Saturday, September 09, 2006

Sex doesn't sell, male cooperation causes wars and men are smarter than women anyway, so nyah!

It's no surprise to anyone that magazines for men tend to be full of photos of scantily clad women, which, of course are well known as nothing but an annoying distraction from the articles for which we buy the magazines, but it's always been a source of quiet amusement that so too are the magazines for women full of such photos, in amongst the articles about the neurosis-du-jour. Failing access to dad's Playboy collection, many a spotty young man has fallen back on perusing the knickers and well-filled bras in mom's comics laid out so conveniently on the coffee table. I confess I've often wondered why (not the spotty young man's interest! the presence of the salacious pics in the first place), but always ended up shrugging my shoulders and assuming it had something to do with the same sort logic that drove women to read about their neuroses all the time. (*)

Of course, some dastardly man's gotta be at the bottom of this, hasn't he?

At least, that's what MSNBC says, reporting (female reporter) on a study (female lead author) which investigated the reactions of 100 college-aged women to female models finding that "the more seductive the model, the more it left the women bored and uninterested". Uh oh, something's not right. In which case, why are women's magazines full of pictures of models? One of the authors of the study (male, this time) said "that the results also illuminate a gap between the male executives who are marketing the magazines and the consumers". You see? I told you it was our fault.

In which case, I still have to ask why magazines that are so proud to market themselves as produced by women for women are still full of pictures of naked and near-naked women and still manage to be successful?

Another study cited in the same article seems to show that women can only distinguish two types of beauty: "wholesome" and "sexy-sensual" despite a sample selected from a range declared to be of 6 distinct types. That sounds like a sort of color-blindness. I confess I don't really know what to make of it. Any ideas anyone?

(*) Could it be that women are as confused about their identity as we
are? (Come on folks, there's got to be at least one comment in that
line or do I have to go all out balls-to-the-wall misogynistic to get
some action around here?)


Also, MSNBC report that "men bond together and cooperate well in the face of adversity to protect their interests more than women".  Now, before you get a nice warm feeling about a positive aspect of being a man, this is of course interpreted to "explain why war is almost exclusively a male business" and "makes them particularly able to engage in wars".  Sigh.  This is deduced from experiments with students involving money in which the men were found to be more likely to invest in group ventures when told they're in competition with other, unnamed groups, whereas women acted no more cooperatively when they knew they were in competition as a group than when they did not.  In other words, when the group is under threat, the men do more to protect the group than do the women, but to distract us from an example of male inter-cooperation, we're told how aggressive we are and more likely to try to beat the crap out of eachother.

But we can finish on a small male victory in the war between the sexes in which we all know that women are completely unwilling participates and at an innate and unfair disadvantage because they're all so peace-loving and cooperative and want us all, men and women, just to get on with each other.  It turns out that teenage boys are smarter than their female contemporaries.  Really, no kidding, paper available on-line

(Oh, and to prove my male blood-lust, I've been waging war over the pros and cons of gun-ownership at Dr. Helen's.  Am I a sucker for punishment, or what?)

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