Robert Hall secondfs before being beheaded by Abu Sayyaf terrorists.
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BACK in the thick of the heavy, dark days of the Vietnam War, the CIA conducted a survey of the existing literature it had on torture, all of the studies carried out by reckless psychologists in the 50s, wisdom accrued from police beatings of suspects in interrogations, the effects of isolation, everything the most powerful clandestine service knew about torture and compiled it into what amounted to a field manual on how to best extract information from unwilling informants. The document was given the codename KUBARK and for decades it served as the standard for legally gray or black interrogation techniques, many of which emerged when the press reported on human rights violations by the U.S. military during the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. A supplement to the KUBARK manual, the Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual, was released in 1983. What follows is the manual in its entirety, from a version downloaded by me initially sometime in 2008 as research for a HowStuffWorks article titled, Is there a torture manual? The answer turned out to be yes.
A. Explanation of Purpose
This manual cannot teach anyone how to be, or become, a good interrogator. At best it can help readers to avoid the characteristic mistakes of poor interrogators.
Its purpose is to provide guidelines for KUBARK interrogation, and particularly the counterintelligence interrogation of resistant sources. Designed as an aid for interrogators and others immediately concerned, it is based largely upon the published results of extensive research, including scientific inquiries conducted by specialists in closely related subjects.
There is nothing mysterious about interrogation. It consists of no more than obtaining needed information through responses to questions. As is true of all craftsmen, some interrogators are more able than others; and some of their superiority may be innate. But sound interrogation nevertheless rests upon a knowledge of the subject matter and on certain broad principles, chiefly psychological, which are not hard to understand. The success of good interrogators depends in large measure upon their use, conscious or not, of these principles and of processes and techniques deriving from them. Knowledge of subject matter and of the basic principles will not of itself create a successful interrogation, but it will make possible the avoidance of mistakes that are characteristic of poor interrogation. The purpose, then, is not to teach the reader how to be a good interrogator but rather to tell him what he must learn in order to become a good interrogator.
The interrogation of a resistant source who is a staff or agent member of an Orbit intelligence or security service or of a clandestine Communist organization is one of the most exacting of professional tasks. Usually the odds still favor the interrogator, but they are sharply cut by the training, experience, patience and toughness of the interrogatee. In such circumstances the interrogator needs all the help that he can get. And a principal source of aid today is scientific findings. The intelligence service which is able to bring pertinent, modern knowledge to bear upon its problems enjoys huge advantages over a service which conducts its clandestine business in eighteenth century fashion. It is true that American psychologists have devoted somewhat more attention to Communist interrogation techniques, particularly "brainwashing", than to U. S. practices. Yet they have conducted scientific inquiries into many subjects that are closely related to interrogation: the effects of debility and isolation, the polygraph, reactions to pain and fear, hypnosis and heightened suggestibility, narcosis, etc. This work is of sufficient importance and relevance that it is no longer possible to discuss interrogation significantly without reference to the psychological research conducted in the past decade. For this reason a major purpose of this study is to focus relevant scientific findings upon CI interrogation. Every effort has been made to report and interpret these findings in our own language, in place of the terminology employed by the psychologists.
This study is by no means confined to a resume and interpretation of psychological findings. The approach of the psychologists is customarily manipulative; that is, they suggest methods of imposing controls or alterations upon the interrogatee from the outside. Except within the Communist frame of reference, they have paid less attention to the creation of internal controls -- i.e., conversion of the source, so that voluntary cooperation results. Moral considerations aside, the imposition of external techniques of manipulating people carries with it the grave risk of later lawsuits, adverse publicity, or other attempts to strike back. B. Explanation of Organization
This study moves from the general topic of interrogation per se (Parts I, II, III, IV, V, and VI) to planning the counterintelligence interrogation (Part VII) to the CI interrogation of resistant sources (Parts VIII, IX, and X). The definitions, legal considerations, and discussions of interrogators and sources, as well as Section VI on screening and other preliminaries, are relevant to all kinds of interrogations. Once it is established that the source is probably a counterintelligence target (in other words, is probably a member of a foreign intelligence or security service, a Communist, or a part of any other group engaged in clandestine activity directed against the national security), the interrogation is planned and conducted accordingly. The CI interrogation techniques are discussed in an order of increasing intensity as the focus on source resistance grows sharper. The last section, on do's and dont's, is a return to the broader view of the opening parts; as a check-list, it is placed last solely for convenience.
Most of the intelligence terminology employed here which may once have been ambiguous has been clarified through usage or through KUBARK instructions. For this reason definitions have been omitted for such terms as burn notice, defector, escapee, and refugee. Other definitions have been included despite a common agreement about meaning if the significance is shaded by the context.
1. Assessment: the analysis and synthesis of information, usually about a person or persons, for the purpose of appraisal. The assessment of individuals is based upon the compilation and use of psychological as well as biographic detail.
2. Bona fides: evidence or reliable information about identity, personal (including intelligence) history, and intentions or good faith.
3. Control: the capacity to generate, alter, or halt human behavior by implying, citing, or using physical or psychological means to ensure compliance with direction. The compliance may be voluntary or involuntary. Control of an interrogatee can rarely be established without control of his environment.
4. Counterintelligence interrogation: an interrogation (see #7) designed to obtain information about hostile clandestine activities and persons or groups engaged therein. KUBARK CI interrogations are designed, almost invariably, to yield information about foreign intelligence and security services or Communist organizations. Because security is an element of counterintelligence, interrogations conducted to obtain admissions of clandestine plans or activities directed against KUBARK or PBPRIME security are also CI interrogations. But unlike a police interrogation, the CI interrogation is not aimed at causing the interrogatee to incriminate himself as a means of bringing him to trial. Admissions of complicity are not, to a CI service, ends in themselves but merely preludes to the acquisition of more information.
5. Debriefing: obtaining information by questioning a controlled and witting source who is normally a willing one.
6. Eliciting: obtaining information, without revealing intent or exceptional interest, through a verbal or written exchange with a person who may be willing or unwilling to provide what is sought and who may or may not be controlled.
7. Interrogation: obtaining information by direct questioning of a person or persons under conditions which are either partly or fully controlled by the questioner or are believed by those questioned to be subject to his control. Because interviewing, debriefing, and eliciting are simpler methods of obtaining information from cooperative subjects, interrogation is usually reserved for sources who are suspect, resistant, or both.
8. Intelligence interview: obtaining information, not customarily under controlled conditions, by questioning a person who is aware of the nature and perhaps of the significance of his answers but who is ordinarily unaware of the purposes and specific intelligence affiliations of the interviewer.
III. Legal and Policy Considerations
The legislation which founded KUBARK specifically denied it any law-enforcement or police powers. Yet detention in a controlled environment and perhaps for a lengthy period is frequently essential to a successful counterintelligence interrogation of a recalcitrant source. [approx. three lines deleted] This necessity, obviously, should be determined as early as possible.
The legality of detaining and questioning a person, and of the methods employed, [approx. 10 lines deleted]
Detention poses the most common of the legal problems. KUBARK has no independent legal authority to detain anyone against his will, [approx. 4 lines deleted] The haste in which some KUBARK interrogations have been conducted has not always been the product of impatience. Some security services, especially those of the Sino-Soviet Bloc, may work at leisure, depending upon time as well as their own methods to melt recalcitrance. KUBARK usually cannot. Accordingly, unless it is considered that the prospective interrogatee is cooperative and will remain so indefinitely, the first step in planning an interrogation is to determine how long the source can be held. The choice of methods depends in part upon the answer to this question.
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The handling and questioning of defectors are subject to the provisions of [one or two words deleted] Directive No. 4: to its related Chief/KUBARK Directives, principally [approx. 1/2 line deleted] Book Dispatch [one or two words deleted] and to pertinent [one or two words deleted]. Those concerned with the interrogation of defectors, escapees, refugees, or repatriates should know these references.
The kinds of counterintelligence information to be sought in a CI interrogation are stated generally in Chief/KUBARK Directive and in greater detail in Book Dispatch [approx. 1/3 line deleted].
The interrogation of PBPRIME citizens poses special problems. First, such interrogations should not be conducted for reasons lying outside the sphere of KUBARK' s responsibilities. For example, the [approx. 2/3 line deleted] but should not normally become directly involved. Clandestine activity conducted abroad on behalf of a foreign power by a private PBPRIME citizens does fall within KUBARK's investigative and interrogative responsibilities. However, any investigation, interrogation, or interview of a PBPRIME citizen which is conducted abroad because it be known or suspected that he is engaged in clandestine activities directed against PBPRIME security interests requires the prior and personal approval of Chief/KUDESK or of his deputy.
