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Monday’s medical myth: men think about sex every seven seconds

Each time you turn on the television after 10pm, eavesdrop on a group of men at your local pub, or drive past a billboard, you’re likely to encounter some stereotypes about masculinity and men’s sexuality…

A sexual thought every seven seconds? That’s 8,000 thoughts a day! Flickr/Lara604

Each time you turn on the television after 10pm, eavesdrop on a group of men at your local pub, or drive past a billboard, you’re likely to encounter some stereotypes about masculinity and men’s sexuality.

We’re told that men’s minds are so immersed in thoughts of sex that it can become a full-time preoccupation. Think of James Bond’s sexual exploits, Cola Cola’s “bigger is better” campaign, and the folklore that men think about sex every seven seconds (which would amount to more than 8,000 thoughts about sex a day).

Let’s focus, first, on one setting where there are ample opportunities for sexual interactions and discussions about sex: university. According to a recent study from Ohio State University, young men think about sex 19 times per day. They also have other regular, needs-based thoughts about eating and sleeping.

Nick in exsilio

In contrast, the Kinsey Report, which examined the sexual behaviour of men aged under 60 years, found 54% think about sex every day or several times a day, 43% think about sex a few times a week or a few times a month, and 4% reported just one sexual thought, or less, a month.

Another study, from 1990, found 16- to 17-year-olds think about sex every five minutes. By age 40 to 49, this drops to a sexual thought every half an hour, and it keeps reducing with age.

There’s certainly no consensus among researchers about the frequency of men’s sexual thoughts. And little is known about the nature of these thoughts.

So, do men think about sex more often than women?

A handful of researchers argue there are no significant differences between the frequency of men’s and women’s erotic thoughts outside of sex. But most studies show that men think about sex more often than their female partners. This is used to support the statement that men have more powerful sex drives than women.

Studies have suggested testosterone contributes to men’s frequent preoccupation with sexual thoughts. In other words, because men have a higher level of testosterone than women, they have more frequent sexual fantasies and a stronger desire for sex.

heathzib

Men’s sexual fantasies tend to be more explicit than women’s. And interestingly, men are more likely to fantasise during masturbation (86% of the time) compared with women (69% of the time).

This difference has been attributed to men having greater opportunities – culturally and biologically – to experience sexual fantasies.

Why men think about sex

A multitude of factors could contribute to some men’s preoccupation with sexual thoughts, feelings and behaviour. A 2009 study by Reid and Carpenter, for example, found that factors such as emotional distress, discouragement, poor self-esteem, difficulties coping with stress, and self-doubt were associated with hyper-sexuality.

Psychologist Michael Bader suggests that sexual fantasies, and resulting sexual arousal, have more to do with unconscious problem solving [NSFW] than most of us realise.

dapito

But men’s preoccupation with sexual thoughts cannot be fully understood without considering the effects social media and constant internet access.

Young men are increasingly using Facebook to share pictures and stories about their sexual conquests. And the prospect of 24/7 access to pornography via mobile phones and laptops may prompt compulsive behaviour and excessive sexual thoughts.

More sex

There are other myths about the sexual character of men: they should aspire to be virile, “well-endowed” studs and always ready for sex. But most men are not “well-endowed”: the average penis size is not nine inches but, rather, between five and seven inches.

As for being ever-ready for sex, as men age, they have sex less frequently and, some may even need medication to help with erectile function.

So the question we need to ask is who benefits from the perpetuation of these myths? Perhaps Coca Cola or the sex industry. But certainly not men.

Join the conversation

116 Comments sorted by

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    1. Carol-Anne Croker

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Dale Bloom

      Funny I can be in a work environment with attractive males and not fantasize about sex with them whilst concentrating on work tasks... does that make me deviant, Dale or is this just another spin on the old, "well if women dress that way, what do they expect"? Perhaps women's clothes are for their own pleasure and not for your scopophilia. Why not keep your fantasies for times outside the lab or does that pesky testosterone have so much power over your own will?

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    2. Sue Ieraci

      Public hospital clinician

      In reply to Dale Bloom

      If one were to use Mr Bloom's logic, then low sexual drive in some women would have nothing to do with socialisation, hormones or tiredness, but merely the fact that men neglect their grooming.

      The solution, therefore, would be for men to spend more time in the office trying to "attract female attention, or are wearing clothes that highlight certain parts of the body etc." Right, Mr Bloom?

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    3. In reply to Sue Ieraci

      Comment removed by moderator.

    4. Dale Bloom

      Analyst

      In reply to Sue Ieraci

      Sue Ieraci
      If the environment is sexually orientated, then of course there is more chance that a person in that environment will have more sexually orientated thoughts.

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    5. Clifford Chapman

      Retired English Teacher

      In reply to Dale Bloom

      Yes, Dale, when you really think of using that word 'pesky' to describe testosterone, and then consider how and why that academic came into being, the mind boggles at such crassness.

