Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Eye on Science

I have no idea where the quote comes from but literary types often say ‘the largest sexual organ is the brain’. I think it might be an overly literal distortion of a similar comment Raquel Welch made about the mind (which is, of course, not an organ at all). Being a fairly literal person myself I would say the largest sexual organ is clearly the skin. Those of a more metaphorical bent might say it is the heart, and a recent experiment seems to support this proposition.

Apparently Dr Debra Quackenbush (yes, that is really her name) and colleagues decided to see whether explicit erotica with romance themes appealed more to women than men. They seem surprised to find that both men and women prefer their explicit erotica to be romantic. They conclude: “The results are, however, consistent with the recent movement to romanticize highly explicit sexual material.” The entire abstract gives me about one WTF per sentence with at least three WTFs in the last sentence alone.

If someone with access through an obliging university or library could send me the complete article (veinglory at I would be very grateful. -- Quackenbush DM, Strassberb DS & Turner CW (2005). Gender effects of romantic themes in erotica. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 24/1. pp. 21-35.


Anonymous said...

That's good you had a "WTF" response to an abstract.. seemed to have made you want to read more. Think someone will send you a scholarly article given that you can only make fun of someone's name?

Emily Veinglory said...

I can also do the can-can dance in high heels.

Anonymous said...

Very clever. I also looked up the original citation and it seems it was published in 1995 rather than 2005.

You can do the can-can dance in high heels but could you get published in a scholarly journal?

Emily Veinglory said...

I am confused as to why you are so upset at someone making an aside on a blog about your abstract.

Emily Veinglory said...

p.s. this is a blog. I can say anything so long as it is legal, no matter how infantile or otherwise unworthy, without having to brave the dubious gatekeepers of peer review. Lacking any kind of impact factor, you of course don't have to read it.

Anonymous said...

Your blog is actually delightful. However, you don't have your facts straight (and this is your right given that it's a blog) and the poor little graduate student whose master's thesis you were making fun of could get hurt feelings. But that was back in the early 90s so all is well. Oh Candida Royal was in her prime then.. ever heard of SSSS (the society for the scientific study of sex)? She gave a lecture at it in about 1990 in San Fran, and the big theory was that female erotica would be more appealing to women if it had romantic themes. Not true according to the 1995 research.. however.. ask about the follow up reseach using the plethysmograph.. it was a bit interesting. TC

Emily Veinglory said...

Sage has a bad habit of listing the year of online posting in the references, which is what I erroniously used. Despite writing the grrl Pr0n I have no real access to sexuality journals as almost none are public access and I am too far outside the field to request them through professional channels (and too cheap to pay for them on a by-paper basis). So, alas, I am destined to remain ignorant.

I would say that the abstract suggests the purveyors of erotica romaticised the women's expectations, c.f. increased female consuming doing the reverse. Correlation, causality etc.

Anonymous said...

I was surprised and dismayed to see my colleague, Dr. Deb Quackenbush's master's thesis torn apart and ridiculed by someone who has never had to create scholarly material that would pass muster in a peer reviewed journal. First of all, if you were familiar at all with the academic world, you would know that things that seem, as you say "WTF" common sense, are very difficult to articulate with real research that could be replicated. It's simply not reasonable to respond with a "well DUH" response to something that is written in the academic context that is characterized by movement at glacial speed.

Making fun of her name was completely beyond the pale.

Perhaps your fear of her name is.. interpretable? Indeed, your choice of screen name would certainly keep a few of us busy for at least a half glass of wine.

But I digress.

Go read my thesis and then I can read your comments about how misguided and stupid it was, here online.

Love and Kisses,

Valerie Hale, Ph.D.
(It's in Archives of Sexual Behavior, 1989. Guess what, I made men feel extremely anxious such they could not sexually perform and guess what happened? Not much! It is really high in the WELL DUH and WTF category.)

Emily Veinglory said...

I was surprised and dismayed to see respected scientists entirely unable accept that a member of the general public might read their work and have a throwaway opinion.

First of all, if you were familiar at all with the blog world, you would know that this is just my opinion posted on my website for the amusement of anyone who wants to read it. It's simply not reasonable to respond to a blog as if it is a personal affront to the totality of research science when actually greater embarrassment is probably cause by over-sensitive and shrill comments.

Making fun of my name is completely acceptable. I hope it is very titilating--it was designed to be.

Read one of my books and you might ... make me about a dollar richer.