Courtesy FireFawkesThe journal Sexual Health has blown minds the world over with a new study’s assertion that, of all students, science students have the least sex. And male science students? They have the least sex of all, ranking neck and neck with amoeba.
Do you know who the study says has the most sex? Female art students. But I’ve never pretended to understand art kids, so we’ll leave that be and get back to our poor science nerds.
What gives? Is it the chicken or the egg? (The chicken being people who don’t often have sex, the egg being the study of science. Duh.) Does deciding to study science equate to putting on an invisible chastity belt? Is it (if we’re talking about chickens) a persistent rooster-block, if you will? Or are people for whom sex is not a huge priority, or even something to be avoided, attracted to the study of science?
The answer, according to the study, is “yes.”
The research was performed at the University of Sydney in Australia. The science department at the university has a high proportion of international students, who may have different cultural attitudes towards sex than those hedonistic, liberal arts, Australian-born students. Also, as we have discussed on Buzz, girls are often less attracted to studying math and science than boys, and boys, according to the psychotherapist quoted in the article, start having sex later than girls.
The demands of studying science, likewise, aren’t helping things. Students are kept out of environments where they would meet women, and spend most of their time “carrying on doing experiments, going to the library, and doing their assignments.”
A horde of very busy introverts—it’s the perfect storm. But don’t let this dissuade you from studying science, Buzzketeers—maybe this is just the sort of social environment you’re looking for. Or maybe you can start a brand new scientific revolution.
Courtesy Albert Kok
*The original headline here was "Immaculate conception observed. In a shark." However, it was pointed out to me that "immaculate conception" and "virgin birth" really aren't the same thing. I changed it, but I resent the implication that I don't know the difference. Just because I get things wrong all the time, it doesn't mean that I was wrong about this. Not, you know, necessarily.
It looks like lady sharks have won another battle of the sexes. The sex war had been fought to a standstill, a stalemate siege, if you will, with the male army relying on the “well, you’ll need us eventually” tactic.
Apparently this isn’t necessarily the case. Deep inside the female Fortress of Celibacy, a devious plan was being hatched: virgin birth.
(Many types of sharks, it should be noted, give live birth, like mammals, instead of laying eggs.)
There have, in fact, been two documented cases of ladies-only shark reproduction. The first was in the Omaha Zoo, where a female hammerhead shark unexpectedly gave birth to a baby shark (called a “pup”) in her tank. Unfortunately, some of the other sharks (of a different species) in her tank immediately ate the pup. Whoops. But DNA tests were done on the… leftover chunks of the pup, I guess, and they showed that the baby did not have a father.
The other case happened in May of last year, with the research results being released this last week (hey, sometimes science stays out all night and gets up late, so give it a break). A blacktip shark named Tidbit had been living at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center for the last eight years, with no contact with males sharks of her species. When Tidbit died mysteriously last May, an autopsy revealed her nearly full-term pregnancy (the stress-related complications of which were probably what did her in). The shark pup had died as well—and aquarium staff believed that it would have been eaten by the tiger sharks in the same tank anyway had it actually been born—but genetic testing revealed it to be Tidbit’s child, and Tidbit’s alone.
Scientists studying the bizarre pregnancies believe that the pups got all the required chromosomes when the mother’s egg split, and then reunited—a process called "parthogenesis.”
Single-sex reproduction, it’s believed, might be an adaptation to situations when there are too few male sharks in a wild population. It’s rare enough, however, that it would be very unlikely that sharks could survive through pathogenesis alone. The process results in a lack of genetic diversity as well, which could leave individuals vulnerable to congenital disorders.
So, ladies, I salute your ingenuity, but you’re not rid of us yet.
A voice on the phone.
A symmetrical body.
Are you free tonight?
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Sci-ku ™ -- haiku in the service of science!
Drinking makes you think other people are more attractive, a phenomenon commonly known as “beer goggles.”
Courtesy Mark RyanAs athletes around the world gear up for the upcoming Beijing Olympics, officials in China are setting a sex-determination laboratory to confirm the gender of some of the competitors.
Despite objections by some medical ethicists that the tests are too intrusive, suspected “female” athletes will be checked for external appearance, genes, and hormones. Particular scrutiny will be given to women who are able to find the laboratory at the Peking Union Medical College Hospital without having to stop to ask directions.
The lab is a holdover from previous Olympics when questions were raised about the gender of several “female” athletes from some Soviet Bloc countries. From then on, every woman wanting to compete in the Games had to submit to a sex-evaluation screening that required them to walk naked in front of a committee of doctors. This was replaced in 1968 with chromosome tests. Blanket testing was eliminated in 1999, and now only “suspect” women – like those who leave the toilet seat up - will be tested.
“We must be ready to take on such cases should they arise,” said Arne Ljungqvist, chairman of the IOC’s medical commission. “Sometimes, fingers are pointed at particular female athletes, and in order to protect them, we have to be able to investigate it and clarify.”
Throughout its existence the mandatory testing program has never led to a single confirmed case of males impersonating females to gain an edge in the Games. Several cases of gender suspicion arose in Atlanta in 1996 when eight women failed to pass a genetic test, but they were cleared after it was determined they all suffered from a birth defect that presented no advantage other than being able to parallel park.
Prior to the tests, there’s only been one confirmed case of a male impersonating a female in the Games. In 1936, Hermann Ratjen was forced by the Nazis to compete as Dora Ratjen in the women’s high jump during the Berlin Olympics. He confessed to the subterfuge in 1956 but only after being confronted with rumors that he had been overheard telling a teammate a joke without botching the punch line.
