How Common is Gestational Surrogacy?

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West arrive at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards in New York (The Huffington Post)

FILE PHOTO – Kim Kardashian and Kanye West arrive at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards in New York, U.S., August 28, 2016. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/File Photo

Last month, reality TV personality Kim Kardashian West and her husband Kanye West announced the birth of their third child. The couple’s daughter Chicago was carried via a gestational surrogate. She was created from a fertilized egg taken from Kardashian West, and had no genetic tie to the surrogate.

How common is gestational surrogacy?

It’s not that common, but it’s difficult to nail down exact numbers. The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) reported 1.5K+ babies born from gestational surrogates in 2011, up from 1.3K+ babies born via the method in 2009. Another source reports 1.4K+ babies born via gestational surrogacy.

It’s difficult to pin down an actual number, because some cases of gestational surrogacy may not reported. It’s also difficult to tell when the sample size is so small.

As the procedure becomes more widely available, we’ll be able to see how common gestational surrogacy really is.

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GLAAD Reports 11% Increase in LGBTQ Discrimination in 2017

Rainbow Flag (Sauk Valley)

Rainbow Flag (Sauk Valley)

It’s no secret that the LGBTQ community has faced discrimination throughout history. And it looked like that things were getting better (to rip from Dan Savage). But the data tells a different story.

LGBT organization GLAAD recently released the results from its Accelerating Acceptance study at the World Economic Forum. GLAAD has put out this study every year since 2014 to measure attitudes towards people who identify as LGBTQ. This year’s study polled 2.1K+ people, and found that, we’re not making progress as one might reasonably expect. We’re actually backsliding.

The study found that non-LGBTQ people have become more uncomfortable in everyday situations where they might interact with members of the LGBTQ community. Situations included “having LGBT members at my place of worship” and “seeing a same-sex couple holding hands.” The percentage of respondents reporting discomfort ticked upwards at least two percentage points year-over-year (2016 vs. 2017) in each category.

Non-LGBT people are also shying away from calling themselves allies: The term dropped 2% in preference year-over-year. “Detached supporters” (defined as non-LGBT people whose comfort level depended on the situation) gained 4% in popularity.

LGBT people also reported more discrimination in 2017, leading to an 11% increase in reported harassment from 2016. It doesn’t take a genius to draw parallels between this stat and the kind of person who currently occupies the Oval Office.

Here’s where it gets interesting: Despite the decreases in the numbers of non-LGBT people reporting being comfortable around the LGBT community, the reported support for equal rights for LGBT people held steady year-over-year at 79%.

One thing that’s unclear is the methodology used: Are these results self-reported, or were respondents selected by another method? And did people lie about supporting equal rights, but tell the truth everywhere else? I’d love to know this.

This study is very disheartening. We still have a long way to go until it truly gets better.

 

 

How Many People Check Their Phones During Sex?

Woman texting in bed (Khurki)

Woman texting in bed (Khurki)

I don’t know about you, but I was taught not to be rude. In any situation (if I can help it). And that respect extends to my bedroom, and whatever partner is lucky enough to occupy it with me for that time.

This includes minimizing distractions so I can concentrate on getting it on and getting off. And in our super-connected state, what could be more distracting than your phone? Turns out others were also curious about that, and now there are, not one, but two, studies that exist on the topic.

A 2013 study done in England surveyed 1.7K+ men and women. The results found that 62% of women and 48% of men had interrupted sex to play with their phone. It broke down into specifics: Answering a call was 34% of the time, answering a text was 24%, and answering an email comprised 22%. Weirdly, the results didn’t break down the specifics by gender.

Oh yeah, and 34% of respondents claimed to be OK with the fact that their partner had turned their attention to their phone during the act. Sure, sounds legit. (I’d be mad as hell, but that’s just me.)

Also, we don’t know the ages of the respondents. I’d be tempted to speculate that the people who can’t leave their phones alone during sex would be of the millennial cohort (since my generation’s phones are practically appendages), but of course I can’t be certain.

