#Study

New Study Debunks Myth About Predators in Transgender Bathrooms

The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law has published a new study that debunks the “transgender predator” myth. This myth is the concern put forth by transphobic people that providing an equal access to public accommodations will lead to sexual assault and the loss of an expectation of private. In this study, researchers were unable to find any evidence that sexual predators take advantage of laws supporting transgender equality.

Anti-LGBTQ+ organizations such as the American Family Association were putting forth these claims, none of which could be confirmed. The lead researcher for this new study, Brian Barnett, discovered just how rare these instances are and said:

“We found only one instance, one, of a transgender perpetrator in an alleged sex crime in a changing room. Likewise, we found just one case where a man who, frankly, sounds like provocateur, allegedly entered a woman’s locker room without disguising his gender in any way and stated that a new local law expanding transgender bathroom access allowed him to be there.” -Barnett for a Huffington Post editorial

The conservative groups arguing against these equality laws have cited over 100 possible cases but the majority of these cases involve non-transgender men who are simply violating women’s spaces. Allowing access to these spaces for actual transgender people has no effect on the men who already intended to enter these spaces.

Currently, only 19 states and Washington D.C. that currently allow transgender people access to public accommodations. When covering this topic, CNN reached out to 20 law enforcement agencies in states with anti-discrimination policies and none reported any bathroom assaults after the policies took effect.

h/t: Huffington Post, CNN, The Hill

Study Finds That More Than 1% of 9-10 Year Olds Might Be LGBTQ+

 

JAMA Pediatrics recently published a new study that explored how children aged 9-10 felt about their sexuality and gender. Jerel Calzo and Aaron Blashill from San Diego State University used data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study ABCD. The ABCD is an initiative by the National Institute of Health that recruited 7500 children at ages 9-10 and will follow them into their young adulthood.

Data from ABCD was released earlier this year and gave a profile for the first 4519 participants in the study.

The results show that 0.2% of the participants said that they were bi or gay and that 0.1% said they were transgender. These children provided definite answers to the best of their knowledge.

The results for the children that were uncertain showed that another 0.7% said that they were “maybe” gay or bi and 0.4% said that they were “maybe” transgender.

The numbers for “yes” and “maybe” answers were added together since the researchers wanted to show “probable” numbers rather than definite numbers. When added together, 1.26% were found to probably be gay, bi, or transgender.

Out of all participants, only 23.8% of the 9 and 10 year olds said that they did not understand the question. This statistic shows that most kids (76.2%) that age already possess an understanding of what sexual orientation is, even if they are straight.

The study also surveyed the parents and found that 6.7% of their parents thought their child “might” be gay or bi while another 1.2% thought their child “might” be transgender.

On the study, Blashill from SDSU said:

“For so long, social scientists have assumed that there is no point in asking kids at this age about their sexual orientation, believing they do not have the cognitive ability to understand. This is the first study to actually ask children about their sexual orientation this young.”

h/t: lgbtqnation.com, CDC

Hostile Fights With Your Partner Could Make You Sick, Says New Survey

A new study says that fighting with our partners can cause repercussions to our health.

The study was conducted by Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center and led by Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, the director of the center’s Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research. Helping her was Michael Bailey, who works for the institute and The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Together, the two had the study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, according to Eureka Alert.

The study was conducted on 42 married couples, whether there were any same-sex couples included in that group was not detailed so we're guessing not.

Each couple was asked to privately discuss and hopefully resolve a conflict while being recorded for 20-minutes. These conflicts touched on topics such as money, in-laws, and more.

After each discussion, the couple’s video was watched to categorize their verbal and non-verbal behavior. Plus, the researchers tested the blood levels of participants before and after the fight.

The results showed that partners who were more hostile in behavior also had higher levels of a biomarker caused by leaky gut. This condition weakens the intestines and allows bacteria to enter the blood stream.

“Men and women who demonstrated more hostile behaviors during the observed discussions had higher levels of one biomarker for leaky gut — LPS-binding protein — than their mellower peers. Evidence of leaky gut was even greater in study participants who had particularly hostile interactions with their spouse and a history of depression or another mood disorder,” explains Eureka Alert.

“Marital stress is a particularly potent stress, because your partner is typically your primary support and in a troubled marriage your partner becomes your major source of stress,” Kiecolt-Glaser wrote.

It seems that more intense and hostile fighting between couples can cause wound healing to slow down and increase the risk of inflammation-related disease such as depression, heart disease, and diabetes.

