Past Events

“Reproductive Ageing and Fertility Myths”

Professor Susan Bewley

@ The Book Club, Shoreditch

Susan Bewley will describe the biological consequences of the recent increase in older-age pregnancies and family planning. Describing how technology has both contributed to the success of this trend (for better or worse) and why there’s a pressing need for public health outreach on the matter. Teenagers are told in school not to get pregnant and women are often encouraged to put their careers before starting a family—but at what cost?

Professor Susan Bewley qualified as a doctor in 1982. She has a degree in medical law and ethics, was the first woman trained in Maternal-Fetal Medicine in the UK and worked as an obstetrician with pregnant women for almost 30 years. Her main research interests are severe maternal morbidity and violence in pregnancy. She has observed the much-hyped successes and much less well recognised harms of assisted reproduction and IVF over the past four decades. She was a member of the NICE Fertility Guideline Group and chaired the recent Intrapartum Guideline Development Group.

Further reading:Bewley S, Welch J (eds). The ABC of domestic and sexual violence. Wiley 2014Daly I, Bewley S. Reproductive ageing and conflicting clocks: King Midas’ touch. Reproductive Biomedicine Online, 2013 DOI: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2013.09.012Vasireddy A, Bewley S. Tragic outcome of post-menopausal pregnancy: an obstetric commentary. Reproductive Biomedicine Online 2013 DOI10.1016/j.rbmo.2013.05.005

Vasireddy A, Bewley S. IVF is safe over 50 if it is not fatal. Am J Perinatol 2013

Bewley S, Foo L, Braude P. Adverse outcomes of IVF. Br Med J 2011;342-3:d436

Bewley S, Foo L. Are doctors still improving childbirth? In: Birth Rites and Rights. Hart Publishing, Cambridge 2011:51-76

Bewley S, Moth P, Khalaf Y. A complicated IVF twin pregnancy. Human Reproduction 2010:25:1082-4

Bewley S, Ledger W, Nickolou D (eds.) Reproductive Ageing RCOG Press, London 2009.

Bewley S, Davies M, Braude P. Which career first? The most secure time for childbearing remains 20-35. BMJ  2005:588-9

 

Tuesday 21st February 2017

Kissing, Cuddling, and Pegging Oh My: What Millennial men get up to on a Friday night.

@The Book Club, Shoreditch

In this provocative talk, Professor Eric Anderson (American sociologist living in the UK) will first outline his inclusive masculinity theory which suggests that masculinity is more conservative in times of extreme homophobia–something he calls homohysteria. However, whereas homosexuality was highly stigmatized in the 1980s; among millennial males today, it is homophobia that is highly stigmatized. Less concerned about being thought gay among peers, this cultural condition permits young men to exhibit feminized masculinities and to be considerably less rigid in their approach to heterosexuality. Using empirical evidence from the US, UK, and Australia, Professor Anderson shows that today’s young heterosexual males are kissing other males, cuddling other males, and enjoying their own anal sexual experiences. He finds that decreasing homophobia has made bisexuality more visible, and socially legitimate, and he shows that most of today’s male youths understand that sexuality is complicated. Finally, he finds that young heterosexual males today are having stronger, or stronger emotional relationship with their boyfriends (bromances) as their girlfriends.

Dr. Eric Anderson is Professor of Sport, Masculinities & Sexualities at the University of Winchester, in England. He holds four degrees, has published 14 books, and over 60 peer-reviewed journal articles. His research is regularly featured in international television, print and digital media. He is the leading academic expert on gay men in sport, and the architect of Inclusive Masculinity Theory, which was generated from his research showing that deceased homophobia leads to a softening of heterosexual masculinities. This permits young men to kiss, cuddle and maintain bromances with other males, while also leading to semi-sexual behaviors between men and the increased recognition of bisexuality. His sexuality research extends to the improvement that decreasing cultural homophobia has on biphobia, and his work on monogamy and cheating finds positive aspects of non-monogamous relationships, including cheating. Professor Anderson is also the trustee of the Sport Collision Injury Collective which is committed to examining and removing brain trauma caused by participation in contact sports. His interest in sport extends to critiquing organized team sports and writing about the coaching of long distance runners. Professor Anderson’s research excellence is recognized by the British Academy of Social Sciences; he is a Visiting Professor at the University of California, Irvine; and he is also a Full-Fellow of the International Academy of Sex Research.

