Good Fashion, Good Business, Bad Science

First, an excellent video about bikinis and modesty:

I am 100% in favor of this lady’s designs and business.

Second, a rant on bad logic in science:

She sites a study that somebody did somewhere that indicated that men, when confronted with a woman in a bikini, lose the ability to think clearly. That should strike you as the sort of thing that doesn’t need a scientific study or a bunch of electrodes taped to a guy’s head, but please remember that people in lab coats need jobs too. What bothers me is that, instead of observing that a woman in a state of undress undermines a man’s capacity for abstract thought, lowers his communication skills, and increases his urges for physical activities, the brilliant scientists concluded that the parts of male brain that became active were those most associated with mechanical tools and that therefore men view women in bikinis as “objects.”

I find myself at something of a loss to describe how poor that logical reasoning is. Working backward, a tool is something more specific and more valuable to a person than a generic “object.” You would think that the logical conclusion would have been that, if a bikini makes a man’s brain activate its tool-oriented sections, he must think of the bikini clad woman as a tool. Or, if that conclusion were unsatisfactory, they might have reached the conclusion that the human brain is too complex to have large sections dedicated to “tools” and “objects” and gone looking for a more justifiable hypothesis.

Beyond that, you can’t escape the impression that this study was attempting to prove that male psychology itself is dangerous to women, that a man who sees a female belly button is unavoidably geared up for assault, that any decent man really ought to avoid seeing any belly buttons ever. At which point, you have to ask the question, “is there no appropriate time and place for a man to look on a woman?” Oh, yes. Marriage.

Well, let’s go do a study on happily married men, and see which parts of their brain light up when looking at their own provocatively dressed wives. If the system works smoothly, you might hope the sight undermines his capacity for abstract thought, lowers his communication skills, and increases his urges for physical activities. At which point you can ask the wife, who knows him best, if in this state he is thinking of her more as an object, or a tool.

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