Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Occupational Health, Sexual Health / 11.07.2018 Interview with: Leah Halper, PhD Associate Director Office of Student Life Center for the Study of Student Life Columbus, OH 43210 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: We started to run these studies in 2014 given mutual research interests that we shared. We knew that there was much research on sexual harassment that focused on the victim, the victim’s experience and the reporting process for sexual harassment. This work is extremely valuable. We noticed, however, that there was less research on the perpetrator and if there were personality variables related to the likelihood of sexual harassment. In our studies, we demonstrate that a personality variable (Fear of Negative Evaluation, or anxiety that others will see one as incompetent) is related to sexual harassment among men in powerful positions. Our results held up after taking into account other personality variables, such as narcissism and self-esteem. Also, we found that men who felt insecure in their power (i.e., those that were anxious that others would see them as incompetent) were more likely to engage in both quid pro quo harassment – asking for sexual favors in return for something else – and gender harassment – creating a hostile environment for women. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Emory, Endocrinology, Heart Disease, Sexual Health, Thromboembolism / 10.07.2018 Interview with: Michael Goodman, MD, MPH Professor of Epidemiology Director, MD/MPH program Emory University School of Public Health Atlanta, GA  30322 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: There is a concern that hormone therapy may be associated with higher risk of certain cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks, stroke and formation of blood clots (“venous thromboembolism”). To study this concern we examined data on 4,960 transgender and gender non-conforming people enrolled in Kaiser Permanente health systems in Georgia, Northern California, and Southern California. They were matched to 48,686 cisgender men and 48,775 cisgender women.  Below are the main findings
  • Rates of venous thromboembolism in all transwomen were approximately twice as high as the rates among cisgender men or cisgender women. The data for stroke and myocardial infarction demonstrated little difference between transwomen and cisgender men, but 80% to 90% higher rates among transwomen compared to cisgender women.
  • When the analyses focused specifically on transwomen who started therapy with female hormone estrogen at Kaiser Permanente, the incidence of both venous thromboembolism and stroke was more clearly elevated relative to either reference group.  There was evidence that incidence of both of these conditions among transwomen was particularly increased two to six years after estrogen initiation. By contrast, the association between estrogen therapy and myocardial infarction was less evident due to relatively few observed events.
  • Transmen did not appear to have significantly higher rates of venous thromboembolism, ischemic stroke, or myocardial infarction than their non-transgender counterparts, but this group was rather young and included a relatively small proportion of participants who initiated their hormone therapy during the study.
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Sexual Health / 22.06.2018 Interview with: Billy A. Caceres, PhD, RN, AGPCNP-BC NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing New York, NY 10010 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Although current evidence, primarily based on self-reported data, suggests gay and bisexual men report higher rates of cardiovascular risk factors (such as poor mental health and tobacco use) than heterosexual men, few studies have examined heart disease risk in this population. This study is one of the few studies to examine heart disease risk in gay and bisexual men using biological measures. Using data from a nationally representative sample we identified higher rates of mental distress, obesity, hypertension, and diabetes among bisexual men compared to exclusively heterosexual men after adjusting for traditional risk factors (demographic characteristics, mental distress, and health behaviors). We also included men who identified as heterosexual but report a history of same-sex sexual behavior. Gay and heterosexual-identified men who have sex with men displayed similar risk profiles to exclusively heterosexual men. (more…)
Author Interviews, Fertility, Sexual Health / 22.04.2018 Interview with: Michael O'Rand, PhD Retired professor of cell biology and physiology in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, and president/CEO of Eppin Pharma, Inc What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: My lab at the UNC School of Medicine discovered the protein Eppin in 2004. It coats the sperm cell. Through our subsequent research, we learned it is essential for sperm protection in the female. We thought it could make an excellent target for a male contraceptive. Subsequently we developed a compound called EP055 that would bind to Eppin and as a result stop sperm from swimming. In our latest study published in PLOS One, we show that EP055 substantially limits sperm motility in non-human primates. And we showed the effect of EP055 is temporary, which would make it a good contraceptive. