They’re everywhere. I hate them. There are entire networks dedicated to creating goddamned lists, trusting in the human compulsion to go through each entry in the list…which are usually on separate pages, with separate ads, all calculated to increase advertising clicks. And at the end, they’ll present you with a list of more lists, with provocative titles, and they try to get you on the obsessive mindless click trail. They’re evil, manipulative, and almost always vapid. They’re the slot machines of the web. I’m looking at you, AlterNet, Salon, Huffpo, Gawker, whatever — you’re all padding miniscule content and increasing the noise level on the internet.
Even sites that are fun play the devious SEO game. The Oatmeal is one of the worst. I’m not talking about the content, I’m condemning the psychological trickery of the presentation.
The latest example that got me was on Salon: it’s an article titled “9 scientific facts about breasts”; it was originally on AlterNet as “The 9 weirdest facts about boobs”. Notice the linkbait title? (Linkbait that worked, by the way.) And as usual, when you actually read the article, it’s nonsense through and through.
Here are the 9 “facts”.
Poor men like big breasts while financially secure men prefer smaller breasts.
Simplistic reductionist drivel which regards people by a single parameter and draws decisive conclusions from it. Source: Psychology Today. Anytime you see “science” presented in Psychology Today, just ignore it and throw the magazine in the trash. It’s a garbage source, a kind of pseudoscientific Daily Mail.
Hungry men desire big breasts while satiated men prefer a smaller chest.
More of the same. Source: Psychology Today.
Fuck you, Psychology Today.
Men not interested in fatherhood find large breasts less attractive.
An evolutionary psychology study based on asking 67 college men about their preferences. In Psychology Today. Goddamn, Psychology Today, but you suck.
Squeezing breasts may prevent cancer.
Not from Psychology Today! An actual scientific source! COMPLETELY MISINTERPRETED AND MISREPRESENTED. There’s this thing called contact inhibition, and cells also respond to distortion with changes in their cytoskeleton that can cause changes in activity. This study was done on cultured cells, confining them tightly with an artificial matrix. It has no relationship at all to the mechanical factors in squeezing breasts.
Women who get breast implants are three times more likely to commit suicide.
OK, this is one I can believe. It’s based on a statistical analysis of women who’ve undergone plastic surgery and committed suicide.
What it means, though, is the question. Women with self-esteem problems that try to solve them with surgery are more prone to suicidal thoughts? Women compelled by financial burdens to acquire more appeal by breast augmentation are more prone to suicide than economically secure women? Who knows. You’re not going to find out on a blitz through a link farm!
Sexist men preferlarge breasts.
British white men showed cartoons of breasts have a preference. Whoa, I never saw that one coming.
Reported in the Huffington Post. Fuck you too.
Bras accelerate sagging.
Based on one 15-year old study that has not, as far as I can discover, been replicated, women who stopped wearing bras saw “their nipples lifted on average seven millimetres in one year in relation to the shoulders”. Strangely, while I was easily able to find 23 papers in the databases which had Jean-Denis Rouillon as an author, none of them say anything about bras or breasts. Exercise physiology, yes; massive studies applying calipers to hundreds of women’s breasts, no.
Men who like small breasts prefer a submissive partner.
“You may get the psychological hint that she’s not trying to compete with other women who have larger breasts, and therefore she’ll be loyal to you. Or maybe the very first girl you had a crush on had small breasts, and if she constructed your earliest example of what’s sexy, her memory may still lead you to find small-breasted women exciting.” Barf.
Published in Men’s Health. There’s another one to toss on the fire.
Staring at boobs extends a man’s life by five years.
A discredited urban legend, and the article admits it. They knew the story was garbage, but hell, no one will care…throw it in the list.
“Clearly, not all online “scientific studies” are authentic or even convincing, for that matter,” they say.
Well, duh. And this article is an example.
Join me in vowing to never again follow a listy link trail. Just say “no”. Recognize that they’re very, very bad and represent the worst of manipulative SEO tricks.
Also, unsubscribe from Psychology Today, Men’s Health or any of these ghastly pop psych and trendy “health” magazines. They’re lying to you.