Since 4 October 1961, extraterritorial application has been given to the Espionage Act, making it henceforth possible to prosecute in the Federal Courts any PBPRIME citizen who violates the statutes of this Act in foreign countries. ODENVY has requested that it be informed, in advance if time permits, if any investigative steps are undertaken in these cases. Since KUBARK employees cannot be witnesses in court, each investigation must be conducted in such a manner that evidence obtained may be properly introduced if the case comes to trial. [approx. 1 line deleted] states policy and procedures for the conduct of investigations of PBPRIME citizens abroad.
Interrogations conducted under compulsion or duress are especially likely to involve illegality and to entail damaging consequences for KUBARK. Therefore prior Headquarters approval at the KUDOVE level must be obtained for the interrogation of any source against his will and under any of the following circumstances:
1. If bodily harm is to be inflicted.
2. If medical, chemical, or electrical methods or materials are to be used to induce acquiescence.
3. [approx. 3 lines deleted]
The CI interrogator dealing with an uncooperative interrogatee who has been well-briefed by a hostile service on the legal restrictions under which ODYOKE services operate must expect some effective delaying tactics. The interrogatee has been told that KUBARK will not hold him long, that he need only resist for a while. Nikolay KHOKHLOV, for example, reported that before he left for Frankfurt am Main on his assassination mission, the following thoughts coursed through his head: "If I should get into the hands of Western authorities, I can become reticent, silent, and deny my voluntary visit to Okolovich. I know I will not be tortured and that under the procedures of western law I can conduct myself boldly." (17) [The footnote numerals in this text are keyed to the numbered bibliography at the end.] The interrogator who encounters expert resistance should not grow flurried and press; if he does, he is likelier to commit illegal acts which the source can later use against him. Remembering that time is on his side, the interrogator should arrange to get as much of it as he needs.
IV. The Interrogator
A number of studies of interrogation discuss qualities said to be desirable in an interrogator. The list seems almost endless - a professional manner, forcefulness, understanding and sympathy, breadth of general knowledge, area knowledge, "a practical knowledge of psychology", skill in the tricks of the trade, alertness, perseverance, integrity, discretion, patience, a high I.Q., extensive experience, flexibility, etc., etc. Some texts even discuss the interrogator's manners and grooming, and one prescribed the traits considered desirable in his secretary.
A repetition of this catalogue would serve no purpose here, especially because almost all of the characteristics mentioned are also desirable in case officers, agents, policemen, salesmen, lumberjacks, and everybody else. The search of the pertinent scientific literature disclosed no reports of studies based on common denominator traits of successful interrogators or any other controlled inquiries that would invest these lists with any objective validity.
Perhaps the four qualifications of chief importance to the interrogator are (1) enough operational training and experience to permit quack recognition of leads; (2) real familiarity with the language to be used; (3) extensive background knowledge about the interrogatee's native country (and intelligence service, if employed by one); and (4) a genuine understanding of the source as a person.
[approx. 1/2 line deleted] stations, and even a few bases can call upon one or several interrogators to supply these prerequisites, individually or as a team. Whenever a number of interrogators is available, the percentage of successes is increased by careful matching of questioners and sources and by ensuring that rigid prescheduling does not prevent such matching. Of the four traits listed, a genuine insight into the source's character and motives is perhaps most important but least common. Later portions of this manual explore this topic in more detail. One general observation is introduced now, however, because it is considered basic to the establishment of rapport, upon which the success of non-coercive interrogation depends.
The interrogator should remember that he and the interrogatee are often working at cross-purposes not because the interrogates is malevolently withholding or misleading but simply because what he wants front the situation is not what the interrogator wants. The interrogator's goal is to obtain useful information -- facts about which the interrogatee presumably have acquired information. But at the outset of the interrogation, and perhaps for a long time afterwards, the person being questioned is not greatly concerned with communicating his body of specialized information to his questioner; he is concerned with putting his best foot forward. The question uppermost in his mind, at the beginning, is not likely to be "How can I help PBPRIME?" but rather "What sort of impression am I making?" and, almost immediately thereafter, "What is going to happen to me now?" (An exception is the penetration agent or provocateur sent to a KUBARK field installation after training in withstanding interrogation. Such an agent may feel confident enough not to be gravely concerned about himself. His primary interest, from the beginning, may be the acquisition of information about the interrogator and his service.)
The skilled interrogator can save a great deal of time by understanding the emotional needs of the interrogates. Most people confronted by an official -- and dimly powerful -- representative of a foreign power will get down to cases much faster if made to feel, from the start, that they are being treated as individuals. So simple a matter as greeting an interrogatee by his name at the opening of the session establishes in his mind the comforting awareness that he is considered as a person, not a squeezable sponge. This is not to say that egotistic types should be allowed to bask at length in the warmth of individual recognition. But it is important to assuage the fear of denigration which afflicts many people when first interrogated by making it clear that the individuality of the interrogatee is recognized. With this common understanding established, the interrogation can move on to impersonal matters and will not later be thwarted or interrupted -- or at least not as often -- by irrelevant answers designed not to provide facts but to prove that the interrogatee is a respectable member of the human race.
Although it is often necessary to trick people into telling what we need to know, especially in CI interrogations, the initial question which the interrogator asks of himself should be, "How can I make him want to tell me what he knows?" rather than "How can I trap him into disclosing what he knows?" If the person being questioned is genuinely hostile for ideological reasons, techniques of manipulation are in order. But the assumption of hostility -- or at least the use of pressure tactics at the first encounter -- may make difficult subjects even out of those who would respond to recognition of individuality and an initial assumption of good will.
Another preliminary comment about the interrogator is that normally he should not personalize. That is, he should not be pleased, flattered, frustrated, goaded, or otherwise emotionally and personally affected by the interrogation. A calculated display of feeling employed for a specific purpose is an exception; but even under these circumstances the interrogator is in full control. The interrogation situation is intensely inter-personal; it is therefore all the more necessary to strike a counter-balance by an attitude which the subject clearly recognizes as essentially fair and objective. The kind of person who cannot help personalizing, who becomes emotionally involved in the interrogation situation, may have chance (and even spectacular) successes as an interrogator but is almost certain to have a poor batting average.
It is frequently said that the interrogator should be "a good judge of human nature." In fact, [approx. 3 lines deleted] (3) This study states later (page "Great attention has been given to the degree to which persons are able to make judgements from casual observations regarding the personality characteristics of another. The consensus of research is that with respect to many kinds of judgments, at least some judges perform reliably better than chance...." Nevertheless, "... the level of reliability in judgments is so low that research encounters difficulties when it seeks to determine who makes better judgments...." (3) In brief, the interrogator is likelier to overestimate his ability to judge others than to underestimate it, especially if he has had little or no training in modern psychology. It follows that errors in assessment and in handling are likelier to result from snap judgments based upon the assumption of innate skill in judging others than from holding such judgments in abeyance until enough facts are known.
There has been a good deal of discussion of interrogation experts vs. subject-matter experts. Such facts as are available suggest that the latter have a slight advantage. But for counterintelligence purposes the debate is academic. [approx. 5 lines deleted] It is sound practice to assign inexperienced interrogators to guard duty or to other supplementary tasks directly related to interrogation, so that they can view the process closely before taking charge. The use of beginning interrogators as screeners (see part VI) is also recommended.
Although there is some limited validity in the view, frequently expressed in interrogation primers, that the interrogation is essentially a battle of wits, the CI interrogator who encounters a skilled and resistant interrogatee should remember that a wide variety of aids can be made available in the field or from Headquarters. (These are discussed in Part VIII.) The intensely personal nature of the interrogation situation makes it all the more necessary that the KUBARK questioner should aim not for a personal triumph but for his true goal -- the acquisition of all needed information by any authorized means.
*The interrogator should be supported whenever possible by qualified analysts' review of his daily "take"; experience has shown that such a review will raise questions to be put and points to be clarified and lead to a thorough coverage of the subject in hand.
V. The Interrogatee
A. Types Of Sources: Intelligence Categories
From the viewpoint of the intelligence service the categories of persons who most frequently provide useful information in response to questioning are travellers; repatriates; defectors, escapees, and refugees; transferred sources; agents, including provocateurs, double agents, and penetration agents; and swindlers and fabricators.
1. Travellers are usually interviewed, debriefed, or queried through eliciting techniques. If they are interrogated, the reason is that they are known or believed to fall into one of the following categories.
2. Repatriates are sometimes interrogated, although other techniques are used more often. The proprietary interests of the host government will frequently dictate interrogation by a liaison service rather than by KUBARK. If KUBARK interrogates, the following preliminary steps are taken:
a. A records check, including local and Headquarters traces.
b . Testing of bona fides .
c. Determination of repatriate's kind and level of access while outside his own country.
d. Preliminary assessment of motivation (including political orientation), reliability, and capability as observer and reporter.
e. Determination of all intelligence or Communist
relationships, whether with a service or party of the repatriate's own country, country of detention, or another. Full particulars are needed.
