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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Lead us not into temptation

 

True Love Waits? A Sibling-Comparison Study of Age at First Sexual Intercourse and Romantic Relationships in Young Adulthood

Paige Harden
Psychological Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
This study tested whether the timing of first sexual intercourse in adolescence predicts romantic outcomes in adulthood, including union formation, number of romantic partners, and relationship dissatisfaction. Participants were 1,659 same-sex sibling pairs from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, who were followed from adolescence (mean age = 16 years) to young adulthood (mean age = 29 years). The timing of participants' first sexual intercourse was classified as early (at age 14 or earlier), on time (between the ages of 15 and 19), or late (at age 19 or older). Compared with early and on-time age at first sex, late age at first sex was associated with decreased odds of marriage or nonmarital cohabitation and fewer romantic partners in adulthood. Among individuals who had married or cohabited with a partner, late timing of first sex was associated with significantly reduced levels of relationship dissatisfaction, even after controlling for genetic and environmental differences between families (using a sibling-comparison model), demographic outcomes in adulthood, and involvement in dating during adolescence. These results underscore the contribution of a life-span approach to our understanding of romantic relationships.

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The Wages of Sin: How the Discovery of Penicillin Reshaped Modern Sexuality

Andrew Francis
Archives of Sexual Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
It was not until 1943, amid world war, that penicillin was found to be an effective treatment for syphilis. This study investigated the hypothesis that a decrease in the cost of syphilis due to penicillin spurred an increase in risky non-traditional sex. Using nationally comprehensive vital statistics, this study found evidence that the era of modern sexuality originated in the mid to late 1950s. Measures of risky non-traditional sexual behavior began to rise during this period. These trends appeared to coincide with the collapse of the syphilis epidemic. Syphilis incidence reached an all-time low in 1957 and syphilis deaths fell rapidly during the 1940s and early 1950s. Regression analysis demonstrated that most measures of sexual behavior significantly increased immediately following the collapse of syphilis and most measures were significantly associated with the syphilis death rate. Together, the findings supported the notion that the discovery of penicillin decreased the cost of syphilis and thereby played an important role in shaping modern sexuality.

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Habit Persistence and Teen Sex: Could Increased Access to Contraception Have Unintended Consequences for Teen Pregnancies?

Peter Arcidiacono, Ahmed Khwaja & Lijing Ouyang
Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Spring 2012, Pages 312-325

Abstract:
We develop a dynamic discrete-choice model of teen sex and pregnancy that incorporates habit persistence. Habit persistence has two sources here. The first is a "fixed cost" of having sex, which relates to a moral or psychological barrier that has been crossed the first time one has sex. The second is a "transition cost," whereby once a particular relationship has progressed to sex, it is difficult to move back. We estimate significant habit persistence in teen sex, implying that the long-run effects of contraception policy may be different from their short-run counterparts, especially if the failure rate of contraception is sufficiently large. Programs that increase access to contraception are found to decrease teen pregnancies in the short run but increase them in the long run.

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Sexual Activity-Related Outcomes After Human Papillomavirus Vaccination of 11- to 12-Year-Olds

Robert Bednarczyk et al.
Pediatrics, forthcoming

Objective: Previous surveys on hypothesized sexual activity changes after human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination may be subject to self-response biases. To date, no studies measured clinical markers of sexual activity after HPV vaccination. This study evaluated sexual activity-related clinical outcomes after adolescent vaccination.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study utilizing longitudinal electronic data from a large managed care organization. Girls enrolled in the managed care organization, aged 11 through 12 years between July 2006 and December 2007, were classified by adolescent vaccine (HPV; tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis, adsorbed; quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate) receipt. Outcomes (pregnancy/sexually transmitted infection testing or diagnosis; contraceptive counseling) were assessed through December 31, 2010, providing up to 3 years of follow-up. Incidence rate ratios comparing vaccination categories were estimated with multivariate Poisson regression, adjusting for health care-seeking behavior and demographic characteristics.