 

Thursday 5th January 2017:

How Sex Changed: 1930s in Europe, 1960s in US.  Legitimizing transsexual surgery
Professor Richard Green
The pioneering European steps of Magnus Hirschfeld in the 1930s, the US “discovery” of “sex change” with Christine Jorgensen in the 1950s, and the enduring heroism of Harry Benjamin in the 1960s. 
 
Medical degree: Johns Hopkins, law degree: Yale.  
Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus, UCLA.   Formerly Visiting Professor Imperial College and Consultant Psychiatrist, Charing Cross Gender Identity Clinic, 12 years.  Formerly law faculty UCLA and Cambridge.  
Founding President, International Academy of Sex Research and Founding Editor and Editor 30 years, Archives of Sexual Behavior. 200 publications.
Thursday 10th November 2016:
Female Sexual Arousal in the Laboratory and in the Bedroom 
Dr Roy J Levin
“Human sexual arousal is commonly regarded as a highly personal and private behaviour but there are limited physical stimulations that activate it. The physical and nervous manifestations of its induction appear similar in individuals. We can study and even measure many of these biological events in the sexual physiology laboratory. The question arises, however, whether the data from such studies on the volunteers are a valid representation of what occurs during the private sexual arousal of individuals, in technical jargon – does it have ecological validity? The talk will examine the anatomy creating female arousal, the arousal phenomena and its measurements and compare the sexual arousal in the laboratory with those of the bedroom.”

Dr Roy Levin, formerly Reader in Physiology in the Department of Biomedical Science,
University of Sheffield, Yorkshire, England from 1977 until his retirement in 2000 then
became an Honorary Research Associate at the Sexual Physiology Laboratory,
Porterbrook Clinic, Sheffield, England until December, 2015.

He is the author/co-author of numerous papers, reviews and book chapters on the
physiology of sexual arousal/function in both sexes but his speciality is the human female.
He was an elected member of the Physiological Society (1965-2000), a Director-at-Large
(2001-2003) on the first Board of Directors of the International Society for the Study of
Woman’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH) and has been an elected member of the International Academy of Sex Research since 1982. He served as the Female Research Update Editor of the European Society for Sexual and Impotence Research (ESSIR) Newsletter (2000-2003) and on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Impotence Research – The Journal of Sexual Medicine (2002- 2003), the Menopause Review (1999-2000) and was on the founding editorial board of
the Journal of Sexual Medicine (2004-2005) to which he has now been reappointed
(2014-). He has been an Associate Editor on the editorial board of Sexual and
Relationship Therapy (the official journal of the College for Sexual and Relationship
Therapy) since 2001.
He is an invited speaker at numerous national and international conferences and has
appeared in a number of television programmes on human sexuality.
The World Association of Sexology (now World Association of Sexual Health) awarded
him their Gold Medal at the 17 th World Congress of Sexology at Montreal in 2005 for his
lifetime achievements to sexology and sexual health.
He was the Executive Chair of the Local Scientific Committee that hosted the World
Association of Sexual Health (WAS) Congress in Glasgow in June 2011 where he was
awarded the honour of a Fellowship of the Sheffield Society for the Study of Sex and
Relationships for his studies in the physiology of human sexual arousal.
He was a member of the ISSWSH Committee on ‘Revising the sexual nomenclature for
female sexual function and dysfunction (2013-2016) while the ESSM (European Society
for Sexual Medicine) appointed him as Chair of the committee in 2013 to report on the
‘Physiology and Pathophysiology of woman’s sexual function’ for the 4 th International
Consultation of Sexual Medicine, Madrid 2015. The report is in the Journal of Sexual
Medicine (2016) The physiology of female sexual function and the pathophysiology of
female sexual dysfunction. Vol 13,733-759. He became the Chair of the Gold Medal Awards Committee of the World Association of Sexual Health (WAS) in August 2015.

