Is that a gun in your pocket or do you really dig my Neocon fundamentalist tea party ideas?

June 27, 2010 | By | 1 Reply More

How is it that so many Republican men find Sarah Palin credible when she claims that we can drill our way out of the energy crisis? There simply isn’t that much oil in Alaska—anyone with a small bit of curiosity can do the math and find out that Alaska has only six months of oil to offer the rest of America. It gets much worse, of course.

Image: creative commons

Image: creative commons

Republican men tend to love fact-less, self-contradictory female Republican politicians and commentators (including more than a few at FOX), especially those that push their sexuality hard based on the manner in which they dress and act. And consider the recent reactions of conservative pundits regarding the issue of whether Sarah Palin had breast implants.

This anomaly leads to my question: Do Republican men really and truly think that the current crop of female Republican politicians/commentators are offering ideas that work, or are they confusing sexual arousal for patriotic fervor or intellectual inspiration?

Consider that “misattribution of arousal” is well-established through numerous experiments. In 1962, psychologists Schacter and Singer told participants that the psychologists were studying the effect of vitamin injection on visual skills. This was prior to modern day ethics restrictions, and many of the students were secretly given injections of adrenaline or a placebo (to control for the effect of sticking a needle in one’s arm). Strong emotional reactions to subsequent stimuli (a “nosy” and “offensive” questionnaire) were strongest in participants who had been given the adrenaline but told that it was only vitamins and that it would have no effect on them. They misattributed their chemically-enhanced emotions to the questionnaire, whereas those who told that they were receiving the injection of a stimulant (and those receiving the placebo) did not misattribute their emotions. Here is a succinct description of the phenomenon of misattribution of arousal. (and see here).


What follows is an excerpt from Social Psychology and Human Nature, by Roy F. Baumeister and Brad Bushman (2007) (p. 187):

The intriguing thing about the Schachter-Singer theory is that it allows for arousals to be mislabeled or relabeled. That is, an arousal may arise for one reason but get another label, thereby producing a different reaction. For example, someone may not realize that what he or she is drinking has
caffeine (e.g., if you think that you have decaffeinated tea when in reality it has caffeine . . .) it may create an arousal state. If something frustrating happens, someone who has this extra, unexplained arousal may get much angrier than he or she would otherwise. This process is called excitation transfer . . . The arousal from the first event (drinking caffeinated tea) transfers to the second event (frustration).

Consider that large numbers of conservative/fundamentalist men are not comfortable acknowledging the sexual arousal they feel when they see images of Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter or Michelle Bachman. Therefore (as my hunch goes), when they experience intense sexual arousal that they are not comfortable acknowledging (when they “dissociate” these toxic thoughts of “inappropriate” sexual attractiveness), they are left without any obvious explanation for their increased arousal. They are thus ripe for misattribution. They are easily self-fooled that they are feeling passionate about their country or fearful about Middle Eastern “terrorists.” Whatever it is that these vapid/deceitful Republican babes are uttering, it must be true too. “Why else would my blood flow thusly whenever I hear Sarah Palin give a talk?”

Why, indeed?


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Category: Politics, Sex

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (1)

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  1. Tim Hogan says:

    It is most amazing that these women can say just about any stupid thing and no one calls them on it!

    Look at the current "debate" on Arizona's anti-immigration law. The GOP governor, a woman, says violent crimes are up because of the illegals but, the facts completely bely this canard!

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