This week in sex news:
- Cornell University received a $10M Specialized Research Center grant from the National Institutes of Health to establish a Center for Reproductive Genomics. Researchers at the center will study the whys and hows of human reproduction and attempt to find new treatments for infertility.
- A meta-study concluded that antidepressants are harmful to the fetus during pregnancy and may contribute to premature births. On a more positive note, baby aspirin may help prevent pre-eclampsia in pregnant women. Pre-eclampsia is a dangerous syndrome that includes high blood pressure and can cause pre-term birth and other complications.
- Julia Baird highlighted the story of Norrie May-Welby in the New York Times Opinion pages. Norrie recently won the right to register her sex as “unspecified” in government documents in Australia. Born a boy, Norrie later underwent sex reassignment surgery, but realized that she didn’t completely identify with being female, either, and has therefore shunned gender labeling.
- An extremely sad story: A 10-year-old Sengalese girl who was raped and became pregnant with twins is now being denied an abortion. A woman receiving an abortion in Senegal can be punished with up to 10 years in prison. The girl is at high risk for childbirth complications, including maternal death.
- A study reported in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B found that promiscuous mouse species’ sperm swims faster than their less randy relatives’. The makeup of proteins on the sperm tail holds the key to making swifter sperm.
- And finally…Aquinas College macroeconomics professor Stephen Barrows was pranked this April Fools by one of his students during class. Professor Barrows’ policy is that anyone receiving a phone call during class must answer the call on speaker phone. The student, Taylor Nefcy, had a friend call from the “pregnancy resource center” to confirm that she was pregnant. Prof. Barrows was, understandably, shocked and dismayed that he had caused such embarrassment for a student. That was, of course, until she said the magic words: April Fools! Video of the prank has already received over 14 million views on YouTube.