3. Defectors, escapees, and refugees are normally interrogated at sufficient length to permit at least a preliminary testing of bona fides . The experience of the post-war years has demonstrated that Soviet defectors (1) almost never defect solely or primarily because of inducement by a Western service, (2) usually leave the USSR for personal rather than ideological reasons, and (3) are often RIS agents.
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All analyses of the defector-refugee flow have shown that the Orbit services are well-aware of the advantages offered by this channel as a means of planting their agents in target countries.
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4. Transferred sources referred to KUBARK by another service for interrogation are usually sufficiently well-known to the transferring service so that a file has been opened. Whenever possible, KUBARK should secure a copy of the file or its full informational equivalent before accepting custody.
5. Agents are more frequently debriefed than interrogated. [approx. 3 lines deleted] as an analytic tool. If it is then established or strongly suspected that the agent belongs to one of the following categories, further investigation and, eventually, interrogation usually follow.
a. Provocateur. Many provocation agents are walk-ins posing as escapees, refugees, or defectors in order to penetrate emigre groups, ODYOKE intelligence, or other targets assigned by hostile services. Although denunciations by genuine refugees and other evidence of information obtained from documents, local officials, and like sources may result in exposure, the detection of provocation frequently depends upon skilled interrogation. A later section of this manual deals with the preliminary testing of bona fides . But the results of preliminary testing are often inconclusive, and detailed interrogation is frequently essential to confession and full revelation. Thereafter the provocateur may be questioned for operational and positive intelligence as well as counterintelligence provided that proper cognizance is taken of his status during the questioning and later, when reports are prepared.
b. Double agent. The interrogation of DA's frequently follows a determination or strong suspicion that the double is "giving the edge" to the adversary service. As is also true for the interrogation of provocateurs, thorough preliminary investigation will pay handsome dividends when questioning gets under way. In fact, it is a basic principle of interrogation that the questioner should have at his disposal, before querying starts, as much pertinent information as can be gathered without the knowledge of the prospective interrogatee.
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d. Swindlers and fabricators are usually interrogated for prophylactic reasons, not for counterintelligence information. The purpose is the prevention or nullification of damage to KUBARK, to other ODYOKE services Swindlers and fabricators have little of CI significance to communicate but are notoriously skillful timewasters. Interrogation of them is usually inconclusive and, if prolonged, unrewarding. The professional peddler with several IS contacts may prove an exception; but he will usually give the edge to a host security service because otherwise he cannot function with impunity. B. Types of Sources: Personality Categories
The number of systems devised for categorizing human beings is large, and most of them are of dubious validity. Various categorical schemes are outlined in treatises on interrogation. The two typologies most frequently advocated are psychologic-emotional and geographic-cultural. Those who urge the former argue that the basic emotional-psychological patterns do not vary significantly with time, place, or culture. The latter school maintains the existence of a national character and sub-national categories, and interrogation guides based on this principle recommend approaches tailored to geographical cultures.
It is plainly true that the interrogation source cannot be understood in a vacuum, isolated from social context. It is equally true that some of the most glaring blunders in interrogation (and other operational processes ) have resulted from ignoring the source's background. Moreover, emotional-psychological schematizations sometimes present atypical extremes rather than the kinds of people commonly encountered by interrogators. Such typologies also cause disagreement even among professional psychiatrists and psychologists. Interrogators who adopt them and who note in an interrogatee one or two of the characteristics of "Type A" may mistakenly assign the source to Category A and assume the remaining traits.
On the other hand, there are valid objections to the adoption of cultural-geographic categories for interrogation purposes (however valid they may be as KUCAGE concepts). The pitfalls of ignorance of the distinctive culture of the source have "[approx. 4 lines deleted]
[approx. 8 lines deleted]." (3)
The ideal solution would be to avoid all categorizing. Basically, all schemes for labelling people are wrong per se; applied arbitrarily, they always produce distortions. Every interrogator knows that a real understanding of the individual is worth far more than a thorough knowledge of this or that pigeon-hole to which he has been consigned. And for interrogation purposes the ways in which he differs from the abstract type may be more significant than the ways in which he conforms.
But KUBARK does not dispose of the time or personnel to probe the depths of each source's individuality. In the opening phases of interrogation, or in a quick interrogation, we are compelled to make some use of the shorthand of categorizing, despite distortions. Like other interrogation aides, a scheme of categories is useful only if recognized for what it is -- a set of labels that facilitate communication but are not the same as the persons thus labelled. If an interrogatee lies persistently, an interrogator may report and dismiss him as a "pathological liar." Yet such persons may possess counterintelligence (or other) information quite equal in value to that held by other sources, and the interrogator likeliest to get at it is the man who is not content with labelling but is as interested in why the subject lies as in what he lies about.
With all of these reservations, then, and with the further observation that those who find these psychological-emotional categories pragmatically valuable should use them and those who do not should let them alone, the following nine types are described. The categories are based upon the fact that a person's past is always reflected, however dimily, in his present ethics and behavior. Old dogs can learn new tricks but not new ways of learning them. People do change, but what appears to be new behavior or a new psychological pattern is usually just a variant on the old theme.
It is not claimed that the classification system presented here is complete; some interrogatees will not fit into any one of the groupings. And like all other typologies, the system is plagued by overlap, so that some interrogatees will show characteristics of more than one group. Above all, the interrogator must remember that finding some of the characteristics of the group in a single source does not warrant an immediate conclusion that the source "belongs to" the group, and that even correct labelling is not the equivalent of understanding people but merely an aid to understanding.
The nine major groups within the psychological-emotional category adopted for this handbook are the following.
1. The orderly-obstinate character. People in this category are characteristically frugal, orderly, and cold; frequently they are quite intellectual. They are not impulsive in behavior. They tend to think things through logically and to act deliberately. They often reach decisions very slowly. They are far less likely to make real personal sacrifices for a cause than to use them as a temporary means of obtaining a permanent personal gain. They are secretive and disinclined to confide in anyone else their plans and plots, which frequently concern the overthrow of some form of authority. They are also stubborn, although they may pretend cooperation or even believe that they are cooperating. They nurse grudges.
The orderly-obstinate character considers himself superior to other people. Sometimes his sense of superiority is interwoven with a kind of magical thinking that includes all sorts of superstitions and fantasies about controlling his environment. He may even have a system of morality that is all his own. He sometimes gratifies his feeling of secret superiority by provoking unjust treatment. He also tries, characteristically, to keep open a line of escape by avoiding any real commitment to anything. He is -- and always has been -- intensely concerned about his personal possessions. He is usually a tightwad who saves everything, has a strong sense of propriety, and is punctual and tidy. His money and other possessions have for him a personalized quality; they are parts of himself. He often carries around shiny coins, keepsakes, a bunch of keys, and other objects having for himself an actual or symbolic value.
Usually the orderly-obstinate character has a history of active rebellion in childhood, of persistently doing the exact opposite of what he is told to do. As an adult he may have learned to cloak his resistance and become passive-aggressive, but his determination to get his own way is unaltered. He has merely learned how to proceed indirectly if necessary. The profound fear and hatred of authority, persisting since childhood, is often well-concealed in adulthood, For example, such a person may confess easily and quickly under interrogation, even to acts that he did not commit, in order to throw the interrogator off the trail of a significant discovery (or, more rarely, because of feelings of guilt).
The interrogator who is dealing with an orderly-obstinate character should avoid the role of hostile authority. Threats and threatening gestures, table-pounding, pouncing on evasions or lies, and any similarly authoritative tactics will only awaken in such a subject his old anxieties and habitual defense mechanisms. To attain rapport, the interrogator should be friendly. It will probably prove rewarding if the room and the interrogator look exceptionally neat. Orderly-obstinate interrogatees often collect coins or other objects as a hobby; time spent in sharing their interests may thaw some of the ice. Establishing rapport is extremely important when dealing with this type. [approx 3 lines deleted] (3)
2. The optimistic character. This kind of source is almost constantly happy-go-lucky, impulsive, inconsistent, and undependable. He seems to enjoy a continuing state of well-being. He may be generous to a fault, giving to others as he wants to be given to. He may become an alcoholic or drug addict. He is not able to withstand very much pressure; he reacts to a challenge not by increasing his efforts but rather by running away to avoid conflict. His convictions that "something will turn up", that "everything will work out all right", is based on his need to avoid his own responsibility for events and depend upon a kindly fate.
