Urban Transgender Females Likely To Get HIV Testing

MedicalResearch.com 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

Dr. Juarez

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

 

 

MedicalResearch.com: 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.

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U.S. Army Administrative Data Can Be Used To Predict Sexual Assault Perpetration

MedicalResearch.com 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

Dr. Rosellini

Anthony J. Rosellini, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders
Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences
Boston University
Boston, MA 02215

MedicalResearch.com: 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.
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Television Storylines Influence Public’s Perception of Transgender Issues

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Traci-Gillig

Traci Gillig

Traci K. Gillig
Doctoral Candidate
Annenberg School of Communication and

Erica L. Rosenthal Senior Research Associate

Erica L. Rosenthal

Erica L. Rosenthal
Senior Research Associate

Hollywood, Health & Society
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA 90211

 

MedicalResearch.com: 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.

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. 

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Our Eyes Scan Potential Friends and Lovers Differently

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Omri Gillath PhD
Department of Psychology
University of Kansas
Angela Bahns, PhD
Wellesley College

MedicalResearch.com: 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).

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Cross-Sex Hormone Therapy Associated With Medical Risks and Psychosocial Benefits in Transgender Patients

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Carl G Streed Jr. M.D. Pronouns: he, him, his, himself Fellow, Division General Internal Medicine & Primary Care Brigham & Women’s Hospital

Dr. Streed

Carl G Streed Jr. M.D.
Pronouns: he, him, his, himself
Fellow, Division General Internal Medicine & Primary Care
Brigham & Women’s Hospital 

MedicalResearch.com: 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.

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Transgender Actors Effective in Teaching Residents to Provide Respectful and Effective Health Care

MedicalResearch.com 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 

Dr. Greene

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 

MedicalResearch.com: 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.

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Frequent Sex In Older Adults Linked To Better Cognitive Function

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

MedicalResearch.com 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 MedicalResearch.com: 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. MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report? Response: We have demonstrated that sexual activity in later life may have measurable benefits that stretch beyond pleasure-seeking. We - society at large, and individual researchers - should challenge notions of embarrassment around sexuality that may prevent older people from accessing help and support for sexual or relationship issues. MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study? Response: It may be advisable to take relationship factors into account when conducting studies around cognitive ageing. Researchers often make statistical adjustments for factors that are known to influence cognition and health (such as age, education and health problems), but actually, more personal factors may also have an effect on how our brain works. MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add? Response: The research so far has been cross-sectional (or correlational), and so we cannot say at this time whether sexual activity is causing better scores on cognitive tests. This issue of causality is something that we will address in future research as more data becomes available. We are currently researching whether all types of sexual activities are associated with cognitive function to the same extent. We are also working with support services to address barriers to relationship and sex therapy for older people and marginalised groups. MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community. Citation: Hayley Wright, Rebecca A. Jenks, Nele Demeyere. Frequent Sexual Activity Predicts Specific Cognitive Abilities in Older Adults. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, 2017; DOI: 10.1093/geronb/gbx065 Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

Dr. Wright

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

MedicalResearch.com: 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.

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Flibanserin- Addyi -Improved Sexual Health in Women With Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder

MedicalResearch.com 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

Dr. Krychman

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

MedicalResearch.com: 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).

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LGBTQ+ Patients Have Poor Sleep Compared to Heterosexuals

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jen-Hao Chen PhD Assistant Professor Department of Health Sciences and School of Public Affairs University of Missouri - Columbia

Dr. Jen-Hao Chen

Jen-Hao Chen PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Health Sciences and School of Public Affairs
University of Missouri – Columbia

MedicalResearch.com: 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  Continue reading

Too Busy? Too Tired? Not in a Relationship? Why are Americans Having Less Sex?

MedicalResearch.com 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

Dr. Brooke Wells

Brooke E. Wells, Ph.D.
Associate Professor & PhD Program Director
Center for Human Sexuality Studies
Widener University
One University Place
Chester, PA 19013

MedicalResearch.com: 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.

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Radiofrequency Therapy For The Treatment Of Vaginal Laxity

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Michael Krychman

Dr. Michael Krychman

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.  

MedicalResearch.com:  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.

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Does HAART Treatment for HIV Contribute To Rapid Rise in Syphilis Infections?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Michael Rekart, MD, DTM&H Clinical Professor, Medicine and Global Health The University of British Columbia .... On behalf of my co-authors

Dr. Michael Rekart

Michael Rekart, MD, DTM&H
Clinical Professor, Medicine and Global Health
The University of British Columbia
…. On behalf of my co-authors

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The background for this study is the observation that new syphilis cases over the last decade in British Columbia, Canada, have been escalating more rapidly than anyone could have predicted and that syphilis incidence has outpaced the incidence of other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including gonorrhea and chlamydia. This unexpected increase in syphilis has been almost wholly concentrated in men who have sex with men (MSM). Most of these MSM are HIV-1 infected and many are taking highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). In fact, the expansion in HAART coverage in MSM parallels the growth in syphilis in the same population. In addition, my co-authors and I had serious doubts as to whether ‘treatment optimism’, the generally accepted explanation for this phenomenon, was robust enough to account for such a dramatic increase in new syphilis cases. Treatment optimism posits that HAART availability and effectiveness have led to the perception in both HIV-1-infected and HIV-1-uninfected individuals that HIV-1 transmission has become much less likely, and the effects of HIV-1 infection less deadly. This is expected to result in increased sexual risk-taking, especially unprotected anal intercourse, leading to more non-HIV-1 STDs, including gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis.

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About 1 in 189 US Americans Identify as Transgender

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Halley Crissman, MD, MPH University of Michigan Resident Physician Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Michigan

Dr. Halley Crissman

Halley Crissman, MD, MPH
University of Michigan
Resident Physician
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: There has been very little data on the epidemiology of the transgender population in the U.S., including basic information regarding the proportion of adults that identify as transgender. Transgender is an identity term for individuals whose gender expression and gender identity does not align with culture expectations and gender norms associated with sex assigned at birth.

Our study used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to estimate the demographic characteristics of the U.S. adult transgender population compared to the non-transgender population. We found that 0.53% of U.S. adults identified as transgender. Transgender individuals were more likely to be non-white and below the poverty line, were less likely to attend college, and were as likely to be married, living in a rural area, and employed, compared to non-transgender individuals.

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Bright Light Therapy Might Reduce Sexual Dysfunction in Men

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Professor Andrea Fagiolini, MD University of Siena Italy

Prof. Andrea Fagiolini

Professor Andrea Fagiolini, MD
University of Siena
Italy

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We have tested sexual and physiological responses to bright light and found that regular, early-morning, use of a light box – the same that we used to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder – led both to increased testosterone levels and greater reported levels of sexual satisfaction in man with difficulty with sexual desire or with sexual arousal.

