Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Study reveals sex to be pleasurable with or without use of a condom or lubricant

American men and women rated sex as highly arousing and pleasurable regardless of whether condoms and/or lubricants were used, according to a study led by Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington researchers and published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Led by Debby Herbenick and Michael Reece, co-directors of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion, researchers reviewed a nationally representative study of men and women ages 18 to 59 to assess characteristics of condom and lubricant use during participants' most recent sexual event, and the relationship of their condom and lubricant use to their ratings of sexual quality.

Data were from the 2009 National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, which involved the administration of an online questionnaire to a nationally representative probability sample of U.S. adults. Results showed that men and women consistently rate sex as highly arousing and pleasurable with few differences based on condom or lubricant use. More than twice as many women than men were unsure whether the condom was lubricated -- 26.6 percent vs. 11.4 percent -- or from what material it was made -- 23.6 percent vs. 8.9 percent.

"This may be because men are more likely than women to purchase condoms and to apply condoms," Herbenick said. "However, it's important for more women to become familiar with the condoms they use with their partner so that they can make choices that enhance the safety and pleasure of their sexual experiences."

Additionally, no significant differences were found in regard to men's ratings of the ease of their erections based on condom and lubricant use.

"The U.S. continues to grapple with high rates of sexually transmitted infections, HIV and unintended pregnancies," Herbenick said. "We need to understand how people make choices about the products they use, or avoid using, and how these products contribute to the safety and pleasurable aspects of their sexual experiences. This is particularly important as the products themselves evolve and become more mainstream in American society. We also need to understand what men and women know, or don't know, about the products they use so that we can better target public health education messages to individuals and groups."
Dr. Debby Herbenick

"The epidemiologic studies assessing human sexual function and behavior in the U.S. that were started 60 years ago by Kinsey are continued now by Herbenick and Reece. Gathering sexual data regarding condom use is highly relevant," said Irwin Goldstein, M.D., editor-in-chief of The Journal of Sexual Medicine. "Understanding current condom use offers health care providers an opportunity to educate those people uncomfortable with condoms but for whom lack of use may lead to significant sexually transmitted infection health risk."

The article, "Characteristics of Condom and Lubricant Use Among a Nationally Representative Probability Sample of Adults Ages 18-59 In the United States" is available online and at It will appear in the February issue.

The study was supported by Church & Dwight, Inc., the maker of Trojan Brand condoms and vibrators. Co-authors include Vanessa Schick, Nicole Smith and Brian Dodge, Center for Sexual Health Promotion at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington; Stephanie Sanders, The Kinsey Institute for Research on Sex, Gender and Reproduction and Department of Gender Studies, College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington; and J. Dennis Fortenberry, M.D., IU School of Medicine.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Lance Armstrong's confession falls flat

Cyclist Lance Armstrong's revelations did not surprise Galen Clavio, assistant professor in the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington, "for no other reason than the mountain of evidence pointing toward his having used performance-enhancing drugs during his cycling career was overwhelming from the start," Clavio said.
Dr. Galen Clavio

"I am not certain what Armstrong is hoping to gain through his public confession, because thus far he has failed to appear emotionally contrite," Clavio said. "From a public relations perspective within the context of sport, I do not think his Oprah appearance has done anything positive. His performance reminds me very much of Tiger Woods' attempt at a public confession of guilt, although to Lance's credit he has been far more forthcoming and direct than Woods ever was.

"Woods seems to have been given the benefit of the doubt by both fans and media. I doubt that Armstrong will be given the same degree of latitude."

Clavio, assistant professor in the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington's Department of Kinesiology, can be reached at or 812-855-3367.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Mohammad Torabi named dean of the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington

Indiana University Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel has announced that Mohammad R. Torabi has been appointed dean of the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington.
The appointment of Torabi, Chancellor's Professor and interim dean of the school, became effective Jan. 1, subject to the approval of the IU Board of Trustees at its February meeting.
Dr. Mohammad Torabi

"The entire campus is grateful to Dean Torabi for his selfless and dedicated service as interim dean, and for the vision and judgment he has demonstrated as the school has transitioned to its new mission," Robel said. "Enormous opportunities exist for the School of Public Health-Bloomington, especially as we align its new programs with the global initiatives on campus. I am looking forward to continuing to work with Dean Torabi in achieving a bright future for this new and promising school."