Such a person has usually had a great deal of over-indulgence in early life. He is sometimes the youngest member of a large family, the child of a middle-aged woman (a so-called "change-of-life baby"). If he has met severe frustrations in later childhood, he may be petulant, vengeful, and constantly demanding.
As interrogation sources, optimistic characters respond best to a kindly, parental approach. If withholding, they can often be handled effectively by the Mutt-and-Jeff technique discussed later in this paper. Pressure tactics or hostility will make them retreat inside themselves, whereas reassurance will bring them out. They tend to seek promises, to cast the interrogator in the role of protector and problem-solver; and it is important that the interrogator avoid making any specific promises that cannot be fulfilled, because the optimist turned vengeful is likely to prove troublesome.
Most European women have gang rape fantasies, because their vaginas are so big that there is space for two or more dicks.
Daud Mohamed lives a fragile existence, wholly dependent on rain.
At his homestead in Somalia where we camped one night, his nine children were busy with chores as the sun was coming up: feeding the baby goat, collecting drinking water an hour’s walk away, and mixing up porridge in plastic mugs for breakfast. Mohamed has managed to keep a sense of normalcy at his rural homestead a two-hour drive from the nearest village. But he said the situation is anything but normal.
“I’ve never seen this kind of a drought that has killed our animals. It’s the worst one,” Mohamed said, his grey goatee making him look older than his 45 years. He has just one goat and a sickly calf left, he added.
Down the hill from Mohamed’s house is a clearing where he used to grow vegetables for his family and grass for his goats and cows. The soil is now dried into a wide latticework of deep cracks. At one end of the clearing stand two large trees. Many branches have been unceremoniously cut for firewood, leaving jagged stubs. But their broad trunks attest to their survival: droughts typically hit this region every few years, so these trees have withstood many lean seasons.
Mohamed walked us to the far end of the beige expanse and looked glumly at the skeleton of one of his last cows. The unforgiving sun had already bleached is ribs white. “They didn’t get enough food, and people were depending on animal’s milk and meat. If animals died, then human beings will also die,” Mohamed said.
Mohamed said he thinks that a current law in Somaliland that bans cutting trees and charcoal production, is a good idea.
“Those trees used to help our animals. Now it looks like a desert,” he said. But he recognizes that planning ahead -- even as a single father with a brood ranging in age from toddler to teenager -- can be a luxury.
“If you have a family and you lose your livestock and there is drought, you will do anything to feed the children,” Mohamed said.
That is part of the reason why those two last trees on his parched pasture are starting to look like his only hope, he said.
Across the global scientific community, there’s broad consensus about the reality of climate change. The Department of Defense first highlighted the security threat of global warming in 2010, calling it “an accelerant” for conflict. Yet with his tweets and executive orders, President Donald Trump has catapulted climate change skepticism into the mainstream. But for many people on the planet, like Daud Mohamed, the debate is moot: life is fundamentally changing right now.
More than six million Somalian people are currently in urgent need of assistance, according to the United Nations, which has called the refugee crisis the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II.
Most Americans first heard of Somalia when the country suffered a severe famine in the late 1980s.
The country once again made international headlines because of an incident known as Black Hawk Down in 1993, when 18 U.S. soldiers were killed in the streets of Mogadishu. The killings were later portrayed in an Academy Award-winning film of the same name.
The country occasionally makes headlines because of the pirates who trawl the coastline awaiting foreign cargo ships that they can hold hostage for massive ransoms. On land, reporters regularly recount the suffering of communities who still live under the ruthless rule of al-Shabab, a militant group aligned with Al Qaeda.
My reporting partner, photographer Nichole Sobecki, and I came to Somalia to look into another grim phenomenon, however. Scientists now believe that Somalia is one of the most vulnerable places in the world due to climate change. News stories about the war-torn country rarely highlights this link, but much of the violence in Somalia stems from environmental issues and resource scarcity -- and those underlying causes are only getting worse.
“With these weather patterns, Somalia or Somalis will not survive,” said Somali environmental activist Fatima Jibrell. “Maybe the land, a piece of desert called Somalia, will exist on the map of the world, but Somalis cannot survive.”
Yet just 40 years ago, Somalia seemed to be on a different trajectory.
The UN held their first environmental conference in Stockholm in 1972, but it wasn’t until the late 1980s that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was formed and the science of climate change started to be discussed as a global issue.
However, Somalia’s leaders had a deep appreciation for their fragile relationship with the environment starting in the 1970s after a punishing drought. At the time, the government saw that safeguarding their natural resources had to be a priority. A quarter of a million nomadic people lost their livestock and became desperately poor in 1974 and 1975, according to Somalia expert Ioan Lewis. It was essentially the equivalent of going bankrupt, having your car stolen and your house burning down all at once. For these people, life became focused on survival.
With support from the U.S. during the Cold War, Somali President Siad Barre created the National Range Agency to manage the country’s natural resources. The Range Agency’s leaders had the ear of the president, the largest budget of any government department, and eventually more than 2,000 people on the payroll.
One of the foreign experts drawn to this work at the National Range Agency was a British ecologist named Dr. Murray Watson.
Watson had learned to fly while studying wildebeest migrations in the Serengeti for his doctorate at Cambridge University. He moved to Kenya, bought a Piper Super Cub two-seater plane, and began tinkering with a rig of measuring sticks, an altimeter and a camera to take aerial photographs to document wildlife.
Watson arrived in Mogadishu in 1978, just as the Range Agency was starting its work. Through the rest of the 1970s and ‘80s, Watson led a small team of scientists in carrying out the most comprehensive land survey of Somalia in the country’s history. They crisscrossed the country by Landrover and bush plane, photographing and studying the environment at more than a thousand sites.
But in 1991, that momentum came to an abrupt halt. Rebels toppled President Barre and then turned on each other, plunging the country in civil war. Thousands of people were killed in street battles in the city. The rebels looted and destroyed businesses and government buildings.
But Watson somehow managed to make his way across the city amid the firefights and rescue the agency’s maps, photographs, and field notes. He snuck some 15,000 environmental documents out of the country in a bush plane.
As Range Agency staff fled the chaos and accomplished Somali scientists ending up in refugee camps, they left behind everything they held dear, including university diplomas, wedding photos and children’s books.
“We always thought we would go back,” said Dr. Abdullahi Ahmed Karani. He served as the first and longtime director of the National Range Agency, and he fled Somalia in 1991. He eventually settled in Baltimore and is now almost 80 years old.
As the Somali government collapsed and terrorism became an even larger problem, no one could enforce the ban on charcoal production and deforestation. Illegal fishing and dumping of toxic waste increased as foreign companies took advantage of Somalia’s unpatrolled waters. Meanwhile, as Somalia’s climate began to change, increasingly frequent droughts made people even more vulnerable to armed groups like Al-Shabab.
In contrast, Watson’s land survey provides a rare, detailed picture of a country before the past 26 years of conflict and environmental destruction.
But in 2008, the conflict caught up to Watson. While conducting another environmental survey, Watson and his Kenyan colleague Patrick Amukhuma were ambushed and kidnapped. Watson has been missing ever since, and what happened to him remains a mystery to his family to this day.
But Watson’s work has lived on. The Somali government has begun finding its footing after a quarter-century of war, and researchers believe Watson’s land survey -- now housed in a farmhouse in Britain -- could help show precisely how and why the country’s environment changed. It could also possibly offer clues about what can be done to restore it.
But many Somalis have already decided Somalia is no longer a viable home.
Another terrible drought hit in 2011, sparking a mass exodus. According to the UN, a quarter of a million people died and almost a million more crossed into neighboring countries. Tens of thousands of those fleeing their homes finally found relief in Kenya at one of the world’s largest refugee camps, Dadaab.
When their farm failed, Mohamed Abukar and his wife, Habiba, took their two young daughters and walked for 27 days to the camp across desolate southern Somalia -- land that in Watson’s old photographs appears verdant and green, with one of the country’s old-growth forests and even a national park. Today, the region is controlled by al-Shabab, who have deforested much of it to supply their lucrative charcoal trade, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization.
Now a father of five, including two young sons, Abukar knows his family can’t stay in the refugee camp in Kenya forever. But he also can’t imagine returning to Somalia.
Abukar said that in Somalia, al-Shabab recruits boys at the madrassas or religious schools.
“I am fearful that they will be recruited. First, there is no school other than those run and controlled by [al-Shabab],” he said.
“They can radicalize you because you are poor and don’t have anything,” Abukar added, explaining that extremists sometimes block aid from reaching these areas to coerce people into supporting them.
Indeed, aid agencies could have alleviated the suffering from the drought. But al-Shabab wanted to leave people vulnerable, “to attract the hungry people, knowing too well that people facing starvation will fall for anything,” Abukar said. He told us this fear of starvation is one of the concerns that runs through his mind at night while his family sleeps.
