Wikipedia links of interest
A snuff film is a motion picture genre that depicts the actual murder of a person or people, without the aid of special effects, for the express purpose of distribution and entertainment or financial exploitation. The existence of for-profit snuff films is generally considered an urban legend. Some filmed records of executions and murders exist but have not been made or released for commercial purposes.
Alexithymia ( /ˌeɪlɛksəˈθaɪmiə/) is a term coined by psychotherapist Peter Sifneos in 1973 to describe a state of deficiency in understanding, processing, or describing emotions. The word comes from the Ancient Greek words λέξις (lexis, “diction”, “word”) and θυμός (thumos, “soul, as the seat of emotion, feeling, and thought”) modified by an alpha-privative, literally meaning “without words for emotions“.
Contrary to popular belief, there is no G-spot.
In addition to general skepticism among gynecologists, doctors and researchers that the G-Spot exists, a team at King’s College London in late 2009 suggested that its existence is subjective. They acquired the largest sample size of women to date – 1,800 – who are pairs of twins, and found that the twins did not report a similar G-Spot in their questionnaires. The research, headed by Tim Spector, documents a 15-year study of the twins, identical and non-identical. Identical twins share genes, while non-identical pairs share 50% of theirs. According to the researchers, if one identical twin reported having a G-Spot, it was more likely that the other would too, but this pattern did not materialize. Study co-author Dr. Andrea Burri believes: “It is rather irresponsible to claim the existence of an entity that has never been proven and pressurise women and men too.” Burri stated that one of the reasons for the research was to remove feelings of “inadequacy or underachievement” for women who feared they lacked a G-Spot. Dr. Beverly Whipple dismissed the findings, commenting that twins have different sexual partners and techniques, and that the study did not properly account for lesbian or bisexual women.
In a July 2001 article for Scientific American titled “The Truth and the Hype of Hypnosis”, Michael Nash wrote:
…using hypnosis, scientists have temporarily created hallucinations, compulsions, certain types of memory loss, false memories, and delusions in the laboratory so that these phenomena can be studied in a controlled environment.
A number of studies show that hypnosis can reduce the pain experienced during burn-wound debridement, bone marrow aspirations, and childbirth. The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis found that hypnosis relieved the pain of 75% of 933 subjects participating in 27 different experiments.
In 1996, the National Institutes of Health declared hypnosis effective in reducing pain from cancer and other chronic conditions. Nausea and other symptoms related to incurable diseases may also be managed with hypnosis. For example, research done at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine studied two patient groups facing breast cancer surgery. The group that received hypnosis reported less pain, nausea, and anxiety post-surgery. The average hypnosis patient reduced treatment costs by an average $772.00.
The American Psychological Association published a study comparing the effects of hypnosis, ordinary suggestion and placebo in reducing pain. The study found that highly suggestible individuals experienced a greater reduction in pain from hypnosis compared with placebo, whereas less suggestible subjects experienced no pain reduction from hypnosis when compared with placebo. Ordinary non-hypnotic suggestion also caused reduction in pain compared to placebo, but was able to reduce pain in a wider range of subjects (both high and low suggestible) than hypnosis. The results showed that it is primarily the subject’s responsiveness to suggestion, whether within the context of hypnosis or not, that is the main determinant of causing reduction in pain.
The success rate for habit control is varied. A meta-study researching hypnosis as a quit-smoking tool found it had a 20 to 30 percent success rate, similar to other quit-smoking methods, while a 2007 study of patients hospitalised for cardiac and pulmonary ailments found that smokers who used hypnosis to quit smoking doubled their chances of success.
Hypnosis may be useful as an adjunct therapy for weight loss. A 1996 meta-analysis studying hypnosis combined with cognitive-behavioural therapy found that people using both treatments lost more weight than people using CBT alone. The virtual gastric band procedure mixes hypnosis with hypnopedia. The hypnosis instructs the stomach it is smaller than it really is and hypnopedia reinforces alimentary habits.
Controversy surrounds the use of hypnotherapy to retrieve memories, especially those from early childhood or (alleged) past-lives. The American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association caution against repressed memory therapy in cases of alleged childhood trauma, stating that “it is impossible, without corroborative evidence, to distinguish a true memory from a false one.” Past life regression, meanwhile, is often viewed with skepticism.
A recently declassified document obtained by The Black Vault Freedom of Information Act archive shows that hypnosis was investigated for military applications. However, the overall conclusion of the study was that there was no evidence that hypnosis could be used for military applications, and also that there was no clear evidence for whether ‘hypnosis’ actually exists as a definable phenomenon outside of ordinary suggestion, high motivation and subject expectancy. According to the document,
The use of hypnosis in intelligence would present certain technical problems not encountered in the clinic or laboratory. To obtain compliance from a resistant source, for example, it would be necessary to hypnotise the source under essentially hostile circumstances. There is no good evidence, clinical or experimental, that this can be done.
