It's for Science! Researchers Study Women and Sex Toys

tutvumine eestis

Researchers at two respected universities are examining how women and "bedroom accessories" interrelate. Perhaps the results of one will smooth the way for researchers in the other.

Indiana University scientists on Monday plan to release study results indicating women who use lubricants during solo or partnered sex derive more pleasure and satisfaction from the act. During the study, subjects rarely reported side effects of lubricant use, and the products significantly reduced the frequency of vaginal tearing and genital pain, according to lead researcher Debby Herbenick, associate director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at the school.

Most of the 2, 453 female subjects were heterosexual and married, and a majority of the women, ages 18-68, "strongly endorsed" lubricant use as a way to improve sexual experiences. More than 70 percent reported the lubricant she tested — one of six water- or silicone-based products — made sex "very pleasurable" and more comfortable.

The other study, ongoing at Duke University, has been uncomfortable from the start, owing in large part to a Catholic priest’s objection to the subject matter. The Rev. Joe Vetter has filed a formal complaint, saying sex toys don’t promote healthy relationships.

The research attempts to gauge change in women’s attitudes before and after social gatherings in which vibrators and other adult products are presented in an atmosphere similar to a Tupperware party. Female volunteers 18 and older complete a sexual-attitudes questionnaire, then attend a one-hour party during which they observe the products and engage in explicit discussions about their use. Immediately afterward they complete another questionnaire, and they are asked to complete a third survey "a couple of months" later.

Vetter said the research encourages promiscuity, although the study — led by a behavioral economist and student health workers — was designed to evaluate whether familiarity with sex toys decreases the likelihood of risky sexual behaviors and serial "friends with benefits" relationships.

"I’m concerned about promiscuity also, and to be honest, I don’t have the solution, " Vetter told the Raleigh [NC] News & Observer. "My concern is these students are in this developmental phase, and I don’t think it’s a good developmental practice to just tell somebody to just sit around and masturbate. I don’t think that promotes relationships."

Duke Vice President for Public Affairs Michael Schoenfeld said the study went through a peer-review process before it was approved. He also said universities pursue all sorts of research activities, and not all studies meet with approval in every segment of the community.


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