Dr Khandis Rose Blake: Sexy selfies caused by social climbing, not the patriarchy (J4MB: No shit, Sherlock!)

A piece published on the website of Justice for Men & Boys (and the women who love them), the political party of which I’m the chairman, in August 2018:


Dr Khandis Rose Blake, a psychologist at the University of New South Wales

Dr Blake’s profile on the University of South Wales’s website is here. From her “Research snapshot”, the emphases are ours:

I have four main lines of research. First, my research considers how behavior, attitudes, and culture associated with gender are influenced by the interplay between biological, environmental, and economic forces. Myself and my collaborators propose that gendered phenomena such as inimate (sic) partner violence, [J4MB emphasis: It’s been known for almost 50 years that IPV is not a gendered phenomenon. Can Dr Blake seriously be unaware of the mountain of academic evidence over recent decades that confirms this?] attitudes toward abortion, and male-male aggression arise partially out of mating market dynamics [J4MB: Surely the same could be said for female-female aggression? It has long been known that the highest rates of IPV are found in lesbian couples.] Second, I investigate the causes and consequences of female-female intrasexual competition and the conditions under which female sexualization elevates women’s agency. Third, I develop methodological tools to advance the psychosocial study of female ovulation and ovarian hormones. Finally, I am interested in the reproductive contexts eliciting aggression, especially male-to-female aggression and intimate partner violence. [J4MB emphasis: There we have it. One of countless ideological “academics”.]

An example of my current research questions are:

    1. How do socio-structural outcomes predict misogynistic sentiment on Twitter (men’s right activism and related tweets)? [J4MB emphasis: No interest in misandrous sentiment on Twitter, from women in general, and feminists in particular?]

    2. What is the relationship between female intrasexual competition (sexualized selfies) and income inequality versus gender inequality?

    3. What is the relationship between gender equality and attitudes towards male-to-female intimate partner coercion? [J4MB emphasis: No interest in female-to-male intimate partner coercion?]

    4. How do sex ratios affect violent crime in Australia?

    5. How are attitudes towards female sexual suppression predicted by the reproductive stakes one holds in the sex of one’s kin.

Ms Blake came to my attention through a piece by Mark Bridge, Technology Correspondent, in today’s Times:

Women post sexy selfies for evolutionary “social-climbing” reasons and not due to patriarchal oppression, researchers claim. [J4MB: Not due to patriarchal oppression, which doesn’t exist? No shit, Sherlock!]

A study claims that women sexualise themselves online in places with greater economic inequality, rather than where they might be oppressed because of their sex. It claims they are not victims or vacuous but “strategic” mate-seekers. [J4MB: In common parlance, “slappers”.]

For their paper, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team of psychologists and evolutionary researchers analysed 68,562 selfies on Instagram and Facebook from 113 countries. They tracked posts where women tagged their selfies as “sexy”, “hot” or similar.

Khandis Blake of the University of New South Wales, the lead author, said: “We then looked at where these things happened most. The number one way that psychologists usually look at women’s preoccupation with their appearance is that it happens because of patriarchal pressures [The “number one way” is farcical… but then most psychologists are women, so that might contribute to the farce.] – that women live in societies that value their appearance more than their other qualities. The argument is usually that when you see sexualisation, you see disempowerment.

“What we found instead is that women are more likely to invest time and effort into posting sexy selfies online in places where economic inequality is rising, and not in places where men hold more societal power and gender inequality is rife.”

The researchers said income inequality increased competitiveness and status anxiety among people at all levels of the social hierarchy, making them sensitive to where they sit on the social ladder and wanting to do better than others.

Dr Blake said: “That income inequality is a big predictor of sexy selfies suggests that sexy selfies are a marker of social climbing among women that tracks economic incentives in the local environment. Rightly or wrongly, in today’s environment looking sexy can generate large returns, economically, socially, and personally.” [J4MB: “Rightly or wrongly”? A typical feminist sentiment, right there.]

They said the finding was borne out by higher real-word spending on appearance-enhancing products in areas showing economic inequalities. “What we found in more than 1,000 different economic areas in the US when looking at women’s spending in beauty salons and clothing stores is that income inequality is also predicting this type of spending,” Dr Blake said.

The researchers said the findings made sense from an evolutionary point of view. “In evolutionary terms, these kinds of behaviours are completely rational, even adaptive. The basic idea is that the way people compete for mates and the things they do to put themselves at the top of the hierarchy are really important. This is where this research fits in – it’s all about how women are competing and why they’re competing.

“So when a young woman adjusts her bikini provocatively with her phone at the ready, don’t think of her as vacuous or as a victim. Think of her as a strategic player in a complex social and evolutionary game. She’s out to maximise her lot in life, just like everyone,” Dr Blake said. [J4MB: What’s that, Skippy? This study supports the obvious conclusion that feminists’ patriarchy theory is a pile of steaming crap? I think you’re right!]

The findings have proved controversial. One man responded on Twitter: “Aren’t the women just doing it for fun or maybe for attention? If so, accusing them of financial motivation is really, really sexist.”

Another said: “Oh bunkum, it’s what some women, quite a lot of women actually, just love to do. Simple. Please stop making a nonsense out of this.”

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