Results: The cohort included 1398 girls (493 HPV vaccine-exposed; 905 HPV vaccine-unexposed). Risk of the composite outcome (any pregnancy/sexually transmitted infection testing or diagnosis or contraceptive counseling) was not significantly elevated in HPV vaccine-exposed girls relative to HPV vaccine-unexposed girls (adjusted incidence rate ratio: 1.29, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.92 to1.80; incidence rate difference: 1.6/100 person-years; 95% CI: -0.03 to 3.24). Incidence rate difference for Chlamydia infection (0.06/100 person-years [95% CI: -0.30 to 0.18]) and pregnancy diagnoses (0.07/100 person-years [95% CI: -0.20 to 0.35]), indicating little clinically meaningful absolute risk differences.

Conclusions: HPV vaccination in the recommended ages was not associated with increased sexual activity-related outcome rates.

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What's Love Got to Do With It? Sex in a Female Maximum-Security Prison

Tomer Einat & Gila Chen
Prison Journal, December 2012, Pages 484-505

Abstract:
This study presents Israeli female inmates' attitudes toward same-sex sexual relationships in prison and incentives to participation. The major findings are (a) conflict exists between the prevalence of same-sex sexual relationships among Israeli female inmates and prisoner negative attitudes toward them, (b) nearly all same-sex sexual relationships among shorter-term female inmates are based on economic exploitation and other benefits, and (c) most Jewish and Muslim female prisoners express negative attitudes toward same-sex sexual relationships in prison but, at the same time, participate in them. Unlike most female prisons in the Western world, the single women's prison facility in Israel lacks pseudofamily networks.

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Effect of Sexual Coercion Proclivity and Cognitive Priming on Sexual Aggression in the Laboratory

Lindsey Thomas & Boris Gorzalka
Journal of Sex Research, forthcoming

Abstract:
This research follows from the "rape proclivity" literature to evaluate whether proclivity actually predicts sexual coercion. One hundred forty-two heterosexual males attending a Canadian university participated. Participants completed the sexual coercion proclivity questionnaire packet to determine high or low sexual coercion proclivity, and were randomly assigned to complete either an innocuous or a sexually aggressive cognitive priming task. Sexual coercion was operationalized by having men read increasingly graphic sexual material to an increasingly uncomfortable confederate. Regardless of condition, high sexual coercion proclivity males were more likely to engage in sexual coercion than low sexual coercion proclivity males. When the effects of discomfort were controlled, a significant interaction emerged between sexual coercion proclivity and the priming condition on sexual coercion. Although engaging in significantly less sexual coercion than the high sexual coercion proclivity males when assigned to the innocuous cognitive priming task, the low sexual coercion proclivity males assigned to the sexually aggressive cognitive priming task were indistinguishable from the high sexual coercion proclivity group. The nature of this relationship differed for Caucasian and Chinese men. These findings suggest that even those not previously inclined toward sexual coercion can do so under opportunistic circumstances, following an increase in discomfort associated with exposure to and involvement with sexually aggressive material. The prevention implications associated with this are discussed.

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Seasonal Variation in Internet Keyword Searches: A Proxy Assessment of Sex Mating Behaviors

Patrick Markey & Charlotte Markey
Archives of Sexual Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
The current study investigated seasonal variation in internet searches regarding sex and mating behaviors. Harmonic analyses were used to examine the seasonal trends of Google keyword searches during the past 5 years for topics related to pornography, prostitution, and mate-seeking. Results indicated a consistent 6-month harmonic cycle with the peaks of keyword searches related to sex and mating behaviors occurring most frequently during winter and early summer. Such results compliment past research that has found similar seasonal trends of births, sexually transmitted infections, condom sales, and abortions.

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Plastic Surgery: Investment in Human Capital or Consumption?

Soohyung Lee & Keunkwan Ryu
Journal of Human Capital, September 2012, Pages 224-250

Abstract:
Beauty has been shown to be valuable in many markets and supposedly can be improved through plastic surgery. This raises the question of how effective plastic surgery is in improving a person's beauty and economic outcomes. We find empirical evidence that while people improve their facial beauty through plastic surgery, the associated monetary benefits from beauty premiums in labor and marriage markets are not high enough for most men and women to recover the surgery costs. This finding suggests that plastic surgery may be justified in terms of consumption rather than as investment in human capital.

