Since the 1980s, gaydar has become a common word in the English language. A combination of “gay” and “radar,” Merriam-Webster defines it as “the ability to recognize homosexuals through observation or intuition.” Clearly, the idea is ridiculous (not to mention insulting to gay people). But what if I told you not only that gaydar exists but that it is a scientifically documented phenomenon? Enter one of the weirdest and most fascinating series of studies this blogger has ever seen.
In 2008, Dr. Nicholas Rule of the University of Toronto (then a Ph.D. candidate at Tufts University) began to investigate the idea of using visual cues to determine someone’s membership to a perceptually ambiguous group (i.e. one without clear physical identifiers, such as religion or sexual orientation). Rule and fellow researchers gathered headshots of individuals and removed hairstyles, piercings, makeup, tattoos, or any other cultural markings. In a series of experiments, they flashed the bare faces for five hundred milliseconds and asked subjects to determine whether their sexual orientation. The results were shocking.
Gaydar: a made-up concept or a scientific phenomenon?
Posted in Nature & Biology, Psychology
- Tagged Brain, Evolution, Gay, Gaydar, Gender, Perspective, Psychology, Science, Sex, Sexuality, Stereotypes, Subconsciousness
I know how you feel. You have a burning, insatiable desire. Nothing can satisfy it except for the one thing you want—no, desperately need. You can’t hold it in anymore, you just have to know: is sex addiction real?
Addiction, while often thrown around colloquially, is a real medical condition. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, “Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.” That’s their short-definition—you can read their long definition here. (Also: how the word “spiritual” can appear in any medical definition is beyond me, but that’s for another post.). So what does this actually mean?
Hide yo kids and hide yo wife. It’s a movie. About sex. But is sex addiction a real thing?
Posted in Nature & Biology, Psychology
- Tagged Addiction, Brain, Dependence, Drugs, health, Mysteries, Nature, Neurology, Nymphomaniac, Psychology, Science, Sex
Part 2 in a series. Click here for Part I: Why Google is the (hilariously) perfect social experiment
A few weeks ago I posted about how Google suggestions provide valuable (and hilarious) insight into the public mind. All the embarrassing questions we are too afraid to ask end up on the internet, allowing programmers to read much of society’s thoughts. What do people want to know? What are they afraid of? Do Pokemon or black people exist? Google’s search suggestions offer some fascinating results. Here are five more of the most amusing and revealing patterns.
5. TV and video games seem real
Most kids eventually learn reality is far less imaginative than cartoons and video games. Even so, some of us need a quick Google search to erase our doubts. Does any one else secretly wish they could have a Pokemon?
Posted in Psychology, Science, Secrets
- Tagged culture, Entertainment, Humor, Internet, Media, Perspective, Pokemon, Questions, Science, Sex, Social Media
Part 1 in a series. Click here for Part 2: How Google let’s you see into people’s minds
We all have embarrassing questions. You know, the ones you secretly want to ask but wouldn’t be caught dead with your name on them. Fortunately, the internet gives us the anonymity to seek answers without the embarrassment of the real world. In fact, these nameless forums provide the perfect social experiment. What do people want to know? What are they afraid of? Google’s search suggestions offer some fascinating results. Here are five of the most amusing and revealing patterns.
5. Black people are confusing
Despite almost every fact and years of societal progress, black people apparently remain mysterious. Many internet searchers wonder how black people’s bodies function or whether they exist at all. Assuming that most of these results are from non-black users, it seems we are curious about people who look different.
Posted in Psychology, Science
- Tagged culture, Entertainment, Experiments, Funny, Google, Humor, Lists, Love, Questions, Race, Science, Sex