Quickies

Skepchick Quickies 11.12

  • Evolution is steered by aggressive competition between females – “One of the big themes in these studies is the fact that females invest so much energy in reproduction and child-rearing that they are unlikely to expend enormous amounts of energy on competition. Instead of smashing each other, they engage in low cost forms of competition, often resolving the question of who gets to breed and who doesn’t without ever fighting.” From Criticaldragon1177.
  • The HPV vaccine and the case for race-based medicine – “The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, approved in 2006, protects against strains of the virus responsible for 70% of cervical cancers. But what about the remaining 30%? It turns out that those strains circulate more frequently among African-American and non-white Hispanic women…” From Sarah.
  • Bra politics – This article brings up the interesting point of what would clothes look like if they were designed to flatter breasts that were unaltered by bras?
  • This booze substitute and its “antidote” get you drunk pain-free – From Mary, who definitely made a Synthehol joke.
  • Featured image by Virgina Sanderson

Amanda

Amanda is a science grad student in Boston whose favorite pastimes are having friendly debates and running amok.

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3 Comments

  1. Maybe I’m expecting too much of something from io9, but that female competition article really irritated me. This is a subject where even the best scientists frequently report what their preconceptions lead them to see rather than what is actually going on. And this article just throws around terms loosely (what do they mean by “aggression”? by “competition?) and reports “facts” without explaining exactly what the “fact” is or what sort of observations or research it’s based on. I came away feeling that they’d given the illusion of telling us something without actually doing so.

    1. Amm1,

      I got the impression that it could even be used to back up feminism believe it or not, since it was talking about the role females play in evolution. sexual selection and competition for mates isn’t just a male thing and the data proves that.

    2. What bothered me was the fact that the researchers and the blogger went out of their way to say ‘There are many many species that don’t fit this pattern’ and ‘We cannot extrapolate to human behavior’ – and even with that explication the comments are almost all people talking about human women’s behavior.
      Every fucking time.
      We are not chimps. We are not bonobos. We are apes, but we are not the same as other apes. Ape species are different from one another, and humans are unlike any other species on Earth.
      I want to copy/paste that all over every article about animal (especially primate) behavior.

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