All About Sex

At least for humans, this most basic of acts is anything but basic. As the pioneering sex researcher Alfred Kinsey put it, the only universal in human sexuality is variability itself. Within the universe of intimacy and pleasure that sex affords, however, there's a lot of room for error. From the behavior itself to our sexual identifications and associations, sex never fails to be a provacative topic. Most people are affected by sexual problems at some point in their lives and safety of the body and mind is always a concern. Though the global jury may remain hung over sex's moral and political implications, we can all come to at least one consensus: It's why we're alive today and it's the first thing future generations depend on.

Recent Posts on Sex

Should We Fan the Romantic Flame?

By Aaron Ben-Zeév Ph.D. on February 26, 2015 in In the Name of Love
All human experiences, including romantic ones, can be boring. The remedy for boredom is often change and novelty. Should we then change our romantic partners in order to fan our romantic flames? Although change is indeed essential to emotional intensity, there are several types of changes, and emotional intensity is far from being the whole story when it comes to romance.

The Paradox of Modern Adulthood

By Steven Mintz Ph.D. on February 26, 2015 in The Prime of Life
Less secure, less stable, more anxious, yet better nonetheless.

Does Science Really Say That Hot Guys Are Jerks?

There have been many recent media stories—with titles like "Science Says: Hot Guys Are A-Holes"—about a new study on attractiveness and behavior. I was lead author on this study, and I'll clarify here what our study really showed.

5 Ways That Men’s Friendships Differ From Women’s

How different are men's and women's friendships? There are at least 5 important ways that friendships among men differ from friendships among women.

A Mother's Love: Myths, Misconceptions, and Truths

By Peg Streep on February 26, 2015 in Tech Support
Commonly held ideas about motherhood shape the dialogue we have culturally, get in the way of understanding parent-child conflict, and affect each of us individually by setting a high and sometimes impossible standard. Why it's time to banish some of the myths that animate the discussion and start a new conversation.

Do Generations Exist?

By Steven Mintz Ph.D. on February 26, 2015 in The Prime of Life
Is it misleading to speak about a self-absorbed “Me Generation” or jaded, cynical GenXers, overeducated and underemployed?

Lady Gaga: Does Her Ring Raise The Bar?

By Jane Greer Ph.D. on February 25, 2015 in Shrink Wrap
For bigger or worse?

What Color Should You Wear on a First Date?

Maximize your attractiveness in that online dating profile pic or on that first date

Is Sadomasochism a Uniquely Human Form of Sexuality?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on February 25, 2015 in Animals and Us
From an evolutionary point of view, the enjoyment of pain would seem to be maladaptive. Is there an animal analog of finding sexual satisfaction in being whipped, poked with needles, or having hot wax dripped on your skin?

When’s the Right Time to Reignite That Old Flame?

By Duana C. Welch Ph.D. on February 25, 2015 in Love Proof
Do you have an old flame you’ve never stopped thinking about? Here’s how to tell if it was the real deal~and whether to reconnect.

Looking for the Right Relationship? Make a Plan!

Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and you’re still alone. Or maybe you’re just wishing you were alone because clearly you’re dating a total loser. Or maybe you’ve decided to address your long-standing dating dilemma with a bold new approach. If you’ve opted for the latter, read on.

Ebb and Flow

By Stephen Gray Wallace on February 24, 2015 in Decisions Teens Make
Overuse of technology by young people may result in distraction, stress and impaired performance. Help them find flow!

5 Ways to Get the Most out of Your Relationship

Relationships are an important part of our overall happiness and even our health. As satisfying as they can be, they can also present us with significant challenges. These research-based 5 suggestions will help you tip the cost-reward balance in your favor, for your sake, and that of your partner.

Personality Disorders Explained 2: Origins

By Michael Karson Ph.D., J.D. on February 24, 2015 in Feeling Our Way
Every cognitive map of the social world also defines a role for the person to play; a personality disorder implies a limited number of acceptable roles.

