Decline of Right-Handed Masturbation
We were fascinated by this fresh piece of scientific research from the highly-respected Journal of the Organisation for Neurological Anthropolgy and Natural Trends in Interactional Cybernetics (ONANTIC), issue of November 2009:
The article is titled “Early evidence for a shift in handedness amongst males, 1950-2009, resulting from the increasing penetration of the internet, with specific reference to broadband speeds in liberal western democracies.” (Sal V. Erboose, Wayne Kerr & Ike Anpulmiov)
You can understand that an article like this would be fairly dry and academic and we won’t bore you with the whole article. This is the most significant graph from the article:
The thrust of the argument is that there has been a massive shift, in men of a wide range of ages and social levels, from masturbating with their right hands to predominant use of their left.
The researchers assert that the reason for this change matches, and therefore may be directly caused by, the shift in commonly used sources of masturbatory stimuli from paper-based (magazines such as Playboy and Penthouse) to directly online-accessed or downloaded images. The effect of this, the researchers say, is that, whereas in earlier decades the left hand was sufficiently nimble-fingered to turn the pages of a magazine, more recently the right hand has in most cases become entirely occupied with manipulating the (usually by default right-hand-oriented) computer mouse. The result of this is that the left is then required to manipulate the erect penis.
With an inverse correlation of -0.975872323 between right-handed masturbation and internet penetration it is reasonably clear that the rise of the internet and the shift to left-handed masturbation are related although – correlation is not causality, as you know – without additional causal research data it would make as much sense statistically to say that left-handed masturbation caused the growth of the internet as saying that the internet caused an increase in left-handed masturbation.
However, the data in the graph suggest many other interesting areas for investigation.
The relatively low incidence of men buying (or admitting to buying) pornography during the immediate post-war years makes sense. Not only were “dirty” and even “quite naughty” magazines of any kind in quite short supply, the potential for arousal of the images in them was fairly low owing to the prudish culture of the time. Sepia disclosure of a woman’s ankle – or in the more racy publications a glimpse of thigh – although risqué for the day – was about as exciting as fantasizing about one’s grandmother. Such publications were nevertheless seen as shameful and often were available only “under the counter”. The moral (and belt) loosening that began during the mid-to-late 50s with the explosion of rock-and-roll culture continued with a vengeance during the 60s and 70s with women’s liberation and the sexual revolution epitomised by, for example, the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Cilla Black.
The authors explain the gentle reduction in sales of pornographic magazines by the increasingly ready availability of “the real thing” and the upsurge in the culture of binge drinking amongst the very young.
The subsequent rapid decline of right-handed onanism is clearly both synchronous with the sudden sharp decline in sales of pornographic magazines and inversely proportional to the rise of internet availability.
The authors note the gradual decline from 1950 to 1990 of right-handed masturbation. They attribute this to the increased identification of people as left-handed. Actual left-handedness varies normally in the range of 7-10%. However, in the early fifties left-handedness was seen as aberrant and in the education system was discouraged and “correction” began as early as kindergarten. Being left-handed was an embarrassment, even a cause for shame, as it had been for millennia.
In Hebrew, as well as in other ancient Semitic and Mesopotamian languages, the … left hand symbolized the power to shame society, and was used as a metaphor for misfortune, natural evil, or punishment from the gods. This metaphor survived ancient culture and was integrated into mainstream Christianity by early Catholic theologians…
[ ... ]
In some parts of the English-speaking world ‘cack-handed’ is slang for left-handed (it is also used to mean clumsy). The origin of this term is disputed, but some suggest it is derived from the Latin cacare, in reference to the habit of performing ablutions with the left hand, leaving the right hand ‘clean’. However, other source suggest that it is derived from the Old Norse word keikr, meaning “bent backwards” Australians frequently use “cacky-handed”.
As a result identification as left-handed was as low as 2% in the mid-20th Century. However, as reason and more liberal views began to prevail into the latter half of the century educational attitudes loosened up. This may not, though, have been as strong a reason as the realisation that left-handed sportspeople tended to be more successful and make more money. Parents began to hope – rather than fear – that their children would be left-handed.
In 2006, researchers at Lafayette College and Johns Hopkins University in a study found that left-handed men are 15 percent richer than right-handed men for those who attended college, and 26 percent richer if they graduated.
You will note the increase into the early 21st Century of people identifying as left-handed to levels previously above naturally-occurring left-handedness. This may be explained, say the authors, by “habituation”:
People with long-term impairment of the right hand are more likely to become left-handed, even after their right hand heals. Such long-term impairment is defined as eight months or more. Habituation to use of the left hand by those who spend several hours per day for several months or years masturbating in front of their computer screens may lead to similar outcomes.
The authors admit that they were baffled for some time by the slight up-tick in right-handed masturbation and a corresponding reduction in left-handed identification from about 2005. They now theorise that this may have been caused by the development and availability of “marginally” to “somewhat” effective voice-controlled software for home computers, its uptake by early adopters and the consequent abandonment of the mouse as a tool for selecting their most arousing images, leaving the right hand free.
I don’t know about you, but we can’t help agreeing that there has probably been far more semen spilt by left-hands over online images of Paris Hilton than right-handedly over any number of glossy magazine photos of Marilyn Monroe, or even posters of Charlie’s Angels.
[tags]masturbation, culture, internet, software, science, pornography, playboy, penthouse, 1950s, WWII, ancient culture, antiquity, education, sex, history, photography, computer, computing, literature, values, sexual values, music, women’s liberation, feminism, sexual revolution, Beatles, Rolling Stones, Cilla Black, Paris Hilton, Charlie’s Angels[/tags]
Posted: 28 December, 2009 in comedy/humour, Computing, Culture, Education, History, Internet, Literature, Science, Sex, values.
Tags: 1950s, ancient culture, antiquity, Beatles, Charlie's Angels, Cilla Black, computer, Computing, Culture, Education, feminism, handed masturbation, History, Internet, Literature, masturbation, music, Paris Hilton, penthouse, photography, playboy, pornography, Rolling Stones, Science, Sex, sexual revolution, sexual values, software, values, women's liberation, WWII