Resident Moron

Bringing it.

Txt Spk

When reflecting on last night, I cannot and will not share the emotion if:

a) You tell me I’m “sxy,” and

b) You describe it as “Awsme! :-)”

Um, SRSLY?

Holy crap. Grammar nazi twitch! Er, intelligent being twitch.

February 2, 2009 Posted by | Funny | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Gender Differences in Extraversion

The following is an observation lab I completed with a partner for third year Research in my Psychology B.A. Personal information and details have been excluded; if you require this information for referential purposes, please contact me for use.

Extraversion and Gender Differences in College Males and Females
October 2005

Extraversion affects the public’s perception of a person and their wages, social status and level of personal fulfillment. If levels of extraversion differ among males and females, can it not be said that gender has some greater bearing on one’s personal life than being simply their sex? That is, men or women may be treated differently in certain social circles due to their extraverted or introverted tendencies.

Recent research by Nyhus and Pons (2005) states that wages and types of employment can be directly affected by the Big Five personality types. This includes extraversion, which they define as a preference for human contact and awareness, along with the want to encourage others (Nyhus & Pons, 2005). Their study discusses interesting information not pertinent to their topic; for instance, there was found to be a strong gender difference with test subjects of the age of 10 when specific traits were compared to their wages at age 26 (Feinstein, 2000, as cited in Nyhus & Pons, 2005). It has also been documented that men in the workplace are punished for withdrawal, whereas women are punished for aggression (Osborne, 2000, as cited in Nyhus & Pons, 2005). These two traits are closely related to extraversion.

Further research by Rubinstein (2005) suggests there is no significant difference between males and females with regards to extraversion. However, some of the behaviours measured were associated more strongly with men than women and vice versa (Rubinstein, 2005). This suggests that there is either no relationship between gender and extraversion, or that different methods of research are required.

In the present study, natural observation will be used on a frequency-event scale. Trace behaviours were measured due to the difficulty in finding strong behaviours associated with personality (Salgado, 1997, as cited in Rubinstein, 2005). The hypothesis proposed is that males will score higher on a scale of trace extraversion than females.

Disconfirming this hypothesis will require that there are no differences observed, or that females will score higher in extraversion. Extraversion is defined in terms of scoring two or more on an event sampling scale that measures three behaviours: smiling, gesticulation (“hand-talkers”), and clarity of speech. A smile is defined as upper molar (teeth showing). Gesticulation includes leaning toward the assistant (demonstrating outgoing body language), using visual representation to clarify needs (i.e. pointing), and hand-talking. Clarity of speech is determined on the basis of whether the observers are able to hear the library patron from their position (see Appendix B for photograph).

Method

Participants

Observed participants were 40 patrons of the _____ _______ Library (21 males and 19 females) who approached the Access Desk, where most questions are directed and check-outs are processed. Most of these patrons ranged in age from approximately 18-24 and were students of ______ University, though a few adults (estimated in their mid-40’s) were included in the observations. Results cannot be generalized to certain groups that were excluded from observations, including: friends or acquaintances of the observers, people who appeared to know the desk assistant personally, people who had flamboyant style (such as bright pink hair), or people who had a friend present. The purpose of this was to control for extraneous variables to our data; specifically, experimenter bias (preconceived notions or formed judgments), friendliness due to familiarity, and peer pressure that might create changes in interaction.

Materials

The data was collected by means of event sampling and frequency coding on the basis of nominal categories (extraverted or not). Coding sheets were developed that recorded gender, the three events (behaviours) being observed, whether the patron qualified as ‘extraverted’, and comments, if necessary (see Appendix C). Inter-rater reliability was calculated using percent agreement and Cohen’s Kappa (calculations can be found on Appendix D).

Procedure

The observers were positioned in the waiting area at the entrance of _______ Library, with a direct view of the Access Desk. All observations were recorded over two days, tracking patrons served by one particular assistant. This controlled for differences in observed behaviour due to potential differing interaction styles of library employees. It also ensured that observations were recorded in the same order for reliability purposes. The coding sheet used can be found in Appendix C.

Results

All calculations were completed by hand and Figures 1 through 4 were drawn with Microsoft Excel (see Appendix A).

