Saturday, March 30, 2019

Christopher Ingraham on the Sex Dearth Among Young Americans

Christopher Ingraham has written some fascinating stuff in yesterday's Washington Post about how often American adults have sex.  With graphs and everything (in the article, not in having sex). 

Here's the first of the two graphs in his article which everyone now speaks about.  It shows that the increased celibacy of Americans (not having sex in the last year at all, where having sex presumably excludes fapping to porn and other forms of masturbation) is driven by increased celibacy among the youngest respondents, those between the ages of eighteen and thirty:

Notice the orange line shooting up like an erection?  And, indeed, the second by-now-famous graph tells us that the celibacy of the young is mainly driven by male celibacy, though young women's celibacy rate is also going up.

So what is the first thing I should do after reading that article?   You guessed it.  It's not immediately ruminating on the possible theories which could explain the above graph.  It's to find out where the data came from and how the results were calculated.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Echidne And Blog Stuff

1.  These cartoons by Karoliina Korhonen are about the introverted nature of native Finns.  If you are an introvert, too, you may like them.

2.  Do you read here for my feminist posts?  Would you still read here if I didn't cover feminist topics?* 

3.  What is the best time of the year for my funding drive for you?  In other words, when can I squeeze the largest number of coins out of your pockets?

4.  Do you have any questions or dilemmas or suggestions about this blog?  If so, use the comments below and I promise to read and answer them.

5.  I don't have finger prints**.  This creates a lot of extra trouble with forms which require finger prints.


* I may write more about the reasons for these questions later.  They don't mean that I necessarily plan to stop writing about women or feminism.

** It's not because of the snakiness.  My mom has no finger prints.  I have messy ones, like half-prints,  which don't qualify as real ones.  Too bad that I left my bank robbing career so late.  They probably collect DNA now.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Short Posts, 3/25/19. On Conspiracy Theories, Polyandry in Bald Eagles, College Admissions Bribery Etc.

These snippets are from my recent readings.

1.  Given that conspiracy theories (Pizzagate, Perfect Storm) are now an integral aspect of politics, I found this quote from a recent paper surveying the research in the field interesting:

However, research demonstrates that certain political convictions are more strongly associated with conspiracy beliefs than others (Mancuso et al., 2017). van Prooijen, Krouwel, and Pollet (2015) demonstrated that conspiracy beliefs are most prevalent at the political extremes. They found a quadratic effect—that is a “U‐shaped” function— in both the United States and the Netherlands suggesting that conspiracy theorizing is strongest at the far left and right, although stronger on the right. Similar effects have been found in Sweden (Krouwel, Kutiyski, van Prooijen, Martinsson, & Markstedt, 2017). Although it is unknown whether conspiracy theorizing may be a result of political ideology, or vice versa, or both, this research suggests that extremist attitudes may be a consequence of conspiracy belief. On the other hand, Uscinski and Parent (2014) and Uscinski, Klofstad, and Atkinson (2016) suggest that levels of conspiracy thinking are stronger among those identifying as independents or with third parties.

It's interesting that the effect looks strongest at the far right, though the writers of the linked paper note that this could be an artifact of studies mostly focusing on the far right rather than the far left.  Or not, as the case may be.

My guess is that authoritarianism, extremism and the belief in conspiracy theories might be correlated, because they all relieve the individual of the burden to engage in complex and nuanced thought which might ultimately not provide clarity.