back to article Kinky? You're mentally healthier than 'vanilla' bonkers

A new study has discovered that practitioners of "bondage-discipline, dominance-submission, sadism-masochism (BDSM)" tend to be less neurotic, anxious, and paranoid, and more extroverted, conscientious, and open to new experiences than members of the "vanilla" general public. BDSM practitioners "either did not differ from the …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Silver badge

Re: @ribosome @Chris Miller

That depends whether you think being Quakers had anything to do with their insight.

0
0
Boffin

Re: WTF?

<quote>"Associations were examined using χ2 tests of independence with φ and Cramer's V as effect size measures and eta or Pearson's correlation. Group differences were tested using analysis of covariance, with partial η2 as effect size measure. A priori contrasts were tested using α = 0.01 to correct for multiple testing; for all other tests we used α = 0.05, two tailed."</quote>

Effect size measures are the expected differences you would find, given the p values expressed. In other words, it's a projected value of what the 'effect' of the difference would be. Phi and Cramer's V are correlations between nominal/categorical values, since pearon's correlations doesn't work for things like categorical crosstabs. Without getting the paper, they did something like numbers of males/femals who have/haven't been admitted to a psychiatric ward, or any other form of group membership. ANCOVA(analysis of covariance) is just t tables for multiple groups, with some expected differences controlled for (removed). For example, there may be systemic differences between different genders at two different college campuses, and I want to pose the question: do women graduate more often then men do, regardless of family income levels. You control for SES (previously measured) and find out if there are still differences, or if the gender differences are actually the result of SES differences.

The alpha level choice is a bit weird, because the language seems to indicate that they chose it regardless of the tests they ran, but it would have been much easier to use either the Bonferroni or Sidak methods of correcting. Essentially, when you do multiple group testing, you can accidentally deflate the p values, and receive significant differences where non exist.

Two tailed just means they looked at confidence intervals around the top and bottom of the distribution, rather than assigning the CI to one side or the other; standard practice, since the distribution is assumed to be gaussian. Oh, and the partial bit just means the correlations after controlling for differences.

/research psychologist, although one who doesn't find this area of research to be anything useful.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: @ribosome @Chris Miller

Yes, because we are taught to question authority. Next?

0
0
Silver badge

Re: @ribosome @Chris Miller

Wouldn't Pluto would have to be pretty damn large to perturb the orbit of Venus?

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: @ribosome @Chris Miller

Correcting myself - orbit of Neptune, of course, not Venus. Mind obviously going even further than some of the people think who reply to me.

0
0

Re: @ribosome @Chris Miller

If it perturbed the orbit of Uranus it might be closer to the article's subject matter.

/snigger

0
0

Re: @ribosome

And yet quantum mechanics is all about stats isnt it, Dr.Rutherford?

0
0
Alien

Re: WTF?

Google it, but the very core of this is the assumption that if a hypothesis is formed and then a method of somehow isolating a process defined as causative is determined to be valid, then with a few tests refined mathematical analysis of the results is pursued for "proof". There are a few problems. The identity between tests is defined using strictly exclusive measures, with a great deal being "intuitively" adjudged unimportant which is definitely arguable. (Deciding that the color of a test area is unimportant is a common example.) The second is the usage of methods to determine identity between subjects--and the third is that the empirical hypothesis doesn't allow for proof, it allows for the transition between hypotheses and theories, which most supposed scientists in any modern discipline evidently find hard to grasp.

My apologies in advance. That is the correct explanation, however.

0
0
Pirate

But which mental health standard was being used? The whole field does not know any, there are only categories for when something seems troubling the social-economical functioning. And whatever neurosis the tested people might actually suffer from, the act of sublimating that into some play might be in itself the main factor here. Perhaps next time compare with other random groups like train spotters or theatre lovers. If my hobby is to suck the blood of wandering sheep, the very thing which keeps me sane and pleasant to be around: what does that mean?

4
0
Gold badge
Happy

That doesn't necessarily mean you're a baaaad person, but I'm going to keep an eye on ewe, just in case...

1
0
Silver badge

Tells us more

> "bondage-discipline, dominance-submission, sadism-masochism (BDSM)"

... about the researchers¹.

And doing a Chi squared test doesn't impress anyone.

[1] Psychology: The study of people who don't need studying by those who do

5
3
Silver badge

Re: Tells us more

And doing a Chi squared test doesn't impress anyone.

Ah, but as someone who has had academic papers published in the past, 90% of any paper is boring background stuff everybody skims over that they want you to include to pre-empt obvious questions about the 10% that is actually interesting.

So no, most of any academic paper isn't going to impress anyone.

1
0

Re: Tells us more

What you're largely referring to is clincal psychology, a field that doesn't have any claim to science, and which has a pretty active history of ignoring glaring flaws in favour of their ad hoc 'expertise'. Look up the 1954 book by Paul Meehl, or the 2000 meta-analysis which confirms that. Unlike the rest of the field, clinical psychology hasn't really moved on beyond Freud

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Tells us more

It would be quite clever if it had gone beyond Freud, because Freud was a "psychoanalyst" and clinical psychology rejects psychoanalysis as being a closed system not susceptible of experimental proof.

