The last week (or so) in sexy news:
The world learned that lab-grown vaginas are a thing, and that they have been successfully transplanted into women born with a rare birth defect. Girls born with what’s snappily called Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser syndrome have either an underdeveloped or completely missing vagina. The transplant surgery has helped 4 women so far experience a more normal life, including the ability to have sex and experience orgasm.
- The Huffington Post reported the results of a California survey that found that just talking to a gay person about marriage equality was enough to lead to lasting changes in voters’ views of this issue (shifting in favor of marriage equality). In other news, a lawyer who had previously argued in favor of California’s “Prop. 8” ban on gay marriage learned his daughter was gay, and said his views on the issue were “evolving”. He is currently helping his daughter plan her wedding to another woman.
- A (not quite scientific) survey reported that over 26% of women consider themselves to be bisexual.
- In India, the Supreme Court has ruled that the country must allow transgendered people to register as a third gender on official documents. This comes on the heels of a similar ruling in Australia.
- Katrina Karkazis and Rebecca Jordan-Young for the New York Times Opinion pages wrote about “The Trouble with too much T.” They argue against the rules enforced by sports governing bodies requiring women athletes with testosterone levels outside the “normal” range to undergo potentially harmful treatments, including surgery.
- Walt Bogdanich, also writing for The New York Times, covered the story of the extremely flawed investigation of a Florida State football player, Jameis Winston, accused of rape.
- In ongoing abortion news, the North Dakota supreme court ruled a state abortion ban unconstitutional. Meanwhile, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed a bill into law that would allow for warrantless, surprise inspections of abortion clinics in the state.
- Bloomberg Business Week published a feature on the growing trend of women freezing their eggs. They found through surveys that women had a range of reasons for delaying childbirth and choosing to freeze their eggs, including not having a partner.
- Whooping crane eggs were discovered in Louisiana. The eggs mark the first known case of the cranes reproducing in the state in over 75 years.
- In more sciency sex news, Nature News reported on a study showing that stress and trauma affected mouse sperm, causing an increase in certain small RNAs, that were associated with depressive behaviors in their children and grandchildren.
- Scientists discovered that female cave lice have giant penises. But they’re not really penises (or are they?). The females of this species penetrate males to collect their sperm.
- Research from Stanford University finds that increasing the genetic diversity of tigers may be the best way to save them. Only about 3000 tigers remain in the wild. Conservation efforts have so far focused on increasing numbers, but without increasing genetic diversity, the species may be doomed.
- Scientists at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute discovered a protein on eggs that interacts with a sperm protein to allow fertilization to occur. The sperm protein, called Izumo, had been previously identified. The egg protein discovered by the Wellcome Trust researchers was named Juno, after the Roman goddess of fertility and marriage.
- The Questioning Answers blog covered a recent paper in the journal Pediatrics, which reported a link between a father’s obesity and his child’s risk of developing Autism.
- A post by Bethany Brookshire on the SciCurious blog explained how sexual competition has shaped the sperm we all know and love today.
- Christina Szalinski at the ASCB Post wrote about a study that identified tiny bubbles released by hermaphroditic microscopic worms (C. elegans) that turned out to be “love notes”. Males encountering these bubbles get excited and start to display mating behaviors.
- And finally…A Love & Hip Hop Sex tape has led to a national shortage of super-strong shower curtain rods [NSFW].