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Sexuality as a human right.
Curated by Deanna Dahlsad
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Sex Fantasy Vs Reality: What’s “Sexually Normal” Anyway?

Sex Fantasy Vs Reality: What’s “Sexually Normal” Anyway? | Sex Positive | Scoop.it
In July, the CDC released another study: Sexual Activity, Contraceptive Use, and Childbearing of Teenagers Aged 15–19 in the United States. Among the findings were the following highlights (as dete…

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Men And Women May Be Wired To View Cheating Differently

Men And Women May Be Wired To View Cheating Differently | Sex Positive | Scoop.it
The idea that men are from Mars and women are from Venus may feel outdated or even downright sexist, but a recent study suggests that there may be some truth to that notion -- at least when it comes to the way men and women tend to view cheating.

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Study: Gay men earn less than straight men, but lesbians are paid more

Study: Gay men earn less than straight men, but lesbians are paid more | Sex Positive | Scoop.it

Sexual orientation seems to affect earning prospects and job satisfaction, a study shows.


Research by Nick Drydakis at Anglia Ruskin University found gay men on average earn 9% less compared to heterosexual men.


However, lesbians on average earn 12% more compared to heterosexual women.


Even in countries in the EU, Australia, Canada and the US, which have the strongest anti-discrimination laws, gay and lesbian people experienced more obstacles in getting a job, earning bias and harassment than their counterparts.


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Male Hormones: Hard Heads In Cooler Weather Prevail?

Male Hormones: Hard Heads In Cooler Weather Prevail? | Sex Positive | Scoop.it
OK, now that October has passed, I've been thinking again about winter romance and what drives it... For the past few years, there's been more of a focus on changes in male hormones ~ cycles, if yo...

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Gracie Passette's curator insight, November 7, 2014 12:31 PM

Studies about male hormone cycles ~ true or false?

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Studying The Unicorns: Hypersexual Women

Studying The Unicorns: Hypersexual Women | Sex Positive | Scoop.it
The findings of a "hypersexuality and women" study were published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine in June. The fact that women alone were studied could make the news all by itself, right? But bef...

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Meet the Modern-Day Masters of Sex

Meet the Modern-Day Masters of Sex | Sex Positive | Scoop.it

Talking with today's top sex researchers about where sex is headed.


Nobody plans on being a sex researcher when they grow up. Nobody plans to work a strain gauge between splayed legs as they measure changes in penis circumference during sexual stimulation. Nobody dreams to sit across from over-caffeinated college students who are looking to make a quick buck, having to prosaically ask, “When’s the last time you’ve had oral sex?” and then wait for the answer to scrawl on a clipboard.


Yet, sex research remains a growing field. The average annual salary of a sexologist or sex researcher can range anywhere from $40,000 to $63,000, according to modest estimates, but with potential for that number to skyrocket if the person in question takes on sex therapy, blogging, and, of course, the celebrity of television “sexpert” appearances. Beginning as a scientific discipline in the classical Greek period, there are currently over 20 schools and institutes that provide higher education for those wishing to start a career doing clinical, survey, observational, or experimental sex research.


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How Sex Affects Intelligence, and Vice Versa

How Sex Affects Intelligence, and Vice Versa | Sex Positive | Scoop.it
New research says sexual activity can grow brain cells. Keeping them may be another matter.

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Gracie Passette's curator insight, April 29, 2014 5:21 AM

Also covers the debunking of porn "addiction" damages the brain.

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No, Being Gay Is Not a Choice

No, Being Gay Is Not a Choice | Sex Positive | Scoop.it

Last Wednesday, Brandon Ambrosino—continuing his swift ascent as chief homophobia apologist of the gay blogosphere—wrote a vacuous and meandering piece in the New Republic claiming that homosexuality (including his own) is a choice. Predictably, the article launched a thousand think pieces, including E.J. Graff’sexcellent retort in The Nation on Tuesday, arguing that America isn’t yet progressive enough to contemplate homosexuality as a choice.


But it’s really pointless to quibble with Ambrosino’s philosophical points, because science proved his factual assertions wrong long ago. In study after study, biologists have found that homosexuality, at least in men, is clearlyundoubtedlyinarguably aninborn trait. And although the scientific community hasn’t yet settled on a precise explanation for sexual orientation, many biologists agree that the fraternal birth order effect is likely the cause of homosexuality in 15 to 30 percent of all gay men. The physiological mechanism behind this effect, meanwhile, may soon help scientists understand the broader biological basis for homosexuality.


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What's Behind Winter Romance?

What's Behind Winter Romance? | Sex Positive | Scoop.it
Did you know that there's an official "wedding engagement season"? Yup, in spite of the fact that it pisses Jezebel off (They get pissed off over the weirdest stuff.), roughly 40% of proposals occu...

