Who decided to make Blair’s maid, Dorota, the only overweight one on “Gossip Girl”? And why did J.K. Rowling pen Harry Potter’s uncle and cousin, Vernon and Dudley Dursley, as portly? What dictates why some characters in fiction are chubsters while others are anorexic? One professor/doctoral student at George Washington University is actually pursuing a PhD in fat studies. Not gender studies or nutritional studies—no, Julia McCrossin is investigating why authors choose to make characters fat. The university will be rewarding her for her work with the first degree in fat studies, and I’m not sure whether to be repulsed or really excited. Keep reading »
Tag Archives: research
“Gossip Girl” obviously has the right idea—a new study from the University of Michigan shows that chitchatting might be good for your health. In the study, which ran in this month’s Hormones and Behavior journal, 160 women paired up and completed a computerized card game. Afterwards, half of the groups were instructed to discuss 16 questions like “Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?” while the rest of the groups proofread a botany article. The participants who talked experienced a rise in their levels of progesterone, a hormone that signals bonding and closeness, while participants in the control group actually experienced a decline in progesterone. And more progesterone means reduced stress and anxiety, and ultimately better health. So moral of the study: water cooler talk can be good for your health! Still, that’s no reason you should tell everyone in your office that you slept with the hot guy in accounting. [Daily Mail] Keep reading »
Need another reason to look forward to the holiday season? New research says the Christmas through New Years period produces an increase in the number of people who have sex. This can be attributed to the lengthy time off and the rise in party hoppers combined with boozing it up in abundance.
Now you have no more excuses not to hit up your booty call when you go to your parents house this week. Gas is cheap. You could stand to lose a few pounds anyway. And everyone else is having sex. This revelation gives you license to sleep with anyone you’ve ever wanted! Next time you see that really cute coworker you’ve always wanted to have your way with, but you’ve been to shy to approach, be bold and tell him you want to sleep with him because everyone else is having sex and you think it’s about time you two did. Or the cute little young barista at Starbucks you’ve been eying everyday as he makes your coffee, slip away with him for a quickie. You have permission to sleep with the men you normally wouldn’t because he’s not your type. The “too short, has no job, and balding” men are all welcome to apply for a night with you.
And when you wake up in the morning, feeling a bit shameful about your actions, you have scientific evidence proving that what you did really isn’t so demoralizing after all. In fact, what you did is normal…everyone else is having sex. Why shouldn’t you? Ho! Ho! Ho! Keep reading »
Since your biggest erogenous zone is your brain, scientists are busy working on a vibrator for your mind! More specifically, Oxford University’s department of psychiatry is developing a small chip that would massage the pleasure center behind your eyes, the orbitofrontal cortex. Originally and successfully created to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s, researchers believe they can use the chip to increase sexual sensations, without all the messy love and aerobic BS normally required for sex. While I’ve been waiting for a sex pill, like the one in “Barbarella” (see above), this chip seems to cause the desired affect permanently. Schwinnng for life! Although, in my enthusiasm, I am getting a little ahead of the research… Keep reading »
Psychiatrists are a British hospital have come to the conclusion that for some people, sexual thoughts leading to fits of sneezing, while other people may be prone to sneezing after orgasm. So that explains why I couldn’t stop the incessant tickling in my nose while watching “Murder By Numbers” on TV today. [Newser.com] Keep reading »
We poke a lot of fun at silly studies on The Frisky, but occasionally one comes along that’s actually interesting and insightful. Researchers at Harvard University have discovered that our experience of pain depends on whether we think someone caused the pain intentionally. Participants in the study were given electrical shocks and asked to rate the level of pain they experienced. When those participants believed the electrical shock was delivered intentionally rather than on accident, they rated that shock as more painful. This made me think about whether the same thing would apply to emotional pain and not just physical pain. Does it feel worse when someone hurts your feelings on purpose rather than on accident? Think about heartbreak — does it feel worse when the heartbreak happens as a result of someone doing something hurtful, like cheating? [Science Daily] Keep reading »
According to a new study, men are fast becoming the weaker sex. In recent years, some 100,000 chemicals have entered the atmosphere and are wreaking havoc upon masculinity. Apparently, “gender bender” chemicals are messing with hormones, resulting in a “feminisation of the males.” In male animals, symptoms include testicular dysfunction, smaller penises, and reproductive challenges, and some species are experiencing an uptick in hermaphrodites, among them polar bears born with male and female genitalia. These evolutionary “red flags” don’t bode well for humans: “If we are seeing problems in wildlife, we can be concerned that something similar is happening to a proportion of human males.” Some polluted countries are experiencing a surge in female births over male births, male children of women exposed to certain chemicals are exhibiting feminization, and in Rotterdam “boys whose mothers had been exposed to PCBs grew up wanting to play with dolls and tea sets rather than with traditionally male toys.” With sperm counts dropping “precipitously” around the world, women may transform from the fairer sex to the stronger one. [The Independent] Keep reading »
Not long ago, I met a guy that reminded me of that sexy NPR storyteller Ira Glass. Instantly, I fell in nerd-love with this doppelganger. After dating for a while, though, we realized we had only one thing in common: sex. So we decided to be friends with benefits. According to a Michigan State University study, sixty-percent of college co-eds have been involved in an FWB relationship, and plenty of my thirty-something girlfriends were doing it to stay satisfied, so I figured I’d give the laid back, no-romantic-attachments approach to getting laid a whirl. A year later, faux-Ira and I still hang out and hump. After our most recent rendezvous last weekend, I began to wonder what I’m doing. What are the real benefits to friends with benefits? Sure, now I have an in-case-of-sexual-emergency-hit-Glass-lookalike. At the same time, I’ve started to realize my situation is causing me to question the meaning of friendship, challenging my chances at romances, and wobbling my emotional stability. Keep reading »
According to a new study, HPV is moving on up…to mouths! That’s right, just when you thought Gardasil and Cervarix solved all your problems, now you have to worry about what else you’ve been opening wide. Since the ’70s. throat cancer cases have doubled, and the research shows HPV is to blame, with 39% of all occurrences caused by the human papilloma virus. Before you go cutting your man off from his favorite foreplay, listen to this: men are 35% more likely than women to develop oral cancer from HPV. Sheesh, making a new man go downtown may be riskier than you both think! Still, there’s more bad news — as of yet, there is no way to test male genitalia for HPV or anyone’s throat to see if they’re a carrier. So, it’s a roll of the dice and doctors fear you may even be able to contract the virus from kissing. There goes all the fun! Since this throat cancer link is a new revelation, the cervical cancer vaccines haven’t been tested or proven to prevent it. So, deep throat, you might want to use a condom for oral sex or just give that random stranger a handy and call it a night! [ABC News] Keep reading »
Groundbreaking researchers, at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, have found that premature ejaculation is all thanks to DNA. Previously thought of as a psychological problem or the result of effective lingerie, these doctors discovered it simply has to do with the gene that controls serotonin. The good is that it’s nobody’s fault that the sexy party is over before it really began. The bad news is that a third of men have this gene. So, what is a girl to do? Here are our Sexy Solutions For Setbacks In The Sack…