# First paragraph of section becomes indented after setting \setbeforesecskip (memoir class)

I am trying to adapt my thesis draft to the format specifications of my university, which mandates among other things the number of line skips before and after section and subsection titles. I am using the memoir class and the following code to enforce the line skip rules:

\setbeforesecskip{2em}
\setbeforesubsecskip{2em}
\setbeforesubsubsecskip{2em}
\setaftersecskip{1em}
\setaftersubsecskip{1em}
\setaftersubsubsecskip{1em}


My problem is that when I add the above lines to the document preamble, the first paragraph after each section and subsection is indented. If I remove them, the behavior reverts back to the default of no indentation for the first paragraph, which I want.

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memoir uses a modified version of the \@startsection command, but one puzzling aspect of this command is nevertheless present. Quoting from the LaTeX 2e Sources, p. 283:

In other words, add a minus sign to the argument of your \setbeforeXskip commands.

\documentclass{memoir}

\setbeforesecskip{-2em}
\setbeforesubsecskip{-2em}
\setbeforesubsubsecskip{-2em}
\setaftersecskip{1em}
\setaftersubsecskip{1em}
\setaftersubsubsecskip{1em}

\begin{document}

\chapter{bla}

Some text.

\section{blubb}

Some text.

\subsection{foo}

Some text.

\subsubsection{bar}

Some text.

\end{document}

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The default values of those macros are also noted in the manual. As far as I know that was done a long time ago such that one could save some macros. I agree it is confusing, but we keep the tradition going, such that we do not need an extra interface to indicate wheter or not to indent the paragraph after the title. –  daleif Apr 15 '11 at 9:25