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Gracie Passette's curator insight, January 22, 2014 6:32 PM

Studies about the romance (and sex) of the winter season.

Shawnee Rivers's curator insight, January 23, 2014 10:37 PM

Ooooh!

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Who Wants To Participate In A Sex Study?

Who Wants To Participate In A Sex Study? | Sex Positive | Scoop.it

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Gracie Passette's curator insight, January 20, 2014 6:11 PM

Listed below are links to ongoing studies of human sexuality by researchers around the world. You are eligible to participate in as many as you would like, depending upon whether you meet the selection criteria.

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How race matters in romance: Dating app reveals most men fancy Asian women while majority of females prefer white men

How race matters in romance: Dating app reveals most men fancy Asian women while majority of females prefer white men | Sex Positive | Scoop.it
Research examining the preferences of Facebook dating app, Are You Interested, found men from all different races prefer a partner of another race over their own.
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The Ways of Lust

The Ways of Lust | Sex Positive | Scoop.it

Do images of naked or sexualized people really cause us to “objectify” them?


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We showed the pictures to our subjects and asked questions about these individuals — about the extent to which they were seen as purposeful agents, with the capacity for self-control, moral action and planning, and about the extent to which they were seen as experiencing beings, capable of feeling pain, pleasure, fear, rage, joy and desire. Consistent with the objectification view, naked people were thought of as having less agency. But contrary to this view, they were also thought of as being enhanced experiencers, capable of stronger feelings and greater emotional responses.

Relatedly, in another study of ours, in which participants gave people electric shocks, we found that the participants gave milder shocks to people who were partially undressed versus fully dressed, presumably because the flash of skin makes us more sensitive to others as experiencing beings.

Deanna Dahlsad's insight:

There's more to decide than "art" or "porn" when viewing nude humans...

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Sex as Exercise - New York Times (blog)

Sex as Exercise - New York Times (blog) | Sex Positive | Scoop.it

The issue of sex as exercise, however, has remained largely unexplored. “There are these myths,” including that sex burns at least 100 calories per session, said Antony D. Karelis, a professor of exercise science at the University of Quebec at Montreal who undertook a study, published in PLOS One in October, to look at how much energy is actually exerted during sex. “But nobody had tested” those assumptions.


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Misinformed Media Touts Bogus Sex Addiction Study

Why the media takes one bad study and distort its conclusions for shock value.

By Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S and Stefanie Carnes PhD, CSAT-S

July 24, 2013


In a nationally distributed study published last week, a group of researchers argued that what is often termed as “sexual addiction” could be better understood as a pathological variation of “high sexual desire.” After the publication of this article, a multitude of media outlets suggested that the conclusions of this study demonstrate that there is no scientific basis for the diagnosis of sexual addiction. This has occurred despite the study being the first of its kind, riddled with methodological errors, and at best inconclusive with its findings. Nevertheless, it continues to get a lot of media attention, most likely because it addresses problematic human sexual behavior, which is always a media attention-getter.


In the study, researchers monitored the brain activity (using EEG technology) of 52 men and women who self-reported as having “problems controlling their viewing of sexual images.” The researchers then asked these individuals to look at more than 225 still photos - pictures of everything from violence to people skiing to men and women being sexual together - while the EEG measured their brain activity. Participants also completed several questionnaires about their sexual desire and activity. Essentially, researchers were looking for a correlation between EEG readings and the participants’ scores on the various questionnaires, thinking that any correlations might shed light on whether problematicporn use is caused by addiction (which is in essence a neurobiological dysfunction) or merely a high libido.


Since the study’s release, critics have cited numerous flaws in it, including concerns that the sample group differed significantly from treatment-seeking sex addicts and that the individual test subjects were not screened for other possible co-morbid conditions that could have interfered with the results. Additionally, there are serious questions about the strategy used to score one of the instruments in the study, which likely invalidated the measure and distorted the statistics. Basically, the researchers’ determination of a subject’s hypersexuality was primarily based on that individual’s responses to questions about having sex with a partner, whereas the brain scans were used to monitor solo sexual activity. As any sex addict can tell you, there is a huge difference in how most of them feel about and respond to in-the-flesh sex versus on-the-screen activity. The most readily apparent methodological error was the research team’s misuse of the Sexual Desire Inventory (SDI). Oddly, the researchers decided to use only part of this comprehensive questionnaire - inexplicably ignoring the questions about solo sexual activity, which, once again, was the exact activity they were monitoring with the brain scans.


Feeling confused? So are we.


Furthermore, the pre-screening of test subjects was wildly inadequate. The study lumped anyone who reported “issues with porn” into the same category. This means that some of the subjects were not likely porn addicts, while others may have been severely addicted. Adding to the quagmire is the fact that the researchers chose vastly different test subjects - men, women, heterosexuals, and homosexuals - and then showed them all the same heterosexually oriented sexual images (when clearly a gay participant would not respond to heterosexual images in the same way). In addition, the test subjects were shown only still images - hardly the streaming HD videos and live webcam shows that most were likely used to using.