      The thing that I find difficult to come to terms with in relation to this subject, is why finding women sexually attractive has negative connotations.

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    6. Carol-Anne Croker

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Sue Ieraci

      Mr Bloom missed the thesis point again Sue rather than search for logical reflective response, we return in a circular manner to perceptions of herterogenous normalcy and for goodness sake the original comment was about a workplace. Sexualised environment... please haven't Australians and the West spent years trying to dismantle sexism and sexual predation and harassment in the workplace. I cannot ever understand any remote assertion that uses a 'blame the victim' stance, and the whole point of the article was that the 'myth' of phallocentricism and libido need much more multi-disciplinary research and less focus on the subject and more focus on the beneficiary of such generalisations and promotion of this type of mythology... hence the authors most important closing sentence was not an aside!

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    7. Dale Bloom

      Analyst

      In reply to Mat Hardy

      Mat Hardy
      This is interesting. I have noticed that an academic can make basically ant type of negative, discriminatory, bigoted, maligning or vilifying remark about the male gender, and it will be rarely challenged by any other academic.

      You have just made a discriminatory remark about a race, and we will see how long it takes another academic to challenge that remark.

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  4. Mat Hardy

    Lecturer in Middle East Studies at Deakin University

    Does the author (or anyone else) know whe the seven second thing derives from? How did we get such a specific myth in the first place?

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    1. Lorna Jarrett

      Former PhD candidate, physics teacher

      In reply to Mat Hardy

      No idea Matt, personally I think I heard it in the playground. At a schoolkid even!

      Gosh I see Dale's turned up trolling too. Cue a "conversation" that revolves entirely around his nonsense and is therefore not worth reading.

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    2. Lorna Jarrett

      Former PhD candidate, physics teacher

      In reply to Lorna Jarrett

      oops sorry Mat - I meant AS a schoolkid. To be fair I don't think I've ever overheard it during playground duty!

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  5. Clifford Chapman

    Retired English Teacher

    Here we go again with yet another straw man myth.

    Where are these so-called myths coming from?

    This is another one I've never heard of before, and basic common sense would tell you, anyway, that the seven seconds would make it impossible to focus or concentrate on anything else.

    Why not be done with it and just say men think about sex all the time?

    As a heterosexual man, I can't really see how nature has wired us not to think about women sexually in the first place. It's almost automatic in the mind and speaking personally, I don't see anything wrong with it either.

    Why should it be seen as a negative thing?

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    1. Clifford Chapman

      Retired English Teacher

      In reply to Clifford Chapman

      Fancy giving me a negative for that comment.

      Whoever you are, why not stand up and be counted?

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    2. Lorna Jarrett

      Former PhD candidate, physics teacher

      In reply to Clifford Chapman

      "Here we go again with yet another straw man myth"

      Clifford - see where it says "Monday's medical myth" in the title"?
      Might be a clue there, mate. It's a regular series. About MYTHS. And why they're not true.

      "As a heterosexual man, I can't really see how nature has wired us not to think about women sexually in the first place".

      T.M.I. Frankly I think you and Dale doth protest way too much.

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    3. Clifford Chapman

      Retired English Teacher

      In reply to Lorna Jarrett

      But quite frankly, Lorna, I don't, and I'm certainly not protesting..

      I'm also well aware, thank you, of the myths but they must also have some currency, as it were, to be examined. If it were every five minutes, yes, but seven seconds makes the myth idea silly.

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    4. Lorna Jarrett

      Former PhD candidate, physics teacher

      In reply to Clifford Chapman

      Clifford,

      I definitely remember hearing that sometime during my childhood or adolescence - and as that was on the other side of the planet, it's evidently a widespread myth.

      I'm guessing you're rather older than me, so maybe the myth didn't get going until you were already in adulthood. As it seems to me an idea that would appeal primarily to adolescents, it might simply have passed you by. Alternatively you might just mix with a classier cohort than the "group of men in the local pub" to which the article refers.

      Either way I don't think you missed out on much :)

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    5. Clifford Chapman

      Retired English Teacher

      In reply to Lorna Jarrett

      Fair enough, Lorna, but every seven seconds doesn't give you much time for much else, does it?

      By making the time so short, it makes the so-called myth ridiculous. As I said before, I can understan the myth being every five, or ten minutes, or so, but seven seconds is just plain silly.

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    6. Lorna Jarrett

      Former PhD candidate, physics teacher

      In reply to Clifford Chapman

      "just plain silly".

      Adolescents and "blokes in the pub". Nuff said?

      To be fair though, adolescents are capable of being pretty sensible too.

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    7. Clifford Chapman

      Retired English Teacher

      In reply to Lorna Jarrett

      So during the other six seconds, it's philosophy, life, death, existentialism, all followed by a bit of 'how's your father'?

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    8. Sue Ieraci

      Public hospital clinician

      In reply to Clifford Chapman

      Mr Chapman - does it really matter what the precise time interval is? Isn't the whole purpose of this essay is to de-bunk the myth?

