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Annual Editions: Human Sexualities 11/12
1. Breastfeeding Is Not Obscene, Catherine Marshall, EurekaStreet.com, October 23, 2009
While in our culture breasts are viewed as sexual objects, author Catherine Marshall believes that the act of breastfeeding is an outcome of a mother’s love and generosity to her child. Marshall states that Western society’s belief in the perversion of public breastfeeding obscures the benefits derived from it; such as improvement of infants’ health, intellectual outcomes, and environmental advantages.
2. Rise of the Desperate House Husband, Gaby Hinsliff, New Statesman, December 21, 2009–January 3, 2010
Increasingly, social, cultural, and economic changes have resulted in a reversal of roles for some couples, in which the husband becomes the primary caregiver while the wife is the family breadwinner. Yet these changes, which mirror those that occurred during the Great Depression, may not be permanent.
3. Gendercide, The Economist, March 6, 2010
This article explores the reasons behind the international epidemic of female infanticide—gendercide. The extent of this problem is nothing less than shocking.
4. Evulvalution: The Portrayal of Women’s External Genitalia and Physique Across Time and the Current Barbie Doll Ideals, Vanessa R. Schick, Brandi N. Rima, and Sarah K. Calabrese, Journal of Sex Research, 47, 1–9, 2010
This qualitative research article reports findings from an analysis of Playboy centerfolds from 1953 to 2008. The authors report that the representation of the female genitalia perpetuates a "Barbie doll ideal." The results of this study are truly thought provoking.
5. Estranged Spouses Increasingly Waiting out Downturn to Divorce, Donna St. George, The Washington Post, Monday, March 22, 2010
Divorce is often difficult, and shifts in the world economy can have an impact on our most intimate relationships. Estranged couples now find themselves trapped in houses they are unable to sell, protecting their financial interests as they attempt to co-exist with their estranged or ex-spouse.
Part A. Reproductive Capacities
6. Starting the Good Life in the Womb, W. Allan Walker and Courtney Humphries, Newsweek, September 17, 2007
Choices that women make while they are pregnant may have a life-long impact on their baby. This article suggests ideas for mothers to improve their baby’s chances to grow into healthy adults.
7. Effects of Prenatal Social Stress on Offspring Development: Pathology or Adaptation?, Sylvia Kaiser and Norbert Sachser, Current Directions in Psychological Science, April 2009
This article describes how prenatal stress can affect development in humans and animals. Social instability and stress can cause hormonal changes for the fetus that may lead to masculinized effects in daughters and decreased masculinization in sons.
8. A Man’s Shelf Life, Mark Teich, Psychology Today, September/October 2007
As men age, their fertility decreases. That’s not the only reproductive challenge men face as they get older. Some birth defects increase in frequency with paternal age. Potential parents need to know the information discussed in this article.
Part B. Attraction, Pleasure, and Desire
9. Scents and Sensibility, Elizabeth Svoboda, Psychology Today, January/February 2008
While sexual attraction is often not well understood by many, researchers have found that scent may be an important component of who we are attracted to. Physical attraction may actually be based, in part, on smell. This article discusses interesting developments into research on the "chemistry" of attraction.
10. The Orgasmic Mind, Martin Portner, Scientific American Mind, April/May 2008
Sexual desire, arousal, and orgasm involve complex physiological, cognitive, and affective phenomena. This fascinating article explores the complexities of desire and orgasm through scientific research on the brain.
11. What Do Women Want?, Daniel Bergner, The New York Times Magazine, January 2009
Daniel Bergner reports on research findings from research on female sexual arousal and female sexualities. What does research tell us about genital arousal in women? This article explores an understudied area.
12. At UC Santa Barbara, Sex as a Matter of Course, Larry Gordon, Los Angeles Times, August 1, 2009
Larry Gordon reports on a large lecture human sexuality course taught by a husband and wife team at the University of California’s Santa Barbara campus. The professors’ approach provides students with a unique educational experience. The course and the professors themselves have become a campus institution.
13. Teenage Fatherhood and Involvement in Delinquent Behavior, Terence P. Thornberry, Carolyn A. Smith, and Susan Ehrhard, The Prevention Researcher, November 2004
This paper investigates the relationship between teenage fatherhood and various indicators of deviant behavior. By using a large sample of students, first interviewed in the 7th or 8th grades and again when they were 21 years old, the authors are able to explore the link between teenage fatherhood and delinquent behavior along the adolescent life course.