The results indicate that, according to the created measure, 40% of the overall sample was extraverted, thus the mode of the sample itself was ‘not extraverted’. This is illustrated in Figure 1. Out of the total amount of extraverted samples that were taken, 56% were female, with the remaining 44% being male. This is illustrated in Figure 2. The sample proportion of female (pf=.48) and male (pm=.33) extraverts further points out the differences in each respective group. This is illustrated in Figure 3. Through gathering information on the coding sheet, observed differences in the amount of time females and males “upper molar smiled,” “spoke clearly,” and “gesticulated” were recorded. Females smiled and spoke more clearly while males were observed to gesticulate more often. These differences are demonstrated in Figure 4.

Discussion

The present experiment observed and compared the prevalence of extraversion among males and females. It was hypothesized that men would demonstrate more of the extraverted behaviours, as measured by a frequency event-sampling scale, than women.

Previous research on the relationship between gender and extraversion has generally been inconclusive with insignificant results. Rubinstein (2005) found that, while there were no significant differences, certain behaviours scored differently between the genders. With similar results, the present study’s hypothesis was not supported.

An interesting finding that we could expand upon was how many more females smiled than males. This suggests some differing characteristics that full under the label of extraversion. To a lesser degree, females tended to speak more clearly than their male counterparts. Males, on the other hand, gesticulated more often then females, though the difference is negligible.

Some of the reasons why our sample proportion of extraverts was so low (pE=.40) could be attributed to the need-based atmosphere of the library, as opposed to a more social environment such as the ____, ______ University’s on-campus bar. Students with a higher need for academic success might spend less time engaging in social, extraverted activities and more time at the library, therefore our sample may not be representational of the overall student population.

References

Nyhus, E. K., & Pons, E. (2005). The effects of personality on earnings. Journal of Economic Psychology, 26(3), 363-384.

Rubinstein, G. (2005). The big five among male and female students of different faculties. Personality & Individual Differences, 38(7), 1495-1503.

Appendix A

Figure 1

figure1

Figure 2

figure2

Figure 3

figure3

Figure 4

figure4

November 9, 2008 Posted by | Educational, Writing | , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Feminists on Porn (not as fun as it sounds)

The following is a paper I wrote for my Sexuality class during the completion of my Psych B.A. If you intend to reference it, please contact me for documentation specifics.

Feminists Against Feminists: The Pornography Debate
November 2006

There is no doubt that feminists, a potent subgroup of the population, are often involved in social and legal controversy. When someone thinks of feminism, certain words typically come to mind: angry, activist, equal rights, and man-hater, for instance. Though all feminists certainly have the common goal of liberating women, they can differ greatly on the visions they hold as necessarily leading toward that goal; no ongoing debate makes this fact more obvious than the sex wars. This essay will focus on the feminist-versus-feminist battle over pornography, from its very purpose and existence to its potential in the liberation (or not) of women’s sex and sexuality.

For the sake of this paper, pornography will be distinguished from erotica, in which males and females are portrayed as equals in sexually arousing material; pornography, on the other hand, is often violent, degrading or dehumanizing. Both men and women are consumers of pornography; however, the industry is undeniably male-oriented, and the most common users of pornography have been found to be traditionally gender-typed, masculine males and androgynous females (Hyde, DeLamater and Byers, 2006). Despite the fact that controversial issues constantly surround it, pornography is a booming industry, bringing in between $4 and $10 billion per year in the United States (Hyde, DeLamater and Byers, 2006).

The pornography debate has been raging for over forty years and still remains a focal point of discussion. Feminists have had a strong influence on academic interest in sexuality since the 1970’s, when Catharine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin proposed an ordinance to outlaw objectionable pornographic images (those which could be proven as causing harm to an individual, whether male or female). This resulted in the first large divide among feminists, when feminists against the anti-porn movement (representing the anti-anti-porn side), such as Ellen Willis (1983), argued that pornography could be experienced by women as sexually liberating (as cited in Chancer, 2000). The two basic positions being argued to this day are dichotomous, emphasizing either the sexual colonization and victimization of women (anti-porn, sexual-subordination, or “victim feminists” side) or the sexual repression and passivity of women (anti-anti-porn, sexual-pleasure, or “power feminists” side) (Russo, 1987; Chancer, 2000). The resolution of this debate is of importance beyond the direct goals of feminism; not only has the recurrent divide unintentionally weakened the movement from within (Chancer, 2000), but it threatens to undermine the progress of other subgroups which have struggled for acceptance in society by denouncing their freedom of speech where sexually explicit material is concerned (gay and lesbian communities, women).

