. Wouldn’t it be better to acknowledge that men and women have natural differences and proclivities and that, on the balance, it’s best to let men and women simply be themselves? To let men and women focus more on what brings them “satisfaction”–whatever that may be?

Gender difference: that’s one kind of “diversity” worth celebrating.

Nathan Harden is editor of The College Fix and author of the book SEX & GOD AT YALE: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad.

Like The College Fix on Facebook.

Follow Nathan on Twitter @NathanHarden

(Image: An Egyptian Fellah Woman with her Baby, by Elisabeth Jerichau Baumann – photo by Daderot / Wikimedia Commons)

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Inside Higher Ed reports on new research that seeks to explain why women, on average, are outperforming men academically:

The facts of women being more likely than men to go to college, perform better academically, and major in fields other than science, technology, engineering and mathematics are mostly attributable to factors affecting students before – in some cases, long before – they enter the halls of academe. But that doesn’t mean colleges can’t do anything to mitigate the consequences.

Those are the conclusions of the authors of a new book, The Rise of Women (Russell Sage Foundation), about how and why female students continue to outpace their male counterparts in education (yet still can’t seem to earn a comparable paycheck).

“We’ve seen astonishing change over a very short historical period,” Thomas DiPrete, the book’s co-author and a sociology professor at Columbia University, said on a call with reporters Wednesday.

Starting with the people born around 1950, the rate of men’s bachelor’s degree completion stopped growing, and it stayed stagnant for years. In 1970, 20 percent of men and 14 percent of women finished college. By 2010, women’s graduation rates had “skyrocketed” to 36 percent, DiPrete said, while the rate among men grew only seven points, to 27 percent.

Today, women outpace men in college enrollment by a ratio of 1.4 to 1.

Beginning as early as kindergarten, the authors explained, girls have better average social and behavioral skills than boys, and that relates to girls’ higher average grades at each stage of school and why girls are more likely to earn a degree.

“The grade gap isn’t about ability,” said Claudia Buchmann, co-author and sociology professor at Ohio State University, “it’s really more about effort and engagement in school…”

“We really need schools that set high expectations, that treat students as individuals – not just as gendered groups – and also motivate students to invest in their education so that they can reach the big returns of a college degree that exist in today’s labor market,” Buchmann said.

Read the full story here.

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