SOURCE and LINKS
Sociologists have found that Brazilians who watch soap operas, or novellas, have a significantly lower birth rate than those who do not, even after controlling for other factors. They theorize that the glamorous fictional characters in the shows have small families, and their fans, consciously or subconsciously, are following suit.
Courtesy Mark RyanYesterday, I attended a public lecture at the Evolution 2008 conference at the University of Minnesota given by Dr. Olivia Judson, an evolutionary biologist who also brings the evolutionary biology of sex to the masses via her clever book and television show "Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation". The book has been translated into over 15 languages, and the three episodes of her humorous television show completed so far (with Dr. Judson starring as her alter-ego Dr. Tatiana) have played on the Discovery Channel in Canada, Britian, Australia, and also in France to high acclaim. Evidently, the show is considered too saucy for US broadcast. (Why are we considered an "open" society?)
Courtesy Mark RyanBut really this is an excellent way of teaching the sexual aspects of evolution to the general population. I haven't read her book yet, but from what I heard at the lecture and saw in the accompanying video clip (which included those mainstays of courtship, song and dance), Dr. Tatiana keeps things on a very comprehensible level, shying away from scientific terms, and explaining things clearly and as humorously (and frankly) as possible.
Judge for yourself. After the lecture I went to YouTube and discovered a number of clips have been posted there for viewing (not by young children but if you're an American adult, you should be okay):
Courtesy Roro Fernandez
So, what’s the opposite of “the dismal science”?
A new study published in the Journal of Consumer Research finds that men, after receiving a sexual stimulus – touching lingerie or even just seeing a woman in a bikini – seek immediate gratification.
Why can’t I ever get chosen for research like this?
(The lingerie, the report is quick to point out, was “not being worn during the test.” Still – dude – awesome methodology!)
Now, what’s all this about “immediate gratification”? I mean, we’ve all seen There’s Something About Mary, right? Well, get your minds out of the gutter, people. What they mean is, aroused men are more likely to try to satisfy any appetite – food, alcohol, money, whatever is at hand. So to speak.
To which men everywhere are saying “You paid how much to figure that out?”
It all has to do with the appetite centers in the brain. Seems it’s all one big giant Id. Once it’s aroused by some stimulus, the man seeks to satisfy it any way he can.
To which women everywhere are saying, “No duh.”
Apparently, the smell of fresh baked bread has the same effect, which would explain why you see so many pie shops right next door to strip clubs.
But, most interesting of all, we find, buried in the article, never explained, never elaborated upon, this little gem:
It wasn't that the men were simply distracted by their sexual arousal, which caused them to choose more impulsively. On the contrary, they exhibited improved cognition and creativity after exposure to sexy stimuli.
While this does not comport with the stupid pick-up lines one hears in bars every night of the week, nevertheless, there it is. I mean, this is science, right? Looking at pretty girls actually makes men smarter! Therefore, we should view beer commercials and the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, not as crass attempts to move product by appealing to hard-wired neurological instincts, but rather as a public service, a selfless effort to increase intellectual activity and creative achievement by stimulating men’s brains.
But no. That’s not what the liberal media wants you to hear. Men bad. Men can’t control urges. Men barely better than animals. So what we get are prurient headlines, lascivious photos, and sly innuendo like “seek immediate gratification,” wink wink. Why, it’s enough to…
Gutter. Out. Now!
Courtesy mikehippThings are about to get a little saucy in the land we call Science Buzz.
Let’s start with a little mental image to get things heated up: imagine the coldest place on Earth. On July 21, 1983, ten days after my birth, Antarctica reached the coldest temperature ever recorded on the planet: -129 degrees Fahrenheit. The eyeballs of penguins across the continent were irreparably damaged, as little tears of discomfort froze to their faces. I’m assuming.
So it’s very cold there. Very, very cold. But, despite thegenital shattering temperatures, people live in Antarctica. Research stations bring the population on the continent to about 4000 in the summer, and 1000 in the winter, and underneath all those boots, and gloves, and snowsuits, and goggles, people still think about just one thing: penguins. And when they aren’t thinking about them, they’re thinking about paleontology, or astronomy, or geology, or biology, or physics, or meteorology, or oceanography. But, when they’re done thinking about all that stuff, you just know what’s on their minds: yeah—doin’ it.
One of the summer’s last shipments to the McMurdo base station, the largest settlement in Antarctica with a summer population of over 1,000, was a year’s supply of condoms. The prophylactics, all 16,500 of them, will be distributed, free of charge, among the McMurdo staff “to avoid the potential embarrassment of having to buy them.”
So…if the winter season is about 7 months long, and the winter crew is about 200 people, and the summer crew is around, say 1,100, we’ll just average the population to about 575. About two-thirds of that population, as I understand it, is male, so, without getting into changing ratios between summer and winter seasons, we’ll say the average male population is 378.
That’s almost as far as I want to go—we could take into account the frequency of condom use, or the definition of sex, or how many people abstain altogether, or how many condoms are lost to practical jokes and craft projects, but that’s complicated. So we’ll just say that everyone who can use a condom does (safety first!), and that they will be divided up evenly: about 44 condoms per condom user. That means that one condom could be used every eight or nine days. Or 44 could be used in one day (although the sun doesn’t really set for a few months of the year, so some of those days are really long).
How about that?
It’s kind of like studying an ancient civilization, just by looking at their condoms.