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Sexual imprinting on facial traits of opposite-sex parents in humans

Urszula Marcinkowska & Markus Rantala
Evolutionary Psychology, September 2012, Pages 621-630

Abstract:
Positive sexual imprinting is a process by which individuals use the phenotype of their opposite-sex parent as a template for acquiring mates. Recent studies in humans have concluded that an imprinting-like mechanism influences human mate choice in facial traits. However, some of the previous studies have had methodological problems or flaws which might have invalidated or led to an overgeneralization of the original interpretation of their results. In this study, 70 heterosexual adults were used to test if their partners resembled facially their opposite-sex parent as the sexual imprinting hypothesis predicts. Judges assessed the subjective facial similarity between each participant's partner and their parent. We found that there was no perceived facial similarity between women's partners and their fathers. However, men tended to pair more often with women that were perceived as resembling the men's own mothers. In contrast to previous studies, the quality of the relationship between participants and their parents did not predict the level of facial resemblance between the participant's spouse and their parent.

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Preferred Female Body Proportions Among Child-Free Men

Christopher Burris & Armand Munteanu
Archives of Sexual Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
Based on conceptual extrapolations from sociobiological models concerning the significance of secondary sex characteristics as markers of a female's capacity to produce and nurture offspring, we reasoned that men's greater unwillingness to reproduce would be linked to preference for a female body type characterized by the relative absence of such markers. Heterosexual undergraduate men (N = 67) indicated their ideal (most arousing) female body type on-line by means of an adjustable female figure. As expected, the desire to remain childfree was linked to erotic preference for a combination of smaller breasts and larger waist-to-hip ratio. Additional research into individual factors that map onto variations in the preferred body proportions of erotic targets is thus encouraged.

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Women's use of red clothing as a sexual signal in intersexual interaction

Andrew Elliot, Tobias Greitemeyer & Adam Pazda
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Research on several non-human primate species has shown that females use red ornamentation as a sexual signal to attract male conspecifics. In the present research, we conducted two experiments designed to test an analogous use of red clothing by women in an intersexual interaction. In Experiment 1, women expecting to converse with an attractive man were more likely to choose to wear a red (versus green) shirt then women expecting to converse with an unattractive man or a woman of average attractiveness. In Experiment 2, women expecting to converse with an attractive man were more likely to choose to wear a red (versus blue) shirt than women expecting to converse with an attractive woman; red shirt choice was positively correlated with attractiveness and status perceptions in the former, but not the latter, case. These findings contribute to both the literature on female sexuality and that on color and behavior.

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Predictors of Extradyadic Sexual Involvement in Unmarried Opposite-Sex Relationships

Amanda Maddox Shaw et al.
Journal of Sex Research, forthcoming

Abstract:
Using a sample of unmarried individuals in opposite-sex romantic relationships that was representative of the United States (N = 933), the current study prospectively evaluated predictors of extradyadic sexual involvement (ESI) over 20 months (from 2007-2010). Data were collected with self-report questionnaires via U.S. mail. Participants were 18 to 35 years old, and 34.9% were male. Variables tested as predictors included involved-partner factors such as demographic characteristics, sexual history, and mental health, as well as relationship-related factors including communication, sexual dynamics, and aspects of commitment. Future ESI was significantly predicted by lower baseline relationship satisfaction, negative communication, aggression, lower dedication, absence of plans to marry, suspicion of partners' ESI, and partners' ESI. It was not predicted by sexual frequency, sexual dissatisfaction, or cohabitation status. Although more problems with alcohol use, more previous sex partners, and having parents who never married one another predicted future ESI, there were many involved-partner demographic factors that did not predict later ESI (e.g., gender, age, education, religiosity, having divorced parents, and having children). None of the results were moderated by gender. These results suggest that compared to demographic characteristics, relationship dynamics and negative interactions are more strongly predictive of future ESI. Implications for future research are discussed.

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Young Adults' Perceptions of Non-Forcible Sexual Activity: The Effects of Participant Gender, Respondent Gender, and Sexual Act

