Quoth Vox in whole:
Women’s sexuality is more complicated than men’s in part because it tends to directly conflict with their desire for stability and security:
She wired up a plethysmograph to women’s private parts and then showed them a series of images to monitor what made them become aroused. Bergner explains: ‘The results reveal that women get turned on by all sorts of videos. Straight women get turned on by naked women exercising; lesbian women get turned on by gay male porn; the sight of apes having sex is a turn on.’ But he added that many women were in denial about what they found to be a turn on. ‘The plethysmograph was showing lots of arousal when women were telling Chivers they didn’t feel turned on at all,’ he said….
Bergner said Chivers’ study also contradicts the idea that all women want to to settle down with one man – and that they will have the best sex with that one man – because of the emotion intimacy their relationship brings. In fact, Chivers’ study found the plethysmograph ‘flat-lined’ when the women were shown images of their love-term lovers. Seeing someone they knew was a ‘lust-killer’. But images of a handsome stranger were a turn on.
This is merely a different perspective on the same ALPHA/BETA conflict observed by various theoreticians of Game. What a woman wants sexually and what she wants materially tend to be in contradiction to each other, and in most cases where a woman is not being actively supported by either her parents or the government, she will choose her material desires over her sexual ones. Women are, in the end, an intensely practical sex; it is men who are the hapless romantics.
And this is why civilization ultimately depends upon providing incentives, or restrictions, to ensure that women continue to pursue their material desires.
I think he’s right and has succinctly put forth an interesting hypothesis for the formation of civilization (emphasis mine), but a couple of commenters point out that the study might suffer from sampling bias. Example:
Lets be honest among us men.
This is a study on the sexual desires of whores. Any woman willing to sell off the chance for someone to stick something in their vagina and wire the woman up is a sick whore.
Such women should be expected to have sick desires and view long term relationships in such a light. Only the weakest and most desperate of men would accept such a woman to walk into their doors, let alone into their beds.
There’s a good point hiding in here, but overall this is a poor criticism. Sluts and such are not shameful because their sexuality is deviant (we have different words for that, like deviant), but because they have insufficient restrictions on their sexuality. That is, we don’t think of Monica Lewinsky as a slut because she felt some sort of unnatural desire to blow the POTUS. Lots of women have that desire. Rather, we think of her as a slut because she acted on the desire (and without much material renumeration on which she could blame her temptation).
Similarly, the women in this scientimagistic study probably lack both internal and external restrictions on their sexual expression. If they have prudish families, they probably don’t spend a lot of time around them, and may have cut their ties altogether. Religiosity is probably lower than average in the group, etc. But this is not enough reason to reject the findings out of hand. Does the magnitude of sexual desire or activity fundamentally change their secondary qualities and characteristics? Dunno, not enough information.
In the meantime, the analogy of Phineas Gage comes to mind. We shouldn’t miss the opportunity over a couple of stray confounding variables.