Schaeffer (2001) explored the works of MacKinnon, a feminist intent on changing the social conditions that prevent women from being independent individuals. According to her, a stereotype becomes what is real because women are damaged by it. She defines a true feminist as one who sees the male point of view as fundamental to the male power to create the world in its own image, rather than viewing sexism as a myth to be corrected. Sexism is a conditioned and socialized reality. Among other prominent issues at the time, pornography was identified as a crucial feminist issue because it harms women in three ways: in the making of it, in the perpetuation of the objectification and dehumanization of women, and in the conditioning of users to experience sexual thrills from the degradation of others, thus shaping sexual behaviour. MacKinnon said that, “to the extent pornography succeeds in constructing social reality, it becomes invisible as harm” (1992, as cited in Schaeffer, 2001). This debate is necessary in order to raise questions about the harm done to women and how it could be rectified without the conflict extending beyond the individual to the state.

Hyde, DeLamater and Byers (2006) describe the four basic reasons why some feminists object to pornography. First, pornography debases women and often portrays them as subordinates to dominant males. Second, pornography associates sex with violence, thus contributing to social attitudes that reflect desensitization to violence toward women. Third, pornography shows unequal power relationships between men and women. Fourth, the structure of the pornography industry is such that a significant number of workers within seem to be physically, sexually, and emotionally abused. In these ways, pornography is a likely perpetrator of traditional gender roles. The images presented in contemporary pornography reflect the desires and fantasies of a male-dominated society. Double standards of sexual morality condemn females for certain sexual activities that are socially permitted for men. In a review of men behind the media, Watkins and Emerson (2000) showed that screenwriting is dominated by males, which leads to the proposition that male direction of the camera is so influential that women are socialized into identifying and complying with the very patriarchal values that marginalize them.

Both feminist positions in this debate define sexuality as being socially constructed; the difference is in how they conceptualize sexual roles and practices in relation to power, and how they approach the interconnections between sexuality, sexual violence, male domination/female subordination and the pornographic industry (Russo, 1987). Anti-pornography feminists make connections between pornography and the negative treatment of women; their opposition agrees that pornography is sexist and male-dominated, but focus instead on the expression of women’s sexual impulses and desires, viewing pornography as a vehicle to achieving control over their own sexuality. In some cases, this is shown to be true; Shellrude (2001) reported on the writings of prostitutes who reported that their experience had taught them to have confidence in themselves, their bodies, and their sexuality. Furthermore, these sex workers advised readers to look beyond the demeaning objectification of sex to take charge of their own sexuality. While the anti-porn feminists agree that self-representation is a key part of liberating women from male sexuality, they believe that the intertwining of fantasy and reality in pornography only serve as a medium to condone violence and degradation of women (Russo, 1987).

Anti-pornography feminists tend to represent traditionally feminist attitudes, and characterize their critics as male-identified and anti-feminist. They are uncomfortable with pornography because they identify its function as the perpetuation of male control. It is not the act of sex itself that is discouraged by proponents of this group, but rather the acceptance by women to be victimized by sex in such a way as is demonstrated in pornography. One anti-pornography feminist was quoted as saying that “if you do not agree that pornography is wrong, then you are not a feminist” (as cited in Russo, 1987). They see women who are proponents of porn as perpetuating the view that females are sexual objects by nature, and as helping to reproduce gender inequality.

