Face Facts:Female intuition is a myth


WOMEN love to boast about their natural intuition, how they have a nose for a genuine bargain or can tell an honest character from a charlatan.

But the notion of female intuition is a myth, new research suggests. They are no better than men at. forming instant judgments -even though they claim they are.

The finding comes from a study of more than 15,000 people who were asked to look at pictures of faces. Some of the subjects had genuine smiles and others were faking it - the volunteers were invited to spot the 'real' smile. Men fared slightly better at the test. They identified 72 per cent correctly while women were right 71 per cent of the time. When the volunteers were asked to look at faces of the opposite sex, men correctly detected 76 per cent of women's fake smiles but women spotted only 67 per cent of men putting on a false grin. Before studying the faces, the volunteers were asked to rate how intuitive they thought they were.

[This supports the notions as shown on BBC2's "He say's,she says" where women think they can spot women's social cue's better than men.]

Almost 80 per cent of women rated themselves as highly intuitive, compared with just 58 per cent of men.

University of Hertfordshire Psychologist Prof Richard Wiseman, who led the study, said: 'These findings question the notion that women really are more intuitive than men.

'Some previous research has found evidence for female intuition but perhaps, over time, men have become more in touch with their intuitive side.'

Genuine smiles involve the muscles around the eyes - producing crow's feet wrinkles - whereas a fake smile involves only the mouth. Research shows that most ten-month-old babies produce a fake smile for strangers but a genuine smile when they see their mothers. And it's good to grin. Women displaying genuine smiles in school photographs have shown enhanced physical and emotional well-being in tests 30 years later.

[Metro Apr12,2005]

Yes! Yes! Yes! You can be my long-term mate


Faking it: Meg RyanMENTION a woman's inability to orgasm and actress Meg Ryan's memorable demonstration of how to fake it springs to mind. And the When Harry Met Sally scene might have been right in its claims that some men are just not up to the job. Women may be genetically programmed to weed out worthless partners who are no good in bed, research out today suggests. Failing to orgasm might actually be a 'hereditary mate-selection tool'. Only men who are most skilled in the art of sex, physically attractive or psychologically compatible will be able to make them climax, scientists say. While 14 per cent of women climax every time they make love, one in three never or rarely do.

Tests on twins suggest that genes have a 60per cent influence, they add.

They could affect a woman physically, causing variations in the G-spot or the clitoris. They could also work psychologically to alter a woman's confidence or mood.

Researcher Prof Tim Spector suggested:

'If a man is considered powerful, strong or thoughtful enough, in bed or in the cave,he is likely to hang around as a long-term partner for bringing up children.'
Women who orgasm easily are more likely to be satisfied with men of iriferior quality he added .'The fact that this biological difference between the sexes is heritable suggests that evolution has a role, he said. Women take about 12 minutes to climax, wliile men take two-and-a-half minutes. Identifying the genes could pave the way to designing dregs to help women climax. The findings, by London's St Thomas's Hospital, are published in a Royal Society journal, Biology Letters.

Genes blamed for fickle female orgasm

A woman’s ability to achieve orgasm depends largely on her genes suggests a new study – and it appears that evolution has dealt many women a duff handClick on the link below for the full story on NewScientist.com/news:  http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn7481

Ladies are twice as equal as gents

QUEUING outside a loo may soon be a thirig of the past for New York women, after the 'potty parity' act was signed into law yesterday. It means all new buildings in the city must be built with twice as many women's toilets as men's. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said: 'This bill brings equality across the city.'


Scientists crack the meaning of love

ROMANTIC poets have wrestled with it for centuriess. But now psychiatrists claim to have finally discovered the meaning of the L-word They say there are nine kinds of  'partnership love'.These includ  Cupid's arrow ) a  passion so intense you forget yourself),hedonistic love (feelings of passion produced by sex) and love as a transformative adventure (aka an unpredictable roller-coaster ride). 'People have always pigeon-holed love,' said Simon Watts of Nottingham University.' 'But  it seems there's no one true account of love, rather an interconnected variety of love stories.' He asked people to sort 60 romantic statements,and then analysed the results, the Journal of Social Psychology reported.