14. Truth and Consequences at Pregnancy High, Alex Morris, New York Magazine, May 18, 2009
The rate of unmarried teen parenting in the United States is rising, after a decade of decline. Approximately 60 percent of adolescent moms drop out of school and 64 percent live in a culture of poverty. Most have no health care, eat junk food, and live dangerously during pregnancy. Response to an online survey showed that 20 percent of girls in the United States want to become teen moms. This article describes the negative outcomes for these women.
15. Religiosity and Teen Birth Rate in the United States, Joseph M. Strayhorn and Jillian C. Strayhorn, Reproductive Health 6:14, September 2009
This study examines various sources of publicly available data on religiosity, income, birth rates, and abortion. The results are interesting, and give additional information that may be useful to sex educators and other health professionals who work with young people.
16. No Kids, No Grief: The Case against Having Kids, Anne Kingston, Maclean’s, August 3, 2009
Being a parent can create a multitude of financial, career, relationship, and personal challenges. More and more people today are choosing to be child-free. But is this decision respected and validated by our society? Social reactions to people who choose to be child-free are revealing.
17. An Affair to Remember, Melinda Henneberger, slate.com, June 10, 2008
Elderly people, including those in institutional settings, still experience the need for emotional and physical intimacy. These needs may be at odds with prevailing cultural beliefs about sex and the elderly.
18. The Expectations Trap, Hara Estroff Marano, Psychology Today, March/April 2010
This article addresses improving happiness and satisfaction in marriage. It appears that married people tend to see any unhappiness they experience as a failure of their partner to satisfy their needs. It’s common for couples to search for perfection because people believe that they are entitled to the best option there is. Spending time together in challenging activities is suggested to couples to enhance the feelings of closeness and satisfaction with the relationship.
19. Making Relationships Work: A Conversation with Psychologist, John M. Gottman, Harvard Business Review, December 2007
John Gottman has devoted his entire career to the study of human relationships, particularly marriage. In this interview, Gottman reveals what makes marriages work and what contributes to their failure.
20. Contributing to the Debate over Same-Sex Marriage, Gwendolyn Puryear Keita, Monitor on Psychology, Vol. 40, No. 4, April 2009
Dr. Gwendolyn Puryear Keita, APA Executive Director for the Public Interest, provides the position of the American Psychological Association regarding the major impact of stigma on well-being, the benefits of marriage, and the lack of difference between lesbian and gay parents and heterosexual parents.
21. The Polygamists, Scott Anderson, National Geographic, Vol. 217, No. 2, February 2010
This intimate look inside a fundamentalist polygamist community describes attitudes, standards, and beliefs related to plural marriage from the insiders’ perspective of members of the community.
22. Kinky Sex Makes for Happy People, Pieta Woolley, straight.com, November 22, 2007
This article reports on a variety of sex scenes in a large urban North American setting. Sexual variations or "kink" and sexual diversity are key themes that shine through in this piece.
23. Gender Bender, Sadie F. Dingfelder, APA Monitor on Psychology, April 2004
The author describes recent research evidence on the role of genes and prenatal hormones in gender identity and gender-related behaviors. These findings help illuminate the interplay between nature and nurture in boys’ and girls’ behaviors.
24. Goodbye to Girlhood, Stacy Weiner, The Washington Post, February 20, 2007
This article describes the troubling trend in the way women and girls are depicted by the media. Pop culture images are targeting younger girls, potentially influencing the development of eating disorders, lower self-esteem, and depression.
25. (Rethinking) Gender, Debra Rosenberg, Newsweek, May 21, 2007
Debra Rosenberg opens the window on people who are born one gender but feel that they are the other gender. Some use surgery and/or hormones to bring their bodies into compliance with their identity. Their stories are riveting and their lived experiences raise many questions about gender.
26. Progress and Politics in the Intersex Rights Movement: Feminist Theory in Action, Alice D. Dreger and April M. Herndon, GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, Vol. 15, No. 2, 2009
History has shown that the intersex rights movement has been successful in many important ways. This article explores the politics of intersex rights and feminism.
27. Finding the Switch, Robert Kunzig, Psychology Today, May/June 2008
Is a homosexual orientation influenced by biological processes? Research on the influence of genetics and hormones on the development of homosexuality is explored in this article. Scientific evidence suggests that there are multiple developmental pathways to homosexual orientations, including multiple biological influences.
28. Children of Lesbian and Gay Parents, Charlotte J. Patterson, Current Directions in Psychological Science, October 2006
Does parental sexual orientation affect child development? After years of research, little difference in children has been found between parents living in a same-sex and those living in an opposite-sex relationship. This article argues that sexual orientation should not be used as a sole or even significant criterion for determining child custody.