      Perhaps re-read the essay, substituting "every seven seconds" with "lots more than women." The authors is still attempting to de-bunk that myth. However, the advantage might be that, being relieved of the worry about whether the time interval is right, there will be lots more time for thoughts about the meaning of life.

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    9. Clifford Chapman

      Retired English Teacher

      In reply to Sue Ieraci

      Ms Ieraci

      Yes, in my view it does, okay?

      Every 'seven seconds' makes a mockery of an attempt to offer 'academic rigour' and is over the top.

      Try for yourself thinking of the same thing every seven seconds - it's nigh-on impossible, anyway.

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    10. Sue Ieraci

      Public hospital clinician

      In reply to Clifford Chapman

      Sigh. OK. Mr Chapman, the authors do mention (only once apart from the title) " the folklore that men think about sex every seven seconds"

      They then go on to present various research findings to DE-BUNK the seven-second myth (wherever it came from) and then they ask the question : "So, do men think about sex more often than women?" and go on to discuss the relevant research.

      This is an informal essay, with some discussion of the relevant literature. I don't think anyone would claim "academic rigour" for it. And then, they state repeatedly that the "seven seconds" myth is - well - a myth. I don't have to try thinking of anything every seven seconds because, as the authors say, the "seven second" part has no validity. That's the whole point. Okay?

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    11. Clifford Chapman

      Retired English Teacher

      In reply to Sue Ieraci

      Is that a patronising sigh, Ms Ieraci, or are you simply unable to grasp the fact that the mythological part of the enquiry ahould be based on a time that makes human sense? In other words, sigh, it would be perfectly possible to call it a myth but based around five or ten minutes. Thus even in the first place, how come some dork postulated the seven seconds anyway?

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    12. Sue Ieraci

      Public hospital clinician

      In reply to Clifford Chapman

      "the mythological part of the enquiry ahould be based on a time that makes human sense?"

      Run that past me again?

      It is possible to call it a myth at five or ten minutes, but not at seven seconds? Sigh.

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    13. In reply to Sue Ieraci

      Comment removed by moderator.

    14. Clifford Chapman

      Retired English Teacher

      In reply to Sue Ieraci

      Yes, perfectly possible, and eminently more intelligent and valid.

      Seven seconds equates to around 3 hours, 24minutes plus of every day. Not only is it reasonable to ask where that so-called myth came from, it goes without saying it is mythological.

      And an answer to my question regarding your 'sigh'? It wasn't rhetorical, you know.

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  6. Debbie Hoad

    student at University of Canberra

    "the average penis size is not nine inches but, rather, between five and seven inches."

    Between five and seven? So, six then? :)

    And who thought it was nine?! Whoever you are, stop watching so much porn.

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    1. Lorna Jarrett

      Former PhD candidate, physics teacher

      In reply to Debbie Hoad

      Stupid site won't let me vote this comment up.

      Mods - can we have a "hilarious" button please?

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  7. Dale Bloom

    Analyst

    I would ask why the moderators are removing comments. Unlike some comments that are allowed to remain, the comments that have been removed were not abusive of anyone, and presented the other side to what some commenters were saying.

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    1. Clifford Chapman

      Retired English Teacher

      In reply to Dale Bloom

      Funnily enough, Dale, one of your removed comments speaks of the number of negatives I might start receiving and, boy, is that comment on the ball.

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  8. Carol-Anne Croker

    logged in via Facebook

    So many comments removed by the moderator. Quite sad really given that the article as pointed out by Lorna was about "myths" and challenging misconceptions. I also must conceded to Clifford that yes, my use of 'attractive' was revealing but I can notice aesthetic beauty (which is in the eye of the beholder) without that individual being objectified by sexualisation. I enjoy seeing well grromed women and men in the workplace and none of the appreciation is sexual, purely aesthetic as I like fashion…

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    1. Lorna Jarrett

      Former PhD candidate, physics teacher

      In reply to Carol-Anne Croker

      Carol-Anne,

      Maybe you're not familiar with Dale's frequent "contributions" to any and every gender-related Conversation article (no matter how tenuous the link).

      Taking offense at the merest hint of a slight against the male gender while throwing around misogynist remarks; vilification of feminists; flat-out rejection of sociology; denial of well-established instances of female disadvantage; ignoring counter arguments. Repeat ad-nauseum.

      Having worked with adolescents for over a decade, I'm come to recognise attention-seeking behaviour when I see it.

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    2. Carol-Anne Croker

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Clifford Chapman

      Perhaps conceding to noticing and hence attraction could be sexually-generated also. Just trying to establish in my comments that it is less about the man/woman thing and more about the heterosexual normalcy that is always at the forefront of such discussions when perhaps the issues is less about biology and gender, requiring a deeper analysis of 'values' and implications drawn from flimsy 'evidence' and 'myths'. Everything in our current culture can be so easily codified and commodified and I am…

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    3. Dale Bloom

      Analyst

      In reply to Carol-Anne Croker

      Carol-Anne Croker
      I didn't mention clothes in a laboratory. And I have made no personalised comments regards any individual.

