237 Reasons For Sex | Vegansexuals | Toilet Seats | Encephalon 28

Notebook
[Photo by Paul Watson]

This week, from my psychology notepad…

Here’s a guaranteed way of getting your study covered, well, everywhere: make sure it includes 237 reasons why people have sex. The authors then boiled these down to four general categories: physical (“beautiful eyes”), goal attainment (“for a bet”), emotional (“to communicate on a deeper level”) and insecurity (“duty”).

And, as if 237 wasn’t enough, the New York Times add a few of their own:

“…nowhere among the 237 reasons will you find the one attributed to the actress Joan Crawford: “I need sex for a clear complexion.” (The closest is “I thought it would make me feel healthy.”) Nor will you find anything about gathering rosebuds while ye may (the 17th-century exhortation to young virgins from Robert Herrick). Nor the similar hurry-before-we-die rationale (“The grave’s a fine and private place/ But none I think do there embrace”) from Andrew Marvell in “To His Coy Mistress.””



Talking of reasons to have sex, a study out this week revealed a hitherto unheralded sexual sub-group. These are vegans who will not sleep with meat-eaters, dubbed by the author of the study: ‘vegansexuals‘. It’s a classic ‘and finally’ story over which one news anchor couldn’t contain his laughter (video).

I expect similar levels of mirth would be elicited if our favourite news anchor were to read this game theoretical account of whether the toilet should be left up or down (via LinkMachineGo). That is, if he (or any of us) could understand it. Skip straight to the conclusions:

“For “mankind”, the analysis in this paper has the following appeal: Once again, it has been found that the social norm of leaving the toilet seat down is inefficient; hence, “mankind” may feel vindicated.


For “womankind”, the analysis in this paper is appealing for the following reason: It has been shown that the social norm of leaving the seat down is a trembling-hand perfect equilibrium. Hence, this norm is not likely to go away, at least in the near future.”

Extra marks for anyone who can tell me what a ‘trembling-hand perfect equilibrium’ is.

That’s it, have a good weekend!




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Dr Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and the author of PsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick". You can follow PsyBlog by email, by RSS feed, on Twitter and Google+.

Published: 3 August 2007

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