Thursday, January 10, 2019

Psychologist says all humans - even BABIES - subtly dehumanize people outside their social group

In the Pixar animated film 'Inside Out,' most of the plot plays out inside protagonist Riley's head, where five emotions – Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger – direct her behavior.

The film was released to glowing reviews. But director Pete Docter later admitted that he always regretted that one emotion didn't make the cut: Schadenfreude.

Schadenfreude, which literally means 'harm joy' in German, is the peculiar pleasure people derive from others' misfortune.

You might feel it when the career of a high-profile celebrity craters, when a particularly noxious criminal is locked up or when a rival sporting team gets vanquished.

Psychologists have long struggled with how to best understand, explain and study the emotion: It arises in such a wide range of situations that it can seem almost impossible to come up with some sort of unifying framework. Yet that's exactly what my colleagues and I have attempted to do.

Schadenfreude’s many faces

One challenge continues to plague those who research schadenfreude: There's no agreed-upon definition.

Some think it's best to study the emotion in the context of social comparison, so they'll tend to focus on the way envy or resentment interacts with schadenfreude.

Others view the emotion through the lens of justice and fairness, and whether the sufferer deserved his or her misfortune.

Finally, the last group thinks that schadenfreude emerges out of intergroup dynamics – members of a group deriving joy out of the suffering of those outside of the group.

In our view, the different definitions point to multiple sides of schadenfreude, each of which might have distinct developmental origins.

The blossoming of schadenfreude

Perhaps the writers of 'Inside Out,' when deciding to jettison 'Schadenfreude,' thought that it would prove too difficult for children to grasp.

There's evidence, however, that children begin to experience schadenfreude early in life.

For example, at four years old, children found someone else's misfortune – like tripping and falling into a muddy puddle – funnier if that person had previously done something to hurt other children, such as breaking their toys.

Researchers have also found that two-year-old kids primed to be jealous of a peer experience glee when that peer suffers a mishap. By the age of seven, children feel more pleased after winning a game if a rival lost than when both won the game.

Finally, in a 2013 study, researchers had nine-month-old infants observe puppets interacting with one another. Some puppets 'enjoyed' the same types of food that the infants enjoyed, while others had a different set of tastes. When some puppets 'harmed' the other puppets, the researchers discovered that the infants would rather see the puppets who didn't share their tastes be hurt over the ones who did share their tastes.

Bringing it all together

Together, these studies show that schadenfreude is a complex emotion that seems to be deeply ingrained in the human condition.

Psychologists Scott Lilienfeld, Philippe Rochat and I wondered if there could be a way to unite the multiple facets of schadenfreude under the same umbrella.

Eventually, we settled on seeing schadenfreude as a form of dehumanization – the act of depicting and viewing another person as less than human.

When most people hear the term 'dehumanization,' they probably go to the worst-case scenario: a complete denial of someone's humanity, a phenomenon relegated to torture chambers, battlefields and racist propaganda.

But this is a misconception. Psychologists have shown that people often view their own group in more human terms, and – in subtle ways – can deny the full humanity of those outside of their group.

In our review, we hypothesized that the more empathy someone feels toward another person, the less likely they are to experience schadenfreude when that person suffers.

So in order for someone to feel schadenfreude toward another person – whether it's a rival, someone in an outgroup or someone who's committed a crime – they'll need to subtly dehumanize them. Only then does the sufferer's misfortune become rewarding.

This theory hasn't been tested yet, so at the end of our review, we suggest ways schadenfreude's early origins and individual differences can be placed under scientific scrutiny to study this novel hypothesis.

Linking schadenfreude with dehumanization might sound dark, especially because schadenfreude is such a universal emotion. But dehumanization occurs more often than most would like to think – and we believe it's behind the pang of pleasure you feel when you see someone fail.


Federal Court Rules Colorado Cannot Block Christian Baker’s Lawsuit Over State’s Hostility Toward His Beliefs

A federal district court ruled Friday that Colorado cannot block an attempt by Colorado cake artist Jack Phillips to sue the state over its “hostility” towards him and his Christian beliefs.

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) represents Phillips, owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop, in the lawsuit.

As previously reported, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, in June 2018, saying the commission “violated the Free Exercise Clause” by requiring Phillips to go against his religious beliefs about gay marriage and design a customized wedding cake for a gay couple, Charlie Craig and David Mullins.

