Is child sexual abuse inevitable? A lot of people seem to be under the impression that it’s only a matter of time before someone who is attracted to children acts on their urges. However, pedophilia researchers increasingly believe that many—perhaps most—child sex offenses could actually be prevented if we just took a different approach to dealing with this problem.Read More
Every November, a bunch of guys on the internet challenge each other to go a whole month without ejaculating. It’s “No Nut November,” as they call it. Men do this for a range of reasons. For example, some claim that it enhances strength, energy, and/or focus.
The truth, however, is that there isn’t any scientific evidence that giving up masturbation (or ejaculation) will enhance your health—in fact, if anything, research suggests that there are more potential health benefits to be had by indulging in self-pleasure than by abstaining.Read More
As a sex educator and researcher, one of the most common questions I get asked (besides “am I normal?”) is how a couple can stay sexually connected and passionate for the long term. It’s no surprise that this is such a common question when research shows that sexual passion typically declines over the course of a relationship. In fact, on average, sexual frequency and satisfaction start dropping after just one year.
However, this doesn’t mean that maintaining sexual passion or a satisfying sex life is impossible in a long-term relationship. So how do you do it?Read More
I’ve read a lot of media articles recently arguing that men and women really aren’t that different—and that any differences that do exist are due entirely to cultural conditioning. While I believe the authors of these articles are well intentioned and are striving for a noble goal of wanting to reduce gender inequality, I can’t help but feel that they are doing a disservice to readers by minimizing or (in some cases) completely ignoring important sex differences. The scientific reality is that men’s and women’s bodies are fundamentally different, and it’s in everyone’s interest to pay careful attention to those differences.Read More
How does pornography affect the way that teens think about and approach sex? Is there a link between pornography and sexual violence, as many in the media have claimed? Also what’s the most effective way to talk to teens about sex and pornography in the first place? Dr. Emily Rothman thoughtfully addresses these questions and more in the TEDMed video below.
Rothman’s talk is one of the best porn talks I’ve seen because it presents a very balanced take on the issue. It’s not an ideologically driven pro-porn or anti-porn take; rather, it’s an attempt to start a nuanced conversation about what we do and don’t know concerning the effects of porn and how we can use that knowledge to inform sex education efforts.Read More
Sperm and other microscopic organisms don’t have an easy time traveling from Point A to Point B. When an organism is that small, traveling just one inch is actually an incredible undertaking because they’re fighting against much more resistance. So how do they do it?Read More
In many countries, including the United States, persons with intellectual disabilities are deemed unable to provide sexual consent. The argument behind this is usually that these individuals cannot understand the potential risks of sex and, therefore, they cannot offer informed consent. So does this mean that everyone with an intellectual deficit must necessarily remain celibate lifelong?Read More
I keep two plants in my home at all times. One is some leafy thing I bought years ago—I’m not really sure what it is, but it refuses to die and keeps growing taller no matter how infrequently I water it. The other is an orchid. I always like to have one around in bloom because the flowers are just gorgeous. Plus, orchids have a lot of sexual connotations, so it makes sense for me as a sex researcher to keep one around—it’s a sexy plant. However, I’ve come to develop an even greater appreciation for these flowers that goes well beyond their beauty and symbolism—it turns out that orchids actually have fascinating sex lives.Read More
The menstrual cycle is a rare phenomenon in nature. In fact, it turns out that human beings are just one of a handful of species on Earth in which females experience it. So why is that? Why did the menstrual cycle evolve in the first place?
Here’s what we know.Read More
We are getting closer and closer to eradicating HIV, a sexually transmitted infection that has contributed to the deaths of at least 32 million people worldwide since the early 1980s. However, something that’s likely to surprise a lot of people is that scientists believe we may be able to eradicate HIV before we ever even find a cure for it. Yep, you read that right.Read More
The orgasm gap refers to the well-documented research finding that heterosexual men tend to have more consistent experiences with orgasm than heterosexual women. Specifically, men are not only more likely to report having had an orgasm the last time they had sex, but they’re also more likely to say that they always or almost always have orgasms compared to women.
So what can we do to close this gap?Read More
The human papilloma virus (HPV) is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections. More than one hundred strains of HPV exist and, while most of them don’t cause problems, some do—and those problems are potentially quite serious. For example, HPV has been linked to cancers of the cervix, throat, and anus.
So what exactly happens inside the body when someone contracts one of the dangerous strains of HPV? How can you learn whether or not you’ve been infected? And what can you do to reduce the risk of contracting an HPV infection?Read More
A lot of people end relationships before ever truly giving them a chance, and it's because many of us take the "shopping list" approach to love. In other words, some people have an extensive checklist of the things they're looking for and they don't stick with partners who fail to meet their criteria.Read More
What percentage of Americans today identify as LGBT? And does this percentage differ across age groups? Also, how many Americans currently support same-sex marriage? And just how much does support differ based on political party affiliation? In the video below, I’ve put together the answers to these questions—along with a few other important sexual orientation statistics—for LGBT Pride month.Read More
Scientists have been working on developing a birth control pill for men for years. One prominent line of research has focused on using hormones to block production of sperm; however, this approach has come with a number of side effects and there is a significant number of men for whom it don’t seem to work. As a result, some researchers have begun turning to methods that don’t require the administration of hormones, as Dr. John Amory explains in the TEDMED video below.Read More
What are the keys to a leading a happy and healthy sex life? And how do you unlock your authentic sexual self? Dr. Emily Nagoski addresses these questions in the TEDx talk below from a science-based perspective. Nagoski walks us through the research on how our brains respond to sexual cues and helps us to understand why that’s important for the way that we approach sex. She also discusses the importance of expanding our definition of what’s “normal” when it comes to sex and learning to be comfortable and confident in our own skin. Check out the video below to learn more.Read More
The way we think about casual sex is all wrong, as Dr. Terri Conley argues in the TEDx talk below. Conely walks us through some of the key findings from her program of research and challenges a lot of popular ideas on the subject.Read More
You just might be taking your sense of smell for granted, argues Dr. Rachel Herz in the TEDx video below. In this talk, Herz describes how little appreciation we have for our sense of smell, while also describing the myriad powerful ways that smell affects our quality of life.Read More
When it comes to men’s options for birth control, they really only have two choices: wear a condom or get a vasectomy. While the number of options available to women has increased dramatically in recent years, nothing has really changed for men. So why is that?Read More
For humans, sex isn’t just about gratifying some carnal, animalistic urge. Rather, the physical act of sex can serve a lot of different psychological purposes. This helps to explain why when people are asked to report on their motivations for having sex, hundreds of distinct reasons emerge! These reasons include everything from wanting to experience pleasure to desiring an emotional connection with a partner to seeking a closer relationship with God.Read More