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Monday, October 15, 2007

Dept. of “Research”

posted by on October 15 at 10:22 AM

This looks like money well spent:

In a revealing study, University of New Mexico researchers (three altruistic guys) recruited 18 subjects (scantily clad women dancers) to log their work shifts, earnings and menstrual cycles (phone numbers, too?) on a Web site for two months, or about 5,300 lap dances. The naked truth: participants scored $335 per five-hour shift while ovulating compared with $260 per shift during the luteal phase after ovulation and $185 while menstruating. The dancers’ scientifically gyrating pelvises provided the first direct evidence for human estrus—the equivalent of a baboon’s bright red rump—the group reported in Evolution & Human Behavior.

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It's sad when people ignore the fact that we are basically bald apes. This is like the PETA folks who bitch when researchers measure Bonobo penis size.

Could women that are ovulating be more attractive than non-ovulating women? Sure. Why not? Doesn't seem like unreasonable research.

Posted by Big Sven | October 15, 2007 10:36 AM

so should riding the red tide come with a discount?

Posted by vooodooo84 | October 15, 2007 10:36 AM

Hmmm. I can see the scientific implications - that in fact, one's ovulation status sends biochemical signals to nearby men - OR that it induces behavioral changes in women that cause them to behave differently to men.

But one wonders if this is the best research method.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 15, 2007 10:46 AM

jesus, there are so many uncontrollable variables at play here - not the least of which is the fact that it might be a little more difficult/uncomfortable for a woman to swing from a stripper pole when she's retaining 5 extra pounds of water and has a cotton ball shoved up her snatch. it's a bit of a stretch to say this is "direct evidence" for human estrus.

Posted by brandon | October 15, 2007 11:10 AM

That's some fine researchin' there, boys.

Posted by Matt Fuckin' Hickey | October 15, 2007 11:10 AM

What, who doesn't get a red rump at estrus? Are you with me, ladies?

Posted by Madashell | October 15, 2007 11:21 AM

yay for estrus!

i think we need more research like this - if only to counter the prudes who think you can control biology with jesus.

Posted by maxsolomon | October 15, 2007 11:58 AM

You leave me out of this.

Posted by bonobo penis | October 15, 2007 11:59 AM

If anyone wants to read the actual article, it's linked here. I read it -- it's interesting but definitely just an initial study (eg, only 11 participants who weren't on birth control pills).

The discussion section in the article is ridiculously sexist and unsupported, though. Their theory is that women evolved to extract wealth from men when they weren't fertile, but men outsmarted them during evolution and now can secretly detect when women are ovulating and thus pay them more money for lap dances during that time. Basically, women evolved to be whores and men evolved to outsmart them. Guess what sex every single one of the authors is.

Posted by jamier | October 15, 2007 12:15 PM

The book The Myth of Monogamy goes into the question of secret ovulation from a games theory standpoint.

Posted by Greg | October 15, 2007 12:33 PM

11 people is not a study.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 15, 2007 12:46 PM

Interesting. I love the "animal" aspects of human social dynamics and communication.

- from the East Carolina U. Website: "Pheromones come from skin glands, kidneys, reproductive accessory glands, the vagina, intestines, urethras, and probably other glands as well. Many are produced by the anaerobic fermentation of pouched substances."

I remember being fascinated as a kid on hearing a story that packed stands at soccer stadiums had men urinating in the stands out of (in)convience and that there was an attribution of increased fighting among men to an androgen-dependent urinary pheromone.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | October 15, 2007 1:13 PM

It'd be dumb to deny biology and behavior are intertwined, but strippers earn more money on payday, probably in the middle of the month between bills. If that loosely coincides with the cycles of 11 women, chances are...

Posted by Dougsf | October 15, 2007 1:27 PM

Obvious explanation: Strippers who aren't PMSing are happier, or at least less irritable, and thus more capable of laying on the charm and parting fools from their money.

Posted by tsm | October 15, 2007 3:31 PM

@9 are an idiot. You did not read the article or did not understand it. Which is worse? Deal with your own gender issues.

From the discussion:
"As in so many coevolutionary arms races between the sexes (Arnqvist & Rowe, 2005), this outcome is not a clear victory for either sex."

There are wonderful critiques of sexism in science and in particular, evolutionary psychology/sociobiology. Due your fucking homework, instead of spouting some ignorant bullshit that says more about your own issues.

Posted by cw | October 15, 2007 3:49 PM

"Do" not Due..

Posted by cw | October 15, 2007 3:51 PM

“Basically, women evolved to be whores and men evolved to outsmart them.”

They needed to conduct research to determine this? I’d figured this out by my sophomore year in high school… (It’s as indisputable and obvious as global warming.)

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | October 15, 2007 5:36 PM

cw @15, your angry response suggests that you've got your own issues.

The language the researchers use to situate this study--no "clear victory" in the "coevolutionary arms races between the sexes"--definitely deserves to be critiqued.

If you can't see that, then you've got some homework to do, too.

Posted by Irena | October 16, 2007 12:26 AM

Irena, I guess I do have some issues. I don't like it when someone willfully attacks an article without reading it.

"clear victory" and "co-evolutionary arms races between the sexes" are accepted terms for understanding behavioral research in an evolutionary context. Does that language have a clear gender bias? We could go on and on discussing definitions, but it would be hard to do so via I will stop. It's a complicated issue and warrants thoughtful reading of the article which I would maintain Jamier failed to do.

Check out this book or more recent works if you want to know where I stand on the issue of gender bias in research.
Gowaty, Patricia A. 1997. (ed.) Feminism and Evolutionary Biology.

Posted by cw | October 16, 2007 9:45 PM

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