We recruited 38 men who had been attending the Urology Department of the University of Siena and had a diagnosis of hypoactive sexual desire disorder or sexual arousal disorder – both conditions which are characterised by a lack of interest in sex. The 38 subjects were then divided the men into two groups. One group received regular treatment with a light box whereas the control (placebo) group was treated via a light box which had been adapted to give out significantly less light. Both groups were treated early in the morning, with treatment lasting half an hour per day. After two weeks of treatment or placebo, we found fairly significant differences between those who received the active light treatment and the controls.

Before treatment, both groups averaged a sexual satisfaction score of around 2 out of 10, but after treatment the group exposed to the bright light was scoring sexual satisfaction scores of around 6.3 – a more than 3-fold increase on the scale we used. In contrast, the control group only showed an average score of around 2.7 after treatment. Also, we found that testosterone levels increased in men who had been given active light treatment. The average testosterone levels in the control group showed no significant change over the course of the treatment – it was around 2.3 ng/ml at both the beginning and the end of the experiment. However, the group given active treatment showed an increase from around 2.1 ng/ml to 3.6 ng/ml after two weeks.

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Sexual Assaults More Common Against Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual High School Students

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Laura Kann, Ph.D. Chief of the School-Based Surveillance Branch Division of Adolescent and School Health CDC

Dr. Laura Kann

Laura Kann, Ph.D.
Chief of the School-Based Surveillance Branch
Division of Adolescent and School Health
CDC

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: CDC has been using the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) to collect data on the sexual identity of high school students at the state and local levels and on the prevalence of health risk behaviors among gay, lesbian, and bisexual students for many years. Starting with the 2015 YRBS cycle, we had enough support to add questions to the national YRBS to provide the first ever nationally representative look at health risk behaviors among these students.

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Altruistic Men May Get More Sex

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Steven Arnocky, PhD Associate Professor Department of Psychology Nipissing University North Bay, ON CAN

Dr. Steven Arnocky

Steven Arnocky, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Psychology
Nipissing University
North Bay, ON CAN 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Our work was based on previous findings from hunter-gatherer populations showing that men who hunt and share meat often enjoy greater reproductive access to women.  Research in North America has shown that individuals prefer altruistic partners, especially for long-term mating, and that there may be a sex difference in these preferences such that women exhibit this preference more strongly than men. In line with this, some research has shown that men will sometimes compete with other men in order to make charitable donations to attractive female fundraisers (termed ‘competitive altruism’). Taken together, these findings led us to hypothesise that individuals (and perhaps particularly men) who behave altruistically might experience greater mating success.

In Study 1, undergraduate men and women completed a self-report altruism questionnaire (items such as “I have donated blood”), a personality measure, and a sexual history survey. We found that participants who scored higher on a self-report altruism measure reported they were more desirable to the opposite sex, as well as reported having more sex partners, more casual sex partners, and having sex more often within relationships. Moreover, altruism mattered more for men’s number of lifetime and casual sex partners relative to women’s.

Given the possibility that in any survey research, there is a chance individual’s may report their altruism of sexual history in what they view to be a more positive light (who doesn’t want to think of themselves as altruistic!), in Study 2, we used a behavioral measure of altruism (each participant was entered onto a draw for $100, and at the end of the survey was given the choice to keep their winnings or to donate to a charity). Participants again reported on their sexual histories, as well as completed a personality measure, a scale to capture socially-desirable responding, and a measure of narcissism. Results showed that even when controlling for these potentially confounding variables, that altruists reported having more lifetime sex partners, more casual sex partners, and more sex partners over the past year. Men who were willing to donate also reported having more lifetime dating partners.

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Testosterone Therapy Improved Sexual Function in Older Men

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Glenn Cunningham, MD
Departments of Medicine and Molecular and Cellular Biology
Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism
Baylor College of Medicine and Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center
Houston, Texas 77030

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The Testosterone Trials are a coordinated set of seven trials to determine the efficacy of testosterone in symptomatic men ≥65 years with unequivocally low testosterone levels. Previous studies in older men have been limited and the results have been conflicting. Initial results of the Sexual Function Trial showed that testosterone improved sexual activity, sexual desire and erectile function.

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Genital Grooming a Cultural Phenomenon Among Younger, White and Educated Women

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Tami Rowen MD MS Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences UCSF

Dr. Tami Rowen

Tami Rowen MD MS
Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences
UCSF

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: This study sought to answer the question of which women are engaging in genital grooming and understand their motivations. Prior studies have been limited by geography and age thus our goal was to provide a nationally representative sample of women.

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When It Comes To Sexual Satisfaction Between Partners, Gut-Level Responses May Be Most Accurate

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Lindsey Hicks
Doctoral Student
Social Psychology
Florida State University 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: My colleagues and I are very interested in the factors that differentially predict peoples’ self-reported relationship satisfaction and their gut-level feelings about their partners—the spontaneous feelings they have and may not articulate. Because explicit self-reports require conscious deliberation they are subject to the influence of biases and beliefs about relationships; gut-level, automatic attitudes do not require conscious deliberation and thus appear to better track actual experience.

With that in mind, we examined whether sexual frequency influences automatic but not explicit evaluations of the partner. Previous research has yielded inconsistent results regarding the influence of sexual frequency on relationship satisfaction, and we thought such inconsistencies may stem from the influence of deliberate reasoning and biased beliefs regarding the sometimes taboo topic of sex. Thus, we tested the association between partners’ sexual frequency and their gut-level feelings about each other.

Basically we found that the frequency with which couples have sex has no influence on whether or not they report being happy with their relationship, but their sexual frequency does influence their more spontaneous, automatic, gut-level feelings about their partners. This is particularly important in light of previous research done by my colleagues demonstrating that it these automatic attitudes ultimately predict whether or not they’ll end up becoming dissatisfied with their relationship.

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CEO Discusses Lorexys For Female Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Nicolas G. Sitchon, CEO

Nicolas Sitchon

Nick G. Sitchon, CEO
S1 Biopharma

Mr. Sitchon discusses the S1 Biopharma  drug under development for hypoactive sexual desire disorder, Lorexys:

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for hypoactive sexual desire disorder? How common is this condition?

Mr. Sitchon: Hypoactive sexual desire disorder affects more than 12 million women and 8 million men in the US alone, yet it is widely misunderstood and often misdiagnosed and undertreated. It is characterized by low sexual desire that causes significant personal distress or interpersonal difficulty. It is important to note that HSDD is not a physical disorder, such as erectile dysfunction (ED) or pain during intercourse.

MedicalResearch.com: What is Lorexys and how might it work in HSDD therapy?