Stars In Their Eyes

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on February 24, 2015 in In Excess
Celebriphilia has been defined as “an intense desire to have a romantic relationship with a celebrity” and shares many similarities with celebrity stalking. It is also a completely modern, man-made phenomenon. But what do we know about celebriphilia?

A Response to Sam Harris's Writings on Moral Truth Pt 1 of 3

By John A. Johnson Ph.D. on February 23, 2015 in Cui Bono
In August of 2013, Sam Harris issued a challenge to refute, in 1,000 words or less, the central thesis of his book, The Moral Landscape. This thesis is that "questions of morality and values must have right and wrong answers that fall within the purview of science." In a three-part blog post, I explain why I agree with everything in his book except the central thesis.

How to Survive a Slasher Film

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on February 23, 2015 in Media Spotlight
Do you think you're trapped in a slasher film? A new research study published in the journal Psychology of Popular Media Culture provides an in-depth look at Final Girls over three decades of slasher films and what it was that enabled them to survive to the end of the movie. The study results may surprise you.

9 Thoughts That Destroy Loving Relationships

Don't let any of these toxic thoughts overtake you and hurt or destroy your loving relationship.

8 Negative Attitudes of Chronically Unhappy People

All of us experience negative thoughts from time to time. How we manage our negative attitudes can make the difference between confidence versus fear, hope versus despair, mastery versus victimhood, and victory versus defeat. Here are eight negative attitudes of chronically unhappy people...

The Mind of the Authoritarian

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on February 22, 2015 in A Sideways View
It was around 70 years ago that the famous book entitled THE AUTHORITARIAN PERSONALITY was published. What was the central theory and how is it considered today

Can You Trust Married People to Keep a Secret?

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on February 21, 2015 in Living Single
If you have friends who are married, should you assume that those friends share all of your communications and conversations – both the routine ones and those told in confidence – with their spouse? What does it mean if couples see themselves only as a unit and not also as individuals?

Confessing Your Office Romance

By Sean M. Horan Ph.D. on February 20, 2015 in Adventures in Dating
Workplace romances are common...but how do employees learn that two people are dating at work? My latest research study describes this process.

Celebration Planning Can Be Effective Therapy

By Mark O'Connell L.C.S.W. on February 20, 2015 in Quite Queerly
Can planning a wedding (or any milestone celebration) be effective therapy? Yes, it can! I explained how in my interview with the Imago Relationships International Think Tank.

50 Shades of … er … Avoidant Attachment?

By Robert T Muller Ph.D. on February 19, 2015 in Talking About Trauma
Guest writer Aviva Philipp-Muller examines why Hollywood glorifies characters who exhibit a dismissing-avoidant attachment style.

Men Who Hate Women

The misogynists. You may have heard of them. But what you may not know is that they can be anywhere around you. They are notoriously hard to spot. They do not come with a label attached to them, and they may even come across as woman lovers.

Shades of Play: Trauma Reenactment Versus Trauma Play

Psychologists still quite commonly use childhood abuse to explain and pathologize those who enjoy BDSM. This article discusses the difference between trauma reenactment and trauma play, and provides insights into why some therapists may be mistakenly shaming clients into trying to correct what is actually a healthy form of human sexual expression.

Talking Online Can Be Life Changing For Sexual Minority Guys

By Michele Ybarra MPH, Ph.D. on February 18, 2015 in Connected
The Internet can be an important source of health information & social support for lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) teens. Our recent study builds on this finding. We conducted message board discussions with gay, bisexual, and queer teen guys. While these may seem like old news, these can be a great way to bring people with similar interest together.

This is Your Brain When You Give Up Sugar For Lent

By Jordan Gaines Lewis on February 18, 2015 in Brain Babble
Did you decide to give up sweets for Lent? Here's what your brain will experience over the next 40 days.

10 Barriers to Intimacy and How You Can Break Them Down

By Peg Streep on February 18, 2015 in Tech Support
How close and connected you feel to your partner changes over time and can, alas, both ebb and flow. What you can do to increase intimacy in your relationship, based on science.