Why Our Sexual Identities and Sexual Behaviors Don’t Always Line Up

Why Our Sexual Identities and Sexual Behaviors Don’t Always Line Up

What percentage of the population is gay or bisexual? This is a surprisingly difficult question to answer because depending on the definition of sexual orientation you use—sexual identity, sexual attraction, or sexual behavior—you’ll come up with drastically different answers. For instance, in a recent nationally representative survey conducted in the United Kingdom, researchers found that about 2.5% of men and women reported an LGB identity; however, more than twice as many reported having had same-sex attractions and behaviors.

So why is that? Why is there often a discrepancy between someone’s sexual identity and their sexual behavior?

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How Much Sex Are Millennials Having? Not As Much As You Think

How Much Sex Are Millennials Having? Not As Much As You Think

Millennials are often referred to as "the hookup generation," with popular media portrayals characterizing them as constantly jumping from one hook-up to the next and rejecting traditional notions of dating and marriage. In stark contrast to these depictions, however, scientific research on millennials' sexual attitudes and behaviors paints a very different picture. Compared to generations past, millennials aren't having as much sex as you think. Also, it turns out that millennials actually hold fairly conflicted views on the morality of hooking-up. For a closer look at the research in this area, check out my latest article over at Playboy

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Do Grindr And Other Smartphone Hookup Apps Promote Risky Sexual Behavior?

Do Grindr And Other Smartphone Hookup Apps Promote Risky Sexual Behavior?

In the last few years, several smartphone apps that help men who have sex with men (MSM) find casual sex partners have entered the market. Perhaps the most well-known of these is Grindr, which claims more than four million users. This app shows thumbnail photos of local guys who are arranged in order of how close they are to you. Users can chat, exchange pictures, and even send their exact GPS coordinates, if desired. The app can also be enabled to send instant notification of messages so that users can be immediately informed when someone is interested in them. Given that people today pretty much have their phones on them at all times and the ease with which these apps can locate available partners, some sexual health experts have begun to question whether usage of these apps might promote riskier sexual behavior. I sought to test this idea in a new study published in the journal PLoS ONE.

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College Women's Hookup Experiences (Infographic)

College Women's Hookup Experiences (Infographic)

Much has been written in the popular media about hookups among college students; however, surprisingly little research has actually been conducted on this topic, particularly with regard to how young women experience and perceive casual sex. The infographic below summarizes data from a recent study published in the American Sociological Review about college women's perceptions of sexual hookups and their experiences with orgasm during casual sex.

 

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Are College Students Today Hooking Up More Than Ever?

Are College Students Today Hooking Up More Than Ever?

For the last several years, the popular media has been running story after story about college “hookup culture.” These articles argue that today’s youth are more sex-crazed than previous generations and that casual sex is largely replacing traditional dating and relationships. But is there any truth to these frequent claims?  A closer look at trends in sexual behavior reveals that college students today are no more sexually active than students were a couple of decades ago.


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What Makes Women More Likely To Orgasm During A Hookup?

There is a big “orgasm gap” between the sexes, such that men are much more likely to reach orgasm than are women in a given heterosexual encounter. However, the size of this gap is not consistent across different types of sexual relationships. Specifically, the gap is larger among persons having casual sex compared to persons who are in long-term, committed relationships.1 Another way to break these findings down is that men’s likelihood of orgasm doesn’t depend upon their relationship status. Almost all guys (94-95%) report typically reaching orgasm whether they’re in a relationship or not; however, likelihood of reaching orgasm is significantly higher among women in relationships than it is for single ladies. Why is that? A new study published in the American Sociological Review sheds some light on the underlying reasons.
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Are There Different Types of “Friends With Benefits?”

Are There Different Types of “Friends With Benefits?”
“Friends with Benefits” (FWBs) are usually thought of as relationships in which two good friends decide to become sexually involved. This is how they are most often depicted in the popular media, such as in the recent films No Strings Attached and Friends with Benefits. However, research suggests that FWBs are much more complicated than this and do not necessarily represent just one thing. In fact, there may actually be as many as seven distinct types of FWBs!
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