Showing posts with label Study. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Study. Show all posts

September 13, 2016

JSM*: Homophobia An Impulsive Attraction to Same Sex

Often political and religious leaders who campaign against gay rights are implicated in sexual encounters with the same sex.

Ted Haggard, for example, was once one of America’s most charismatic and powerful evangelical leaders with an audience of more than 30 million people.

Haggard opposed same-sex marriage and gay rights, but was later exposed for paying a male escort for crystal meth. He later admitted he spent years trying to deny his attraction to men and that "if I were 21 in this society, I would identify myself as a bisexual".
So, in the study, the group of homophobic men were challenged to prove this theory wrong, by proving that they are straight.


*The Journal of Sexual Medicine published the study, by researchers at the University of Geneva, where they tested 38 heterosexual male subjects for their impulsive approach tendencies toward homosexual stimuli.

"These findings confirm the importance of considering the variability in impulsive processes to understand why some (but not all) men high in homophobia have homosexual interest. These findings reinforce the theoretical basis for elaborating a dual-process model for behaviors in the sexual context."

Okay, some but not all.

However, direct comparisons may be made between this study and another one conducted in 1996.

This study literally monitored increases in penile circumference in response to sexually explicit videos and their conclusion was similar.

"Only the homophobic men showed an increase in penile erection to male homosexual stimuli. The groups did not differ in aggression. Homophobia is apparently associated with homosexual arousal that the homophobic individual is either unaware of or denies."

So let your homophobic loved ones know, honey it’s okay to be gay because you might be.

July 22, 2015

Sexual Study of 105 Women Rating the Importance of 8 Penile Aspects


 Changes sought after by average men today. Not related to study.

Women (n = 105) were asked to evaluate photos of surgically repaired genital malformations. They did not know that half the photosets showed “normal”, circumcised genitals.
For every photoset in the questionnaire, women had to indicate on a 4-point scale ranging from total disagreement (1) to full agreement (4) how much they agreed with the statement: “This is a normal (-looking) penis.”

Importance of Penile Aspects

In the questionnaire, women were also asked how important they consider eight different aspects of a penis on a 5-point scale ranging from very unimportant (1) to very important (5). The penile aspects were penile length, penile girth, position and shape of meatus, shape of glans, appearance of scrotum, shape of penile skin, appearance of pubic hair, and general cosmetic appearance. These penile aspects were chosen based on the Penile Perception Score (PPS) [12] and the work of Mureau et al. [13] and Winter [14].
We were not sure whether the exposure to multiple photos of HASRGs would affect the way women looked at genitals, with a possible influence on their evaluation of particular aspects of the appearance. Consequently, one half of the women (n = 55) evaluated the importance of the penile aspects before rating photosets of HASRGs and the other half (n = 50) after rating photosets of HASRGs.

Sexuality of Women

Furthermore, the questionnaire included questions on women's own sexuality (e.g. numbers of sexual partners). A short Sexual Interest Scale (on the basis of the work of Bucher et al. [15] ) was calculated by the averaged sum of two items, women's level of sexual desire and women's frequency of masturbation for the last 3 months. Both items were scored as follows: 0 = never, 1 = less than once a month; 2 = once a month; 3 = twice or three times a month; 4 = once a week; 5 = twice or three times a week; and 6 = every or nearly every day.

Socioeconomic Status (SES)

SES for adults was calculated on the basis of their education and occupation, and SES for adolescents was calculated on the basis of maternal education and paternal occupation. Education and occupation were scored on a 6-point scale. SES scores (range: 2–12 points) were subdivided into three social classes: lower (2–5 points); middle (6–9 points), and upper (10–12 points). This measure has proven to be a reliable and valid indicator of SES [16].


The study was approved by the ethical committee of the Canton of Zurich, which is responsible for approval of all research studies. All selected women received an information letter about the study. Those who were interested were asked to return a signed consent form. Women younger than 18 years old had to provide a consent form signed by their parents to participate. After a few months, a reminder was sent to all nonresponders.
Adolescents were interviewed at school and adults at the hospital. After answering the questionnaires, participants had the opportunity to talk to a psychologist.

Statistical Analysis

Data were analyzed with SPSS (version 16) for Windows (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA). A P < 0.05 was considered significant. Two-sided tests were performed for all calculations. Effect sizes (Cohen's d) were calculated to show the clinical relevance of group differences [17]. Mann–Whitney U-tests were performed for comparisons of the ratings of penile aspects that were made before and after the evaluation of photosets. Wilcoxon tests were computed regarding the appraisal of photosets.
Two multiple regression analyses were computed. After square-root transformation, both dependent variables were normally distributed (Kolmogorov–Smirnov test). Dependent variables were “normality of penile look of HASRGs” and “normality of penile look of circumcised genitals.” According to their significance in bivariate correlations with the dependent variable and based on a priori assumptions, the following predictors were chosen: age, number of sexual partners, sexual interest, importance of penile length, importance of position and shape of the meatus, and importance of general cosmetic appearance.