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Pediatrics, Sexual Health / 02.04.2018 Interview with: Dr. Xiangming Fang, PhD Associate professor of Health Management and Policy School of Public Health Georgia State University What is the background for this study? Response: Child sexual abuse is a serious public health problem in the United States. The estimated prevalence rates of exposure to child sexual abuse by 18 years old are 26.6 percent for U.S. girls and 5.1 percent for U.S. boys. The effects of child sexual abuse include increased risk for development of severe mental, physical and behavioral health disorders; sexually transmitted diseases; self-inflicted injury, substance abuse and violence; and subsequent victimization and criminal offending. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, HIV, Sexual Health / 29.03.2018 Interview with: Sonia Singh, PhD, Epidemiologist Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention CDC What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: HIV infection is a persistent health concern in the United States, particularly for people at high risk of infection such as gay and bisexual men. We used data from the National HIV Surveillance System to estimate HIV incidence and prevalence and the percentage of undiagnosed HIV infections overall and among gay and bisexual men. Estimated HIV incidence declined nearly 15% overall in the U.S. from an estimated 45,200 infections in 2008 to 38,500 in 2015. Estimated HIV incidence declined for both males (9%) and females (33%) over this period. Estimated HIV incidence declined 32% among heterosexuals, 42% among people who inject drugs and 20% among gay and bisexual men who also inject drugs. Estimated HIV incidence remained relatively stable among gay and bisexual men; however, it increased over 25% among Latino gay and bisexual men, almost 45% among gay and bisexual men ages 25 to 34 and 30% among gay and bisexual men ages 55 and older. The percentage of undiagnosed HIV infections decreased nearly 20%, from 18.1% in 2008 to 14.5% in 2015. The percentage of undiagnosed HIV infections among gay and bisexual men declined 21.6%, from 21.3% in 2008 to 16.7% in 2015. In 2015, the percentage of undiagnosed HIV infections was highest among gay and bisexual males ages 13-24 (52.2%) compared to other age groups and higher among Latino (20.1%) and African American (19.6%) gay and bisexual men, as well as Asian gay and bisexual men (20.5%), compared to white gay and bisexual men (11.9%). (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, Menopause, OBGYNE, Sexual Health / 20.03.2018 Interview with: Caroline Mitchell, MD, MPH Vincent Center for Reproductive Biology Assistant Professor, Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Biology What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In this study we compared two commonly recommended treatments for menopausal vaginal discomfort - low dose vaginal estradiol tablets and a vaginal moisturizer - to placebo, and found no difference in reduction of symptom severity; all three groups improved over 12 weeks of treatment.  This is great news for women, as it means that using any treatment regularly is likely to have benefit, whether it costs $20 or $200. Symptoms of vaginal dryness, irritation and pain with sex, which occur in over half of postmenopausal women, cause a significant decrease in quality of life and negatively impact intimate relationships.  The significant impact of these symptoms is reflected in the fact that we enrolled all 302 participants in under a year, a faster enrollment than any of the four prior trials  conducted by the MsFlash research network that evaluated treatments for hot flashes.  Women were desperate for some kind of intervention for these symptoms. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Eli Lilly, Sexual Health / 07.03.2018 Interview with: Dr. Jennifer Cather MD Medical Director at Modern Dermatology and Modern Research Associate Dallas, Texas What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Genital psoriasis can be an uncomfortable and burdensome condition that many people living with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis experience. Due to the significant impact, Lilly conducted a 12-week Phase 3b clinical trial with patients with moderate-to-severe genital psoriasis treated with ixekizumab, which found that patients had a greater decrease in the impact of their condition on sexual activity compared to placebo as early as one week. Specifically, trial patients were randomized to receive ixekizumab (80 mg every two weeks, following a 160-mg starting dose) or placebo and researchers measured pre-specified patient-reported outcomes, including the Genital Psoriasis Sexual Impact Scale (GPSIS), which is composed of the Sexual Activity Avoidance (Avoidance) and Impact of Sexual Activity on Genital Psoriasis Symptoms (Impact) subscales. Patient-reported outcomes were also measured by the Sexual Frequency Questionnaire (SFQ) item 2, evaluating the impact of genital psoriasis on the frequency of sexual activity, and the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) item 9, evaluating the impact of skin symptoms on sexual difficulties. At 12 weeks, patients reported the following outcomes:
  • DLQI Item 9 0/1: 92.0 percent of patients treated with ixekizumab compared to 56.8 percent of patients treated with placebo reported no (0) or little (1) sexual difficulties caused by skin symptoms.
