“Our aim in this study is to describe the characteristics of sexual development in twins and estimate the role of heritability and environmental factors as causes of certain sexual disorders. Two hundred and ten adult same-sex twin pairs (92 monozygotic [MZ] female, 41 MZ male, 55 dizygotic [DZ] female and 22 DZ male pairs) were involved in the study. Data were collected in 1982 by self-administered questionnaires that included items on sexual maturation, sexual life, contraception, mutual sexual activity within twin pairs and alcohol use. The ratio of married to unmarried twins was nearly the same in MZs and DZs, with the exception that the divorce rate was higher in MZ female twins (14%), and DZ and male twins were slightly more likely to be single. Menarche was later in twins compared to non-twin Hungarian women. 57% of MZs experienced menarche within 3 months of each other, 77% within 6 months while it occurred for 30% and 43% respectively in DZs. The first seminal emission indicated some delay in male twins compared with the Hungarian general population sample. MZ first kisses occurred later than DZ’s first kisses. The same was true for the first petting, masturbation ...
When an international collaboration of physicists came up with a result that punched a hole in Einstein's theory of special relativity and couldn't find any mistakes in their work, they asked the world to take a second look at their experiment.
Moscow (AFP) Dec 23, 2011
A Russian satellite on Friday crashed into Siberia minutes after its launch due to rocket failure, the defence ministry said, in the latest humiliating setback for Russia's embattled space programme. The failure of the Soyuz-2.1B rocket - a member of the same family that Russia uses to send humans to space - comes after a supply ship bound for the International Space Station (ISS) carried
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This being the season of good will to all men (at least for those of us with a Christian heritage), it's time to bring a little harmony to the most tumultuous conflict of our times. Yes, I'm talking about the war between 'new' atheists and the religious.
When you see these folks slogging it out on the internet, one regular touch point is over whether religion causes wars - or at least makes them worse.
Of course, we can all cite wars in which the two sides have different religions, but often the two sides differ in lots of other ways. Quite often, what we see is two different ethnic groups fighting. So is religion really contributing to these conflicts, or is it an innocent bystander?
Who is right in the great atheist versus religious battle? Well, the best way to bring some Christmas peace is, of course, to get science to shed some light on the matter. If in doubt, quantify!
Kür?ad Turan, at the University of Ankara, has done just this using a database created by the Minorities at Risk project at the University of Maryland. Turan wanted to know whether language barriers or religious barriers were the biggest contributors to ethnic strife. Uniquely, he was able to look at the problem from the perspective of both the ethnic groups and of the State.
First he looked at the factors that contributed to protest and rebellion by ethnic minorities. Here he found that use of different languages by ethnic groups was much more likely to be associated with inter-ethnic strife than religious differences.
In fact, religious differences had a negative effect! If two ethnic groups had different religions, conflict was actually slightly less likely.
When it came to state repression, however, it was a different story. State repression is actually higher in countries where ethnic groups are separated by religion. Language had no effect on state repression. What's more, state repression of religion increases ethnic conflict, while state repression of language decreases it.
Turan concludes that religion and language play a different roles for ethnic agitators and state repressors. He thinks that states can try to subtly control language, but are more likely to try to co-opt religion. When they repress language, people conform. When they repress religion, people revolt.
Of course, that's not to say that religion isn't a flash point between people. There's an interesting working paper produced by an EU-funded research programme into conflict (actually based at the University of Sussex, just down the road from me). It's MicroCon Working Paper 18, by Frances Stewart, at Oxford University.
She looked at recent survey conducted in four countries where there is ongoing ethnic strife - Ghana, Nigeria, Indonesia and Malaysia. There were lots of interesting findings, one of which was that religious differences and ethnic differences were about equally often cited as a rationale for violence (as shown in the graphic).
Clearly, then people can be motivated to conflict for either religious or ethnic reasons. But what determines which of the two takes hold in any given location?
Well, based on the interviews that Stewart and her colleagues counducted, she reckons the bottom line is self-interest:
"mobilisation occurred behind the identity which was thought to affect people?s material chances of securing government jobs, contracts etc., rather than behind the identity that appeared to mean most to the people."
For some reason, a lot of gorgeous pictures are being released after I post my Top 24 Deep Space Pictures of 2011 gallery. Figures. Since I already had a few images from NASA’s WISE observatory in the gallery anyway I guess can’t complain too[...]
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One gene appears to regulate the brain?s ability to form new memories.
Global wildlife is facing an unprecedented threat from natural disasters exacerbated by climate change, warn scientists in a paper published in Trends in Ecology and Evolution.
A new study describes how a complex genomic rearrangement causes a fascinating phenotype in chickens in which a massive expansion of pigment cells not only makes the skin and comb black, but also results in black internal organs.
Every year for Christmas, the North American Air Defence Command NORAD posts an animation on their website, in which the exact flight path of Santa Claus' sled led by reindeer Rudolf is precisely located.