“While it is unexceptional that Colorado law can protect gay persons in acquiring products and services on the same terms and conditions as are offered to other members of the public, the law must be applied in a manner that is neutral toward religion,” the high court wrote in its opinion at the time.

“The same agency that the Supreme Court rebuked as hostile to Jack Phillips has remained committed to treating him unequally and forcing him to express messages that violate his religious beliefs,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jim Campbell, who argued before the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado on Dec. 18.

“Colorado is acting in bad faith and with bias toward Jack. We look forward to moving forward with this lawsuit to ensure that Jack isn’t forced to create custom cakes that express messages in conflict with his faith,” Campbell added.

ADF noted that the commission filed a formal complaint against Phillips after the Supreme Court ruling because an attorney complained that Phillips refused to “create a cake designed pink on the inside and blue on the outside to celebrate and reflect a gender transition.”

The same attorney later asked Phillips to design a cake with satanic themes and images, but Phillips also refused.

“Jack serves all customers, and he is even happy to serve the attorney who lodged the complaint against him,” Campbell explained. “But Jack doesn’t create custom cakes that express messages or celebrate events in conflict with his deeply held beliefs. He can’t get a fair shake before the state commission,” Campbell said.

“A commissioner set to decide the state’s new case against Jack has publicly referred to him as a ‘hater’ on Twitter, one of several indications of the commission’s ongoing bad faith toward him and his beliefs,” Campbell added.

In his ruling, District Court Judge Wiley Y. Daniel said in his opinion that the commission and the Colorado Civil Rights Division treated Phillips “with hostility inconsistent with the First Amendment’s guarantee that our laws be applied in a manner that is neutral toward religion.”

To demonstrate that, Daniel provided two examples.

“The Division’s and the Commission’s ‘clear and impermissible hostility toward the sincere religious beliefs that motivated [Phillips’] objection’ to creating the custom wedding cake manifested itself in two ways,” Daniel wrote in his opinion.

“First, Commission members made disparaging comments about Phillips’ faith at public hearings. And second, the Division and the Commission treated Phillips differently from three other bakeries by allowed those bakeries to refuse a customer’s request to make a cake that would have violated their secular values, while requiring Phillips to produce a cake that would have violated his sacred beliefs,” the opinion stated.

“Weeks after the Supreme Court announced Masterpiece I, the Division issued a new probable cause determination against Phillips, alleging that he discriminated against a different customer because of the customer’s transgender status. The Commission also claimed Phillips discriminated against the customer and filed a formal complaint against him,” Daniel wrote.

“Tired of Colorado’s ‘continuing efforts to target Phillips’ and ‘unconstitutional bullying,’ Phillips filed this suit against Defendants. Phillips alleges that the new probable cause determination and formal complaint violate his First Amendment rights to free exercise of religion and free speech and his Fourteenth Amendment rights to due process and equal protection. Among other remedies, he asks for injunctive relief, declaratory judgment, and monetary compensation,” the opinion stated.

The defendants are identified as: Colorado Civil Rights Division Director Aubrey Elenis, seven members of the commission, Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.


US Marine Corps will have male and female recruits training alongside each other during boot camp for the first time in history at Parris Island in South Carolina

While female Marines have been part of the Corps for over a century, male and female recruits will train alongside each other at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island for the first time in history.

The test group of about 50 women enlisting in the US Marine Corps will go through grueling boot camp training alongside male recruits, rather than separately as it has been done in the past, with same-sex instructors.

Recruits are organized by regiment, battalion, company, platoon, squad and often fireteam.

The 3rd Recruit Training Battalion 'will start their training cycle with one female platoon and five male platoons,' at the Parris Island recruit depot on January 5, the Marines said in a statement.

Ultimately, the move came down to smaller training classes enlisting in the winter months, and isn't expected to be permanent, but an official said the Corps 'will certainly look at how the company performs in this model as we continually evaluate how we make Marines.'

In this 12-week cycle, which is presented as an experiment, about 50 women will go through the same training as their male counterparts, but will still be trained by females.

'This training cycle of about 300 recruits will provide Recruit Depot staff a unique opportunity to assess outcomes, achievements and challenges in training, logistics and resource impacts of this company training model,' the Marines said.

'The decision was made by Marine Corps leadership in support of training efficiency and is a first in the history of Marine Corps recruit training.'

Previously,  female and male recruits had only made contact during boot camp training at Parris Island at specific, isolated stages in the cycle, like during swim qualifications, at the rifle range and in classroom instructions during the final phase.