Torabi served as interim dean as the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation transitioned into one of Indiana University's two new schools of public health, with the formal naming ceremony for the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington taking place in September 2012. Before that, Torabi, a noted health behavior, education and public health expert, chaired the Department of Applied Health Science.

"Given his considerable experience as chair of the Department of Applied Health Science, which houses the state's oldest Master of Public Health program, and his administrative oversight as interim dean during the transition of the School of HPER to a school of public health, Mo Torabi in my belief is an excellent choice to be the founding dean of the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington," said Edwin Marshall, IU vice president for diversity, equity and multicultural affairs and chair of the IU Public Health Coordinating Council. "In Dean Torabi we have a knowledgeable and effective leader who will guide the school forward toward full accreditation and its continued evolution as a state, national and world leader in addressing the complex public health challenges of today and tomorrow."
The IU Public Health Initiative, launched in 2009 to address pressing public health needs across Indiana, called for establishing the state's only schools of public health, one at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and the other on the Bloomington campus.

Torabi said the transition to a school of public health marks a defining moment in the 66-year history of his school, the third largest on campus, and provides untold opportunities for addressing the public health needs of Hoosiers, particularly those living in rural communities.

"I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to Provost Robel for her unwavering support of our School of Public Health-Bloomington, and President McRobbie, whose steadfast and visionary leadership has continued to inspire us all. Likewise, I would like to thank all members of the search committee for their service to our school," Torabi said. "It is an honor and privilege for me to assume this leadership position for our highly respected school.

"While much has been accomplished at the School of Public Health-Bloomington, much remains to be done. I'm confident that our world-renowned faculty, dedicated staff and loyal alums will continue working toward expansion of our mission of preventing disease, promoting health and quality of life, and health care cost containment for the citizens of Indiana and global community. This can be achieved through outstanding research, teaching and public health community engagement."

Sarita Soni, vice provost for research at IU Bloomington, chaired the search and screen committee for the internal search.

"Under Sarita Soni's deft leadership, the search committee conducted a thorough internal search for the best candidate for the deanship," Robel said. "I am very grateful to Vice Provost Soni and to all of the members of the committee for their dedication and service."

Torabi's research focus is in the area of measurement and evaluation of school and public health education programs and factors associated with health behavior. His research extends into health promotion and key factors related to individuals' decisions in the prevention of drug abuse, cancer and HIV/AIDS infection.

He has received numerous honors for his research and teaching, both from professional associations and Indiana University. Torabi is the former president and a fellow of the American Academy of Health Behavior, which is a premier academy dedicated to advancing research in this field. He is a fellow and charter member of the North American Society of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sport, and Dance Professionals; charter fellow of the American Association of Health Education; fellow of the American School Health Association; and fellow of the Research Committee of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education and Dance.

Monday, January 7, 2013

IU expert on aging honored by Association for Gerontology in Higher Education

Lesa Huber, clinical assistant professor in the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington, has been selected to receive the Hiram J. Friedsam Mentorship Award by the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.
Dr. Lesa Huber

Huber, an expert on the biological, psychological and social determinants of aging well, will receive the award during the association's annual meeting in February.

The mentorship award was created to recognize those who emulate Hiram J. Friedsam's excellence in mentorship. Friedsam was a professor, co-founder and director of the Center for Studies in Aging at the University of North Texas, one of the first gerontology programs in the U.S. Huber was selected for this award based on nomination letters from current and former students who wrote about the impact of Huber's mentoring on their academic and personal achievements.

Huber, working with students, is exploring the potential of new technologies to support independent living in later life. Recent research projects include National Science Foundation-funded projects that investigate privacy issues involved with home-based computer technology and ways to keep seniors safe online. She also has received Association for Gerontology in Higher Education and U.S. 

Department of Education funding to develop, implement and evaluate online gerontology curriculum. She has developed and is the director of two minors and a graduate certificate in gerontology. At IU, where she has received several teaching awards, she has developed seven online courses to educate the aging services workforce as well as current students. Her service work includes chair and elected positions at local, state and national levels.

Friedsam, who was also dean of the School of Community Service at the University of North Texas, was considered an outstanding teacher, researcher, colleague and mentor to students, faculty and administrators, according to the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.