The Food and Drug Administration has announced that it's easing restrictions on gay men donating blood, reversing a policy enacted during the outbreak of the AIDS epidemic decades earlier.
In a statement released Tuesday, the FDA said easing the ban came after several years of research into the matter.
"Following this review, and taking into account the recommendations of advisory committees to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the FDA, the agency will take the necessary steps to recommend a change to the blood donor deferral period for men who have sex with men from indefinite deferral to one year since the last sexual contact," stated the FDA. more >>
Atheist author and activist Sam Harris has taken aim at the head of the National Institutes of Health, arguing that he's an example of an intelligent person pushing religion.
In a recent podcast, Harris cited former director of the Human Genome Research Institute, Dr. Francis Collins, as "a bit of a Bible-thumper."
"He believes in evolution, thankfully, but he also believes that immortal souls and free will were just downloaded onto the hard drive of only one species of primate at some point in history by an almighty God," Harris commented. more >>
The mosquito-born Chikungunya virus has reportedly infected over 1 million people and killed 155 since beginning its spread throughout the Americas a year ago. There is no known treatment or vaccine for the disease, with cases being reported in Florida and Texas as well.
CNN reported on Thursday that every country in Central America has now reported cases of the virus, while the U.S. has noted of 11 confirmed cases this year in Florida. Confirmed cases reported in Texas have been with those who've traveled to the Caribbean and areas where the virus is more common.
"It wasn't until 2013 that unfortunately a traveler resulted in local transmission of Chikungunya," said Erin Staples of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, referring to people infected in the Caribbean island of Saint Martin. more >>
Men who use pornography are less likely to get married, according to a study published last month that shows the easy accessability of porn on the Internet has become a substitute for seeking a marriage partner among men ages 18 to 35.
Authored by Michael Malcolm of the University of West Chester, Pennsylvania, and George Naufal of Timberlake Consultants, the paper, which was published by The Institute for the Study of Labor in Bonn, found that "Substitutes for marital sexual gratification may impact the decision to marry."
"We investigate the effect of Internet usage, and of pornography consumption specifically, on the marital status of young men," reads the abstract. "We show that increased Internet usage is negatively associated with marriage formation. Pornography consumption specifically has an even stronger effect. Instrumental variables and a number of robustness checks suggest that the effect is causal." more >>
A recently released study has found that pornography has a negative influence on the sexual encounters of men.
"Results showed the more pornography a man watches, the more likely he was to use it during sex, request particular pornographic sex acts of his partner, deliberately conjure images of pornography during sex to maintain arousal, and have concerns over his own sexual performance and body image," read the study's abstract. The study was published in the December edition of the Archives of Sexual Behavior.
"Further, higher pornography use was negatively associated with enjoying sexually intimate behaviors with a partner. We conclude that pornography provides a powerful heuristic model which is implicated in men's expectations and behaviors during sexual encounters." more >>
The U.S. Census Bureau is considering a plan to eliminate questions about marriage from the American Community Survey. Researchers who use that data and recognize marriage as an important explanatory variable are dismayed by the proposal.
The ACS surveys about 3 million American households every year, making it the largest survey in America outside of the census conducted once every 10 years. The large sample provides researchers with a useful dataset about the U.S. population. The data is also used to determine the distribution of funds for some government programs.
The Census Bureau wants to eliminate some of the questions in order to reduce the amount of time required for each respondent to complete the survey. Among the seven questions on the chopping block, five of them are about marriage. more >>