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Sex Stories: Weeks in Review, 11/15–11/22/13

Sexual Health Rankings presents Sex Stories, a weekly roundup of sexual health news from around the country.

Illinois Becomes 16th State to Allow Same-Sex Marriage (CNN)

Another week, another state that legalizes same-sex marriage. This week, Illinois passed the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act. The measure, which had support from both IL’s governor and President Obama, will go into effect in June 2014.

Orgasmic Inequality in Hookups (NY Times)

Research suggests women are less likely to have orgasms during uncommitted sexual encounters than in serious relationships. At the same time, researchers say young women are becoming equal partners in hookup culture, often just as willing as young men to venture into sexual relationships without emotional ties.

Graphene Used to Create More Pleasurable Condoms (The Telegraph)

In its efforts to promote condom use and decrease both STIs and unplanned pregnancies, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation awarded over $100,000 to a British researcher who wants to create a condom that is thinner, safer and enhances the natural sensations of intercourse. The condom would be made out of a carbon material called graphene.

Senate Begins Debate on Military Sexual Assault Plans (USA Today)

On Wednesday, the Senate began considering two plans to change how the military handles sexual assault. The first is supported by the Senate and replaces commanders with miltary lawyers. The second, suppported by Pentagon leaders, allows commanders to determine what cases get prosecuted by removes several layers of their authority.

Massachusetts Legislative Committee Readies Sex Education Bill (

A new MA bill that would require schools to teach abstinence alongside contraception and disease prevention was released this week. The bill also requires all lessons to be scientifically accurate and age-appropriate and teaches students to negotiate relationships and sexual activity.

Wash. Officials Tasked With Telling Exes They’ve Been Exposed to Gonorrhea (NY Daily News)

Public health officials in Washington state will now notify infected individuals’ partners that they’ve been exposed to gonorrhea. The service is free and anoymous with the goal fo preventing the spread of the disease.

Friday, Nov. 15, 2013

Hawaii’s Senate Gives Final Approval to Same-Sex Marriage (NPR)

On Wednesday, after calling the legislature into a special vote, Hawaii’s governer signed a law making same sex marriage legal in the state. Weddings can begin on December 2.

Air Force Officer Who Led Sex-Assault Unit Cleared of Assault Charge (U.S. News on

The former head of the military’s sexual assault prevention program was found not guilty of assaulting a woman after his attorney successfully argued there were inconsistencies in the accuser’s story. A female general took over the colonel’s former role.

Being a Bully Linked to Casual, Risky Sex (

A study of over 9,000 high school students reveals a connection between acting as a bully or being bullied and engaging in either causual sex or sex while drunk or high. The correlation remained even when researchers took into account other
factors that are known to increase risky sexual behaviors. The link was strongest for heterosexual teens.

New HIV/AIDS Report Card Shows Improvement, But Things Can Be Better (

An annual HIV/AIDS report card for DC shows declines in the number of newly diagnosed cases. The report argues, however, that number is still too high and offers suggestions to improve the numbers even more. It also reveals inadequacies in the District’s HIV/AIDS education and poor communication between public health officials and clinicians.

Congress Lifts Ban on HIV-Positive Organ Transplants for HIV-Positive Patients on the Wait List (

On Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed the HIV Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act. The act makes it possible for patients with HIV to receive organs from seropositive donors. The act had bipartisan support along with that of the major transplant groups in the US.

Faced with Record HIV Rates, This Florida School District is Pushing to Expand Sex Ed (Think Progress)

As the HIV epidemic worsens in Broward County, Florida, school officials are pushing to incorporate comprehensive sex education. The changes would require schools to submit annual reports detailed sex ed classes so that the quality of instruction can be evaluated.

Sex Stories: Week in Review, 11/1/13

Sexual Health Rankings presents Sex Stories, a weekly roundup of sexual health news from around the country.

Appeals Court Lifts Injunction on Texas Abortion Laws (LA Times)

A federal appeals court has reversed the decision of a Texas judge that blocks restrictions on abortions. The court ruled there was ample evidence to support the admitting privileges requirement but added an exception to the limits on medication abortions.

Senate to Vote on Gay Rights Bill by Thanksgiving (USA Today)

For the first time since 1996, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act is receiving a full Senate vote. The Act, supported by President Obama and legislators on both sides of the aisle, bans workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Close-Up of HIV Virus Could Help AIDS Vaccine Research (LA Times)

Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute have captured molecular images of HIV that provide clues on how the virus infiltrates human immune cells. Such imaging provides vital information for the development of a vaccine.

Planned Parenthood Brings Sex Ed Straight to Teens’ Cell Phones (Think Progress)

Planned Parenthood is using adolescents’ obsession with cell phones and social media to teach them about healthy relationships, sexual readiness, and birth control. The organization has developed three age-appropriate sets of online tools to engage elementary, middle, and high-school aged adolescents.

Trustees Approve New Sex Ed Policy (Reno Gazette-Journal)

After their sex ed curriculum was called “discriminatory and homophobic, Reno school officials have approved a new sex ed policy. Unlike the current curriculum, the new policy calls for a well-planned, scientifically-accurate, and comprehensive sequence of lessons.