April 19, 2011

When Scientists Don’t Understand Sex: Feminism, Dominance, and Arousal | Charlie Glickman {featured read}

Psychology Today posted a piece by someone with a PhD in computational neuroscience and someone with a PhD in biologically inspired models of machine learning, which apparently qualifies them to make some remarkable statements about gender, sexuality, and relationships. They seem to prefer making some remarkably reductionist and essentialist claims about how sex works, along with the usual sweeping statements. That might work well in the computer lab, but that’s hardly how people work in the real world.

So I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise that their recent piece Why Feminism is the Anti-Viagra is more of the same. Their thesis centers on the idea that “gender equality inhibits arousal“. To support this, they offer a few bits of evidence:
  1. many women have fantasies of submission
  2. female rats, among other mammals, adopt a position of lordosis (raising the hips and arching the back to facilitate penetration), which they call submissive
  3. heroes in romance novels “are almost always high status alpha males–billionaires, barons, surgeons, sheriffs.”
  4. an author of erotic romance says that women like “bad boys”
  5. most men are aroused by being dominant
Let’s take a look at some of these. (Note- since their article leaves out diversity of sexual orientation and gender expression, so will I. But take it as a given that I know that this is a serious problem with their article and I consider it to be a sign that they don’t really know what they’re talking about.) Read More >>


Post a Comment