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Sex Stories: Week in Review, 9/27/13

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

George H. W. Bush Witness at Maine Same-Sex Wedding (ABC News)

Former President George H. W. Bush acted as official witness at the same sex wedding of two longtime friends. The ceremony took place in Maine which began allowing such marriages in December 2012.

UNL Students for Sexual Health Hope to Promote Dialogue with ‘Virginity’ Documentary (THe Daily Nebraskan)

A student group at the University of Nebraska hope to get their peers talking about the definition of virginity. By showing How to Lose Your Virginity, they hope students will relax about the topics and begin working towards breaking the double standard.

Teens Can Text Sex Questions to Hotline in New Mexico (My Fox 8)

Teens in New Mexico can now text their sexual health questions to BrdsNBz, a new hotline that provides answers within 24 hours. The nonjudgmental responses are provided by health experts and available in both English and Spanish. BrdsNBz targets teens aged 13-19.

Judge’s Decision to Allow Lisa Mehos’ Abortion to be Used as Evidence in New York Custody Case Causes Stir (NY Daily News)

As part of her custody battle, Lisa Mehos is being required to testify about an abortion she received after becoming pregnancy unexpectedly from a one-night stand.. The decision came down from a New York Supreme Court Justice who felt discussing the procedure was important because Mehos had the children in her care during the time of the affair.

House Republicans Argued to Include Abortion Provision in Debt Ceiling Bill (Huffington Post)

As a government shutdown looms, House Republicans attempted to include a ban on late-term abortions in exchange for agreeing to an increase in the debt ceiling. The ban already passed the House but has no support from the White House.

Shaken by School HIV Lesson, A Mom Shakes Up What’s Taught (Seattle Times)

A Washington state mom is working to ensure middle schoolers receive updated information about HIV/AIDS. After reviewing the materials shown in schools, Jodie Howerton was appalled to discover that the curricula was inaccurate, outdated, and fear-mongering. Washington is one of 33states to mandate education about HIV/AIDS.

Ruling Expected Monday on Fairness of Agreement to Integrate HIV-positive Inmates in Alabama Prisons (

A federal ruling about the fairness of the plan to integrate HIV-positive inmates in Alabama is expected by Monday. Attorney Margaret Winter said current HIV-positive inmates are worried about the length of the integration, being targets of abuse and not having access to their medicine. As part of the transition, all DOC staff and inmates will receive education about the disease. Alabama is one of the last states to segregate HIV-positive inmates

With Special Courts, State Aims to Steer Women Away from Sex Trade (New York Times)

New York is creating a statewide system of specialized courts to handle prostitution cases and provide services to sex trafficking victims. The Human Trafficking Intervention Courts will incorporate specially trained individuals at all levels as well as social workers. The model is based on similar systems in cities like Baltimore but is the largest initiative of its kind.

Sex-trafficking Task Force Wants Tougher Laws Against Johns (AZ Central)

The Arizona Task Force on Human Trafficking is calling for harsher penalties for johns and raising public awareness about the problem of sex trafficking. The latter proposal includes a campaign encouraging zero tolerance for human trafficking and hopes to change societal views on paying for sex. Other recommendations include changes to state policies to give victims easier access to services.

Sex Stories: Week in Review, 9/20/13

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

HIV-Positive Porn Actors Call for Condoms (ABC News)

Cameron Bay and Rod Daily, two of the porn actors recently diagnosed with HIV are calling for safe industry practices. In response to the recent diagnoses, the industry has shortened the time between HIV tests. Actors are still responsible for covering the costs of tests.

New York HIV Activists Campaign for Increased Access to ‘HIV Morning-After Pill’ (The Guardian)

Act Up, a New York-based HIV awareness and activism group, are working to convince state health officials to start a comprehensive PEP awarness campaign and provide funding for programs to reach at-risk groups. PEP, a standard HIV treatment, may reduce transmission by about 70% if its started within 72 hours after unprotected sex.

Lawmaker’s resignation doesn’t end sexual harassment investigation (

The Kentucky Legislature continues to investigate allegations that a former State Representative sexually harassed staffers. The House insists an investigation is needed to ‘protect the integrity of the Legislature’. Rep. John Arnold, accused of both inappropriate touching and speech, wrote that he does not believe he is guilty of harassment.

SCSU Students Demand Professor Accused of Sexual Harassment be Removed from Campus (Huffington Post)

Southern Connecticut State University students held rally last week to demand the removal of a music professor who made harassing comments and tried to have sex with a recent graduate. The student says she felt dismissed when she raised the issue to campus administrators. The professor was suspended for just a week.