While researchers are still investigating this link, they also gave tips on how to live healthier lives. They suggested healthier eating, probiotics, and calmer conversations with your partner.

h/t: Eureka Alert

New Vanderbilt University Study Says Gay Marriage Increases Gay And Bi Men's Access to Health

A new study conducted by Vanderbilt University found that same-sex marriage led to "significant increases" in gay and bi men's access to care and health insurance coverage.

The study, which was published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, was a combination of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System between the years of 2000 and 2016. 

But how did they know which households in the data belonged to same-sex couples? Well as Vanderbilt’s Research News reports, the CDC data didn’t ask respondents about their sexual orientation. As such, the Vanderbilt researchers deduced from earlier data that a percentage of adults in households of two were same-sex couples.

Christopher Carpenter, a professor of economics at Vanderbilt, led the research team consisting of researchers from several different departments like the department of health policy at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and the departments of economics at Vanderbilt. In addition, Carpenter was the lead author on the paper.

According to the Advocate, the data showed that a man in a same-sex household is 4.2 percent more likely to have health insurance and 7.3 percent more likely to have received an annual checkup.

As for women in same-sex households, there seemed to be no significant difference. That said, researchers say this is probably the fault of the data and its limitations.

Another surprise in the data was the fact that despite the increase in access to health insurance and health care, there were no effects to the actual health in the populations.

“For example, mental health was not improved, and there were no changes in negative health behaviors such as cigarette smoking or heavy drinking,” said co-author Gilbert Gonzales said. “That might mean that it’s too soon to see some of these changes, since legalized, same-sex marriage is a fairly recent phenomenon in the United States.”

While some of the data was limited, Carpenter says it was still incredibly important to collect and report on.

 “This is an important question to study, since recent research has shown that LGBT individuals often face barriers to accessing health services including lack of insurance, stigma, and discrimination, and, as a result, can experience poor health outcomes,” said Christopher Carpenter, “A very large body of research in economics and sociology demonstrates that marriage is protective for health for heterosexual individuals, but ours is the first to show that marriage policy has meaningful effects on health care access for sexual-minority men.”

The next step for these researchers is to analyze more comprehensive data to find out if there was any effect to health that couldn’t be found in this batch of data.

h/t: Vanderilt Reserach News, The Advocate

Missouri Professor With 3,600 Penis Pic Study Calls It Quits

Yesterday, we shared with you the story of Missouri State University professor Alicia Walker.

Walker launched a study on June 18 to research the relationship between penis size and self-esteem. Walker also hoped to then see how that affected other aspects of men’s lives like their social interaction and sexual activity.

In just the week and half since then, Walker has seen a lot of information coming in about the negative effects perceived penis size can have on self-esteem.

“I’ve spoken to men who have been suicidal because of their anxiety and unhappiness with their size or perceived size,” Walker told the New York Post. “We need to be talking about men’s body dysmorphia, and the way our society worships size and the way that worship impacts men.”

While the main part of the study focused on an online survey and interviews to gain a sense of the male participants’ perspectives, there was one other aspect to the study.

Walker asked the willing participants to send her pictures of their erect and flaccid penises. This was to make sure that the men were correctly measuring their equipment and not skewing the data.

While Alicia Walker originally hoped to receive photos from 3,600 men within the ages of 22 and older, she later decided to end the study early.

Walker’s reasoning for this sudden end to her research is due to the mass media coverage of the study. From Men’s Health and the New York Post to local news blogs like the Riverfront Times, many new sources covered the story of Alicia Walkers work and she feels this has compromised the study.

“I made this decision voluntarily,” Walker said in a university press release. “I continue to believe the relationship between penis size and self-esteem is an important site of scientific inquiry, but the public reaction to the project threatens the reliability of the survey responses. The reliability of the study as a whole has been compromised.”

But what happened to the few hundred penis photos Walker has already received? Well, Missouri State assured that all of the submitted photos were previously stored in a “secure research database” and have already been destroyed.

New Study Shows No Difference In Outcome of Children Raised By Gay Parents Or Straight Parents

A new study by Italian scientists says that the psychological adjustment in children of same-sex parents is the same for kids of heterosexual parents.

Professor Roberto Baiocco, PhD, and several of his colleagues from Sapienza University of Rome have conducted a survey to see the difference in how children grow up depending on whether their parents are gay men, lesbian women, or a straight couple.

The Study, titled With Same-Sex or Different-Sex Parents, Child Outcomes Linked to Family Functioning, was published by Wolters Kluwer and appears in the Journal of Development & Behavioral Pediatrics.

The study included 70 gay fathers who had children through surrogacy, 125 lesbian mothers who had children through donor insemination, and 195 heterosexual couples who had children through spontaneous conception. In addition, the children were between the ages of 3 to 11 years old.

