Posted by: Anne E. Stuart | October 26, 2012

Friday Five – October 26, 2012

It’s midterm time. This means a mix of busy and non-busy days as classes go. It’s easy to watch students take an exam, but less easy to grade the stack of exams they produce. On the professional front, my colleague and I got another conference proposal out for consideration. This one is for the Teaching Professor Conference in New Orleans, LA in May. We’re going to the conference whether or not we present, but we really hope to get accepted.

Students, I have a challenge for you this week. A friend of mine, who frequently reads the blog, has commented on how most of you use the same format for your responses. You use a “the first article I read was…” approach. While this style is fine in regards to completing the assignment, it’s a bit formulaic for responding to blog posts in the greater blogosphere. So, in the interest of promoting your writing in the “real” world, I challenge you to use a less formulaic approach to your comments this week (and in future weeks). If you are looking for examples of what are less formulaic responses, go back to last week’s comments and look at the comments by Andrew Sheehan and Angie Rassais. Don’t be afraid to break from the formula everyone else has been using. I give you the 5 points simply for completing the assignment.

With that, here are this week’s links:

PsyPost (University of California at Berkley) – October 23, 2012

What’s a more iconic Halloween image than a black cat? But are black cats just getting a bad rap? Personally, I’m more of a dog person. However, the research described in this link can also apply to people’s impressions of other animals. I know in the dog rescue world, it can be difficult to adopt out a big black dog (BBD). Several years ago, when my first dog was still alive, I did a casual  experiment of people’s impressions of my dogs. At the time, my two dogs were very similar in size and appearance other than color. I took each dog, separately, to a campus football game. People were much more reluctant to approach Emma (the black dog) than Aslan (the beige dog). This was particularly amusing to me and a colleague because Aslan was the aloof dog who really didn’t want to meet strangers and Emma is… – well, we fondly call Emma an “attention slut”. Personally, I don’t believe in the black-dog bias, because after Aslan passed away, we adopted an all-black lab/hound mix named Romeo. Just look at that silly hound face, how could people think he’s dangerous?

Two Dogs on Couch

Aslan & Emma on the couch

Dog on floor

Romeo with Hound Eyes

Psychology Today: Power and Prejudice (Sarah J. Gervais) – October 23, 2012

I’m about to start covering sexuality across the lifespan in my Human Sexuality course. When I do, I always include some discussion of the sexual imagery common in children’s media and toys. This link from Psychology Today discusses how that sexualization of children carries over into Halloween costumes for girls.

Of course, the sexualization of costumes is not limited to those for children; women’s costumes are affected as well – as clearly demonstrated by this “PhDarling” costume. I’m sure all my fellow female PhD friends are just rushing out for this costume this year. (And don’t get me started on how this costume bears no resemblance to actual PhD academic regalia.)

Medical News Network – October 23, 2012

My PSY101 students just finished up the chapter on consciousness that covers sleep and dreaming, so I thought they might be interested in this particular link. Researchers in Japan showed how fMRIs and EEGs were used to connect specific brain patterns to particular dream experiences in three male volunteers.

Psychology Today: Science and Sensibility (Bill Knaus) – October 24, 2012

As I’ve commented multiple times before, I am a procrastinator. I’ve gotten somewhat better over the years, and there are times when I can be really good at not procrastinating. Other times, it’s easy to slip into old habits. And, as I’ve commented before, I’m pretty good at estimating the time a task will take and adjusting so I have “just enough” time to finish a task I’ve put off. There are also many times when I would be much less stressed if I just got tasks out of the way and didn’t procrastinate.

This link describes some the rationalizations we use for our procrastination and suggestions for combatting our procrastination. If you read all the way through the post, there are additional links to resources to help battle procrastination. If you really want to overcome your procrastination, do it now, don’t put it off and add it to the procrastination pile.

Scarleteen (Malcolm Gin) – March 28, 2011

Scarleteen is one of the blogs off of last week’s role call of 10 sex educators you should follow on twitter. This link is to a post that discusses some of the distinctions between sex and gender as well as instances when distinctions between the sexes (or between the genders) are not as clear as we might assume them to be. When I covered this topic with my Human Sexuality students about a month ago, my students were quite surprised to realize that sex and gender weren’t as simple as they had previously thought.