Furthermore, the document states that:
It would be difficult to find an area of scientific interest more beset by divided professional opinion and contradictory experimental evidence…No one can say whether hypnosis is a qualitatively unique state with some physiological and conditioned response components or only a form of suggestion induced by high motivation and a positive relationship between hypnotist and subject…T.X. Barber has produced “hypnotic deafness” and “hypnotic blindness”, analgesia and other responses seen in hypnosis—all without hypnotizing anyone…Orne has shown that unhypnotized persons can be motivated to equal and surpass the supposed superhuman physical feats seen in hypnosis.
The study concludes:
It is probably significant that in the long history of hypnosis, where the potential application to intelligence has always been known, there are no reliable accounts of its effective use by an intelligence service.
Research into hypnosis in military applications is further verified by the MKULTRA experiments, also conducted by the CIA. According to Congressional testimony, the CIA experimented with utilizing LSD and hypnosis for mind control. Many of these programs were done domestically and on participants who were not informed of the study’s purposes or that they would be given drugs.
The full paper explores the potentials of operational uses.
In 2003, a meta-analysis of the efficacy of hypnotherapy was published by two researchers from the university of Konstanz in Germany, Flammer and Bongartz. The study examined data on the efficacy of hypnotherapy across the board, though studies included mainly related to psychosomatic illness, test anxiety, smoking cessation and pain control during orthodox medical treatment. Most of the better research studies used traditional-style hypnosis, only a minority (19%) employed Ericksonian hypnosis.
The authors considered a total of 444 studies on hypnotherapy published prior to 2002. By selecting the best quality and most suitable research designs for meta-analysis they narrowed their focus down to 57 controlled trials. These showed that on average hypnotherapy achieved at least 64% success compared to 37% improvement among untreated control groups. (Based on the figures produced by binomial effect size display or BESD.)
According to the authors this was an intentional underestimation. Their professed aim was to discover whether, even under the most skeptical weighing of the evidence, hypnotherapy was still proven effective. They showed conclusively that it was. In fact, their analysis of treatment designs concluded that expansion of the meta-analysis to include non-randomized trials for this data base would also produce reliable results. When all 133 studies deemed suitable in light of this consideration were re-analyzed, providing data for over 6,000 patients, the findings suggest an average improvement in 27% of untreated patients over the term of the studies compared with a 74% success rate among those receiving hypnotherapy. This is a high success rate given the fact that many of the studies measured included the treatment of addictions and medical conditions. The outcome rates for anxiety disorders alone, traditionally hypnotherapy’s strongest application, were higher still (though a precise figure is not cited).(Flammer & Bongartz, “On the efficacy of hypnosis: a meta-analytic study”, Contemporary Hypnosis, 2003, pp179 – 197.)
In 2005 and in 2007, systematic reviews from the Cochrane Collaboration showed no proper evidence that hypnotherapy was useful in the treatment of smoking addiction or in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) 
The last part here is important. Cochrane Collaboration reviews are the most reliable sources of information in medicine.
Yet, i was still skeptical. Hypnosis is way too often associated with bogus ideas. So i looked into these links as well:
In general, there seems to be something to it. I’m still somewhat skeptical. The future will tell.
I think i may have posted this one before, but i searched a bit and cudn’t find a post with it.
Since only a small percentage of acts of sexual violence are brought to the attention of the authorities, it is impossible to compile accurate statistics. There are nevertheless statistical estimates published by some official bodies. The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (1997) estimated that 91% of United States rape victims were female and 9% were male, with 99% of the offenders being male and 1% of the offenders being female. Several studies argue that male-male and female-female prison rape are quite common and may be the least reported form of rape.
Several studies argue that male-male prisoner rape, as well as female-female prisoner rape, might be the most common and least-reported forms of rape, with some studies suggesting such rapes are substantially more common in both per-capita and raw-number totals than male-female rapes in the general population.
Research from the UK suggests that almost 3% of men reported a non-consensual sexual experience as adults and over 5% of men reported sexual abuse as a child. This does not take into account the possibility of exaggeration or false reports nor of underreporting. Recognition of male on male rape in law has historically been limited; the first successful prosecution for attempted male on male rape in the UK was not until 1995.
Male on male rape has historically been shrouded in secrecy due to the stigma men associate with being raped by other men. According to psychologist Dr Sarah Crome fewer than one in ten male-male rapes are reported. As a group, male rape victims reported a lack of services and support, and legal systems are often ill-equipped to deal with this type of crime.
The rape of men by men has been documented as a weapon of terror in warfare.
I read this becus of my upcoming review of another book. Might as well post it here. Note that not all effects claimed to be halo effects are actually so. Some are true generalizations/correlations. Intelligence and attractiveness DOES correlate, even surprisingly strongly.
The halo effect or halo error is a cognitive bias in which our judgments of a person’s character can be influenced by our overall impression of them. It can be found in a range of situations—from the courtroom to the classroom and in everyday interactions. The halo effect was given its name by psychologist Edward Thorndike and since then, several researchers have studied the halo effect in relation to attractiveness, and its bearing on the judicial and educational systems.
Dion and Berscheid (1972) conducted a study on the relationship between attractiveness and the halo effect. Sixty students from University of Minnesota took part in the experiment, half being male and half being female. Each subject was given three different photos to examine: one of an attractive individual, one of an individual of average attractiveness, and one of an unattractive individual.
