Archive for July, 2015

Intelligence in the Animal World

by Jason Stotts

We’ve long known crows are very intelligent, but the level of intelligence in this demonstration is really surprising.

Compromise in Relationships

by Jason Stotts

This is a really good and insightful article about the dangers of confusing the particular way you do something with the absolutely right way to do something. It’s also a good example of why compromise is important in relationships.

My “Aha Moment” happened because of a package of hamburger meat. I asked my husband to stop by the store to pick up a few things for dinner, and when he got home, he plopped the bag on the counter. I started pulling things out of the bag, and realized he’d gotten the 70/30 hamburger meat – which means it’s 70% lean and 30% fat.

I asked, “What’s this?”

“Hamburger meat,” he replied, slightly confused.

“You didn’t get the right kind,” I said.

“I didn’t?” He replied with his brow furrowed. ” Was there some other brand you wanted or something?”

“No. You’re missing the point, ” I said. “You got the 70/30. I always get at least the 80/20.”

He laughed. “Oh. That’s all? I thought I’d really messed up or something.”

That’s how it started. I launched into him. I berated him for not being smarter. Why would he not get the more healthy option? Did he even read the labels? Why can’t I trust him? Do I need to spell out every little thing for him in minute detail so he gets it right? Also, and the thing I was probably most offended by, why wasn’t he more observant? How could he not have noticed over the years what I always get? Does he not pay attention to anything I do? (Link)

Read the whole article, it’s definitely worth it.

There’s two things that I should point out:

1. Compromise in practical issues is mandatory, if you want a relationship to work. There is no person in the world who does everything so well that any other person should conform to everything they do because it’s objectively the best way to do it. On the other hand, compromise of ethical principles is never acceptable. It is never okay to sometimes beat your child, or sometimes steal, or compromise about just this murder.

2. The article is titled “Woman Realizes That She’s Been Accidentally Abusing Her Husband This Whole Time… Wow” and I think that’s a bit of an overstatement. Psychological abuse is real and really dangerous, but given only the information in the article, I don’t think that it rises to that level. Now, if the woman was fundamentally demeaning her husband and always disparaging him, then maybe it would. Either way, we should be careful that our interactions with our partners are encouraging them to live better and not causing them to live worse.


by Jason Stotts

1. Circumcision May Cause Erectile Dysfunction

In case you needed one more reason to not mutilate your child.

Our new study published in the International Journal of Men’s Health showed that circumcised men have a 4.5 times greater chance of suffering from erectile dysfunction (ED) than intact men, revealing what appears to be a significant acquisition factor. Robert S. Van Howe, M.D., M.S., FAAP and I found a surprisingly strong secondary finding between circumcision and ED in our survey of 300 participants (OR = 4.53, p=.0058). It was outside the scope of our article to delve deeper into this topic, but our finding does raise some questions: Are there other studies showing a similar connection? What could be the underlying cause?

Bollinger, D., & Van Howe, R. S. (2011). Alexithymia and circumcision trauma: A preliminary investigation. International Journal Of Men’s Health, 10(2), 184-195. doi:10.3149/jmh.1002.184

2. “Sex Offender” has Become an Absurdly Large Category

The number of things that people are calling “sex crimes” now has become absolutely absurd. The term “sex offender” should be reserved only for violent rape and pedophilia.

DAYTON — A Kettering woman convicted of promoting prostitution and labeled a sex offender after she drove a friend to what turned out to be a prostitution sting was granted judicial release after serving about seven months of an 18-month sentence. 

But Aimee Hart, 42, is continuing with an appeal of her fourth-degree felony conviction because she doesn’t believe she should have to register as a sex offender, which she did after she was released last month. Hart was found guilty during a December 2014 trial.

Boy Scouts of America Now Allowing Gay Volunteers

by Jason Stotts

Apparently the Boy Scouts of America is now allowing gay men to volunteer to be leaders.

The Boy Scouts of America on Monday announced an executive committee has unanimously approved a resolution that would allow openly gay adults to hold leadership positions within the organization.

The Boy Scouts of America Executive Committee on July 10 adopted a resolution that would allow openly gay adults to hold paid and volunteer positions. These include scoutmasters and unit leaders.

“No adult applicant for registration as an employee or non-unit-serving volunteer, who otherwise meets the requirements of the Boy Scouts of America, may be denied registration on the basis of sexual orientation,” reads the resolution. (Link)

This is definitely a big move forward for them.

I think I know someone else who is excited about this:

Big Gay Al

PSA: How to Measure Your Penis

by Jason Stotts

I sometimes see pictures of men measuring their penises in all sorts of wrong ways. While you can measure it however you want, it’s not helpful to anyone. It’s like measuring your height while standing on your toes: it’s just not the right way to measure this.

So, how do you measure your penis? You use the “bone-press method” or BPM. In order to do this, you take a rigid ruler and place it along the top of the penis. You then, as its name suggests, press the ruler into the pubic bone until it stops. Once you have this in place, you measure to the tip of penis. If you have a penis that has a severe curve, you can instead use a piece of string, push it into the bone, lay it along the top of the penis in the center, and then measure the length of the string.

So, why do we use the BPM? Because it’s easily repeatable, it’s objective (if you measure from the bottom, where would you start?), and it gives the maximum insertable length.

Of course, the overall length isn’t necessarily the most important measure of a penis; for example, some studies have shown that women tend to prefer girth to length. I think that any report of penis size should include length and girth, so something like 5.5″ long and 5″ around. Of course, if you do include girth, where do you measure it? Many penises are not of a uniform thickness, so it matters where you measure them. I think that girth should be calculated by the average of three measurements: at the base, at the middle, and immediately below the coronal ridge of the glans. This would give a reportable number like 5.5″ x 5″.

There are more complex ways to measure penises, like the Adjusted Penis Size Measurement or “T.M.I.“, but these may be unnecessarily complicated. The T.M.I, for example, calls for penis size to be calculated via the formula ((L*D)+(W/G))/(A^2) or Length times Diameter plus Weight over Girth divided by Angle of the tip squared.

Ultimately, you might be surprised to find that your penis is basically the same as everyone else’s, because the average human penis size is 5.165″ (SD=0.653″) meaning that 68.3% of men have a penis between 4.512” to 5.818”.

Want to look it up yourself? Here’s the study:

Veale, D., Miles, S., Bramley, S., Muir, G. and Hodsoll, J. (2015), Am I normal? A systematic review and construction of nomograms for flaccid and erect penis length and circumference in up to 15 521 men. BJU International, 115: 978–986. doi: 10.1111/bju.13010

Women and Sexuality

by Jason Stotts

In our culture today, we are inundated by the idea that men are nearly incontrollable sex-monsters who will stop at nothing to satisfy their needs, while women do not enjoy sex and have it merely to achieve some end. Yet, this is a relatively new development as until recently, women were considered to be more sexual. See, for a fuller account of this, Alyssa Goldstein’s excellent essay “When Women Wanted Sex Much More Than Men: And how the stereotype flipped.

This is made all the more interesting because research suggests that this isn’t the result of changed biology, but of changed cultural expectations about the role of each sex: “When Society isn’t Judging, Women’s Sex Drive Rivals Men’s.

I bring this up not only because it’s incredibly interesting, but I also want to challenge you to think about your beliefs about sexuality and how they shape your own behavior and your behavior towards others.