Is it a bad idea to get romantically involved with someone you know has committed infidelity in the past? Common sense tells us that "once a cheater, always a cheater." However, it's dangerous to rely on common sense to understand sex and relationships because research doesn't always back it up and also because different people can hold very different "common sense" beliefs. We need to look instead at what science says about whether past infidelity predicts future infidelity,Read More
I spend a lot of time talking, writing, and tweeting about the latest scientific research on sex and relationships. Over the years, I've had more than a few people respond to my posts and articles with comments like, “We needed research to tell us this?” In other words, it's not uncommon for people to question whether a given study was ever needed because we could have used “common sense” to figure out the results instead.
Dismissing research in favor of common sense is one of my bigger pet peeves. In fact, it ranks right up there with people asking me whether I can read their minds when they find out that I have a degree in psychology. Once and for all, no, I’m not a psychic—that’s something completely different. But I digress.
What I want to do in this post is to take a moment to explain why it’s problematic to dismiss research with "Oh, that's just common sense."Read More
Katie Couric recently ran a segment on her show entitled “How To Prevent Your Kids From Watching Porn.” The title of the segment makes the agenda clear: all pornography is damaging to kids and parents need to protect them from it. Couric brought in two experts to discuss this issue, but when one of them (Dr. David Ley, author of The Myth of Sex Addiction) dared to mention that the research examining the effects of porn on kids isn’t so black and white, Couric wasn’t having any of it. For instance, according to Ley:
“There are good research studies that show that adolescents’ use of pornography explains only 2% of the variance in their behavior in relationships, drug use, or behavior problems later on. That’s important. We are over-focusing on pornography because sex, masturbation, and pornography are ‘scary.’”Read More
Every Friday on the blog, I answer people’s questions about sex, love, and relationships. This week’s question comes from a reader who wanted to know whether there is any support for one of the most commonly cited gender differences in sexuality:
Is it really true that men are more visually aroused than women?Read More