It’s a tag that I use fairly often. In fact, it’s a phrase I use fairly often as well, and when I’m not using it to refer to the practice of moving two single beds together to form a “double” bed – which will thus have a divide down the middle, rendering it ultimately pointless – I’m using it to refer to the practice of separating “the sexes”, often using the medium of Unbiased Objective Science (TM).

Of course, claiming to use Unbiased Objective Science is a nonsense when it comes to The Great Divide, for one simple reason, which I have found best summed up in Deborah Cameron’s book, The Myth of Mars and Venus*:

“Most research studies investigating the behaviour of men and women are designed around the question: ‘is there a difference?’ – and the presumption is usually that there will be… A study which finds no significant difference is less likely to be published.”

Now, because I’m inquisitive, it occured to me to wonder what kind of studies do get published. In this, I was aided and abetted by the BBC website’s habit of putting three or four other links with their story, usually under a “see also” style heading. I took one study, the first on the list, and followed the links. I’ve put them in chronological order, with the most recent first, but otherwise have changed nothing:

  1. Shopping Sprees Linked to Periods – 30th March 2009
  2. Wearing Red ‘Boosts Attraction’ – 28th October 2008
  3. Women Pick Men Who Look Like Dad – 3rd September 2008
  4. Short Men ‘Are the Most Jealous’ – 12th March 2008
  5. Sexy Walk ‘Keeps Men Off Scent’ – 8th November 2007
  6. Gaze ‘Key to Facial Attraction’ – 7th November 2007
  7. Partner Choice ‘Shaped By Father’ – 13th June 2007
  8. Why Women Fall For ‘Mr. Average’ – 9th February 2007
  9. Asymetrical Men ‘Are a Turn-Off’ – 16th August 2005
  10. Dominant Men ‘Smell Attractive‘ – 6th July 2005
  11. Sniffing Out Potential Partners – 10th May 2005
  12. Scent ‘Restores Youthful Allure‘ – 27th January 2005
  13. Hourglass Figure Fertility Link – 4th May 2004
  14. Women Slate Rivals To Win a Mate – 18th February 2004
  15. Study Reveals World’s Most Jealous Men – 7th July 2003
  16. Women Look at Men’s Cheeky Bits – 2nd July 2003
  17. Pill Changes Women’s Taste In Men – 20th January 2003
  18. Infidelity ‘is in the Genes’ – 30th October 2002
  19. Jealous Types ‘Have Different Sized Feet’ – 21st August 2002
  20. Women’s Choice of Men Goes in Cycles – 24th June 1999
  21. Sex Keeps You Young – 10th March 2009
  22. The Magic of Sexual Attraction – 16th December 1998
  23. Infidelity ‘is Natural’ – 25th September 1998
  24. Passionate Sex Aids Pregnancy – 9th September 1998

I should mention at this point that these links are crazy-making. I myself have spent 3 days trying to complete this post, because effectively playing multiple games of EvoPsych Bingo makes your brain melt. I do not recommend looking at them all at once if you have had a bad day. In fact, I don’t recommend it if you’ve had a really good day either, because afterwards you will feel as though you’d had a bad day. They are that bad. If you don’t feel up to dealing with the crazy, I will put up another post soon which is merely angry-making, and hope that that makes you feel better.

Also, I’ve tried sarcastic, I’ve tried studious, I’ve tried plain old enraged, but to be honest, there’s only one way I feel I can finish this post:

I very nearly got the whole bingo card

Thanks go to punkass blog, where the bingo card originated.


*I wholeheartedly reccomend reading the The Myth of Mars and Venus, which is both thoughtful and thought-provoking, and thank Kirsten for effectively inspiring this post – she bought me the book for my birthday!

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What can I say?


This story came to me in a somewhat convoluted manner – through Tiger Beatdown, via Shakesville. The original article is in the Guardian.

Briefly, because I have unfinished coursework coming out of my ears, the story is… well, not a story.

One quote that stood out for me:

“The brain scans showed that when men saw the images of the women’s bodies, activity increased in part of the brain called the premotor cortex… The same area lights up before using power tools to do DIY. “It’s as if they immediately thought to act on these bodies,” Fiske said.”

It’s not like it surprises me, it’s just the way it’s put. “They immediately thought to act on these bodies“. Not women. Bodies. Things. To be acted on. This is the researcher saying this. The one supposedly pointing out sexism. Being… fucking horrible. Ugh. I feel unclean.

Also, in a comment that perhaps illustrates the value (ha!) of those headless pregnant women, “the men best remembered images of bikini-clad women whose heads had been digitally removed.

Well, there’s a good, solid patriarchal reason to not wear makeup, perhaps the first I’ve ever found – ladies, the sexist, patriarchal men are only going to remember your torsos! No wonder those men always express bewilderment at “how long you take to get ready” – they never even look at your face!