After obtaining the participants, the scientists split them up into three groups which were categorized by “child characteristics.”

From there, parents were asked a series of questions based on their ability to act successfully as a parent (self-agency), extent of agreement/adjustment between parents, family functioning, and the child's psychological adjustment which the scientists defined as their “strengths and difficulties.”

The results of the study found that there was no major differences between the psychological adjustment of children in any of the groups of families, and scores were in the normal range for all.

In fact, the study found that children of same-sex parents had slightly fewer reported difficulties than children of heterosexual parents.

Plus, gay fathers especially showed some better indicators of family functioning than lesbian and straight couples. Professor Baiocco suggests that this may be because of the high level of commitment needed for gay men to become parents via surrogacy. He also noted that the gay fathers were older, economically better off, better educated, and had more stable relationships than the other two groups.

Lastly, Professor Baiocco and coauthors wanted to express that these results have special significance in Italy where same-sex couples cannot legally access assisted reproduction techniques.

"The present study warns policy-makers against making assumptions on the basis of sexual orientation about people who are more suited than others to be parents or about people who should or should not be denied access to fertility treatments."

Professor's "Penis Size" Study Seeks Intimate Pictures From 3,600 Men

One sociology teacher is trying to figure out how penis size affects several other aspects of a man’s life.

Alicia Walker is an assistant professor at Missouri State University, and she’s asking men to send her their dick pics. But don’t be alarmed, this is a professional request and for the sake of science.

"These are not sexy pictures," she said to the Springfield News-Leader. "These are clinical pictures."

Walker is conducting study on how penis size, and a man’s perception of his penis size, can affect other parts of his life like his physical health, mental health, sexual activity, condom usage, self-image, social interaction, and more.

"So far I'm hearing a lot of anxiety and a lot of low self-esteem related to size," she said before later adding, “It's serious. Some of them actually attempted suicide."

 

In order to keep track of her data, Walker is asking men if they will send her, and her student assistant, pictures of their penises. She wants the photos to make sure the men are correctly measuring themselves.

Walker hopes that at least 3,600 men (aged 22 or older) will fill out her online survey and upload the pictures. But, she also wants to make sure that the men feel comfortable doing so. That’s why she’s reaching out to men through hospitals, nightclubs, and an online portal.

"We are not recruiting locally. I don't want there to be anything dicey," she said, adding that she didn't want colleagues, friends and neighbors to feel pressure to participate. "You don't want there to be anything awkward."

As for Missouri State, they confirmed that they are aware of Walker’s research study, but firmly expressed that they are not funding it.

Missouri State also released the following statement:

"Academic freedom is a core component of a liberal arts university. As such, faculty members have broad discretion in their research choices. When students, staff and/or faculty conduct research at Missouri State University that involves human participants, they are required to submit an application to the Institutional Review Board."


Update 6/29/2018

Alicia Walker has announced the end of her study. More information can be read in this follow-up article here.

New Study Says That Transgender People's Brain's Work Like Those Of Their Preferred Gender Identity

A new study says that the brain waves of transgender people matches their gender identity and not their biological sex.

Belgian neurologist Julie Bakker of the University of Liege is in headlines because of new information she’s released.

Bakker conducted a study in which her team used MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) tests to examine the brains of participants. The brain was exposed to a steroid. Then, the gray and white matter was measured by using a technique called tensor imaging.

As for the participants, transgender men and women in their childhood and in their teens were tested. So too were cis-gender men and women of the same age (who acted as the controls).

The results found that 160 participants with gender dysphoria, the medical term for experiencing discomfort or distress because one’s biological sex does not fit their gender identity aka being transgender, had similar brain structures and neurological patterns as people of their aligning gender identity.

On top of that, the study found that those differences were detectable during childhood.

Bakker presented these findings at this years meeting of the annual European Society of Endocrinology gathering, according to the Telegraph.

While some may fear that this scientific finding will get in the way of a person’s right to choose over their gender identity, Bakker and her colleagues say this could open doors for new medical possibilities for transgender people.

For instance, when children feel that they are transgender, they either go through psychotherapy or take hormones to have puberty delayed until they are older and everyone’s sure it isn’t a phase.

This research could help make gender dysphoria detectable.

As Bakker said after the presentation:

 “Although more research is needed, we now have evidence that sexual differentiation of the brain differs in young people with GD, as they show functional brain characteristics that are typical of their desired gender.”

“We will then be better equipped to support these young people, instead of just sending them to a psychiatrist and hoping that their distress will disappear spontaneously.”

h/t: Telegraph

New Study On Relationships Says Gay Couples Breakup Less Often Than Lesbian Couples

A new study looking into what affects the end of relationships found that male same-sex couples were the least likely to break up.