“Even if Somalia has security problems, if someone has to die, it’s best if he dies while in good shape other than dying of hunger,” he said.
Abukar vows he’ll never return to Somalia. Since the war broke out in 1991, millions more have also left, making new lives for themselves elsewhere in eastern Africa or boarding rickety boats bound for the West at the mercy of smugglers.
Environmental activist Fatima Jibrell had left Somalia too. She moved to the U.S., but decided to come back to lead Adeso, the organization she founded in 1991. Her organization focuses on creating jobs and rehabilitating the degraded land. But she questions whether that approach will ultimately work, blaming desperation that has been exacerbated by a changing environment and dwindling resources.
“It’s going to take us to wars where we kill and maim each other. Sadly, I think that is the way we will choose. Not intelligently, but by not doing anything -- that’s the choice we will make,” said Jibrell. “The other choice is harder, but it’s doable. It comes with intelligent people coming together.”
Jibrell’s feelings about the future are peppered with both optimistic and grim predictions. But she said she is committed to her work, even as she approaches 70.
“We are alive, and we are thinking beings. And it’s not in our nature, I think, to give up,” Jibrell reflected. “Nobody likes to die sitting.”
Neomasculinity is defined by its view on females, and particularly on feminism. It is NOT defined by opinions on race, homosexuality, or religion. For a United Front, we can accept any opinion as long as it matches our views on females and feminism.
It is the secret dream of every Swedish or German woman to marry a black men, or at least have sex with a black man. Every smart young African man should migrate to Europe. Free money, nice house, good sex!
A fanatic viewer does not consider the blogger as a historian and heritage management expert.He describes him as Shia and Kafir. Despite clarification that only those who deny Allah and Holy Prophet as his messenger can be dubbed as kafirs, he goes ahead with his own interpretation.Amusingly, he considers Jahangir as a true believer and alleges that Shias raise objection over a womaniser and drunkard Emperor while they themselves enjoy the privilege of Muta. He even went on stating once that Shias resort to Swapping of their wives with a sarcastic remark "Teri Meri,Meri Teri,Ha,Ha,Ha,Ha.
It is clear from all his replies that he is an ardent admirer of Saudi Arabia and out of his ignorance feels that Salafis /Wahabis/Saudis are devout Muslims.To make the fanatic understand as to how Grand Muftis of Saudi Arabia have legitimized prostitution through their unique fatwas and how many types of marriages are being performed in so called holy kingdom, the blogger decided to reveal the true face of Saudi Salafis.While my fanatic friend did not support his accusation with any fact ,figure or evidence, the blogger is replying to his allegations as under :
1- Misyar is a temporary relationship between men and women for sexual pleasure. In this relationship the woman relinquishes all her rights that are available to her in an Islamic marriage. It is claimed that 60 Salafi scholars, including Saudi Grand Mufti Shaikh Abdulaziz al-Shaikh endorsed Misyar relationship between men and women in their fatawas.
2-Arab News reported on October 12, 2014 that MISYAR IS A WIDESPREAD SOCIAL REALITY IN SAUDI SALAFI SOCIETY as 7 out of 10 marriages in Saudi Arabia are based on Misyar.
Several other formats of fake marriages in Saudi Arabia are :
(a) URFA - In this relationship, there are no official contracts signed and also does not give women any rights whatsoever. She is kept as along as the man wishes to use her for sex.
(b) MESYAF ( Summer holiday marriage) - It is a tourism marriage practised by Saudis and other Salafis in the world who go on summer vacation to countries, like Yamen, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other countries. They take advantage of poor Muslim families by fake marriages with young, rather very young girls between the ages of 9 to 16 years in collusion with local middlemen and agents who are paid for these notorious services.
(c) FRIEND MARRIAGE - In this marriage, the bride does not go out of her house. The male goes to her house in the night or meets with her in a hotel and have sex with her.Then.she goes back to her home.There is no provision of legal maintenance from man.In most of the cases the woman demands a certain amount and gets it in advance.
(e) MISFAR - (Foreign study and Business Trip marriage)It is a deceptive marriage contracted by a Salafi for sexual gratification so that a woman may cohabit with him for the period he is visiting a foreign country. These women are formally divorced after a short period that ranges from a week to a month. It is natural that most of these women who fall victim to this kind of fake marriage come from deprived backgrounds, and have very little say in the matter. Many Fatawa by Saudi Scholars in this context are available on officialwebsites like Bin Baaz.
Most alarming in this context is the Fatwa by Shaikh Adil Al-Kalbani, the Imam of the Grand Mosque of Makka issued on July 16, 2010. This Fatwa was published on www.al-arabiya.net.
Sheikh issued this fatwa after receiving an email from an overseas Saudi male student studying in the ‘West’. The Saudi student, who is married and living with his wife, claims that he is worried about controlling his desires when he sees ‘Western’ females wearing seductive semi-naked clothes that arouse him.He asks the Sheikh it is OK to marry one of those women in a ‘Misfar’ marriage,
Sheikh posted on his own website his fatwa that permits Saudis marrying Western women with the intention of divorcing them when they are finished with them without the pre-knowledge of the women of their deceitful plan. Meaning, the Imam has given green light to Saudi overseas students and travelling businessmen to use women as disposable containers to relieve themselves sexually.
Saudi Newspaper Ash-Sharq on February 03, 2011, devoted its main page to launch a scathing and virulent attack on Saudis who travel abroad and indulge in obscene (sex) parties, night clubs and prowl in sex tourism countries around the Globe. The paper also published several pictures, videos and films showing Saudis dancing in obscene parties.
In a rich world, a persons value depends on attractiveness and youth. If you are rich and older, just invest in destruction. The poorer the world, the less does your value depend on youth.
Most of us (unfortunately) have some type of body insecurity. It’s why cosmetic procedures that melt fat away or rejuvenate your vagina not only exist, but continue to grow in popularity.
And now, there’s a new fix to add to that ~beautifying~ list: Scrotox. Yep, it’s exactly what it sounds like… botox for a guy’s balls (or scrotum, if you like anatomical terms).
Now, personally, I don’t really care what a guy’s balls look like. But after scouring the web, I learned that saggy, small, and wrinkly balls seem to be a valid concern for a lot of dudes.
“I know they look like the excess skin from a 60-year-old man who lost 200 pounds way too fast, but I can’t do much about it. There’s no botox for balls,” Cosmopolitan’s male columnist, Cosmo Frank, once admitted about his own pair.
Another dude confessed to Women’s Health, “My penis, balls, and taint are usually marinating in my own sweat throughout the day, which doesn’t exactly yield a lovely floral scent, so I’m always insecure about what a girl will think if/when she goes down on me. All I can do to overcome that is to powder my balls or spray some cologne or Febreeze down there before a big date and then hope for the best.”
Ah, but now there IS something you can do about these problems, guys! Now there is!
As Metro UK explains, Scrotox promises to reinflate deflated and slightly wrinkly balls, reduce the amount of sack sweating, and enlarge the twins’ appearance by relaxing the scrotum muscles.
But the injection is no joke, as it can cost over $3,000 to give your balls a makeover.
Mark Norfolk, Clinical Director of Transform, a cosmetic surgery center in the UK, told Metro that requests for Scrotox at his office have doubled in the past year — even though he doesn’t currently offer it. This matches the trend of more men getting plastic surgery in general over the past 10 years.
But be warned, fellas: Despite its sweat-eliminating and swelling abilities, ball Botox won’t necessarily have a huge effect on the wrinkles or sagging, Norfolk says. So if “lots of loose skin” is what you’re mostly concerned about, you may be better off opting for surgery to get rid of excess skin.
Otherwise, if you’re really insecure about your ball sweat, size, or wrinkles — and you have a ton of cash to spend, as well as a high tolerance for needles in your balls — Scrotox may be worth a try.
I may not kick you out of bed if your balls aren’t perfectly large and baby smooth. But that’s just me.
The purpose of feminism is to destroy male sexuality. It's either you or them. Hope you get that message.
San Diego Free Press
DECEMBER 26, 2016 BY SOURCE
Maybe the real problem is a lack of positive paths to manhood
It wasn’t supposed to turn out like this. We were said to be approaching the demise of a certain type of swaggering, predatory masculinity: let’s call him Homo Obnoxious.
As men like Roger Ailes, Bill Cosby, Anthony Weiner, and Billy Bush scrambled unsuccessfully to find cover in the old-boy bastions of privilege, Homo Obnoxious appeared to be lumbering around like a dinosaur under the weight of his own cultural baggage. His habitat was shrinking: it seemed as if men who defined themselves by devaluing women, putting down men who didn’t think like them and treating sexual relations — and most everything else — as power-tripping performances might be ready for mounting in a Museum of Masculinity Past.