      But yes, I am concerned about the myths and misconceptions regarding men (as I am a man), and also concerned about the absolutely abysmal quality of research that takes place regards gender.

      But this comment will probably be deleted anyway.

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    4. Lorna Jarrett

      Former PhD candidate, physics teacher

      In reply to Carol-Anne Croker

      Well-dressed men at work are preferable to dags, even if they ask you to rescue the filter from the bottom of the fishtank because "I'm wearing cufflinks, darling".

      When they start eyeing up your jewelery and trying on your hat, however - that's just a bit much.

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    5. Carol-Anne Croker

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Dale Bloom

      There is some excellent research into gender and I personnally know many researchers investigating the damaging discourse about masculinity in society. What I object to is academic dicussions diminishing to virtual name calling and reputation besmirching, and 'sides' being taken in an unquestioned hetereosexual gender war. And Clifford my comment on testosterone being "pesky" could also apply to that hormone's effect on women. Both sexes have both oestrogen and testosterone (or progesterone), so…

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    6. Clifford Chapman

      Retired English Teacher

      In reply to Carol-Anne Croker

      Well, Carol-Anne, I'll try but it's probably going to sound simplistic in many ways, and I didn't mean to be rude regarding your use of the word 'pesky', it's just that I really do not see how Nature has wired us to not respond in such ways.

      Eliot is not my favourite poet by any means but his: 'Birth, copulation and death.That's all the facts when you come to brass tacks', does carry some validity for me.

      What I find difficult to understand and accept, is the climate that seems especially…

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    7. Carol-Anne Croker

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Clifford Chapman

      Your experience as the sole male in an academic tutorial is precisely the point. Women scholars and in society have always been in this position of discomfort. The patriarchal discourse affecting everybody has meant that women in the years since The Female Eunich have grown sick of this secondary location and even silencing and devaluing of critical discourse that draws attention to power relations as locations for control and even censorship.

      Women scholars are not all feminists, as not all…

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    8. Clifford Chapman

      Retired English Teacher

      In reply to Carol-Anne Croker

      I would deny that female scholars have always been in this position of discomfort and would ask you, if that was the case, how come Germaine Greer was able to write and have her book published in such a male-dominated society before and prior to its publication and effects? Indeed, why did the publisher even accept the manuscript in the first place?
      Surely it should have gone straight in the bin.

      As a matter of interest, in 1969/1970 at Warwick University, some 16 years before the events I outlined…

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    9. Dale Bloom

      Analyst

      In reply to Clifford Chapman

      Clifford Chapman
      Speaking of myths and misconceptions about men (and who creates them), perhaps there is this one.

      “Men have thousands of sexual fantasies a day, women don't”

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/nov/16/gender.germainegreer

      “Thousands of sexual fantasies”?

      It does bring into question every other statement made by that author, particularly the one “Men are much more trouble than they're worth”.

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    10. Clifford Chapman

      Retired English Teacher

      In reply to Carol-Anne Croker

      But I would still ask you why you use the term 'pesky' instead of, say, great?

      Why a negative?

      And while I certainly do agree that discourteous comments about any individual should be removed, let's take Ms Ieraci prefacing an earlier reply to me with the word: 'Sigh'.

      Alright, I replied in kind, but wasn't she being discourteous, patronising one might say, or is that alright because she is female and her deep and personal insult of exasperation is easy to overlook?

      And as for your 'gender…

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  9. jamie jardine

    Acupuncturist

    Every 7 minutes maybe, but every 7 seconds? That doesn't leave much time to think about football, beer and all the other stuff us blokes need to think about too..

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    1. Carol-Anne Croker

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Victor Minichiello

      That is exactly what I am interested in, thanks Victor. I will be watching the Age comments page for the replies. There is such a lot of inter-disciplinary analysis that this topic could generate. ARC's anyone?

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    2. Carol-Anne Croker

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Dale Bloom

      So in your view only male researchers can speak on this issue to have validity? Is it not a generalisation about feminism, as an 'ism' that is the problem. There are many feminisms and some males research this field and happily identify as feminist researchers. Perhaps the question about public funding is applicable to all sociological research equally or are you suggesting that there needs to be a 'responsible paternal body' to determine academic research areas permitted by Faculties or funding…

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    3. Carol-Anne Croker

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Dale Bloom

      Oh I am so over this discourse with its lack of ideological development. Both you Dale and Clifford resort to quoting Germaine Greer and early GG at that, as epitome of feminist/feminisms.... that is so out of touch and as for Ms Greer herself her journalism and opinion pieces over the years have changed perspectives as much as anybody else and can even be contradictory. There are better feminist scholars might I sugAnd again I point out to Dale that taking one word in quotation marks as a straight…

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    4. Lorna Jarrett

      Former PhD candidate, physics teacher

      In reply to Carol-Anne Croker

      Admirable effort Carol-Anne - one of a huge number of admirable efforts, from both men and women, to enlighten Dale, that I've read on this site.
      All to no avail of course, in terms of getting him to understand anything.