The study titled Longitudinal Predictors of Relationship Dissolution Among Same-sex and Heterosexual Couples, which was published in Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, was written by Kimberly F. Balsam and Robert E. Wickham with Esther D. Rothblum co-authoring.

For the study, the researchers followed 515 couples in Vermont from 2002 to 2014 and kept records of how the relationships blossomed or deteriorated.

The results found that older age, longer relationship length, and better relationship quality were the factors that kept most relationships strong. In addition, higher education acted as a factor for some couples, most notably lesbian couples, though lesbians were more likely to breakup if they had a strong and social group of friends.

Not only did the study find that gay male couples typically stayed together more than other, but it also had other findings.

  • Female-female couples (29.3%) were twice as likely as male-male couples (14.5%) to terminate their relationship, compared to 18.6% of male-female couples.
  • For female-female couples,
    • Each added year of relationship length reduced the odds of a breakup by 13%;
    • Each year of age lowered the likelihood of a breakup by 4%;
    • Each year of increase in education reduced the odds by 16%;
    • Each unit of increase in relationship quality reduced the likelihood by 82%.
  • When looking at all couple types together,
    • Each year of relationship length reduced the odds of a breakup by 9%.
    • Each additional year of age lowered the likelihood of a breakup by 2%.
    • Each unit of increase in relationship quality reduced the risk by 61%.
    • There were no differences in dissolution rates between same-sex couples who had legalized their relationship and those who had not.
  • For all groups, lower income and whether or not couples had children did not affect the odds of a relationship ending.

This study is the first of its kind to compare same-sex and heterosexual couples over 12-years with a focus on breakups. In addition, it was done so over the time that gay marriage was legalized in the U.S.

As the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law reports:

“Other studies on heterosexual couples have found that women have higher standards for relationship quality than men,” said study author Esther Rothblum, a professor of women’s studies at San Diego State University and visiting scholar at the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. “We suspect that similar dynamics may be at play with the lesbian couples in our study, leading to the higher dissolution rate. At the same time, we found that older couples were less likely to break up, and having children had no impact on the break-up rates.”

“Our study is important not only for its findings but also because of its methodology. By following the same demographically-matched couples over a 12-year period, we identified both similarities and differences in relationship dissolution according to sexual orientation and gender,” said study author Kimberly Balsam, a clinical psychologist and psychology professor at Palo Alto University. “This kind of research is crucial in combating stereotypes about same-sex couples and can inform policy and program development to support healthy relationships for all couples. Intimate relationships are dynamic, and longitudinal designs allow us to capture these changes over time in a more nuanced way.”

Study Says Open Relationships Might Be Going Away Thanks To Gay Marriage

new study focusing on gay men’s thoughts around monogamy says that younger gay men are moving away from non-monogamous relationships.

The study (or rather, survey) was run by researchers and couple Lanz Lowen and Blake Spears. The two asked 832 gay men between the ages of 18 and 39-years old a series of questions involving monogamy.

They did this because they personally wanted to know where gay men’s heads were concerning the topic.

“We had been in a non-monogamous relationship for 36 years and were curious about the experience of others,” they shared through The Couple’s Study.

“There wasn’t any road map and we assumed long-term couples might offer valuable perspectives and hard-earned lessons.”

The two were soon surprised to find that the younger generation is verging off from the lifestyle they had chosen.

"Probably the most striking finding of this study is that younger gay men seem to be more inclined toward monogamy than their elders," the pair wrote in their reflection from the study’s results.

The results found that 86% of respondents that were in a relationship were monogamous and the remaining 14% were not. As for those who were single, 90% said that they were looking for a monogamous relationship.

Dissecting that last group even more, 44% of single men between the ages of 26 and 40 said they were open to the possibility of a non-monogamous relationship. Meanwhile, only 29% of single men who were 25 or younger were open to the idea.

In the breakdown section of the results, some participants shared their thoughts on why the results came out the way they did.

On respondent replied:

“My impression is that younger people are oriented more toward monogamy. The reason is the fact that gay culture is becoming assimilated into the mainstream, and monogamy is part of the assimilation. The idea of finding and settling down with your soul mate is desirable, and the fact that with gay marriage, that’s more attainable now.”

Another answered with an opposite impression:

"I don’t feel supported by the gay community in having a monogamous relationship. In fact, the norm seems to be open relationships, and we feel judged, and even pressured, to open things up, when people find out we’re monogamous."

What do you think? Do you think gay relationships are becoming more monogamous or are they opening up more?

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