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    Sexuality, race, and stereotypes




    Summary: Sexuality, race, and stereotypes. The topic is about how people treat and judge others based on their sexuality, skin color, and preconceived ideas.

    The challenges faced by strong and capable black women in their personal relationships

    As per a young Black woman, they are often very aware of how people see them, especially when they are in a relationship. There is a stereotype that affects Black women called the Superwoman Schema, which means they are expected to be almost perfect in everything they do.

    Source: Black Psychology

    Sexuality, race, and stereotypes

    The Superwoman Schema is the idea that Black women are super tough and must work hard to help their community and country. Society is a group of people who live in the same place and share the same customs and traditions. The SWS (whatever that stands for) makes Black women feel like they should always help others, even if it means ignoring their own feelings. This can make them feel like they have to do well, even if they don’t have enough help or resources.

    Over time, Black women may believe they have to be extra strong because of the racism and sexism based on their sexuality they face, which hurts their health and happiness. But supporting the SWS has a negative consequence because Black women may not show their vulnerability and may suffer silently instead of seeking help. This means that when someone has SWS (which stands for something complicated), they might have problems eating and sleeping, get headaches, lose their hair, and have panic attacks. These things happen because of stress.

    When different jobs clash

    The SWS says being strong and tough is important, but that doesn’t fit with what society thinks women should be like. The text talks about something related to the popular culture of the United States. Culture has a bad history of sending messages that say a woman’s value is based on how well she satisfies others sexually and that women should control or hide their own sexual feelings. Even though most people don’t follow these beliefs anymore, they still matter in present-day America. The way people think and act reinforces the idea that women should be willing to have sex but not show that they want it too much.

    Black women face stereotypes based on both their race and sexuality, which influence how they are treated. People expect them to act a certain way based on their skin color and gender roles. When Black women have mixed ideas about themselves, it can cause problems in their love lives. They might struggle to be strong and independent while also being feminine and attractive.

    This raises a question: How do Black women deal with conflicting expectations in their love lives?

    SWS means sleep-related problems in romantic relationships

    The researchers asked 402 Black women from all over the United States. They wanted to know how much saying that they support SWS helps Black women feel more confident about sex and happier afterwards. Sexual assertiveness means that a woman can talk to her partner about what she wants in bed. This includes talking about past sexual experiences and ways to prevent STDs. It’s important to help women feel confident and comfortable talking about these things. Women who have a hard time expressing what they want sexually may not be able to improve their sexual lives.

    They discovered that if someone strongly agrees with the idea of always appearing strong, hiding their emotions, helping others, and keeping their vulnerabilities hidden, it affects how much they enjoy sex when they are assertive. To put it simply, when people were more interested in traditional sexuality roles, it stopped sexual confidence from making people happier with their sex lives.


    So, Black women may approach sex differently because of the Superwoman Schema. This means that some actions related to sex, like talking openly about problems, might go against what some people believe Black women should do. These beliefs say that Black women should not show any signs of being weak or vulnerable. It could be that Black women who have many people saying they are good in bed might not be happy with their sex experiences because they feel they need to put their partner’s wants first. Basically, Black women sometimes feel like they have to be really tough and not ask for what they want in sex. This can be a problem, and we need to understand more about why it happens.

    The SWS is a type of stereotype about Black women. It is joined by other stereotypes like the hypersexual Jezebel, the caring Mammy, and the aggressive Sapphire. These stereotypes all treat Black women as less than human in how they act, what they look like, and how they feel. These ideas about people are everywhere, and they hurt many different things. My wish is that with this study, Black women and people who care about them can find out how to reduce the weight of these beliefs.

    Source : Black Psychology

    Image Source : Canva


      Hi, I’m Aarti, My Psychoanalytical approach towards my clients is to empower them to better their lives through improving their relationship with themselves. I believe shame and guilt is a common barrier to change. I aim to guide my clients through re authoring their narratives where shame, guilt, and other problems have less power and take up less space.

