Will Having Sex On The First Date Kill Your Relationship?

A new study published in The Journal of Sex Research has concluded that the sooner a couple starts having sex, the lower the quality of their relationship. Perhaps not surprisingly, several media outlets have picked up on this and are publishing headlines along the lines of “First-Date Sex May Harm Couples.” However, a closer look at the research reveals that both this study and another one that came out earlier this year suffer from the same set of limitations and, in actuality, they really tell us nothing about the effects of early sex on relationships.
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Are Women Really More Likely To Be Bisexual Than Men?

Are Women Really More Likely To Be Bisexual Than Men?

I recently posted an article in which I concluded that “while it is indeed possible for both men and women to be bisexual, evidence from a variety of sources suggests that bisexuality may be a more natural occurrence among women than men” (see here for the complete article). I received a couple of comments on the site as well as a few e-mails that were critical of this conclusion, so I thought it might be useful to do a follow-up post and dig a little deeper into the research in the hope of clearing things up a bit more.

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What Can Psychology Tell Us About The Controversy Over Prostate Cancer Screenings?

What Can Psychology Tell Us About The Controversy Over Prostate Cancer Screenings?
Last year, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force came out against the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. This test has been widely used for years as a way of screening male patients for prostate cancer, the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men. The Task Force’s decision stoked a huge controversy and generated outrage among the many doctors and cancer survivors who firmly believe that the test works. However, if the Task Force's decision was based on sound science, why did it create such a political firestorm? According to a new paper published in the journal Psychological Science, the answer lies in human psychology.1
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Sex Question Friday: What’s Your Number?

Sex Question Friday: What’s Your Number?

Every Friday on the blog, I answer people’s questions about sex, love, and relationships. This week’s question comes from a college student who wanted to know more about how many sex partners people have during their lives. This is actually one of the most common questions I hear in my Human Sexuality course, so I definitely have an answer!

How many sexual partners do men and women typically have in their lifetime?

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Ten of the Most Sensationalized Sex Headlines From the Past Few Years

Ten of the Most Sensationalized Sex Headlines From the Past Few Years
I make it a point to keep up with the latest sex and relationships news but, unfortunately, I find that a lot of the media reports on these topics are not very well written and tend to be overly sensationalized. Part of the problem is that many of the people we trust to report on science don’t have a solid understanding of statistics and the scientific method. As a result, I constantly come across articles that are misleading or, in some cases, completely false. What I’d like to do in this article is share some of most sensationalized articles I’ve come across in recent years and explain where the reporting went wrong.
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I'm Different From The Sexual Average: Am I Still "Normal?"

I'm Different From The Sexual Average: Am I Still "Normal?"
When it comes to sex and relationships, the popular media loves to discuss these topics in terms of statistical averages. For example, what is the average number of time couples have sex each week? What is the average penis size? What is the average age at which people get married? Averages are a wonderful thing because they provide a handy way of summarizing large amounts of data and tell us something about the most common attitudes and behaviors among certain groups of people. However, averages can sometimes be misleading and dangerous, especially when people start comparing themselves to those numbers and make the mistake of equating below/above average with abnormal. When someone perceives that they differ from average, it is all to easy to start feeling insecure or inadequate (e.g., “Am I having too little/too much sex?” “Are my genitalia too small/big?”). As I explain below, such concerns are usually not warranted for several reasons.
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What Percentage of the Population is Gay?

What Percentage of the Population is Gay?
Every semester, students in my Human Sexuality course ask me what percentage of the population is gay or lesbian. Before answering this question, I usually give the class an opportunity to guess. Although this invariably leads to a wide range of responses, the most frequent number that comes up is 10%, and many students who cite this statistic are convinced that it is a fact. But are they right? Probably not. The 10% statistic comes from research conducted by Alfred Kinsey in the 1940s, in which he found that 10% of the men in his sample were gay. However, Kinsey’s participants were not representative of the overall population (for one thing, they were all White and most lived in big cities). He also oversampled from the gay community. Thus, we have to view his findings with a bit of caution. More recent research employing better sampling methods has reliably found that the number of sexual minorities in the population is a bit smaller.
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