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Men who have tattoos think it impresses women. Study finds it doesn’t.

One reason: women perceive men with tattoos as more likely to cheat. 

 

Most of us are aware that women, at least on some level, are attracted to the “bad boy." Evolutionary anthropologists tell us this is because a woman in the Stone Age competed for the attention of a male who could protect her and their young, and provide for them. Today however, society has changed. And in fact, many times it is the sociable and intellectual male who turns out to be the best provider, while those who are aggressive, rebellious, and uncompromising, often have a tougher time. Many women date the rebellious archetype in their teen or young adult years, usually thinking they can change him, only to end up with a broken heart. According to this new study, that experience might be a steep learning curve.


A cohort of men out there with tattoos think women are attracted to them partly because of their ink, as it projects a masculine air. Think about that tattooed guy you know who can't wait to take his shirt off in the summertime when women are around. A tattoo is the calling card of a bad boy, regardless of the fact that today, fathers, mothers, and businessmen have them. Though some men may believe the myth, and think it helps make them more competitive in the dating market, women aren't actually more attracted to men with tattoos. At least, that's the results of a new Polish study, published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.

Researchers Andrzej Galbarczyk and Anna Ziomkiewicz began by recruiting 2,584 straight Polish men and women. Each participant was made to view images of men shirtless. Sometimes the photos were modified by adding a small tattoo on the arm. Male participants ranked each photo with a tattoo as more attractive to women. Women meanwhile, were more likely to label non-tattooed men as attractive.

One interesting find is that women rated men emblazoned with tattoos as healthier. This is actually a common trend in such research. It is considered a symbol of strength. Generally speaking, our species looks for signs of attractiveness not as an end onto itself, but as a biological trait, as it telegraphs healthfulness and good genes. Mother Nature programmed us to look for partners who would provide healthy offspring. Since tattoos are considered a sign of toughness and masculinity, it is thought that those who have them have higher testosterone levels, and therefore are more fertile.

Men whose testosterone levels are too high may carry traits that make them less than desirable mates.

That's one reason why we see so many Hollywood heartthrobs donning a five o'clock shadow. They are telegraphing testosterone. Beards however are considered by many women as unattractive. It may be the same reason why tattoos don't flip their switch.

Too high a testosterone level is considered a turnoff. It equates, at least on a biological-evolutionary level, to a higher likelihood of him having an affair. Ten years ago, a breakthrough study at the University of New Mexico discovered that men with low testosterone levels tended to remain in committed relationships. While other research has found that those who received more testosterone in the womb are more likely to lead promiscuous, polyamorous, or serial monogamous lives.

Men with elevated testosterone could also be more prone to dominance and even domestic violence, although upbringing and other factors are also at play. “The dark side of testosterone-related features perfectly explains why women assessed tattooed men as worse potential partners and parents," researchers wrote. The male hormone is also responsible for motivation, the sex drive, and a positive attitude. It's thought that those with a higher testosterone level are also more confident. And as everyone knows, confidence is sexy. Perhaps this also plays a part in the affair risk factor.

A woman's opinion of a man was more influenced by tattoos than a man's was, researchers found. So this means that tattoos are equated in both sexes with a higher testosterone level. Now, listen up fellas. If you want a tattoo, get it for the right reason; though it may make you the envy of men, it won't garner you any extra dates.

To hear what real women have to say about men with tattoos, click here:

3D printing might save your life one day. It's transforming medicine and health care.

What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.

Northwell Health
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
  • Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
  • Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
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Why it’s hard to tell when high-class people are incompetent

A recent study gives new meaning to the saying "fake it 'til you make it."

Pixabay
Surprising Science
  • The study involves four experiments that measured individuals' socioeconomic status, overconfidence and actual performance.
  • Results consistently showed that high-class people tend to overestimate their abilities.
  • However, this overconfidence was misinterpreted as genuine competence in one study, suggesting overestimating your abilities can have social advantages.
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Maps show how CNN lost America to Fox News

Is this proof of a dramatic shift?

Strange Maps
  • Map details dramatic shift from CNN to Fox News over 10-year period
  • Does it show the triumph of "fake news" — or, rather, its defeat?
  • A closer look at the map's legend allows for more complex analyses

Dramatic and misleading

Image: Reddit / SICResearch

The situation today: CNN pushed back to the edges of the country.

Over the course of no more than a decade, America has radically switched favorites when it comes to cable news networks. As this sequence of maps showing TMAs (Television Market Areas) suggests, CNN is out, Fox News is in.

The maps are certainly dramatic, but also a bit misleading. They nevertheless provide some insight into the state of journalism and the public's attitudes toward the press in the US.

