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Making sex “normal”

Not a day goes by where you don't hear a lament in the media about our hyper-sexualized culture. Teen pregnancy rates, the decline in marriage, sexual assault -- they're erroneously linked to everything from pop music tarts to pornography. But the truth is, that despite its seeming prevalence, sex is rarely talked about with any openness or honesty.

That's why Debby Herbenick, a research scientist at Indiana University and sexual health educator at the Kinsey Institute, just launched the site Make Sex Normal. In an email announcing the project, she explains that it's her response to "a pretty tough 2012 election season in which I felt depressingly and repeatedly reminded how little information and comfort there is about sexuality and reproductive health issues." She "kept wondering what to do," she writes. Then she realized that she and all her sex-positive colleagues "have experienced firsthand how quickly sex becomes normal and everyday when we're in a bubble of people who talk about it, who have sex books on their bookshelves, who teach about it, and who talk about it like it's no big deal." She wondered, "If more people engaged in everyday acts of sex-positivity, would change happen more quickly?" With Make Sex Normal, Herbenick is betting on it.

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