Study: Porn May Not Be Such a Bad Influence on Sexual Behavior

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April 26th, 2013

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Studies have linked porn consumption to sexual aggression, problems with intimate relationships and losing one’s virginity at an earlier age. But the influence of sexually explicit material on some risky behaviors may be more modest than previously thought.

In a new study from the Journal of Sexual Medicine, four Dutch researchers argue that previous studies on the subject have been too narrowly focused when it comes to drawing a connection between X-rated materials and negative outcomes. Such research has often asked some form of the same question: whether what people see will affect what people do—and the results didn’t paint porn in a flattering light. The latest study found that the connection may be less significant than other studies have suggested, though the work still provided plenty of support for the anti-pornography contingent.

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When your child walks in during sex

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April 25th, 2013

By Ian Kerner, CNN Contributor

It’s a moment that not all parents have experienced, but that many of us fear: You’re enjoying a passionate encounter with your partner, oblivious to the pitter-patter of little feet until it’s too late.

Have you just scarred your kid for life? Certainly not — but, depending on your child’s age, you might have some explaining to do.

“Being walked in on during sex is a very common experience — and a great example of why it is important to knock first, and always respect someone’s privacy,” says sexologist Logan Levkoff. “But before you say anything to your child, you are going to need to determine what they heard, saw, and if they even care about what was going on.”

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Depressive Thinking Can Be Contagious

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April 25th, 2013

We don’t think of emotional states as passing from one person to another, but a new study suggests some depressive thoughts can go viral.

Researchers studying a group of college students found that certain types of depressive thinking can spread from close-living roommates like a lingering flu.

Although many people see depression as a chemical imbalance in the brain, scientists say social context and the way you see yourself and the world can be critical in causing and sustaining the illness, which affects around 10% of college-age adults.

“Thinking styles are a really important factor in risk for depression,” says the study’s lead author Gerald Haeffel, associate professor of clinical psychology at Notre Dame University. “How one thinks about life stress and negative moods is one of the best predictors that we have of future depression.”

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Pushing Teens to Change Their Eating Habits Could Backfire

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April 24th, 2013

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Parents who exert too much control over what their children eat may not be doing their adolescents any favors when it comes to controlling the youngsters’ weight, according to the latest study.

Researchers report in the journal Pediatrics that pressure from parents to clean plates or to restrict eating high-calorie foods such as sweets and sugared sodas may not help teens to maintain a healthy weight.

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Oh, The Guilt! Why You Blame Yourself For Everything When You’re Depressed

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April 23rd, 2013

Alice G. Walton, Contributor

Anybody who’s been depressed can tell you that feelings of guilt and self-blame can be overwhelming. In fact, the tendency to blame oneself excessively (and inappropriately) is a key factor in depression. Over a century ago, Sigmund Freud suggested that depression was fundamentally different from “normal sadness” in that very factor. Now, a new study shows exactly why he was right: The brains of depressed people have a “gap” in the communication between two key areas, which may explain why depression is so hard to overcome, and relapse so common.

In depression, excessive self-blame is often accompanied by the equally maladaptive tendency to overgeneralize. That is, depressed people often have a knack for (erroneously) generalizing specific situations to reflect their own self worth in a larger sense: For example, the authors say that a depressed person might think to him or herself, “If I fail at sports matches, it means I am a total failure.” Exactly how people make the leap from specific, external situations to general, internal ones has been a mystery until now.

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