October 21, 2009

The Kinsey Institute Presents: Conversations About Sex Research

The Kinsey Institute has now released a series of free podcasts, "Conversations About Sex Research."

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The Kinsey Institute has now released a series of free podcasts: Conversations About Sex Research.

These short audio clips, about 6 minutes in length on average, are a great way to peek inside the walls of the Kinsey Institute’s researchers to find out more about the fascinating and innovative work their doing.

You can listen to the podcasts directly on the Kinsey Institute website here or download them on iTunes.

A Preview: “Environmental Stress and Its Impact on Pregnancy” With Dr. Virginia Vitzthum

Dr. Virginia Vitzhum, a Senior Scientist at the Kinsey Institute, is a renown evolutionary biologist who studies variation in fertility and female reproductive functioning.

In the podcast interview with Dr. Vitzhum, she reveals that fertility in women is shaped by both their offspring and the environmental conditions in which the women live.  In particular, she highlights that miscarrying a pregnancy may be due to harsh conditions in which women live when they become pregnant – poor nutrition, a high and prolonged level of physical labor, and the absence of psychosocial support.

Even when conditions are not harsh, fertility is not as automatic and simple as we tend to believe.  One striking fact she reveals: 80% of all conceptions are lost within the first 35 days, so most women aren’t even aware that they were pregnant and have miscarried because it happens within their usual menstrual cycle.

To improve women’s reproductive health, Dr. Vitzhum calls for changing the approaches used by researchers and medical professionals rather than attempting to change the women.

These are some great clips!  Be sure to check them out.