Any paper entitled ‘Smells Like Safe Sex’ must be good and this fails to disappoint. Tybur et al. (2011) asked participants to complete some questionnaires concerning their future intentions to use condoms. Participants were then asked to momentarily leave the testing room. Half of the participants were in the control condition and returned to a neutral smelling room. In contrast, whilst participants in the experimental condition were outside the room, the interior walls of the lab were sprayed with “Liquid ASS”. *
“,,, a novelty odor liquid that smells strongly of common bacterial threats (e.g., feces)” (p.478)
On returning to the lab, participants were asked to rate their intentions to purchase and use condoms in the next 6 months. Participants in the Liquid ASS condition reported significantly higher future condom use intentions than those in the control group. The authors conclude that the basic urge to avoid illness can influence condom decision making.
*Note to self: try and find a way to include Liquid ASS in an experiment.
Aplysia: these are a type of sea slug popular with neuroscientists because of their (relatively) small number of neurons. One commonly studied mechanism is the gill and siphon withdrawal response (an involuntary defensive reflex following touch wherein the respiratory organ is retracted), and this is used to examine habituation, dishabituation, and sensitisation.
Now … this is all very interesting and important … however, a more significant discovery about our sea slug friends was reported by Sekizawa et al. (2013) in the journal Biology Letters. They found that the Chromodoris reticulate sea slug possesses a disposable penis. Following copulation, their sea slug genitalia drops off, only for it to re-grow within 24 hours.
"In addition, the literature review is incomplete, the paper does not refer to relevant literature, misreports the findings of other studies, and uses terms and phrases that are either inaccurate or vague or uninterpretable" ...