[The Metro Jun8,2005]

Scan can tell you when she is faking it


Yes and no:Scans show a real orgasm,inset and a fake one,main pictureWANT to know whether she's been faking it all this time? Well, thanks to advances in technology, you can. Scientists have found a way to distinguish between a real orgasm and a fake one - and the secret is all in the head. But before males among us get too carried away, a word of caution - first you'll need to lay your hands on an expensive state-of-the-art scanner. Dutch scientists found that different parts of the brain are activated duiiing real and faked responses.

A faked orgasm stimulates the parts of the brain under conscious control.

A real one affects the unconscious parts -suggesting that women fall into a trance-like state during sex. The team claims the study highlights key differences between the genders. Women need fear-free sex. Men need to be turned on in a tactile way. And wearing socks helps for both. Prof Gert Holstege and his team asked 13 heterosexual couples aged 19 -49 to make love in front of them. One partner lay down with their head inside the scanner while the other stimulated them. The couples then switched roles. To get them in the mood, scientists dimmed the lights and kept as quiet as possible. The experirnent went better if both partners wore socks to keep their feet warm. The process was then repeated with the women faking it. Prof Holstege said something many men have known for years: 'Women can imitate orgasm quite well.'

Of a real orgasm, he said: 'What we see is an extreme deactivation of large portions of the brain and especially the emotional parts involved with fear.' Of women, he said: 'If you are fearful, it is very hard to let go.' -For men, parts of the brain which interpret touch lit up, indicating that being stimulated by a woman's touch was a key element in orgasm.

[Metro Jun21,2005]

Brain scans reveal men's pleasure in revenge Thursday January 19, 04:00 PM By Will Knight

A lust for vengeance may be hardwired into the male brain. Scans of brain activity suggest that men experience greater satisfaction than women in seeing cheaters get their comeuppance - at least when the punishment is physical.

Tania Singer of University College London and colleagues used a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine to analyse the brain activity of 32 volunteers after their participation in a simple game, called the Prisoner's Dilemma.

The game allows players to cooperate or double-cross one another, and so fosters camaraderie or enmity between players. Following the game, participants were placed inside an fMRI machine and then saw their fellow players zapped with electricity. The activity in their brain was recorded as they watched.

The scans revealed changes in activity as players who had cooperated got zapped, compared with those who had double-crossed them in the game. The results suggest that men get a much bigger kick than women from seeing revenge physically exacted on someone perceived to have wronged them.

"It was very surprising," Singer told New Scientist . "I didn't expect such a strong difference."

The scans showed that both sexes experienced increased brain activity in the fronto-singular and anterior cingulate cortices - areas that the associated with the direct experience of pain - when watching other players receive a jolt of electricity. Researchers have previously shown that so-called mirror neurons will sometimes fire in empathy with another person's experience.

Both men and women also experienced slightly less activity in these areas when cheaters were given a shock, which suggests the feeling of empathy was dependent on social behaviour.

But tellingly, activity dropped much more in men when watching cheaters being buzzed. In addition, several other regions of male participants' brains "lit up" instead - areas linked to the experience of reward known as the ventral striatum/nucleus accumbens and orbito-frontal cortex.

The results suggest that men not only feel less empathy for cheaters but experience pleasure when they are punished.

The Prisoner's Dilemma game lets contestants either cooperate for an equal share of a prize or double-cross their fellow players for a bigger payout. Unbeknown to the subjects, actors were also asked to take part and one was ordered to deliberately cheat other players.

"During breaks in the tests you could tell from the body language that both the male and female volunteers did not like the actors who had cheated them," Singer says. "They tried to stay away from them as much as possible."

Singer speculates that the disparity between men and women could mean men have evolved to have a key role in maintaining justice in human societies. However, she cautions that there could be other reasons for the difference.

It might simply be that women are less affected by the economic cheating involved in the Prisoner's Dilemma game. Or Singer says it could be that women are less interested in exacting revenge through physical punishment. "This might not be the way women choose to take their revenge," she says.

David Sloan at Binghamton University in New York, US, says behavioural studies provide little evidence of a difference between the sexes when it comes to feelings of empathy and revenge, although women appear to take longer to react than men.

Sloan also notes that any difference could be entirely cultural, rather than biological. "Just because it happens in the brain, it doesn't mean it's innate."

Journal reference: Nature (DOI: 101038/nature04271)

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