      However, they are potentially enlightening to other, more capable readers and always excellent reading - well reasoned and intelligent. Plus, reading men defend feminism is a great antidote to Dale's bile and a welcome reminder that feminism isn't men vs. women - it's people vs. inequality.

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    5. Lorna Jarrett

      Former PhD candidate, physics teacher

      In reply to Carol-Anne Croker

      I'm reminded of Rosalind Driver's book "Pupil as scientist?". Misconceptions in science is the focus of my research but I've found that the ideas apply to pretty much any field (ok, I'm probably not the first to find that out).

      Anyway, Driver makes an excellent job of explaining how peoples' existing ideas act as lenses through which they (mis)interpret new information.

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    6. Lorna Jarrett

      Former PhD candidate, physics teacher

      In reply to Clifford Chapman

      "I couldn't give a stuff about any academics"

      Why waste your time reading this site then? I couldn't give a stuff about football, so I don't turn up to matches, watch it on TV or get involved in conversations about it - because I'd have nothing positive to say and I'd get on the nerves of those people who enjoy it. I don't understand why they enjoy it but that doesn't give me the right to get on their tits about it.

      Nobody's demanding you respect academics but if you will insist on a sweeping and uninformed rejection of their views, do us all a favour and vent it elsewhere please. Otherwise you're just trolling.

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    7. Lorna Jarrett

      Former PhD candidate, physics teacher

      In reply to Clifford Chapman

      "Chirst, is that ever an ego I see before me."

      As opposed to you and Dale? Or is that something that men are entitled to but not women?

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    8. Clifford Chapman

      Retired English Teacher

      In reply to Lorna Jarrett

      For your information, we don't all occupy an either/or world, so I couldn't give a flying fig what other men are entitled to.

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    9. Clifford Chapman

      Retired English Teacher

      In reply to Lorna Jarrett

      If you were to bother actually reading the comment, instead of reaching for your instant lables box, it was in reply to comments directed towards me by Ms Carol-Anne Croker that first raised the issue of 'women academics', as if, presumably, I was criticising them, when in fact, their being, like male academics for that matter, hadn't entred my head, up until then.

      And for your information, also, despite the somewhat rarefied academic world, I wasn't aware that certain scholastic qualifications were necessary as a prerequisite to commenting on matters on this site.

      As I said above, we don't all live in an either/or world, and by golly, thank the Lord we don't.

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    10. Lorna Jarrett

      Former PhD candidate, physics teacher

      In reply to Clifford Chapman

      So I said: "if you will insist on a sweeping and uninformed rejection of their views, do us all a favour and vent it elsewhere"

      to which you replied: "I wasn't aware that certain scholastic qualifications were necessary as a prerequisite to commenting on matters on this site"

      Now we really have a problem because you're a retired English teacher and physicists are not exactly framed for their grasp of the English language. Please allow me to try a bit harder.

      What I meant to say was (with the aid of the football analogy) that if you have an outright and absolute rejection of a group of people, there's really no point in you engaging with them. Plenty of non-academics appear post a lot of intelligent and insightful comments - personally I don't find that surprising.

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    11. Clifford Chapman

      Retired English Teacher

      In reply to Lorna Jarrett

      No, au contraire, I didn't 'reply' to your 'if you will insist on a sweeping and uninformed rejection of their view', quite the reverse, in fact, I ignored it because I find your use of the word 'uninformed' arrogant.

      My comment which you quoted was simply a general response to the tenor of your post.

      And as with your final paragraph above, could you please refrain from putting words into my mouth and assuming I have 'an outright and absolute rejection of a group of people'.

      I have an 'outright and absolute rejection' of very few individual people, the vast majority of whom I have met, but I do tend to see a 'fearful loneliness in crowds', so I guess your 'groups' might fit in there somewhere.

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    12. Carol-Anne Croker

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Clifford Chapman

      Just a brief update for you Clifford. There is no such thing as "rarefield academic world" any more so I am sorry to dispel this myth also. We have four weeks annual leave, if lucky enough to be on-going (note not tenured) and often teach up to 600 students in a lecture then have online and face to face tutorials, pressure to do our own research and publish in journals, present at Conferences where we are not funded to attend or reimbursed. If you are one of the fastest rising groups of academics…

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    13. Clifford Chapman

      Retired English Teacher

      In reply to Carol-Anne Croker

      But I did preface those three words with the word: 'somewhat', and my reference to it in the first place was as a response to your first raising the academic world - up till then, the academic world hadn't occurred to me, although reading your 'brief update', it does strike me a strong union wouldn't go amiss.

      I don't accept, by the way, that references to Germaine Greer are out of date, and for your information, the Germaine Greer that I met in my Shakespeare tutorials, which was outside of the mind-forged manacles of feminsim, was most articulate and intelligent and respectful in debate, and her marking of my essays was always professional and objective. Certainly throughout the year, she never once played the feminst card.

