One of my favourite words is NEOTENY
(I’m indebted to my friend at the excellent and highly informative Dear Kitty. Some blog for setting my chain of thoughts in motion for this article)
The word NEOTENY derives from the German word Neotenie, which in turn comes to us from a combination of two Greek words νέος (neos, meaning ‘young’) and τείνειν (teínein, meaning ‘tending to’)
NEOTENY is defined as: the retention, by adults in a species, of traits previously seen only in juveniles and is a subject studied in the field of developmental biology. It is also called pedomorphosis.
Many prominent evolutionary theorists, including Stephen Jay Gould and J.B.S. Haldane argue that neoteny has been a key feature in human evolution. See Wikipedia for more details.
These are the more obvious neotenous traits in humans: flattened face, broadened face, large brain, mostly hairless body, hairless face, small nose, reduction of brow ridge, small teeth, small upper jaw (maxilla), small lower jaw (mandible), thinness of skull bones, limbs proportionately short compared to torso length, longer leg than arm length, larger eyes, and upright stance.
So what are the effects of these neotenous changes?
In a cross-cultural study, more neotenized female faces were found to be the most attractive to men while less neotenized female faces were the least attractive, regardless of the females’ actual age. Michael R. Cunningham found that the Asian, Hispanic and White female faces that tended to be considered most attractive were those that had “neonate large eyes, greater distance between eyes, and small noses”.
This led Cunningham to conclude that “large eyes” were the most “effective” of the “neonate cues”.
Jones, D. Sexual Selection, Physical Attractiveness and Facial Neoteny: Cross-Cultural Evidence and Implications. p.723.
Now if these research findings are true, doesn’t this have profound implications for our society, and especially the way we demonise men, and some women, who are sexually drawn to young people and children?
I’m certainly not condoning pedophilia – I suffered sexual abuse as a kid so I know only too well how destructive of young lives this illness can be.
But I think we need to ask some searching questions of ourselves, both as a society and as a species.
Not surprisingly, one of my least favourite words is
PEDOPHILE is defined as an adult who is sexually attracted to young children. The word derives from two Greek words, paidos meaning a boy or child and phileein meaning to love.
The word PEDOPHILE is a term of abuse for many nowadays, yet much of our culture seems to focus on us looking like children. Has anyone else noticed this contradiction?
Fashion models are notorious for being extremely thin, yet what is this but an attempt to appear as pre-pubescent?
And what about Manga?
The great majority of mature women shave their legs and under their arms, pluck their eyebrows and other parts of their faces, use creams and potions to stave off or reverse the aging process, wear make-up to make the skin appear smoother and younger and try in many other ways to appear young.
What is this all about, if not to appear childlike? And if this is the case, shouldn’t we be talking about it?
So what do YOU think?
Are YOU drawn to younger-looking people? Is this natural, or is it created by marketing and advertising?
Do YOU want to appear younger than you really are?
If so, why?
If not, how do YOU feel about this process?
This cartoon speaks for itself…
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Are you Someone or Other?
FIRST STONE ANYONE?
I recently reblogged an article from my friend MADD suspicions about male and female brain types.
Click here to have a go at the fun quiz he found.
Also I’ve been reading, laughing and learning psychology from the witty and suave but spiky PinkAgendist. Stop by if you enjoy perceptive pieces.
And of course other fine blogs I haven’t time to mention now, but will soon.
We all affect each other.
Their posts led me to think about thinking – always fun but a slightly weird experience as well.
In my more political posts I’m calling for a paradigm shift in human affairs to move from a male-managed world to a female- and child-friendly future.
With cooperation rather than competition as the guiding principle.
No violence. Local organisation of life. Less people.
Women managing human society and reproduction.
No nation states and therefore no armies, weapons of mass destruction and no National Security.
But for this argument to make sense there must be actual differences between the sexes – not just differences we learn in life – but innate differences.
So yesterday I argued that we are all Equal But Different.
The title of this blog is Different But Equal
Let’s look at some differences now and start with brains.
How often have you heard men say, “I just can’t understand women…” or “My wife doesn’t understand me…”
Do women find men equally difficult to understand, or do they, on average, have more empathy and so can work men out?
Is there such a thing as female thinking or awareness? Can there be a ‘male’ type of thinking?
Are men and women more different or more the same?
And what about the brains of homosexual folk?
All interesting questions.
That’s why the relationship between sex differences in the brain and human behaviour is so controversial in psychology and society generally.
If there are real differences between the sexes then the implications are immense.
Recent studies show there are measurable differences in female and male brains.
For instance, there is a difference between sexes in the transcription of a gene pair involved in brain development unique to Homo sapiens.
Consequently female and male brains show differences in internal structure.
One of the main areas studied is the proportion of white matter relative to gray matter.
Gray matter is made up of neuronal cell bodies. The gray matter includes regions of the brain involved in muscle control, sensory perception such as seeing and hearing, memory, emotions, and speech.
