The Science of Sex

Recent posts

‘Baby, I’m Your Natural Selection’- New Scientist Magazine’s Dating Website

There’s something about geek romance that just delights me. Perhaps it’s the idea that people historically undervalued as dating partners finding connection, or, the joy that someone’s found a partner that totally ‘gets’ them. Either way, I love a good n’ nerdy how-we-met story. Case in point: a friend of mine once told me about the moment he realized he’d found ‘the one’ was when, during a walk on the beach with a new girlfriend, she picked up a rock and said, ‘This looks like a phaser!’ In a previous post, I described how I overheard the best nerdy pick-up line in the bar at the Star Trek Experience. Continue Reading →

Benefits Of Non-Monogamy For Animals

Recent research from Indiana University suggests that female birds who mate with males outside their monogamous pairing are conferring reproductive advantages upon their offspring. This long-term study measured reproductive success by noticing that the offspring of promiscuous female birds went on to have more offspring of their own. The interesting take-home points here are that not all species are monogamous, and that non-monogamous behavior appears to be beneficial in some circumstances. Follow us on Twitter @mysexprofessor. Follow Jeana, the author of this post, @foxyfolklorist. Continue Reading →

Sex At Dawn: Book Review

Sex at Dawn (available on Amazon) is one of the most thought-provoking books I’ve read in a while… and I read a lot. I feel that it’d be difficult to do this book justice, as it covers an expansive range of topics related to human sexuality, so I’ll try to summarize its main points and touch on some of my favorite tidbits. Short version, though, is that this book is a magnificent rethinking of human sexuality in light of recent (and not-so-recent) research that suggests that humans are far more generous and able to have fulfilling sexual relationships than we’re lead to believe. The authors, Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá, promise in the beginning to reveal what is wrong with current conceptions of monogamy and why, to tell us “how seismic cultural shifts that began about ten thousand years ago rendered the true story of human sexuality so subversive and threatening that for centuries it has been silenced by religious authorities, pathologized by physicians, studiously ignored by scientists, and covered up by moralizing therapists.” Continue Reading →

Evaluating Sex Research On The Internet

How reliable is the internet as a tool for sex research? This write-up on a new book, A Billion Wicked Thoughts by Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam, summarizes the research and asks some questions about the methodology. In my opinion, though, the study is not as sound as it’s made out to be. The authors let themselves be guided by the most popular internet queries about sex, and from there conducted some interviews and hung out in topical web forums. However, the authors had some shady strategies, as detailed in this Neurocritic article on the study. The authors did not have Institutional Review Board approval for the study of human subjects, which is basically mandatory for scholarly research that involves living people. Continue Reading →

Married? Take This Survey, Please.

Kathryn Klement is a Master’s student in Chicago and she’s studying issues related to marriage and sexual satisfaction. YOU- yes, you – get a chance to help her by:

a) taking her survey if you are married

and/or

b) forwarding this link to all your married friends and asking them to consider taking it. The survey is available on surveymonkey. Follow us on Twitter @mysexprofessor. Continue Reading →

Review of Jonathan’s Engel’s “The Epidemic”

As promised, here is my review of The Epidemic:

The Epidemic: A Global History of AIDS promises two things in its title: to explore HIV/AIDS both from a global and from an historical perspective.  This promise of comprehensive coverage is met with aplomb as Engel takes us on a dizzying tour of the trajectory of HIV/AIDS.  Starting with its alleged origins in Africa, he traces the vectors of the disease into the gay population in the U.S., on to IV drug users, then back across the ocean to talk about how it currently affects the developing areas of Africa and Asia.  Along the way, he discusses the politics, civil rights issues, and how the disease actually works.  Engel approaches issues from all angles, making sure all dissenting opinions and seemingly crackpot theories are mentioned.  He debunks myths, gives proper credit for important advances, and attempts to keep a neutral tone while discussing these hot-button issues. Continue Reading →

Mice, Serotonin, Sexual Preference, And You

A recent study found that male mice are less choosy about the sex of whatever mice they mount when their serotonin levels are low. Male mice that genetically have less of the neurotransmitter serotonin are as likely to mount other male mice as they are to mount female mice, but injecting them with serotonin increases their likelihood of mounting females with greater regularity. So serotonin is clearly linked with sexual preference in male mice in some fashion… but what does this mean for the rest of us? Continue Reading →

Feminism and Boners

Feminism Makes Boners Sad may just be the best critique of a scientific study that I’ve ever seen. The scientists see gender performance in animals where it doesn’t exist and relate female sexuality to romance novels. Thankfully Jill at Feministe knocks them down a few thousand pegs. This is a must read! (Thanks to Arabella for sharing this.)

Follow us on twitter @mysexprofessor. Continue Reading →

New Study: Women’s Experiences with Gynecological Examinations

 A new study! Contact the researchers if you’d like to participate. –

Queen’s University

Researchers at Queen’s University are looking for female volunteers to participate in an online study examining women’s experiences with gynecological examinations. Women over 18 years of age with gynecological conditions, such as vulvodynia and endometriosis, as well as women without such conditions are invited to complete this secure online survey. Participation involves completing a 45-60 minute online confidential survey. Continue Reading →

A Walk-In Uterus And Other Joys Of The Beijing Natural History Museum

After exploring some of Beijing’s more famous tourist hot spots (like the Great Wall), I decided to check out the Beijing Natural History Museum. Not only was the museum free, it had quite the collection of sex and reproduction-related exhibits. My favorite of which was a walk-in uterus. See the ovaries on either side? There’s even a little seat in there if you just want to hang out. Continue Reading →