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Première conférence internationale sur le bâillement
First International Conference on Yawning
Paris 24 - 25 juin 2010
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 wolter seuntjens
The Theory of the Hidden Sexuality of the Yawn and the Future of Chasmology
Wolter Seuntjens (website of this author)
Brussels, Belgique


Chasmology is the scientific study of the yawn. Though its official history started only recently, its unofficial history stretches back to antiquity.


The aims of this short essay are to broach the past and present of chasmology and to propose a perspective of its future. Particular emphasis is being laid on the author's favourite theory: the hidden sexuality of the human yawn.


Historical research and literary analysis.


The First Law of Chasmology states that a yawn will be yawned (1) if the yawner cannot do what he would like to do, or (2) if the yawner must do something that he would rather not do. The Second Law of Chasmology, which is a special consequent of the more general First Law, states that the yawn has an erotic and even a sexual aspect. A critical mass of proof for the validity of this Second Law is derived from various sciences and disciplines, ranging from theology and (the history of) art to ethology and pharmacology. The process of welding the Second Law produced also chasmology as an emergent science, that is a science that uses the data and information of primary sciences to make a synthesis that transforms and transcends the original scope and results of the auxiliary disciplines. The Second Law allows at least two concrete predictions about future corroborations or refutations in chasmological research.


Chasmology has a bright future and may before long yield some surprising results.


In science yawning has not received its due attention. I realise a systematic-encyclopaedic overview of all available knowledges about the yawn. The fields from which I derive my data are semantics and etymology, sociology, psychology, the medical sciences (anatomy, physiology, pathology, and pharmacology), and the arts (literature, film, visual-arts). Then, I associate a number of these data in order to test the hypothesis : yawning has an erotic side, yawning has a sexual aspect. As the total amount of circumstantial evidence surpasses a critical mass, I can, for the present moment and until future refutation, assume this hypothesis to be correct. Furthermore, I provide two predictions about prospective scientific research that will enable a more direct testing of his hypothesis. Finally, the yawn is, contrary to common-sense ideas, far from trivial; yawning is an extremely complex and significant behaviour. The yawn, and this clashes even more with common sense notions, appears to have an erotic side, a sexual aspect.

wolter seuntjens