All about love (from the view of scientists)
Redefining sexual fantasies, picking the right music, and how not to annoy your mate
By Elisa Nelissen Posted on 13 February 2016
For Valentine's Day, the Elsevier Newsroom is featuring research studies about love and relationships.
The listing is part of the Elsevier Research Selection (ERS), an email developed by the Elsevier Newsroom spotlighting interesting, topical research articles for health and science journalists. The research included is peer reviewed, has not been press-released or covered in the media, and is not embargoed.
Articles are available to credentialed journalists through free access to ScienceDirect, the world's largest repository of full-text scientific information.
In addition, Elsevier has made these articles freely available to the public until March 14, 2016.
Was it something I said? How not to upset your other half this Valentine’s Day
Journal of Pragmatics | doi:10.1016/j.pragma.2015.12.004
There is a fine line between teasing and tantrums, and we’d do well this Valentine’s not to put a foot wrong with our partners. Providing insight into how teasing affects our relationships with others, a new study published in the Journal of Pragmatics identified two types of teasing, one that diminishes the recipient in a playful way, and one where a statement is delivered seriously before claiming it is a joke. Researchers considered the design of the tease itself (i.e. whether it is delivered as non-serious or serious), whether laughter from recipients is immediate or delayed, and other factors such as whether conversation returns to serious talk or laughter.
Redefining sexual fantasies to reflect modern preferences
Defining “Normophilic” and “Paraphilic” Sexual Fantasies in a Population-Based Sample: On the Importance of Considering Subgroups
Sexual Medicine | doi:10.1002/sm2.96
This paper in Sexual Medicine asks whether medical definitions of ‘abnormal’ (paraphilic) sexual fantasies need to be updated to reflect modern sexual interests. The author’s research surveyed over 1,500 adults and found that paraphilic sexual fantasies such as being spanked or tied-up are not only common, but common even within socio-economic groups usually considered to be more sexually conservative. 57% of the survey’s respondents qualified as paraphilic sexual fantasists, as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (the famous textbook of psychiatric disorders).
Sorry darling, I ate your Valentine’s chocolates on the way over
Eat first, share later: Hadza Hunter-gatherer men consume more while foraging than in central places
Evolution and Human Behavior | doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2016.01.003
When you send men out to the supermarket, there’s a chance they might forget a few things or even come back empty-handed. But spare a thought for Hazda women in Tanzania who, as some of the last hunter-gatherers in the world, count on the men to forage and return with food for the group. A study published in Evolution and Human Behaviour has documented Hazda men eating while out of camp foraging, and has revealed that men did more than just snack – keeping themselves satisfied by consuming an average of 2,405 kilocalories per trip. Returning to camp empty handed did not necessarily mean they had failed to find enough food, only that they had failed to produce enough surplus to share!
Brother from another father
Paternity re-visited in a recovering population of Caribbean leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea)
Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology | doi:10.1016/j.jembe.2015.11.014
Love is definitely in the air for Caribbean leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea). Small population size seems to alter sea turtles’ natural mating pattern. New research published in the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology shows for the first time that similarly to other types of sea turtles, Caribbean leatherback turtles mate with several males before or between nesting periods, and because they are able to store sperm for a long period of time before fertilization, this frequently results in hatchlings from different fathers among the same clutch of eggs.
“SO FREAKING GOOD!!! Why didn't I come here sooner?”
A thousand ways to say 'Delicious!'—Categorizing expressions of deliciousness from restaurant reviews on the social network site Yelp
Appetite | doi:10.1016/j.appet.2016.01.002
Can the wrong restaurant choice for your date be a deal-breaker? You may soon be able to avoid that pitfall using science. A study published in Appetite categorized online restaurant reviews on the social network Yelp, according to different expressions of "deliciousness." The categories, which include "Culinary Affair" and "Matter of Heart," may help users to navigate menus, marketers to come up with relevant communication strategies, and public health policy planners to come up with effective healthy eating scheme.
Who picks the film for date night?
The effect of critical reviews on exhibitors' decisions: Do reviews affect the survival of a movie on screen?
International Journal of Research in Marketing | doi:10.1016/j.ijresmar.2015.07.003
It’s awards season in Hollywood and as the battle of the box office commences, we may well struggle to choose which film to see on date night. Blink and you might miss it, however. A study published in the International Journal of Research in Marketing suggests that how well a film is received by critics affects whether movie theatres choose to keep or withdraw a movie on their screens. Researchers found that a movie with excellent reviews has more chance of staying longer in a movie theatre when compared to one with poor, fair, or good reviews, even after controlling for the previous week's box office.
The lingering sound of romance?
Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications | doi:10.1016/j.physa.2015.10.030
Selecting the right type of music may enhance your romantic inclinations. Each type of music has its own frequency, which can either resonate or be in conflict with the body’s rhythms (heart rate). A study published in Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications analysed which frequencies stimulate specific areas of the brain, to find that a certain type of frequency in Hindustani music (North Indian style of classical music) provokes emotions which linger even after the music stops.
Hard to grasp: why has it taken so long to understand how erections work?
Physiology of Penile Erection — A Brief History of the Scientific Understanding up till the Eighties of the 20th Century
Sexual Medicine | doi:10.1002/sm2.89
Some of history’s greatest minds – including Hippocrates, Aristotle, and Leonardo da Vinci – have sought to understand the mechanisms behind an erection. While today’s scientists fully understand penile physiology, the ancient Greeks’ belief that air inflated the penis existed until amateur anatomist da Vinci took matters in hand, recording his findings in a meticulous illustration. This paper in Sexual Medicine charts historic theories – including a ‘system of pulleys’ in the testes – and demonstrates the lengths to which science has gone in the quest for penile knowledge.
New process could help to preserve the quality of chocolate
Trends in Mircrobiology | doi:10.1016/j.tim.2016.01.003
Lots of lucky loved ones will receive chocolates this Valentine’s Day, but how can we help to ensure they receive the finest quality? Cocoa beans have to undergo post-harvest fermentation and drying to develop the typical ‘cocoa flavour’ associated with chocolate. A new spotlight published in Trends in Microbiology considers the pivotal role that yeasts play during fermentation and highlights how a new procedure might help them to survive the process, and in turn, fine-tune the taste of premium-quality chocolates.
“I love you just the way you are”
Body Image | doi:10.1016/j.bodyim.2016.01.001
Valentine’s Day is a great excuse for making your loved ones feel extra special, but compliments on the way they look may only go part of the way to making them feel good about themselves. Research published in Body Image has investigated whether factors such as age, sex and weight affected body-related self-conscious emotions including shame, guilt, pride and envy. Contradicting the hypothesis, middle-aged adults (those aged 45-65 years) were found to report higher negative emotions than young adults, while women reported higher negative emotions than men. Obese and overweight individuals were also found to report the highest levels of guilt and shame.
Elsevier Connect Contributor
Elisa Nelissen recently graduated from a Master's degree in Book and Digital Media Studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands, with a specialization in Publishing Studies. After an internship with Elsevier’s Corporate Responsibility program in 2014, she is now a Press Officer for the Elsevier Newsroom.
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