Mr. Sitchon: Lorexys is our lead product in development for the treatment of HSDD in women. It is an oral, non-hormonal, fixed-dose combination of two antidepressants: bupropion and trazodone. It is formulated with a ratio that is precisely balanced to neutralize the side effects of its individual components and maximize efficacy. When taken together, bupropion and trazodone modulate the neurotransmitters NE, DA, and 5HT2 in selective brain areas, ultimately increasing sexual desire. The combination also balances out the effects of each drug to reduce the risk of adverse events.

Lorexys recently completed a Phase 2a clinical trial that evaluated its safety, tolerability, and pro-sexual efficacy compared to bupropion, one of its constituent drugs. Clinical trial results found Lorexys to be highly tolerable with minimal side effects, and showed a 38% stronger efficacy than the use of bupropion alone. Trazodone by itself is not expected to have success in treating hypoactive sexual desire disorder.
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Over 40% of Transgender Young Women Have Substance Dependence or Mental Health Issues

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Sari L. Reisner PhD Research Fellow in the Department of Epidemiology Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Associate Scientific Researcher in the Division of General Pediatrics Boston Children’s Hospital/ Harvard Medical School

Dr. Sari Reisner

Dr. Sari L. Reisner PhD
Research Fellow in the Department of Epidemiology
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Associate Scientific Researcher in the Division of General Pediatrics
Boston Children’s Hospital/ Harvard Medical School 

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Dr. Reisner: Transgender youth—including adolescent and young adult transgender women assigned a male sex at birth who identify as girls, women, transgender women, transfemale, male-to-female, or another diverse gender identity on the transfeminine spectrum—represent a vulnerable population at-risk for negative mental health and substance use/abuse outcomes.

Although community surveys of transgender people in the United States have found a high prevalence of depression, anxiety, and substance use relative to the general adult U.S. population, studies typically utilize screening instruments or sub-threshold symptom questions and do not use diagnostic interviews. Diagnostic interview data are scarce among young transgender women; such data are important to establish guidelines for diagnosis and treatment for this youth group given their complex life experiences.

The aim of this study was to report the prevalence of mental health, substance dependence, and co-morbid psychiatric disorders assessed via a diagnostic interview in an at-risk community-recruited sample of young transgender women. This observational study reported baseline finding from a diverse sample of 298 sexually active, young transgender women ages 16-29 years (mean age 23.4; 49.0% Black, 12.4% Latina, 25.5% White, 13.1% other minority race/ethnicity) enrolled in Project LifeSkills, an ongoing randomized controlled HIV prevention intervention efficacy trial in Chicago and Boston, between 2012-2015 (NIMH-funded, multiple PIs: Rob Garofalo, MD, MPH & Matthew Mimiaga, ScD, MPH).

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Dual and Concordant Vaginal and Oral HPV Infections in Women

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Ryan K. Orosco, MD Division of Head and Neck Surgery Department of Surgery University of California, San Diego

Dr. Ryan Orosco

Ryan K. Orosco, MD
Division of Head and Neck Surgery
Department of Surgery
University of California, San Diego

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Orosco: Our group at UC San Diego is interested in HPV as it relates to diseases of the head and neck.  HPV is a well-publicized cause of cervical cancer, and awareness about its link to throat (oropharynx) cancer is rapidly increasing.

Less well-known, is the relationship between HPV and benign (non-cancerous) diseases such as genital warts and papilloma of the throat.  As we strive to understand how to best care for patients with HPV-related disorders, it is important to understand the entire process of disease progression, which begins with HPV infection. Our group wanted to explore the relationship between HPV infection in the two most commonly infected body sites: oral and vaginal.

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Minimal Benefit of Flibanserin for Female Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Loes Jaspers MD, PhD scientist Dept. of Epidemiology, Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Dr. Loes Jaspers

Loes Jaspers MD, PhD scientist
Dept. of Epidemiology
Erasmus University Medical Center
Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Jaspers: In August 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved flibanserin as a medical treatment for women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD). The approval was accompanied by considerable attention in the media. Some people were positive about the approval, while others questioned whether benefits outweigh the risks. That is why we systematically reviewed eight clinical trials (five published and three unpublished) that included 5,914 women to examine the efficacy and safety of the medication for treatment of hypoactive sexual desire disorder.

We found that women taking flibanserin experienced one-half additional satisfying sexual event per month, and that they experienced 2-4 times more side-effects, such as dizziness, sleepiness, nausea, and tiredness, compared to placebo. The overall improvement that women reported while taking the drug was low. It ranged from ‘minimal improvement’ to ‘no change’.

The quality of the evidence was graded using established and transparent guidelines, the Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation approach (GRADE), which have been adopted by leading scientific organizations globally. Although the studies reviewed were randomized clinical trials, the quality of the evidence was very low, particularly because of limitations in design, the indirectness of evidence, and more favorable efficacy outcomes in published compared with unpublished studies.
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Increased rates of incarceration may mean more sexual partners and STDs

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Andrea K. Knittel, MD, PhD PGY-3, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Andrea Knittel

Andrea K. Knittel, MD, PhD
PGY-3, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences
University of California, San Francisco

Medical Research: What is the background for this study?

Dr. Knittel: The United States has the highest rate of incarceration in the world, and many studies have shown that involvement in the criminal justice system may be a risk factor for HIV/AIDS or other STDs. For example, some studies have found that in areas with high rates of incarceration, rates of STDs are higher, and others have shown that incarcerated individuals are more likely to have higher rates of concurrent sexual partnerships and a greater number of sexual partners. This may happen because of increased rates of partnership dissolution due to physical and emotional distance, as well as a desire on the part of formerly incarcerated men for an increased number of sexual partners to “make up for lost time,” which some studies have suggested. In addition, the female partners of incarcerated men may rely on other relationships, including new sexual partners, for emotional and financial support while their partners are incarcerated, whether their relationships end permanently or temporarily or they maintain their relationships through visits and calls.

Very few studies have been able to look at community level effects of incarceration, however, because it is difficult to gather data at this level. This study uses an agent-based model, a computational approach that provide a closed system in which to test hypotheses. An agent-based model is a computer simulation that creates a small community (250 “agents” or simulated people) in which the agents can date and have sexual relationships. The model used in this paper has been shown previously to be similar to young people in the US. The experiment in this study was to run the model without incarceration and see how many partners men and women in the community had, and then add incarceration into the model and see what happened. Based on data from other studies, when men in the model were incarcerated they had a slightly higher risk of ending a relationship and became slightly less desirable as partners.

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Adverse Childhood Experiences Contribute To Poor Health Outcomes in LBG Adults

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Anna Austin, MPH
PhD Student
UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Several studies have examined experiences of childhood abuse among individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB), but there has been relatively little research exploring experiences of other types of childhood trauma, like witnessing domestic violence between parents or growing up with a parent who is an alcoholic, among LGB individuals. We know from the study on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) conducted by Kaiser Permanente and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that the greater number of childhood traumas and adversities an individual experiences, the greater the risk for poor health later in life. There have also been a number of studies that have demonstrated health disparities by sexual orientation, with LGB adults typically having worse health than heterosexual adults. We were interested in the role that multiple types of adverse childhood experiences play in the development of poor adult health outcomes among LGB individuals.