  1. Psychlinks!

    I happened to read an article this week on Fatal Familial Insomnia, which immediately sent me to the SCAN MY DREAMS link. I think the takeaway from both your link, and the article I read about FFI is that if you want to do science, but don’t want to accomplish much, go into sleep research (or I suppose another way to look at it would be that sleep research is an unresolved field, ripe for Nobels).

    In the spirit of your Friday Five, I also took a gander at the Protect Yourself From Procrastination link.

    Uhh…What the hell? Admittedly, I didn’t exactly study the article exhaustively, but any web article that I have to read twice and still don’t understand what they’re telling me to do should be rewritten. It *seems* like there is good information in there, but when rereading, it’s slippery and confusing, which means I click CLOSE and nevermore the twain shall meet.

    (If you have to use the phrase “Start with a propinquity procrastination analysis” you’ve probably lost your audience.

  2. I suspect it’s all a matter of what jargon a person is familiar with. On my first reading of the procrastination link, it didn’t really hit me as confusing.

    Then, I went to look up Fatal Familial Insomnia which I had never heard of before your comment. It took me some time to wade through the jargon of the Wikipedia entry on Fatal Familial Insomnia.

    So, the procrastination link was probably not the best choice to share with my readers this week. Students, take this as an example of how procrastination can affect performance. Had I not waited until Friday to pick out my final links, I would have had time to do a more thorough reading of my links and not sent you into a pool of jargon.

  3. The first article I read was, “Why do Grade Schoolers Want to be Sexy?” I think there are little girls who are going up to fast. The costumes that they sell in stores that are considered “sexy” should only be made for people who are in high school or even better college students. They should not be making costumes for children thst are younger than that. This is kind of taking away litlle children’s childhood. We want to see girls at age seven wear long gowns that mean their a princess or be scary witch. We do not want them to be sexy cops or nurse. Social media is not really helping young children also because they are saying that sexy is the new thing. I think its a great idea for mothers to monitor what their children watch on television.

    The second article I read was, “Protect Yourself from Procrastination.” Being a procastionator can hurt you in the long run. It causes you not to get the important things done. It makes you put thing like hanging out with friends, or watching tv in front everything else. You say wait to the things that really matter rather than the things that can wait. Maybe the exercises that they said can be used to help procastination can actually help you. I think a procastinator should take those techniques into consideration. If you do not want to hurt yourself in the long run, you should take precaution. Its almost like being an alcoholic. You should notice that you have a problem first and then you should try to do something about it.

  4. The first article I read was “Why Do Grade Schoolers Want to be Sexy?” I feel that all this issue bases itself on is looking older and trying to fit in. Alot of young girls have older sisters and they look up to them as role modles. Another issue they stated was the barbie dolls. the sexality of the barbies sems to be a big issue. Who doesn’t want to be tall, skinny, loved ,blonde and perfect? The media and how they represent good versus evil effects this situation also. Popular girls are often pretty and also pretty rotten. Then the “dorks” often have glasses and aren’t as attractive.

    The second article I read was “Boys Will Be Boys…or Not?” Thos article was full of information I had no clue about. I thought there were only two exsisting genders and “Sex” was the same meaning as “Gender”. There was also information that was pretty obvious. Like how we “profile” people. We look at someone and can’t determine from the first look if they’re male or female. Then the second time we take a look we check to see if they have facial hair, breast, ear piercing or anything else that would determine them from male or women.

  5. The first article I read was “Protecting Yourself from Procrastination”. This is extremely relevant to me because I procrastinate way too much, especially these last couple weeks. Procrastinating can get you behind so much in your important work and it is not even like you are doing productive things when you procrastinate. Most of the time we decided to tweet, text, hangout with friends, and watch tv other than getting important work done. Procrastinating can be addicting like drugs and alcohol, but it could sometimes be worse because you delay yourself from getting vital stuff done.

