This Week In Studies: 5 Surprising, 5 Obvious
This Week In Studies is Bustle's round-up of what science had to say for itself this week.
Obvious: New fathers want to have sex less.
From the "No Shit, Sherlock" camp, we have the revelation that brand-new dads are less keen to get jiggy with it. Science had already noted that new moms want to have sex less, but a study of both genders found that having a baby made both dad and mom (or mom and mom, or dad and dad, the report notes) less sex-centric.
The Journal Of Sexual Medicine has broken new ground here. What with the brain-numbing tiredness, round-the-clock screeching, and the grisly process of labor still fresh in everyone's mind, people don't want as much sex! Who would've thunk it.
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Surprising: Climate change is making you more violent.
American scientists have discovered that even a small shift in climate is correlated to the region becoming more violent. They looked at data around the world, spanning hundreds of years, and concluded that it might be down to economic changes based on weather... or the hot weather making everyone moody.
Well, they admitted, they don't really have any idea why this happens, but they do think that if climate change keeps climbing at its current rate, "the world will become more violent." Oh, excellent.
Obvious: Professors are taking longer to retire.
This study begins by stating that professors are now expected to retire later than previous generations, due to the haphazard economic climate, and everyone living a bloody long time.
The study ends by stating that this is exactly what is happening.
Surprising: Evolution does not favor the selfish.
Survival of the fittest is a theory that, thankfully, no longer applies to humans. (Disclaimer: I haven't been to the gym since 2007.) Still, if you want to win evolution, putting yourself first can only help. Right?
Well, no. It turns out that if we were all merely selfish, we would be extinct. Instead, co-operation has helped us survive this long. Some people call this 'karma,' but we'll stick with 'science.'
Obvious: Kids who sleep better perform better in school.
This study discovered that children who go to bed at the same time every night and get a decent night's sleep perform better on cognitive tests.
If their sleeping patterns are haphazard, however, they, um, sleep less well and aren't as on-the-ball.
Surprising: Breastfeeding actually makes kids perform better in school.
In honor of National Breastfeeding Week, researchers looked at kids who were breastfed versus those that weren't. Those who were fed only with breast milk for the first six months of their lives had higher IQs.
Maybe that's what the evolution study was referring to with "co-operative behavior."
Obvious: "Fat shaming" makes people more likely to become, and stay, obese.
Jeering at people about their weight, it emerges, does not actually put them on the road to effective long-term weight loss. In fact, it has the opposite effect. This study found that those who felt discriminated against kept the weight on, and actually ended up gaining even more weight.
Take note, people: bullying people about being fat does not inspire them to cut down on comfort food.
Surprising: Bars and restaurants that enforce smoking bans don't see any decline in business.
Though the effects of second-hand smoking are well-documented, bar and restaurant owners are often reluctant to enforce bans, fearing they'll lose patrons.
A massive study confirms that they don't have anything to worry about. Even in states with a history of tobacco manufacturing and a high smoking population, businesses don't typically lose any financial stake when they ban indoor smoking.
Obvious: Some people don't like listening to new kinds of music.
Sure, everyone says they're into new music. But in a study that mostly proves that scientists have too much time on their hands, people often secretly prefer listening to the old, familiar stuff.
The study suggested that people tend to choose music based on how familiar it is, rather than any other factors (such as liking that kind of music, or hearing about it.)
Come on, guys. We already knew we were playing that much Backstreet Boys for a reason.
Fascinating: The first man lived 135,000 years ago.
Science (literally, the journal Science) has published findings that suggest that the first man lived 135,000 years ago.
Before that, all researchers knew was that the first people were between 60,000 and 200,000 years ago — but that's a pretty big gap. Anyway, now they know, through tracing the Y chromosome, that the first man (we'll call him Greg) lived a very, very long time ago.
He also didn't live anywhere near the first woman, who scientists suspect was in East Africa. All they know aside from this is that Greg and — let's call her Sally — probably didn't meet, and did not have sex.