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Research on "Sexual Afterglow" Shows the Lingering Benefits of Sex

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By Andrea Meltzer

Sex is a defining feature of romantic relationships. From an evolutionary perspective, sex is essential for reproduction. Without it, the human species would die off. But some researchers have proposed that sex has a secondary function in humans and other animals whose offspring benefit from the presence of both parents—sex facilitates pair bonding and thus functions to keep couples happily together over time.

Gendered Beliefs May Make People Assume Sexual Consent

Image of a man and a woman sitting on a bench together in front of a sunset

The sexual double standard (SDS) is a belief that access to sexuality varies by gender. According to SDS, women are expected to be passive “gatekeepers” of sexual activity; men the “initiators.” Women are socially punished for having sex; men are rewarded. In a set of two experiments, Dr. Yuliana Zaikman examined how these gendered stereotypes might influence the way people think about sexual consent.