The participants judged the photos’ subjects along 27 different personality traits (including altruism, conventionality, self-assertiveness, stability, emotionality, trustworthiness, extraversion, kindness, and sexual promiscuity). Participants were then asked to predict the overall happiness the photos’ subjects would feel for the rest of their lives, including marital happiness (least likely to get divorced), parental happiness (most likely to be a good parent), social and professional happiness (most likely to experience life fulfillment), and overall happiness. Finally, participants were asked if the subjects would hold a job of high status, medium status, or low status.
Results showed that participants overwhelmingly believed the more attractive subjects to have more socially desirably personality traits than either the averagely attractive or unattractive subjects. Participants also believed that the attractive individuals would lead happier lives in general, have happier marriages, be better parents, and have more career success than the unattractive or averagely attractive individuals. Also, results showed that attractive people were believed to be more likely to hold secure, prestigious jobs compared to unattractive individuals.
Landy and Sigall’s 1974 study demonstrated the halo effect on judgments of intelligence and competence on academic tasks. 60 male undergraduate students rated the quality of written essays, which included both well-written and poorly written samples. One third of the participants were presented with a photo of an attractive female as an author, another third were presented with a photo of an unattractive female as the author, and the last third were not shown a photo.
Participants gave significantly better writing evaluations for the more attractive author. On a scale of 1–9 with 1 being the poorest, the well-written essay by the attractive author received an average of 6.7 while the unattractive author received a 5.9 (with a 6.6 as a control). The gap was larger on the poor essay: the attractive author received an average of 5.2, the control a 4.7, and the unattractive a 2.7. These results suggest that people are generally more willing to give physically attractive people the benefit of the doubt when performance is below standard, whereas unattractive people are less likely to receive this favored treatment.
In Moore, Filippou, and Perret’s 2011 study, the researchers sought to determine if residual cues to intelligence and personality existed in male and female faces. Researchers attempted to control for the attractiveness halo effect, but failed. They manipulated the perceived intelligence of photographs of individuals, and it was found that those faces that were manipulated to look high in perceived intelligences were also rated as more attractive. It was also found that the faces high in perceived intelligence were also rated highly on perceived friendliness and sense of humor.
Multiple studies have found the halo effect operating within juries. Research shows that attractive individuals receive lesser sentences and are not as likely to be found guilty than an unattractive individual. Efran (1974) found that subjects were more generous when giving out sentences to attractive individuals than to unattractive individuals, even when exactly the same crime was committed. One reason why this occurs is because people with a high level of attractiveness are seen as more likely to have a brighter future in society due to the socially desirable traits they are believed to possess.
Monahan (1941) did a study on social workers who are accustomed to interacting with people from all different types of backgrounds. The study found that the majority of these social workers found it very difficult to believe that beautiful looking people are guilty of a crime.
The relation of the crime itself to attractiveness is also subject to the halo effect. A study presented two hypothetical crimes: a burglary and a swindle. The burglary involved a woman illegally obtaining a key and stealing $2,200; the swindle involved a woman manipulating a man to invest $2,000 in a fabricated business. The results showed that when the offense was not related to attractiveness (in this case, the burglary), the unattractive defendant was punished more severely than the attractive one. However, when the offense was related to attractiveness (the swindle), the attractive defendant was punished more severely than the unattractive one. Participants may have believed the attractive person more likely to manipulate someone using their looks.
Abikoff found that the halo effect is also present in the classroom. In this study, both regular and special education elementary school teachers watched videotapes of what they believed to be children in regular 4th-grade classrooms. In reality, the children were actors, depicting behaviors present in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), or standard behavior. The teachers were asked to rate the frequency of hyperactive behaviors observed in the children. Teachers rated hyperactive behaviors accurately for children with ADHD; however, the ratings of hyperactivity and other behaviors associated with ADHD were rated much higher for the children with ODD-like behaviors, showing a halo effect for children with oppositional defiant disorder.
Foster and Ysseldyke (1976) also found the halo effect present in teachers’ evaluations of children. Regular and special education elementary school teachers watched videos of a normal child whom they were told was either emotionally disturbed, possessing a learning disorder, mentally retarded, or “normal”. The teachers then completed referral forms based on the child’s behavior. The results showed that teachers held negative expectancies toward emotionally disturbed children, maintaining these expectancies even when presented with normal behavior. In addition, the mentally retarded label showed a greater degree of negative bias than the emotionally disturbed or learning disabled. 
Some researchers allege that the halo effect is not as pervasive as once believed. Kaplan’s 1978 study yielded much of the same results as are seen in other studies focusing on the halo effect—attractive individuals were rated high in qualities such as creativity, intelligence, and sensitivity than unattractive individuals. In addition these results, Kaplan found that women were influenced by the halo effect on attractiveness only when presented with members of the opposite sex. When presented with an attractive member of the same sex, women actually tended to rate the individual lower on socially desirable qualities.
Criticisms have also pointed out that jealously of an attractive individual could be a major factor in evaluation of that person. A study by Dermer and Thiel has shown this to be more prevalent among females then males, with females describing physically attractive women as having socially undesirable traits.