The females in the battalion will live together with the males in the barracks, but in separate squad bays, which are open-format floors with bunk beds lining the walls, and include separate sleeping quarters for drill instructors.

It's not likely integration will reach the point where all soldiers are housed together in those squad bays during training at Parris Island, according to Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert B. Neller.

'Our drill instructors stay with their recruits 24 hours a day, seven days a week the entire time they are there,' Neller told said during a Pentagon briefing in May.

'So I am not considering having men and women live together in an open squad bay.'

The other Marine recruit training installation, located in San Diego, only trains male recruits, but does have some female drill instructors stationed there.

Advocates for female Marines have long been calling for full, permanent integration, arguing separating the sexes builds resentment, fuels the false idea that female Marines have it easier in training, and can lead to male Marines disrespecting female superiors and leaders.

'The Marines should fully integrate enlisted boot camp from the first day so all new Marines soak up the Marine Corps ethos together and learn, together, that the unit bond includes both men and women,' retired Navy Capt. Lory Manning, director of government operations at the Service Women’s Action Network, told Marine Corps Times prior to the announcement of temporary integration on January 4.

Women account for eight percent of the Marine Corps, and comprise more than 16 percent of the US military overall.


30 Transgender Regretters Come Out Of The Closet

Walt Heyer knows firsthand what it’s like to undergo sex change surgery and then regret it. After living as a woman for nearly a decade, he decided to accept his biological sex and de-transition back to male. By then, Walt had received intensive cognitive therapy that helped him recognize early childhood trauma he had experienced.

The trauma resulted in a mental condition known as dissociative identity disorder (DID). In the clarity of that realization, his gender dysphoria simply vanished. His life as a “woman” all amounted to an attempt to escape reality. Sadly, too few people consider the possibility that gender dysphoria can manifest as a byproduct or symptom of other mental conditions, and most certainly of DID. (More on that below.)

Walt suffered huge waves of regret as a result of following through with his urge to be a woman. He had eagerly taken the bait of politicized medical practitioners, who hurried him along in the transition. He not only regretted what he had done to his body, he also grieved over the estrangement from his wife and children caused by his drastic change in identity.

There was collateral damage to other personal relationships as well. He also regretted the lost decade of his life in which he lived in the persona of a woman.

Heyer’s New Book Shines Light on Trans Life Survivors

Heyer has written several books on transgender regret, but his sixth and newest book, “Trans Life Survivors,” is not his personal story. It’s a compilation of the stories of many others caught up in today’s “transmania.” They specifically sought out Walt to get some much-needed support. They’ve shared their lonely, surreal experiences falling down the trans rabbit hole, hoping to escape as he did.

Walt’s correspondents describe a wide range of frustrating and confusing experiences. Some are nudged into transgenderism by social pressures and emotional manipulation. Many are hastily sent into surgery without adequate counseling (or any counseling at all), or are misdiagnosed. Some of those regret their decision very shortly after having irreversible surgery.

Many concerns about childhood traumas are ignored by therapists who are politically motivated to push as many patients as possible into sex change. They also fear intense ostracism and vicious backlash from the trans community if they “come out” as a potential de-transitioner.

Walt wrote “Trans Life Survivors,” he says, because he wants others “to catch a glimpse of the raw emotions and experiences of people who are harmed by the grand – and dangerous – experiment of cross-sex hormones and surgical affirming procedures.”

Helping Others Escape the Trans Rabbit Hole

For many years, Heyer’s website was virtually the only place for a trans regretter to get some relief from the social and political pressures crashing down. Many of his readers express a joyful sense of liberation in knowing that they are not all alone.

Much of their isolation is caused by our society’s slavish obedience to political correctness, which dictates that there is “no such thing” as transgender regret. Even worse, the transgender lobby is making it very difficult for such people to get the counseling they desperately want and need.

They’ve set up roadblocks in the form of new laws that virtually ban standard cognitive therapy for people who diagnose themselves with gender dysphoria, particularly those who are undecided about their path or actually regret it after the fact. Any legitimate form of talk therapy—therapy that allows for real Q-and-A that doesn’t necessarily result in affirmation of gender dysphoria—has been smeared with the label “conversion therapy.”

Regretters are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. They are not unlike recruits in a dangerous cult who sense that something is amiss, but feel trapped in a Hotel California (or even a Jonestown).

