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posted by janrinok on Friday November 07 2014, @01:58PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the I-have-a-dream dept.

Antonia Molloy reports at The Independent that scientists at the University of Montreal wanted to find out what exactly constitutes an atypical sexual fantasy or paraphilia and set out to define sexual deviation by grouping sexual fantasies according to how widespread they are. For example, dreaming about sleeping with two women is common, while fantasizing about having sex with an animal is not. “Clinically, we know what pathological sexual fantasies are: they involve non-consenting partners, they induce pain, or they are absolutely necessary in deriving satisfaction. But apart from that, what exactly are abnormal or atypical fantasies?” The scientists asked 1,517 Quebec adults (799 men and 718 women) to rank 55 different sexual fantasies, as well as to describe their own favorite fantasy in detail. Of this sample, 85.1 per cent were heterosexual, 3.6 per cent were homosexual and the remainder identified as neither of these. Overall, it was found that men had more fantasies than women and they also described these more vividly.

The number and taxonomy of paraphilias is under debate; one source lists as many as 549 types of paraphilias. The study found that thirty sexual fantasies were common for one or both genders. A significant proportion of women (30 per cent to 60 per cent) had fantasies involving elements of submission – but many also specified that they never wanted these to come true. By contrast, the majority of men did want their fantasies to become reality. One theory of sexual fantasies is that our fantasies are psychological mechanisms for coping with anxiety. "Our main objective was to specify norms in sexual fantasies, an essential step in defining pathologies," says Christian Joyal, lead author of the study. "And as we suspected, there are a lot more common fantasies than atypical fantasies."

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Friday November 07 2014, @02:14PM

    by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Friday November 07 2014, @02:14PM (#113802) Journal

    "And by definition, there are a lot more common fantasies than atypical fantasies."

    FTFTFA

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Ethanol-fueled on Friday November 07 2014, @02:24PM

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Friday November 07 2014, @02:24PM (#113807) Homepage

      A lot of those so-called "atypical" fantasies are not atypical at all, people probably just don't want to admit that they're into rape or animals.

      Rape was how everything got laid before men made rape a property-crime in the Middle-Ages. In fact, one could argue that the only abnormal sexual hang-up is asexualism.

      Humans are, underneath it all, still animals. And if you think for a second that you're somehow "better" than the other species, take a look at the world around you -- wars, famine, reckless breeding, hoarding, pack behavior; and of course rape.

      Look at the maniacal glee on a baby's face when he spits all over you. That is because that baby has not yet learned to hide his animalistic behavior under the superficial cover of so-called "social norms." Humans at their worse commit "sin" no better or worse than any muskrat killing his reproductive competition.

      • (Score: 2) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Friday November 07 2014, @02:34PM

        by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Friday November 07 2014, @02:34PM (#113812) Journal

        > A lot of those so-called "atypical" fantasies are not atypical at all, people probably just don't want to admit that they're into rape or animals.

        That's the trouble with studies like this: You have to either do it non-anonymously in the hope that it will encourage people to take it seriously, but at the cost of honesty, or do it anonymously and sort through lots of "robe and wizard hat" prank answers.

        > That is because that baby has not yet learned to hide his animalistic behavior under the superficial cover of so-called "social norms."

        More likely, the baby is just responding to the face you just pulled. Babies have not yet developed empathy, and therefore can't do anything maliciously.

        • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Friday November 07 2014, @03:52PM

          by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Friday November 07 2014, @03:52PM (#113843) Homepage

          " More likely, the baby is just responding to the face you just pulled. Babies have not yet developed empathy, and therefore can't do anything maliciously. "

          Some people(sociopaths, politicians, whatever you want to call 'em) with perfectly normal upbringings don't develop emphathy even in adulthood -- to them, everything is about risk and reward. Others are just brutal. Others are not. But that we have opposable thumbs and a prefrontal cortex doesn't make us somehow "above" the other species, it just makes us more refined beasts still ultimately governed by primal needs and urges.

          • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07 2014, @04:35PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07 2014, @04:35PM (#113859)

            I have no constructive comment to make, but I'd just like to point out that three distinct styles of quoting have been used over the span of only four posts in this subthread.

            I think that's kind of cool.