    The second article I read was “Why Do Grade Schoolers Want To Be Sexy?”. This article is extremely relevant this time of the year because of halloween. When I was a child, girls would be wearing costumes that seem fitting for our age, but now it seems like girls are trying to be like the teenagers and dress with skimpy clothing. It has to do with the media because when they watch tv shows, the females are wearing very minimal costumes like a policeman or fireman that is “sexy” and they see that as appealing in order to get guys so they do it. It is very wrong but it is the society we live in now a days.

  6. •Why Do Grade Schoolers Want To Be Sexy?
    I agree that it is absurd for young girls to be wearing such revealing costumes for Halloween. It can definetly play a major role on their self esteem. However, I feel that once a girl reaches her late teen years, it is alright if they want to wear a “revealing” costume. It is just one night where they want to go a little crazy or just dress a way they would not normally dress. However, there should not be pressure to dress a certain way.

    •Boys Will Be Boys… Or Not? Straight Talk About Gender
    I can see the confusion and frustration many intergendered and transsexual people face. I think the main reason why it is so hard for is because it is something society is not too familiar with. That is why when we hear about people like this it seems a little odd to us. I think with more time and more cases of people like this, it will become more socially accepted.

  7. •Why Do Grade Schoolers Want To Be Sexy?
    I think this article went a little overboard with some of the points they wanted to make. Children can easily see their moms put make up on and dress up, so whats wrong with them wanting to look like their moms? I think that some people like to overthink things and make something out of nothing. Why is it when a (adult)female dress up and look sexy, they are said to be looking attention? Some people were born being drop dead gorgeous, is it their faults they were born this way? In regards to children costumes, im not sure how I feel on this because these are children and i think its all innocent fun in the spirit of halloween. I dont know, i’m not a fan of this article.

  8. -Why Do Grade Schoolers Want To Be Sexy?
    Grade schoolers are exposed to media that glorifies sexuality. Due to this, there are geared from the typical, age-appropriate clothing to the more revealing, appealing attire seen in magazines. I believe it is important for parents to monitor what their children wear, especially with Halloween coming up. It is unbelievable that girls desire to look a certain way at such a young age. A child should not desire to feel sexy. To me, it is disgusting when parents allow their young children to dress “sexy.”

    -Protect Yourself From Procrastination
    I have found this article interesting because I can relate to it. I do feel the need to keep up with my social networking in order to feel “updated,” so I tell myself I am going to do homework later. At times, procrastination can potentially be fatal. We decide to leave important things to do at last minute and then we feel rushed to complete them. The quality may not be up to par. In order to avoid procrastination, it is important to do bits of work ahead of time. This time, you will not find yourself with loads of work to do in little time.

  9. While I was reading the article about school age girls wanting to be sexy I wasn’t surprised at all. I work with children of all ages and its the same thing with boy as well. The girls want to be “sexy and popular” and the boys want to be “cool and popular with muscles and everything else a girl would find attractive on a guy. Children are exposed to so many things of social networks and television. It doesn’t help that the media advertises “sexy” women all the time. I personally think parents should monitor what their children wear and explain the media to them. The second article I read was the article on gender. The article allowed me to understand how transgender people may feel. I also found the article a little bit weird because people are not used to reading things like this. The article informed me on a whole bunch of information I never had a complete understanding of

  10. The first article I read was “Protect yourself from Procrastination.” I found this article to be very insightful because I need to work on my procrastination. I’ve been procrastinating way to much and I think the color wheel might actually help me to know what I knew to do on certain days. Studying for tests and finishing homework on time. The Priority conditional technique looks like it will especially help me with organizing my English homework more. I always say I have time to finish i’ll do it in a few minutes. Few minutes turns, to hours then days and then soon i have a day to finish and don’t even realize where the time went.

