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Indiana Statesman
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 Wednesday  Jan. 29, 2003
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CAMPUS


Fascination with cannibalism has sexual roots

By Josh Cannon
Indiana Statesman
November 22, 2002

The person you are most likely to end up in bed with is the person most likely to end up in your stomach, Steve Scher said on Wednesday night.

Scher, a psychology professor at Eastern Illinois University, discussed the relationship between cannibalism and sex to a crowd of 50 in Dede II.

People are more fascinated with cannibalism than any other strange process, Scher said.

Scher said his fascination with cannibalism began in an evolutionary psychology class with a discussion about taboos. From an evolutionary psychology perspective, the two most popular taboos are cannibalism and incest, Scher said.

Scher said that following this discussion, he wanted to find out why people feel the way they do about cannibalism, so he began researching. The result was a book written by Scher, "Evolutionary Psychology: Alternative Approaches."

Scher and his team surveyed people to find out why cannibalism was such a turn-off. Scher said variables such as age, cause of death, gender, physical attractiveness, relation and position in society were considered.

Scher said that after many surveys, he found basically what he expected: It was more disgusting to eat someone unattractive. Scher also found it was more disgusting to eat a relative than a friend.

However, there were a few twists. For example, Scher found that from a woman's point of view, it is more disgusting for women to eat men, while from a man's point of view, both men and women are fine.

After Scher discussed his survey on cannibalism, he discussed his survey on sex.

Scher performed another survey where he asked basically the same questions to a test group with the same variables, but this time in relation to sex. For example, would someone rather kiss a relative or friend? Would someone rather have sex with a child or an adult?

Scher found a .88 correlation between the two. This means that roughly 77 percent of people gave the same answers relating to cannibalism and sex. Veanne Anderson, a psychology professor, said that a number like that is very high, meaning that the correlation is strong.

Fascination with cannibalism has sexual roots
Post your feedback on this topic here
12/03/2002 What kind of hairbrained stupidity is... Lisa
12/03/2002 This is an interesting investigation... richard stearns
12/09/2002 statistical correlation does not... brad jamison
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