It’s that time of year

With research centers on my “beat” such as the Center for Sexual Health Promotion in the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington and The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction, it’s not unusual for me to be writing about one sexuality discovery/insight or another.

Kinsey Reporter app imageBut this time of year, I just can’t keep up — and the media are giving our experts a run for their money, too!

Justin Garcia, assistant professor in gender studies and research scientist at The Kinsey Institute, can be seen Skyping with the Wall Street Journal about findings in Match.com’s fourth annual Singles in America study. Garcia also is a scientific adviser for the international dating site. He also spoke with the Wall Street Journal about dating choices.

Debby Herbenick, co-director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion, discussed with The New York Times how to talk with children/teens about sexuality and consent; she spoke with IU alum and Wall Street Journal columnist Elizabeth Bernstein for the article, “Even long-married happy couples ask, ‘How can we have sex more often?‘”

Herbenick’s work with George Mason University researcher Joshua Rosenberger has also received a lot of media attention recently, with Herbenick being quoted frequently about findings involving the role of love in sexual relations between men.

Researchers behind the Kinsey Reporter app have created a Valentine’s Day special, encouraging people to dish about their desires in a new survey created for the holiday. Read more here and in this news release.

Not to be outdone, I asked some of our experts for some tips to share with reporters, too. This media tipsheet includes insights for divorced parents to consider when they venture into dating again.

“We know that the process of divorce is not a one-time event,” said Jonathon Beckmeyer, an assistant professor at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington. “It starts well before parents separate, and it’s ongoing into the development of these new relationships for the now-separated parents — that’s all part of the process. And that process can negatively affect children.”

Beckmeyer offers suggestions that can help parents and kids navigate this tricky transition. He talks about the importance of effective communication, managing expectations and the need to go “slow and steady,” rather than rushing new relationships.

“It’s going to take years for the family to feel like a ‘family’ again,” he said. “So the more you’re able to build those relationships over time, the easier it will be for the children to adjust.”

The tipsheet also includes insights from Garcia into some of the findings from the Single in America study, which surveyed 5,329 men and women ages 21 to 70 plus.

He said the findings indicate singles are optimistic about love, celebrating diversity and focusing less on “outdated traditions.”

There are some obvious differences between the views of men and women (More men than women find kissing (85 percent of men vs. 70 percent of women), oral sex (39 percent of men vs. 7 percent of women) and sexual intercourse (37 percent of men vs. 8 percent women) to be appropriate on a first date). Overall, men and women are more alike than different when it comes to love and sex.

“The findings demonstrate that for a vast majority of the 111 million singles in America, across a wide range of demographics — gender, age, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity — dating, sex and love are an important part of their lives,” he said. “If we want to know how to promote and maintain healthy and successful romantic relationships, sexual behavior is an undeniable part of that. We must continue to talk openly and honestly about human sexuality, with all its ups and downs and wonderful variety.”

Now, back to writing about iron consumption, aging athletes, spouse-work-health issues, alcohol dependence, the male ego …

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