Sarah Koon-Magnin & Barry Ruback
Sex Roles, forthcoming

Abstract:
There is a gendered double standard for both sexual activity and criminal victimization, in that female sexual actors and victims are generally viewed more negatively than their male counterparts. In this study, 485 U.S. undergraduates at a large Northeastern university completed a questionnaire in which the gender of the victim and the nature of the non-forcible sexual act (sexual intercourse or oral sex) were experimentally manipulated. The provided scenarios depicted statutory rape situations, characterized by age discrepancies between the two parties. Respondents were asked to rate each of the parties on a series of questions to determine their level of condemnation for each of the parties involved. We hypothesized the existence of a sexual double standard, such that female actors would be more condemned than males. Repeated measures ANOVA indicated that respondents were more condemning of female than male victims, regardless of which act was depicted. Furthermore, male respondents were more condemning of a female perpetrator of statutory rape than of her male victim, and also more condemning of a female victim than of her male perpetrator, whereas female respondents did not differentiate between the victim and perpetrator, regardless of the depicted victim gender or sexual act. That is, whether she was depicted as the victim or perpetrator of the act, the female was more condemned than her male counterpart. Overall, female respondents were more condemning than male respondents, regardless of which act was depicted. These findings suggest the presence of a sexual double standard in perceptions of statutory rape.

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How conception risk affects competition and cooperation with attractive women and men

Margery Lucas & Elissa Koff
Evolution and Human Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
We investigated competition and cooperation for resources across the menstrual cycle in the context of bargaining games. Although bargaining has been studied within an evolutionary framework, little attention has been paid specifically to the role of mating motives in economic behavior. To investigate how motives related to reproductive success affect bargaining, participants at high or low risk for conception or who were on oral contraceptives played ultimatum and dictator games with partners who varied in sex and facial attractiveness. In ultimatum games, women in the fertile phase were more competitive over resources with attractive women than with less attractive women. Intrasexual competition was not observed in dictator games. Women were more cooperative with attractive men than with less attractive men in both games, regardless of fertility status. Low fertility women were more cooperative with attractive members than with less attractive members of both sexes in both games. Results support the view that, during periods of high fertility, when women are most intrasexually competitive for mates, withholding resources from potential rivals would enable women to gain the means to enhance their attractiveness and weaken competitors' abilities to do the same at a time when relative advantages in appearance are most crucial to reproductive success. The lack of a fertility effect for cooperation with potential mates supports the view that displays of generosity accrue benefits for women across the cycle in their efforts to attract men who will invest in relationships.

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Striving for Pleasure Without Fear: Short-Term Effects of Reading a Women's Magazine on Women's Sexual Attitudes

Janna Kim & Monique Ward
Psychology of Women Quarterly, September 2012, Pages 326-336

Abstract:
Contemporary women's magazines are replete with scripts about sexual relationships and sexual roles for women. Our study used an experimental design to assess whether short-term exposure to a women's magazine affected young women's endorsement of sexual scripts commonly found in this genre, including scripts framing sexual intercourse as risky and portraying women's sexual assertiveness as serving men's sexual fantasies or women's own sexual desires. Undergraduate women (N = 160) were randomly assigned in groups to read articles either depicting scripts about sexual relationships in a popular women's magazine (experimental) or containing no scripts about sexual relationships in a general entertainment magazine (control). Compared to women in the control group, women who were briefly exposed to a women's magazine were less likely to believe that sexual intercourse is a risky activity and more likely to believe that women should be assertive in prioritizing their sexual desire for their own sake, but not for a male partner's. Individual and cultural differences in women's acceptance of magazines' sexual scripts also emerged based on factors such as regular frequency of magazine reading, level of sexual experience, and ethnic background. Our results suggest that the complex and sometimes conflicting representations of female sexuality proliferating in the mass media and popular culture could potentially have both empowering and problematic effects on women's developing sexual identities.

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U.S. Males and Pornography, 1973-2010: Consumption, Predictors, Correlates

Paul Wright
Journal of Sex Research, forthcoming

Abstract:
Although both storied and extensive, social scientific research on the effects of pornography consumption on males has primarily focused on testing the feminist contention that pornography contributes to sexual aggression against females. Other parties have expressed concern about males' use of pornography, however. "Moralists" (Linz & Malamuth, 1993) have argued that pornography promotes a permissive approach to sexual relations. Public health researchers have hypothesized that pornography encourages epidemiologically risky sexual behavior. This study used cross-sectional General Social Survey data gathered between 1973 and 2010 to assess these claims for empirical support. In line with moralists' contentions, pornography consumption was associated with having more positive attitudes toward teenage sex, adult premarital sex, and extramarital sex. Pornography consumption was also positively related to actually engaging in extramarital sex. In line with public health researchers' concerns, pornography consumption was associated with having more sexual partners and engaging in paid sex behavior. Additional longitudinal and experimental research is needed to determine the directionality of these associations and to rule out possible third-variable confounds, such as erotophilia or hypersexuality. Regarding consumption, the percentage of adult U.S. males who consume pornography appears to have increased only slightly over time.

