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Learning New Things Almost As Good As Sex?

A study that doled out water – and also information about the water – to monkeys and studied their responses found that learning can release dopamine, a feel-good neurotransmitter. The act of seeking out new knowledge thus appears to be programmed into primate brains, stimulating the same pleasure-centers as sex can. If experiences of learning and sex might be cognitively linked, one can only wonder what special joys learning about sex yields! This research complements work by Dr. Arthur Aron and his team that has found that couples who spend time doing new/exciting things together, rather than the same-old stuff, on date night, tend to be more in love and more satisfied with their relationships. Follow us on Twitter @mysexprofessor. Follow Jeana, the author of this post, @foxyfolklorist. Continue Reading →

Sperm Killing Laptops

A new study recently published in the journal Fertility and Sterility studied lap top usage in men and scrotal temperature. It found that even using a laptop for 10-15 minutes raised the temperature of men’s scrotums to an unsafe range for sperm production. Laptop pads placed between the man’s goods and the computer didn’t seem to have much of an effect either. Continue Reading →

Birth Control Gel

Hormonal birth control comes in many forms: pills, rings, patches, and shots. And now scientists are researching a possible gel containing hormones that would be absorbed when a woman rubbed it on her skin. So far, the sample size has been small with just 18 women, but the results have been good. However, I’m already feeling a bit skeptical as all the articles I’ve read have pretty much touted this form of birth control to be a wonder drug. There have been no allergic reactions to the gel, none of the women in the study have become pregnant, and there seem to be none of the common side effects associated with other hormonal birth control methods such as weight gain, lower sex drive, and acne. Continue Reading →

Why Calling Someone Out On Sexist Language Might Actually Work

Okay, by “someone” I meant “men,” but they were the subjects of a recent scientific study in which college-aged males were confronted on their use of sexist language. After being accused of using sexist language by a female conversation partner, many men went on to display compensatory social behaviors that indicated increasingly cordial feelings with their female conversation partners. These results are admittedly preliminary, but encouraging given the high incidence of sexual harassment in the workplace, as well as the prevalence of unintended, unconscious sexism in language and attitudes (among both men and women, to be fair). Follow us on Twitter @mysexprofessor. Follow Jeana, the author of this post, @foxyfolklorist. Continue Reading →

Chromosomes And Other Aspects Of Reproductive Sex

Scientists at UC Berkeley are studying how sex chromosomes in animals can yield information about the reproductive history of a species. From fruit flies (one of the most popular case studies) to emus, each species differentiates chromosomes and assigns genetic information to those chromosomes in a particular way. For instance, the XY pair of sex chromosomes we’re used to discussing in humans is not present in the sexual differentiation of every species. Ideally, comparing animal sex chromosomes across a wide variety of species will help us learn more about the purpose of biological sex. Continue Reading →