Why are people sexually attracted to cartoons? Evolution.

Nikolaas Tinbergen's concept of "supernormal stimulus" explains why humans are attracted to a heightened version of reality.

(Photo: Walt Disney Pictures)
  • According to Pornhub's annual statistics, "hentai" and "cartoons" were among the most popular categories in 2018.
  • Such pornography is a supernormal stimulus, an artificial object that triggers an animal's instinctual response more intensely than natural analogs.
  • Supernormal stimuli not only explain our heightened response to pornography, but also art, junk food, and social media.
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Smoking weed linked with higher sperm counts, says Harvard

The counterintuitive findings bode well for stoners, but more research is needed.

Photo by Dylan Fout on Unsplash
  • Marijuana research in the past has found that using the drug is linked to lower testicular health.
  • New research from Harvard, however, suggests the opposite: Marijuana users have more and better quality sperm.
  • These unexpected findings highlight how poorly we understand marijuana's effect on the human body.
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It's time to redefine 'masculinity'

The American Psychological Association recently released guidelines for treating boys and men. Men aren't happy about it.

Protesters clash on East 83rd street following an anti-Trump protester (cowering on sidewalk) having spit on a Proud Boy. This picture was made on 10/12/18. (Photo by Sam Costanza for NY Daily News via Getty Images)
  • APA Guidelines for the Psychological Practice of Boys and Men represents the first time the association has published rules specifically for treating white, Western males.
  • Though the guidelines are data-driven and therapeutically sound, a corner of the American Right (and some on the Left) has taken offense.
  • Men still dominate statistics in a number of categories, including suicide rates, substance abuse, and violence.
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Raise boys who end the #MeToo crisis

The former FOX News host speaks out.

  • Former FOX News host Gretchen Carlson says that, as a culture, we didn't know how to speak openly about sexual harassment until very, very recently. And there's still a lot of work to be done. Her docuseries on the subject, Breaking the Silence airs January 14 at 8 PM on Lifetime.
  • Her own experiences of sexual harassment played out on air in real time... and were wrongly condoned by a major news organization.
  • Gretchen has emerged as one of the most influential voices in the #MeToo movement, lobbying Congress to enact laws to prohibit forced arbitration clauses in employment contracts that silence and demean victims of sexual harassment.
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Scientists are still fascinated by Phineas Gage. Here's why.

A blank canvas for generations of science.

  • Phineas Gage is considered to be Patient Zero for traumatic brain injury.
  • The story of Gage at the time was that his damaged brain rendered him a different, monstrous person. This wasn't true.
  • Recent studies demonstrate that an injured brain can see an increase in connection in areas associated with touch and learning.
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