Wednesday, June 26, 2013

If Your Brown-Eyed Husband Wants More Sex, Do The Laundry and Look At Your Facebook Profile

My crossword puzzle this morning was a themed one, and its theme was Sigmund Freud.  I used to delve into Freud and his theories quite a lot when I was teaching The Catcher in the Rye because, well, holy crap.  There is a ton of Freudian reference in there.  Beyond that, I, like most thinking people, have little use for the rest of Dr. Freud's musings.  While I do see "talking therapy" as generally a good thing overall, I don't see The Mother as the root of all psychoses, to be admittedly simplistic.  Or sex.  And, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. 

But all that thinking about Freud was evidently simmering on my brain's back burner, for when a psychology story popped up on my Google News Page, I kept clicking and clicking and, before I knew it, I had found several fascinating studies that I just have to share with you here.  It's kind of a Pop Psychology Potpourri!

1.  The Facebook.  Here's a study that seems obvious.  Facebook May Boost Self-Esteem But Reduce Motivation.  "This is one of the first studies of its kind to use (the Implicit Association Test) psychology research tool to evaluate whether there are any psychological effects associated with using the online networking site....The Implicit Association Test involved asking the participants to associate positive or negative adjectives with words such as 'me' and 'myself'."  Basically, a bunch of people gazed at their FB profiles for 5 minutes.  Then they were given the IAT, which showed a marked increase in self-esteem.  After that, they were given a task, to count down from a large number by intervals of seven, then answer some general questions.  The FB people performed more poorly with relation to accuracy and speed.  "Who needs this crap?" the FBers seemed to indicate, "when I'm already so awesome and have 670 friends?"  Or, to put it in more scientificky terms, "The researchers believe that after spending time on Facebook people generally feel good about themselves, so there isn't as much motivation to increase self-worth by trying hard in the lab task compared to those in the control group." 

2.  Brown VS. Blue.  This particular study, Why Do We Trust Brown-Eyed People More? really caught my attention.  I have brown eyes, as do Rick and Jared.  Sam's eyes are changeable, but are usually green.  I first started thinking about the people whom I do not trust, and I could not really come up with anyone right off the bat except George W. Bush and Congress, and the latter has too many people to have this theory apply.  Then I started thinking of any blue-eyed people I know, and I couldn't come up with any.  Then I stopped hurting myself and just read the damn study.  Anyway, this study ends up saying that it isn't really the eye color that determines trust; in the final analysis, it is the shape of the person's face that goes along with the eye color, and in that case, it seems to be that only in men is it the deciding factor.  Women of blue eyes and brown eyes are judged almost equally trustworthy.  The study ultimately found that "brown eyed men generally have wider mouths with upward-pointing corners, wider chins, bigger eyes and eyebrows closer to each other, characteristics considered masculine and more trustworthy. On the other hand, men with blue eyes tend to make them seem more shifty, sporting smaller eyes and narrow mouths with downward-pointing corners."  For the record--Sam has large, round eyes, and his mouth is not narrow or downward-pointing.  He can, however, at times, be shifty.

3.  The Honey-Do List.  Ladies, this study could be a bitch if The Wrong People read it.  Husbands Who Share Housework Have Less Sex sounds like something commissioned by the GOP or the NFL or Budweiser or someone like that.  You and I both know that this whole study is bullshit, and let me list just some of the reasons why:

1.  The data is from 1992-1994
2.  It defines a traditional marriage as one where housework is done exclusively by the wife.
3.  It mentions a previous study whose research implied that "married men generally have more sex in exchange for doing housework."
4.  It found that sex "is associated with the kinds of chores each partner completes."
5.  This:  The researcher "does not believe that the division of household chores - which in this study did not include child care - and sex have changed much since 1994."

Please do not point out to me that a woman authored this study.  I hope she has already gotten the call to Turn In Her Card at an authorized center.  Her face will be added to the Woman Wall Of Shame, along with, well, you all know who They are.

I have just completed my own Psychological Study titled The Longer You Stay In Your Jammies The Less Likely You Are To Accomplish Anything Beyond The Virtual World.  It's taken almost two full years of intensive research.  When I get around to writing it up, I'll be sure to let you know.  In the meantime, do catch me up or sound off in Comments.


  1. Oh, I refuse to be on Facebook. I strongly object to them using me to make money as a pawn in their advertising schemes!

    The payoff of "friending" people I no longer speak to from high school just isn't worth it, in my opinion.

    My husband has brown eyes and he is usually considered extremely trustworthy by most, but that may be because he does indeed have very masculine features. Or maybe he is just an awesome guy. I vote for the latter.

    I have blue eyes, and there are only a few idiots in the world who consider me untrustworthy.

    I kid, of course.

  2. I note that a fine cylindrical (?sp) cigar quickly becomes a smelly, gluey mess of a stub. Sometime in Hell I hope to have the opportunity to point this out to dear Sigmund, in between dodging devils with pitchforks.
    Also, would be glad to contribute data to the Jammies research. I have a lot of it.
    I do love the stuff you choose to explore and write about. And even more, how well you write.

