Americans’ Attitudes Toward Bisexuals: Results From a National Survey

Americans’ Attitudes Toward Bisexuals: Results From a National Survey

Researchers and public polling firms alike have extensively surveyed Americans about their attitudes toward gays and lesbians in recent years. The results of their work have shown that attitudes toward homosexuality have become far more favorable over time. Unfortunately, however, in almost all of these surveys, attitudes toward bisexuals have been neglected. As a result, we don’t really know that much about what Americans' attitudes toward bisexuality look like today, nor can we say much about the degree to which they might have changed over time.

Fortunately, a new study published in the journal PLOS ONE offers some insight.

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Am I Too Old For The HPV Vaccine?

Am I Too Old For The HPV Vaccine?

In the United States, the FDA currently recommends the HPV vaccine for anyone aged 9-26, regardless of their sex. This vaccine is designed to prevent several different types of cancer—including cancers of the cervix, vulva, vagina, and anus—as well as genital warts. But let’s say you’re over age 26. Does this necessarily mean that you're too old to get it? This is something a lot of folks—myself included—have wondered.

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The Doctor Who Gave Men Goat Testicle Implants To Cure Impotence

The Doctor Who Gave Men Goat Testicle Implants To Cure Impotence

Before Viagra and penile implants, impotent men didn't have a lot of great options for treating their erectile difficulties. In fact, almost all of the early "treatments" for ED were nothing but snake oil--in other words, they were shams that didn't work at all (except maybe through the power of suggestion). They sold like hotcakes, though, because they were marketed to a desperate audience of men that was willing to try almost anything if it meant returning their penises to working order.

Many unscrupulous characters have tried to profit off of impotent men's desperation over the years by selling unproven "miracle cures." One of the most egregious cases ever documented involved a "doctor" by the name of John R. Brinkley.

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3 Studies Refute Idea that Exposure to Sexy Centerfolds Harms Men’s Relationships

3 Studies Refute Idea that Exposure to Sexy Centerfolds Harms Men’s Relationships

A study from the 1980s found that heterosexual men who viewed images of Playboy and Penthouse centerfolds reported less love for their romantic partners than men who saw images of abstract art [1]. Since then, this study has been cited frequently as evidence of the damaging effects of porn. However, I’ve always had some concerns about this study and everything that has been made of it in the media, which I expressed a few years back on my blog (see here). It turns out that there’s now even more reason for skepticism in light of the fact that a group of researchers who just tried to replicate this finding couldn't.

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Highlights From a Sex Research Conference

Highlights From a Sex Research Conference

A few weeks ago, I attended the annual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS). I’ve been going to this conference for a few years in a row now and truly love it. In fact, I love it so much that I’m going to serve as co-chair of the conference planning committee for the 2017 and 2018 meetings!

As always, I learned a lot at this year’s conference and wanted to cover some of the highlights on the blog. However, I can't do it justice in a single post. What I’m going to do instead is offer a brief summary of some of my favorite presentations today, followed by some in-depth posts about a few particularly fascinating studies over the next few weeks. So, here goes:

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6 Reasons to be Thankful for Sex Today

6 Reasons to be Thankful for Sex Today

For those of you celebrating Thanksgiving today, one of the many things you might consider giving thanks for is sex. Why? Here are six good reasons, all supported by science.

1. Sex is a multi-purpose activity that allows us to meet a wide range of needs. In fact, scientists have identified at least 237 distinct reasons for having sex! Not only is sex a fun and pleasurable way to pass the time, but it's also a potential way to reproduce, to demonstrate love and affection, and to find relief (indeed, research suggests that having sex can potentially relieve stress for couples). In other words, sex can do a lot for us.

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Your Biggest Questions About Anal Sex, Answered

Your Biggest Questions About Anal Sex, Answered

As someone who's in the business of sex education, I get asked sex questions all of the time. These questions cover every topic you can possibly imagine, with one of the most popular being anal sex. For example, I've received questions regarding how many people are doing itwhether women enjoy it, and how to make it more pleasurable, among other things. One anal sex question I haven't yet written about, though, is whether it can harm your body. Specifically, are receivers of anal sex likely to develop problems with their rear ends? This is a surprisingly common question and it turns out that there's not a lot of good scientifically-based information about it online, so I figured it was time for me to tackle it.

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Infographic: How Men Feel About Condoms in Porn

Infographic: How Men Feel About Condoms in Porn

How do men feel about the use of condoms in pornography? A new study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior offers some insight. Gay, straight, and bisexual men were all asked for their preference when it comes to condom use in different kinds of porn scenes. For a look at what they said, check out the infographic below.

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Financial Domination and Money Masochism (Video)

Financial Domination and Money Masochism (Video)

Financial domination (or findom, as it's known for short) is an uncommon sexual interest in which people--usually men--find it arousing to be "forced" to give their hard-earned money to a dominant partner who will do with it as they please. The guys who part with their dough are often referred to as "cash slaves" or "pay pigs" and what they're really getting off on is the fact that they're giving up power and letting someone else control them. There's not necessarily even any sex involved in these relationships because the arousing part is the feeling they get from having someone else in control of their finances.

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Why Romantic Partners Tend To Look Like Each Other

Why Romantic Partners Tend To Look Like Each Other

If you're anything like me, you've probably noticed that a lot of romantic couples look alike. Have you ever wondered why that is? Scientists have found that there may be at least two reasons for this: not only do we have a tendency to choose partners who look like us in the first place, but it also turns out that the longer we're with a partner, the more we come to look like them.