      As for your last, I imagine, rhetorical question, my answer is only if they come with paragraphs.

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    14. Carol-Anne Croker

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Clifford Chapman

      Oh sorry retired English teacher. Next time I will use paragraphs and correct citation styles in an online forum.

      Do you prefer Chicago B or APA?

      I myself, would prefer to use txt-speak as I am multi-tasking on numerous devices and screens. Apologies Mr Clifford for not adhering to your perception of correct English grammar and conventions. Might I direct you also to the Conversation article on "culturomics" and linguistic change (usuase, etymology etc) over time, and the different acceptable formats for differing media? Chill out Sir.

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  10. Dale Bloom

    Analyst

    I would like to again ask the moderators why they are removing so many comments. There have now been a considerable number of personalised insults made about certain posters, and whenever they reply, their comments are removed.

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    1. Clifford Chapman

      Retired English Teacher

      In reply to Dale Bloom

      Dale, I think I've noticed something. The comments removed on this thread are always ones written by males as replies, seven seconds a day.

      You may well have been vilified left, right and centre by one or two sensitive persons - and today I've come in for a bit of verbal bashing - it's when the slip starts showing, the fangs are drawn and William Golding writes 'Lord Of The Flies.'

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    2. Sue Ieraci

      Public hospital clinician

      In reply to Dale Bloom

      But did you not get that the authors are saying that the 'seven second" thing is a MYTH? As in NOT TRUE? Hence, no need to worry about it. It's a myth.

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    3. Dale Bloom

      Analyst

      In reply to Sue Ieraci

      Sue Ieraci
      After a certain newspaper article was printed, (and the author of that article was employed in one of the top UK universities), it took 10 years to investigate that matter further.

      The statement made about men and their sexuality in the newspaper article was completely and totally preposterous, but no questioning of that statement by anyone from the author’s UK university or any other university.

      Instead, the author received considerable accolades and awards, was invited into universities and into secondary schools to talk to students, and has been invited onto numerous TV shows as a guest speaker.

      So much for the peer review process in social science, and its ability to reduce or elliminate myths and misconceptions.

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    4. In reply to Dale Bloom

      Comment removed by moderator.

    5. Dale Bloom

      Analyst

      In reply to Clifford Chapman

      Clifford Chapman
      I would also ask “What is meant by sex”. There are men who phone their wives 2 – 3 times a day. Are these men thinking of love or sex?

      I am also reminded of the notion of “multi-tasking” minds. Some research has concluded that a person’s efficiency significantly declines if they attempt 2 or more tasks at once, or try and think about 2 or more things at once.

      There is also the myth that women are multi-tasking. But yet men are supposed to be thinking of sex so often, it would mean they would be the ones who are multi-tasking. So if a man is shovelling sand or operating a backhoe, he is also multi-tasking, because he should be having sexual fantasies at the same time.

      None of it makes any logical or common sense, or seems to match other research, and overall I think there is completely unreliable research being undertaken on anything to do with gender.

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    6. Carol-Anne Croker

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Clifford Chapman

      What I find interesting is that as a teacher grom the humanities disciplines you seem to be contributing an intellectual privilege to quantitative study methodologies along with the assumption that quantitative findings complete with recgnition of variables equates with 'fact' and 'objectivity'. This subject requires the various lenses of qualitative research to 'upack' the biases and power relations attached via discourse, not more numerical studies lining up on either side of the myth itself. It…

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    7. Clifford Chapman

      Retired English Teacher

      In reply to Carol-Anne Croker

      Why, thank you, there seems a touch of flattery there, unless I'm very much mistaken. Incidentally, while I do take your point about representations, what is the actual medical connection, anyway, with sex in this context?

      I wouldn't understand whenever anyone, male or female, is thinking about sex in the way this thread has it, that it's a medical issue or interpretation, anyway, and I don't mean as in doctors and nurses and patients, by the way.

      But in all honestly and seriousness now, though…

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    8. Dale Bloom

      Analyst

      In reply to Clifford Chapman

      Clifford Chapman
      “not see human knowledge as resting on anything but straw”

      Not entirely. In some areas perhaps, but in areas such as engineering, research is taken very seriously, because equipment can be designed based on research data.

      If the research data is not accurate, the equipment will not be designed properly and can fail, and if the equipment fails it can lead to serious injury, fatalities and environmental destruction. Loss of production and compensation costs can be considerable…

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    9. Lorna Jarrett

      Former PhD candidate, physics teacher

      In reply to Carol-Anne Croker

      Carol-Anne,

      Much food for thought in that comment - thank you! Your comment about assigning privilege to quantitative research reminds me of this Einstein quote:

      "As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality".