The main issues for anti-anti-porn feminists are first amendment freedom and the right to sexual pleasure. The function of pornography is to introduce women to, and allow them to enjoy, different ideologies of sex that undermine the traditional values which had previously constrained them, such as purely procreative sex. The basis of their disagreement with anti-porn feminists is that identifying pornography as the enemy will cause shame and guilt among women who had otherwise come to terms with their sexual feelings, repressing women under the guise of feminism itself. This would only perpetrate the victim stereotype that women are innocent virgins who possess less sexual aggression than men (Russo, 1987). Feminists who do not believe in the censorship of pornography believe that if traditional restrictions about sex are removed then women can truly be sexually emancipated (Shellrude, 2001); in this perspective, individual sexual defiance is valued just as much as critiques of sexist institutions.

Baumeister and Twenge (2002) performed a thorough literature review to examine and attempt to understand the origins of suppressed female sexuality. It was assumed that socializing influences such as parents, schools, peer groups and legal forces cooperated to alienate women from their sexuality. Two competing hypotheses were explored: either men (male control theory) or women (female control theory) act as the main source of suppression on female sexuality. Other factors were considered, such as the greater cost of sexual mistakes for women (pregnancy), and the idea that women naturally have a lesser sex drive. Before the findings are discussed, these theories will be explored in more depth.

Male control theory is supported by the fact that men have held superior political and social power throughout most of history, therefore they could benefit from the suppression of female power in order to maintain their current positions. However, there are other explanations to this theory. Evolutionary theory, for instance, says that men control women because they require certainty about paternity; stifling their mate’s sexual desire is a small cost for ensuring that they are the legitimate father of their child. Feminist theory states that patriarchal social arrangements reflect the view that women are possessions that must be managed to prevent social chaos, because in fact women have a stronger natural sexual desire and are “insatiable.”

Female control theory is less instinctive because of the inferior positions females have held in the past; however, social exchange theory sets a promising stage to explain the reason that women would attempt to control the sexuality of other women. According to this theory, men desire sex, and so sex becomes a bargaining chip for which women compete to attain desired resources. Women therefore punish other women who make sex too easily available because this lowers every woman’s value (the author uses an analogy of the man who does not buy a cow because he already gets free milk). Pornography, as an outlet for a portion of a male’s desire for sex, threatens a woman’s negotiating power, so she feels the need to stifle its influence.

Female control theory predicts that women would be particularly opposed to pornography; evidence for this is long-standing, and contemporary results continue to demonstrate a fair amount of female opposition to alternative sexual gratification for men. In fact, all empirical evidence in this review repeatedly favoured the female control theory; mothers and female peers were found to be the main sources that teach adolescent girls to refrain from sexual activity, and women tended to support the double standard more than men. In other words, women were the main supporters of a moral system that condemns acts by women more severely than identical acts by men. Male control theory was overwhelmingly contradicted, to the point where any male influence found usually pushed in the opposite direction of predictions (i.e. a boyfriend who pushed toward more sexual activity). What these findings mean for women is that jealousy and competition only results in the suppression of their peers; this could be a valuable lesson for feminists who compete against other feminists, thereby distancing themselves from their goals. The positive side is that Western women have vastly reduced the gender gap, hence their reliance on sex to yield an exchange is lower than in the past, and may decrease favourably in the future.

The passion involved in this debate indicates the ever-important role of sex and sexuality in our society. Because of the divisions regarding views on pornography, legal restrictions on sexually explicit material are not the solution. The first step is to outlaw general statements regarding the experiences of women, and start with the experiences of individuals themselves. Shellrude (2001) argues that if people stopped denying that sexuality is a key part of getting what they want, then the stigmatization associated with sex could be reduced. Chancer (2000) suggests that feminists should consider why men are still largely in control of pornography’s profits and production. Indeed, the development of a feminist erotica has not only been proposed but has been put into action as female-oriented pornographic videos (directed by women for women) attempt to equalize power relationships between men and women. Hyde, DeLamater and Byers (2006) report on a study in which it was found that both male and female university students responded positively to arousing videos designed for women, while only the males responded in this way to videos intended for men. This is an encouraging step forward for the maturation of female sexuality, and may very well succeed in more female sexual freedom and less perceived victimization.

