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TRENDS in the news

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Short-term marriages are seen as trend  NEW
Divorcing before age 30 is becoming so common that it is creating a demographic phenomenon: the starter marriage. The union lasts a few years and ends before children arrive, a new study says. Women today generally marry at 25; men, at 27. Young couples may be together months, not decades, as divorce occurs progressively earlier. Even though the divorce rate actually leveled off in the 1990s, from about 50 percent of new marriages to about 43 percent currently, a 2001 survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 20 percent of divorces in first marriages now occur within five years. Statistics on marriage and divorce are difficult to come by. But Pamela Paul, 30, an editor at American Demographics, says her research shows that "the most common time for a marriage to end in divorce is in the first five years. And of those early divorces, about one-quarter end within two years."
 -- Indianapolis Star

Women are having more children, new report shows  NEW
Women in the United States are having more children than at any time in almost 30 years, according to the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) birth statistics. At the same time, Secretary Thompson said that births to teens continue to decline. In 2000, the average number of children born to women over a lifetime was 2.1.  During most of the 1970s and 1980s women gave birth to fewer than two children on average, a rate insufficient to replace the population (2.1 is considered the population's replacement level). "The continued decline in the teen birth rate is very encouraging," said Secretary Thompson. "Reducing teen pregnancy is an important health goal for our nation." The birth rate for teens 15-17 was down 5 percent, while the rate for 18-19 year olds declined 1 percent for 2000. Overall teen birth rates declined for white, black, Hispanic, and Asian and Pacific Islander teens and were stable for American Indians. 
-- Sexual Health Network

Death and the maiden  NEW
The corset is to nudity what foreplay is to sex. No other garment is so erotic because none has as loaded an effect on the female form. And few garments are so controversial; every century attacks it and appropriates it anew.  What was once the argument of the gentleman misogynist is now the line taken by the academic feminist: The sexual body is a dangerous thing, best shrouded from sight. That's the line taken in a new book by feminist scholar Leigh Summers, "Bound to Please: A History of the Victorian Corset," an examination of the garment's "role in female objectification" originally written as her doctoral dissertation. In her introduction, she claims that "[t]he corset remains profoundly under-theorized." The trend toward tighter garments is in evidence as early as 1244 when Leonor, Queen of Castille, was interred in a gown bound with laces.

Global sex trade in children is growing, U.N. report says  NEW
The multi-billion dollar global sex trade in children is growing, with more than one million kids trafficked every year for the purpose of sexual exploitation. "The situation is getting worse, paradoxically and ironically because of some of the progress in transport, communications and the Internet," UNICEF's  Kul Gautam said. The Internet has made it much easier to distribute child pornography and modern transportation and communications facilitate moving larger numbers of children for longer distances. For example, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency estimates that some 45,000 to 50,000 women and children smuggled into the United States are bound for the sex industry or for work "under egregious labor conditions."
-- Nando Time

Sexual Activity and Substance Use Among Youth  NEW
Almost one quarter (23 percent) of sexually active teens and young adults – about
5.6 million 15- to 24-year-olds nationally – report having unprotected sex because they were drinking or using drugs at the time. Twenty-nine percent say that because of alcohol and drug use, they did “more sexually than they had planned,” according to a new national survey. “For teens, drinking and sex is at least as dangerous as drinking and driving,” said Joseph A. Califano Jr., former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. Of the 15- to 24-year-olds surveyed:
 •  50 percent say “people their age” mix alcohol or drugs and sex “a lot.”
 •  73 percent believe that their peers often don’t use condoms when alcohol and drugs are in the picture.
 •  37 percent want more information about “how alcohol or drugs might affect decisions about having sex.”
- Kaiser Family Foundation

The science of sexual attraction  NEW
When it comes to sexual attraction, does the nose lead the heart? So it would seem from the marketing of any number of fragrances - particularly those products that claim to contain pheromones, which are scented sex hormones that supposedly bring about subconscious attraction. But the science of pheromones, while still far from definitive, suggests that unlike lower mammals and other animals, humans don't seem to use pheromones to guide them to a mate, but do get some useful signals from subliminal scents.
-- Nando Times

Children and Commercial Sex: A Terrible Trend 
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania unveiled the grim results of a three-year study of children under 18 living in the U.S. They found that roughly 400,000 children, or one in 100, are victims of commercial sexual exploitation.  And that figure may actually be optimistic, says Dr. Neil Weiner. 
Commercial sexual exploitation is defined in the study as a one-on-one, interpersonal interaction in exchange for goods and services. And while researchers found that most of these kids engage in sex to stay alive, or for "survival sex," using their bodies to secure food, shelter, or clothing, some children were also having sex for drugs or products they might not otherwise be able to afford. Money, however, is not the primary factor at play here: According to the Penn study, while poorer children are at higher risk for exploitation, researchers encountered large groups of white, middle-class teens who’d run away from home, or were "thrown away" by their families


TREND Links on the Web

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Coalition for Positive Sexuality
CPS is a grassroots, not-for-profit, activist organization providing teens with candid sex education materials. See also their Resources page, providing links to related sites.

Kaiser Family Foundation - Reproductive and Sexual Health
Provides facts, analysis, and explanation on reproductive and sexual health policy issues to policymakers, the media and the public, emphasizing those that most affect low-income and vulnerable populations.

Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality
Disseminates knowledge about all aspects of human sexuality to the widest possible international community at moderate cost. Includes research articles, book reviews, dissertations and theses on the subject of sexuality. Easily searchable and downloadable for research purposes or general education. 

Sexual Health Network
Dedicated to providing easy access to sexuality information, education, mutual support, counseling, therapy, healthcare, products and other resources for people with disabilities, illness, or natural changes throughout the lifecycle and those who love them or care for them. 

The Kinsey Institute
Promotes interdisciplinary research and scholarship in the fields of human sexuality, gender, and reproduction. See also their Professional Resources page, which highlights other U.S. and international research centers and special collections related to the study of sexuality; and general Sexual Information Links page.

Magnus Hirschfeld Archive for Sexology
The archive's mission is to promote, protect, and preserve sexual health through original research and by collecting, analyzing and disseminating scientific information from other sources.  Contains information on sexual trends, statistics, cultural attitudes, history, health, resources.

Alan Guttmacher Institute
AGI is a non-profit organization focused on sexual and reproductive health research, policy analysis and public education. AGI publishes special reports on sexual and reproductive health and rights. The Institute's mission is to protect the reproductive choices of all women and men in the United States and throughout the world. It is to support their ability to obtain the information and services needed to achieve their full human rights, safeguard their health and exercise their individual responsibilities in regard to sexual behavior and relationships, reproduction and family formation. 

Society for Human Sexuality
A social and educational organization whose purpose is to promote understanding and appreciation for the many forms of adult intimate relationships and consensual sexual expression. (Note: This site is intended for adults.)
"Nerve magazine exists because sex is beautiful and absurd, remarkably fun and reliably trauma-inducing. In short, it is a subject in need of a fearless, intelligent forum for both genders. We believe that women (men too, but especially women) have waited long enough for a smart, honest magazine on sex, with cliché-shattering prose and fiction as well as striking photographs of naked people that capture more than their flesh." (Note: This site is intended for adults.)
Essays, photography, reviews, commentary on sex and sexuality. (Note: This site is intended for adults.)




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