How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex

How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex

As a sex educator and researcher, one of the more common questions I get asked is when and how to talk to your kids about sex. Case in point: a reader of the blog recently asked, “At what age should parents talk about sex to their children—or at what age do children need to know about sex?”

So when should you start? And what the heck do parents need to know about navigating this discussion? Here’s a brief guide to help you get started.

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How Much Gender Inequality Is There In Online Porn?

How Much Gender Inequality Is There In Online Porn?

Although internet pornography is frequently criticized for depicting gender inequality, surprisingly little research has examined the actual gendered content of online porn. Moreover, what little research does exist in this area has focused largely on still images and erotic stories, which means that we know even less about the gendered content of the most widely consumed form of online porn: videos. A new study just published in the Journal of Sex Research offers a rare look into how gender is represented in pornographic videos from the internet today.

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People In Conservative States Google The Most Online Sexual Content

People In Conservative States Google The Most Online Sexual Content

It is no great secret that political and religious conservatives in the United States have a tendency to disapprove of any kind of sexual activity that is inconsistent with “traditional values” (i.e., anything other than vaginal intercourse within a heterosexual, monogamous marriage). Likewise, they tend to be more supportive of abstinence-only education and many of them discourage any kind open discussion about sexual matters. However, as we have seen time and again, conservative leaders (both political and religious) are often caught engaging in the activities that they themselves have so strongly protested, from having same-sex affairs to paying for sex (or both). Research provides additional support for the idea that there is sometimes a disconnect between what conservatives say publicly and what they do privately by revealing that the most online sexual content is actually sought in the most conservative of states.

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Deception In Online Dating: How Often Do People Lie In Their Profiles? (Infographic)

People of all genders and sexualities are increasingly turning to the Internet in order to find sex and love (or both). However, anyone who has ever experimented with online dating knows that what you see online is not always what you get in person. So just how often do people exaggerate or lie about themselves when they create a profile on a dating website? Check out the infographic below for a glimpse into some of the most common forms of deception observed in the world of online dating.
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Does Internet Porn Really “Cause Memory Loss?”

A new study published in The Journal of Sex Research about the psychological effects of exposure to online pornography has been making the rounds in the media recently. A number of provocative headlines have popped up stating things such as “Viewing Online Pornography Can Make You Lose Your Memory” and “Your Porn Addiction May Lead To Memory Loss.” So, basically, porn causes amnesia. Sounds pretty serious, right? Not so fast. A closer look at the research reveals that these claims are overblown.
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When And How Should You Talk To Your Kids About Sex In The Age Of Internet Porn?

When And How Should You Talk To Your Kids About Sex In The Age Of Internet Porn?

How are adolescent boys learning about sex these days? By pointing, clicking, and streaming through a seemingly endless supply of Internet pornography. That’s right, online porn is now the default form of sex education for a growing number of young boys because they simply are not getting the information they need elsewhere. Personally, I find this prospect kind of scary. I mean, do you really want your son to learn everything he knows about sex from watching Ron Jeremy? And do you really want him to think that the bodies that he sees in porn are “normal” for men and women, or that the sexual script that plays out in porn videos is how real life relationships actually work (i.e., plumber arrives, clothes are torn off followed by extensive oral sex, pizza deliveryman arrives followed by tag team intercourse and gratuitous money shots, etc.)? I didn’t think so. Although it’s unlikely that anything you say will prevent your son from eventually searching for porn, what you can do is teach him about sex in a responsible way so that porn does not become his “how-to” guide for sex and relationships.

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The Great Porn Experiment

The Great Porn Experiment

In this TEDx video, Gary Wilson discusses his view on how heavy use of online porn may be affecting men’s sex lives. As Wilson points out, accessing pornography through high speed Internet is fundamentally different from how guys used to get their kicks (e.g., by reading Playboy magazine) because it provides a constant barrage of new people and new sexual activities. While I think we can all agree that this is true, the claims he makes about the problematic effects of pornography are debatable.

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Fact Check: Is Online Porn Causing Men to Masturbate More Often?

Fact Check: Is Online Porn Causing Men to Masturbate More Often?

Men are masturbating 50 to 500% more than they would normally without Internet porn. So if a guy normally masturbated once a day, he might now be doing it two or three times a day. If he masturbated three times a week, he might now be getting graphic with his graphics 15 times a week. – Ian Kerner

I recently read an article claiming that men are masturbating up to 500% more often now that porn has become so widely available on the Internet. Most people (including myself) would agree that men are probably masturbating more in the digital era because it seems intuitive that greater access to porn would “stimulate” more self-pleasure, right? However, is this actually the case, and are we really talking about a potential 500% increase? 

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Are Couples Who Meet Online More Likely to Break Up?

Are Couples Who Meet Online More Likely to Break Up?
Ever since the Internet arrived in our homes, people have been using it as a tool for making love connections. In fact, research indicates that about one in five heterosexual couples and two in five same-sex couples in the United States today met online [1]. Despite the frequency of Internet dating in the modern world, looking for love on the Internet online carries some degree of stigma [2]. For instance, people are often embarrassed to tell others they belong to an online dating site because they are afraid this information will make them look desperate. Another factor that makes people cautious about online dating is the well-known fact that lying is rampant on Internet personal profiles [3]. Between the prejudice and the lies, online romances would appear doomed to fail right from the start. But is there any truth to this idea? Are online daters really any worse off than couples who meet in other ways?
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