If anything has been demonstrated by this discussion, it is that the division between feminists on this issue is only serving to distract their energy from true progress, resulting in the ultimate weakness of the social movement. Feminists must focus instead on their commonalities, and achieve a middle-ground point of view. In other words, they must target sexism in the pornography industry itself rather than arguing over whether individuals are proponents of it; this debate has led to the illusion of a “false dichotomy,” as proposed by Chancer (2000). Struggle over sexual oppression and repression is only weighed down by the baggage of labels, when feminists could use their shared interests and mutual respect for individual diversities to produce social change. As concluded by Shellrude (2001), the best forward-thinking feminism is one in which a woman’s sex, sexuality, and libido work together with her intellect to transform the world.

References

Baumeister, R.F., & Twenge, J.M. (2002). Cultural suppression of female sexuality. Review of General Psychology, 6(2), 166-203.

Chancer, L.S. (2000). From pornography to sadomasochism: Reconciling feminist differences. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 571, 77-88.

Hyde, J.S., DeLamater, J.D., & Byers, E.S. (2006). Understanding Human Sexuality. (3rd Can. Ed.). Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson.

Russo, A. (1987). Conflicts and contradictions among feminists over issues of pornography and sexual freedom. Women’s Studies International Forum, 10(2), 103-112.

Schaeffer, D. (2001). Feminism and liberalism reconsidered: The case of Catharine MacKinnon. The American Political Science Review, 95(3), 699-708.

Shellrude, K. (2001). Coming between the lines: A fresh look at the writings of anti-porn and whore feminists. Canadian Woman Studies, 20/21(4/1), 41-45.

Watkins, S.C., & Emerson, R.A. (2000). Feminist media criticism and feminist media practices. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 571, 151-166.

November 4, 2008 Posted by | Educational, Writing | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Finicky About Facial Hair?

LOL. Can someone please try these out and send in photographs? At least try the ninja star.

Wait, I think I found an even funnier one. Actually, all of this guy’s YouTube postings have raised the bar on entertainment, so check out Ramillen’s videos in your spare time!

My sister liked it so much, she tried to perfect the Salmon Dance herself:

UPDATE: This blogger over at Dyers.org has tried out almost every beard type he can think of. Wicked cool.

October 27, 2008 Posted by | Funny, Internet Content | , , , | Leave a comment

A How To, In Reverse

Hello, officer? I’d like to report a crime. Chivalry has gone missing. (Paula Cole about sums up my current sentiments with her song, “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?”) Equality doesn’t mean romance has to be sacrificed, people!

When I texted you complaining about how I a) missed the last bus and b) had to walk 30 minutes home, c) through the sketchier part of town d) just as all the bars were closing, I certainly did not expect you to rush over and rescue me on your white horse (or in whatever Toyota you drive). But I sure as hell wasn’t expecting you to simply reply lol’ing at my use of “effing” instead of “fucking.”

What I would expect from a friend: maybe an offer to talk to me on the phone during my walk home, or at least a few decent texts back to make sure I will still alive and kicking.

What I would expect from a guy I’m dating: NO LESS. Absolutely. Definitely. No. Less.

I know I’m tough for a chick. I know my biceps are more impressive than yours. I know I can scream, swear, charm my way out of a tough situation. But goddam it, be a man! It’s the very least you can do to expect your lips ever to meet mine again.

You’ve officially bored me :) I don’t really mind, because it didn’t take long to figure out you weren’t going to wow me. 

For once, I don’t mind having great expectations.

October 8, 2008 Posted by | Writing | , , | 5 Comments

Man Hair-Don’ts

I enjoyed this article from Jezebel titled The 8 Worst Hairdos A Man Can Have:

…why is it that some guys will, completely unapologetically, rock theworst hair ever seen by human eyes? And act proud of it?

This question perhaps best emphasized by select photos below.

The Feather Duster:

Of course, we all know and lo-ove the Long-Ass Combover (I say, if it’s that far gone, just shave it!):

And one of the other most common on the street that makes me shudder, the Silver Scrub Brush:

Why?! For more hair-don’ts, see the original article. (Link.)

October 7, 2008 Posted by | Internet Content | , | 1 Comment

More-on Nice Guys

More-On Nice Guys

Googled \

We’ve all been there. We must like the uncertainty, the letdowns, and the drama. We enjoy the jealousy, the rants to our friends, the sitting-at-home-waiting-by-the-phone.