Characteristics of the Study Sample

Table 1 shows the demographic and sexual characteristics of the final study sample consisting of 105 women in three different age groups with a mean age of 28.37 years (SD = 9.65). Regarding their sexual experiences, only 18 of 33 women (54.5%) in the youngest age group (16–20 years) reported that they had experience of sexual intercourse. In contrast, all participants of the two older age groups (25–30 years and 40–45 years) had experience of sexual intercourse.
Table 1. Demographic characteristics and sexual characteristics of women (n = 105)
  1. SD = standard deviation.
Age (years)                    Quantity
Mean (SD)28.379.65
Median (range)27.016–45
Socioeconomic status (n)
Relationship status (n)
Living in a relationship6561.9%
Number of sexual partners
Mean (SD)7.227.75
Median (range)4.50–40
Sexual interest scale
Mean (SD)3.441.29
Median (range)3.500.00–6.00

Importance of Several Penile Aspects

As displayed in Table 2, on average, “general cosmetic appearance” was rated as the most relevant aspect of penile appearance, “penile length” was ranked sixth, and the item “position and shape of meatus” was ranked last.
Table 2. Rating of eight aspects of penile appearance by women
Importance of eight penile aspectsRating before evaluation of photosets (n = 55)Rating after evaluation of photosets (n = 50)
OrderMeanSD    -{*}-OrderMeanSDPCohen's d
  1. *P < 0.05, **P < 0.01.
  2. U-tests according to Mann–Whitney.
  3. Bold indicates significant results.
    1 = very unimportant; 2 = unimportant; 3 = neither important nor unimportant; 4 = important; 5 = very important.
  4. Effect sizes according to Cohen: 0.20 small effect size; 0.50 medium effect size; > 0.80 large effect size.
    SD = standard deviation.

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Importance of penile length63.190.7563.540.870.02*−0.43
Importance of penile girth33.410.7473.460.820.74−0.06
Importance of position and shape of meatus (where is pointing)82.370.8882.631.120.29−0.26
Importance of shape of glans53.280.9033.710.900.005**−0.48
Importance of appearance of scrotum73.021.0043.690.850.001**−0.72
Importance of penile skin33.411.0023.890.890.02*−0.51
Importance of appearance of pubic hair23.431.1653.601.200.38−0.14

Importance of general cosmetic appearance

May 21, 2015

Gop’r Fake DATA on Door to door Study


Late last year, the journal Science published a study that suggested door-to-door canvassing could increase support for same-sex marriage. That study, by Michael LaCour, a doctoral student of political science at UCLA, and Donald Green, a professor of political science at Columbia University, was picked up by several news organizations mostly because of its far-reaching implications.
But when other researchers tried to replicate the data, they failed. In a paper titled Irregularities in LaCour, David Broockman, an assistant professor at Stanford University; Joshua Kalla, a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley; and Peter Aronow, an assistant professor at Yale University, wrote that the dataset in the Science paper "was not collected as described." They also provide a timeline of how they came to their conclusion.
Here's what happened next, according to Green's letter to Science, published in the blog Retraction Watch, which tracks such issues:
"I brought [the] report to the attention of Lynn Vavreck, Professor of Political Science at UCLA and Michael LaCour's graduate advisor, who confronted him with these allegations on Monday morning, whereupon it was discovered that [the] on-line survey data that Michael LaCour purported to collect could not be traced to any originating Qualtrics source files. He claimed that he deleted the source file accidentally, but a Qualtrics service representative who examined the account and spoke with UCLA Political Science Department Chair Jeffrey Lewis reported to him that she found no evidence of such a deletion. On Tuesday, Professor Vavreck [asked] Michael LaCour for the contact information of survey respondents so that their participation in the survey could be verified, but he declined to furnish this information. ... Michael LaCour's failure to produce the raw data coupled with the other concerns noted above undermines the credibility of the findings."
Green asked Science to retract the article. The journal told Retraction Watch that it takes "this case extremely seriously and will strive to correct the scientific literature as quickly as possible."
LaCour, in a statement on his website, writes he is "gathering evidence and relevant information" to provide a single, comprehensive response to the allegations.
The study attracted widespread publicity when it was published last December. Articles appeared in The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, among others; WBEZ's This American Life aired a segment on the paper, which it has now retracted. The show's host Ira Glass writes:
"Last month we did a story about canvassers who'd invented a way to go door to door and, in a 22-minute conversation, change people's minds on issues like same sex marriage and abortion rights. We did the story because there was solid scientific datapublished in the journal Science – proving that the canvassers were really having an effect. Yesterday one of the authors of that study, Donald Green, asked Science to retract the study. Some of the data gathered by his co-author seems to have been faked.
"Our original story was based on what was known at the time. Obviously the facts have changed. We'll update today as we learn more."
The show has appended a note to its original story.


