Questionable studies

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Raininginsanity
Posts: 51
Joined: Tue May 23, 2017 4:50 am

Questionable studies

Post by Raininginsanity » Thu May 25, 2017 9:36 pm

I feel like questioning research should be more common that it currently is. If you come across a study or theory that you think might be questionable, bring it here, and lets see if we can't debunk (or fail to debunk) the theory and/or paper in question.

Ill start of with this, which has multiple articles online: http://www.dailystar.co.uk/love-sex/350 ... ter-months

The theory is that cold weather makes men friskier do to the fact that skin is seen less, and therefore becomes more erotic.

The study was done by Lovehoney and was not published in a journal, but in a blog that I cannot find. This does not bode well for the theory. But yet, the theory makes sense to me.

Looking at birth and conception rates suggest that in the US, the UK, and in Australia, most babies are conceived during the winter.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/relation ... -year.html
https://www.theatlantic.com/national/ar ... sy/327997/
http://babyology.com.au/news/when-are-m ... irths.html

But is that because of vacations and being at home more? New Zealand also seems to buck the trend and seems to get busiest during December, their summer.
http://www.stats.govt.nz/birthday

I tried looking at proxies for sexual liberalness by country, but couldnt find a distinct pattern. Russia and Brazil seem to buck the trend as well.

Overall, my confidence that men are friskier when it is cold is low.

chel_of_the_sea
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon May 08, 2017 9:39 am

Re: Questionable studies

Post by chel_of_the_sea » Fri May 26, 2017 5:16 am

The problem with going "well, research isn't perfect and you should question it" in public, though, is that you get a bunch of people who go "oh, well, my intuition says X but a bunch of published research says Y, guess those scientists got it wrong again!"
:arrow: TL;DR: 27, trans woman, M.A. in math, Seattle area. Tutor by current trade, but in a bit of professional limbo (if you know anyone hiring, let me know!).

Raininginsanity
Posts: 51
Joined: Tue May 23, 2017 4:50 am

Re: Questionable studies

Post by Raininginsanity » Fri May 26, 2017 2:37 pm

I'm hoping that a group of rationalists looking for evidence and counter evidence can overcome the bias of any individual in the group. My bias is to distrust the study I linked to, but I also have a bias that says there's a chance than the phenomennen is real. If anyone were to present studies that support the theory, or clearly refutes it, then I can update my priors.

dylygs
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu May 25, 2017 5:18 pm

Re: Questionable studies

Post by dylygs » Sat May 27, 2017 5:58 pm

I looked at some google trends stats for pornography that's more popular among men to see if there's a significant difference - while there's certainly a spike in the winter, there's also a smaller spike during Thanksgiving (I looked at UK stats vs. US stats and only the US had that spike), so it's definitely due to being on vacation. Other than that, it's sort of hard to tell if there's an overall increase in searches since it comes right after summer, which has an increase that's probably due to vacations more than anything. So this didn't prove very fruitful, I'm trying to think of other proxies that would give us more information.

Raininginsanity
Posts: 51
Joined: Tue May 23, 2017 4:50 am

Re: Questionable studies

Post by Raininginsanity » Sat May 27, 2017 9:44 pm

I hadn't thought of that. Smart. Did you look at pornography trends in southern hemispheric countries?

archon
Posts: 59
Joined: Thu May 25, 2017 11:02 am

Re: Questionable studies

Post by archon » Sun May 28, 2017 2:27 am

dylygs wrote:
Sat May 27, 2017 5:58 pm
I looked at some google trends stats for pornography that's more popular among men to see if there's a significant difference - while there's certainly a spike in the winter, there's also a smaller spike during Thanksgiving (I looked at UK stats vs. US stats and only the US had that spike), so it's definitely due to being on vacation. Other than that, it's sort of hard to tell if there's an overall increase in searches since it comes right after summer, which has an increase that's probably due to vacations more than anything. So this didn't prove very fruitful, I'm trying to think of other proxies that would give us more information.
That's pretty ingenious. Good idea. So current hypothesis is that boredom/time off/some other holiday thing is the main factor here, and not the weather. Really, that seems like a more obvious mechanism, than some unknown weather based function.
"Don't be silly -- if we were meant to evolve naturally, why would God have given us subdermal implants?"

Raininginsanity
Posts: 51
Joined: Tue May 23, 2017 4:50 am

Re: Questionable studies

Post by Raininginsanity » Sun May 28, 2017 6:59 am

The theory is less to do with weather, and more about modesty. In centuries past in Europe, a woman's ankles were considered erotic because(?) they were never shown. Now that we see them constantly, few people consider the ankles very erotic. But what happens when, for a brief period, women cover up more because of the cold? Do shoulders become more erotic because they are seen less? Is taking off a jacket in the winter and showing skin more erotic just because skin is seen less during this time period? It makes sense to me and I would not be surprised if this were true. But until I can find some better research supporting the hypothesis, my confidence isn't very high. Using the classical frequentist approach, I would say we have failed to reject the null and therefore should accept the null (that is, there is no effect). More Bayesian logic allows a little deviation from that, but so far it's not looking good for the theory. Even if there is an effect, it seems likely to be insignificant (small effect size).

archon
Posts: 59
Joined: Thu May 25, 2017 11:02 am

Re: Questionable studies

Post by archon » Sun May 28, 2017 9:02 am

Raininginsanity wrote:
Sun May 28, 2017 6:59 am
The theory is less to do with weather, and more about modesty. In centuries past in Europe, a woman's ankles were considered erotic because(?) they were never shown. Now that we see them constantly, few people consider the ankles very erotic. But what happens when, for a brief period, women cover up more because of the cold? Do shoulders become more erotic because they are seen less? Is taking off a jacket in the winter and showing skin more erotic just because skin is seen less during this time period? It makes sense to me and I would not be surprised if this were true. But until I can find some better research supporting the hypothesis, my confidence isn't very high. Using the classical frequentist approach, I would say we have failed to reject the null and therefore should accept the null (that is, there is no effect). More Bayesian logic allows a little deviation from that, but so far it's not looking good for the theory. Even if there is an effect, it seems likely to be insignificant (small effect size).
Okay, that makes more sense as a theory (still not much sense). Should have paid more attention upthread.
"Don't be silly -- if we were meant to evolve naturally, why would God have given us subdermal implants?"

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