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Sex and science stuff 29/08/07

August 30th, 2007

Dr Petra

Here are some of the sex/science stories that caught my attention today. Click on the blue titles to read the full story….

Is your gaydar working? If not, be careful!
When you use the urinal do you tap your foot, or wave your hand under the door of your toilet stall? If so you could be caught for cruising according to ABC news which covers how gay men are being tracked by undercover police officers. Police argue this is to protect the public from lewd behaviour, while gay men’s groups argue it is a form of harrassment – and puts men who are not out about their sexuality in danger.

That’s a moray

Reports from Japan reveal fishermen have sex with eels, manta rays and various other sealife as part of a rite of passage (or because they get lonely out at sea). It isn’t clear whether our fishy friends actually enjoy this experience (my guess is not). However it seems to be something that some fishermen are happy to admit to.

Irish men’s sexual health at risk

New research from the Health Service Executive of men in Kerry and Cork found their use of sexual health services was low – even though they do not always practice safer sex (for example 42% didn’t use condoms for anal sex). Reasons for non attendance included embarrassment and not knowing where to locate services. Faith issues aren’t mentioned but it may also be a fear of being caught having extra marital activities or concerns about using contraception could also play a part. The HSE are now planning specific campaigns to target young men.

UK divorce rates fall

Next time you read one of those magazine or newspaper features telling you the UK has a very high divorce rate you’ll know they’re wrong. Data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) indicates that the UK divorce rate is at the lowest for 29 years (although divorce rates in Scotland and Northern Ireland continue to increase). Apparently marriage rates in the UK are also low which contrasts with what seems to be a media preoccupation with weddings (particularly celebrity ones). Rates of couples who live together are harder to obtain but it’s likely more people are cohabiting before marriage or instead of getting wed, and when cohabitees split up unfortunately that data isn’t recorded.

Houston, we have a problem

Women who meet a partner online are less likely to practice safer sex once a ‘real life’ relationship gets underway a study from Texas has revealed. The research of 740 women who were members of dating websites indicated they were less likely to use condoms as they felt they’d already built a relationship with someone and therefore trusted them. Clearly wider sex education is required on dating sites to warn people even if they feel they know someone well it doesn’t mean they can guarantee you don’t have an STI.

Miss Teen USA’s geography lesson

Okay, it’s not really anything to do with sex or science, but for anyone who’s ever had a bad moment explaining something spare a thought for poor Miss South Carolina….

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