Is your boss ruining your weekend?

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February 28th, 2012

Most Sundays last year, Juliet woke up feeling fine. But as the day wore on, she grew more agitated.

“By early afternoon I felt sick with stress and was walking around snapping at everyone. It was my husband who finally figured out that I was dreading going back to work Monday morning. The anticipation was ruining my Sundays.”

Juliet had loved her job until the company where she worked was bought out. The culture of the organization originally built and run by a handful of idealistic scientists shifted overnight.

“The scientists were out, and the incoming CEO and leadership team were these marketing types who set an entirely different tone. The new executives were like these funnels of stress, spreading anxiety throughout the organization.”

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Are women turned off by stressed-out men?

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February 23rd, 2012

Scientists have been trying to confirm what Hollywood has known for decades: Women are often attracted to men with chiseled cheekbones and lantern jaws.

These and other masculine facial features are associated with high testosterone levels, and women seem to know this fact intuitively. Studies suggest that women are especially drawn to rugged-looking guys when they’re in the mood to mate (i.e., when they’re ovulating), while at other times, when they’re more interested in companionship, they tend to prefer a softer, more delicate look—think Ryan Gosling versus Burt Lancaster.

It’s not entirely clear why testosterone-fuelled features are attractive, but some experts have proposed that they’re a sign of a healthy immune system. Testosterone dampens immune function, so a man with high testosterone who’s still standing, the theory goes, is likely to have a stronger-than-average constitution. And he’ll pass those hardy genes on to his offspring, making him an attractive mate choice.

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Struggling with sex when you’re overweight

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February 16th, 2012

On the CBS sitcom “Mike & Molly,” the title characters meet at an Overeaters Anonymous support group and embark on a romantic relationship.

It’s an uncommon look at intimacy between plus-sized partners, played mainly for laughs. But with obesity rates skyrocketing in this country, sex when one or both partners is heavy is becoming a very real issue.

Nearly 34% of American adults are obese, according to the CDC, and many more are overweight. It’s not surprising that people who are carrying extra pounds may find themselves grappling with the effects on their sex lives.

Being overweight or obese can put a damper on things in the bedroom, as my clients Tom and Laura discovered. Married for 12 years, they had always enjoyed a satisfying sex life – until Laura began to gain weight. At first Tom was understanding: He knew that Laura’s self-esteem had taken a hit and he didn’t want to add to that.

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Does sex ed keep girls from becoming teen moms?

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February 14th, 2012

In a new study, states with more comprehensive sex education programs had lower teen birth rates — but the effect seemed to be due more to political, religious and social differences between those states than the sex ed itself.

That doesn’t mean sex ed never helps prevent pregnancy, researchers said. But attitudes of family and friends, and whether teens have access to contraception and family planning services, might be just as important to putting a dent in the number of new teen moms.

“Although the teen birth rates and teen pregnancy rates are dropping year after year… we still have disparities between states, and we have higher teen birth and teen pregnancy rates when we’re compared to other industrialized countries,” said Patricia Cavazos-Rehg, from Washington University in St. Louis, who worked on the study.

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Eczema tied to higher impotence risk

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February 14th, 2012

Men who have the allergic skin condition eczema may have a higher risk of erectile dysfunction than other men, a new study finds.

The study, of nearly 4,000 Taiwanese men with ED, hints at a connection between eczema and impotence.

And the researchers suggest that doctors “be more attentive to sexual complaints” from men with eczema — known medically as atopic dermatitis.

But an allergy expert not involved in the study said that while the findings are “interesting,” there are too many limitations to know whether eczema actually raises the risk of ED.

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