Sex Research

Recent posts

5 Reasons Why You Should Be Watching Masters of Sex (Photos NSFW)

Within the span of three days, I received text messages from each of my (divorced) parents insisting that I watch “the new sex show” on Showtime. Mind you, my parents assume that my newly-minted bachelor’s degree in Sexuality Studies grants them permission to send me a daily smattering of sex-related articles, which I usually find sort of endearing and only slightly annoying. For whatever reason, I decided to give this particular suggestion a go. And oh. My. Continue Reading →

Clelia Mosher: The Coolest Sex Researcher You’ve Never Heard Of

Sex research as a science pretty much started with the pioneering works of Kinsey and his contemporaries, right? Well, not quite. Dr. Clelia Mosher was surveying married women about their feelings towards sex as early as the 1890s. Not all Victorian women were prudes, it turns out, since many of them thought of sex as something that fueled their partnerships or was pleasurable in its own right. Unfortunately, Dr. Mosher’s findings remained buried in archives for decades. 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 →

Monogamy On The Rise (If You’re Just Measuring Monogamy)

According to this report, monogamy has been rising in a period from 1975-2000, based on a study of 6,864 straight and gay men and women… who live in monogamous couples. What the study really seems to be measuring is the rate of fidelity, as in, how often partners reported cheating. Coupla problems here: first, with self-reporting a stigmatized phenomenon like cheating it is tough to gauge accuracy; and second, the study didn’t seem to look at non-monogamous formations (in order to have something to compare monogamy to), ranging from singles to polyamorous folks to swingers. So if there’s less cheating happening in monogamous relationships, great–it just doesn’t necessarily mean that the phenomenon of monogamy is increasing. 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 →

Evolving American Attitudes Toward “Family”

Research by an Indiana University sociologist, Brian Powell, indicates that more Americans feel that gay couples count as “families” when they have children, and that more respondents counted pets as family than counted gay couples as family. This survey-based research, which has been ongoing for nearly a decade, reveals that the idea of the “family” can change quite rapidly, and is shifting to be more inclusive. Go check out the link for some fascinating statistics! Follow us on Twitter @mysexprofessor. Follow Jeana, the author of this post, @foxyfolklorist. Continue Reading →

Porn Research: Does Porn Help or Hurt?

In my opinion, a good deal of the research that has been done on the effects of porn use is sex negative and doesn’t focus on the average user. Instead it focuses on the potential for harm related to pornography use. But how can you research harm without researching the average user? Pornography Research Online is trying to do a different kind of research by targeting a more diverse group of porn users to see how they use it, why they use it, and what it means to them. The survey takes about 20-30 minutes to complete and includes multiple choice and open ended questions. Continue Reading →

Interpreting Studies On The “Slut Gene”

The media has dubbed a certain gene, DRD4, the “slut gene,” interpreting limited scientific evidence to claim that this single gene is responsible for certain people’s inclinations to have lots of sex (especially if it’s adulterous sex). One neuroscientist questions these claims, explaining why trying to trace complex human behavior to a single gene is difficult and far-fetched at best. Continue Reading →

Linking Fellatio and Cancer Risk: Sex Science Or Satire?

This “study” claims to have found that heterosexual men fellated by gay men had a lower risk of prostate and testicular cancer… or did they? Follow the link for an entertaining, but untrue, account of this research. Some people, when coming across the study, spread it across the internet as it if were true. Some clues to the study’s phoniness include the head researcher’s claim to be a test subject himself, the made-up term “innate body resonance,” and the study’s tangled sense of causality–not to mention how difficult it would be to get a university board to approve and then fund the study! (Or how difficult or unethical it would be to recruit a bunch of men to receive oral sex from other men who may be strangers to them.) These are just a few things to keep in mind if you want to critically read and evaluate the claims of sex research for yourself. Continue Reading →