    The second article i read was “Why Do Grade Schoolers Want to be Sexy?” This article s not surprising at all, little girls and teens go around on Halloween dressing sexy with skimpy clothing and showing everything they possibly can. It’s the one night they can dress that way and not feel like a slut,if I can say that. Children should not be allowed to go out that way parents need to teach their kids they don’t need to dress that way to get noticed. Girls dress the way the do to get noticed by guys or fit in with the wrong people and honestly it’s ridiculous. The dolls part of the article could have something to do with it. When your a little girl you have this pretty doll all dressed up and you want to look like her so when you grow older you make that happen by changing to skimpy clothing.

  11. “Why do grade schoolers want to be sexy?” was the first article i read. I agree with this article in the fact that young girls should not dress in inappropriate clothing just because its halloween. This is something our generation has grown up in and i feel as though girls feel like they have to wear a revealing costume or they wont fit in. However as a girl becomes older, into their late teens and older i feel as though they can make they own choices, to wear a revealing costume or not. yet they should wear it because they want to not because they feel they need to.

    “Protect yourself from Procrastination” was the second article i read. I enjoyed this article because I myself am a avid procrastinator. These articles help me because the show i am not the only one finding myself saying “ill just do my work later” and that there are steps i can take to put an end to my procrastinating. The strategies gone over in this article could definatly help with procrastinating, but for someone who is truly a procrastinator it is a challenge to even start taking those steps without pushing them off. I hope i can someday get my procrastinating in check and stop finding myself rushing assignments last minute, and hopefully this article could help.

  12. Why Do Grade Schoolers Want To Be Sexy?:

    I strongly agree that young girls should not have the option or opportunity to dress in revealing and/or scantly costumes. It’s sickening to think that the sexy look is marketed for young girls of this age group. Why would anyone want his/her daughter to understand such sexuality at such a young age? I believe that this side of sexuality can wait until girls get older so it does not influence them when they are psychologically so fragile and developing.

    Boys Will Be Boys…or Not? Straight Talk About Gender:

    This was a very interesting read and was well written in my mind. It explained all the nitty gritty information in an understandable way. It must be very confusing and difficult for transsexuals and intergendered people to feel like they are something other than what they have been labelled. And I feels as if these feelings would surface more frequently because society does not fully accept or understand them. I’m glad that evidence exists to support that people can fall outside of the neat categories (male and female) society has created!!

  13. The two articles that I have selected was “Why Do Grade Schoolers Want To Be Sexy?” and “Protect Yourself From Procrastination.”

    The first article I chose was very true when it said the costumes for little girls were a out of their age category. Clothes make some girls look like they have grown to fast. Then when the girls have the clothes they begin to strike seductive poses when they do not need to try to be sexy at that age. I understand its Halloween but dont look so revealing, and the parents should not allow that. The future can only tell what that little girl will be like as she gets older.

    The second article caught my attention because I know that I procrastinate a lot. After reading the article I do agree with what they were saying. The techniques that can be used to avoid procrastination were cool too, but I truly doubt that people will do them because they might also try to procrastinate on the techniques. Rushing and doing things last minute is not a good thing,and I would know this from past experiences.

  14. The two articles I chose to read were, “Don’t Be So Fast to Judge a Cat by Its Color” and “Protect Yourself From Procrastination”.

    The article about cats and color was particularly interesting. Not only did the author choose to challenge the dangerous category of superstitions, but he also chose one of the most superstitious subcategories, cats and color. I was pleasantly surprised that it was proven that color of cat does not reflect the cats actions. This finding can now rid of the unlucky black cat superstition. However, I was terrified to read that most of the cats that were seen as unfit or disorderly due to color of fur or skin, were thrown into shelters that were unhealthy and almost always lead to death. Communities as a whole need to start facing reality and science and stop putting cats lives in jeopardy solely because of color.

    I found the article about procrastination particularly helpful. I am a student, who even though hands in assignments on time, that is plagued by procrastination. I always ask, “why do it now when you can do it later?” The simple answer to this question is, it will relieve stress. Not only can procrastination affect grades, but it can also add unneeded and unwanted stress to a situation. This article was very helpful in offering its 3 techniques to rid of this dirty habit. I found the color wheel technique particularly interesting. However, I have ultimately chosen to follow the priority technique. I feel that this technique will be the most helpful in curing my disease of procrastination.

