People are worried about sexualization; about children becoming sexual at too young an age; about the ways in which women may be being defined by their sexuality; and about
the availability and potential effects of online pornography, to name but a few of the often repeated concerns.
The word sexualization has been used to mean many things and to refer to a wide range of issues. This report
aims to summarize what is known -- and not yet known -- on each of the main areas of concern.
The term sexualization was virtually non-existent in news headlines in 2005, but since then it has been widely used.
Sexualization has become a political and policy issue; the topic of several significant reports and of comment by leading politicians.
The contributors to this report are conscious of the inaccurate and sometimes sensationalist
information that often circulates publicly about sexualization, not only in media and popular books, but also in policy reports, statements by politicians and other public figures, as well as in some academic work.
Our aim is to
set out clearly what current good research tells us about these issues, and make clear what is known and what is not known or is unclear.
The report addresses the wide range of issues relating to sex, sexuality and sexual health
and wellbeing that seem to underpin public anxieties that are now commonly expressed as concerns about sexualization . These include STIs, pregnancy, addiction, dysfunction, violence, abuse, sex work, sexual practices, different forms of
sexuality, medicalization, commerce, media and popular culture.
A new Ann Summers survey suggests that 55% of women watch videos with sexual content on their own at least once a month, with a further 40% admitting to switching it on weekly. 96% cent of women have watched porn with a partner, with 58% claiming
it had a positive effect on their sex life
The majority of women prefer to watch soft porn (73%), nearly half (47%) tune into role play porn and 21% enjoy fetish-related content.
Nearly half of women said porn helps spice up their love life by
helping them to find the confidence to tell their partner what they like between the sheets.
40% of women admitted to making a DIY sex tape with an ex or current partner and 66% filmed it on a Smartphone.
The negative effect of pornography on a teenager's sexuality has been greatly exaggerated, according to a new study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.
Parents have long had reasons to intervene when they catch their teens looking
at pornography. There are arguments to be made against pornography on almost every level: Most films, especially from the mainstream, at best give very unrealistic depictions of men, women, and various sex acts, and it has long been thought that exposure
to pornography has a negative effect on a teen's sexual development.
But at least one new study argues the contrary: That pornography might not have as big an effect on teen sexual behavior as thought.
For the new study, 4,600 young people
between the ages of 15 and 25 in The Netherlands were surveyed about their sex lives and their use of pornography. The survey asked whether they used pornography, how many sexual partners they have had, and whether or not they've had one-night stands or
exchanged money for sex.
Gert Martin Hald, the lead author of the study and associate professor in the department of public health at the University of Copenhagen, said that previous studies on the subject focused too much on the contraction of
sexually transmitted diseases and the consumption of pornography. This means that previous studies had already overestimated the link between porn and sexual behavior without laying any proper groundwork. Their study, therefore, focused on sexual
self-esteem, sexual assertiveness, sensation seeking, and the extent to which young people sought out sexual excitement and physical pleasure.
The study found that ultimately, there does exist a statistically significant relationship
between the subjects' pornography use and their sexual behavior, [but] that link turned out to be a modest one. Hald also argues that more attention should be paid to other influences outside of pornography. Hald said:
There has been a sort of moral panic -- sometimes in Britain and in the U.S. especially -- about the influence of pornography on sexual behaviours. And although this study can't claim to investigate cause and effect, it can still say
that there are a lot of other factors that determine sexual behaviours, so maybe we should put the debate into a larger perspective instead of being just one-sided.
Perhaps he is trying to suggest that unemployment and a lack of
prospects may be doing far more harm to kids than viewing porn.
Women should forget everything they've been told about bras. According to a new French study, wearing a bra does nothing to reduce back pain, and the chest supports actually cause increased breast sagging.
Watching porn and posting nude photos of oneself may be good for young people according to a Swedish researcher.
Pernilla Nigard, a doctoral candidate at Malmo University studied men and women 18-25 and found that young people's online porn habits
can enrich their lives. She even believes the practices may help shape their identities. Nigard told The Local: A lot of it is about the need to be seen, to get affirmation, and to get attention,
When asked why they posted sexualized
images of themselves online, the women Nigard interviewed said that they feel stronger when they receive positive comments.
But it's not all good news. If women receive negative comments, they're likely to strike back at their critics.
Nigard found that it's OK to be seen as sexy, but if women are labeled sluts or whores it can become problematic for those who post their photos, especially when they're spread across the internet.
Men on the other hand use porn in the pursuit of independence.
Nigard said: It's sort of like uncomplicated sex. There aren't any demands like in a real relationship because there is a lack of intimacy.
Nigard's research also indicated that it's not really clear why young people feel good about
exposing their sexuality online when it's those who comment who have the real power. She said that perhaps it's the simple fact that our image-heavy culture helps shape young people's identities regardless of the consequences.
Pornographic Picture Processing Interferes with Working Memory Performance
By Christian Laiera (Department of General Psychology: Cognition, University of Duisburg--Essen), Frank P. Schultea & Matthias Branda (Erwin L.
Hahn Institute for Magnetic Resonance Imaging).
Some individuals report problems during and after Internet sex engagement, such as missing sleep and forgetting appointments, which are
associated with negative life consequences.
One mechanism potentially leading to these kinds of problems is that sexual arousal during Internet sex might interfere with working memory (WM) capacity, resulting in a neglect of
relevant environmental information and therefore disadvantageous decision making.
In this study, 28 healthy individuals performed 4 experimental manipulations of a pictorial 4-back WM task with neutral, negative, positive, or
pornographic stimuli. Participants also rated 100 pornographic pictures with respect to sexual arousal and indicated masturbation urges previous to and following pornographic picture presentation.
Results revealed worse WM
performance in the pornographic picture condition of the 4-back task compared with the three remaining picture conditions. Furthermore, hierarchical regression analysis indicated an explanation of variance of the sensitivity in the pornographic picture
condition by the subjective rating of the pornographic pictures as well as by a moderation effect of masturbation urges.
Results contribute to the view that indicators of sexual arousal due to pornographic picture processing
interfere with WM performance. Findings are discussed with respect to Internet sex addiction because WM interference by addiction-related cues is well known from substance dependencies.
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