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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Why sex behind the Iron Curtain was better for women

A new book about life under communism reveals an unexpected benefit.

Kozarčanka ("Woman from Kozara"), a World War II photograph that became iconic in Socialist Yugoslavia. (Image: Public Domain /Big Think)
  • A new book by Kristen Ghodsee argues that women had much better sex in communist Eastern Europe than in the West.
  • She attributes this to steps those states took to empower women and their resulting economic independence.
  • While rebuilding the Iron Curtain isn't called for, the author suggests we can learn ways to empower women from these communist regimes.
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Women won’t ask a man for more pay – but they will ask a woman

Gender differences arise only in negotiations between a man and a woman where the woman is in the weak position, but not when the woman is the empowered party.

The figure of 78 cents to a man's dollar is familiar to many of us. It's how the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics has quantified the gender gap among full-time workers: for each dollar that men earn, women earn 78 cents.

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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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Why ‘mom guilt’ is an unreasonable term

What is 'mom guilt'? It's a symptom of the tragic state of America's parental leave policies.

  • America's poor family leave policies for new parents are the reason why 'mom guilt' is universal – but that guilt is unreasonable, says Smith Brody.
  • 'Dad guilt' is not a term, but men should also be part of this conversation.
  • For every month of parental leave that a father takes, the mom's lifetime earnings increase by 7%. Studies prove fathers who take parental leave ultimately have better relationships with their teenage children.
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