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Men just want to get ahead (no this isn’t dirty)

Two experiments; same results

Experiment#1: What’s the least part of a female turkey that is sufficient to arouse a male turkey? (by Carbaugh, Schein and Hale 1962)

Experiment #2: “[what’s] the lower limit to how awful a person could be before men would stop messaging her on an online dating site?” (by Alli Reed, 2014)

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Carbaugh et al. added their research, done at Penn State University, to a surprisingly large amount of previous work analyzing the extent to which a number of birds responded socially and sexually to minimal stimulations. In one paper (Lorenz, 1937), demonstrated that parakeets would respond to a small celluloid ball mimicking the head of another bird. Wood-Gush showed that a stuffed bird in a crouched position was sufficient to excite a young male chicken (1957).

So, naturally, the Carbaugh, et al had to see what parts of the whole, when severed and mounted, would make a male turkey ‘hot’?

Three things stand out to me from this paper:

  1. The images the researchers drew to represent different parts of the birds being used.

Image2. This photo of a turkey sizing up a potential mate

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Ooooo la la

3. That it really only takes a head on a stick

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In a very similar experiment, Alli Reed, writing on Cracked.com, created the worst, most obnoxious personal ad paired with a picture of an attractive woman’s face to see whether the personal information accompanying the ad would do anything to deter men from trying to contact a woman.

ImageI heard about this story during her appearance on this week’s Freakonomics radio podcast. Her personal ad, which you can find published on cracked, portays a young woman with scruples the likes of which Dick Dastardly would find loathsome. She’s looking for a rich man to party with her, taunt homeless people, listen to pop- super-nobody Aaron Carter (this is a link to a fan site – beware), and possibly finance her idea for a matching doggie clothes / iPhone case business (ps – Paris Hilton would probably establish a standing order with you, Alli).Image

Despite this, AaronCarterFan got 150 messages in 24 hours. Go read her article. And you’ll see that human males pretty much have no higher standards than these birds we were just laughing about.

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Is Saudi Arabia following Turkey’s Lead?

MukfellasIt’s unclear what the rationale was, but The Economist has recently reported that the Saudi Arabian Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (CPVPV) has come in and closed the Dinosaur World exhibit / playground. I’ve looked around a bit to see if there is any further information explaining this action (is it a reaction to the very idea that once dinosaurs roamed the earth?, perhaps some incidents of improper behavior had been reported?). In the absence of information, we can only guess.

I was alerted to this news via a blog that I follow by the evolutionary biologist, Jerry Coyne. Coyne’s interest comes from his concern about the suppression of science that is sometimes found amongst religious organizations. Because this action was carried out by the CPVPV, it is reasonable to assume that the exhibit was closed because it violated a tenet of the islamic faith. The CPVPV is the Saudi religious police who enforce Sharia Law by monitoring the population to ensure that people adhere to dress codes, separation of men and women, etc.

t rex exhibition riyadhHowever, it’s difficult to look at pictures of this exhibit and see what could be wrong. Although he does not say it explicitly, I have a feeling that Coyne is worried that Saudi Arabia is going the way of Turkey in suppressing science that contradicts religious interpretations of creation. This is an issue in many Christian-dominated cultures, but many people do not realize that fundamentalists of Islam are very similar in their views as fundamentalist Christians. Read more about recent actions prohibiting teaching of evolution in Turkey here.

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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