In this study, we captured 8 categories of ACEs. We captured 3 categories of childhood abuse (sexual, physical, and emotional abuse) and 5 categories of household dysfunction (adult mental illness, substance abuse, and domestic violence in the household; incarceration of a household member; and parental divorce or separation). LGB adults were more likely to report each of these 8 categories of ACEs than heterosexuals, with the largest differences found for sexual abuse, adult mental illness in the household, and incarceration of a household member. LGB adults were also more likely to report having experienced multiple ACEs. Forty-two percent of LGB adults compared to 24 percent of heterosexual adults reported having experienced between 3 to 8 ACEs.

We also found that LGB adults were more likely to report poor adult health like smoking, HIV risk behaviors, 14 or more days of poor physical or mental health in the past 30 days, asthma, depression, and disability than heterosexuals. However, after we accounted for the number of ACEs each individual reported, LGB adults were no longer more likely to report smoking, binge drinking, and 14 or more days of poor physical health in the past 30 days.

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Sex At Earlier Age Increases Risk of Sexually Transmitted Diseases

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Seo Yoon Lee, RN

Department of Health Policy and Management
Graduate School of Public Health
Eun-Cheol Park MD, PhD
Institute of Health Services Research
Department of Preventive Medicine
Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea 

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are a major public health issue which causes acute illness, infertility, long-term disability or other serious medical and psychological consequences, around the world. Adolescence is a key developmental period with rapid cognitive growth. In recent decades, substantial change in the sexual behaviors and attitudes of adolescents has occurred and this would lead them greater risk of STIs than other. Our study looked at the relationship between adolescents’ first sexual intercourse age and their STI experience, as well as to identify vulnerable time table of their sexual activity by considering the time gap between their secondary sex characteristic occurrence age and first sexual intercourse age.

The findings from our study show that earlier initiation of sexual intercourse increases the odds of experiencing STIs. Also as the age gap gets shorter, the odds of experiencing STIs increase.

Approximately 7.4% of boys and 7.5% of girls reported had STI. For both boys and girls, the chance of experiencing STIs increased as the age of first sexual intercourse decreased [boys: before elementary school (age 7 or under) OR=10.81, first grade (age 7or 8) OR=4.44, second grade (age 8 or 9) OR=8.90, fourth grade (age 10 or 11) OR=7.20, ninth grade (age 15 or 16) OR=2.31; girls: before elementary school OR=18.09, first grade OR=7.26, second grade OR=7.12, fourth grade OR=8.93, ninth grade OR=2.74]. The association between the absolute age gap (AAG: defined as absolute value of “Age gap” = [Age at first sexual intercourse] – [age of secondary sexual manifest]) and STI experience was examined additionally which the result showed, students who had sexual intercourse after their secondary sexual manifestation, as the AAG increases, the odds of STI experience were decreased (boys OR=0.93, girls OR=0.87).

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Prenatal Androgen Exposure May Influence Sexual Orientation

Dr. Lee Ellis

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Lee Ellis PhD
Department of Anthropology
University of Malaya
Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Ellis: Sexual orientation appears to be highly influenced by prenatal neurohormonal factors (as opposed to social experiences throughout life).  However, the specifics continue to elude scientific comprehension.  Over the past two decades, researchers began to explore the possibility that a putative measure of prenatal testosterone exposure, called the 2D:4D finger length ratio, might be predictive of variations in sexual orientation.  The results have been mixed.  In the present study, colleagues and I obtained multiple measures of prenatal testosterone exposure (including a 2D:4D measure) from large samples of college students in two countries and factor analyzed these measures.  Analyses revealed two apparent prenatal testosterone exposure variables, one largely pertaining to bone growth (that included our 2D:4D measure), and the other mainly pertaining to muscular growth and coordination.  It was this second factor, not the first one, that appeared to be mainly responsible for variations in sexual orientation.

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Practitioners of BDSM Found To Be Psychologically Healthy

Tess M. Gemberling, M.A. Social Psychology Ph.D. Student Co-Principal Investigator University of Alabama

Ms. Gemberling

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Tess M. Gemberling, M.A.
Social Psychology Ph.D. Student
Co-Principal Investigator
University of Alabama

Medical Research: What is the background for this study?

Response: Many stereotypes of BDSM (bondage and discipline [B&D], dominance and submission [D/s], sadomasochism [SM],) exist; however, research with practitioners suggests these stereotypes are largely unfounded. Preliminary evidence implies BDSM practitioners are psychologically healthy individuals. This study was conducted to further evaluate these results.

Medical Research: What are the main findings?

Response: Along with other findings, the majority of results indicates practitioners are well functioning. Overall, participants are healthy in the mental, emotional, and interpersonal aspects of their lives. In addition, practitioners are often victims of violence but are not perpetrators of violence.

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COMT Gene Linked To Male Homosexuality

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Binbin Wang, PhD

Center for Genetics, National Research Institute for Family Planning
Beijing China

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr.Wang:Homosexuality has become an important issue all around the world, as well as in China. Beside of the human right problems it poses, the reality that more and more HIV cases are infected through homosexual activity,especially men who have sex with men
(MSM), should be concerned. People are wondering how homosexuality develops.

As a genetic researcher, I’d like to find the answers in the field of genetics.

This study is based on previous evidence that genes may have impact on homosexuality. Besides, animal models have provided clues that abnormality in some neurotransmitters, such
as dopamine, may alter the sex behavior of animals. Therefore, we choose COMT (the gene catechol-O-methyltransferase) as the
target, which is important for the synthesis of dopamine. We find that an amino acid
residue change in COMT could increase the risk of developing male homosexuality.

Our results provide some evidence that male homosexuality is connected with genes.

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Dysfunctional Personality Traits Linked to Homophobia

Emmanuele A. Jannini, MD Chair of Endocrinology and Medical Sexology Department of Systems Medicine Tor Vergata University of Rome Roma, Italy.MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Emmanuele A. Jannini, MD
Chair of Endocrinology and Medical Sexology
Department of Systems Medicine
Tor Vergata University of Rome
Roma, Italy

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Prof. Jannini: The background is due to the large experience of the researcher of my team, Dr. Giacomo Ciocca, on homophobia, a largely diffuse phenomenon in various forms. Although many social and cultural factors predispose to homophobic attitude, we have hypothesized that some psychological aspects of personality were in association with homophobia. Therefore, we found that psychoticism, a dysfunctional trait of thought, immature defense mechanisms, i.e., primitive responses to anxiety states, and a fearful model of relationship with other due to an insecure attachment style, could be considered risk factors for homophobic attitude.