  • SFQ Item 2 0/1:  78.4 percent of patients treated with ixekizumab compared to 21.4 percent of patients treated with placebo (reported the frequency of sexual activity was either never (0) or rarely (1) limited by genital psoriasis.
  • GPSIS-Avoidance 1/2:  76.7 percent of patients treated with ixekizumab compared to 25.7 percent of patients treated with placebo reported never (1) or rarely (2) avoiding sexual activity due to genital psoriasis.
  • GPSIS-Impact 1/2:  85.7 percent of patients treated with ixekizumab compared to 52.9 percent of patients treated with placebo reported worsening of genital psoriasis symptoms during or after sexual activity was very low/none at all (1) or low (2). 
Author Interviews, PLoS, Sexual Health, Zika / 16.02.2018 Interview with: Yogy Simanjuntak PhD Postdoctoral Research Fellow Institute of Biomedical Sciences Academia Sinica, Taiwan What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Despite the low case fatality, Zika virus infection has been associated with microcephaly in infants and Guillain-Barré syndrome. Primarily transmitted by Aedes species mosquitoes, Zika also can be sexually transmitted in humans. By August 2016, the sexual transmission of Zika had been documented in 11 countries worldwide and most of the cases were from male to female. Infectious Zika in semen has been reported. Moreover, unlike in serum or urine samples, Zika RNA can still be detected in semen up to 188 days after the onset of symptoms. In the absence of approved antiviral drugs or vaccines for Zika infection, preventing the disease transmission is critical. We observed Zika progressively damaged testes by gaining access to testicular cells including sperm. Notably, Zika caused signs of increased testicular oxidative stress and inflammation, characterized by high levels of reactive oxygen species and pro-inflammatory cytokines. Our data indicate that these factors may contribute to testicular damage as well as successful sexual transmission of Zika; thus, we speculate antioxidants might display beneficial effects to alleviate these disease outcomes. We found that antioxidant ebselen both alleviated testicular damage and prevented sexual transmission of Zika via sperm from infected male mice to uninfected female mice. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Sexual Health, Social Issues / 08.02.2018 Interview with: “Birth control pills” by lookcatalog is licensed under CC BY 2.0Marie Harvey, DrPH MPH Lisa P. Oakley, PhD MPH College of Public Health and Human Sciences Oregon State University What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Because decisions about contraceptives are often made by young adults in the context of their relationships and specific partners, the characteristics of that relationship and feelings about that partner will likely influence how those decisions are made. Many studies have previously investigated individual factors that affect contraceptive choice and when examining partner influences have used questions that were not specific to a particular partner. Intuition, however, suggests that feelings for a specific partner would likely influence one’s perception of risk for disease acquisition, and thereby, their contraceptive choice. So, it was important to us to look at the influences of each specific partner and how the unique dynamics of each partnership influence contraceptive use. In this study, we investigated how relationship qualities and dynamics (such as commitment and sexual decision-making) impact contraceptive choice above and beyond individual factors. We also used partner-specific questions. We found that both individual and partner-specific relationship qualities and dynamics predicted contraceptive use, but these factors varied by contraceptive method. For example, young adults who reported greater exclusivity with a specific partner and more relationship commitment were less likely to use only condoms with that partner. Additionally, individuals who felt they played a strong role in making sexual decisions in their relationship were also more likely to only use condoms. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, JAMA, Sexual Health, Transplantation / 01.02.2018 Interview with:

Dr. Christina Lee Chung, MD Associate Professor Department of Dermatology Drexel University  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?

Response: In early 2016, five years after the inception of our specialty medical-surgical transplant dermatology center, we realized our nonwhite transplant patients were developing skin cancer at higher rates and found interesting trends. These data were published in a previous manuscript. One of the more striking findings was that these patients were developing a high proportion of skin cancer in non-sun-exposed areas such as the genital region. There are no standard guidelines regarding genital skin evaluation and it is unclear how often it is performed in any capacity amongst dermatologists, including practitioners in our center, quite frankly. Our group was concerned that we could be missing skin cancers in this “hidden” area in our high-risk organ transplant population so we launched a quality improvement initiative that incorporated thorough genital skin evaluation as a standard part of post-transplant skin cancer screening.   