Part A. Problems and Interventions
29. New Mammogram Guidelines Raise Questions, Jocelyn Noveck, Associated Press, November 17, 2009
A government task force announced that women in their 40s don’t need mammograms, contrary to the American Cancer Society’s long-standing guidelines. The panel of physicians and scientists determined that getting screened for breast cancer that early in life may actually cause more harm than good, leading to too many false positives and unneeded biopsies and surgeries without significantly increasing women’s chances of surviving the disease.
30. Health Behaviors, Prostate Cancer, and Masculinities: A Life Course Perspective, John Oliffe, Men and Masculinities, January 1, 2009
This article examines the intersections of gender, health, and illness using a retrospective life course method. This study goes beyond behaviors and health consequences, to look at the impact of the social construction of masculinity on health.
31. Body Dissatisfaction in Adolescent Females and Males: Risk and Resilience, Katherine Presnell, Sarah Kate Bearman, and Mary Clare Madeley, The Prevention Researcher, September 2007
The study of gender and health is especially important and interesting in the area of body image. This important selection looks at body dissatisfaction in boys and girls, including some consequences that everyone should know.
Part B. Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV Disease
32. Hooking Up and Sexual Risk Taking among College Students: A Health Belief Model Perspective, Teresa M. Downing-Matibag and Brandi Geisinger, Qualitative Health Research, Vol. 19, September 2009
"Hooking up" on university campuses is not new. However, the sexual risk taking behaviors of college students during "hook ups" needs further research. This qualitative study yields interesting information about an understudied phenomenon.
33. Rationing Antiretroviral Therapy in Africa—Treating Too Few, Too Late, Nathan Ford, Edward Mills, and Alexandra Calmy, The New England Journal of Medicine, April 30, 2009
The current approach to antiretroviral therapy in Africa is less than optimal, even though access to these drugs is at an all-time high. The drugs are often started too late and poorly tolerated. The authors argue for a different approach that is not inconsistent with the current emphasis on reaching the widest number of patients as cheaply as possible.
34. HIV Plan B, Justine Sharrock, Mother Jones, May/June 2008
Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) treatment can prevent HIV infection in many people who are at-risk of becoming infected after a suspected or known exposure. PEP is FDA approved, but not always available to those who need it. High cost and lack of knowledge are among the reasons why some people may have limited access to it.
35. Who Still Dies of AIDS, and Why, Gary Taubes, New York, June 16, 2008
Even though highly active antiretroviral therapies are widely available, HIV can still trump modern medicine and kill. Everyone should know the information in this article.
36. Flower Grandma’s Secret, Susan Wicklund, Ms., Fall 2007
A physician specializing in reproductive health and abortion is about to go public on national television. She now must visit her grandmother to tell about her medical specialty. The doctor soon discovers that her grandmother has been keeping a long-held secret of her own.
37. Porn Panic!, C. Brian Smith, The Advocate, May 2009
The porn industry has new and tougher challenges, including a saturated market, amateur porn stars, and users sharing content from pay sites with internet groups. These are but a few of the new challenges taking a bite out of profits within the porn industry.
38. Does Proximity to Schools Tempt Former Sex Offenders?, Cynthia Calkins Mercado, and Brian H. Bornstein, Monitor on Psychology, Vol. 39, No. 8, September 2008
To date, there is still little research on the utility of residency restriction statutes for sex offenders. However, a recent study failed to show that sex offenders who re-offend live closer to schools and parks than those who do not re-offend.
39. Domestic Abuse Myths, Raina Kelley, Newsweek Web Exclusive, March 9, 2009
Even when it involves rich and privileged celebrities, incidents of domestic violence are accompanied by myths and mistaken assumptions about choices both parties make. Domestic violence is, in fact, underlain by elements of power, control, and domination.
40. Male Rape Myths: The Role of Gender, Violence, and Sexism, Kristine M. Chapleau, Debra L. Oswald, and Brenda L. Russell, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, May 1, 2008
Do males and females differ in their acceptance of rape myths? What factors impact the acceptance of rape myths? This article reports on research that sheds some light on these issues.
41. Effects of Sexual Assaults on Men: Physical, Mental and Sexual Consequences, Richard Tewksbury, International Journal of Men’s Health, Vol. 6, No. 1, Spring 2007
This interesting article reviews the research literature on the physical, mental, and sexual consequences of sexual assaults on men. This review will provide the reader with an excellent overall understanding of what we know about the effects of sexual assaults on men to date.
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