0
0
Silver badge
Meh

As IT bods, this is obvious

Are not we sometimes subservient to a dominant deviant, dressed in suit, flogging us with lashings of ITIL? Or desiring to be the next BOFH (tm) ? And all of us restrained, tied up and bound by rulez ?

2
0
Happy

Confusion

Reminds me of the time I turned up for my BSM driving lesson in all my leather gear. How we laughed.

11
0

Re: Confusion

Good thing you weren't learning to ride a motorbike -- I'd hate to think how you'd turn up to your CBT...

10
0
Thumb Up

Great, but now...

... we need TPTB in the Mental Health community to start listening.

There is a group called Revise F65 whose aim is to "get sexual sadism, masochism, fetishism and transvestic fetishism abolished from the World Health Organization's list of psychiatric diagnoses, ICD."

These are archaic and obsolete definitions based on attitudes from the last century, yet, at the moment, these are what are used to define us and, worse, victimise us, for instance there are divorce custody cases where one (vanilla) partner uses the other's preferences to claim that they are not fit to care for the child because they are "mentally ill".

Speaking as someone who runs a business making Affordable Leather Products, supplying BDSM gear to consenting adults, and who has been involved in the Fetish Community for 20 years, it is easy to see that there are fewer fundamentally fucked-up people involved, not least because they are *happy* with their interests and preferences and they have learned to ignore society's ignorant prejudices that what they are doing is wrong/ bad/ sinful/ harmful etc

18
1
Gimp

Re: Great, but now...

Hear, hear!

I am a moderator on a discussion board bridging kink and mental illness. A couple of years ago I started a thread analyzing trauma and whether it is correlated with kinky behaviour. It was certainly not an unbiased sample, but there were plenty of forum participants who reported no traumatic events in their lives — so many that the consensus seems to be no connection.

There is another aspect or two of BDSM that seems to have escaped the author of the article.

First, what precisely separates kinky behaviour from abuse? The borderline is enshrined in the kink motto “safe, sane and consensual.” If behaviour falls outside these borders, it is abuse; inside, consensual play. Note the issue of consent is ongoing consent which may be revoked at any time (but NOT retroactively).

Second, while the Dom(me) is nominally in power and the sub, well, submits; the REAL power structure is inverted because the sub always holds the ultimate go/no-go authority. This is accomplished by safewords (or safe-gestures when words cannot be spoken) which (a) are agreed upon in advance by discussion and negotiation and (b) are ALWAYS respected; refusal to respect them is grounds for assault charges.

3
0
Flame

Playing with numbers..

...Group differences were tested using analysis of covariance, with partial η2 as effect size measure. A priori contrasts were tested using α = 0.01 to correct for multiple testing; for all other tests we used α = 0.05, two tailed....

Modern data collection and processing systems using spreadsheets allow you to compute any complex statistical function you like at the touch of a button. Work that used to take skilled mathematicians weeks can now be done instantly.

Worse, you can also alter various parameters slightly and repeat the calculation - many times, until you get the best set of numbers to support your argument. This is probably what the η2 and α figures are: I suspect that the results would have been much weaker if different parameters were used.

The impact of this trick can lie anywhere between justifiable technical disagreement between statisticians, and downright fraud. It is extensively used in 'Climate Science' to maintain the fiction that earlier temperature variation was pretty flat, and that therefore the temperature rise from 1980-2000 was very unusual....

2
0
Thumb Down

Well, DUH

In other words, researchers find that people who aren't uptight are less uptight than people who are uptight.

4
0
Anonymous Coward

More extroverted

More extroverted is positive? Says who? I thought we'd got past this extrovert = good, introvert = bad theory.

Or is the author also of the opinion that people who are not loud, shouty and dont post everything about themselves on twitter are deviants that need to become more like the more highly visible extroverts of society?

12
0
Anonymous Coward

So, this story is...

that people who do unusual things are more open to and less worried by doing unusual things?

Is that news?

4
0

pfft

pfft, even hitler was less neurotic, anxious, and paranoid, and more extroverted, conscientious, and open to new experiences than members of the "vanilla" general public.

0
0
Silver badge

Found an explanation

Going as far back as Moser (1979), several studies have indicated that more educated people are more willing to experiment sexually.

Is it likely that there is some kind of correlation between education and mental health? I can think of a few likely relations between the two, from the more cynical version that mental health issues will hold you back in school to the idea that education will help you overcome mental health issues.

If anyone can find a study comparing people of the same level of education who do and do not participate in bdsm, I'd like to see it. Otherwise I'm going to assume that good mental health causes better education which causes more interest in fringe sexual techniques.

Have a nice day.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Found an explanation

Given that higher intelligence tends to correlate with a higher instance of autism spectrum disorders and a higher chance of displaying particular classes of mental illness such as schizophrenia and - if you count it as a mental illness - sociopathy, I'd say no, it's not likely at all.