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HIV Meds Given to HIV Negative MSM Reduced New Infections Over 80%

Prof-Sheena-McCormack.jpgMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Professor Sheena McCormack
Clinical Epidemiology
Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Unit
University College London

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Prof. McCormack: PROUD is the first study of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV carried out in the UK. The results show that PrEP could play a major role in reducing the number of new infections among men who have sex with men who are at risk of catching HIV.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a HIV prevention strategy that involves HIV-negative people taking some of the drugs we use for treatment of HIV to reduce the risk of becoming infected. The PROUD study (www.proud.mrc.ac.uk) looked at whether offering daily PrEP to men who have sex with men was an effective way to prevent HIV infection. The results show that pre-exposure prophylaxis is highly protective, reducing the risk of infection for this group by 86%.

The drug used in the trial – the antiretroviral Truvada – was already known to reduce the incidence of HIV infection compared to placebo (a dummy pill).  The PROUD study was designed to see how good Truvada would be found as pre-exposure prophylaxis in a real world situation when participants knew they were taking an active drug.  It aimed to address outstanding questions such as whether taking PrEP would change sexual risk behaviour – for example increasing the number of partners they did not use condoms with and increasing the rate of other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) – and whether or not it would be cost-effective to make it available on the NHS.
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Study Reports High Prevalence of Military Sexual Trauma Among Recent Veterans

Shannon K. Barth MPH Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Public Health, Post Deployment Health Epidemiology Program Washington, District of ColumbiaMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Shannon K. Barth MPH
Department of Veterans Affairs
Office of Public Health, Post Deployment Health
Epidemiology Program
Washington, District of Columbia

Medical Research: What is the background for this study?

Response: This study used data from the “National Health Study for a New Generation of U.S. Veterans,” a population-based health study of 20,563 Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom Veterans and their non-deployed counterparts, conducted in 2009-2011.  A two-question measure of sexual harassment and sexual assault based on an existing clinical screen used by Veterans Health Administration (VHA) providers was included on the survey. Consistent with use in clinical settings, a veteran was considered to have experienced MST if they responded affirmatively to either of the two questions. While estimates of the prevalence of MST based on the clinical screener are available, these estimates only provide information about veterans who use VHA services and may not generalize to the broader OEF/OIF veteran population. This new survey provides a unique opportunity to assess MST experiences among a representative sample of OEF/OIF veterans in a confidential setting. Additionally, we were able to assess responses to the sexual harassment and sexual assault questions separately and collectively.

Medical Research: What are the main findings?

Response: The main findings from our study are that 41% of women and 4% of men reported experiencing MST. Veterans who reported using VHA services had a higher risk of MST compared to those who didn’t receive VHA services. The relationship between deployment to OEF/OIF and experiencing MST differed between men and women. Combat-exposed veterans had greater risk of reporting MST compared to those not exposed to combat, while controlling for deployment status.

Among women, approximately 10% reported experiencing sexual assault. In contrast, 0.5% of male participants reported experiencing sexual assault.

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Sexual Identity More Fluid In Women

Elizabeth Aura McClintock PhD Assistant Professor Department of Sociology University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN 46556MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Elizabeth Aura McClintock PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Sociology
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. McClintock: Sexual identity is a social construct that emerged in the late nineteenth century. People have always engaged in homosexual and heterosexual behavior, but we have not always had the concept of homosexual and heterosexual as types of personal identities. That is not to say that sexual desire or sexual preference does not have biological origins, but the concept of sexual identity and the specific labels that we use (gay, straight, bi-curious, etc.) are fundamentally social in origins.

Given that sexual identity is a social construct, social context should influence it. By social context I mean socioeconomic position, social networks, romantic status and experience, and family, among other factors. As a parallel example, researchers have recently shown that racial identification depends on context–a person may be perceived differently and self-identify differently depending as their social context changes. Extant research on sexual identity, however, largely ignores social context. My goal was to begin to fill this gap.

I found that several aspects of social context, including class background, educational attainment, race, and timing of childbirth, are associated with sexual identity. Indeed, context is associated with sexual identity net of sexual attraction. Perhaps because women have more flexible sexual attractions (they are more likely than men to report attraction to both sexes), social context has a larger effect on women’s sexual identity.

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In a Group, Who’s Perceived To Be Dominant? Tall, Mid-Thirty and Male

Carlota Batres PhD Candidate at the Perception Lab School of Psychology and Neuroscience University of St Andrews

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Carlota Batres
PhD Candidate at the Perception Lab
School of Psychology and Neuroscience
University of St Andrews

 


Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response:  Dominance in men is associated with a variety of social outcomes, ranging from high rank attainment of cadets in the military to high levels of sexual activity in teenage boys. Dominant men are also favored as leaders during times of intergroup conflict and are more successful leaders in the business world. Therefore, we wanted to investigate what exactly it is that makes a face look dominant.

Our main finding was that maximum dominance was achieved by increasing perceived height and masculinity while maintaining a man’s age at around 35 years.

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Majority of New HIV Infections Occur in Men Who Have Sex With Men

Adaora Adimora, MD, MPH Chair of the HIV Medicine Association Professor of Medicine School of Medicine University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Adaora Adimora, MD, MPH

Chair of the HIV Medicine Association
Professor of Medicine School of Medicine
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

MedicalResearch: What is the current scope of the HIV epidemic?

Dr. Adimora: The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there are 1.2 million people living with HIV in the U.S. Nearly 13% are undiagnosed and unaware of their status. Men who have sex with men represented 54% of all people living with HIV in 2011. While new infection rates are stable, a majority of new infections (63%) are occurring among men who have sex with men. We have seen alarming increases among young black men who have sex with men who account for 55% of new infections among men who have sex with men. New infections among women have decreased slightly but black and Hispanic/Latina women represent 62% and 17% of new infections respectively among women.[i] While there have been decreases in new HIV infections among people who inject drugs in recent years, the serious outbreak largely among injection drug users in Scott County, Indiana identified this past spring[ii] puts us on high alert to improve access to preventive services and substance use treatment, including access to sterile syringes and equipment.