Fifteen months after we started this modified screening process, we decided to evaluate the results. To account for any variation in examination, we looked at the findings of a single practitioner. We found that genital lesions are common in the transplant population and include high rates of genital warts and skin cancer. However, patient awareness of the presence of genital lesions was alarmingly low. Nonwhite transplant patients, Black transplant recipients in particular, were disproportionately affected by both genital warts and genital skin cancer in our cohort. Similar to cervical cancer, high-risk HPV types were closely associated with genital squamous cell carcinoma development in our transplant population. (more…)

Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Pediatrics, Sexual Health / 22.01.2018 Interview with: Chiara Acquati, Ph.D., MSW Assistant Professor Graduate College of Social Work University of Houston Houston, TX What is the background for this study? Response: Adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with cancer are individuals between the ages of 15 and 39 years at diagnosis, as defined by the National Cancer Institute. Considerable research has unveiled unique psychosocial challenges experienced by AYAs, including poor quality of life, an altered body image, and social isolation. As a result of these life disruptions, normative psychological and emotional development is affected by the disease and its treatment, particularly with respect to sexual identity, development, and behavior. However, few studies have examined sexual functioning and AYA patients’ needs with respect to emotional intimacy and sexual relationships. Estimates of the prevalence of sexual dysfunction in AYAs are limited to date and vary because of data derived from mixed-age groups, single items instead of standardized instruments, and cross-sectional designs. Yet, the state of the science suggests that one-third to two-thirds of cancer patients experience sexual dissatisfaction and a reduced frequency of intercourse. Furthermore, failure to address sexual health may place AYAs at risk for long-term consequences related to sexual functioning and identity development, interpersonal relationships, and quality of life. Hence, detecting changes in the rate of sexual dysfunction over time may help in identifying the appropriate timing for interventions to be delivered. This study was conceptualized to increase our current knowledge of sexual functioning among AYAs by examining the prevalence of sexual dysfunction over the course of 2 years after the initial cancer diagnosis and the identification of variables that contribute to the probability of reporting sexual dysfunction in order to recognize individuals at higher risk. Young adult patients (≥18 years old) were administered the sexual functioning scale as part of a larger longitudinal multisite survey, and only those who completed the instrument at least once were included in this analysis; for this reason the article focuses on the experience of “young adults”. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, HIV, Sexual Health / 09.11.2017 Interview with: Adrian Juarez, PhD, RN Assistant Professor The State University of New York School of Nursing Department of Family, Community and Health Systems Sciences Buffalo, New York 14214 What is the background for this study? Response: HIV testing is considered the initial component of HIV eradication strategies such as “seek, test, treat, and retain.” This study examines the characteristics of an urban, transgender population in western New York when volunteering for an HIV test. The use of an intersectional lens was observed in order to determine the level of influence of sexual partnership types, previous HIV and STD testing, substance use, housing status referral source and racial/gender identification on HIV testing. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, Gender Differences, Mental Health Research, Sexual Health, Social Issues / 03.10.2017 Interview with: Oliver Ferlatte PhD Men's Health Research Program University of British Columbia Vancouver , British Columbia , Canada What is the background for this study? Response: Suicide, like many other health inequities, is unevenly distributed among the population, with marginalized groups being most affected. In Canada, suicide has been found to particularly affect gay and bisexual men, aboriginal people and people living in rural and remote communities. While the populations affected by suicide are not mutually exclusive – for example someone can be a bisexual Aboriginal man living in a remote community – much of the suicide prevention literature tends to treat these groups as such. Moreso, very little attention is given in suicide prevention research to diversity within groups: for example, we know very little about which gay and bisexual men are most at risk of attempting suicide. This situation creates a vacuum of knowledge about suicide among gay and bisexual and deprives us of critical information for the development of effective suicide prevention activities. We therefore investigated in a survey of Canadian gay and bisexual men (Sex Now Survey), which gay and bisexual men are at increased risk of reporting a recent suicide attempt. The large sample of gay and bisexual men with 8493 participants allows for this unique analysis focused on the multiple, intersecting identities of the survey participants. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Genetic Research, Sexual Health / 22.09.2017 Interview with: Steven Arnocky PhD Faculty of Arts & Science-Psychology Nipissing University Canada What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response:  - Previous research has linked the facial width-to-height ratio to a number of testosterone-mediated traits, primarily in men, such as aggression and achievement drive. Some research has also linked FWHR to testosterone directly, although this research is less consistent. If testosterone is linked to cranio-facial development then we hypothesized that facial masculinization should therefore correlate with other testosterone-linked traits. In both men and women, there is good evidence that testosterone increases sexual motivation. In two samples of young-adults from two Canadian cities, we found that  facial width-to-height ratio predicted sex-drive, regardless of whether participants were male or female. In the second study (the larger of the two) we also found that FWHR predicted a more unrestricted sociosexual orientation, in other words, attitudes and behavior consistent with more pluralistic mating, as well as more intended infidelity. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Sexual Health / 25.08.2017 Interview with: Anthony J. Rosellini, Ph.D. Research Assistant Professor Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences Boston University Boston, MA 02215 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Sexual assault among service members is a significant concern of the Department of Defense (DoD) and U.S. Army. Although the annual rate of sexual assault among soldiers is believed to be decreasing, there have also been increases in the number of victims coming forward to report their experiences. The DoD and Army have responded by creating a framework of universal prevention in which all soldiers are required to participate in relatively brief programs aimed at decreasing rates of sexual assault. More intensive preventive interventions could be required, but would only be cost-effective if targeted at a subset of soldiers who are most likely to perpetrate sexual assault. The goal of this study was to use DoD and U.S. Army administrative records that are available for all soldiers to develop prediction models for sexual assault perpetration. We used the records from all 821,807 male soldiers who served between 2004 and 2009 to develop separate models to predict assaults directed against within-family and non-family adults and minors. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Sexual Health / 17.08.2017 Interview with: Traci K. Gillig Doctoral Candidate Annenberg School of Communication and Erica L. Rosenthal Senior Research Associate Hollywood, Health & Society University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA 90211 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Time magazine declared America reached a “transgender tipping point” in 2014, with the media visibility of transgender people reaching new levels. While research has shown that entertainment shapes viewers' attitudes, no prior studies had explored the cumulative effects of exposure to media portrayals of transgender people. To address this gap, we worked with the TV show Royal Pains (USA Network) to assess how viewers’ attitudes toward transgender people and related policy issues were influenced by seeing a brief fictional portrayal of a transgender teen as well as other transgender TV characters and up until a few years ago the only transgender many had even heard of were the lady boy shows in Thailand, or shemales on shemale hd sex. We had advance notice of the storyline through Hollywood, Health & Society (HH&S), an organization affiliated with the USC Annenberg School of Communication. HH&S serves as a free resource to the entertainment industry, providing accurate health (and other) information through consultation with subject matter experts. Royal Pains assisted us in recruiting viewers for our study through their social media accounts. A total of 391 viewers who saw the episode featuring a transgender teen participated in our study, and we supplemented this sample with Royal Pains viewers who had not seen the episode, accessed through market research panels. Findings of our study showed that viewers who saw the Royal Pains episode featuring a transgender character had more supportive attitudes toward transgender people and related policies, compared to viewers who did not see the episode. Additionally, cumulative exposure to transgender entertainment narratives improved viewers' attitudes toward transgender people and policies. Neither exposure to transgender issues in the news nor Caitlyn Jenner’s story influenced attitudes. Further, aligning with prior research, viewers who were more politically conservative reported more negative attitudes toward transgender people and less support for transgender-affirming policies. However, seeing multiple such storylines reduced the strength of this link by one half. Political ideology also influenced viewers’ responses to the Royal Pains episode. Those who were politically liberal were more likely to feel hope or identify with the transgender character in the episode, while those who were politically conservative were more likely to react with disgust. (more…)
Author Interviews, Psychological Science, Sexual Health / 27.07.2017 Interview with: Omri Gillath PhD Department of Psychology University of Kansas Angela Bahns, PhD Wellesley College What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We tracked the eye movements of 105 heterosexual participants while they viewed photos of strangers and answered questions about their interest in either becoming friends with or dating the person. We found that in looking at others, people scan the body differently depending on whether a person is judged as a potential friend or a potential romantic partner. Heterosexual men and women looked at the head or chest of an opposite-sex person longer and more often when evaluating dating potential compared to friendship potential. In contrast, both men and women looked at the legs or feet more for friendship judgments than for dating judgments (although overall legs and feet were looked at less than other body regions). (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Hormone Therapy, Sexual Health, Testosterone / 27.07.2017 Interview with: Carl G Streed Jr. M.D. Pronouns: he, him, his, himself Fellow, Division General Internal Medicine & Primary Care Brigham & Women’s Hospital What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Recent reports estimate that 0.6% of adults in the United States, or approximately 1.4 million persons, identify as transgender. Despite gains in rights and media attention, the reality is that transgender persons experience health disparities, and a dearth of research and evidence-based guidelines remains regarding their specific health needs. The lack of research to characterize cardiovascular disease (CVD) and CVD risk factors in transgender populations receiving cross-sex hormone therapy (CSHT) limits appropriate primary and specialty care. As with hormone therapy in cisgender persons (that is, those whose sex assigned at birth aligns with their gender identity), existing research in transgender populations suggests that CVD risk factors are altered by CSHT. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, NYU, Sexual Health / 05.07.2017 Interview with: Richard E. Greene, MD, FACP Medical Director, Bellevue Adult Primary Care Center Assistant Professor, NYU School of Medicine Associate Program Director, Primary Care Residency Program Director, Gender and Health Education, Office of Diversity Affairs, NYU School of Medicine, OUTList Medical Director, CHIBPS, The Center for Health, Identity, Behavior and Prevention Studies VP of Membership and Development, GLMA-Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality What is the background for this study? Response: Transgender individuals face complex health disparities and have historically been mistreated and even denied care in medical settings. As a provider in New York City, I saw how this affected my trans patients, resulting in mistrust of the health care system, resulting in negative health outcomes. This sparked my interest in improving medical education to serve the needs of trans patients. It’s important to teach medical students and residents that they are not just treating a set of symptoms, they are working with a individuals with complex lived experiences who deserve compassionate care. I found with traditional didactic methods, like lectures, learners smiled and nodded in agreement, but when faced with a patient who was transgender, they would stammer and feel uncomfortable with aspects of the cases that were specific to transgender patients, from pronouns to hormones. Residents should be prepared to treat transgender patients not only with dignity, but also in medically appropriate ways. Without exposure to the transgender community, it’s difficult for providers to decipher their trans patients’ health care needs and contextualize them within a care plan. In order to provide a low stakes environment for residents to practice these skills, we developed an OSCE focused on a transgender woman with health care needs specific to her transition. The goal of the case was to discuss the patient’s medical concerns while also taking into consideration her goals around her hormone therapy and surgical interests. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Geriatrics, Sexual Health / 28.06.2017 Interview with: Dr Hayley Wright BSc(Hons) MSc PhD C.Psychol Research Associate Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Coventry University Centre for Research in Psychology, Behaviour and Achievement, Coventry University What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Last year, we published a study that showed a significant association between sexual activity and cognitive function (Wright & Jenks, 2016). This study showed that sex is linked to cognition, even after we account for other factors such as age, education, and physical and mental wellbeing. One important question that emerged from this study was centred around the role of frequency with which we engage in sexual activity. In the current study (Wright, Jenks & Demeyere, 2017), we found that engaging in sexual activity on a weekly basis is associated with better scores on specific cognitive tasks. (more…)
Author Interviews, Sexual Health, Urology / 18.05.2017 Interview with: Dr. Michael Krychman, MD Executive Director: The Southern California Center for Sexual Health and Survivorship, Medical Director: Sexual Medicine at Hoag Hospital Newport Beach CA Clinical faculty member University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This post hoc analysis pooled data from three 24-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies (VIOLET, DAISY, and BEGONIA) of flibanserin in premenopausal women with acquired, generalized HSDD5-7. Patients who received flibanserin 100 mg once daily at bedtime (qhs) or placebo were included in the analysis. The Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) consists of 19 items across 6 domains. Scores range from 2 to 36. Higher scores indicate better sexual functioning. Scores under 26 indicate sexual dysfunction. Analysis of covariance was used to evaluate changes from the first week to week 24 in the FSFI domain and total scores were compared for flibanserin 100 mg qhs versus placebo. For patients who discontinued study participation prior to week 24, the last postbaseline observation was carried forward (LOCF). Results found that treatment with flibanserin 100 mg qhs produced statistically significant improvement, relative to placebo, on all domains of the FSFI (desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction and pain) in premenopausal women with acquired, generalized hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD). (more…)