  15. The two articles I read were “Why do grade schoolers want to be sexy?” and “Boys will be boys..or not”.

    The first article “Why do grade schoolers want to be sexy?” was very interesting. This article was pain painstakingly true, about grade schoolers and there articles of clothing/ choices. I couldn’t agree more about how much influence T.v and seeing what there peers/parents/ friends wear. When the younger generation see’s these college girls/ high school girls these days and what they wear, they become influenced, and think oh shes popular I want to dress like her, or oh all the guys like her I want to be just like her! This causes the younger generation to think its okay to dress and act like they see on T.v and from older people.

    The second article ” Boys will be boys.. or not” was very eye opening. I found it very interesting because it really made me think outside the box when it came to sex’s and genders. I hadn’t even though about how there more more than the two male and female genders. I found it kind of crazy that someone can be born neither female nor male. Before this article I had never heard about klinefelter’s disease so it really caught my attention.

  16. I can relate to the article “Protect Yourself From Procrastination” because I procrastinate on a daily basis. I agree with everything that they said after reading the article. The strategies that were given seemd like they would be very helpful. Especially for someone like me. I tell myself that I would do it now, but end up by doing it at the last minute. But, there is also a negative for the strategies because peopel can procrastinate on them as well. They can say they will try them but probably will never end doing them.

    “Boys Will Be Boys… Or Not? Straight Talk About Gender” was an interesting read. After reading the article, I realized how hard it must be for intergendered and transexuals to go through what they go through everyday.

  17. The first article I read was, “Why Do Grade Schoolers Want To Be Sexy?” I feel that we have the media to blame for continuing to show women in “sexy” attire. They are showing an image that, for children, is unacceptable. Children shouldn’t strive to look “sexy.” They should be dressing up as Hello Kitty or Scooby-Doo, not in these revealing outfits.

    The second article I read was, “Protecting Yourself From Procrastination”. This is one of those articles that everyone can relate to. At one point or another, someone has thought, “Why do it now? I will always have time later…” Everyone knows getting the work done early is ideal, but there is always something keeping you away from your work at that time. The tips this articles gives are helpful, particularly the color wheel technique. I think the best way to beat procrastination is self-discipline and practice.

  18. The two articles I read were, “Why Do Grade Schoolers Want to Be Sexy” and “Boys Will Be Boys…Or Not.” The first article i thought was very truthful. A lot of kids these days want to dress up as something sexy. Instead of wanting to be a fairy, they want to be a sexy doll. Halloween these days to kids is not wanting to go trick or treating, its about wanting to dress up sexy. The young girls these days want to dress up like their favorite singer or celebrity. For example, many girls today are dressing up as Nicki Minaj.

    The second article i related it Gender Identity Disorder. Some people are not comfortable being the gender that they are, so they turn to the opposite sex. Some boys as kids, want to play with dolls and end up wanting to be a girl. They dont know exactly who they want to be. Many people these days find it hard to come out with their sexuality becuase they’re scared about the outcome. I believe that people who want to come out with their sexualtiy should be true to themselves.

  19. The two articles I chose to read were “Why Do Grade Schoolers Want To Be Sexy?” and “Don’t Be So Fast to Judge a Cat by Its Color”

    The first article I read was so true because I have two little sister that live with me back home and they do try to dress on Halloween more revealing like they are not four and eight years old. Some adults may think that’s cute but I disagree, I miss the days when little kids dressed up as lions and ninjas and princesses. Then all of sudden when the little girls strike seductive poses that makes them even more innocent. NOT! When they become much older then maybe that would be fine but that’s not expected from 3-11 year old kids. Parents should most defiantly not allow that from that young of an age!

    Everyone is stuck on the suspension of that black cats are bad luck! But yet from what the author stated was that was not true, and that many cats are being thrown into shelters that were unhealthy and which could lead to death for those innocent cats. That people are getting rid of because the color of their fur that is so much similar to Hitler and the Nazis getting ride of the Jews, because they were not born with blonde hair and blew eyes. Its so sad to bring that type of judgement on to animals.


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