Roundups Sexual Health

This Week in Sex: Same-Sex Marriage, Donor Eggs, and Football

Martha Kempner

While New Jersey's governor is still fighting same-sex marriage in court, ceremonies are set to begin on Monday and the state's newly elected senator says he will be conducting some of them.

This Week in Sex is a weekly summary of news and research related to sexual behavior, sexuality education, contraception, STIs, and more.

Chris Christie, Cory Booker at Odds Over Same-Sex Marriages

The drama over same-sex marriage is continuing in the Garden State as Republican Gov. Chris Christie fights court rulings allowing such unions, while newly elected Democratic Sen. Cory Booker says he will happily perform same-sex ceremonies.

As Rewire recently reported, a New Jersey judge ruled in September that not allowing same-sex couples to marry violated their equal rights and ordered the state to begin permitting such marriages by October 21. Gov. Christie plans to appeal the matter to the New Jersey Supreme Court. His administration asked the judge to delay her order while the appeal is underway, but she declined to do so. In a 17-page decision issued last week, Judge Mary Jacobson wrote, “The ‘harm’ [the state] alleges simply cannot justify depriving plaintiffs and other same-sex couples of equality in the form of access to important federal marital benefits.” She also noted that the state was unlikely to succeed on appeal.

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The governor, who many believe is setting the stage for a 2016 presidential run, will continue his appeal, but in the meantime, unless a higher court steps in, same-sex weddings will begin in the state on Monday. That’s where the state’s newly elected Senator comes in. Booker won a special election this Wednesday and will finish out the term of the late Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg. He is then expected to run for a full term in 2014. Right now, however, Booker is still the mayor of Newark, and in that role he plans to conduct at least ten same-sex ceremonies at city hall on Monday.

More Pregnancies Use Donor Eggs Than Ever Before

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that the number of women using donor eggs to get pregnant has increased in the last decade. Though the results of these attempts are better than they were a decade ago, few end in the ideal outcome: a single baby born on time at a healthy weight.

According to the research, there were 18,306 attempts at in vitro fertilization (IVF) using donor eggs in 2010, compared to 10,801 in 2000. In 2010, about 56 percent of these attempts resulted in a live birth; however, there were still more twins born than singletons, and many were born prematurely. Doctors believe this needs to change in order to improve the chances that babies are born at normal birth weights and with a lower risk of developmental problems.

In an IVF procedure, regardless of whether a woman uses her own egg or a donor egg, egg and sperm are combined outside the body to form an embryo, which is then implanted into the woman’s uterus, where it will hopefully implant. To increase the chances of one embryo implanting, doctors often implant more than one, which is why many attempts at IVF end in multiple births. This practice, however, has decreased over the last decade. In 2000, less than 1 percent of IVF attempts using donor eggs transferred just one embryo; in 2010, it was up to 15 percent.

One thing that hasn’t changed in the last ten years is the age of women using donor eggs (the average remains 41) or the eggs of the women who donate (the average remains 28).

Jets Coach Promises He Did Not Tell Players to Abstain From Sex

The New York Jets football team has a big game this weekend against the New England Patriots, and coach Rex Ryan wants to make sure all his players are well-rested and ready to hit the field come game time. On Wednesday, he sent his players home and told them to take it easy and not even do anything around the house. Team member Josh Cribbs told the Associated Press, “He was like, ‘Rest your legs and go home. Don’t do anything for your wife. Say, ‘Baby, next week. I’m going to do it next week. I’m going to take out the trash next week. I’ll take the kids to practice next week. But I’ve got to rest for this game.'”

Some who heard these instructions, including defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson, who spoke to a newspaper reporter that day, took this to mean that players should abstain from doing anything for their wives in the bedroom as well. Though he later said he had only been joking, he told the paper that sexual relations were absolutely on the “Not tonight, honey” list.

Just in case anyone was worried that the Jets and their wives might have to do without for four whole days, Ryan clarified his remarks to the AP: “Somebody misinterpreted the message apparently.” Of course, some of the wives may wish he’d say he was just joking about the garbage and the child care as well.

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