      My own experiences with statistics have taught me that quantitative research is not as infallible/set in stone as some people think. Moreover, quantitative methods just can't be used for some…

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    10. Clifford Chapman

      Retired English Teacher

      In reply to Dale Bloom

      Dale Bloom

      I do know what you mean, of course, but it is just the atmosphere at those sorts of places and of what occurred there that leads you to think it. Obviously, since you've relied on history books and information to tell you it all in the first place, it is not really valid, anyway, I know that. It is just a feeling you can have come over you where, at those places, you seem to see the rawness and nakedness of human beings.

      At those moments in time, our knowledge counts for precious little, well, certainly in my view.

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    11. Dale Bloom

      Analyst

      In reply to Lorna Jarrett

      Lorna Jarrett,
      What has quantitative analysis given us? Well, it has given us SI fundamental units such as the second, which is the duration of 9 192 631 770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium 133 atom.

      It has also given us universal physical constants, such as Plank constant, which is 6.626 069 57 x 10-34 J s, with a standard uncertainity of 0.000 000 29 x 10-34 J s.

      What has social science and feminism given us?

      Ah, ah, nothing that can be relied upon, unless someone believes men have sexual fantasies every seven seconds, a myth that took many years for social scientists to disprove, although I’m not certain if feminists still believe this myth or not.

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    12. Lorna Jarrett

      Former PhD candidate, physics teacher

      In reply to Dale Bloom

      Amazing stuff Dale!

      Tell me more about this "Plank's constant" - what's it used for?

      As for this:

      "transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium 133 atom"

      I'm fascinated. What's a "ground state"? Why would there be two of them?

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    13. Dale Bloom

      Analyst

      In reply to Lorna Jarrett

      Lorna Jarrett
      It would take time to explain it, but you can do some prior learning and look up fundamental quantities and derived quantities.

      http://dougneubauer.com/fundamentalderivedunits/

      This is a fundamental problem for social science, because it can’t come up with anything fundamental to build upon.

      When it comes to gender, social science does not seem to recognise or acknowledge men, as I have attempted to explain to one of the authors, Victor Minichiello. Social science, feminism…

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    14. Lorna Jarrett

      Former PhD candidate, physics teacher

      In reply to Dale Bloom

      Just wondering though - how is quantitative research going to answer your question "what do men think"?

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    15. Lorna Jarrett

      Former PhD candidate, physics teacher

      In reply to Dale Bloom

      Just kiddin' Dale - got an honours degree in theoretical physics.

      Duh...

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    16. Lorna Jarrett

      Former PhD candidate, physics teacher

      In reply to Dale Bloom

      In other words, I actually know about Plank's constant and atomic physics, rather than trawling the Internets and posting stuff I'm not capable of explaining myself.

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    17. Dale Bloom

      Analyst

      In reply to Lorna Jarrett

      Lorna Jarrett
      Theoretical physics doesn’t mean much. Eventually you have to make stuff. Many men have been doing that for centuries, between having sexual fantasies.

      Areas of science such as physics, chemistry and to some extent biology have been quantified and fundamentals established, but I’m trying to find the fundamentals in social science, particularly relating to gender and male sexuality.

      I have heard from evolutionary biologists that men want to have many children from many different women, but again I have not seen any studies that actually asked men that, and it appears to be another myth made up about men.

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    18. Lorna Jarrett

      Former PhD candidate, physics teacher

      In reply to Dale Bloom

      "Theoretical physics doesn’t mean much"

      So why bring it up in the first place? (the definition of the second and Planks const ARE theoretical physics)
      And why do all engineering students have to study it in first year?

      I'm guessing I've upset you here by being a woman with a physics degree. So now, according to your logic, physics has to join "feminism / sociology" as being "not worth much" because women do it.

      Thing is, there is scarcely a field of study or profession that women DON'T do. So medicine, cancer research, astronomy, engineering, farming, water treatment, joinery, art, literature, geophysics, zoo-keeping, lecturing, horticulture, conservation of endangered species, bush regeneration, law, accountancy, policing, carpentry, surf rescue....

      All done by women.

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    19. Lorna Jarrett

      Former PhD candidate, physics teacher

      In reply to Dale Bloom

      "There is also a myth that men have oppressed women".

      Whoever said you must have been born on a different planet was right on the mark - you're obviously not living on the same one as the rest of us.

      I could throw up a few blatantly obvious examples, like the Taliban's treatment of women or African countries that remove the external genitals of young girls. I could point to the fact that women had to fight for the right to vote, that until relatively recently it was legal to pay a woman less than a man for doing an identical job and to fire her for getting married.

      Your remark is deeply, deeply offensive but more than that, it demonstrates that you're not worth debating with.

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  11. Victor Minichiello

    Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean, Faculty of The Professions at University of New England

    Dear Colleagues, I have been watching with interest the important debate and conversation over the past few days, as well as the comments provided by both men and women who have read the piece published in The Age and elsewhere (I sent the link in an earlier response).