Friday 8th July: “Just a pretty face? The origins of facial attractiveness” Carmen Lefevre 

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@ The Castle, Farringdon

(nearest station-Farringdon & Barbican)

The focus on beauty and physical attractiveness is ubiquitous in our society, with many celebrities being celebrated for their appearance. So what is that makes one person more attractive to another and why do we react so strongly to these cues of beauty? In this talk, Carmen Lefevre will look at physical attractiveness through an evolutionary lens, discussing how beauty may be the consequence of an evolved signalling system of biological properties. She will also discuss the effects the environment you find yourself in may shape who you find attractive and whether and how we can change our own levels of attractiveness to others.

Dr Carmen Lefevre is a Research Associate at UCL’s Centre for Behaviour Change. Carmen is a psychologist with an interest in facial appearance and person perception. Her recent work seeks to understand how we can successfully encourage people to adopt positive lifestyle changes.

Thursday 7th April: “Sexy isn’t Sexist” Paula Wright

@ The Clarence , Whitehall

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Paula Wright left Shotton Hall Comprehensive at 16 with zero qualifications and a recommendation from the carers advisor to do a YTS on the cheese counter at her local Prestos. She became an actor instead and some years later discovered she was actually an Aspie with a Mensa level IQ. Today Paula is an independent scholar in evolutionary theory. Her area of research is a consilience of the natural and social sciences and includes, but is not limited to, evolutionary anthropology, palaeoanthropology, psychology, biology, ecology, population genetics, economics, primatology and empirical gender studies. For brevity’s sake, she refers to this as “Darwinian Gender Studies”.

Paula has published in the Journal of Evolutionary Behavioural Sciences, writes, blogs, Tweets @SexyIsntSexist, speaks, performs and runs a popular academic discussion forum on Facebook. This evening Paula will be discussing the evolution of the human female breast and why evolutionary logic and feminist theory are such incompatible bed fellows. Trigger warning: includes boobs – audience participation may be requested.

Further reading:

Patriarchy, male competition and excess male mortality
Kruger, Daniel J.; Fisherm Maryanne L.; Wright, Paula
Evolutionary Behavioural Sciences, Vol 8 (1) Jan 2014.

Darwinian Gender Studies Blog: https://porlawright.wordpress.com/

Post-grad fund: https://www.gofundme.com/paulawright

3rd March 2016
“Reproductive Ageing and Fertility Myths” Professor Susan Bewley
@ The Prince of Wales, Covent Garden, London
SusanBewleyES1
Professor Susan Bewley qualified as a doctor in 1982. She has a degree in medical law and ethics, was the first woman trained in Maternal-Fetal Medicine in the UK and worked as an obstetrician with pregnant women for almost 30 years. Her main research interests are severe maternal morbidity and violence in pregnancy. She has observed the much-hyped successes and much less well recognised harms of assisted reproduction and IVF over the past four decades.   She was a member of the NICE Fertility Guideline Group and chaired the recent Intrapartum Guideline Development Group. Her talk gives a brief explanation about biology, why people are having children older and how this worsens outcomes. She describes how technology has contributed to this trend and why we need to take a public health approach to the health of the next generation.

Further reading:Bewley S, Welch J (eds). The ABC of domestic and sexual violence. Wiley 2014Daly I, Bewley S. Reproductive ageing and conflicting clocks: King Midas’ touch. Reproductive Biomedicine Online, 2013 DOI: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2013.09.012Vasireddy A, Bewley S. Tragic outcome of post-menopausal pregnancy: an obstetric commentary. Reproductive Biomedicine Online 2013 DOI10.1016/j.rbmo.2013.05.005

Vasireddy A, Bewley S. IVF is safe over 50 if it is not fatal. Am J Perinatol 2013

Bewley S, Foo L, Braude P. Adverse outcomes of IVF. Br Med J 2011;342-3:d436

Bewley S, Foo L. Are doctors still improving childbirth? In: Birth Rites and Rights. Hart Publishing, Cambridge 2011:51-76

Bewley S, Moth P, Khalaf Y. A complicated IVF twin pregnancy. Human Reproduction 2010:25:1082-4

Bewley S, Ledger W, Nickolou D (eds.) Reproductive Ageing RCOG Press, London 2009.

