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#MeToo: When Social Media Can Actually Destigmatize


And judging by my Facebook feed, #YouToo.

For those living under a Facebook rock, the #MeToo hashtag exposes just how pervasive sexual violence is. It lives in seedy basement frat houses and corporate halls of power. And while I frequently disparage social media activism (it is more social than activism -- at least from my perspective), the #MeToo hashtag resonates more than #ThrowbackThursday, #FlashbackFriday, or some other silly social media moniker.  
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Victim Shaming and Blaming

With all the allegations coming to light about sexual abuse perpetrated by celebrities, including Harvey Weinstein (no relation to the author of this article), Roy Moore, Louie CK and Kevin Spacey, it seems timely to write an article, about supporting survivors, how to avoid victim shaming, even if it took years to speak up, ways to prevent abuse, as well as means to deal with disillusionment when our icons commit such crimes.

First and foremost is the acknowledgment that sexual assault, whether it comes in the form of words or touch, is about power and control. Sex is merely the vehicle of transmission. It dehumanizes. It steals sovereignty. It robs a person of their sense of safety in their own environment and their own skin. There is no ability to consent when someone has power over another, whether it is economic, legal or by virtue of having given birth to the victim.
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8 Ways to Stop Anger From Stopping Intimacy

Learning how to connect when you’re hurt or angry can lead to greater openness in your relationship.

Every relationship has its share of ups and downs. When disagreements or misunderstandings cause you to become hurt or angry, the intimacy you share with your partner may suffer.

Physical intimacy often takes a hit when you fight with your significant other, especially if you tend to think about sex (or the withholding of sex) as a bargaining tool to resolve issues in your relationship.
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Kink: The Love that Dare Not Speak Its Name, Even in Therapy

If you search, you’ll find that “BDSM Coach” is an actual job title on LinkedIn. The largest international convention in middle America is the International Mr. Leather contest, which brings together over 20,000 kinky attendees from all over the world. Nearly six million members belong to Fetlife, a Facebook-like online social network for folks into fetishes. Even Harvard University has a formally recognized student-run BDSM club.

So why does it seem that so many psychotherapists did not get the memo on working in a culturally competent way with this established sexual subculture? “The fact is kinky desires were -- until rather recently -- widely pathologized by the psychological community,” says Lauren Krpan, licensed professional counselor and trained sex therapist. “But so was homosexuality until the 1970s. We are working on removing stigma. There is nothing wrong with you if you’re kinky; it’s just your identified sexuality.”
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Children and Teens

New Guidelines for Treating Transgender People

The Endocrine Society has recently updated their recommendations for caring for transgender individuals. Previous guidelines recommended that hormone treatments not begin before sixteen years of age, but the Society notes there are now compelling reasons to beginning hormone treatment earlier.

Joshua D. Safer, MD, one of the task force members who authored the guidelines, said:
“Sixteen is the typical age cutoff in many areas of the world for some decision-making capacity from a legal perspective, but when you think about hormones and puberty, 16 is pretty late. If we’re going to use biology for guidance, then hormone interventions for transgender kids should begin occurring earlier, when puberty really happens, like around age 12, 13, or 14. However, we’re in a situation where we lack a test. We can’t diagnose anybody as transgender with excellent confidence, outside of talking to those kids. When we start talking about hormone therapies, we talk about some things that will be irreversible. That’s a fraught place to go, but we recognize that people are going to treat kids under 16 in many instances."
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Brain and Behavior

Woman as Lab Rats: Orgasm in an fMRI Machine

When you review the history of psychological research, you come across some pretty weird studies.

In the Stanley Milgram experiments, for instance, we saw researchers insisting that a subject provide a (seemingly real) electrical shock to another subject in order to study how people obey authority figures. Philip Zimbardo examined power structures in the Stanford prison experiment, where subjects were randomly assigned a role of either prisoner or guard.

Psychology's history is filled with odd experiments like these.

So when I came across an experiment describing women as mere lab rats whose brains needed examining while reaching orgasm -- sometimes with a partner -- I was intrigued. The more I read, the more bizarre it became.

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Children and Teens

Sex and Your Teen — The Elephant in the Room

So, your 16-year-old daughter wants to have her boyfriend over for a sleepover?

It can be doing difficult to navigate sexuality and intimacy with teens of this generation as this " hook up " mentality leaves us parents feeling that teens are far too gung-ho and blaze about sex and that they don't give it the respect and boundary expectations that we may give it. We may have grown up with a very different sexual philosophy and this can be compounded if we have different religious and spiritual views to our teenager.
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Marriage and Divorce

Money, Sex, & Secrets: Keep Them from Ending Your Relationship

Every relationship is stressful. What matters is how you DEAL with it.

Couples across cultures and continents — of all races and religions, economics and demographics — experience the same human emotion when faced with relationship challenges and marriage problems.

It feels like nothing ever gets resolved, the dance just keeps repeating itself.

It’s a merry-go-round of pain, misunderstanding, hurtful words and blame that gets uglier with each turn of the wheel.

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Millennial Men, Women and Casual Sex

The term "hookup" has been used widely to describe the romantic and sexual experiences of Millennials.

But according to a recent study conducted by Harvard's Graduate School of Education, Millennials aren't engaging in as much casual sex as we think they are. In fact, this study found that among the 2,000, 18-to-25-year-old heterosexual, cis-gender males from across the U.S. interviewed, the majority reported looking forward to having romantic and long-term relationships. These results can probably put our widespread hook-up culture concerns to rest.

Unfortunately, however, they reveal a different and more disturbing problem.
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Children and Teens

Growing Up Too Fast: Early Exposure to Sex

Children are naturally exploratory beings. As we develop, we engage with the world around us using all our senses. Imagine yourself at 2 or 3, crawling around in a grassy field on a summer day. You feel the warmth of the sun on your skin, the gentle breeze blowing through your hair, you breathe in the aroma of the fresh green grass, perhaps even pluck a piece and sample it. A puddle from a recent rain storm beckons you and you splash about in it, drenching yourself. An ice cream cone is offered to you and you savor the sweetness and stickiness as it drips down your chin and onto your clothes.
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