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
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
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
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
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
When it comes to relationships, a lot of people are under the impression that there’s just one “right” person out there for them—a so-called “soul mate” or perfect partner. In other words, many of us want someone who can be everything all at the same time: your best friend, a passionate lover, and the person who can meet all of your needs now and forever.
While believing in “the one” is a very popular way to think about relationships, sex therapists don’t think it’s a very healthy one.Read More
Generally speaking, people tend to have more sex in the summer months than they do in the winter months; however, December is the exception to this winter sex slump. In fact, what the evidence shows is that sexual interest and activity reliably increase this month. This is especially true for the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Check out the video below for a fascinating look at all of the changes in our sex lives that take place in December.Read More
Today is World AIDS Day, a global public health campaign that began 29 years ago in order to increase HIV/AIDS awareness and education. In support of this campaign, I'm sharing a video created by our friends over at ASAP Science that offers some useful and important information on the subject. Specifically, this video details how HIV affects the body, it discusses why a cure has been so elusive, and it offers a glimpse into the future of HIV treatment. Check it out, and be sure to do your part in contributing to HIV awareness and education by sharing it.Read More
Eharmony and other popular online dating sites promise to help users find compatible romantic partners through the use of specialized matching algorithms. These services were founded on the idea that romantic attraction is something that is both rational and predictable. But is that really the case?Read More
In the video below, I've compiled a list of seven interesting facts about vaginas and vulvas--all tastefully displayed against the backdrop of (mostly) fruits and flowers that bear a minor resemblance to these body parts and/or have a reputation for being aphrodisiacs. Enjoy!Read More
Fetishes are sexual desires that hinge upon specific objects (like boots or panties), non-sexual body parts (like feet or armpits), or bodily fluids (like urine or breast milk). Though many fetishes strike people as being "strange" or "weird," it's important to note that having a fetish doesn't necessarily mean that one has a psychological disorder. Indeed, fetishes only constitute clinically significant problems to the extent that desire for the fetish object creates persistent personal distress (e.g., interfering with one's ability to establish a desired relationship) or results in harm to others (e.g., when someone resorts to theft in order to obtain their fetish object). What this means is that, contrary to popular belief, most people with fetishes are perfectly psychologically healthy.Read More
The penis is a fascinating piece of human anatomy; however, it turns out that most of us don't actually know all that much about it. So, in the video below, I've compiled a list of seven of the most interesting facts about the penis--all tastefully displayed against the backdrop of some very phallic-looking fruits and vegetables. Because why not?Read More
Think you know everything there is to know about orgasms? Test your knowledge by watching the video below, which highlights ten of the most fun and interesting scientific facts about the big O.Read More
Where does our sexual orientation come from? That's a question that we don't yet fully understand. However, a growing body of research suggests that it may be determined, at least in part, by our genetics.
Scientists have been searching for years for a so-called "gay gene," and the results have been nothing short of fascinating.Read More
What is “normal” or “typical” when it comes to sex isn’t the same from one culture to the next. In fact, there’s incredible variation in sexual attitudes and practices throughout the world, and there’s a lot we can learn by adopting a cross-cultural lens.
Today, let’s take a look at sex in South Korea, a culture where sex is heavily stigmatized. Sex education is poor, open discussion about sexual matters is discouraged, and sex outside of marriage is highly frowned upon (despite the fact that the average age of first marriage is now 31 and most people live with their parents until they get married). So what does this mean for the sex lives of young adults?Read More
A reader submitted the following question:
"Why do men have nipples? Do they have some purpose I don't know about?"
Thanks for this great question! I've been asked about this many times before while teaching human sexuality classes to college students, so here's what I tell them:Read More
Even though the marriage rate in the United States recently hit an all-time low, most Americans still view the institution positively and consider it to be the ideal relationship state. Why? It is deeply embedded in our culture that a monogamous marriage--finding "the one"--is the key to happiness and meaning in life, while being single is just lonely and sad. As it turns out, however, a lot of what we've been told about marriage just isn't true.Read More
Teen sexting is an issue that parents and politicians alike are increasingly worried about. The message they’ve been sending to teens has been pretty uniform: don’t do it. Of course, a lot of teenagers do it anyway—and, unfortunately, some of them end up facing criminal consequences as a result. Sharing nude images of persons under age 18--even if they are images of yourself--falls under the category of child pornography. Sadly, more and more teens are being arrested for child porn for having done nothing more than engage in consensual sexting with their peers. Believe it or not, 7% of all arrests for possession of child pornography in the U.S. are among teens aged 17 and under—a figure that has more than double since the year 2000.Read More
How is sex determined? In humans, it’s a matter of genetics, and it begins the moment a sperm cell fertilizes an egg, thereby producing a certain combination of sex chromosomes. Throughout the animal kingdom, though, sex determination varies widely and isn’t always genetically based, as biologist Aaron Reedy explains in the TED-Ed video below. For example, in some species—such as alligators and turtles—sex is actually determined by the environment. Specifically, the sex of these reptiles depends upon the temperature of their eggs at a critical point in development (cooler = male; warmer = female). Check out the video below to learn more about other fascinating variations in how sex is determined throughout nature.Read More
May is Masturbation Month. We can trace the origin of this special month back to 1995, when US Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders said that masturbation is a part of human sexuality and something that should perhaps be taught in sex education courses. Her comments set off a huge controversy that ultimately led to her being fired. To mark her unjust dismissal, sex toy company Good Vibrations declared May 14 to be National Masturbation Day, which was later expanded to include the whole month.Read More