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Help us improve your experience by providing feedback on this. Psychologists have long played a major role at the Kinsey Institute. Inwomen students at Indiana University asked for a class for students who were engaged or married. They got more than they asked for: They helped launch the field of sexuality research. The university asked zoology professor Alfred C. Kinsey, ScD, to coordinate a class on sexuality, reproduction, contraception and similar topics. In preparing for the class, he discovered that the scientific literature on human sexual behavior was sorely lacking. There were few studies, and most were based on small s of patients or were judgmental in tone.

In response, Kinsey set out to create his own data. In the years that followed, he conducted face-to-face interviews with almost 8, people about their sex lives, with his colleagues collecting another 10, sexual histories. Today, psychologists at what is now called the Kinsey Institute are conducting research that is far different from Kinsey's project of creating a taxonomy of human sexual behavior. Research on how sexual behavior and the menstrual cycle interact to affect the human immune system, for example, could have implications for how to time vaccinations for maximum efficacy and how to schedule cardiology visits for the most accurate test.

Another researcher offers study participants "condom buffets" so men can find the most comfortable fit, which could improve condom usage and reduce HIV infections. Another project could help identify sexually aggressive men and inform future interventions. Sanders, PhD, who ed the institute in and has twice served as its interim director.

The Kinsey Institute is unique, says Sanders. While there are psychologists who run sex research labs and even loose affiliations of sex researchers based at universities, "I don't think there are really other institutes like this one that have active scientific research programs and also maintain collections of books, art and artifacts for Women wants sex Harrodsburg Indiana use," she says. Kinsey began his career catag millions of gall wasps before shifting his taxonomic interest to humans. Inhe established what was then called the Institute for Sex Research, a nonprofit organization closely affiliated with Indiana University in Bloomington.

Originally deed to provide a confidential repository for the interview data from Kinsey's studies, the institute also continued to conduct research. InKinsey published his groundbreaking — and controversial — "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male," which became a surprise bestseller. Before Kinsey, most of the people who conducted sex research were physicians or psychologists who used their patients as research participants, says historian Donna J. Kinsey's volumes changed that. And while Kinsey's work has been criticized for including prisoners, homosexuals, prostitutes and anyone else willing to be interviewed, the books also changed the way Americans thought about sex, says Drucker.

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The volume on male behavior, for example, estimated that approximately half of American men had extramarital sex and that 37 percent had had a same-sex experience leading to orgasm. Kinsey's research also gave birth to the idea that 10 percent of the male population is primarily homosexual. Although that finding has never been replicated by other researchers and other studies have found a much lower percentage, the figure has taken on a life of its own.

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The volume on female behavior was equally groundbreaking, says Drucker. In it, Kinsey debunked the idea of the vaginal orgasm, a finding later confirmed by sex researchers Virginia Johnson and William Masters, MD. The book also revealed that more than a quarter of women had had extramarital sex by the time they reached their 40s. Now led by biologist Sue Carter, PhD, the institute is broadening its focus to incorporate the science of love and relationships into its mission. In addition to maintaining the research archives — which include materials from every continent as well as the Alfred Kinsey and Masters and Johnson archives — the institute conducts research, trains researchers and shares information with the public via a sex information site called Kinsey Confidential.

Indiana University pays most of the institute's salary expenses, with other support coming from grants, gifts and other sources. Psychologists have played a key role since the institute's early days. Clinical psychologist Wardell Pomeroy, PhD, was the first person Kinsey trained in his method of collecting sexual histories, for example. And several psychologists have led the institute throughout the years.

These days, several psychologists Women wants sex Harrodsburg Indiana still exploring questions of human sexual behavior at Kinsey. Sanders's research focuses on the barriers that keep people from using condoms effectively, especially an often-overlooked factor: condom-related arousal problems.

In a study of young, heterosexual men published in AIDS and Behavior infor example, she and colleagues found that condom-associated erection problems — often caused by poorly fitting condoms — can become chronic and decrease motivation to use condoms. That research program could help produce more accurate data about condom use, says Sanders. Since condom-related erection problems, condom-related discomfort or pain in female partners and other factors may cause men to put condoms on late in a sexual encounter or take them off mid-way through, researchers who simply ask whether a couple uses condoms aren't getting the whole picture.

