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Johnny come lately - The Ex-Communicator

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August 4th, 2009


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10:02 am - Johnny come lately
Latest example of evo psych for your delectation/ridicule: humans have evolved not to use condoms.
Mr Brody said: “Evolution is not politically correct, so of the very broad range of potential sexual behaviour, there is actually only one that is consistently associated with better physical and mental health and that is the one sexual behaviour that would be favoured by evolution. That is not accidental.”

Mr Brody based his conclusions on a study of the sexual behaviour of 99 women and 111 men in Portugal. They filled in questionnaires about the pleasure they derived from their sex lives and contraception use.

Using a measure of psychological health developed in Canada, Mr Brody concluded that condom use was associated with members of the sample who exhibited problems dealing with stress.

"Mr Brody claims that heterosexual sex with a condom is associated with poorer mental health, problems with dealing with stress and even conditions such as depression." Of course! On the palaeolithic savannah the Durex machines were always breaking down. That was terribly stressful.

(12 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:azdak
Date:August 4th, 2009 10:44 am (UTC)
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Ahem. I shall repost that comment with a link that actually works....

::Sniggers and points Mr Brody to the correlation does not imply causality page of Wikpedia::

On the plus side, it's a pleasure the way evolutionary psychologists keep confirming my own evolved opinion that they wouldn't know what "scientific method" was if it jumped up and bit them...
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From:watervole
Date:August 4th, 2009 11:21 am (UTC)
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Makes sense. It could easily be that people under stress can least afford another child and hence use condoms.
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From:communicator
Date:August 4th, 2009 01:49 pm (UTC)
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Plus the sample size is ridiculous
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From:azdak
Date:August 4th, 2009 01:55 pm (UTC)
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And there doesn't appear to be any controlling for variables like age and gender or, as has already been pointed out, marital status.

Ach, this is pointless! Without the raw data to check them against, general conclusions are completely worthless anyway.
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From:kalypso_v
Date:August 4th, 2009 11:17 am (UTC)
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He lost me at the first sentence. He makes a couple of apparently unconnected assertions, and then arranges them as if they were a premise and a conclusion?
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From:watervole
Date:August 4th, 2009 11:20 am (UTC)
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There is known to be a substance in semen that makes women feel good.

However, I feel that the stress of an unwanted pregnancy would outweigh this...
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From:espresso_addict
Date:August 4th, 2009 11:26 am (UTC)
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Ack. So much wrong with this it's hardly worth ridiculing.
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From:sallymn
Date:August 4th, 2009 12:01 pm (UTC)
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{shakes head too}
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From:iainjcoleman
Date:August 4th, 2009 12:39 pm (UTC)
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While the Scotsman article does make Brody's paper sound full of holes, I would be reluctant to come to conclusions about any research project based on anything written by a journalist.
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From:communicator
Date:August 4th, 2009 01:50 pm (UTC)
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They have a direct quote from him, though to be fair they might have just made it up.
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From:iainjcoleman
Date:August 4th, 2009 02:26 pm (UTC)
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...or pulled hs words massively out of context, or asked a leading question, or any of the other usual journo methods.

If Brody had made his paper available on the web, we could quickly see if he is being misrepresented, or if the journalist is actually doing fair reporting on a paper with very dodgy reasoning. Both of these things happen, but the former is more prevalent. Unfortunately, scientists like Brody who stick to the old-fashioned ways of publishing exclusively in paid-access journals do themselves no favours when it comes to public understanding of their work.
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From:communicator
Date:August 4th, 2009 03:21 pm (UTC)
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'Evolution is not politically correct' is a dog-whistle statement. It has no conceptual content: its converse 'evolution is politically correct' is meaningless.

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