Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Today's Idiotic Evo-Psycho Popularization

It's in Finnish, and by "an evolution researcher" (a new euphemism for Evolutionary Psychologists of the weird type, I think).  He states that he has studied the horrible effects of the contraceptive pill on women and perhaps he has.  But here are a few of the quotes:

Ehkäisypillerillä on todettu olevan merkittäviä vaikutuksia parinvalintaan. Ehkäisypillerien vaikutuksia tutkinut Turun yliopiston evoluutiotutkija Markus Rantala kertoo Uudelle Suomelle, millaisia ongelmia ehkäisypillerit voivat aiheuttaa.
- Kaikki mikä muuttaa naisen hormonitasoa, sotkee parinvalintaa. Ehkäisypillerit vaikuttavat siihen, miten naiset valikovat parin ja miltä nainen näyttää. Se muuttaa koko systeemin, Rantala sanoo


The contraceptive pill has been found to have significant effects on mate selection.  Markus Rantala, a Turku university evolution researcher who has studied the effects of the pill,  tells Uusi Suomi  about its possible problems.

All which affects a woman's hormonal levels messes up mate selection.  The contraceptive pill has an impact on how women select their partners and what a woman looks like.  It changes the whole system, Rantala says.


2. Naisellisuus vaarassa kadota

Ehkäisypillerien lisäksi ja etenkin niiden kanssa käytettynä alkoholi vaikuttaa Rantalan mukaan naisen estrogeenitasoon ja sitä kautta seksuaalikäyttäytymiseen.
 Alkoholi estää testosteronin hajoamisen maksassa, mikä saa naisen testosteronitason nousemaan ja naiset käyttäytyvät miehekkäämmin ja haluavat seksiä. Se johtuu hormonien vaikutuksesta.

2.  Femininity at risk of disappearing

In addition to the contraceptive pill, and especially when used with it,  alcohol, according to Rantala, affects a woman's estrogen levels and through that sexual behavior.

Alcohol prevents the dissolution of testosterone in the liver which raises the woman's testosterone levels and women behave in a more masculine manner and want sex.  This is a hormonal influence.

Did you get it?   An evolution researcher pontificates on the impact of the contraceptive pill AND on the impact of alcohol.  Alcohol is dangerous for femininity and makes women behave in a masculine manner.  Women even desire sex when drunk!  Besides, human mate selection is wholly based on female choice.  And of course men drunk are no different from men sober...

Elsewhere in the piece Rantala argues that when a woman has picked wrong while being on the pill the relationship will collapse once she comes off the pill and her natural hormones once again rule.  Then the guy she picked earlier will bore her.

I'm almost 100% certain that not a single study has been carried out on the effects of hormones on actual mate selection and on the dissolution of relationships in this context.  But never mind, Rantala tells us how things are.

And here's the loveliest quote of them all:

1970- ja 1980-luvulla ehkäisypillerit olivat Rantalan mukaan 100-kertaa voimakkaampia nykyisiin verrattuna.
– Voisi kuvitella, että naiset olivat naisellisemman näköisiä, ennen kuin olivat saaneet hillittömän estrogeenibuustin pillerin takia.


During the 1970s and 1980s the contraceptive pill was according to Rantala hundred times stronger than today.

One might speculate that women looked more feminine before they received this humongous estrogen boost from the pill.

It's a beauty.  Women today are somehow affected by the pill use of some women in the 1970s and 1980s!

Why do I bother translating a silly little writeup in an obscure Finnish web newspaper?

Because THIS, my friends, is an example of evolutionary psychology in action!   This is science, which should remind us to remain critical of the label "science."  Some science is sewn together from various patches, collected from diverse places without any attempt for internal consistency.  The total is then flavored with personal opinions, biases and even misogyny.

I can't help adding one more quote and its translation:

Naiset tuoksuvat Rantalan mukaan vetävämmiltä lähellä ovulaatiota eli silloin kun he voivat tulla raskaaksi, kuten muutkin eläimet. Ovulaation puuttumisen takia ehkäisypillereitä syövä nainen menettää tämän tuoksuvaikutuksen.


According to Rantala women smell most appealing close to ovulation, i.e., when they can become pregnant, as is the case with other animals.  Because a woman on the contraceptive pill does not ovulate she loses this scent effect.

Brilliant!  How did they manage to study how other male animals rank the scents of the females of the same species?  Did they offer, say, male guinea pigs, scratch-n-sniff squares soaked in various female guinea pig smells?   And should women really care about losing the scent effect which might make her more appealing to potential inseminators out there?

Have you noticed that EP practitioners always, always overstate their case?  There's a whiff of defensiveness in all that, perhaps.  But it works in reverse because I, at least, am used to researchers stating their conclusions carefully and with reservations and so on.  This does not happen with EP.  Rather, the conclusions are hammered into our eyes like square blocks into round holes.