  3. I admit I spend a ridiculous amount of time on Facebook - but it hasn't hindered my puzzle time at all. Ha! And yesterday was the most fabulous day for being on FB - I was so moved and happy about all the posts about Wendy Davis and the Supreme Court rulings.

    That brown-eyed man you described sounds exactly like my brother! And people do tend to like & trust him. But as his sister I'm duty bound to report that he CAN be shifty too. Mike has blue eyes, but since he's such a teddy bear he doesn't really fit the Blue-Eyed Devil profile.


  4. "Husbands Who Share Housework Have Less Sex"...

    Surely you jest! In my marriage, Hubby doing the dishes was considered foreplay!

  5. Nancy--So, yours was a "traditional" marriage. LOL. We have a dishwasher. Just tossin' that out there.

    Bug--But how motivated are you to do anything else?

    Mary G--Thank you! I just heard from my blue-eyed buddy and retired colleague Sue that she spent ALL DAY in her jammies today. I was so proud. I don't know if it counts, though; she was working on her second masters degree. I hope your contribution involves being much more slothful and much less worky. Mine does. MUCH.

    Gina--Your objection to FB is identical to mine. I used to be jealous of those with blue or green eyes. I saw my Hershey-colored eyes as boring and pedestrian. I also wondered if they saw things differently than I did, not in a perspective sense, but visually. Did colors appear the same? I still wonder about that. Anyway, I got over the jealousy. We can both be envious of Liz Taylor's violet eyes.

  6. I'm not on Facebook, I don't tweet, and I have never sent a text in my life. I am something of a Luddite, I guess, yet here I am, commenting on a blog on my IPad. So that must make me a selective Luddite.

    My eyes are hazel, so in some lights they are light brown, in others grey, and, when I'm lucky, green. Realprof has blue eyes to die for, but what got me was the sexiest voice on earth. And, he helps with the housework. I won't let him do laundry, but he's a better cook than I am.

  7. Anonymous7:13 AM

    Brilliant analysis of many weird studies.

    I'm like Gina; I'm not on FB. Meaning that either my self-esteem is just fine as is... & I don't need FB. Or, I'm in denial because I have low self-esteem... which means that I'll never join FB because I'm not good enough to be there! Nuff said.

    My eyes are blue + green, so I disagree with the conclusions of the eye color study on principle.

    And as for males + housework, there's nothing sexier than a man vacuuming my house. So, again I think that the conclusions of that study are dubious, at best.

  8. Ally--Oh, gosh. If you call me brilliant, you will vault to the top of my Most Favoured Commenters List. I'm with you on Housework + Males. Last night, Rick HAND-WASHED the stuff that would not go easily into the dishwasher. I got tears in my eyes. And the sight of him standing there with his sleeves rolled up and a sudsy sponge was, in fact, quite breathtakingly manly. Those researchers are idiots.

    fauxprof--Laundry is easy once you insist upon sorting. Go ahead. He can do it. My boys were doing their own laundry at 8. Jared is now a laundry aficionado. Sam...well, Sam hates all grownup chores, including fixing his own baked potato.

    But I digress.

    I always decried the text message and the smart phone to my students and family. Then I got the iPhone (primarily to play Words With Friends, I kid you not!)and suddenly text messages became the best way to communicate with my boys. Now I can't live without my smartphone's calendar, notepad, etc. It's shameful. Your iPad is your bridge to technology running/managing your life, too.

    It's just a huge iPhone without the Phone.

  9. It's not the sorting, I taught him about that early on. (The reason that there are white flecks on your black socks is that you're washing them with the towels, honey.). Nope, it's the dryer. He can't tell when a load isn't quite there yet. Not sopping wet, not really damp, but not quite dry enough to fold.

    I've got an old flip phone, and am holding out until it definitively dies. One can text on it, but it doesn't have a full keyboard, and the process is just too frustrating. There's probably a smartphone in my future, but it can wait.

  10. I have no patience for Facebook or Twitter or any of the social media stuff. My daughter is the QUEEN of all that and I just ask an occasional question about this or that friend, and she finds the answer. That works just fine for me. I do love my iPhone, and most of my communications are via text. So easy and fast. Done now.

    I have really dark brown eyes. I, too, always thought that was boring. Our equine massage therapist has the most astonishingly green eyes I've ever seen, and I would kill to have eyes that spectacular. She's attractive to begin with, but with those eyes, her face is just riveting. Did you hear about the eye doctor out here who is developing a way to remove the brown pigment from eyes? It's still experimental, but removing the pigment permanently leaves you with blue eyes. I could go for that...

    Males + housework equal attraction. Why don't more men get it?

  11. LaFF--Oh, aren't all the Youngsters FB royalty? Sigh. I must admit, though, that lots of my colleagues are on it, and I miss out on quite a bit of news because, as they say when they finally get around to telling me, "Oh, you're not on Facebook, are you? Yeah, well a few weeks ago...." It's disheartening.