May 20, 2015

Scientists Debunked Largest Anti Gay Study


When Social Science Research published a study called “How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study” back in 2012, it sparked immediate controversy. The author, Mark Regnerus, a sociologist at the University of Texas at Austin, examined a large, nationally representative data set of adults who were raised in various types of families, and came to the conclusion that adults who grew up in a household with a gay or lesbian parent (or both) were more likely to have been sexually abused, more likely to have attempted suicide, and more likely to have had a sexually transmitted diseases — among other negative outcomes — as compared to those who were members of intact biological families (IBF).
The study incited such a fierce response in part because it ran contrary to so much past research — since 2004, the American Psychological Association has held that there are no meaningful differences, from a child’s point of view, between having gay and straight parents — and in part because Regnerus used his academic perch to provide expert testimony against same-sex marriage, most notably in defense of the Michigan same-sex-marriage ban that was later struck down.
Researchers began picking away Regnerus’s methodology shortly after the study was published — among other criticisms, some claimed that the “children of gay and lesbian couples” in his study had actually, in many cases, spent a chunk of their childhood being raised in IBF settings. The Human Rights Campaign even set up a website,, devoted solely to highlighting perceived flaws in the study, and eventually Social Science Research, responding in part to pressure from activists and academics, published the results of an audit highlighting serious flaws with it.
Now, almost three years after the study was first released, two researchers have conducted what they say is the most comprehensive yet reevaluation of it: They’ve gone back to the raw data and reexamined — and, they say, fixed — every step of Regnerus’s analysis. Simon Cheng of the University of Connecticut and Brian Powell of Indiana University say that their results, published recently in the journal that ran the original study, show that Regnerus made extremely questionable assumptions and committed elementary “data-cleaning” mistakes. When these mistakes and assumptions are accounted for, they say, the number of meaningful differences observed between adults who grew up with gay and straight parents drops to just about zero.
“What we found was actually quite astonishing,” Powell told Science of Us. Many of the details here skew a bit toward the wonky side, but this table, perhaps, sums up Powell and Cheng’s problem with Regnerus’s approach most concisely:

The table accounts for all 236 of the adult children of gay parents Regnerus analyzed. What’s notable, as Cheng and Powell point out, is that about a third of the sample report having spent four years or less living with a gay parent. The authors note that one can quibble over what it means to be “raised” by a parent, but surely living with them a year or less doesn’t qualify, and surely living with them for four years is pushing it. And Regnerus isn’t claiming to be studying children who have a gay parent (or parents), anyway, but rather, in his own words, those who “were raised by” them. “A high proportion of the gay and lesbian families that he thought he was analyzing” didn’t actually fit in this category, said Cheng.

Regnerus also included a bunch of other questionable cases in his analysis, Cheng and Powell point out: folks whose responses to the survey items were nonsensical. There were nine of them — the 25-year-old guy who said he “was 7-feet 8-inches tall, weighed 88 pounds, was married 8 times and had 8 children,” for example, and another, apparently very delinquent respondent “who claims to have been arrested at age 1.” It’s standard practice to “clean up” data by removing these sorts of cases before doing any analysis — it’s one of the first skills one is taught when learning the basics of statistical analysis, in fact — and Regnerus failed to do so. These sorts of bizarro responses “happen with all surveys,” said Powell, but even a small handful of them can “have great meaning when you’re dealing with a very small subsample” like adults raised by gay parents.

I emailed Regnerus to see if he wanted to respond to Cheng and Powell’s criticism, and our correspondence was a bit strange. First, he said that “removing questionable cases does nothing to the original analytic conclusions, and the authors say so: ‘… these adjustments have minimal effect on the outcomes ... these corrections actually increase the number of significant differences …’” But those quotes are from the part of the paper where Cheng and Powell go through, one by one, the seven steps they took to correct the data — they’re saying that step two didn’t, on its own, change their results, not that fixing the data overall had minimal effects (a quick glance at the abstract makes it clear that the authors are arguing that mistakes and misclassifications by Regnerus did, in fact, lead him to questionable conclusions). When I pressed him on this a little, Regnerus replied, “My mistakes were limited to the inclusion of a handful of oddball cases,” adding, “I was very clear about how I classified respondents."
The problem is that Regnerus is trying to have it both ways. When he’s testifying in support of bans on same-sex marriage, he presents himself as someone who has studied the effects of “being raised by” a gay parent, and who has found that it can lead to sorry outcomes. But when nudged to confront his methodology, he shrugs and effectively says, Yeah, I counted someone who lived with their lesbian parent for less than a year as being raised by a gay parent. What of it?
Powell and Cheng, as is probably clear by now, don’t buy this. “If he were one of my students I’d make him redo the paper,” said Cheng.  

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