So “Trans Life Survivors” is a godsend for people struggling with trans regret, no matter what stage of transition or de-transition they are in. The book highlights 30 stories gleaned from among the many hundreds Heyer has received from his readers. Many more transgender people have contacted Walt over the years. Walt has been trying valiantly to keep up with the increasing volume of contacts.

His readers are grateful to find a place they can get real and rare information about how changing their identity might affect them down the road—or, increasingly, how they can de-transition once they realize how unhappy the process has made them.

Just Imagine How Regretting a Sex Change Would Feel
Can you imagine what it must be like to tell a therapist of your experience being abused as a child, which you offer as a possible explanation for your dysphoria, only to have the psychiatrist totally ignore that aspect of your past and instead push you to sex-change procedures as the only way to overcome your angst?

Imagine that you then defer to and trust the professional’s expertise, and you accept the treatment. Then, can you imagine, after going through all of that—the hormones, the mutilating surgeries, etc.—you realize it just didn’t work? You end up asking yourself: What did I do? Why did I go ahead with this? Then the trans lobby tells you it’s all your fault, you should have known better, and you’re not really trans anyway, so shut up.

That’s Billy’s story. But his story has a good ending that inspires regretters who have lost hope. Billy de-transitioned, fell in love, and ended up marrying a woman with children. This echoes Walt’s own life experience after de-transitioning. He too fell in love and married an amazing woman. They live a very joyful, rich, and fulfilling spiritual life together as Christians.

Such happy endings and strong relationships might seem unlikely to those who think they’ve hit rock bottom. But those results are real, and they are a source of much hope to those who yearn to de-transition, but who feel “abandoned, ostracized, outcast, and alone,” like Kevin, who reported that his sex-change was the biggest mistake of his life. Only God knows how many regretters Walt has steered away from suicide and towards renewed life.

Hard-to-Find Resources

In “Trans Life Survivors,” you’ll also read about “Blair,” who holds a Guinness World Record for most gender-reassignment surgeries: 167 surgeries to make him feel more like a woman. Needless to say, it didn’t work out. But we can easily suspect in his case the existence of surgical predators who take advantage of vulnerable people. Many others, like Michael, recognize that it’s all “a sick money-making industry.”

Others who have communicated with Walt include parents whose children are being pressured into gender transition by public school officials, social media, and pop culture. “Trans Life Survivors” also includes chapters on the medical realities of sex change as well as the politicization of medicine and psychiatry that locks people into a transgender identity.

The book ends with a useful listing of further resources for those who seek to find a way out. Such resources are very hard to come by, so the book is truly a public service.

Suppressed Support For Those De-Transitioning

After the novelty of the transition wears off—and it very often does—the regretter is stuck in a never-never land of keeping up facades and pretenses. Many report that the constant charade is emotionally draining and casts a pall over life. But if they express a desire to change back, their friends in the trans community often become angry and reject and isolate them.

Walt cites numerous studies confirming that most cases of gender dysphoria co-exist with other mental conditions.
Being shunned by one’s own community is painful. Eric wrote: “I’m trying to come out as a regretter, and I’m finding the community backlash to be difficult and the lack of medical support to be troubling.”

Walt knows that feeling very well. The transgender lobby has come out hard against him when he has spoken publicly about his personal experiences. In addition to smearing him with various epithets such as “religious nut” or “transphobic,” the lobby has worked hard to de-platform him.

Media Matters went into panic mode and ran a smear article when Walt gave a persuasive interview to CNN’s Carol Costello after Olympian Bruce Jenner’s 2015 transition. (Walt’s instincts tell him that Jenner regrets his decision, but is hopelessly stuck in the cultish trap of the limelight. I believe he’s right about that.)

Eric reported an unsettling lack of medical support. Walt cites numerous studies confirming that most cases of gender dysphoria co-exist with other mental conditions, such as DID, bipolar disorder, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorders. If those other conditions were first treated through cognitive therapy, there’s no telling how much that would alleviate gender dysphoria without any need for invasive surgeries and hormonal treatments.

But this seems to be a well-guarded secret by political and media activists with a stake in promoting identity politics in general, and gender ideology in particular. Why? Probably because it could solve their problems, and their problems are the bread-and-butter of identity politics.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


1 comment:

C. S. P. Schofield said...

"The defendants are identified as: Colorado Civil Rights Division Director Aubrey Elenis, seven members of the commission, Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper."

In the baker's place, I would be suing for fifteen minutes in a sealed room with the swine and a tire iron.