Sanders and her colleagues are now developing interventions to increase condom use. The institute's Homework Intervention Strategy gives men what Sanders calls a "buffet" of condoms of various types plus lubricants to try out without the pressure of a partner.

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The intervention appears to work. In a recent pilot study published in in the Journal of American College Healthfor example, Sanders and colleagues found that the intervention reduced unprotected sex among young men who have sex with men and increased their motivation to use condoms Women wants sex Harrodsburg Indiana. An emerging research area is sexual coercion and aggression, says psychologist Julia R.

Heiman, PhD, who directed the institute for a decade and is now a senior research fellow. It's not just a matter of looking at what happens to women who are victims, says Heiman. Peterson, PhD, now an associate professor of psychological sciences at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Heiman is examining the other side of the equation — what makes men more likely to be sexually aggressive. In a study published last year in Aggressive BehaviorHeiman and colleagues exposed both nonincarcerated sexually aggressive men and nonaggressive men to videos with neutral, positive and negative imagery.

The neutral video was a documentary about oceans, the negative videos were either an anxiety-inducing clip from "The Silence of the Lambs" or a sadness-inducing clip from "Sophie's Choice" and the positive video was a "positive affect-inducing" clip from "The Natural. This hyporeactivity, Heiman and her co-authors explain, has been commonly found to be associated with psychopathic traits. These physiological s, combined with other specific measures of sexual and interpersonal reactivity, could eventually help clinicians identify and intervene with boys and men at risk of being sexually aggressive, say the researchers.

Psychologist Tierney Lorenz, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at the institute, focuses on sexual activity's impact on immune system functioning. In a article published in the Journal of Sexual Medicinefor example, Lorenz and psychologist Sari van Anders, PhD, of the University of Michigan found that higher rates of partnered sexual activity were associated with lowered immunity in women with depression.

Now Lorenz and her colleagues are exploring the interaction of sex, menstrual cycles and immune functioning in healthy women. work has shown that the body ratchets down the immune response around ovulation. Lorenz and her colleagues have found that sexual activity intensifies the effect. Sexually active women have a greater change in immune function than their sexually abstinent counterparts, says Lorenz, adding that frequency of sexual activity seems to be driving the change. The findings have implications for other aspects of health, says Lorenz.

While the changes are beneficial from an evolutionary standpoint, she says, they may also create a window of opportunity for sexually transmitted infections. The findings could also help clinicians find the best time to administer vaccines. Plus, suppression of C-reactive protein — a biomarker that physicians use to predict a patient's risk of developing heart disease — could throw off cardiology diagnoses. Kinsey researchers' work extends beyond the purely sexual.

Psychologist Amanda Gesselman, PhD, for example, focuses on couples and would-be couples. As a postdoctoral fellow at the institute, she helps analyze the data from Kinsey's annual Match. Data from the survey of almost 6, singles are still being analyzed, but some intriguing findings have already emerged. For one, says Gesselman, the survey revealed that people who use emojis in their texts get more dates and have more sex. Singles are using this new form of nonverbal communication to give their messages more personality, express their feelings and communicate more quickly and easily than writing a full-fledged message, the survey found.

And using technology to express thoughts and emotions was associated with certain face-to-face dating behaviors. Fifty-two percent of emoji-users in the study had at least one first date incompared with just 27 percent who never used them. Emoji-users were also more sexually active, with 54 percent reporting sexual activity in compared with 31 percent of singles who don't use emojis. The disparity was even greater for younger singles.

Among women in their 20s, 30s and 40s, for example, emoji-users were twice as likely to report having had sex at least once a month in than those who didn't take advantage of emojis. What's Women wants sex Harrodsburg Indiana interesting, Gesselman says, is the survey's inclusion of older daters, an often-overlooked population. The survey revealed that 34 percent of single Americans over 50 years old have dated someone they met online. Twenty-two percent of them have been on a date with someone they met through Tinder or another dating app.

While the of older Americans using technology to find partners is higher than researchers ly thought, says Gesselman, they're approaching the process more skeptically and researching their would-be dates more intensively beforehand. For Gesselman, who is dually appointed at Kinsey and the Fairbanks School of Public Health at Indiana University—Purdue University Indianapolis, the focus on applicability among her interdisciplinary colleagues is one of the best parts of the job. up now ». By Rebecca A.

Clay OctoberVol 46, No. Cite this. Clay, R. Sex research at the Kinsey Institute. Monitor on Psychology46 9.

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