Sterling work by undercover reporters for the Financial Times have caused a storm around the Presidents Club.
Reports of their annual gala dinner involving horrific harassment of hostessespaid surprisingly little to cater to the whims of rich powerful men under alarmingly draconian conditions have quickly caused the club to close. This is just the latest in a long line of scandals regarding men in powerful positions using them to abuse, harass and sexually manipulate women.
The potent backlash to the Presidents Club revelations and the ongoing MeToo movement suggest that we may be undergoing a long-overdue societal shift when it comes to sexual politics and interactions, especially with regard to men exploiting their power over women. Often deployed by angry guys and right-wing contrarians looking for attention, this argument has also been invoked with the Presidents Club story, even though the hostesses were dressed according to strict instructions from the employers.
Yet clearly, it persists. But, does it hold up under scientific scrutiny?
Consent is still importantregardless of how confusing many supposedly find it. So, is it biologically possible for a typical man to be sufficiently aroused by the sight of woman that it overwhelms his restraint?
If it is, our attention is directed towards it, and emotional and motivation processes are activated via our amygdala and anterior cingulate cortex respectively. One thing that could Www sexy clothes com said to support the notion that men are vulnerable to being sexually aroused by appearance, is evidence that suggests male arousal is far more visual in nature than female arousal.
It does seem that the old stereotypes about men having less sophisticated sexual desires than women men like porn, women like erotica etc has some basis in fact.
Of course, this explanation relies on only one half of our species evolving to be monogamous pair bondingin scientific parlance. That seems … unlikely.
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Maybe the whole notion is just reverse engineered from modern stereotypes? There are more plausible explanations for this gender-asymmetry. You could argue that the reason men have a stronger visual element to their sexual arousal is because we live in a world where sexy images for men to see are everywherewhereas women have tended to need to be more creative, and the brain develops accordingly.
But does that Www sexy clothes com they can be provoked beyond self-control?
Sexual arousal may be a powerful thing, but the brain also has many processes that counter it. The amygdala, mentioned earlier, also seems to play a role in determining appropriateness of arousal in context.
Beautiful naked person standing before you in your bedroom? Beautiful naked person standing before you in the supermarket, clutching a large knife? Alcohol can hinder the higher, complex areas like the orbitofrontal cortex while leaving the more primitive urges governing arousal intact. And the amygdala does what it can, but can only work with the information available.
If the situation is ambiguous, or uncertain, it may make the wrong call. No, of course not.
At least, it should be. Say, a gala dinner where the guests are all wealthy powerful men used to getting whatever they want, and the women are all young and vulnerable and not allowed to complain.
You could potentially pin the blame at many people when it comes to sexual assault, but it takes some warping of logic to pin it all Www sexy clothes com the women victims and their choice of outfits.
But then, blaming the victims, usually the weakest and least powerful in any scenario, is a depressingly common human reaction, as it avoids tackling the bigger issues and challenging the status quo.
Dean Burnett addresses the specifics of sexual arousal in a less grim context in his upcoming book The Happy Brainreleased 3 May, the follow-up to his debut book The Idiot Brainavailable now, in the UK and US and elsewhere.
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