Let's zoom in:

  • It's 2008, on the eve of the Obama Era. CNN (blue) dominates the cable news landscape across America. Fox News (red) is an upstart (°1996) with a few regional bastions in the South.
  • By 2010, Fox News has broken out of its southern heartland, colonizing markets in the Midwest and the Northwest — and even northern Maine and southern Alaska.
  • Two years later, Fox News has lost those two outliers, but has filled up in the middle: it now boasts two large, contiguous blocks in the southeast and northwest, almost touching.
  • In 2014, Fox News seems past its prime. The northwestern block has shrunk, the southeastern one has fragmented.
  • Energised by Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, Fox News is back with a vengeance. Not only have Maine and Alaska gone from entirely blue to entirely red, so has most of the rest of the U.S. Fox News has plugged the Nebraska Gap: it's no longer possible to walk from coast to coast across CNN territory.
  • By 2018, the fortunes from a decade earlier have almost reversed. Fox News rules the roost. CNN clings on to the Pacific Coast, New Mexico, Minnesota and parts of the Northeast — plus a smattering of metropolitan areas in the South and Midwest.

"Frightening map"

Image source: Reddit / SICResearch

This sequence of maps, showing America turning from blue to red, elicited strong reactions on the Reddit forum where it was published last week. For some, the takeover by Fox News illustrates the demise of all that's good and fair about news journalism. Among the comments?

  • "The end is near."
  • "The idiocracy grows."
  • "(It's) like a spreading disease."
  • "One of the more frightening maps I've seen."
For others, the maps are less about the rise of Fox News, and more about CNN's self-inflicted downward spiral:
  • "LOL that's what happens when you're fake news!"
  • "CNN went down the toilet on quality."
  • "A Minecraft YouTuber could beat CNN's numbers."
  • "CNN has become more like a high-school production of a news show."

Not a few find fault with both channels, even if not always to the same degree:

  • "That anybody considers either of those networks good news sources is troubling."
  • "Both leave you understanding less rather than more."
  • "This is what happens when you spout bullsh-- for two years straight. People find an alternative — even if it's just different bullsh--."
  • "CNN is sh-- but it's nowhere close to the outright bullsh-- and baseless propaganda Fox News spews."

"Old people learning to Google"

Image: Google Trends

CNN vs. Fox News search terms (200!-2018)

But what do the maps actually show? Created by SICResearch, they do show a huge evolution, but not of both cable news networks' audience size (i.e. Nielsen ratings). The dramatic shift is one in Google search trends. In other words, it shows how often people type in "CNN" or "Fox News" when surfing the web. And that does not necessarily reflect the relative popularity of both networks. As some commenters suggest:

  • "I can't remember the last time that I've searched for a news channel on Google. Is it really that difficult for people to type 'cnn.com'?"
  • "More than anything else, these maps show smart phone proliferation (among older people) more than anything else."
  • "This is a map of how old people and rural areas have learned to use Google in the last decade."
  • "This is basically a map of people who don't understand how the internet works, and it's no surprise that it leans conservative."

A visual image as strong as this map sequence looks designed to elicit a vehement response — and its lack of context offers viewers little new information to challenge their preconceptions. Like the news itself, cartography pretends to be objective, but always has an agenda of its own, even if just by the selection of its topics.

The trick is not to despair of maps (or news) but to get a good sense of the parameters that are in play. And, as is often the case (with both maps and news), what's left out is at least as significant as what's actually shown.

One important point: while Fox News is the sole major purveyor of news and opinion with a conservative/right-wing slant, CNN has more competition in the center/left part of the spectrum, notably from MSNBC.

Another: the average age of cable news viewers — whether they watch CNN or Fox News — is in the mid-60s. As a result of a shift in generational habits, TV viewing is down across the board. Younger people are more comfortable with a "cafeteria" approach to their news menu, selecting alternative and online sources for their information.

It should also be noted, however, that Fox News, according to Harvard's Nieman Lab, dominates Facebook when it comes to engagement among news outlets.

CNN, Fox and MSNBC

Image: Google Trends

CNN vs. Fox (without the 'News'; may include searches for actual foxes). See MSNBC (in yellow) for comparison

For the record, here are the Nielsen ratings for average daily viewer total for the three main cable news networks, for 2018 (compared to 2017):

  • Fox News: 1,425,000 (-5%)
  • MSNBC: 994,000 (+12%)
  • CNN: 706,000 (-9%)

And according to this recent overview, the top 50 of the most popular websites in the U.S. includes cnn.com in 28th place, and foxnews.com in... 27th place.

The top 5, in descending order, consists of google.com, youtube.com, facebook.com, amazon.com and yahoo.com — the latter being the highest-placed website in the News and Media category.
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Mother bonobos, too, pressure their sons to have grandchildren

If you thought your mother was pushy in her pursuit of grandchildren, wait until you learn about bonobo mothers.

Pixabay
Surprising Science
  • Mother bonobos have been observed to help their sons find and copulate with mates.
  • The mothers accomplish this by leading sons to mates, interfering with other males trying to copulate with females, and helping sons rise in the social hierarchy of the group.
  • Why do mother bonobos do this? The "grandmother hypothesis" might hold part of the answer.
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