White matter is the tissue through which messages pass between different areas of gray matter within the nervous system.
So the gray matter can be thought of as the processing areas, while the white matter connects.
Blood flow is also different between women and men, with females able to move blood more quickly to the areas needed and not losing functions in old age as much as males.
There are also differences in the structure and size of certain areas in male and female brains.
Studies found men on average to have larger parietal lobes, responsible for sensory input including spatial sense and navigation.
Women usually have larger Wernicke’s and Broca’s areas, regions that are responsible for language processing.
Postmortem and imaging studies over the past two decades have revealed structural differences in both global structures and sexually-related brain structures between heterosexual and homosexual subjects.
Researcher Simon LeVay showed that parts of hypothalamus related to sexual orientation not gender.
The hypothalamus is an area known to be involved in sex differences in reproductive behaviour, mediating responses in menstrual cycles in women and the back of the hypothalamus regulates male-typical sexual behaviour.
These results were obtained from postmortem analysis of hypothalamic nuclei of known homosexual subjects compared to heterosexual patients.
The size of the brain’s hemispheres is a sexually dimorphic trait in which men tend to show asymmetry in the volumes of their hemispheres while women show more symmetry.
A recent study found homosexual men showed hemispheric volumes to be symmetric similar to heterosexual women and homosexual women showed asymmetry in hemispheric volumes as heterosexual men do.
However differences in brain physiology between the sexes and sexual preferences do not lead to differences in intellect.
This points to females and males taking different but equally successful routes to achieve the same outcomes.
Evidence for this was found in a 2004 study finding men and women achieve similar IQ results by utilising different brain regions.
So this suggests there is no singular underlying neuro-anatomical structure for general intelligence.
In simple language, different types of brains work equally well.
So, different but equal.
Equal but different.
These tests are really fascinating – please have a go and post your scores. I got 57 in each test. 🙂
Roman Catholic church’s paedophile investigator jailed for possessing thousands of child porn images
This report below is absolutely outrageous – why on earth should this man even have any access to victims of sex abuse? Members of the Catholic Church are regularly convicted of abusing children – so why should they sit on these types of teams? I suppose his job was to keep the Church out of further allegations.
Also the bloke got one year in prison – one year – was the judge a Catholic as well? Or a fellow abuser?
It’s all so corrupt and these monsters have the nerve to campaign against gay marriage…
A Catholic Church child safety coordinator who was in charge of investigating sexual abuse allegations was jailed for 12 months today for internet pedophile offences.
Christopher Jarvis, 49, a married father-of-four, investigated historic claims of child abuse, interviewing the victims when they were adults.
He was responsible for child protection at 120 churches and parish community groups for nine years.
He also, as a member of the Devon and Cornwall Multi-Agency Safeguarding Team, had access to police and social services information about victims of child abuse.
“The human brain, which loves to read descriptions of itself as the universe’s most marvelous organ of perception, is an even more marvelous organ of rejection. The naked facts of our economic game are easily discoverable and undeniable once stated, but conservatives – who are usually individuals who profit every day of their lives from these facts – manage to remain oblivious to them or to see them through a very rose-tinted lens.
Similarly, the revolutionary ignores the total testimony of history about the natural course of revolution, through violence, to chaos and then back to the starting point.”
ROBERT ANTON WILSON
In US election year, Peter sardonically examines American democracy and shows how the capitalist system controls our thoughts and actions so there are no real choices. He shows how puppet politicians are bankrolled by corporations and asks why we need these leaders at all. This is the same point I make in Womanifesto and we agree that modern leaders play the same role as kings, emperors and dictators did formerly.
For democracy to work, all citizens must be educated to understand the issues, yet critical thinking and logic are ignored and learning by rote is taught to millions. Joseph argues the US two party political system is a con – there is no real choice and all good change derives from pressure from below – not the Republican and Democratic parties.
He also shows how the big parties came together to set up and control the Presidential debates so killing intelligent discussion and stopping smaller parties getting airtime. This is exactly the same as in the UK and most other so-called democracies. Noam Chomsky has been saying this for years.
Even now as more and more species become extinct, the climate changes to who knows what and humanity teeters on the brink of disaster, most folk are more interested in inane celebrities, fashion and consumerism.
Peter also shows how religion creates an unthinking populace who do as they are told rather than questioning everything.
So if you care about the future, the ecosystem and your own minds – watch and engage with this film – what could be more important?
If this doesn’t upset you…
Treating women like dirt is hardly a new tactic for the fashion industry, with its long history of objectifying the female body, idealizing physically impossible beauty types and glamorizing violence against women. Bulgaria-based 12 magazine, however, has hit a new low with an inexplicable photo spread in its latest issue titled, “Victim of Beauty” [TRIGGER WARNING].