Why else do we keep falling in like with the bad boys?

There’s something about a bad boy that makes us feel the pull. Maybe it’s the fact that he’s emotionally unavailable, and we want what we can’t have. Maybe we notice how much others want them. We feel special when, as my friend S.M. puts it, “a guy that could pick any girl in the room picks me.”

He probably demonstrates his social prowess at the bar before settling into one female’s adoring gaze. Or he winks at you in full view of his guy pals. He definitely doesn’t need you, but maybe for tonight he will want you, and for some sick, twisted reason this gives us butterflies.

Now, let me introduce the nice guy. He is our friend, he is always there for us, and he takes care of us when we are sick or sad. He brings us soup and candy, and makes plans that he doesn’t break. He listens to us cry about the bad boys. He doesn’t even say “I told you so.”

Why do we look past these guys and get our thrills with the ones that our friends and family probably wouldn’t approve of?

Okay, I gave part of it away when I said “thrills”—they’re dangerous! Why do we, as a society, like scary movies and rollercoaster rides? They get our adrenaline pumping.

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘the chase is better than the catch’? The more time we spend telling ourselves that we can never get the guy, the more thought we have invested into the chase. We may even begin to idolize them. This might result in a permanent mini-crush, but a few different things can happen when it turns out they want us back.

It is, of course, entirely possible that a marvelous relationship evolves out of this situation. Best case scenario. There are so many unfortunate cases, however, in which it turns out we wanted the excitement, and not the actual relationship. Sometimes we just get bored. The guy may be perfectly wonderful, but if you’ve thought about him enough, he probably doesn’t add up to your expectations. How could he? He wants you, and you weren’t good enough for him in your fantasies. He is suddenly not so appealing.

There is something to the degree of investment created by an emotionally-charged chase, however. Even if the dream and the reality do not meet, we have more motivation to find other reasons we might like them. We rationalize our prior emotions so we don’t have to think of ourselves as flighty, picky, or the stereotypical mind-changing female.

So, how does all this tie into the nice guy, exactly? Someone who shows honest feelings seems easily available, probably because they don’t feel the need to play games to get your attention. They like you as you are.

Wait a minute—but we love the chase. Where is our drama, our fun, when we don’t have to work and suffer for their attention?

Have you ever turned down the nice guy, only to get jealous when he turned around and got himself a girlfriend? Maybe we did not feel anything when we thought they were too available, which clearly made their qualities suspicious to us. Then we see them with another attractive, smart, nice girl, and her being with him justifies him as an attractive being. Only then do we want them.

Damn, it sounds silly.

Maybe it seems like I’m telling the nice guys out there to play games, too. Certainly not, although there are some things you can do if the subject of your affection is not responsive. Perhaps you haven’t even approached her, but only admired from afar. For those of you, I offer this concept: part of why the bad boys often ‘get the girl’ (not always with the same intentions as the nice guys) is the simple fact that those who are more upfront about what they want automatically have a higher baseline rate of success. The more you try, the more you will succeed.

You could wait for her to come around. However, you might consider letting her see you at your best, instead of waiting for her to notice you. Be around the people you are comfortable with, and let her see you laugh and receive positive attention. Who knows—this might even distract you from the fact that she is not reciprocating attention. You might have some fun.

After all, if your attempts have failed repeatedly with the same person, it might be time to start looking elsewhere, because something about the time, place, or person is simply not working out.

There’s a chance that a good number of us will never come around (after all, look at current divorce rates!). Sometimes we think we can ‘fix’ someone who seems to need a little TLC, but people generally do not change, and especially not unless they are seeking to change for themselves. As a result, we get into different relationships with the same type of guy.

If anything, girls have to identify their pattern, if such a pattern exists. If you have dated genuinely good guys and had healthy relationships, maybe you skipped or already graduated from the bad boy brigade. All the more power to you. If, like me, you’re still drawn in by the bad boys, I refer you one of my previous articles: More-On Abstention ;)

We appreciate you nice guys, we really do. But maybe our romantic lives aren’t ready for the straight and narrow.

We’re still young.

April 13, 2008 Posted by | Writing | , , , | 1 Comment

   

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