Another criticism is the authors’ reliance on EEGs to measure subjects’ brain activity. Yes, EEGs are a useful scientific tool, but only to a certain extent. The simple truth is EEGs measure brain activity from the outside of the skull, making them the neurological equivalent of a blunt instrument. This is hardly definitive when looking at the complicated interplay of the numerous brain regions involved in the creation and expression of sexual desire (rewards, mood, memorydecision-making, etc.)


So, in a nutshell, this study is inconclusive at best, with conclusions drawn by the authors that don’t correlate to the data.


At least the researchers are not overtly indicating that the issue doesn’t exist. Instead, they argue that the problem is not an addiction and that conceptualizing it as “high sexual desire” would be more accurate. However, these researchers did not study the same areas of the brain or use the same technologies that have been utilized in previous research looking at process (behavioral) addictions. In an article released in the journal Socioaffective Neuroscience and Psychology, Dr. Donald Hilton summarizes much of the brain research that does lead scientists to believe that sex (and other natural processes) can be addictions. For a thorough review of this scientific literature see his article here. None of the brain regions looked at in Dr. Hilton’s work or the studies he cited were discussed or examined in the recently released study.


Amazingly, despite the study’s poor design, bad execution, and obvious limitations, the authors chose to formulate misguided conclusions and publish, even sending out an international press release touting their “achievement.”


Dr. Hilton argues that we are on the brink of a paradigm shift in our conceptualization of process addictions. He states, “During the shift, crisis and tension predominate, clouding the significance of the shift in the present. Nevertheless, the new combined paradigm that amalgamates addictions to both substances and processes is beginning to assert itself.” This assertion is evidenced by the fact that in the PubMed literature database the term “sexual addiction” is used almost three times as often as any other term that describes the disease. So is this current media frenzy simply part of the “crisis and tension” clouding our view during the midst of a shift?


Why is it that when two excellent articles come out, one supporting the addiction framework and one questioning it, that the media hones in on one and distorts its conclusions for shock value? What are the resulting repercussions for the tens of thousands of patients whose reality is denied and invalidated? In the 1980s sex addicts were told by mental health practitioners that their problem didn’t exist. Well, it did exist, and because therapists didn’t help them they created their own support groups, and now that network of “S-fellowships” provides critical, free care to tens of thousands of people daily. So while we as clinicians can continue to argue whether this is an addiction, a compulsion, an impulse control problem, or high sexual desire, we should not be arguing that the problem doesn’t exist. And the media shouldn’t either.


A similar phenomenon occurred with alcoholism at the turn of the century. Alcohol addiction was seen as a “moral failing” brought on by a “lack of willpower.” It wasn’t until many years later, when we began to fully understand the disease concept of addiction, that it became better understood. So why is it that society would rather call sex addicts “womanizers” and “schmucks” than use a paradigm that is helpful?


So, let’s consider the repercussions of our labels… So far we have sex addiction, sexual compulsion, impulse control disorder, hypersexual behavior disorder, out-of-control sexual behavior, problematic sexual behavior, and now a new one: high sexual desire. Using the label “sex addiction” rather than the others has a multitude of advantages. First, it is the language that the clients speak. Clients do not come to therapybecause they think they have “hypersexual behavior disorder,” they come because they are “sex addicts.” Second, it is the term most often used by physicians. Third, by using an addiction perspective you can reduce the shame, normalize the behavior, provide lots of ancillary resources and materials, and immerse the client in a community of support that involves accountability and taking responsibility for one’s behavior. In contrast, how are we as therapists to effectively help a patient with his or her “high sexual desire”?


And when did high sexual desire and sexual addiction become mutually exclusive concepts? Simply put, diagnosing a person as having a high sexual desire does not rule out sexual addiction. In fact, the research discussed above does nothing to refute the concept of sexual addiction and the growing body of literature that supports that idea. Either way, until a definitive ruling is out, let’s stick to the label that’s clinically useful (especially since it looks like the majority of the existing research supports that paradigm).

 

Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S is Senior Vice President of Clinical Development with Elements Behavioral Health. A licensed UCLA MSW graduate and personal trainee of Dr. Patrick Carnes, he founded The Sexual Recovery Institute in Los Angeles in 1995. He has developed clinical programs for The Ranch in Nunnelly, TennesseePromises Treatment Centers in Malibu, and the aforementioned Sexual Recovery Institute in Los Angeles.He has also provided clinical multi-addiction training and behavioral health program development for the US military and numerous other treatment centers throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia.


