Aug 7, 2009 | 16
TORONTO—Gay or straight, male or female—everyone is having fewer affairs now than they were in the 1970s. According to a new study presented here today at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association, extramarital (and extra-partnership) sex is way down, and discussion about the topic within couples is way up.
Psychologists at Alliant International University in San Francisco and their colleagues compared survey responses from two large groups of couples, self-categorized as gay men, heterosexual men, lesbians or heterosexual women. About 12,000 people answered the relevant questions in 1975; close to 1,000 participated in 2000. The average length of the relationship at the time of the survey varied between groups, from about four and a half years for lesbians, almost seven years for gay men and about 14 years for heterosexual couples in 1974 to nearly 11 years for lesbians, 13.5 years for gay men and almost 20 years together for straight couples in the 2000 survey.
Jan 7, 2009 | 2
Oxytocin, a hormone associated with trust and social bonding, also helps people recognize familiar human faces, according to a new study. Researchers say the findings, published today in The Journal of Neuroscience, could shed light on the causes of mysterious neurological and psychological disorders.
"There is initial evidence that the central oxytocin system is altered in several mental disorders that are characterized by severe social disturbances, such as autism spectrum disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, [and] personality disorders," says lead study author Ulrike Rimmele, a psychologist at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. "Knowing how oxytocin affects basic social mechanisms, such as recognition of another human being, is an essential pre-requisite to the study of more complex human behavior."
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