Sexually Transmitted Disease/Infections generally take a harsher toll on women than men. Reasons include—
- Women tend to be more often asymptomatic than men, giving infection more time to take hold;
- Male-to-female transmission is easier for most STDs than female-to-male;
- Undiagnosed and untreated STDs can lead to PID, pelvic inflammatory infection, and cause scarring of the Fallopian tubes, even infertility.
- Women in their late teens and possibly early twenties have immature cervixes, more likely to be scratched in sexual activity—leaving the door open for disease transmission.
- Post-menopausal women may suffer scratches in the vaginal wall during sexual activity—if they don’t keep their vaginas in shape with regular Kegels and use lubricants.
But two new sex science reports focus on escalating STD risks to men.
In a report published in The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers say that rising rates of oral cancer—especially among white, upper-middle class, college-educated non-smoking men—are caused by HPV, human papillomavirus, which also causes cervical cancer in women. Exposed to HPV while performing cunnilingus, men are more likely to contract the virus orally than women are in performing fellatio.
Obviously, we should be giving the HPV vaccine to boys as well as girls.
In an interview with AOL News, Dr. Jennifer Grandis, researcher and expert on head and neck cancers said, “The idea that we only protect our daughters with the vaccine is nuts, particularly because they are having sex with our boys.”
Read the Salon piece quoting AOL News (because Dr. Grandis is interesting) and follow the link to the NEJM report.
Another study, wildly mis-interpreted and mis-reported by the conservative media, conducted by Hunter College’s Center for HIV/AIDS Educational Studies and Training, found a link between gay men’s self-reported penis size and genital infections passed by skin-to-skin contact, like warts and herpes. The conclusion researchers drew is that men with larger penises may not be wearing the right size condoms. The message: Be sure your condom fits.
The Conservative media got it as wrong as possible as they often do in reporting sex science stories. They said that government money had been wasted measuring gay men’s penises. Could these people be any more terrified of human sexuality?
The lesson of the day for everyone: Get tested, get tested, get tested—and ask to see your new partner’s test results. Be sure your condoms fit.
My little bit of sex science news—
Liz Langley, noted sex journalist and author, is testing The Orgasm Loop. Here is her mini-review for My Pleasure. I had a Eureka! moment when she described using O Loop as "whole body arousal." Yes, it is--but I had never put it into those words. Thanks, Liz.
Check out her blog: Mind, Body, Spirit.
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