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      News & Research on Psychology | ShareYrHeart

      Newborn’s brains aren’t less developed than those of other primates.




      Newborn's brains

      Source: University College London

      Summary: A recent study shows that, contrary to popular belief, human newborn’s brains aren’t substantially less developed than monkey species. It just appears that way since so much brain growth occurs after birth.

      Humans have brains that are typically developed for similar primate species at birth. However, because human brains are so complex than other species, it is mistakenly believed that newborn humans are underdeveloped.

      According to lead author Dr. Aida Gomez-Robles of UCL Anthropology, “This new work changes the overall understanding of the evolution of human brain development. Humans seem so much more helpless when they’re young compared to other primates, not because their brains are comparatively underdeveloped but because they still have much further to go.”

      Measuring the difference between a species’ birth and adult brain sizes allows scientists to study how their brains evolve.

      People appear less mature at birth than other monkey species because humans have smaller brains than other monkeys.

      This new study, however, demonstrates that this metric is deceptive because human brain growth is broadly comparable to that of other primates, including chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and orangutans, according to other assessments.

      The study casts doubt on accepted theories about how the human brain develops over evolution.

      Due to less physical control, it has been believed that humans are born with less developed brains than other animals.

      In order for newborn’s heads to fit through their mothers’ birth canal, they had to further develop outside of the womb, which was assumed to be the outcome of an evolutionary compromise.

      On the basis of this knowledge, scientists proposed that humans have more pliable brains in their early lives and are more susceptible to external stimuli as they mature, because humans emerged relatively underdeveloped.

      It was believed that this early underdevelopment led to increased brain plasticity, which in turn promoted human intelligence.

      The reason why human brains take longer to reach their maximum potential than those of other animals

      It’s not because their brains are significantly underdeveloped at birth, researchers claim; it’s because their brains develop far more slowly.

      Results make it less likely that humans’ superior brain plasticity is the result of being born less developed than other primates. The researchers noted that their findings do not discount the significance of brain plasticity in human evolution.

      Scientists examined 140 distinct mammal species including primates, rodents, carnivores and related ancestors of hominins, to understand the human brain.

      To comprehend how human brains evolved, researchers analysed the length of fatal gestation in current mammals. The proportion of newborn bodies and brains to those of adults, and the total size of newborn and adult brains

      Researchers found that while the brain development of many animal species varies significantly at birth, monkeys’ brains are quite similar.

      Both current monkeys and their hominin relatives do not have considerably lower developmental stages at birth than humans.

      In the US, the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation funded the study.

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      News & Research on Psychology | ShareYrHeart

      Chronic stress makes the mind desire for comfort food



      Chronic Stress

      chronic stress for comfort food

      Source: Garvan Institute of Medical Research

      Summary: Chronic stress can suppress the body’s natural satiety signals, increasing appetite and boosting desires for sweets.

      Chronic stress suppresses the brain’s normal satiety-inducing reaction, resulting in continuous reward signals that encourage the consumption of more appetizing food.

      This happens in an area of the brain known as the lateral habenula, which normally blocks these reward impulses when it is active.

      Professor Herzog, the study’s principal author and visiting scientist at the Garvan Institute, comments, “Our findings reveal stress can override a natural brain response that diminishes the pleasure gained from eating — meaning the brain is continuously rewarded to eat.”

      “We showed that chronic stress, combined with a high-calorie diet, can drive more and more food intake as well as a preference for sweet, highly palatable food, thereby promoting weight gain and obesity. This research highlights how crucial a healthy diet is during times of stress.

      From mental stress to weight gain:

      While some people choose to eat less than usual during stressful times, most people choose calorie-dense, high-sugar, and fatty foods.

      To understand what drives these eating behaviours, the team examined how different brain regions responded to long-term stress under varying diets in mouse models.