My responses will generally focus on the U.S. epidemic but want to acknowledge that globally an estimated 36.9 million people were living with HIV at the end of 2014 with just 51% of them being diagnosed and more than 34 million deaths were attributed to HIV-related causes.[iii]

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7 Cancers May Occur More Frequently In LGBTQ Community

Gwendolyn P. Quinn, Ph.D. Moffitt Cancer Center University of South FloridaMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Gwendolyn P. Quinn, Ph.D.
Moffitt Cancer Center
University of South Florida

MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Quinn: Our research group has been conducting studies of the LGBTQ community and their healthcare experiences combined with providers knowledge and attitudes about LGBTQ and cancer care. This led us to examine the literature on cancer and LGBTQ. The main findings point to the lack of rigorous data about cancer in the LGBTQ community. Our review revealed that 7 cancers (anal, breast, cervical, colorectal, colon and rectal, endometrial, lung and prostate cancers) may occur more frequently in the community due to elevated prevalence of risk factors and behaviors such as obesity and substance use; however, there are limited data on outcomes, morbidity and mortality. The lack of data makes it difficult for providers to fully inform patients about early detection, prevention, and treatment options and outcomes. Further, the lack of psychosocial data makes it difficult to provide supportive care recommendations and other forms of support Continue reading

Low Heart Rate Variability Linked To Decreased Sexual Arousal In Women

Amelia Stanton, Graduate Student Department of Psychology The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TXMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Amelia Stanton, Graduate Student
Department of Psychology
The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Heart rate variability (HRV) has emerged as a valuable non-invasive test to assess autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity. Several studies have linked low resting Heart rate variability to mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, and alcohol dependence, indicating these disorders may be related to an imbalance in autonomic activity. As Heart rate variability is an index of the balance of sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and parasympathetic nervous system activity (PNS), it has proven a useful tool for examining the relative role of SNS activity in female sexual arousal. Moderate SNS dominance (relative to PNS activity) has been shown to predict women’s genital arousal in the laboratory, while high levels of SNS activation have been shown to inhibit genital arousal. Based on this background evidence and on a growing clinical literature indicating that low HRV (generally indicative of high SNS) is associated with negative health outcomes, we predicted a positive linear relationship between Heart rate variability and sexual arousal function. That is, we predicted that women with autonomic balance indicating moderate or low resting SNS activity (relative to PNS activity) would be less likely than women with autonomic balance indicating high resting SNS to report clinically relevant sexual arousal dysfunction. We also predicted that this relationship would hold for overall sexual function.

To test this hypothesis, sexual arousal function, overall sexual function, and resting HRV were assessed in 72 women, aged 18-39. The main finding of the study is that women with below average Heart rate variability were significantly more likely to report sexual arousal dysfunction (p < .001) and overall sexual dysfunction (p < .001) than both women with average HRV and women with above average HRV. Based on these results, we concluded that low HRV may be a risk factor for female sexual arousal dysfunction and overall sexual dysfunction.

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Low Testosterone Linked To Obesity and Depression In Men

Michael S. Irwig MD Division of Endocrinology Medical Faculty Associates George Washington UniversityMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Michael S. Irwig MD
Division of Endocrinology Medical Faculty Associates
George Washington University

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Many factors are associated with lower testosterone levels and many men who have their testosterone levels checked have non-specific depressive symptoms. The main finding is a remarkably high rate of depression and depressive symptoms (56%) in men who are referred for borderline testosterone levels. Other significant findings include a prevalence of overweight and obesity higher than the general population.

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Risk Score May Help Identify MSM Most In Need Of HIV Prevention Resources

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Martin Hoenigl
Center for AIDS Research
University of California, San Diego

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Hoenigl: Although men who have sex with men (MSM) represent a dominant risk group for human immunodeficiency Virus, the risk of HIV infection within this population is not uniform. Characterizing and identifying the MSM at greatest risk for incident HIV infection might permit more focused delivery of both prevention resources and selection of appropriate interventions, such as intensive counseling, regular HIV screening with methods that detect acute infection (ie, nucleic acid amplification test), and antiretroviral preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

By using data collected at a single HIV testing encounter from 8326 unique MSM were analyzed, including 200 with AEH (2.4%), we were able to create the San Diego Early Test (SDET) risk score. The SDET score consist of four risk behavior variables which were significantly associated with an AEH diagnosis (ie, incident infection) in multivariable: condomless receptive anal intercourse (CRAI) with an HIV-positive MSM (3 points), the combination of CRAI plus 5 or more male partners (3 points), 10 or more male partners (2 points), and diagnosis of bacterial sexually transmitted infection (2 points), all as reported for the prior 12 months. The SDET risk score is deployed as a freely available tool at http://sdet.ucsd.edu.

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Black Young Gay Men From Poor Neighborhoods More Likely To Contract HIV

Perry N Halkitis, Ph.D., M.S., MPH Professor of Applied Psychology Global Public Health, and Population Health/Medicine New York University.MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Perry N Halkitis, Ph.D., M.S., MPH
Professor of Applied Psychology
Global Public Health, and Population Health/Medicine
New York University.

Medical Research: What is the background for this study?

Dr. Halkitis: The P18 Cohort Study is a prospective cohort study of gay, bisexual and other young men who have sex with men (YMSM) which seeks to examine the development of health behaviors as these young men transition from adolescent to adulthood. Officially named “Syndemic Production among Emergent Adult Men”, this study was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse from 2009-2014 and renewed on March 1, 2014 for an additional five years.

The original aims of the study were as follows:

  • 1) to develop and test theoretically informed measurement models of the covariance of illicit drug use, unprotected sexual behavior and mental health burden (multiple overlapping epidemics known as a syndemic) among emergent adult HIV-negative YMSM within and across time;
  • 2) to delineate the risk and protective bases- physical factors (e.g., pubertal onset, HIV status, etc.), relational and structural factors (e.g., family history of psychopathology, current romantic relationships, peer support, neighborhood factors, etc.), and psychosocial factors (e.g., sexual identity, internalized homophobia, hyper-masculine conceptions, etc.) that predict the development of syndemics; and
  • 3) to determine the extent to which the development of a syndemic varies by race/ethnicity, social class, and homelessness/housing instability.
  • In this current five year continuation we also seek
    • 1) to describe the social and sexual networks of YMSM, and to examine the relationship between social and sexual network-level structural characteristics, social support and normative influences on syndemic production (illicit drug use, unprotected sexual behaviors, and mental health burden) in YMSM, singly and in combination with the physical, psychosocial, and relational predictors, both within and across time;
    • 2) to describe the acquisition of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in YMSM, specifically, urethral and rectal gonorrhea and chlamydia, pharyngeal gonorrhea as well as syphilis serology; and to determine the extent to which physical, relational, and psychosocial factors explain STI acquisition as part of the syndemic model within and across time.
    • A third exploratory aim was also added: 3) to describe HIV clinical treatment markers (i.e., HIV viral load, ART uptake and adherence, HIV care) among HIV+ YMSM, and to assess the extent to which physical, relational, and psychosocial factors are associated with differences in these clinical markers among HIV+ YMSM, both within and across time. The study is led by Drs. Perry N Halkitis and Farzana Kapadia at New York University’s Center for Health, Identity, Behavior & Prevention Studies.

