News you can use

This might be useful in certain circumstances:

Scientists have known for more than a half-century that our pupils dilate whenever we see something we find sexually arousing. This is a non-voluntary response that is controlled by the autonomic nervous system—the body system that controls other automatic responses like heart rate, respiration, and digestion. As a result, it’s not something that people can consciously control, so it gets around the problems of people lying on surveys and faking genital responses.

For example:

a new set of studies published in the Journal of Sex Research finds that—among men—pupil dilation doesn’t just reveal the gender of the people they’re attracted to, but also their age.

when viewing images of children, no increase in pupil size was observed for men in any sexual orientation group. In fact, if anything, their pupils actually had a tendency to constrict when viewing kids. The results of all of these studies suggest that pupil dilation holds a lot of promise as a technique for measuring attraction based on both gender and age.

it could also be quite useful to forensic researchers who study pedophilia and other sexual interests that people are strongly motivated to conceal.

It’s not mind reading, but it might be close enough to make life safer for your kids in some situations.


5 thoughts on “News you can use

  1. I’m skeptical when people use the phrase “scientist” when referring to the work of psychologists. This sort of thing has only the slightest connection to objective reality and certainly isn’t an adequate basis for inflicting legal pain upon people.
    The proper domain for the law is the response to violations of rights committed — actions, not tendencies or interests or figments invented by pseudo-science workers.

  2. Like many of these things it sounds good.

    However what I don’t like is that fact that someone fancies children does not equate to them being kiddie fiddlers. If they fancy children but keep their hands off them then why should they be treated as someone who doesn’t keep their hands off them.

    People want to do many things that are illegal. Most don’t because it is illegal. Jails would be full of potential assassins if we arrested everyone who thought about terminating someone but didn’t do it.

    • I wasn’t trying to suggest it be used to prosecute people. I was thinking about two things. One, at an individual level if your kid says, “Uncle Fred” was acting creepy you might be able to better evaluate whether there might be a risk there. And two, police might be able to use it as a quick means to eliminate, or at least deemphasize, suspects in some sorts of investigations.

      • Fair enough, though your #2 could be a slippery slope to prosecution.
        Also, any of those applications assume that there is merit to the original work, which in my mind is thoroughly doubtful.

        • It’s easy for you to test. Show your wife some pictures of various things, including sexy guys, and see if her pupils dilate at the correct pictures.

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