    The title was provided as a brief by the editor, probably to attract the attention of readers. Whether it is seven seconds, seven minutes, or whatever frequent time factor number you would like to insert here is important (particularly…

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    1. Carol-Anne Croker

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Victor Minichiello

      Hear Hear... I did try to point out that the discussion was presuming heterosexuality as positioned unquestionably as 'normalcy' which is how the conversation never progressed beyond the instinctual emotional reactions to the articles purposely chosen headline and light-hearted questioning of the actual existant research into the area of sexual engagement, fantasy, pleasure and mythology masking or attaching to these areas for valid research. I just didn't seem able to get the conversation to develop through any of these aspects sadly. Both societal constructs of masculinity and femininity are of interest to me in my work, as is notions of deviance and marginalisation. Thanks for trying to develop the conversation further. Much appreciated.

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    2. Carol-Anne Croker

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Dale Bloom

      Were there no women in the construction process of said buildings? At my University two of the most recent buildings had substantial 'female' input from aleading architect, engineers right therough the construction phase to actually being part of the skilled tradespeople working manually on site and again through to opening ceremony? Are you simply saying that the 'men' who construct University Edifices are n issue of public discourse and social startification. If you were in Victoria some of the…

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    3. Carol-Anne Croker

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Carol-Anne Croker

      I get frustrated with the speed that this site allows for text to appear... in my previous post two sentences have again jumped over one or two phrases making them read non-sequentially.
      In the above passage after suggesting the possible position of women in construction teams, at all levels. I was trying to say that an interpretation of what Dale was saying was that only 'men' were neglected at these ceremonies whereas in my experience there is a silence surrounding the entire 'crew' once these…

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    4. Lorna Jarrett

      Former PhD candidate, physics teacher

      In reply to Carol-Anne Croker

      Carol-Anne,

      Male construction workers are a theme to which Dale keeps returning - article after article, even when construction workers of either gender have absolutely no discernible relevance to the topic. It's certainly a puzzler

      Damn, now I've got "Y.M.C.A." stuck in my head.

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  12. Victor Minichiello

    Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean, Faculty of The Professions at University of New England

    Yes I agree that we need to pay more attention to men's health, identity, and contributions to society. We recently put together a Special Issue on men's health and provided a critique about current political discourses about men. Let us also not forget that there is considerably diversity in male identity, along race, age, sexual orientation and class lines, for example.

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    1. Clifford Chapman

      Retired English Teacher

      In reply to Victor Minichiello

      Yes, that's true, and take Elizabeth the First. She reigned for 44 years and if most men had demanded freedom, equality, democracy and the vote, she'd have chopped their heads off. As it was, some she did, as well as the right hands of two men who crossed her path.

      Mind you, Queen Victoria reigned for even longer, but I don't think equal pay for women was that high on her agenda, any more than it was on Margaret Thatcher's.

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    2. Dale Bloom

      Analyst

      In reply to Victor Minichiello

      Victor Minichiello,
      I can’t find the links to the special issue on men’s health and contribution to society, but it would be interesting to read.

      Quite frankly, many of the myths about men are either being propagated by academics, or are being ignored by academics and allowed to continue. I do not accept peer review or self-regulation as being a useful in social science to maintain standards, ensure quality research or elliminate misinformation.

      Self-regulation in the media industry has recently…

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  13. Victor Minichiello

    Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean, Faculty of The Professions at University of New England

    Colleagues, hyper-masculine identity can be harmful in certain circumstances, see the following link for how it harms a particular group of men, as one example:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gARvwzFWSr4&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    The leadership of Iran said that there are no gays in their society; of course not, they are either executed or silenced to conform to a particular worldview about human relations between not only men and women, but between men and men and women and women. Not acceptable intellectually or, more importantly, for what we call a civilized society. Within this context, we need to better understand what it is about the concept of masculinity that produces such behaviors and impact on men, the so called 'other' men, and women.

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    1. Lorna Jarrett

      Former PhD candidate, physics teacher

      In reply to Victor Minichiello

      Harrowing stuff, Victor. Usually what we hear about in these societies are the injustices against women. Indeed, according to the video above, the age of criminal responsibility is 15 years for boys and 9 years for girls - meaning that far more girls than boys would be at risk of being punished as adults while still undeniably children.

      I think this is an excellent example of how a hyper-male-dominated society oppresses both women and men. I'd go further than to say it harms "a particular group…

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  14. Victor Minichiello

    Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean, Faculty of The Professions at University of New England

    Dale, the details of the Special Issue on men's health: Health Sociology Review 2010 vol 19, sorry do not have the issue number but the special issue starts on page 403 plus.

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    1. Dale Bloom

      Analyst

      In reply to Victor Minichiello

      Victor Minichiello,
      Thank you for that reference. Abstracts from the Special Issue are available online from http://hsr.e-contentmanagement.com/archives/vol/19/issue/4/mens-health

      However, the series is somewhat obscure, and I would like to see more tangible evidence of academia’s enthusiasm or acknowledgment of men. Next time a building is built on a university campus, have a free open day for the workers and their families so they can tour the building. This is becoming common with constructions…

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