A new Trump administration rule, now under review at the White House budget office, would bar organizations that mention abortion, refer patients elsewhere for abortions, or provide abortions under their roofs from receiving Title X funding. Title X is a federal program that provides at least $260 million a year for contraception, screenings for sexually transmitted diseases and other reproductive health services to millions of low-income people. 

The rule, known by abortion rights advocates as a “gag rule,” is aimed at Planned Parenthood, which congressional Republicans are determined to defund, despite that no federal funds are used to pay for abortions, and many Planned Parenthood clinics offer only birth control, STD treatment, and other reproductive health care, such as cervical and breast cancer screening.

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Could male contraception finally become a reality? That is what a group of Australian scientists believe; that a safe and effective method of male contraception will become available- a method that is free of significant long-term side effects.

For a long time now, the onus of contraception has been placed solely on females. In recent years, attempts have been made to bridge the gap in responsibility between men and women. In 2016, NPR reported that a study focusing on a male contraceptive in hormone form was essentially killed, after men in the study reported a plethora of side effects as a result of the hormone injection.

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As long as people have been imagining robots, they’ve been imagining sex with robots. Countless science fiction stories, comics, television shows and movies have used this as an overt or underlying theme. For some, this is controversial or even disturbing. But for many, it’s exciting and even potentially a relief.

For a person who longs for a partner but has trouble connecting with other humans, the idea of achieving a satisfying sexual experience, even with a robot partner, can be freeing. But now that this dream has been realized, with several sex robots on the market, it’s clear that some very human problems come with them.

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Ars Electronica. (Tom Mesic/Flickr.)

It’s hard to believe, but even Samantha the Sex Robot might need to be reprogrammed to ward off unwanted sexual advances.

It sounds like something out of a futuristic novel, but the robot’s developers were shocked by how Samantha was treated at the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, Austria.

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A study found that patients who had had surgery performed by a female surgeon were 12 percent less likely to die in the 30 days following recovery.

Researchers at the University of Toronto viewed the records of 104,630 patients who had surgery between 2007 and 2015, as well as the 3,314 surgeons who performed the surgeries, at a hospital in Ontario, Canada. The sample of patients were matched to those in similar groups, based on factors such as age, sex and income. Surgeons were also matched in age, experience, the number of surgeries regularly performed and their respective workplace, or hospital. The outcomes of patients who had undergone one of 25 surgical procedures by a female surgeon were viewed against those who had received the same procedure performed by a male.

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Gender spectrum beyond gender binary graphic (ThinkStock by Getty images)

A strict gender binary is a societal construct, not a biological one. Numerous societies recognize gender beyond a binary. Some recognize as many as seven. Now science is shedding more light on the concept that supports gender as a spectrum instead of two sides of a coin.

In the dominant society labeling as a "boy" or "girl" begins before we're even born. But with all of the factors that contribute to gender, such simplistic labels may some day become obsolete.

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Changing times: students stage a kiss-in at a Sainsbury’s store in Brighton last year after two gay women were threatened with ejection for kissing. (CREDIT: Christopher Ison)

Drawing on the widest survey of sexual behavior since the Kinsey Report, David Spiegelhalter, in his book Sex by Numbers, answers key questions about our private lives. Here he reveals how Kinsey's contested claim that 10% of us are gay is actually close to the mark.

For a single statistic to be the primary propaganda weapon for a radical political movement is unusual. Back in 1977, the US National Gay Task Force (NGTF) was invited into the White House to meet President Jimmy Carter’s representatives – a first for gay and lesbian groups. The NGTF’s most prominent campaigning slogan was “we are everywhere”, backed up by the memorable statistical claim that one in 10 of the US population was gay – this figure was deeply and passionately contested.

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