First-Born Kids are Most Likely To Get a “Birds and Bees” Talk From Their Parents

First-Born Kids are Most Likely To Get a “Birds and Bees” Talk From Their Parents

Parents have the potential to play an important role in their children’s sex education. Indeed, many of you reading this probably received a version of the “birds and bees” talk from them at some point. For some of you, this talk may have been your very first introduction to the topic of sex (even if it was a little awkward). 

However, some people are more likely to receive sex education from their parents than others. A new study suggests that your odds of having the “birds and bees” talk depends on your birth order, meaning whether you were a first-born or later-born child. 

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Video: Why Parents Should Talk To Their Kids About Sex

Video: Why Parents Should Talk To Their Kids About Sex

A lot of parents avoid talking to their kids about sex because they are afraid the experience will be awkward, embarrassing, or uncomfortable. However, parents aren't doing their kids any favors by taking this topic of conversation off the table. As Dr. Aaron Carroll, a pediatrician and professor at Indiana University School of Medicine, explains in the video below, the research is pretty clear when it comes to parent-child communication about "the birds and the bees": kids who are able to talk to their parents about sex are more likely to practice safe sex. Check out the video below to learn more about the research on this topic.

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Is There A Romeo & Juliet Effect? The Link Between Parental Interference And Relationship Quality

Is There A Romeo & Juliet Effect? The Link Between Parental Interference And Relationship Quality

In 1972, a paper published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology announced scientific support for the so-called “Romeo and Juliet effect." The basic idea was that the more parents try to interfere in a couple’s relationship, the stronger that relationship becomes--just like in Shakespeare's classic story. Given both the sexy name and intuitive appeal of this idea, it is perhaps not surprising to learn that this effect has been cited hundreds of times in academic journals and textbooks. In recent years, however, several scientists (myself included) have grown skeptical of this idea because it just doesn’t seem to fit with what the broader literature on social approval and relationships has reported.

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Doctors Spend Just 36 Seconds Talking To Teens About Sex During A Typical Visit

Doctors Spend Just 36 Seconds Talking To Teens About Sex During A Typical Visit

Although most teenagers in the United States receive some form of sex education in school, teens have no guarantee of receiving comprehensive or reliable information about contraception, safe sex, or STIs from their teachers. For example, it is well documented that many abstinence-only programs not only teach outright falsehoods about condoms and birth control, but they completely fail to address the sexual health needs of LGBT youth [1]. Compounding this problem is the fact that many parents are reluctant to talk to their kids about anything related to sex at all. So if teens can’t get the information they need about sex at home or at school, surely they can at least get it from their physicians, right? Not necessarily. A new study finds that sexual communication is compromised even inside the confines of the doctor’s office.

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Are We Sexually Attracted To People Who Remind Us Of Our Parents?

Research across various animal species suggests that early caregiving experiences shape patterns of sexual attraction later in life. For instance, if you ever took an Introductory Psychology course, you probably learned how Konrad Lorenz discovered that baby geese would “imprint” on the first moving object they saw shortly after birth, meaning they treated that object as if it were their mother.1 As evidence of this, perhaps your professor showed you some adorable photos of Lorenz being trailed by a gaggle of geese who had imprinted on him. Even more fascinating, however, is that as adults, these geese would attempt to mate with human men that physically resembled Lorenz (i.e., White dudes with big white beards)! So do similar effects occur among humans? Are we sexually attracted to people who physically resemble our early caretakers? According to a new study published in the Journal of Research in Personality, the answer appears to be yes.
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Adopted Children Do Just As Well Regardless Of Their Parents’ Sexual Orientation

Earlier this year, a study was released suggesting that children are better off when raised by heterosexual couples than by same-sex couples [1]. That study received widespread media attention, despite the fact that it was fundamentally flawed and really said next to nothing about the parenting skills of gay and lesbian parents (you can read more about my take on that study here). In contrast, a new study about adopted children just came out concluding that such kids do equally well irrespective of the sexual orientation of their parents. Although the newer study was far more academically rigorous, it was largely ignored by the mainstream media. In this post, I will review the findings of this study and discuss why the media just doesn’t seem to care about it.
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Are There More Sex Crimes On Halloween?

Every time Halloween rolls around, people start telling stories about “Halloween sadism,” or the practice of providing trick-or-treaters with tainted treats. Parents are told to be on the lookout for everything from razor blades in Reece Cups to cyanide-laced Good & Plenty. Despite how much we hear about Halloween sadism in the popular media, there has never been a substantiated case of death or serious injury linked to it. Nonetheless, the myth persists and it continues to frighten parents to this day. But this isn’t the only thing today’s parents are told to worry about on Halloween—they are also being told to watch out for sex offenders using costumes and candy to prey upon innocent children (here’s just one example of what the media is telling people, complete with creepy photoshopped image: Halloween Warning to Parents: Look for Sex Offenders). This concern has even prompted some states to pass laws regulating the activities of convicted sex offenders on Halloween. But is all of this worry about increased risk justified, or are we being fed another media myth?
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How Does Parenthood Affect The Sex Lives And Relationships Of Gay Men?

How Does Parenthood Affect The Sex Lives And Relationships Of Gay Men?
Researchers have known for years that parenthood has some predictable effects on heterosexual couples. Specifically, relationship satisfaction typically decreases [1] and sexual activity usually drops off markedly once kids enter the picture [2]. Given the significant increase in gay couples raising children through surrogacy and adoption in recent years, researchers have begun to explore whether similar effects occur among persons in same-sex relationships. Perhaps not surprisingly, the answer appears to be yes.  
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Do Straight Couples Really Make Better Parents Than Gay Couples?

Do Straight Couples Really Make Better Parents Than Gay Couples?
Every time a new study comes out comparing the outcomes of children raised by same-sex and heterosexual couples, it garners a huge amount of media attention. It doesn’t matter what the actual findings are or whether the study is even of good quality—reporters, politicians, and activists take it as an opportunity to reignite the debate over whether a couple’s sexuality affects their parenting skills. In my view, such media reports are not only inconsequential, but they are also offensive and counterproductive. Let me explain.
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Are Homophobic People Repressing Their Own Same-Sex Desires?

Are Homophobic People Repressing Their Own Same-Sex Desires?

The idea that homophobia stems from fears of one’s own homosexuality has received a lot of public validation in recent years. From evangelical preacher Ted Haggard to former U.S. Senator Larry Craig to psychologist George Reckers (one of the leading proponents of “reparative therapy,” a discredited method some people claim is capable of “curing” homosexuality), some of those who have been fighting hardest against LGBT rights have wound up embroiled in gay sex scandals of their own. Naturally, many of us wonder why. Research suggests that, in some cases, this type of hypocrisy may be traced to the way these individuals were raised by their parents [1].

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