        • (Score: 2) by Common Joe on Saturday November 08 2014, @06:34AM

          by Common Joe (33) <reversethis-{moc ... 1010.eoj.nommoc}> on Saturday November 08 2014, @06:34AM (#113988) Journal

          A lot of those so-called "atypical" fantasies are not atypical at all, people probably just don't want to admit that they're into rape or animals.

          That's the trouble with studies like this: You have to either do it non-anonymously in the hope that it will encourage people to take it seriously, but at the cost of honesty, or do it anonymously and sort through lots of "robe and wizard hat" prank answers.

          I think there are a tremendous amount of truth in both of these statements.

          In the last link provided in the summary, it defines "sex with a child or animal" as a rare fantasy. I call that into question. The costumes for Halloween are ridiculously sexualized for not only women [happyjar.com] (ok to click; safe for work), but girls as well. I tend to avoid marching into malls on a Friday or Saturday night, but on the few occasions I've gone, I saw obviously underage girls wearing T-shirts with Playboy emblems on them. Ten years ago, the local rock radio station had a countdown as to when the Olsen twins would hit 18. The more recent version of that was seeing the comments fly about Emma Watson.

          When searching for nude pictures on the Internet, most photos show women totally bare "down there" (in addition to smooth legs and shaved under the arms) -- which is suspiciously like a kid. In my personal searches, it seems to be a bit more difficult to find natural pictures of women with hair. It's certainly difficult to find pictures of women without a boob job. Very few people enjoy seeing women with wrinkles or a certain amount of natural sagging. As a society, we don't want our girls ever grow up.

          As for animals, finding that stuff is pretty rare. (I don't go searching for them, but I do know they don't pop up on the home page of porn video sites.) I think it's rare because it's illegal, but there seem to be an awful lot of jokes about sex and animals in our society. The fascination is definitely there. My take? If people talk a lot about a subject, even if it is supposedly false, then there is usually an element of truth buried in there... or in this case, a lot of people talk about this subject for it being supposedly rare.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Thexalon on Friday November 07 2014, @03:58PM

        by Thexalon (636) on Friday November 07 2014, @03:58PM (#113846)

        Rape was how everything got laid before men made rape a property-crime in the Middle-Ages.

        There's not a shred of evidence for that sentence, and plenty of evidence against it:
        1. Our nearest relatives among animals, the great apes, get laid all the time with signals of consent between both partners.
        2. The first documented evidence of consensual sex can be found in Sumeria, shortly after writing was invented. There's plenty of it documented to be going on in Egypt, Greece, Rome, China, India, and most other ancient societies.
        3. There are Biblical laws about rape, so the first rape laws definitely pre-date the Middle Ages.
        4. There were isolated societies like Tahiti that had a free-love culture (why do you think it was such a popular stop for sailors?) that developed quite independently of any laws made by European men in the Middle Ages. There is also clear historical evidence of consensual family arrangements among American First Nations.

        The idea that the first homo sapiens marriage was anything like what was depicted in History of the World Part I is simply wrong.

        --
        The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07 2014, @03:58PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07 2014, @03:58PM (#113847)

        "And if you think for a second that you're somehow "better" than the other species"
        We have gone to the moon, harnessed the power of nuclear fission, eradicated smallpox, developed antibiotics, etc.
        Point out another species that has accomplished as much as us.

        • (Score: 3, Funny) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Friday November 07 2014, @04:07PM

          by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Friday November 07 2014, @04:07PM (#113851) Journal

          We have gone to the moon, harnessed the power of nuclear fission, eradicated smallpox, developed antibiotics, etc.

          Don't forget the wheel, New York, wars and so on. Oh, and digital watches...

          • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Friday November 07 2014, @05:18PM

            by tangomargarine (667) on Friday November 07 2014, @05:18PM (#113874)

            Digital watches are pretty cool.

            --
            "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
        • (Score: 1) by art guerrilla on Friday November 07 2014, @05:41PM

          by art guerrilla (3082) on Friday November 07 2014, @05:41PM (#113883)

          i will only quote this old chestnut: movement is not achievement...

        • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Friday November 07 2014, @08:33PM

          by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Friday November 07 2014, @08:33PM (#113930) Homepage

          That is only glorified tool use and figuring shit out over generations. We're glorified versions of every simian or bird that knows how to use sticks to hunt for insects.

          And about that nuclear fission, the delivery may have been highly technical but the original primary purpose was still the killing of enemies. I rest my case. You're forgetting that much of our technical progress has been spearheaded by maintaining superiority over everybody else, which is pretty tribal if you ask me.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07 2014, @09:15PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07 2014, @09:15PM (#113936)

            So what metrics do you judge species by such that humans are not ahead of every other species?

            • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Friday November 07 2014, @09:45PM

              by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Friday November 07 2014, @09:45PM (#113939) Homepage

              You're missing the point. We are ahead of other species in many ways, but we are still animals and subject to our primitive urges. What I am trying to say is that is it ridiculous to label certain human behavior "abnormal" or "unnatural" while it occurs regularly in our species and has been extensively discussed and documented throughout history.

                 

              • (Score: 2) by Blackmoore on Friday November 07 2014, @10:18PM

                by Blackmoore (57) on Friday November 07 2014, @10:18PM (#113943) Journal

                The fact that we keep eliminating other species from existence seems to reinforce your point.

    • (Score: 2) by jcross on Friday November 07 2014, @02:33PM

      by jcross (4009) on Friday November 07 2014, @02:33PM (#113811)

      It's not true by definition if you're counting the fantasies, and not (fantasies * fantasizers). For instance, there could have been 5 fantasies that almost all subjects had and 50 that were all very rare, in which case there would have been fewer common fantasies than atypical ones.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07 2014, @02:19PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07 2014, @02:19PM (#113805)

    I find it hard to believe that 45% of men have fantasized about having sex with two men. I guess it's possible, I'm just surprised the number includes very much of the hetero population at all.

    • (Score: 2) by jcross on Friday November 07 2014, @02:37PM

      by jcross (4009) on Friday November 07 2014, @02:37PM (#113815)

      This is Quebec we're talking about; possibly all the subjects are even from Montreal itself. I haven't been there myself, but from what I've gathered it's a sexually progressive kind of place.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Gaaark on Friday November 07 2014, @03:40PM

        by Gaaark (41) on Friday November 07 2014, @03:40PM (#113839) Journal

        I've been there... i'm surprised all of their fantasies don't involve driving over the speed limit and weaving in and out of traffic in a dangerous manner!

        [I survived the trip out east and all i got was this lousy t-shirt.]

        --
        --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07 2014, @02:50PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07 2014, @02:50PM (#113817)

      That probably means a threesome with two men and one woman. Gay sex was a separate question.

  • (Score: 4, Funny) by PizzaRollPlinkett on Friday November 07 2014, @02:26PM

    by PizzaRollPlinkett (4512) on Friday November 07 2014, @02:26PM (#113808)

    This kind of nonsense is what gives real science a bad name. These people should not be called scientists, and this sort of thing should not be called science.

    --
    (E-mail me if you want a pizza roll!)
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Kilo110 on Friday November 07 2014, @02:29PM

      by Kilo110 (2853) on Friday November 07 2014, @02:29PM (#113810)

      Is human behavior not worthy of research?

      How is that not science?

    • (Score: 2) by hoochiecoochieman on Friday November 07 2014, @03:04PM

      by hoochiecoochieman (4158) on Friday November 07 2014, @03:04PM (#113824)

      And why is that? Would you care to elaborate?

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Geezer on Friday November 07 2014, @03:10PM

      by Geezer (511) on Friday November 07 2014, @03:10PM (#113829)

      Two flavors of science involved here: soft and hard. (pun gleefully intended)

    • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Friday November 07 2014, @05:22PM

      by tangomargarine (667) on Friday November 07 2014, @05:22PM (#113876)

      I'm a bit skeptical about how they define "atypical." From the summary it sounds like they're doing more of a study on social norms than on anything involving brain chemistry.

      And of course where they're getting their sample is probably dubious. When was the last time anybody did a study that DIDN'T have an extremely suspicious subject pool?

      --
      "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by ilPapa on Friday November 07 2014, @03:10PM

    by ilPapa (2366) on Friday November 07 2014, @03:10PM (#113828) Journal

    "And as we suspected, there are a lot more common fantasies than atypical fantasies."