But wait, there’s more!

Earlier this year, researchers at the University of Virginia presented findings focused on how our phones are distracting us from everything. Including, yes, sex.

(Side note: the scientists presented said research at the aptly-named Association for Computing Machinery’s Human-Computer Interaction conference. Who knew one existed?!)

Anyway, here’s an interesting discrepancy: only 10% of people admitted picking up their phones during sex. That’s a large gap between the 48-62% that the English study claimed. I don’t know whether this boils down to different social/sexual/technological mores across the pond, but that’s a huge gap in self-reporting.

Either way, it doesn’t matter. Come on, using your phone during sex is just inexcusable. Give your partner your full attention!

If you’re one of those people, do your current/future partners a favor and put that shit on airplane mode when you’re getting down.

How Does Marijuana Affect Sex?

Medical marijuana grows, May 15, 2013, at the River Rock Medical Marijuana Center's natural light cultivation site in Denver. (Anthony Souffle/Chicago Tribune/MCT)

Medical marijuana grows, May 15, 2013, at the River Rock Medical Marijuana Center’s natural light cultivation site in Denver. (Anthony Souffle/Chicago Tribune/MCT)

Happy Friday! Some people have strong stances on whether or not they enjoy having sex while on marijuana or not. This makes sense anecdotally, but what do the numbers say?

Well, the data is split too. In the studies done on how marijuana affects sex (and there aren’t many), respondents are split on whether the drug enhances, inhibits or doesn’t affect fornication at all.

Studies have been done in the U.S. in the 1970s and 1980s, and in Canada during the last decade five years apart. The first study centered on hormone suppression by way of the drug, but failed to find any results. The 1980s study found that most respondents found using marijuana enhanced sex, though for other it had an adverse or negative effect on the act. Both of the two Canadian studies found that using marijuana enhanced sex for around half, or just over, the respondents.

More research is needed, especially since each of these studies had minuscule sample sizes (sample sizes have thus far ranged from 41 to 104 subjects) and so cannot be projected to the general population. We also don’t know the methodology used to find these results.

Trojan 2014 Sexual Health Report Card: By The Numbers

Trojan 2014 Sexual Health Report Card (via Twitter)

Trojan 2014 Sexual Health Report Card (via Twitter)

Earlier this year, Trojan (the condom brand, duh) released its 2014 Sexual Health Report Card. Now in its ninth year, the Report Card measures sexual health resources for 140 colleges selected from the Bowl Championship Series. Scoring categories include student health centers’ access to quality information, STI and HIV testing and condom and contraceptive availability, among other points.

This year, PAC-12 school Oregon State wrested the #1 spot from Princeton University. As the Report Card notes, the top spot has typically vacillated between the Ivy League and the Big Ten. The PAC-12 also took spots #4 (University of Arizona) and #5 (Stanford) in the top 10.

I wanted to see if there were any discernible patterns within the data, so I crunched some numbers and played with some pivot tables.

By College Conference:

Trojan Sexual Health Report Card 2014: College Conferences

Trojan Sexual Health Report Card 2014: College Conferences

The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) took the top spot for conferences with 15 entries, and the Southeastern Conference (SEC) came in tied second with the Big Ten with 14 entries each. The Mid-American and PAC-12 conferences each have 12. Conference USA boasts 11 schools, and the American, Big 12 and Mountain West schools each have 10 schools.

The ACC, SEC and Ivy League all had each of its schools place within the rankings.

 

By School Type:

Trojan Sexual Health Report Card 2014: School Type

Trojan Sexual Health Report Card 2014: School Type

Over 76% of ranked schools were public schools, and 22% of schools were private. Ivies comprised over 25% of private schools listed.

Virginia Tech was categorized as public and military, and University of Pittsburgh was public and private.