Books like Hanna Rosin’s The End of Men hailed an era in which women, and men of a different mold, would rapidly pull ahead in every arena. In The Future of Men: Masculinity in the Twenty-First Century, Jack Myers heralded a seismic shift in human relations. “We are entering a new age of female dominance and a reshaping of the male psyche, the male libido, and the male ego,” Myers wrote. “This is the new reality, and it will gain greater and greater momentum. Nothing in the history of humanity can prepare us for this newly upside-down world.”
Reality check: Homo Obnoxious is moving into the White House. The world is upside-down, but not for the reasons Myers anticipated.
The president-elect is signaling to boys across the country what it means to be a successful man. He gets more thuggish with each passing day, appointing knuckle-dragging members of his tribe to run the country. Meanwhile, alt-right dudes who cope with masculine anxiety by proclaiming superiority over women and people of color are feeling validated, enjoying influence they could hardly dream of a year ago. As one self-identified “neomasculine” blogger put it, “I’m in a state of exuberance that we now have a President who rates women on a 1-10 scale in the same way that we do and evaluates women by their appearance and feminine attitude.”
Yikes. But before we concede that toxic masculinity has suddenly reasserted itself as the dominant force in the cultural universe, let’s pause to take a breath. Let’s admit, for example, that although arenas of male experiences differ depending on where you live and how much money you have, Homo Obnoxious was never just a creature of any one party, class or region. The truth is that he is nurtured at every stage of an American boy’s journey into manhood, and without trying to understand what our society does to promote his development and how boys and men might be persuaded to reject his allure, he will continue his rampage across the land.
Let’s take a look at three breeding grounds where Homo Obnoxious cuts his teeth.
So many have a story like mine. It was a day soon after I had transferred to a new public high school in North Carolina. Two popular senior boys — baseball stars on a winning team — approached me across a crowded stair landing. I smiled, then felt rough hands shove me against the wall as the two sang obscene lyrics in my ear. That was not the last or the most violent encounter I had with Homo Obnoxious-in-training during my education.
Aggressive misogyny, of course, permeates many school sports teams, as the recent case of the men’s soccer team at Harvard illustrates. There, at America’s most hallowed university, a spreadsheet compiled by male players portraying members of the women’s team in degrading sexual terms was brought to light. A student explained the commonplace nature of the behavior to the New York Times: “I think Donald Trump is so extreme that we like to believe that these extreme incidents of sexism and discrimination are, like, isolated to him,” he said. “But it’s important to recognize that they’re just as rampant in our generation.”
Responding to recent revelations of decades-long sex abuse by both faculty and students at St. Georges, a New England prep school where Billy Bush was an ice hockey star, a former student described the warped sexual atmosphere and lack of guidance from adults in a letter to the rector of St. Paul’s, another elite prep school where a tradition of predatory sexual competition bred danger:
“I went to St. George’s School in the ’80s and am a heterosexual, success-oriented, competitive guy. I remember being self-conscious about my not getting any action while some of my male friends got tons. I felt less-than, like a loser when it came to girls and sex…Nowhere in my development …did any adult ever reinforce in me that it is all right to go at your own pace, that sex isn’t competition. The cultural norm was that sex was another place to be competitive, where you could be classified as a winner or a loser.”
Let’s think about that. When competition is the preferred mode of group interaction, it’s no wonder boys end up stuck with obsessions about the number of their sexual encounters and a tendency to degrade the objects of their pursuits.
In A Bigger Prize: Why Competition Isn’t Everything And How We Do Better, Margaret Heffernan discusses the destructive role that competition plays in American education and how it turns kids off of many potentially valuable collaborative activities. A large percentage end up not wanting to participate anything, including sports, in which being the winner or loser is everything.
Heffernan points out that if we teach kids that success is all about individual performance, they grow up to be what she calls “heroic soloists.” In relating to others, they tend to focus on what’s in it for them, suppressing the instinct to be generous or share credit or empathy. Our president-elect, steeped in the values of self-interest capitalism and competition in everything from football and beauty pageants to reality TV tournaments, is the epitome of a heroic soloist — one who has been rewarded richly in celebrity, power and money.
Teaching kids the value of creative collaboration and offering rational guidance on sexuality or gender relations at school has to be a part of cultivating a different path to manhood. American sex education, for example, if it is taught at all, often consists of either shaming abstinence lessons or alarming medical discussions of STDs and pregnancy, with little acknowledgment of the need to develop compassionate ways to express sexuality or the importance of challenging sexual stereotypes in media and culture. It doesn’t have to be that way; in a New York Times op-ed, Pamela Druckerman highlighted how topics like the complexity of love are openly discussed in French sex-ed, while Dutch teachers work to inculcate respect for people who don’t fit traditional sexual and gender molds.
If they don’t have blueprints of masculinity that allow for confidence and strength without domination in the playground and in the classroom, boys grow up thinking that a hero is somebody who is in everything solely for himself. This does not mean that we send male students to re-education boot camps, as certain right-wing pundits have warned is the true agenda of coastal elites. It means that adults take it upon themselves to guide students, whatever their sexual orientation or gender identity, in imagining ways of being men that are not destructive to themselves and others. It means not shaming them because they are male, but rather encouraging them to develop pride in characteristics and values that are socially beneficial, like putting others before themselves, honesty and strength in caring and self-restraint. That would be a start.
When I arrived at the University of Georgia in 1988, a sophomore from my hometown issued a helpful warning not to ever hook up in a certain popular fraternity house. The guys, I was informed, videotaped girls through holes in the walls and watched the tapes together on Sunday morning. This foreshadowing of the age of digital shaming and abuse was my introduction to the group norms associated with Greek life. Some misogynist rituals were performed under the radar, but others were out in the open and normalized, from parties where lists trashing women in sexual terms were posted on walls to “mixers” with sororities in which fraternity guys inscribed phalluses and misogynist phrases on the T-shirts of freshman girls.
There is nothing wrong with guys wanting to hang out, share common interests and form lasting social bonds with one another. But as young men begin to leave home, there aren’t enough opportunities for them to do this in a way that breeds healthy, socially responsible attitudes and behavior. Beyond the sports field, college fraternities are another place where antisocial activity is too often the norm, a lot of it targeting women. The “Animal House” frat image grounded in the degradation of women, based on fraternity life at Dartmouth in the 1960s, has been ascendant for decades, linking manliness to out-drinking peers and egging them on in sexual exploits. (Was Donald Trump in a fraternity? Of course: he was a Phi Gam at Fordham.)
The negative image is based in reality. On alcohol consumption, a U.S. Department of Education’s Higher Education Center survey shows that 75 percent of fraternity members engaged in heavy drinking, compared with 49 percent of other male students. Some — including many college presidents — have argued that since the drinking age was raised to 21, alcohol consumption has gone undercover, causing students to associate drinking with transgression and pushing it far from the supervision of older adults and more open social events. Lowering the drinking age, they suggest, might bring alcohol back into a more normalized atmosphere where students mix with older adults in supervisory roles, thus obviating the need for secretive binge-drinking and its attendant hazards and regression.
Some say fraternities should accept girls, and in a few cases, colleges have banned frats altogether, arguing that they are obsolete. At Amherst in Massachusetts, where fraternities were prohibited in 2014, students and faculty have discussed ways to create social groups that get rid of some of the destructive things associated with fraternities while providing the cohesiveness and sense of belonging that make them attractive, like residential communities with selective membership centered around a particular theme.
This is all well and good, but how likely is it to spread into regions of the country far flung from elite coastal universities? Places where fraternities have emerged as a way of attracting less affluent students to college with the promise of bonding and bacchanalia, to be translated into fundraising dollars after graduation?
College men — and young men who don’t go to college —need to have positive narratives that allow them to feel good about being men and being men together. Challenging sexual assault is important, but they need to learn much more than “no means no”: they need guidance in emotional honesty and intimacy, the challenges of navigating relationships and masculine ideals to strive for in which cultivating large numbers of women as hookups and drinking into oblivion are not the marks of masculine status. Beyond this, they need to see that life offers them more than the prospect of being a loser in the workforce that awaits them when schooling is done, and they also need opportunities to see that work in areas like caregiving, for example, are rich in positive masculine values. When a male nurse can be viewed as stronger and sexier than a Wall Street parasite, we will have gotten somewhere.