    I did hear/read about that procedure someplace. All I could think about was Mengele and his horrifying experiments on the little babies in the camps. I'm not saying it as a judgment or anything, just that it made me think of it. I am so scared to have any procedure on my eyes, even Lasik. The ramifications of something going wrong are huge.

    faux--Yeah, that can be a tough call sometimes. Towels especially can be tricky. Jeans,too. I'm currently avoiding a load of whites. I hate doing socks. Tedious.

  12. Now see, faux, this is where I am just like your husband. The dryer thinks it's done. I'M certainly done. So let's fold it all up & it will dry just fine in the basket. My husband just looks at me like I'm insane & either runs the dryer some more or hangs up the damp item. Ha!

  13. FB: Not very interested on a daily basis, but I created an account to more or less keep up with old friends that I really DO care about, but who live so far away that I rarely, if ever, see them. And I have "found" a few people from the past I really was happy to hear from. So it's nice for that. I don't have friends in the hundreds, though, because unlike many young FB-ers, I don't consider that a measure of my personal worth. How ridiculous is it to have those 670 "friends"? They don't have 670 friends. They have maybe 50 friends (about 4-5 of whom are really, really friends), and 620 social media voyeurs. I think my list is at around 32, and several of those people are literally family members spread across the globe. There's lots about FB that I don't like, though, and I find that there is a lot I would never put out there, even though I might like to opine, because it is just, well, a little too OUT THERE.

    HOUSEWORK & SEX: I forget who it was (I think a former First Lady, but not likely Laura) that said that a husband doing the dishes was one of the best seduction techniques ever. Mr. O. does not do a lot of housework, but to his credit, he never complains about things getting messy when I'm really busy, he brings home take-out food if I am too tired to cook, and his version of vacuuming has me in raptures, especially since he will happily move every piece of furniture necessary to make sure he gets the last of the dust bunnies.

    BLUE EYES: Mine are blue. *sigh* Sort of blue-grey, really. But not brown. I agree that face shape and facial features are the real determining factors. But much more than that--- it's the overall expression. I do judge people by their facial expressions, especially in their eyes. That says it all. And I do not find that color plays a part in the expressiveness. Hey, think of a past president who was brown-eyed. Tricky Dicky, anybody? Not the most trustworthy brown-eyed person we've ever known.

  14. Ortizzle--Oh, heavens. Send me that furniture-moving, house-vacuuming man, pronto! I have begun to detest vacuuming because of the cat hair and because of my obsessive need to--once I have the vacuum out--vacuum every flat surface within the property. This includes the front porch. I wish I were kidding.

    I hear a lot of people say that they created a FB account to keep up with old friends. Whatever happened to email? I don't know; I guess making a mass email and hitting "reply all" is not as wonderful. But for some, FB has been exciting and beneficial in that way, both family- and friend-wise. Good for them.

    I once heard that grey eyes are especially good for snipers to have. How are your rifle skills? I was a good shot with a .22 in marksmanship class back in college (it was for a phys ed credit). My brown eyes didn't seem to hinder me much although I did have some problems with certifying in the standing position. Sitting and prone were much easier. It's a breathing thing, really.

  15. I consider Lasik sometimes, but then I think two things...

    1. I am absolutely certain that the second that evil laser is hitting my eye (I can't believe I wrote that...ACK!) is the exact same second that a big 7.4 earthquake hits California, and I'll be dead. At least blind. No thanks.

    2. I look much younger in the mirror without my contacts, and it's just an easier way to ease into the day.

    My eyes seem brown, but sometimes they're green, so I guess that's light brown. Maya says she sees some blue in them, but I've never seen it, so I don't know what she's talking about.

    I adore FB. I wonder if being a grandma would change your mind? Because one of my favorite things about it is seeing pictures that my sisters post about their kids. My dad is not a huge fan, and HATES the ads and so on, but he loves seeing pics of his grandkids there.

    I LOVE when my husband irons the sheets and pillowcases. They're SO soft and delicious, and I'm far too lazy to do it myself. SO sexy.

  16. J@jj--1. My fear is not that specific. I'm just scared Something Will Go Wrong. 2. Love this. 3. Rick's eyes used to be hazel-ish. Then they just got browner as he got older. I find that I don't notice eye color much. Several of my friends made sure to remind me that they have blue eyes. Oops. 4. I was out to lunch with some friends today, and they love FB too. They like keeping up with friends that they'd otherwise lose touch with. They like "stalking" people on FB, too. It's like Covert Gossiping. I feel like, hey, if it's a matter of convenience to keep in touch with friends, then that's not a friendship that is that critical. I have a lot of friends with whom I can pick right back up where we left off whenever we happen to exchange an email, or we happen to be in each others' area. I like that kind of loose, free relationship. FB would kill that for me.

    Being a grandmother would probably not change my mind, but I've learned to never say never.

    One of my lunch buddies today said, "Nance, if I ever heard you were on FB, it would make me think of you differently" after I affirmed for her that, no, I was not and she laughed and said she was glad. Sigh. I have a reputation, I guess.

    J! I have NEVER heard of anyone who irons sheets and pillowcases. Ted spoils you. How lovely of him.


Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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