When comparing the number of women who say they’ve been sexually assaulted to the number of men who admit to perpetrating sexual assault, the numbers are highly discrepant. In fact, the number of self-identified female victims is about three times higher than the number of admitted male perpetrators. So why is that? Is it because a small number of men are committing a large number of sexual assaults? Or is it because men are underreporting their sexually aggressive behaviors? A recent study published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence offers some support for the latter explanation.Read More
Incest, usually defined as sex between close blood relatives, is one of the most pervasive sexual taboos across cultures. Many different theories have been advanced to explain this taboo, but perhaps the most common is that we evolved to avoid incestuous relations because inbreeding increases the odds of health problems in any offspring produced.
So just how risky is incest anyway?Read More
Some people are turned on by thought of watching their partner have sex with someone else. This fantasy goes by many names, but it is often referred to as cuckolding or cuckqueaning, depending on whether the person watching is male or female. Cuckolding appears to be an increasingly common sexual interest. In fact, Google searches for it have been on the rise across the last decade. It’s also worth noting that cuckolding is consistently one of the top search terms used on the world’s most popular porn sites .
So what do we know about cuckolding anyway?Read More
What keeps passion alive in a long-term relationship? According to a recent study of nearly 40,000 adults (all of whom were heterosexual and currently in romantic relationships), there were five key differences between people who said they were able to keep the passion going and those who weren’t. People who kept the spark alive were more likely to (1) spend time setting the mood, (2) practice sexual communication, (3) receive oral sex, (4) be happier with their relationship in general, and (5) engage in more acts of sexual variety.
While there’s a lot to be said about each of these factors, I want to focus on just one of them in this post—the role of sexual variety.Read More
I recently returned from the Sexuality Pre-Conference, held just prior to the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in Atlanta, Georgia. I had the chance to see an incredible set of talks and what I’d like to do in this post is briefly walk you through four of the most interesting things I learned by attending this meeting.Read More
Several studies have found that women are more likely to have regrets about their previous experiences with casual sex than men. While men can certainly have regrets about casual sex, they’re more likely than women to regret opportunities they passed up instead of times they actually had casual sex. So why is that? What explains this gender difference?Read More
A recent study published in the Journal of Sex Research identified eight distinct motivations people can have for cheating (read all about those motives here). Beyond simply demonstrating the factors that motivate cheating, however, this study also examined how our personality, gender, and attachment style are linked to our reasons for committing infidelity. Here’s a quick review of the key findings.Read More
Studies have found that people overwhelmingly rate monogamous relationships as superior to consensually non-monogamous relationships on virtually every dimension you can think of . For example, monogamy is seen as promoting better relationship quality in terms of enhancing intimacy, safety, honesty, and communication. Even on qualities that have nothing to do with relationship functioning, such as paying taxes on time and taking a daily multi-vitamin, monogamy is seen as better for promoting them. Do people’s perceptions match up with reality, though? Are people in monogamous relationships necessarily much better off?Read More
How many single adults in the United States have had a friends with benefits relationship? How many are open to the idea of having a threesome? And what do they think the characteristics of both good and bad sex are? For a look at the answers to these questions, check out the infographic below, which reviews selected results from Match.com's eighth annual Singles in America survey. This survey featured a large, demographically representative sample of single people living in the US who were surveyed about their sexual attitudes.Read More
What “counts” as cheating on a romantic partner? It depends who you ask. Research finds that people define infidelity in very different ways. However, there are some things that people seem to agree on more than others.
For example, people largely agree that having sexual intercourse with someone who isn’t your partner is a form of cheating (assuming, of course, that you agreed to be monogamous with that partner). The same goes for taking a shower with another person or sending them naked photos. But what about just watching porn by yourself? Do people typically categorize that as a form of infidelity? A recent study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior offers some insight into this question.Read More
Pink and blue are colors that are commonly associated with gender in many Western cultures. Specifically, pink is widely considered to be a “girl color,” whereas blue is widely thought of as “boy color.” However, this hasn’t always been the case. In fact, historically, we didn’t associate these colors with a particular gender—and there was even a period not that long ago when some argued that pink was for boys and blue was for girls.Read More
The Trump administration recently released its proposed budget for 2019 and, just like last year, it seeks to ensure that sex education in the United States remains focused on abstinence. Specifically, this administration seeks to fund abstinence-only programs to the tune of $150 million. I've said it many times before, but it bears repeating: focusing sex education primarily on abstinence just doesn’t work.Read More
Research consistently finds that between 1 in 4 and 1 in 5 married persons in the United States has committed infidelity . Rates of infidelity in dating relationships are even higher. Why are so many people cheating? Surprisingly little research has explored the motivations behind infidelity; fortunately, however, a new study published in the Journal of Sex Research offers some valuable insight .Read More
With Valentine’s Day upon us, many folks have love on the brain—so let’s talk about the science of love! In the video below, I've compiled five of the most fascinating things researchers have found by studying loving relationships. Enjoy!Read More
Most people would probably assume that Valentine’s Day is linked to an increase in pregnancies. I mean, given the nature of this holiday and the emphasis on celebrating sex and romance, that would only make intuitive sense, right? Surprisingly, however, it’s not supported by the data. If it were, the birth rate would increase nine months later, but it doesn't—in fact, we actually see one of the lowest birth rates in November.
By contrast, what we do see on Valentine’s Day is a consistent spike in births. In other words, the evidence doesn’t point to more babies being conceived on Valentine’s Day, but it does point to more babies being born on it.Read More
How many people have had oral sex? Do men and women have similar feelings about this activity? Does oral sex "count" as sex? In this post, we'll take a look at the answers to these and other questions about oral sex.
1.) Most adults in the United States have engaged in oral sex before. A recent, nationally representative survey found that 86-87% of men and women say they have done it at least once.Read More
There's a common tendency to assume that when someone in a relationship cheats, they're doing it because the relationship is broken; however, this isn't necessarily true. People who are perfectly happy with their partner and their relationship cheat sometimes, too. So why is that?Read More
There’s a widespread belief that, if you watch enough porn, your brain will build up a tolerance to it, meaning that you will require more and more extreme stuff in order to become—and stay—sexually aroused. Unfortunately, there hasn’t really been any compelling research to either support or refute this idea; however, a new study published in the journal Sexual Medicine suggests that the notion of porn causing a tolerance effect is probably a myth.Read More
The American Sexual Health Association (ASHA) has declared February to be National Condom Month. For my part in helping to increase awareness and education about condoms this February, I created the video below highlighting useful facts and tips for having safer, more pleasurable sex with condoms. To learn more about National Condom Month, check out this page by the ASHA.Read More
In popular culture, a sapiosexual or sapiophile is someone who thinks that high intelligence is sexually attractive. It’s not just that these individuals think it would be desirable to have a partner with a high IQ, though; rather, these people are actually sexually aroused by high levels of intelligence in another person.
Although the concept of sapiosexuality has proved quite popular and much has been said and written about it in the media, it has been the subject of very little scientific study--until now, that is. A new study published in the journal Intelligence offers the first empirical evidence that sapiosexuality does indeed exist; however, the results suggest that it isn't particularly common.Read More