      “We discovered that an area known as the lateral habenula, which is normally involved in switching off the brain’s reward response, was active in mice on a short-term, high-fat diet to protect the animal from overeating. However, when mice are chronically stressed, this part of the brain remains silent — allowing the reward signals to stay active and encourage feeding for pleasure, no longer responding to satiety regulatory signals,” explains first author Dr Kenny Chi Kin Ip from the Garvan Institute.

      “We found that stressed mice on a high-fat diet gained twice as much weight as mice on the same diet that were not stressed.”

      Researchers discovered that the primary cause of weight gain was the chemical NPY, which the brain normally produces in response to stress.

      Stress mice on a high-fat diet consumed fewer comfort foods and gained less weight when the researchers prevented NPY from activating brain cells in the lateral habenula.

      Next, in a “sucralose preference test,” the mice were offered the choice of drinking water or water that had been artificially sweetened by the investigators.

      “Stressed mice on a high-fat diet consumed three times more sucralose than mice that were on a high-fat diet alone, suggesting that stress not only activates more reward when eating but specifically drives a craving for sweet, palatable food,” says Professor Herzog.

      “Crucially, we did not see this preference for sweetened water in stressed mice that were on a regular diet.”

      Chronic Stress outweighs a balanced, healthy energy level.

      “In stressful situations it’s easy to use a lot of energy and the feeling of reward can calm you down — this is when a boost of energy through food is useful. But when experienced over long periods of time, stress appears to change the equation, driving eating that is bad for the body long term,” says Professor Herzog.

      Stress is a major regulator of eating habits that can override the brain’s natural ability to balance energy needs, according to the study.

      “This research emphasises just how much stress can compromise a healthy energy metabolism,” says Professor Herzog. “It’s a reminder to avoid a stressful lifestyle, and crucially — if you are dealing with long-term stress — try to eat a healthy diet and lock away the junk food.”

      Source: Garvan Institute of Medical Research

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      Children’s behavioral issues are connected to high levels of maternal stress during pregnancy.




      Source: American Psychological Association

      Summary: Pregnant women who experience extreme stress, anxiety, or depression may put their unborn children at greater risk of developing mental health problems and behavioral problems as children and teenagers.

      Tung and associates examined information from 55 studies, including almost 45,000 people in total. Each study assessed the psychological distress that expectant mothers experienced, such as stress, depression, or anxiety, and then examined the “externalizing behaviors”—outwardly directed mental health symptoms like aggression or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder—that their offspring exhibited.

      According to parents, children born to pregnant women with higher levels of stress were more likely to behave aggressively.

      Research has long suggested a link between pregnant women’s mental health and their child’s externalizing tendencies. However, in many previous studies, the effects of stress, anxiety, or depression during pregnancy have not been separated from the consequences of parents’ psychological distress after childbirth.

      The only studies that the researchers included in this analysis assessed mothers’ psychological discomfort both during and after pregnancy. They discovered that psychological anguish during pregnancy, in particular, raised the chance of externalizing disorders in children, even after adjusting for postnatal psychological distress.

      Whichever youngsters were involved—boys or girls—the effect was the same. It also remained true for kids in middle childhood (ages 6–12), adolescence (ages 13–18), and early childhood (ages 2–5), with the biggest influence occurring in the former.

      The results corroborate notions that stress hormone exposure during pregnancy may impact a developing child’s brain.

      According to Tung, future studies should concentrate on broadening their scope in order to comprehend the cultural and socioeconomic factors that influence perinatal stress and to create successful therapies.

      “Most existing research has focused on white, middle-class, and higher-educated samples. But experiences of racism, economic disparities, and a lack of health care access are known contributors to stress during pregnancy. Understanding how psychological distress during pregnancy impacts underrepresented families is key to developing equitable public health policies and interventions,” she said.

      She and her colleagues are now conducting two studies focused on understanding the types of support and resources that promote resilience and recovery from stress during pregnancy, particularly for families facing health inequities. The goal is to inform culturally inclusive preventive interventions during pregnancy to help support early mental health resilience and well-being for parents and their children.

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