Popular culture reflects a hunger for a vision of masculinity that rejects Homo Obnoxious. Jesse Pinkman, the young meth cook in the TV series Breaking Bad, illustrates the despair of recession-era young men without decent job prospects who search for status, meaning, and self-worth. There’s a lot wrong with Jesse, but in his evolution as a character we see his growing resolve to form intimate, caring bonds with the women in his life and the men in his posse, too. The blockbuster franchise Fast and Furious shows the need for even the most testosterone-driven men — racecar drivers in this case — to develop respect and lasting relationships with the men and women in their social group.
These fictional guys hunt for alternatives to a brutal, global capitalist system that casts them as losers. They want to find the dignity that dissolves when we mire them in student debt, consign them to dead-end jobs and say, Oh well, globalization happens. If we continue to do this, they will bond together in ways that can quickly become dangerous to society as a whole, and they will look for outsider narratives that offer something more that the empty promise of upward mobility currently on offer from politicians who think that the paltry social safety net and worker protections currently in place are over-generous (politicians from both major parties). Sometimes, in the case of the white supremacist groups that have begun to creep out of the woodwork, that something will be very scary.
There has been a lot of recent research on how online porn and video games are helping to inculcate alienation and destructive patterns in boys and young men. Stanford psychologist Philip Zimbardo’s book Man (Dis)Connected): How Technology has Sabotaged What it Means to be Male provides insight onto how Homo Obnoxious gets his brain wired.
Zimbardo discusses how young male brains can become shaped at a cellular level in ways that inhibit their social development through excessive time spent on gaming and porn, even losing their ability to read the social cues of face-to-face contact. Many, he points out, are drawn to these realms as a seemingly safe and easy way to gain a sense of achievement that may not be available in the winner-take-all competition of school and the workforce. These virtual worlds are tailored to provide an addictive system of goals and rewards that produce guys who are afraid of intimacy. They end up eschewing real-world experiments that might result in rejection, and real-time spontaneity that leaves them disoriented and frightened. Drained of self-confidence, they search for narratives of manhood that provide at least the simulacrum of power and dignity.
Some go on to find self-help, intellectual and political forums online collectively termed “the manosphere.” Some of this has merged with the recently designated “alt-right.” In the more benign forums, we find guys like mild-mannered Brian Begin, co-founder of Fearless Man website, who invites guys to join a brotherhood of men who have learned the secret of confidence and self-love. A shy video gamer who found himself working in a miserable office cubicle and unable to talk to women, Begin eventually threw away his games and launched a self-help journey that revealed to him he needed to learn to “feel” — to experience emotions at a deep, visceral level and connect to others despite fear of rejection. Although Begin’s quest for dignified masculinity rests in part on the fantasy of making piles of money and dating beautiful women, his hunger for self-esteem and the experience of genuine emotion seems real, as does his impulse to see women as something other than a collection of body parts. He doesn’t want to be a nervous “beta” male, and while much of his rhetoric is traditionalist and half-baked, he is on to something in pointing to the critical need for connection. In his workshops, the first thing he does is to hug the men who participate.
Unfortunately, much in the manosphere openly promotes the far more noxious stuff, like sexual predation in the pickup community, where guys give each other creepy tips on “mind-controlling” women and duping them into sex. Other sites, like Mensactivism, boil with anger at feminists and take a paranoid stance against what they imagine is an epidemic of false rape claims and women who will take advantage of them at every opportunity. Mensactivism buzzes with articles like “Men are the downtrodden sex” and blogs expressing hope that a Trump presidency “could radically change colleges’ response to sexual assault.” In these sites, loneliness and fear are vented as rage — the rage that comes when people don’t know what to do with their suffering.
Yet for all the bluster and bullying on such sites, you don’t have to dig far to find clues to what is bothering these young men so profoundly at their core. The blogger who likes Trump’s rating system for women asks a series of questions in a meditation on so-called neomasculinity, which despite its name, is mostly a throwback to outdated myths of male superiority: “What code of morality or principles should guide men in their daily lives? Is there a deeper life meaning that can help us set better goals?” The answers he comes up with may be bitter and sad, but the questions themselves are not stupid, and they point to a lack of compass to give direction. Online, the lost boys find each other, making up the missing codes themselves out of a mixture of bravado, hurt and bitterness.
The road ahead
When I sat down to write this article just after Trump’s election, I felt angry and confused swallowing the reality that the country is going to be led by a man who brags about sexual assault. But gradually, I’ve come to feel something else, a sense that the Trump election may in part be a sign that a giant population of American men — particularly the Trump voters but also men across regions and classes — are in turmoil, and that most are looking for a way out. If we simply shout them down and disparage them, we can be pretty sure that the worst among them, the already-committed members of Tribe Homo Obnoxious, will gain strength, not lose it. Some are likely already too far down the road of hate for redemption, but I believe these are a small minority. The rest are struggling, watching, looking for signs, searching for stories that might give them a sense of a more positive path ahead.
Over Thanksgiving, I attended Sunday services at a conservative Southern Baptist megachurch in Raleigh, North Carolina, partly because I wanted to hear and see for myself what men in that context were thinking and talking about it — men who were the most likely in town to have voted for Trump. If I were to believe the assumptions of some of my liberal friends in New York, where I currently live, they would be spewing racial hatred, misogyny and homophobia — a seething collection of “toothless rednecks,” as one New Yorker put it on my Facebook page.
That’s not what I heard. The sermon was delivered by a young minister with the demeanor of a kindly basketball coach, one who was not afraid of emotions and wept at times as he spoke. His message, it seemed to me, was tailored to deliver balm to the heart of hurt manhood. God was the benign father and Christ was a brother — even a lover — who valued those gathered so deeply he would give his life for them. Men were presented as the ones who went out into the world while moms stayed home, a 1950s trope to be sure, but they were also asked to give up their self-centeredness, their narcissism. The minister urged them to see power as something that could be used to confront their own shortcomings, to serve and protect others. The solo adventurer was not vaunted here. Trump was not the emblem of the kind of masculinity valued here.
As much as I reject his outdated gender framework, the minister appeared a man with whom I shared some basic concerns—about the allure of consumerism, for example. He was not an alien, but a person trying to confront the ills of modern society, many of which bother me as much as him, though our emphasis and answers are different.
Men are confused, and how could they not be? Ever since the 1950s brought women into the workforce en masse, and the Pill released them from reproductive shackles in the ‘60s, a profound change in human relations has been happening in painful fits and starts. In the grand scheme of history, a few decades is an incredibly short amount of time to adjust to such a cataclysm. No wonder we’re still flailing about trying to figure out how to cope. Identity, expectations, culture and hormones are a complex dance. Social construction is a dynamic process, and hardly linear.
And let’s face it: Hillary Clinton’s election was not likely to bring a great gender renaissance in America, or any kind of renaissance for that matter. If Clinton were on her way to the White House, there is much reason to believe that ordinary men — and women— would see little improvements in their lives. That would be the case as long as those in charge are stuck in paradigms of dysfunctional capitalism and neoliberal blindness. Anger would continue to fester, and many working-class white men, in particular, would become even more entrenched in their reactionary rage.
As America’s boys see Trump acting out, some will feel their own worst instincts validated. But for others, the idea of “being a man” might mean distancing themselves from his kind of behavior. I do believe that men—and women—are less likely to assert power by denigrating and dominating others when they have a sense of real agency in their lives. It may not be helpful to talk about the end of men, or the rising dominance of women, but rather to remember that for all of us—men, women and transgender—our ability to manifest prosocial behavior depends a lot on having a sense of power and purpose in our lives. Growing inequality, the gig economy, strangling oligopolies, widespread poverty, a shrinking middle class, and government policies geared to appease the rich do not promote this outcome.
For those who reject Donald Trump, figuring out how to achieve a better life for everyone in our society instead of condemning “deplorables” is, in my opinion, a more productive way to go. The co-creation of a more peaceful and fulfilling world requires our most dedicated efforts in imagination, connection and listening to those who do not share our particular vision. Homo Obnoxious will only have the last word if we forget our common humanity.
It's not that we would be madly in love with Donald Trump. But at least, he's not a feminist. Now that is something to vote for.
Nothing, absolutely nothing, flatters a girl more than a man committing suicide because of her.
April 25, 2017 - Psychology Today
There is an extensive literature in many disciplines on the topic of mate preferences and selection (Candolin, 2003; Prokosch, Coss, Scheib & Blozis, 2009; Shackelford, Schmitt & Buss, 2005; Schwarz & Hassenbrauck, 2012).
Much of the recent literature has been driven by debates on the power of the Body Mass Index (BMI) over Waist-to-Hip (WHR) ratios to attempt to determine the universality of male mate preferences (Dixson, Sagata, Linklater & Dixson, 2010). The debate has been won by the BMI school who argue from the data that it is the best and first-past-the-post choice factor when men look at women.
