Sex and the White Elephant Effect

Blocking undesirable thoughts can be tricky. Say that you tell someone not to think about a white elephant. Chances are that the image of a white pachyderm hovers in their consciousness.

Sex and Societies

Why could women in a Mozart opera from the 1790s (The Magic Flute) expect stable marriage versus the high divorce rates of American females in the 1970s? The reason is a relative scarcity of men, according to a new Discover article (1) by fellow blogger Robert Epstein. Such scientifically meaningful patterns strengthen sociology as a science.

Voodoo Death I

Most of us are preoccupied with prolonging our lives by remaining fit and healthy. We are led to believe that a healthy body guarantees long life. Yet, there is evidence that some people die despite being young and in good health. When they lose the well to live, they perish as surely as though they had been asphyxiated.

A Life Without Fear?

Organized religion offers a life without fear. The key question is not whether it delivers on that promise, but how.

Do Religious People Have a Hotter Sex Life?

On the surface, major religions discourage primal impulses. They speak out against violence—and unbridled sexuality. Despite prohibiting homicides, religious societies can be quite violent and warlike. Are they any better at controlling sexual impulses?

Have Americans Turned Against Religion?

Older Americans are not all that religious by some criteria. Younger Americans are considerably less religious. They point to a future where religious people will be a minority.

The God Spot Revisited

Media coverage hyped the importance of findings suggesting that spiritual experiences have a brain basis. Even so, an evolved capacity for self-transcendence fits in well with what we know about the evolutionary role and function of religion.

Why Cults Are Mindless

Mindless obedience helps religious cults to stay together.

What We Have Learned About Rampage Killings

Every instance of senseless mass killing prompts soul searching about possible causes with a view to prevention. The Sandy Hook Elementary School rampage killing is no different.

Is the Debate on Gay Marriage Effectively Over?

If you want to know what the future holds, talk to young people. On social issues, young American adults today are far more liberal than their parents.

The Security Blanket Concept of Religion

According to the security blanket concept of religion, supernatural belief systems provide peace of mind and help believers to cope with the more stressful events in their lives.

How Religious Are Americans, Really?

Is it easier to pretend that we go to church?

Religion as Social Glue

Decadence is supposed to destroy civilizations. If religion is the enemy of decadence, perhaps it keeps entire societies on the rails. That is what religious people often claim. Are they right?

Why Mixed-Sex Sports Never Took Off

Apart from mixed doubles tennis, there are virtually no sports in which men and women routinely compete as equals on the same playing field. Why do men and women choose same-sex competition over mixed sport?

Atheists: The Last Minority to Get Civil Rights?

In America, freedom of religion does not yet include freedom from religion. If you doubt that try spending time in a very religious state such as Alabama.

Atheism to Defeat Religion by 2038

My blog posts on religion have attracted a lot of controversy. Religious people are annoyed by my claim that belief in God will go the way of horse transportation, and for much the same reason, specifically an improved standard of living.

Putting on the Ritz: Why People Pay Top Dollar for Classy Products

Why is it that people who are not wealthy are sometimes willing to pay a lot of money for such upscale items?

Creating Happiness: 10 Practical Strategies

People are either optimists or pessimists. Discussion of this split tends to be loaded.

The Story of Obesity Is Mostly Fiction

The mass media propagate a view of obesity that is mostly fiction. This unscientific view is broadcast with good intentions. Journalists want to help people lose weight. Yet the information is so unreliable that it is unlikely to help anyone and even has the potential for doing harm.

Talking to a Narcissist

All roads lead to Rome. In a similar vein, all conversations lead back to the narcissist. If you imagined an escape from the metropolis, think again. You will encounter some roadblocks artfully placed before you.