Dr. Stefanie Carnes, Ph.D. is a licensed marriage and family therapist and an AAMFT approved supervisor. Her area of expertise includes working with patients and families struggling with multiple addictions such as sexual addiction, eating disorders and chemical dependency. Dr. Carnes is also a certified sex addiction therapist and supervisor, specializing in therapy for couples and families struggling with sexual addiction. Currently, she is the president of the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals. She is also the author of numerous research articles and publications including her books, Mending a Shattered Heart: A Guide for Partners of Sex AddictsFacing Addiction: Starting Recovery from Alcohol and Drugs, and Facing Heartbreak: Steps to Recovery for Partners of Sex Addicts.

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French geographers publish global atlas on sexuality

French geographers publish global atlas on sexuality | Sex Positive | Scoop.it

Where are people most unfaithful? Who uses sex toys? On a darker level, where is child rape more prevalent? French geographers have tried to answer these questions and others in a global atlas on sexuality.

 

From legislation and the dynamics of couples to prostitution and violence, the book maps out the evolution of sexual habits and acts around the world by collating various surveys, figures and reports already available.

 

“Sexuality is everywhere on our city walls and on our screens, in lighter news or in darker events,” said Nadine Cattan, research director in geography at France’s National Center for Scientific Research.


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IU's Kinsey, re-release app for anonymous reporting of sexual behaviors.

IU's Kinsey, re-release app for anonymous reporting of sexual behaviors. | Sex Positive | Scoop.it
With privacy concerns addressed, Indiana University has re-released the free app Kinsey Reporter, a global mobile survey platform for collecting and reporting anonymous data about sexual and other intimate behaviors.

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Prostitution and Denver's Criminal Justice System: Who Pays?

Prostitution and Denver's Criminal Justice System: Who Pays? is a study that examined the enforcement of current prostitution laws in the City and County of Denver. The study was conducted in partnership with Metropolitan State University of Denver and the Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking (LCHT), for the purpose of obtaining a knowledge base of prostitution-related offenses. The goal of the study was to highlight potential points of intersection between prostitution and sex trafficking, in addition to the role of the criminal justice system in investigating and prosecuting buyers of commercial sex. Ultimately, our study aims to better understand one community's response to prostitution related offenses.


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Curated by Deanna Dahlsad
An opinionated woman obsessed with objects, entertained by ephemera, intrigued by researching, fascinated by culture & addicted to writing. The wind says my name; doesn't put an @ in front of it, so maybe you don't notice. http://www.kitsch-slapped.com
Other Topics
A Marketing Mix
Adventures in advertising and marketing - the contemporary, the historical, and the hysterical. http://deanna.dahlsad.com/
Antiques & Vintage Collectibles
Collecting old things; heirlooms and new to you things! Companion to http://www.inherited-values.com/
Colorful Prism Of Racism
Racism past and present. Companion to http://www.kitsch-slapped.com/category/colorful-prism-of-racism/
Consumption Junction
Consumerism meets marketing; who & what manipulates the free market of goods & services. See also: http://www.kitsch-slapped.com/category/ze-big-mouth-promotions-stuff/
Crimes Against Humanity
From lone gunmen on hills to mass movements. Depressing as hell, really.
Cultural History
The roots of culture; history and pre-history.
Dare To Be A Feminist
I do. http://www.kitsch-slapped.com/category/hey-sister-can-you-spare-some-social-change/
For Art's Sake-1
Art, crafts, and the people who make them. To inspire and purchase. Companion to http://www.ululating-undulating-ungulate.com/
Herstory
History as this woman sees it. The serious, the kitsch, the opinionated. Companion to http://www.kitsch-slapped.com/
In The Name Of God
Mainly acts done in the name of religion, but also discussions of atheism, faith, & spirituality.
Kinsanity
Let's just say I have reasons to learn more about mental health, special needs children, psychology, and the like.
Kitsch
Mostly vintage and retro "badness" but you can decide how delicious it is. http://www.kitschy-kitschy-coo.com/blog/
Nerdy Needs
The stuff of nerdy, geeky, dreams.
Readin', 'Ritin', and (Publishing) 'Rithmetic
The meaning behind the math of the bottom line in publishing and the media. For writers, publishers, and bloggers (which are a combination of the two).
Sex Positive
Sexuality as a human right.
Vintage Living Today For A Future Tomorrow
It's as easy to romanticize the past as it is to demonize it; instead, let's learn from it. More than living simply, more than living 'green', thrifty grandmas knew the importance of the 'economics' in Home Economics. The history of home ec, lessons in thrift, practical tips and ideas from the past focused on sustainability for families and out planet. Companion to http://www.thingsyourgrandmotherknew.com/
Visiting The Past
Travel based on grande ideas, locations, and persons of the past.
Walking On Sunshine
Stuff that makes me smile.
You Call It Obsession & Obscure; I Call It Research & Important
Links to (many of) my columns and articles.