Whether it's the constant fretting over Miley Cyrus
' influence on school girls or the growing (and troubling) tradition of Purity Balls
, it's clear that society has a fascination with young women's sexuality — especially when it comes to controlling it. But what are we actually teaching today's girls about sex? Fueled by outdated ideals of gender roles and the sense that female sexuality is somehow shameful, there seem to be certain pernicious myths about girls and sex that just won't die. That sex education in America has gaping holes in its curriculum hasn't helped much, either; in a recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report
just 6 out of 10 girls said that their schools' sex ed program included information on how to say no to sex. This lack of personal agency was reflected in a forthcoming study by sociologist Heather Hlavka at Marquette University
as well, which found that many young girls think of sex simply as something that is "done to them." Knowledge is power, and we can promote a healthier relationship with sex by encouraging a more open dialogue, teaching girls to feel comfortable with their sexuality and, most importantly, emphasizing that their bodies are theirs and theirs alone.
But first, we're going to need to stop perpetuating the following 17 myths about female sexuality. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Apr 28, 2014 -
"On a sunny day in 1998, Maura Gillison was walking across the campus of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, thinking about a virus. The young oncologist bumped into the director of the university's cancer centre, who asked politely about her work. Gillison described her discovery of early evidence that human papillomavirus (HPV) — a ubiquitous pathogen that infects nearly every human at some point in their lives — could be causing tens of thousands of cases of throat cancer each year in the United States. The senior doctor stared down at Gillison, not saying a word. “That was the first clue that what I was doing was interesting to others and had potential significance,” recalls Gillison."
Human papillomavirus is causing a new form of head and neck cancer— leaving researchers scrambling to understand risk factors, tests and treatments. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Nov 22, 2013 -
From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films
were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating
, preparing for being drafted
, and shyness
, as well as to children on following the law
, the value of quietness in school
, and appreciating our parents
. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health
, what kind of people live in America
, how to keep a job
, supervising women workers
, the nature of capitalism
, and the plantation System in Southern life
. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives
as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Nov 1, 2012 -
is a veteran American cartoonist best known for his delightful comic-book guides to science and history, many of which have previews online. Chief among them is his long-running Cartoon History of the Universe
(later The Cartoon History of the Modern World
), a sprawling multi-volume opus documenting everything from the Big Bang to the Bush administration. Published over the course of three decades, it takes a truly global view -- its time-traveling Professor thoroughly explores not only familiar topics like Rome and World War II but the oft-neglected stories of Asia and Africa, blending caricature and myth with careful scholarship (cited by fun illustrated bibliographies
) and tackling even the most obscure events with intelligence and wit
. This savvy satire carried over to Gonick's Zinn
chronicle The Cartoon History of the United States
, along with a bevy of Cartoon Guides
to other topics, including Genetics, Computer Science, Chemistry, Physics, Statistics, The Environment
, and (yes!) Sex
. Gonick has also maintained a few sideprojects, such as a webcomic look at Chinese invention
, assorted math comics
), the Muse magazine
mainstay Kokopelli & Co.
(featuring the shenanigans of his "New Muses"
), and more
. See also these lengthy interview snippets
, linked previously
. Want more? Amazon links to the complete oeuvre inside! [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Jun 6, 2011 -
Carl Zimmer on the duck's incredibly long, corkscrew-shaped, ballistic penis.
My tale is rich with deep scientific significance, resplendent with surprising insights into how evolution works, far beyond the banalities of “survival of the fittest,” off in a realm of life where sexual selection and sexual conflict work like a pair sculptors drunk on absinthe, transforming biology into forms unimaginable. But this story is also accompanied with video. High-definition, slow-motion duck sex video. And I would imagine that the sight of spiral-shaped penises inflating in less than a third of second might be considered in some quarters to be not exactly safe for work. It’s certainly not appropriate for ducklings.
[As Carl says, video links are possibly NSFW.] [more inside]
posted by chorltonmeateater
on Dec 23, 2009 -
"In humans, the categories of gay and straight are socially constructed.”
Researchers are now revealing that animals may engage in same-sex couplings to diffuse social tensions, to better protect their young or to maintain fecundity when opposite-sex partners are unavailable—or simply because it is fun. These observations suggest to some that bisexuality is a natural state among animals, perhaps Homo sapiens included, despite the sexual-orientation boundaries most people take for granted
posted by plexi
on Jul 13, 2008 -
Sexual ornaments grow out of all proportion
It seems that men will be men throughout the animal kindom, not just our little lonely corner of of it.
Most body parts grow proportionally with the rest of the body as individuals of a species become larger, although scientists have long known that visual cues of reproductive prowess are a special case.
But is this the case with everyone
posted by pezdacanuck
on May 23, 2006 -
Near Ovulation, Your Cheatin' Heart Will Tell on You
"New research from UCLA and the University of New Mexico suggests that members of "the gentler sex" may have evolved to cheat on their mates during the most fertile part of their cycle — but only when those mates are less sexually attractive than other men."
posted by anyokerin
on Jan 18, 2006 -
Having sweated over the origins of the universe and split the atom, academics have finally tackled the question that has perplexed mankind since the dawn of time: what are the best chat-up lines?
A study from psychologists at the University of Edinburgh
tested 205 people for reactions to 40 vignettes of a woman approached by a man using "verbal signals of genetic quality" in different categories
, and found the best rated approaches to be those revealing character qualities, wealth and culture, although the puzzling winning line proved a flop in real life tests. Unsurprisingly, a direct request for sex received a low score. Previous findings by the Japanese proved equally dubious
. But there's still hope, as the code seems to have been cracked in Dublin, where since last year "there is definitely more pulling"
. The secret? A smoking ban, a lot of crowded pubs, and "smirting"
, an unexpected side effect of the health measure.
posted by funambulist
on Nov 6, 2005 -
It's Carnival Time! In 2002, Silflay Hraka
launched the internet's first carnival: The Carnival of the Vanities
. Carnivals are showcases of the best that blogs have to offer; bloggers send in posts they have made that they are especially pleased with, and a rotating editor collates them into a weekly edition with editorial comments. Think of carnivals as best-of-the-blogosphere magazines. The Carnival of the Vanities (current edition here
) doesn't have any particular focus, but a number of offshoots dedicated to specific fields have popped up. Stay up to date on blog postings about philosophy
, the early modern period
, and (if desperately bored) cats
. A new carnival about atheism, The Carnival of the Godless
, will be coming out at the end of the month.
posted by painquale
on Jan 23, 2005 -
And they're off!
Apparently BBC3 plans to broadcast what it says is the first televised sperm race on April 15—on the educational show Lab Rats
, naturally. The race will be filmed from inside two tiny glass tubes and relayed to a crowd watching at a pub. I wonder what the bookmakers have to say about the event?
posted by terrapin
on Apr 9, 2004 -
- the BBC reports on an american man who, at the age of 40, developed completely uncontrollable and ammoral sexual impulses after developing a tumor in the right lobe of the orbifrontal cortex. After the tumor was removed, he returned to normal. More inside...
posted by Irontom
on Oct 21, 2002 -
seems to be on the rise. Working in a hospital lab I've seen an increase in tests for HPV
It's enough to make one wonder if sex is worth the risk.
posted by Apoch
on Mar 20, 2002 -
Jane Want Relationship, Tarzan Want Sex.
A study seems to confirm what women have long suspected -- women seek security in relationships, while men stick around for the sex.
The study says that in most species, monogomy is the top choice when fertility is hidden. Wonder if they took into account the Pill? ;)
posted by jennak
on Apr 26, 2001 -