Author Interviews, HIV, JAMA, Pediatrics, Sexual Health / 25.04.2017 Interview with: Robin Lin Miller, Ph.D. Professor, Ecological-Community Psychology Co-Director, MA in Program Evaluation Chair, Graduate Program in Ecological-Community Psychology Michigan State University East Lansing, MI 48824 What is the background for this study? Response: We wanted to identify promising strategies for providing access to HIV-testing for gay and bisexual male youth. We were especially interested in testing strategies to reach gay and bisexual male youth of color, as they bear a disproportionate burden of the HIV epidemic and are the least likely to be aware of their HIV status. We also wanted to explore approaches to successfully link these youth with HIV-negative test results to diverse HIV prevention services, including pre-exposure prophylaxis, when warranted. Although some argue that the ideal place to test adolescents and young adults is via emergency rooms and in routine medical care visits, we found that we were able test many more youth with previously undiagnosed HIV-infection through intensive, targeted community outreach efforts. We also tested a much higher proportion of young men of color through targeted outreach. (more…)
Author Interviews, Sexual Health, Sleep Disorders / 27.03.2017 Interview with: Jen-Hao Chen PhD Assistant Professor Department of Health Sciences and School of Public Affairs University of Missouri - Columbia What is the background for this study? Response: It has been well known that sexual minority adults in the US have worse health as compared with heterosexual peers. Queer folks are found to have poorer physical, mental and behavioral health outcomes because of their marginalized status and social environments. But we know very little about prevalence of sleep problems in the population of sexual minorities compared to heterosexual people. Do sexual minorities lose sleep? Do they wake up more often during the night? Do they sleep less? This study aims to address this important gap in the LGBT health literature. Using recent nationally representative data, we exam whether sexual minority adults have greater odds of having short sleep duration and poor sleep quality. In addition, we also investigate sexual minorities’ sleep in the context of gender and race/ethnicity  (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, HIV, Sexual Health / 23.03.2017 Interview with: Qian An, PhD Epidemiologist/statistician Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention CDC What is the background for this study? Response: Since 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended HIV testing for all persons aged 13-64 years old. Persons at high risk for HIV infection should be tested more frequently. Among sexually active men who have sex with men (MSM), repeat testing is recommended at least annually. An analysis in 2011 suggested that MSM might benefit from more frequent than annual testing.(1) Among non-MSM, repeat testing is recommended at least annually for persons at high risk, including persons who inject drugs (PWID) and their sex partners, those who have sex in exchange for money or drugs, heterosexuals who have had more than one sex partner since their most recent HIV test, and those whose partners are living with HIV.. Using statistical models based on renewal theory, we estimate the mean HIV inter-test interval (ITI) — meaning the average time period (in months) between two successive HIV tests — to describe temporal trends in HIV testing frequency among MSM, PWID and high-risk heterosexuals (HRH) and differences in testing frequency by age and race/ethnicity. A decrease in ITI means individuals are testing more frequently. (more…)
Author Interviews, Sexual Health, Social Issues / 09.03.2017 Interview with: Brooke E. Wells, Ph.D. Associate Professor & PhD Program Director Center for Human Sexuality Studies Widener University One University Place Chester, PA 19013 What is the background for this study? Response: It is widely believed that Americans today are more sexually liberated and open than ever before. While research indicates that Americans do indeed have more liberal attitudes about a range of sexual behaviors, Americans are actually reporting fewer sexual partners and higher rates of adult sexual abstinence. But are Americans reporting similar levels of sexual frequency with fewer partners? Our research set out to examine changes over time in sexual frequency to better understand our changing sexual landscape. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Fertility, Sexual Health, STD / 01.03.2017 Interview with: Dr. Kristen Kreisel PhD Epidemiologist at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), an infection of the female reproductive tract often associated with STDs, is putting millions of women at risk for infertility, ectopic pregnancy and chronic pelvic pain. Our study looked at data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to estimate the national burden of PID. Findings show an estimated 4.4 percent of sexually-experienced women aged 18-44, or approximately 2.5 million woman nationwide reported a history of PID. (more…)
Author Interviews, Sexual Health, Social Issues / 21.02.2017 Interview with: Nicholas H. Wolfinger PhD Professor, Department of Family and Consumer Studies Adjunct Professor, Department of Sociology University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0080 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: W. Bradford Wilcox and I have been studying marriage and divorce for fifteen years. Last year we published Soul Mates: Religion, Sex, Love and Marriage among African Americans and Latinos (Oxford University Press). We’re always looking for opportunities to present our findings to the public, so Valentines Day is a great excuse! It’s probably too strong a statement to call our new research brief a study, as we’re not offering any novel findings. Instead, we’re just compiling data from different sources—some published by other scholars, some based on our own analysis of national data—to reaffirm a basic point: marriage is good for men in myriad ways (Marriage is also good for women, but they await their own research brief.) In particular, marriage offers these benefits to men:
  • Higher earnings, greater assets and more job stability. Married men make about $16,000 a year more than their single peers with otherwise similar backgrounds.