Bewley S, Davies M, Braude P. Which career first? The most secure time for childbearing remains 20-35. BMJ  2005:588-9

4th February 2016 

“Sex, Love and Marketing: How to Market Yourself on Online Dating Sites” David Frank

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“Have you ever used an online dating site or app of any kind ever before? Including Tinder?
Marketer & former radio show host David Frank will be talking about all things online dating, sex & porn. We could all use some tips on how to market ourselves, whether looking for love online, or trying to make the best impression in any situation. There’s a marketer’s insight into porn for women, the formulas romance novels use for their plots & covers, and we’ll look at the statistics behind the UK’s porn viewing. This talk will prove you’re attractive to a great many people, and we’ll use science to prove it! There’ll be singing, an acted romance scene, & a very interesting Q&A afterward.”

Hailing from Perth, Western Australia, David Frank is a freelance marketer who has has lived and worked in Japan and Vietnam. He is currently based Scotland and he is an Edinburgh Skeptics committee member. You can read more about him at davidfrank.com.au .

7th January 2016

“New data on sex differences in IQ”- Dr Stuart Ritchie

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“The question of sex differences in cognitive ability (or intelligence) is a
very old one, but it is still hugely controversial. Are there any mental abilities where females outperform males, or vice versa? If so, which abilities? And, perhaps most importantly, why? In this talk, Stuart Ritchie will discuss the science of sex differences in cognitive abilities, covering the controversy, the evidence, and the counterarguments. He will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the research on cognitive sex differences, consider what sex differences—if they are real—might mean for society, and report on some entirely new data that inform this important, but
extremely divisive, question.”
Dr. Stuart J. Ritchie is a Research Fellow at The University of Edinburgh’s
Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology. His research studies of young children and of older adults use techniques from differential psychology, neuroimaging, and genetics to help understand the development of cognitive abilities across the lifespan. His introductory book, ‘Intelligence: All That Matters’ was published in June 2015.

Tuesday 3rd November 2015

“Myths of Attraction”- Dr Mairi Macleod

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“Is it true that men are into casual sex but women want commitment? Do men actually prefer thin women? Do women want macho, high-status men? Are dumb girls more attractive? And are the first impressions we give out really vitally important?
In this presentation Mairi Macleod will answer these questions about romantic attraction and much more.
We’re used to hearing that evolution has honed our romantic preferences in ways that increased the number of children of our ancestors and that this has led to predictable and universal gender differences in our desires and sexual inclinations. But do you buy this?”

Mairi Macleod started out her career as a biologist, and for her PhD studied the mating and reproductive strategies of wild samango monkeys in South Africa. On returning to the UK she began some reproduction of her own and changed tack work-wise by becoming a freelance science journalist. She has written extensively on the science of sex and attraction, relationships and reproduction for New Scientist Magazine, the Guardian, the Observer, the Sunday Times, the Independent, the Scotsman and many more. She now blogs, runs workshops, and speaks on the science of attraction and relationships. For details go to www.sexyscience.co.

1st October 2015

“Cry Baby: An Exploration of Sexual Arousal from Tears”

Richard Greenhill

“All of us have experienced crying before. Likewise, many of us may have felt an urge to comfort somebody who is crying. But have you ever wondered how some people might be sexually aroused from this? In this talk, Richard Greenhill will be presenting a qualitative study that he carried out into dacryphilia, a non-normative sexual interest that involves enjoyment or arousal from tears and crying.”

Richard Greenhill is a MRes Psychological Research Methods Student at Nottingham Trent University and has recently published his paper “Compassion, Dominance/Submission, and Curled Lips: A Thematic Analysis of Dacryphilic Experiencein Dacryphilia” in the International Journal of Sexual Health.

First Event Thursday 3rd September 2015

An evening of Q&A discussion with Dr Qazi Rahman on the topic of sexuality and gender non-conformity. (Podcast now available!)

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Dr Qazi Rahman is senior lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London. He is one of the leading scientists in sexual orientation research and LGBT mental health.  He was co-author of the 2005 popular science book “Born Gay” and he provided some fascinating insights into the research surrounding sexuality and gender non-conformity.

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