Of course education and intelligence don't correlate all that well these days. You only have to look at the prevalence of poorly researched statistical metastudies that "prove" everything is bad for you and good for you in quick succession to see that. Perhaps it depends how you define education.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Found an explanation

Personally I find the connection between mental health and education to be more likely caused be the relative stability it takes to get through those extra years of school, especially given the stress levels involved with earning some of those higher degrees and PhDs.

0
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Anonymous Coward

Re: Less neurotic BDSM practioners?

"BDSM practitioners are the most fucked-up people in the world"

Nice troll bait. Been thrown out of a scene somewhere? (evil grin)

2
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Less neurotic BDSM practioners?

I would think that the Taliban, the US Christian Right, the BNP, heroin addicts, paedophiles, serial killers, rapists, the Provisional Wing of the IRA, and the Israel Home Party could all provide people compared to whom BDSM practitioners would look very mentally healthy.

After all, let's think about Rugby players. Every week in winter they get cold and wet while sometimes getting quite seriously hurt. They get shouted at by coaches, they go home during the week knackered after training, and they enjoy it. Yet nobody regards them as particularly odd.

6
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Less neurotic BDSM practioners?

Hey, you got me at "wet" :p

0
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Silver badge

Re: Less neurotic BDSM practioners?

Most fucked up, really?

Like boxers who spend 12 rounds punching the shit out of each other and sometimes ending with brain damage, detached retinas, or even death? As a sport?

0
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Less neurotic BDSM practioners?

"Like boxers who spend 12 rounds"

That would be professional boxers, and not in every contest. Three to five (shorter) rounds is much more common.

"punching the shit out of each other"

I think you'll find there is quite a bit of strategy involved. The interesting part of full contact sports is precisely that it's as much of a mind game as a physical activity. Mindlessly punching the shit out of each other is what you see in pubs amongst the drunk, not in a ring. I'm sure even the untrained eye can spot the difference.

"and sometimes ending with brain damage, detached retinas, or even death?"

Yes, there are risks involved, just like in any sport and many other non-sport activities. You just learn to manage, control, and minimise those risks, while accepting the residual.

"As a sport?"

My personal definition: "if it's not likely to kill you it's not a sport", but that's just me. :)

Disclaimer: I do my bit of punching and kicking, and as a result of my age I'm starting having to rely on strategy and skills against younger opponents' speed and endurance.

0
0
Coffee/keyboard

"..more open to new experiences.."

Just cause its new don't mean its better and as for random questionnaires who ever fills in 100% of the truth anyway.In other words bad data in brick bats out..........

1
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: "..more open to new experiences.."

... clearly looking for punishment. BAD research, BAD!

:)

0
0

football

Its no worse than being a supporter of a football club,

2
0
Gimp

Re: football

And the garments cost less.

3
0

garments

I think you'll find naked is pretty cheap.

0
0
Gimp

Re: garments

Or encasing yourself in Saran Wrap.

OTOH I used to have a latex outfit that cost more than $800.

1
0
Silver badge
Joke

Women in leather

Why do men's hearts beat quicker, go weak in the knees, get dry throats and think irrationally when a woman wears leather clothing?

Because she smells like a new truck!

6
0
FAIL

Yawn.

I think Terry Waite, after being released, was quoted as saying 'I used to enjoy bondage and preached, that it was a special experience between consenting adults. Then I was kindapped and discovered my fantasies were all immature bullshit and learnt to stfu'.

This of course may all be completely false or in otherwords, a 'study'.

0
5
Silver badge

Re: Yawn.

There's a big difference between willingly submitting and being kidnapped.

1
0
Megaphone

Fifty Shades of Kinky

Does this include partners that were kinker while reading 50 Shades and then went back to normal afterwards?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Fifty Shades of Kinky

If you find a real BDSM couple who doesn't loath that book I'll be shocked. Nothing like a semi-popular book that takes all the worst, and wrong for that matter, stereotypes about your already-misunderstood community and puts them into a neat little package for people who know nothing about what you do to stir up some negative emotions.

0
0
Silver badge
Gimp

RE: Yawn.

The key word here is consenting. I think Waite may have found that his captors didn't give a damn about his safe word.

3
0
Meh

Re: RE: Yawn.

Yep, not at all fun when it becomes real rather than an immature game...

0
3
Anonymous Coward

Re: RE: Yawn.

Games end. For a lot of BDSM couples (not all) BDSM doesn't. They carry it out of the bedroom and even out of the house. But if you think of it as a game you'll never be capable of understanding the lifestyle aspect of it.

0
0
Yag

I translate the results of this experiment as...

"People who are more extroverted, and open to new experiences are more likely to try out BDSM and eventually stick with it".

Sounds like the overused "religion of the Pope" stuff

1
0
Anonymous Coward

After a 'chance meeting'...

I came to feel differently about the secret arts.

Hey, isn't that just like the start of L'Histoire d'O?

I may be wrong but don't beat me up about it.

or then again...

1
0
This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017