Potential participants were recruited through both active (e.g., approaching individuals to solicit study participation) and passive (e.g., flyer posting, website advertisements) methods from June 2009 to May 2011. Eligibility criteria included being 18-19 years old, biologically male, residing in the NYC metropolitan area, having sex (any physical contact that could lead to orgasm) with a man in the last 6 months, and reporting a seronegative or unknown HIV status at baseline. We ensured the diversity of our sample by setting a fixed recruitment quota for participants in each targeted racial/ethnic group, such that African Americans, Latino (across race), Asian-Pacific Islander (API), and mixed race men comprised the majority of the sample. All participants provided written, informed consent before data was collected and were compensated for their time and effort upon completing the baseline assessment. The New York University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) approved all study protocols and a federal Certificate of Confidentiality protects these data.

A total of 2,068 participants were screened for eligibility to participate in the study, and 600 participants completed the baseline assessment in the first wave of the study. In 2014, we began the second wave and opened to cohort to recruit a baseline sample of 650 YMSM who will now be between the ages of 22-23; recruitment of participants is still underway.

Medical Research: What are the main findings?

Dr. Halkitis: Numerous publications have been generated from the P18 Cohort Study and can be accessed at www.chibps.org.  A recent publication, “Incidence of HIV infection in Young Gay, Bisexual, and other YMSM: The P18 Cohort Study” became available in the May 2015 of JAIDS, the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. This paper reports that over a 36 month follow-up period, during the first wave of the study, 7.2% of study participants seroconverted, with Black and Hispanic men much more likely to seroconvert over this time frame than White men. This finding aligns with epidemiological trends for HIV infection at the national and local, NYC, levels. Also, men reporting a lower familial socioeconomic status were more likely to seroconvert than men reporting high familial socioeconomic status, and Black men were more likely to report a lower socioeconomic status.  Moreover, the Black young men who seroconverted were more likely to reside in neighborhoods with higher area-level poverty and higher area-level HIV prevalence. Additionally we found that men who reported anal sex without a condom in the 30 days prior to assessment were no more likely to seroconvert than those who reported sex with a condom.  However, an earlier age of sexual debut was a predictor of HIV seroconversion.

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Women’s Sex Life After Childbirth Unaffected By Type Of Delivery

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Alexandre Faisal-Cury, MD, PhD
Departamento de Medicina Preventiva, Faculdade de Medicina
Universidade de São Paulo
São Paulo, Brazil

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response:  Childbirth and the postpartum period represent a major life transition and usually have a substantial impact on the sexual adjustment for both mothers and fathers. Not all women adapt well to the psychological and biological changes. A variety of reasons have been implicated for the deterioration of sexual life including marital conflicts, depression and economic strains. There is conflicting evidence about the role of mode of delivery (MD) on sexual health outcomes. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate prospectively, up to 18 months after delivery, the association between mode of delivery and sexual health outcomes after childbirth, namely later resumption of sexual life, presence of sexual desire, and self-report of sexual life decline. 831 pregnant women were recruited from primary care clinics of the public sector in São Paulo, Brazil. Three types of delivery were used: uncomplicated vaginal delivery (spontaneous vaginal delivery without episiotomy or any kind of perineal laceration); complicated vaginal delivery (either forceps or normal, with episiotomy or any kind of perineal laceration) and cesarean delivery.

Our mains results showed that one hundred and forty one women (21.9%) resumed sexual life three or more months after delivery. Although 87.1% of women had desire, self-report of sexual life decline occurred in 21.1% of the cohort. No associations were found between mode of delivery and sexual health outcomes.

The key message for clinicians and patients is that women’s sexuality after childbirth is not influenced by the type of delivery. Efforts to improve the treatment of sexual problems after childbirth should focus beyond the mode of delivery. Despite of the fact, that the mode of delivery is not associated with sexual health outcomes, sexual dysfunction was quite frequent among our sample. Decline of sexual life after childbirth may have a negative impact on several domains of women’s life. Therefore, health professionals should address sexuality concerns as an essential component in the practice standards during and beyond the postpartum period.

Future research about the association between type of delivery and sexuality after childbirth should assess mechanisms associated more with psychological than organic factors.

Citation:

The Relationship Between Mode of Delivery and Sexual Health Outcomes after Childbirth

The Journal of Sexual Medicine

Alexandre Faisal-Cury, Paulo Rossi Menezes, Julieta Quayle, Alicia Matijasevich and Simone Grilo Diniz

Article first published online : 9 APR 2015, DOI: 10.1111/jsm.12883

 

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alexandre Faisal-Cury, MD, PhD (2015). Women’s Sex Life After Childbirth Unaffected By Type Of Delivery m

Women’s Sexual Desire May Be Sleep Dependent

David A Kalmbach, PhD Sleep and Circadian Research Laboratory Department of Psychiatry University of Michigan Medical School MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
David A Kalmbach, PhD

Sleep and Circadian Research Laboratory
Department of Psychiatry
University of Michigan Medical School

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Kalmbach: As it happens, my research background is in sexual health, and my clinical work is in behavioral sleep medicine. Therefore, I’ve long been interested in the intersection between sleep and sexual response, though there has been little research in this area. With the growing recognition of a wide range of morbidities associated with poor sleep, coupled with the multifactorial etiology of sexual dysfunctions, I wanted to investigate whether sleep disturbance was associated with poorer sexual response. Using a 2-week daily diary approach in a sample of 171 young women, we found that longer reported sleep duration led to greater sexual desire the next day. This relationship was mirrored by finding that the likelihood of partnered sexual activity was increased following nights during which women slept longer. We also found an association between genital arousal and sleep length, though this relationship was more complex. Women reported greater vaginal arousal during sexual activity following nights of shorter sleep. However, women who slept longer on average reported better vaginal arousal than women who obtained less sleep on average. This dual relationship may reflect differential effects of a single night of sleep deprivations versus chronic sleep deprivation. However, I think more research is needed to delineate the underlying mechanisms of these relationships. Even so, I think it is notable that daytime sequelae of poor sleep (e.g., mood changes, fatigue) did not account for the relationships between sleep and sexual response.

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Curvy Bottoms Linked To Pregnancy Advantage

Dr. David M.G. Lewis, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Psychology Bilkent Üniversitesi Ankara, Turkey Research Affiliate, Individual Differences and Evolutionary Psychology Area Department of Psychology The University of Texas at Austin
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. David M.G. Lewis, PhD
Assistant Professor Department of Psychology
Bilkent Üniversitesi Ankara, Turkey
Research Affiliate,
Individual Differences and Evolutionary Psychology Area
Department of Psychology
The University of Texas at Austin

MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study?

Dr. Lewis: My motivations to conduct this study were a combination of several things. Men would often mention to me the features that they found attractive in women. They would often mention the butt, but not the *size* of the butt…it was something else, but they couldn’t seem to put their finger on exactly what…

I then began reading more deeply into the different muscular, ligamentous, skeletal, etc. structures that could influence the appearance of the buttocks. I moved beyond just buttock tissue and buttock size. What I began to discover is that while the size of the buttocks does indeed influence the buttocks’ appearance, so too does other morphology that is not part of the buttocks themselves. These readings indicated that certain spinal structures can help women shift their center of mass back over the hips during pregnancy and reduce hip torque by roughly 700%. To the extent that women who possess these spinal structures would thereby be better able to carry a pregnancy (or multiple pregnancies) to term without suffering spinal injuries, selection would have favored the evolution of psychological mechanisms in men to prefer women exhibiting cues to these spinal structures. Men could not directly observed women’s vertebrae, but lumbar curvature is an externally visible cue to the relevant spinal structures.

At this point, we had a hypothesis that was both anchored in evolutionary theory and grounded in medical orthopedic literature. It was time we tested our idea that men possess a previously undiscovered, evolved preference for a beneficial intermediate angles of lumbar curvature in women.

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Gender Identity Is A Biologic Process

Joshua D. Safer MD, FACP Director, Endocrinology Fellowship Training and Endocrinology Education Boston University Medical Center Associate Professor of Medicine and Molecular Medicine Boston University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Joshua D. Safer MD, FACP
Director, Endocrinology Fellowship Training and Endocrinology Education
Boston University Medical Center
Associate Professor of Medicine and Molecular Medicine
Boston University School of Medicine

 

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Safer: This is a review of the current medical literature in favor of the biologic nature of gender identity.  The main barrier to medical care for transgender patients is lack of physicians with the knowledge and willingness to provide that care. A major concern of physicians is that this is a mental health issue, meaning that transgender hormone therapy and surgery may be too drastic a response to an individual who should be counseled instead.  The review lays out the evidence to make it clear that a major component of gender identity is biologic even if we don’t have the exact details worked out.  Therefore, counseling alone cannot address the disconnect between transgender individuals’ gender identity and their physical bodies.

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HIV Remains Threat To Urban Heterosexuals

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Catlainn Sionean
Epidemiologist, CDC’s Division of HIV/AID

Medical Research: What is the background for this study?

Dr. Sionean: Previous research has shown that heterosexuals in low socio-economic communities are disproportionately affected by HIV, so we analyzed data on low-SES heterosexuals in 21 metropolitan areas with a high AIDS burden from CDC’s National HIV Behavioral Surveillance system to better understand individual risk and HIV testing behaviors within this population.

Medical Research: What are the main findings?

Dr. Sionean: This analysis makes it clear that we must do a better job reaching heterosexuals in urban areas with prevention services. CDC recommends that everyone be tested at least once for HIV. However, we found that overall, 1 in 4 (25%) participants had never been tested for HIV.  HIV testing rates were notably low among Latinos, who, with African Americans, share a disproportionate burden of HIV in the U.S. Additionally, 1 in 3 participants (34%) received free condoms in the last year and only 11 percent of participants participated in a prevention intervention.

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Back Pain? Which Sex Position is Best?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Natalie Sidorkewicz, MSc (Kin) PhD (HSG) Student
Spine Biomechanics Laboratory
School of Public Health and Health Systems, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, ON

Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Answer: First, we successfully documented male spine motion and muscle activity during sex — this biomechanics study was the first of its kind.

Second, we used this data to develop general recommendations for low back pain patients whose pain is worsened by motions and postures. The general recommendations focus on changing how people move, and position themselves during sex. To make any sex position more spine-sparing, we recommend that the individual controlling the movement use their hips and knees more than their spine and that the individual not controlling the movement maintain a more neutral-spine position. An excellent working example is one of the sex positions that we studied: the missionary position. The man, who is controlling the movement with pelvic thrusting, is recommended to do so with more hip and knee movement than spine movement. The women, who is lying on her back, is recommended to use a back support placed underneath the natural curve of her spine to maintain a more neutral spine position. The general recommendations can be applied to any sex position for both men and women.

Finally, we developed specific guidelines for men whose back pain is worsened by two specific types of motion: flexion and extension. If a man’s low back pain is worsened by spine flexion movements, such as touching their toes or sitting for long periods of time, we would consider them to be flexion-motion-intolerant. The ideal sex position for a flexion-motion-intolerant patient would then be one that uses minimal spine flexion, so as not to worsen that patient’s pain. When we compared the five sex positions, we found that men used the least amount of spine flexion in doggy-style as well as the missionary position as long as the male was propped up on his hands (as opposed to his elbows).

If a man’s low back pain is worsened by spine extension movements, such as arching their back or lying on their stomach, we would consider them to be extension-motion-intolerant. The ideal sex position for an extension-motion-intolerant patient would then be one that uses minimal spine extension, so as not to worsen the patient’s pain. When we compared the five sex positions, we found that men used the least amount of spine extension in spooning and the missionary position as long as the male was propped up on his elbows (as opposed to his hands).
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Adolescent Health: Sex Discussions During Office Visits

Stewart C. Alexander, PhD Department of Medicine Duke University Medical Center Durham, North CarolinaMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Stewart C. Alexander, PhD
Department of Medicine
Duke University Medical Center
Durham, North Carolina

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Alexander: Adolescents are reluctant to talk about sex with their doctors and won’t raise the topic with their doctors. For physicians, there are common and valid barriers to talking about sexuality with adolescents, including time pressures and discomfort with the topic. Two-thirds of adolescents in our study had some sexuality talk during their annual visit, lasting 36 seconds long. Girls, African Americans, and older teens were more likely to receive sexuality talk. Additionally, longer visits and visits where the physician talked confidentially with their adolescent patient were more likely to have sexuality talk. Our study suggest that sexuality conversations in annual visits can be improved.
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Sexual Lifestyles Through Life Course: Attitudes Have Changed

Catherine H. Mercer Ph.D. Senior Lecturer UCL Centre for Sexual Health & HIV Research Research Department of Infection & Population Health University College London London U.K.MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Catherine H. Mercer Ph.D.
Senior Lecturer
UCL Centre for Sexual Health & HIV Research
Research Department of Infection & Population Health
University College London London U.K.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Mercer: Firstly, the National Surveys of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles, Britain’s nationally-representative surveys of sexual behaviour (or Natsal for short), have captured substantial changes in sexual attitudes and lifestyles over the past 60 years, having collected data from over 45,000 people born between the 1930s and the 1990s – a period spanning much of the 20th Century.

Secondly, the recent changes in behaviour that we have observed – so over the past decade – have however been considerably more marked for women than men, with the gender gap in reported behaviour narrowing, and in some cases, disappearing altogether.

Thirdly, we’ve seen a greater acceptance of more diverse sexual lifestyles, such as same-sex sexual partnerships, but greater intolerance of what many people might consider as ‘disrespectful’ sexual partnerships, including non-exclusivity in marriage.
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