Occidental College Settles in Sexual Assault Cases (LA Times)

Occidental College has reached a quiet and undisclosed monetary settlement with at least 10 of the 37 students and alumni who filed a federal civil rights complaint in April. The individuals are not allowed to publicly discuss the college’s handling of their cases or participate in the college’s Sexual Assault Coalition.

Pope Francis Takes Issue with Church Focus on Gays, Abortion (LA Times)

In a candid interview, Pope Francis confirmed his earlier comments about not judging LGBQT individuals and called for the Church to ‘[throw] open its doors’ and be more merciful. Unlike his predecessor, the Pope feels that Church will lose its way if it continues to obsess over key issues like homosexuality, abortion, and contraception.

Anti-Abortion Measure cold be on 2014 Oregon Ballot” (The Oregonian)

Initiative Petition 6, which would prohibit using state taxpayer money to pay for abortions, is makings its rounds in Oregon. The issue, which needs 116,284 signatures to qualify for the ballot, failed to get the required number of signatures in 2012.

Sex Stories: Week in Review, 9/13/13

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

The Geography of Unintended Pregnancy (Huffington Post)

The latest report from the Guttmacher Institute shows that the number of unintended pregnancies in the US is still at about 50%. This number has remained the same since the 1980s. The issue mostly affects women with incomes at or below the federal poverty level.

New York Voters Soundly Reject Sex Scandal-Ridden Pols (NY Daily News)

New York voters ensured that four politicians involved in sex scandals were not reelected Tuesday night. The scandals, ranging from sexual harassment to prostitution, ensured that Anthony Weiner, Eliot Spitzer, Vito Lopez, and Micah Kellner lost their shot at posiions ranging from mayor to assemblyman.

Cruise to Feature Mass Ceremony for Same Sex Couples (USA Today)

Next October, a Florida-based cruise seller is hosting a mass commitment ceremony and reception on the beach of St. Thomas. The company created the trip because of an increase in the number of same sex ceremony requests it has received recently.

Male Menopause? Estrogen, not Testosterone Affects Body Fat, Sex Drive, Study Finds (Washington Post)

A preliminry study on the effects of sex hormones reveals that both testosterone and estrogen are needed for normal sex drive and performance. Implications for treatment include trying different levels of the hormones to see desired results. A larger study focusing on testosterone replacement should provide results by the end of this year.

Fourth Porn Star Reportedly Latest to Contract HIV (CBS News)

A fourth porn star came forward this week after supposedly testing positive for HIV. The Free Speech Coalition, a group representing adult films, denies these claims on the basis that none of the official testing centers or doctors confirmed the diagnosis.

Sex Stories: Week in Review, 8/30–9/6, 2013

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

More U.S. Women Having Kids in Their 30s and 40s: Report (HealthDay)

More women in the U.S. are waiting until later in life to have children, according to new data from the CDC. The birth rate for women in their 30s and early 40s rose in 2012, while birth rates for teens and young adults fell to record lows.

Renowned Seattle Sex Toy Shop Celebrates 20 Years (Seattle Post Intelligencer [blog])

“Twenty years ago, buying a vibrator and lube often meant slinking into a dark, pervy-feeling store and hoping no one saw you at the register. There was little eye contact or advice, and much of the goods were geared toward men. Then Toys in Babeland opened in Seattle in 1993, and the landscape changed.”

Veterans Benefits for Gay Married Couples Still Denied (Washington Blade)

Despite DOMA being struck down, same sex veterans are still unable to recieve the federal benefits of marriage. Title 38 part of the US code that oversees veterans’ benefits still defines marriage as between a man and a woman. The Departments of Veterans Affairs and Justice are working to see how the Supreme Court’s decision impacts VA’s obligations.

Walmart to Extend Health Benefits to U.S. Workers’ Domestic Partners (Huffington Post)

Walmart will begin offering health insurance benefits to the domestic partners of US employees starting in 2014. They define ‘domestic partner’ as either a legal spouse or ‘someone in an ongoing, exclusive relationship similar to marriage for at least 12 months with the intention to continue sharing ah household indefinitely.’ Over 1.1 million employees will be eligible for these benefits.

Yale to Issue Scenarios to Explain Sexual Assault Policies in Face of Renewed Criticism (Huffington Post)

Yale Unviersity administrators will release a series of hypothetical situations that explain how they categorize types of seual violence and the corresponding punishments. The document comes in response to Yale’s recently released semi-annual report that indicates those guilty of nonconsensual sex could stay at Yale. Criticism came against both what is viewed as a lax policy and the langge which suggests that such sex is a less deplorable act than rape.