The six images are all close-up portraits of young, attractive white models sporting various gruesome injuries: one boasts a black eye, another a slit throat and a third sports a split lip and a bruised neck. Scrolling through this montage of burns, bruises and gashes, it’s easy to forget you’re looking at a “fashion” photo shoot; the images more closely resemble police files of horrendous domestic violence.
Were the magazine spread a deliberate attempt to raise awareness and generate conversation about our society’s failure to prevent…
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Imagine what the Bard would have done with some Gabapentin
Excellent post from a top blogger
There are two kinds of people – those who admit to mental problems and those that don’t. Which kind are YOU?
No rhetoric; no sublime style; no lexicons or etymology. Pure and simple disclosure of disquieting issues.
Please, REPOST THIS ON YOUR BLOG. Personally, I prefer privacy over publicity; I exposed my life in the hope that the stigmas of mental illness, obesity, and homosexuality might be reconsidered to be human conditions worthy of respect and empathy.
Bipolar II disorder: Another Chicagoan’s story
Like Jesse Jackson Jr., Harlan Didrickson has the illness and has had weight-loss surgery
|Harlan Didrickson poses outside his Rogers Park home. (Chris Walker, Tribune photo / August 17, 2012)|
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Heavy but crucial to understand the state human society’s in. Exactly the argument contained in my novel – DOG Sharon: The Future is Female
The Bullshit Bible is back in showbiz. Darren Aronofsky has a bearded Russell Crowe for Noah. The documentary Bible Quiz is in post-production. Will Smith’s directorial debut will be Cain and Abel (reportedly with a vampire twist). Paul Verhoeven’s Jesus of Nazareth has its finance in place. Justin Theroux is rewriting Swear to God – a comedy about a hedge-fund manager who has seen the Almighty. Ridley Scott, Warner Bros – with a rumour of Spielberg directing – and the Chernin Entertainment Company all have Moses movies. Mary Mother of Christ, a film about the life of Jesus up to age 12, is currently prepping, as is Langston Hughes’s Black Nativity, with a cast of Samuel L Jackson, Angela Bassett and Jennifer Hudson. And earlier this week, a Pontius Pilate movie was greenlit.
What was it that H L Mencken said?
Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people…
Court decides confessed killer was not psychotic when he went on rampage in Oslo that left 77 people dead. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/24/breivik-verdict-sane-21-years
How can this behaviour be sane? What would constitute insane behaviour then?
Obviously Norway is not in danger of losing its culture to Islam and Intellectual Marxism so in what way is the bloke sane?
If he’s sane, then was the Sikh murderer sane? Was Adolf Hitler sane? Of course not.
This is a worrying trend.
White Christian murderers are never labelled as “Terrorist” yet if it was a dark-skinned person they would be.
If Breivik is sane the rest of us must be mad.
What will you do to celebrate Saint Chimp’s Day?
Daily Complaint. Aug 23:
GOP: Hurricane Isaac A Message From God
As journalists nationwide are connecting the dots of dumbness regarding Todd Akin’s connection to Lyin’ Paul Ryan and Mike Huckabee, something important, something directly from God Almighty to the Republican Party, is on its way: Hurricane Isaac.
Yes, just as a mighty preacher named Pat Robertson proclaimed that Hurricane Katrina was a message from God Almighty that America was going down because of gays and Liberals, I am here to proclaim that, because the Republican Party has conducted a war against women, God Almighty has sent Hurricane Isaac to disrupt their all-but-holy convention in a city ironically named Tampa.
And Mike Huckabee, champion of Christian bigotry, is slated to open, well, let’s just call it “the blow-out in Tampa”.
Huckabee has been right out in front regarding Todd Akin’s stunningly idiotic remarks about so-called legitimate rape and its…
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Torture is a brutal attempt to destroy a person’s sense of dignity and sense of human worth. It acts also as a weapon of war, spreading terror beyond its direct victims to communities and societies.
States must take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under their jurisdiction. There are no exceptional circumstances whatsoever — whether a state of war, or a threat of war, internal political instability, or any other public emergency or national security situation. States’ obligations also include the duty to provide effective and prompt redress, compensation and rehabilitation for all torture victims.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, 26 June 2012
And yet in the Guardian we read:
“Detainees who claimed they had been tortured were treated dismissively by officers at Dover immigration removal centre, prisons inspectors have said. Reports by officers at the Kent centre lacked photographs, body maps and judgements on whether scarring matched alleged abuse, inspectors found.”
Compare this response to how government officials act on terrorism and organised crime, yet torture is illegal in any circumstances under international law. The UK Government’s attitudes are disgusting and illegal under law.
Click here to see this blog’s author discuss the issue in a debate at Coventry University.
It’s a cock-up…
Consider the sacred and secular stories on which our civilisations are based. Do they create equal
spaces for everyone to develop?
I’d say not. It’s so obvious, it’s the central contradiction in modern life.
The dominant stories are the elite’s greatest weapons against the people.
DOG Sharon: The Future is Female!
A thrilling story of love, courage and humour with a crucial
message of hope and change for the entire planet.