University psychologists filmed 19 men as they danced their dance of seduction, then covered up the men with featureless avatars to emphasize the dance, not the looks, of each of the bump-and-grinders. Next, 35 heterosexual women rated the dance moves for attractiveness, giving the psychologists clues they needed to discern what women find most sexy when their men boogie down.
“We now know which area of the body females are looking at when they are making a judgment about male dance attractiveness,” says Nick Neave, a lead researcher on the project. “If a man knows what the key moves are, he can get some training and improve his chances of attracting a female through his dance style.” Hmm. Why are we reminded of those Birds of Paradise jiggling their plumage around to attract a mate?
In other findings, the rate of pregnancy and STDs among teenagers in the Netherlands is eight times less than here in the U.S.—and sociologist Amy Schalet has discovered why. Apparently, Dutch parents discuss sex with their kids! And also let them have romantic sleepovers, of course.
In her report, “Sex, Love, and Autonomy in the Teenage Sleepover,” Schalet says that the country’s “moral rules cast sexuality as a part of life that should be governed by self-determination, mutual respect, frank conversation, and the prevention of unintended consequence.” Respecting our teens and giving them the information to protect themselves? It’s revolutionary!
Elsewhere, other revolutions are drawing controversy—this time, with adults and daytime TV in Syria. The soap opera Ma Malakat Aymanukum (translated as, “What your right hand possesses”) tackles the unseen dramas—struggles with donning the veil, hidden prostitution and extra-marital sex—that some interpret as daily occurrences in Syrian life. And, while the Syrian public is divided on the show’s merits—with many applauding and many condemning—at least we can all agree the show is deeper and more intellectually stimulating than The Young and the Restless.