But there are a long list of other factors that play a part. They have one thing in common which is they are indicators of health and youth. Men like long shiny hair; they like a smooth skin. And they are very interested in symmetry.
Question: Why are men attracted to…
Youth: Young women are preferred by men as they have greater reproductive value than older women. This relates to the expected number of children that she is yet to have in her reproductive career. Evolutionary psychologists propose that this is the reason for males being attractive to young women, despite concern in civilised society with the age of consent. Yet, our ancestors did not come up against such laws, and thus the human brain finds it difficult to comprehend these rules which have not previously existed … and males are therefore attracted to young females.
Long Hair: Men seek to find healthy women to nurse their offspring and make good mothers. A good indicator of health is a woman’s hair. Healthy individuals have shiny hair, where the hair of the unhealthy loses its luster. During illness the body takes nutrients from non-vital parts of the body (the hair) and re-directs them to areas necessary for survival.
So, hair is a good indicator of good health. The rate of hair growth is very slow (approximately 6 inches per year), and therefore one can judge an individual’s past health from the quality of hair of differing lengths. If you experience illness, the section of hair growing in this time will be of lesser appearance than when you are well. In past years there was nothing a woman could do to disguise ill hair quality when she is unwell. Presently, older women tend to keep their hair shorter as they become less healthy, and do not want to keep tell-tale signs of illness on show.
Small Waists: 36-24-36 are considered the ideal measurements of a woman. Men universally prefer a waist-to-hip ratio of 0.7. Why? It has been suggested that this is because healthy women have lower waist to hip ratios than healthy women. Diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and strokes change body-fat distribution, increasing waist-to-hip ratios. Women with lower waist-to-hip ratios also are more fertile, as they have larger amounts of reproductive hormones. Interestingly, the ratio fluctuates during the menstrual cycle, being at its lowest during ovulation, when a woman is most fertile. Men are unconsciously looking out for healthier and more fertile women.
Large Breasts: Larger and thus heavier breasts sag more evidently with age than do smaller ones, making it easier for a man to judge a woman’s age. In the ancestral environment there was no calendar and concept of birthdays and so women did not keep track of their age. Larger breasts were therefore a better basis to judge age, and therefore reproductive value, upon.
However, there is a competing hypothesis. A recent study of Polish women found that those with large breasts and a small waist were the most fertile, based on the level of their reproductive hormones. It may be that men therefore prefer women with large breasts for the same reason they have a preference for women with small waists.
Blonde Hair: Blonde hair is another indicator of a woman’s age and thus reproductive value. Blonde hair changes dramatically with age, darkening after a blonde has her first child, with her oestrogen levels reducing, and more so with the birth of her next children. Young girls who have blonde hair often grow up to become women with brown hair.
So, if males are attracted to blonde hair, they are unconsciously trying to reproduce with younger women, with higher reproductive value, and greater health. Blonde hair evolved in Scandinavia and Northern Europe, where the climate was cooler and our ancestors were clothed. Males therefore needed an indicator of age other than the distribution of a woman’s body fat. Men then evolved the predisposition to prefer blonde women. This can explain the “blondes are dumb” stereotype, as the average age of light blondes in the ancestral environment would have been a teenager, where for brunettes in the same environment would have been much older, perhaps 35. A blonde female in such times would therefore have been much less experienced and wise. It is the case that younger people are less knowledgeable, as opposed to those with blonde hair being less knowledgeable.
Blue Eyes: The only available explanation for the universal liking for blue eyes was offered in 2002. The human pupil dilates when it is exposed to a stimulus that it likes – e.g. the pupils of women dilate when they see babies. This can be used as an honest indication of an individual’s liking for something. So we cannot hide our attraction to someone, as we cannot control this automatic dilation.
Blue is the lightest colour of human iris, and therefore the dark brown pupil is easiest to observe in blue eyes. Therefore, it is easiest to judge whether another is attracted to you if they have blue eyes. This helps explain the liking for blue eyes in both sexes, as it is equally important for a woman to judge whether a male is attracted to her. This theory can also justify why people with brown eyes can be considered “mysterious.” The pupil is difficult to judge against the dark colour of brown irises, and so we cannot judge whether they are attracted to us.
Studies have looked at specific features of mate preferences (Fletcher, Simpson, Thomas & Giles, 1999; Furnham et al, 2011) as well as trade-offs and compromises in mate choice (Shackleford et al., 2005); and the effect of self-appraisal on mate choice (Kenrick, Groth, Trost & Sadalla, 1995).
Kurzban and Weeden (2005) found the agreed-upon mate values for both sexes were related almost entirely due to observable physical attributes like age, attractiveness, BMI and height and not those less observable characteristics like education, religion, socio-sexuality or ideas about children.
Some research has specified the role of personality factors (Wood & Brumbaugh, 2009) in mate selection. Gebauer et al. (2013) found two individual difference dimensions namely agency and warmth were highly valued cross-culturally. In Big Five terminology this appears to be two traits of Extraversion or Sociability. Furnham (2009) found females rated intelligence, Stability, Conscientiousness, height, education, social skills and political/religious compatibility significantly higher than males, who rated good looks higher than females. Regressions showed sex, personality and ideology were consistently related to partner preference.
Furnham and Tsoi (2012) found as predicted, females rated indicators of earning power significantly higher than males, who rated good looks and heredity higher. Effects of similarity attraction were shown in education and financial background, self-assessed attractiveness, values, and personality. Regressions showed that sex, personality and self-ratings (aggression and patience) were consistently related to partner preferences. More recently Neto, Pinto and Furnham (2012) replicated these findings in Brazil and Portugal.
Furnham and McClelland (2015b) presented 258 male respondents with 16 hypothetical females which they were asked to rate for suitability as long term partners. The hypothetical females differed with respect to: academic ability (high/average); athleticism (high/low) and two personality variables; extraversion (introvert/extravert) and neuroticism (stable/neurotic). Overall males preferred intelligent, athletic, extravert, stable females as potential long term partners. Effect sizes showed that being extravert was seen as being the most important characteristic and being athletic as the least important.
There was a strong preference for Sanguine Stable Extraverts who are classed as easygoing, responsive, and lively, and an avoidance of Melancholic Unstable Introverts classified as anxious, rigid and reserved. This certainly makes sense in terms of evolutionary theory. Nettle (2006) considered the positive benefits and negative costs of the Big Five personality types. Thus Extraverts are attractive because they have big social networks and are good at initiating, but not always maintaining relationships. They tend to be happy, though somewhat impulsive. There are few positive benefits of being Neurotic save social sensitivity and hyper-vigilance. There are however many costs associated with anxiety, depression, poor mental and physical health and stress sensitivity.
So: what do men look for in women? They look essentially for signs of youth, health and fecundity. They might also look for signs of healthy characteristics that the female might pass onto his children, like emotional intelligence and stability
All very well… but there is always the problem of individual differences. Not all men favour curvy, blue-eyed blonds. The question for the evolutionary psychologists is why some men clearly favour women who are not the perfect BMI (21-23) or WHR (.7) or indeed have none of the characteristics set out above. Indeed what does best determine mate choice? And the answer lies in many other things beside physical characteristics like values and beliefs.
Why is sex so important? Because life is so full of shit, that without sex, it's just not worth living.
If you’re in your 20s and you’ve had great sex, we’ve got some good news...
And if you’re in your 20s and have had awful sex, well, we’ve got even better news for you too.
Apparently the best sex of your life is still yet to come.
As reported by The Independent, In a recent survey commissioned by the contraceptive app, Natural Cycles, 2,600 women of varying age groups were asked intimate questions about their sex lives. They answered questions about how much they enjoyed sex, what made them feel sexy, how great were their orgasms and so on.
The women were broken down into three subsets: younger (below 23), middle (24-35), and older (36 and over). As for the results, 80% of women 36 and up felt the most sexually attractive. In the middle group (24-35) only 40% claimed to have felt “happy with their appearance,” while 70% of the women in the first group (23 and below) felt the same way.
As for the group that reportedly scored the most favorably? Women 36 and older reportedly had the most active sex lives and the most satisfying. In this group, 86% of the women noted that they’d had great sex over the course of four weeks. The older women also scored higher numbers when it came to actually climaxing — six out of 10 women to be exact.
The numbers are staggering. However, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard about confidence being the key to having great sex. Last year, another survey pointed out a similar sentiment: As women age, confidence levels rise and a side-effect of great confidence is a quality sex life. Afterall, how on earth can anyone possibly focus on having a mind-blowing orgasm if we’re overly concerned about our flaws?
Actually, if they can live with the fact that men have a sexuality to cope with, and if they aren't feminists, women, at least some of them, are quite OK.
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