    As we suspected.

    For the past decade or so, I've been running a writing program for mathematicians. Man, scientists need help with using words. I got the idea for it when I proofread my wife's dissertation.

    A big part of it is getting them just to read what they've written as if it had been written by someone else.

    --
    You are still welcome on my lawn.
    • (Score: 2) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Friday November 07 2014, @03:20PM

      by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Friday November 07 2014, @03:20PM (#113833) Journal

      For the past decade or so, I've been running a writing program for mathematicians.

      That's pretty impressive uptime. What OS are you running this program on?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07 2014, @08:17PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07 2014, @08:17PM (#113928)

      Try using the narrator feature of your operating system of choice. So many errors and odd phrasing and whatnot are found that way. Also having them read it out loud themselves might help too.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 08 2014, @02:41AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 08 2014, @02:41AM (#113972)

        That is only valid when there is sufficient reason to believe that someone will eventually read it aloud for someone other than themselves. Conference papers should absolutely be written in a conversational tone and be able to be read aloud. If it is just notes, an essay to be submitted to a journal, or a dissertation, then a conversational style is not at all necessary. It can even be detrimental, as the language must be far more verbose and assume less of their audience. The difference between a dissertation that was written to be read and one that was written to be listened to can be several hundred pages. Sure, it is nice to read something like that now and again, but dissertations are primarily sources of research. It is not fair for every person that will ever reference your in-depth work to muddle through long-winded 'pleasant' writing. Most academics would just rather skip that specific person's work if there is an alternative that gets the same point across.

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by wonkey_monkey on Friday November 07 2014, @03:20PM

    by wonkey_monkey (279) on Friday November 07 2014, @03:20PM (#113834) Homepage

    For example, dreaming about sleeping with two women is common

    Is it?

    Jeez, I can't even catch a break in my dreams.

    --
    systemd is Roko's Basilisk
    • (Score: 2) by cafebabe on Saturday November 08 2014, @02:21AM

      by cafebabe (894) on Saturday November 08 2014, @02:21AM (#113968) Journal

      Your mom doesn't count. Well, not with that amount of facial hair.

      --
      1702845791×2
  • (Score: 2) by nitehawk214 on Friday November 07 2014, @03:22PM

    by nitehawk214 (1304) on Friday November 07 2014, @03:22PM (#113835)

    I was expecting the punchline to be about a mathematician with a fetish for statistics.

    --
    "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
    • (Score: 2) by WillR on Friday November 07 2014, @05:48PM

      by WillR (2012) on Friday November 07 2014, @05:48PM (#113887)
      There's a joke about statistics being able to make the soft sciences hard in there somewhere...
    • (Score: 1) by GeminiDomino on Friday November 07 2014, @06:03PM

      by GeminiDomino (661) on Friday November 07 2014, @06:03PM (#113895)

      Statisticians do it with more degrees of freedom?

      --
      "We've been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of our culture"
  • (Score: 3, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07 2014, @03:28PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07 2014, @03:28PM (#113837)

    Anyone got a link to the research itself, without paywall? Specifically, I need access to the 1,517 detailed descriptions of favourite sexual fantasies.

    For science, obviously.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by tynin on Friday November 07 2014, @03:46PM

      by tynin (2013) on Friday November 07 2014, @03:46PM (#113842) Journal

      Honey, I only read it for the science!

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07 2014, @05:03PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07 2014, @05:03PM (#113869)

    A significant proportion of women (30 per cent to 60 per cent) had fantasies involving elements of submission – but many also specified that they never wanted these to come true.

    Could it be that women are less truthful about such stuff than men? There's supposedly a lot more pressure to conform on women. More men also seem to care less about what other people think (if they really cared there would be far fewer guys in prison right?), so more men might actually tell the truth about such stuff.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 08 2014, @02:53PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 08 2014, @02:53PM (#114039)

      Another possibility, depending on (among other things) how the question was worded, is that men and women interpreted the question differently. Perhaps men interpreted it as "Do you want to actually play out your fantasy with a loving partner?" whereas women interpreted it as "Do you want to actually be raped?" (for example)

      --
      another anon