America has a gun violence problem. When there’s a shooting, we hear arguments debating the cause of senseless violence, whether gun control is effective, and the role, if any that mental illness plays. In truth, America’s gun violence problem is a cultural issue that is going to require multiple solutions. And while some common sense gun control measures, like banning assault weapons, may be easy to implement and effective, in reality, we currently don't know what works because we don't have the data to tell us. After facing another national tragedy in Parkland, Florida, our nation is once again scrambling around trying to figure out what we can do to keep our children safe. What we need is evidence-based solutions for gun violence prevention and intervention. But first, we need to lift the ban on funding for gun violence research. From 1986 to 1996, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) sponsored quality, peer-reviewed research on gun violence, but in 1996 Congress passed the Dickey Agreement which prevents the Center for Injury Prevention at the CDC, and all other agencies from the Department of Health and Human Services from using government funds that advocate or promote gun control. This bill has been included in every spending bill since 1996. To be clear, the CDC isn't banned from conducting research on gun violence, they just aren't provided with the funds or resources to sponsor it. Incidentally, the CDC also fired Mark Rosenberg, the director who at the time was identified as the person most closely associated with gun violence research which had a chilling effect on CDC employees.Read More
The many accusations against Harvey Weinstein are an opportunity for us to talk openly and honestly about sexual assault and harassment.
We've been conditioned to believe that rapists are strangers who hide behind bushes or underneath cars in parking lots, just lurking and waiting to assault women. Women are told to be ready and on the lookout! Be careful where you park, hold your keys in your hand with each key between your finger and be ready to attack! Look under your car, and in your back seat before you get in your car. Walk with a friend, park beneath a street light, pay attention, don't walk like a victim, if you are attacked, yell "fire" not "rape" otherwise, no one will respond, etc. etc. I've seen lists like this even on Facebook, shared multiple times as "reminders" to women to always be on the lookout for the stranger-monster lying in wait.Read More
The Women’s March on Washington last weekend, followed by the annual Right to Life demonstration this past week, highlighted for some the controversy of whether or not a feminist could be "Pro-life”. I’d like to examine the term pro-life, and consider what being “for life” really means. Below are some examples of ways that I think someone could demonstrate what it means to be pro-life:
Despite many allegations of sexual assault (including a released taped confession of predatory behavior), years of degrading and sexist remarks about women, and a platform that is not in the interest of women’s rights, some women still support Donald Trump for president.Read More
Most men don’t rape. But the men that do rape, tend to rape repeatedly. Lisak & Miller (2002) surveyed close to 2000 male students at a midsize urban commuter university and found that out of the 6% of the participants who admitted to attempted rape or sexual assault, 63% admitted to committing more than one rape, averaging six rapes per male. The repeat rapists in this study also admitted to committing other forms of interpersonal violence, which is typical of many sex offenders.
In a just released position statement, the World Psychiatric Association stated that sexual orientation is innate, and calls for psychiatrists to take responsibility for advocating to reduce social inequality that is related to gender expression and sexual orientation.
To read full statement, click here.
One of the largest research studies on what makes couples happy and sexually satisfied in long term relationships is going to be published shortly. In this study, 39,000 heterosexual couples who are married or living together were surveyed. Here's a summary of some of the results:
- Couples who describe themselves as satisfied have sex more frequently than those couples who are not satisfied.
- Satisfied couples have sex on average one or more times per week.
- There were differences by gender on satisfaction:
- Men prioritize mood setting, sexual variety, and sexual communication.
- Women prioritize the frequency of orgasms, mood setting, and communication.
- Praising a partner for something he or she did in bed, being asked and asking for what you want, and sharing sexy emails and texts are the types of communication that both women and men in happy relationships valued.