New Study Highlights the Complexity of Transgender Identities

This month my graduate student Laura Kuper and I published a new study in the Journal of Sex Research that reports on data we collected from an online sample of transgender individuals.

25% of Americans are gay or lesbian (or so people think)

It's not actually the case that 25% of Americans identify as gay or lesbian, but according to a recent Gallup poll that's the belief of the average American adult.

New study on risk and benefits of serious relationships

This week we published a new study in the journal Health Psychology that found that young gay and bisexual men in serious relationships have nearly eight times the rate of unprotected sex as compared to when they are in casual relationships.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

What many people may not know is that his wife Coretta was a champion of LGBT equality. She said, "I believe all Americans who believe in freedom, tolerance and human rights have a responsibility to oppose bigotry and prejudice based on sexual orientation."

It's not just IF you use a condom, its HOW you use a condom.

When used correctly, condoms are very effective at preventing HIV. But they need to be used correctly, and unfortunately we may not do a good job of explaining to young people how to use condoms correctly. Our new study found 95% of young men who have sex with men (MSM) make errors when using condoms. Learn the correct steps.

Young people talk about what they like about being "single."

What do young people like about being "single?"  While being in a relationship can be healthy and fullfilling, so can being single. We set up a video camera at the Chicago Pride Festival and asked people what they like about being single.  Here are there answers.

New research on mental health and suicide attempts in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth

6% of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth attempted suicide in the past year - an alarming rate, but one that is comparable to other urban, minority youth. This is one of the findings from a study our research team published in the current issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

Today is World AIDS Day

Today is the 22nd annual World AIDS Day.  What can you do to participate?

New study shows medication can help prevent HIV infection, but reducing risk behaviors is still critical

Today results of the international iPrEx trial were released, examining whether drugs used to treat HIV can also help prevent HIV infection. The once-daily pill provided an average of 44% additional protection against HIV infection, but was most effective in those who were highly compliant in taking the medication.

LGBT Youth talk about connecting to family and community

My research shows that LGBT youth want to hear more positive messages about their strengths, connection to family and community, and healthy relationships. We set up a video camera and asked people why they were proud of their community and to tell us about their relationships. This is the first video, with stories about connecting to family and community.

It gets better: A video campaign featuring hundreds of videos by people standing up for gay youth

In September several LGBT young people tragically took their own lives. In the media it was reported that they had experienced bullying, victimization, and harassment. To help tell the story of how things get better famous syndicated columnist Dan Savage launched a YouTube channel that allows gay adults to upload videos of themselves describing the bullying they might have experienced in high school, but also talking about how much better their lives are now.  Many celebrities, including Ellen Degeneres, Kathy Griffin, and Eve joined in and shared their words of encouragements with the simple message that "it gets better." 

Largest national sex survey ever publishes highlights sexual behavior and condom use among Americans ages 14 to 94

Researchers published findings from the largest nationally representative study of sexual and sexual-health behaviors ever conducted.  It is one of the most comprehensive studies on sexuality in almost two decades and documents the sexual experiences and condom-use behaviors of 5,865 adolescents and adults ages 14 to 94. Among other findings: 8.4% of girls between the ages of 14 and 17 identified as bisexual.  

Why are these young people proud of their sexual orientation?

We set up a video booth at the 2010 Chicago Pride Festival and asked people to write on a card why they "heart" or love their sexuality.

Question 3: Is it a moral or legal issue? And the verdict! (part 5)

In the Proposition 8 trial verdict, Judge Walker indicated that the evidence prevented in the trial focused on three broad questions. In today's blog I am going to summarize the evidence on the third question: Whether the evidence shows Proposition 8 enacted a private moral view without advancing a legitimate government interest.  Also....the final verdict.

Question 2: Does the state have an interest in treating same-sex and opposite-sex couples differently? (Part 4)

In his verdict, Judge Walker indicated that the evidence presented in the trial focused on three broad questions. In today's blog I am going to summarize the evidence on the second question: Whether any evidence shows California has an interest in differentiating between same-sex and opposite sex unions.

Question 1: Does any evidence support California's refusal to recognize marriage between two people because of their sex (Part 3)

In today's blog I will focus on the first question of if there is any evidence to support California's refusal to marry two people of the same sex.

The arguments in the California proposition 8 trial (Part 2)

Proposition 8 (Prop 8) was the ballot initiative in California that took away the rights of gay and lesbian people to marry their same-sex partner. In part 2 of this blog series I look at the arguments made by the plaintiffs and defendants of Prop 8.

U.S. Judge found that same-sex couples have an equal right to the responsibilities and benefits of marriage (Part 1)

Last week, a federal judge in California decided that gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry, striking down Proposition 8, the California ballot measure that banned same-sex unions. Over the next few blog entries I will be including some of the evidence that was presented at trial and discussing it in the context of social science research on couples and families.

What Is Bisexuality?

Skepticism about the existence of people attracted to both men and women has come from heterosexuals as well as gays and lesbians. Even within the scientific community there has been debate about the existence and meaning of bisexuality.

Is Bisexuality the Same in Men and Women?

To help understand differences in sexual attractions and bisexuality in men and women, I sat down with Dr. Brian Dodge at a recent conference. Dr. Dodge has conducted fascinating research on male sexuality, particularly bisexuality. In the video below he answers my question, "is bisexuality the same thing in men and women?"

25 year-long study finds children with lesbian parents may be better adjusted

A new study published in the prestigious journal Pediatrics followed a group of children born to lesbian mothers for nearly 25 years to chart their psychological health and development. The findings indicated that compared to normative data these children had fewer behavioral problems.

Proposed new criteria for diagnosing Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders just posted

My readers are most likely to be interested in the changes to the Sexual and Gender Identity Disorder criteria. For example, they are proposing to add a new diagnosis of "Hypersexual Disorder" that represents recurrent and intense sexual fantasies, sexual urges, and sexual behavior" in addition to other criteria. They also list Gender Identity Disorder under the group of disorders with no changes from the previous version of the DSM.