 

By State:

Trojan Sexual Health Report Card 2014: States

Trojan Sexual Health Report Card 2014: States

Texas boasts 11 schools ranked, while Ohio has eight schools for second place. California and Florida tie with seven schools each. Louisiana has six, and Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York and North Carolina each have five schools represented.

On the other end of the scale, several states are one-hit wonders: Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Washington D.C., and Wyoming.

By Region:

Trojan Sexual Health Report Card 2014: Region

Trojan Sexual Health Report Card 2014: Region

Here’s something interesting: The South makes up 42%+ of the report’s regional breakdown. I didn’t expect that considering the region’s traditionally rocky relationship with sex education.

By contrast, the Northeast comprises only 14%+.

 

Past Winners:

In the report card’s nine years of age, Ivy League schools have taken the crown four times: Yale (2006, inaugural year), Columbia (2010 and 2011), and Princeton (2013).

Columbia and Princeton have previously topped the list despite not having school-wide Sex Weeks.

Some previous winners have precipitously descended the list since their banner year. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities made #1 in 2007, but has since slid to #24, a rate of 2.8+ spots per year. University of South Carolina-Columbia topped the list in 2009, and is now 29, sliding down the list at a much faster 5+ spots a year. Yale descended to #44 this year, sliding the fastest at 5.3+ spots per year.

 

Interesting Outliers:

Despite Trojan’s claim to show schools from all 50 states in their report, Alaska is conspicuously absent.

Only one HBCU (historically black college or university) made the cut: Savannah State University in Savannah, Georgia. The school came in at #133. Savannah State has made the list before, ranking #134 in 2013.

Indiana University-Bloomington checks in at #36. This wouldn’t be weird except the university houses the Kinsey Institute. You’d think sexual health would be a priority considering it’s apparently lucrative research.

 

Methodology:

Trojan outlined the criteria they look for within the report (and even leave room for extra credit), and they’ve ranked schools on a 4.0 scale before. I’d like to learn more transparency about how the different factors were selected and weighted in terms of priority.

One weird thing was that the University of Alabama was listed twice, ranked both #30 and #120. This was confusing and will need to be corrected for future report cards.

 

Final Thoughts:

I’d love to see more diversity of school represented. It’d be great to see other HBCUs (Spelman, Morehouse, etc.) and art schools (Pratt Institute, RISD, etc.). The National Center for Education Statistics puts the number of four-year colleges at 2.8K+ (as of 2010-2011), and it’d be fantastic to see a wider swath of schools surveyed.

 

 

#ThrowbackThursday: “Seinfeld” Undateable Conversation

"Seinfeld"'s Jerry and Elaine

“Seinfeld”‘s Jerry and Elaine

I’d forgotten about this apropos exchange from one of my favorite shows. It’s from Season 7’s episode “The Wink,” which first aired on Oct. 12, 1995.

Undateable bit from "Seinfeld" episode "The Wink"

Undateable bit from “Seinfeld” episode “The Wink”

Hmm, I have to question his methodology, which he’s not exactly being transparent about…

I wonder if the fictional Jerry Seinfeld would say that those numbers still hold true today, or have changed? Too bad we’ll never know.

Period Sex: Who’s Doing It?

Splattergore

Splattergore

“The Cut” published an article yesterday on period sex. While the overall excellent article was long on anecdotes, it lacked what I love: hard stats!

How many women are having period sex? It’s the thing we dread will ruin our steady dates and hot hookups, but some women have figured out that it doesn’t have to be that way.

In 2011, menstrual cup company Softcup released a survey that uncovered, among other things, how much a woman’s perdio affects her sex life. The survey found that 60% of all women are uncomfortable with period sex. It showed an age disparity: 70% of older women (ages 45-54) were uncomfortable, while only 51% of younger women (ages 18-34) were.

(I don’t know where women ages 35-44 disappeared to.)

It’s clear that the majority of women haven’t gotten into period sex. But based on the “NYMag” article, the men are having more fun than ever.