  • Better sex lives compared to both single and cohabiting men. According to data from the National Health and Social Life Survey, 51 percent of married men report they are extremely emotionally satisfied with sex, compared to 39 percent of cohabiting men and 36 percent of single men.
  • Longer and happier lives. Men who get and stay married live almost 10 years longer than their unmarried peers. Also, young married men are about twice as happy: 43 percent of married men report they are “very happy” with life, compared to 20 percent of single men and 24 percent of cohabiting men.
Author Interviews, Sexual Health, Technology / 16.02.2017 Interview with: Dr. Krychman is Executive Director, President, and CEO of the Southern California Center for Sexual Health and Survivorship Medicine and Associate Clinical Professor at the University of California, Irvine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He is a Member of the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH), The International Society for Sexual Medicine (ISSM) and a Certified Sexual Counselor by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT). He served as a member of the Standards Committee for the International Society for Sexual Medicine during their 2016 International Consensus Meeting.  What is the background for this technology and study? What are the main findings? Response: Viveve Medical, Inc. is a women's health and wellness company committed to advancing new solutions to improve women's overall well-being and quality of life.  The internationally patented Viveve® technology and the GENEVEVE™ treatment, incorporates clinically-proven, cryogen-cooled monopolar radiofrequency (CMRF) energy to uniformly deliver non-ablative, deep penetrating volumetric heat into the submucosal layer of the vaginal introitus (opening) while gently cooling surface tissue to generate robust neocollagenesis.  One 30-minute in-office session tightens and restores the tissue around the vaginal introitus addressing the common medical condition of vaginal laxity and can improve a woman’s sexual function. VIVEVE I is a landmark study.  Results of the VIVEVE I clinical study, "Effect of Single-Treatment, Surface-Cooled Radiofrequency Therapy on Vaginal Laxity and Female Sexual Function: The VIVEVE I Randomized Controlled Trial," were recently published in the February 2017 issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine (JSM) under the Female Sexual Function category.   Some of my high-level thoughts to reiterate from this study are: It is the first-ever large, randomized, sham-controlled study to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of energy-based procedures in gynecological applications, including vaginal laxity, which is a significant medical condition affecting millions of women worldwide that may lead to a reduction in sexual function. The primary endpoint of the VIVEVE I study was a comparison of the proportion of women reporting no vaginal laxity in the treatment group versus the sham group at 6 months post-treatment. Subjects receiving the active treatment were three times more likely to report no vaginal laxity at six months versus the sham group (p-value = 0.006). Statistically significant and sustained improvement in sexual function (baseline FSFI total score ≤26.5) after a single treatment, with an adjusted mean difference in the active group vs sham group of 3.2 at 6 months (p-value = 0.009). "Placebo Effect" in the sham group did not rise above dysfunctional (FSFI ≤26.5) and diminished at 6 months. Statistically significant improvement in sexual function was achieved in 93% of subjects in the active group vs the sham group in two individual key domains of FSFI (p-value = 0.007). Bottom line: Geneveve is a safe effective treatment that can be performed as an outpatient in one 30-minute visit to improve sexual function as it has been affected by vaginal laxity. (more…)