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The labor market return to an attractive face: Evidence from a field experiment

Florencia López Bóo, Martín Rossi & Sergio Urzúa
Economics Letters, forthcoming

Abstract:
We design a field experiment to study if people with less attractive faces are less likely to be contacted after submitting a resume. We find that attractive people receive 36% more responses (callbacks) than unattractive people.

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An ERP Study on Decisions between Attractive Females and Money

Jianmin Zeng, Yujiao Wang & Qinglin Zhang
PLoS ONE, October 2012

Abstract:
To investigate the neural processes of decision-makings between attractive females and money, we recorded 18 male participants' brain event-related potentials (ERPs) when they performed a novel task of deciding between viewing an attractive female's fuzzy picture in clear and gaining a certain amount of money. Two types of attractive females were included: sexy females and beautiful females. Several new electrophysiological discoveries were obtained as following. First, the beautiful females vs. money task (task B) elicited a larger positive ERP deflection (P2) than the sexy females vs. money task (task S) between 290 and 340 ms, and this probably related to the perception matching process between a visual input and an internal representation or expectation. Second, task S evoked greater negative ERP waves (N2) than task B during the time window of 340-390 ms, and this might relate to response conflict and cognitive monitoring for impulsive tendency. Third, the ERP positivity in task S was larger than task B in the time interval of 550-1000 ms, reflecting that sexy female images may have higher decision value for males than beautiful female images. Fourth, compared with choosing to gain money, choosing to view an attractive female evoked a larger late positive component (LPC) during the same time window, possibly because attractive females are more direct and evolutionarily earlier rewards for males than money amounts.

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Shifts in Masculinity Preferences Across the Menstrual Cycle: Still Not There

Christine Harris
Sex Roles, forthcoming

Abstract:
Harris (2011) failed to find support for the popular hypothesis that women are attracted to masculine-faced men when conception is likely but attracted to feminine-faced men during other menstrual cycle phases. In response, DeBruine et al. (2010) wrote a commentary criticizing Harris theoretical analysis and data (e.g., sample age). The current paper addresses those criticisms with new data analysis, additional literature review, and logical arguments. Harris' results are not attributable to her sample's age; no preference shift was found for the subsample of women under 30 years old and no hint of an interaction existed between participant age group and menstrual cycle phase. This work also revisits the questionable assumptions inherent in the cycle shift hypothesis and reviews literature that suggests such assumptions are not tenable.

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Secondary Sexual Characteristics in Boys: Data From the Pediatric Research in Office Settings Network

Marcia Herman-Giddens et al.
Pediatrics, forthcoming

Background: Data from racially and ethnically diverse US boys are needed to determine ages of onset of secondary sexual characteristics and examine secular trends. Current international studies suggest earlier puberty in boys than previous studies, following recent trend in girls.

Methods: Two hundred and twelve practitioners collected Tanner stage and testicular volume data on 4131 boys seen for well-child care in 144 pediatric offices across the United States. Data were analyzed for prevalence and mean ages of onset of sexual maturity markers.

Results: Mean ages for onset of Tanner 2 genital development for non-Hispanic white, African American, and Hispanic boys were 10.14, 9.14, and 10.04 years and for stage 2 pubic hair, 11.47, 10.25, and 11.43 years respectively. Mean years for achieving testicular volumes of ≥3 mL were 9.95 for white, 9.71 for African American, and 9.63 for Hispanic boys; and for ≥4 mL were 11.46, 11.75, and 11.29 respectively. African American boys showed earlier (P < .0001) mean ages for stage 2 to 4 genital development and stage 2 to 4 pubic hair than white and Hispanic boys. No statistical differences were observed between white and Hispanic boys.

Conclusions: Observed mean ages of beginning genital and pubic hair growth and early testicular volumes were 6 months to 2 years earlier than in past studies, depending on the characteristic and race/ethnicity. The causes and public health implications of this apparent shift in US boys to a lower age of onset for the development of secondary sexual characteristics in US boys needs further exploration.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM