Mike the Psych's Blog

What if psychologists ruled the world? In real life?


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Men, women still want you – but only if you are perfect!

Women only want Mr Perfect!

If you thought the chick-lit era was over, with no more searching for Mr Right a la Bridget Jones or Sex in the City; or that WAGS were now irrelevant –  then you were right, but oh so wrong! At least according to Amy Turner’s piece in the Sunday Times a while ago (which I just found in my draft box); “Mr So-So has no chance with the SAS girls”. That was 7 years ago; has anything changed?

Because it seems that then women still wanted to meet the man of their dreams – Civitas think tank found that 70% of women aged 20 – 35 want to get married – but only if they found Mr Right. In particular so-called SAS women: successful, attractive and single – say they are happy enjoying themselves.

As one SAS women, described as having “endless legs and sparkling repartee” (sycophant-speak for skinny public school girl) said; “I’m fabulous and I want someone equally as fabulous to join my party“. Not much narcissistic self-referencing there then and hardly suggesting an equal partnership (see “Princess on board…”).

Not for them Lori Gottlieb’s advice in; “Marry him: the case for settling for good enough”. As my management consultant colleagues might say, SAS women are taking a “six sigma” rather than just a “fit for purpose” approach and as one of my guest bloggers pointed out recently; “Male modesty doesn’t pay”.

But why should women settle for less now that they are increasingly holding the purse strings? Experts  in the USA think that by 2024 women will be earning more on average than men , particularly in Law, Medicine, and in academia.

There are already more females than males graduating and higher education is the best predictor of future financial success. And the trend is pretty much the same in the UK with more females than males graduating in Law and Psychology for example.

In America five years ago only 1 in 4  women in dual-income households earned more than the men; now it is up to a third and if that trend continues more women in middle-income jobs like teaching and healthcare will overtake men.

In America female graduates have flocked into cities such as New York and Dallas to find “gender-blind” jobs with the result that women in their 20s are now earning 20% more than their male counterparts.

A number of factors have influenced these trends: a sharp decline in the birth rate in cities where more women go to college, more men losing their jobs than women (women occupied more part-time jobs) in the recession (the “mancession“), and an increase in family-friendly – which usually means women-friendly – jobs.  And you could probably add to that the feminising of education.

So what do you think? Will women today settle for second best?


Political correctness……………..

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

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I recently received this from a very good friend of mine and I thought it worth sharing as it brought just the slightest hint of a smile to my face……………….

What is meant by the modern term referred to as ‘POLITICAL CORRECTNESS’.. Although I consider myself fluent in English, that term was not in my vocabulary. Someone found this definition in 4 telegrams at the Truman Library and Museum in Independence Missouri. The following are copies of four telegrams between President Harry Truman and Gen. Douglas MacArthur on the day before the actual signing of the WWII Surrender Agreement in September 1945. The contents of those four telegrams below are exactly as received at the end of the war – not a word has been added or deleted!

(1) Tokyo,Japan
0800-September 1,1945
To: President Harry S Truman
From: General D A MacArthur
Tomorrow we meet with those yellow-bellied bastards…

View original post 177 more words


You’re just wrong – in any colour

stick_figure_check_cancel_1600_wht_7072A teacher complained to an MP that his head teacher had forbidden him from marking pupils’ work in red inkbecause it discouraged them.

An Education Minister was forced to issue a statement saying; “The department does not issue guidelines which prohibit or discourage the use of red ink for marking schoolwork”

This is another example of political correctness akin to not allowing people to win races in case it discourages others.

Head teachers should cut out this petty nonsense given the very high salaries they earn as managers. Pupils need to be ready for the real world where they will be told very quickly if they get things wrong.

A recent US study found that the colour red was associated with warning, prohibition, caution, anger, embarrassment and, being wrong!” The last example being exactly the point a teacher is trying to make with red ink I would suggest .

The study by the University of Colorado and reported in the Journal of Social Science found that students thought they had been assessed more harshly when their work was covered in red ink compared to more neutral colours such as blue.

Back in the day in the public sector we weren’t allowed to use green ink as that was the colour used by auditors.


What’s in a (politically correct) name?

A reliable source informs me that at a university not far from here the language commission has decreed that the word pygmy is no longer acceptable. The preferred term is; “ little people of the rainforest”.

This begs lots of questions: leaving aside historical Greek references to races of dwarves, anthropologists apparently use the term to describe people with an average adult height of less than 150 cm or 5 feet.

Such people are found in equatorial Africa, Asia, and South America but I wasn’t aware of a population around Manchester.

Apart from that, and recognising that we are all part of the global village, has the university gone far enough?

Surely the word “little” could be considered size-ist ie discriminating against people who are big. You would probably have the same problem with small ie not large.

If the concern is that pygmy is sometimes used in a pejorative way, for example to describe academics as “intellectual pygmies“, isn’t “little people” condescending? Perhaps “people of diminutive stature” might be more acceptable. After all we associate diminutive with pet names amongst friends and families.

And what do we call pygmy goats and pygmy shrews now? Even though universities are struggling with budget cuts and redundancies, I feel there is more work to be done here by the language commission  (although Rome burning and Nero spring to mind).

First posted 16 May 2010


Semen good for depression but polygamists end up firing blanks.

Political correctness can get in the way of science. Lazar Greenfield, president-elect of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), recently had to resign as editor of Surgery News and from his position in the ACS after being accused of sexism despite his reputation for supporting women in surgery.

What caused this fall from grace? He wrote in a Valentine Day themed editorial in Surgery News about the anti-depressant effect of semen.

He cited a study that reported the mood enhancing effects of semen on women and suggested that “there was a better gift on Valentine’s day than chocolate”.

The original study in 2002 by Gordon Gallup, a psychologist at SUNY-Albany, found that women whose partners didn’t use condoms were less depressed. Depressive symptoms and suicide attempts were higher among women who used condoms regularly compared to those who didn’t. Furthermore women who didn’t use condoms became more depressed the longer they went without sex.

Gallup suggested that this was because semen contains oestrogen and prostaglandins, which have been linked to lower levels of depression, and oxytocin a hormone which promotes bonding. He also added a health warning about unwanted pregnancies and STDs which would offset any positive psychological effects.

In fact he elaborated further on this after the so-called “semengate” controversy. He thinks the anti-depressant properties of semen may promote bonding between sexual partners. He also thinks the reaction to Greenfield is “a tragic over-reaction” and “the point at which the political agenda dictates what science is about is the point where science ceases to be a viable enterprise”.

And still on the subject of semen, biologists at Indiana University have been looking at 19c family records of Mormons in Utah when polygamy was still common (Mormon leader Brigham Young had 55 wives and 56 children). They have published their findings in the US Journal of Evolution and Human Behaviour.

They discovered that the more wives they had the fewer children each wife produced. So although it’s great in overall numbers of children produced for men to have harems, for every new women added to the harem the number of children each wife produced went down by one.

This is the first example of the Bateman gradient in humans. Bateman was a geneticist who observed in fruit flies that the more sexual partners the male had, the fewer pregnancies amongst the females.

Basically after a while the dominant male is firing blanks. Whether through sheer exhaustion or lack of stamina, competition between women in a plural marriage for shared resources, or some other reason.


Boob jobs attract staff

What can we offer you to renew your contract? Free language lessons? 5 weeks holiday? How about a free boob job?

A report in the New York Times described how nurses in the Czech Republic were offered such perks.

One nurse in the private sector who opted for the cosmetic surgery had breast enhancement and liposuction, worth over £3,000, which she would never have been able to afford on her €1,ooo a month salary – less than earned by a bus driver. … Read More

via SGandA on Management & Leadership edited with permission


Ginger kid gets free pizza

The story of the 11 year old who got upset when he saw that the pizza server had written “ginger kid” on his receipt was put into perspective by Barbara Ellen in The Observer yesterday.

She points out that it wasn’t done maliciously but just to identify the child (who had a Polish or Ukrainian surname which was probably hard for the staff in Domino’s to write down or pronounce). They apologised and offered him a free pizza but his parents want a full apology from Head Office. Not sure what a full apology is compared to what they have already received. Free pizzza for ALL the family?

Ellen suggests that by pursuing this to a higher level the parents are reinforcing the child’s sense of being a victim. Kids get picked on at school for all kinds of reasons and having ginger hair is just one of them.

Besides which there are several celebrities with red hair which just makes them more distinctive.

If you decsribe someone as a red head or titian haired it certainly has a different connotation from ginger which seems to have a negative aspect.

And I can identify with the server writing a description on the receipt so he or she could remember which customer it was. Years ago, in admittedly less politically correct times, when I used to recruit it was quite common to write short descriptive comments against candidates names so you would remember them more easily later.

Then there was a tribunal case where a woman claimed discrimination and when she saw the papers relating to the interviews saw that someone had written “big tits” against her name. Was it sexist or purely descriptive?

Picture: Wikimedia Commons