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What Would You Say If Your Partner Asked To Sleep With Someone Else?

What Would You Say If Your Partner Asked To Sleep With Someone Else?

Most Americans who are in relationships have a spoken or unspoken agreement to be monogamous. In other words, they've agreed not to have sex with anyone but each other. Let's imagine for a moment that you're one of those folks. Got it? Ok, now let's suppose that your partner approaches you one day and says they would like to have sex with someone else. How would you respond?

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How This Sex Scientist is Putting His Post-Election Emotions to Work

How This Sex Scientist is Putting His Post-Election Emotions to Work

The morning after this week’s U.S. Presidential election, I awoke feeling a range of emotions—none of them positive. I was sad. I was angry. I was scared.

I spent the entire day feeling helpless and pessimistic about the future, which I documented in an early morning blog post about seeing this election through the eyes of a sex researcher and educator.

A few days have passed now and I certainly don’t feel any better about the election results, but I’m no longer despondent. I know that the next four years will pose immense challenges, both personal and professional, but I also know that I don’t just have to sit by idly while so many things that I care about are threatened. I can do something—and I’m starting today.

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As a Sex Researcher and Educator, Last Night's Election was Terrifying

As a Sex Researcher and Educator, Last Night's Election was Terrifying

As I watched last night’s U.S. election results come in, I was stunned and shocked. When I work up this morning, I was terrified. 

These feelings are, in part, a function of my personal politics—the details of which I’ll spare you. However, I also feel these very same emotions in my capacity as a sex researcher and educator—and that’s what I’d like to talk about for a few moments. Here’s why what happened last night at all levels of government scares me.

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Progress in the Search for a Male Version of the Birth Control Pill

Progress in the Search for a Male Version of the Birth Control Pill

Scientists have been hard at work for decades trying to develop a safe, highly effective, and reversible contraceptive for men—something akin to the birth control pill that has been available to American women since 1960. Thus far, nothing they’ve tested has been remotely ready for prime time. However, a new study just published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism suggests that they may be nearing a breakthrough.

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Want to Participate in a Sex Study?

Want to Participate in a Sex Study?

If you're reading this, chances are that you probably love learning about the latest sex research. But have you ever wanted to go beyond reading about it, perhaps by taking part in an actual sex study (or two)? If so, check out my Sex Studies page, which is updated regularly with calls for participation from sex scientists across the globe. Feel free to participate in as many or as few of the studies as you would like, depending upon whether you meet the eligibility criteria.

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No, Homosexuality Isn't Contagious. You Can't "Catch the Gay"

No, Homosexuality Isn't Contagious. You Can't "Catch the Gay"

A lot of people seem to believe that homosexuality is contagious--that it can spread from one person to the next through simple social contact. For example, Pat Robertson of the Christian Broadcasting Network recently warned parents that they should be cautious about inviting gays and lesbians into their homes because, if they do, their children will probably grow up to be gay. Similarly, the leader of a group that calls itself the Islamic People Forum recently described homosexuality as a "disease" that is "contagious and harmful to our children." 

Is there any reason to believe that these claims about homosexuality being contagious are actually true, though? Can homosexuality really be transmitted through social contact? According to a recent study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, there doesn't seem to be anything to the idea that you can "catch the gay" from others. 

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Would Your Ideal Relationship Be Monogamous Or Open? 1,000 Americans Weigh In

Would Your Ideal Relationship Be Monogamous Or Open? 1,000 Americans Weigh In

Would your ideal relationship be completely monogamous, completely open, or somewhere in between? One thousand Americans adults were recently asked this question as part of a national YouGov survey and the results were fascinating.

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Video: The Evolutionary Benefits of Sex (Beyond the Obvious)

Video: The Evolutionary Benefits of Sex (Beyond the Obvious)

Why do humans and so many other species reproduce by having sex? If you think about it, a case could be made that asexual reproduction is faster and more efficient than sexual reproduction in a lot of ways (I mean, at the very least, reproducing asexually saves time by eliminating the need to find a willing partner). To the extent that this is true, then why did so many organisms evolve to reproduce sexually?

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Why Laws Restricting Sex Offenders' Activities on Halloween are Misguided

Why Laws Restricting Sex Offenders' Activities on Halloween are Misguided

It has become an October tradition for the media to run story after story warning parents that sex offenders are at an increased risk of committing sex crimes against children on Halloween. All of the panic stoked by these claims has prompted lawmakers across the country to begin passing laws that restrict the activities of convicted sex offenders on Halloween--such as mandatory curfews--or that require police officers to check up on sex offenders during trick-or-treat hours. 

But is it true that there's a higher risk of sex crimes taking place on Halloween? And is there any evidence that laws like this actually make us safer? Let's take a look at the data.

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Changes in Americans’ Views on Sexual Morality in the Past 15 Years

Changes in Americans’ Views on Sexual Morality in the Past 15 Years

The results of Gallup's 2016 Moral Issues Survey reveal that Americans’ views on sexual morality have shifted in several important ways in the last fifteen years. Most notable are changes in the number of Americans who believe same-sex behavior, sex before marriage, and having children outside of marriage are morally acceptable. While there have been substantial shifts in those attitudes, Americans’ attitudes toward other sexual issues—particularly abortion and affairs—haven’t really changed at all. Check out the table below for a closer look at the numbers from 2001 compared to today.

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