In this ten-minute talk, super-famous psychologist Philip Zimbardo talks about cultural differences in the perception and orientation towards time… and  how that translates into boys dropping out of high school and underperforming in college.  How does he make the link?  Watch:

Via BoingBoing.

Lisa Wade, PhD is an Associate Professor at Tulane University. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture; a textbook about gender; and a forthcoming introductory text: Terrible Magnificent Sociology. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Mr. Wray, AP Psychology teacher, sings the biases:

Sent in by Dmitriy T.M.

Lyrics after the jump:


Tom Schaller at posted a summary of the book Authoritarianism & Polarization in American Politics:

…authoritarianism is really about order–achieving it, maintaining it, and affirming it–and especially when citizens are uncertain or fearful. This, they say, is why authoritarians seek out and elevate, well, authorities–because authorities impose order on an otherwise disordered world. They provide a useful review the existing literature on authoritarian traits, which have been connected to negative racist stereotyping, a belief in biblical inerrancy, a preference for simple rather than complex problem-solving, and low levels of political information.

The authors, Marc Hetherinton and Jonathan Weiler, provide a breakdown of average levels of authoritarianism in the U.S. based on various characteristics:


Over at the Huffington Post, Weiler discusses the connection between authoritarianism and racial attitudes:

Authoritarian-minded individuals are, after all, likely to judge more negatively minority groups and those negative judgments, in turn, inform a host of political positions…

We find that in a politics organized by authoritarianism, even non-racial issues are becoming a matter of race and, more broadly, are taking on more visceral symbolic significance…

In sum, there is reason to think that beneath the arguments about government intrusion into the health care market, death panels, and such, a much more visceral dynamic is at work. To be perfectly clear, it is far from the case that every opponent or skeptic of significant health-care reform is a racist or racially motivated in her or his thinking. But there is, at the least, very strong circumstantial evidence that views of race and beliefs about health care reform are linked significantly among many Americans, which probably explains why the debate on health care reform has caused a much stronger uproar in 2009 than it did in 1994.

For an example of this type of racial resentment, see our recent post on Rush Limbaugh’s description of “Obama’s America.”

Below is a video, found via The Daily Dish, of a girl, maybe four or five, mimicking the dancing in a music video featuring Beyonce.  She’s amazing!  Watch her go:


Okay… now for sociological comments… these are all Gwen’s ideas, by the way, even though I’m posting it:

We often think of childhood socialization as a top-down process.  That is, we imagine that children are empty vessels and adults, mostly parents maybe, fill them up with whatever they please.  It may be true that the parents of this little girl actively, even aggressively, encouraged her to learn this dance.  But it’s also possible that this is driven by that little girl.  In which case, it may illustrate how kids can take an active part in their own socialization.  Clearly these parents don’t mind that their daughter is watching Beyonce, but she may be taking the initiative to emulate a public figure she’s seeing in the media (which surely includes messages about how to look, dress, etc.).  Even if these parents don’t like everything about that message (or other models she might follow), they can’t actually protect her from the ever-present messages about femininity that are all around her, which are going to affect how she thinks about herself, what she should be, etc.

Lisa Wade, PhD is an Associate Professor at Tulane University. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture; a textbook about gender; and a forthcoming introductory text: Terrible Magnificent Sociology. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Freud distinguished between a “mature” (vaginal) and “immature” (clitoral) orgasm, telling women that to require clitoral stimulation for orgasm was a psychological problem. Contesting this, in 1970 Anne Koedt wrote The Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm.  She explains:

Frigidity has generally been defined by men as the failure of women to have vaginal orgasms. Actually the vagina is not a highly sensitive area and is not constructed to achieve orgasm. It is the clitoris which is the center of sexual sensitivity and which is the female equivalent of the penis… Rather than tracing female frigidity to the false assumptions about female anatomy, our “experts” have declared frigidity a psychological problem of women.

Indeed, studies show that about 1/3rd of women regularly reach orgasm during penile-vaginal sex.  The rest (that is, the majority) require more direct clitoral stimulation.  Koedt goes on (my emphasis):

All this leads to some interesting questions about conventional sex and our role in it. Men have orgasms essentially by friction with the vagina, not the clitoral area, which is external and not able to cause friction the way penetration does. Women have thus been defined sexually in terms of what pleases men; our own biology has not been properly analyzed. Instead, we are fed the myth of the liberated woman and her vaginal orgasm – an orgasm which in fact does not exist.

Koedt’s article was highly influential and rejecting the notion of the “vaginal orgasm” (both anatomically and functionally) was part of second wave feminism. 

Still, the vaginal orgasm keeps coming back.  During the ’90s, it came back in the form of the G-spot.  You, too, can have a vaginal orgasm if you can just find that totally-orgasmic-pleasure-spot-rich-in-blood-vessels-and-nerve-endings-that-makes-for-wildly-amazing-orgasms-with-ejaculation that you, strangely, never knew was there!  (See what Betty Dodson has to say about the g-spot here.)

Most recently, the vaginal orgasm has come back in the form of orgasmic birth.  The idea is that women can, if they really want to, have an orgasm (or orgasms) during childbirth. 

Now, I don’t want to argue that women never have orgasms from penile-vaginal intercourse.  They do.  I also don’t care to debate whether a g-spot exists.  And I am certainly not going to look a mother in the face and tell her she did not have an orgasm during childbirth.  I am sure some women do.  (And, anyway, I get a kick out of thinking about such a mother telling her teenager the story of his birth, so I’m going to keep believing it is true).

Anyway, what I do want to do is discuss how the video below uses the idea of orgasmic birth to reinscribe the myth of the vaginal orgasm.  The reporter says that orgasmic birth is just “basic science” and then turns to interview an M.D.  The M.D. uses the vaginal orgasm as scientific evidence for the possibility of orgasmic birth.  She says: obviously a baby would cause an orgasm when it comes out the vagina, since a penis causes an orgasm when it goes into the vagina.  But, of course, it usually doesn’t.  That last part isn’t “basic science,” it’s ideology (as Koedt so nicely points out).

I wonder how many women now feel doubly bad.  Not only can they not have orgasms from penile-vaginal intercourse, they also experienced pain during childbirth!  Bad ladies!  Watch the whole 8-minute clip or start at 3:28 to see the interview with the M.D.:

Via Jezebel.