We Can Easily Get “Turned On” by People Who Spell Trouble
What are some important features of human sexual desire? Two neuroscientists falter badly in their attempt to answer the question in their book, A Billion Wicked Thoughts: What the World’s Largest Experiment Reveals About Human Desire (Dutton, New York, 2011).
Scouring internet data, the authors, Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam, analyzed millions of web searches, websites, erotic videos, erotic stories, personal ads, and digitized romance novels. The resulting behavioral data produced, among other findings, the allegedly “shocking truths” that men prefer plump women to thin ones, women enjoy reading about two heterosexual men having sex, men often seek erotic videos featuring older women, and male sexual cues are very different from those of women.
The authors claim to have initiated “a revolution in the scientific study of sexual attraction.” But their findings are of limited value. The superficial information they have produced does very little to help us understand the vitally important ways that sexual attraction can be an ingredient in how we sabotage relationship harmony and success. [Read more…]