Sexuality & Culture

Published by Springer Nature

Online ISSN: 1936-4822


Print ISSN: 1095-5143


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Midlife Sexuality Among Thai Adults: Adjustment to Aging in the Thai Family Context
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June 2012


114 Reads


The objective of the study is to assess views of age related changes in sexual behavior among married Thai adults age 53 to 57. Results are viewed in the context of life course theory. In-depth interviews were conducted with 44 Thai adults in Bangkok and the four regions of Thailand. Topics covered include changing sexual behavior with age, adjustment to this change, gender differences in behavior, attitudes toward commercial sex and other non-marital sexual partners, and condom use. Most respondents were aware of this change and saw a decrease in sexual activity and desire more often among women compared to men. At the same time, many respondents viewed sexuality as important to a marriage. Some respondents accepted the decrease in sexual activity and focused more on work, family and temple activities. Thai Buddhism was seen as an important resource for people who were dealing with changes due to aging. Other persons turned to other partners including both commercial and non-commercial partners. The influence of the HIV epidemic that began in the 1990s was seen in concerns about disease transmission with extramarital partners and consequent attitudes toward condom use. The acceptability of extramarital partners in the family and community ranged from acceptance to strong disapproval of extramarital relationships.

How Gendered Attitudes Relate to Women’s and Men’s Sexual Behaviors and Beliefs

March 2014


1,511 Reads

This study examines associations between endorsement of a sexual double standard, gender role attitudes, and sexual behaviors and beliefs. First year university students in the northeastern United States (N = 434; 52 % female; 33 % Black, 29 % Latino, 39 % White; ages 17-19) participated during their first year of college. Endorsement of a sexual double standard was associated with more conventionally gender-stereotyped sexual behaviors and beliefs, specifically, more sexual partners and fewer perceived barriers to condom use for young men, and more perceived barriers to condom use for young women. Women who were more conventional about men's roles in society tended to use condoms less, whereas women who were more conventional about women's roles tended to use condoms more. Men who were more conventional about men's roles tended to have fewer sexual partners. Findings suggest the importance of examining gender's role in sexual behaviors and beliefs by assessing multiple gendered attitudes, rather than simply considering biological sex.

Television Use, Sexual Behavior, and Relationship Status at Last Oral Sex and Vaginal Intercourse

June 2010


285 Reads

The current longitudinal study explores the relationship between adolescent television use at time 1 and sexual experience and relationship status (i.e., committed/romantic versus casual) 1 year later. The sample (N = 824) comprised youth aged 14-18. Multinomial logistic regressions predicting group membership from television exposure variables were conducted controlling for socio-demographic characteristics and prior sexual behavior. Results indicate that sexually inexperienced youth watched more television overall than sexually experienced youth, but less adult, premium and music television on cable networks. Premium cable exposure predicted group membership among sexually active youth. Youth who watched more premium cable at time 1 were more likely to be in casual relationship at last intercourse than a committed one. A more complete understanding of media effects on adolescent sexual relationships can help guide policy development, media education/literacy efforts, and contribute to the design of interventions to reduce the negative consequences associated with adolescent sexual behavior.

Exotic Dance Research: A Review of the Literature from 1970 to 2008

August 2010


969 Reads


Lynda M. Baker


Julie M. Smith




This article presents the process and findings of a review of the empirical research literature on exotic dance/dancers in the United States and Canada from 1970 to 2008. We present research methods represented in this sample, as well as the main purposes of these studies, the deployment of theory in exotic dance research, and the visibility of researcher subjectivities. Over time researchers have gradually moved from micro-level analysis with singular explanations toward multi-dimensional and contextual understandings of exotic dance/dancers. Contemporary researchers are less grounded in deviance, pathology, or victimization. We conclude with a discussion and a series of recommendations for future research. KeywordsExotic dance–Literature review–Research–Theory–Subjectivity

Mask maker, mask maker: The black gay subject in 1970s popular culture

March 2001


36 Reads

Black gay artists have created a sustained body of literature that has served as a springboard for their creative and intellectual energies. In the 1980s and 1990s, black gay male textuality blossomed. The result is a minor literature establishing a black gay male sensibility and a distinctly Afro-Gay perspective. The political and poetic influence of these works is demonstrated visually in Looking For Langston by Isaac Julien, in Tongues Untied by the late Marlon Riggs, and to a lesser extent, Paris is Burning by Jennie Livingston. These documentaries seek to further a strategy of black gay representation. This essay explores the historical precedents for such outpouring. By situating pre-1980s representations of black gay men, I examine images of the black gay subject in the popular literature and culture of the 1970s, especially in one of the most popular works of the decade, Victor Dodson’s book, Black and Gay. I will also mention the ways in which contemporary writers, poets, film artists, and theater and performance ensembles such as Pomo Afro Homo allow black gay men to perform satirical roles that signify upon those earlier characterizations, images, and depictions, which seek to further marginalize them and, through performance, exhaust those contradictory conditions, silence often misnamed.

Using Sexual Appeals in Advertising to Sell Cosmetic Surgery: A Content Analysis from 1986 to 2007

March 2010


313 Reads

This study provides an account of how sexual appeals are used to promote cosmetic surgery. A content analysis of advertisements appearing between 1986 and 2007 in large city magazines reveals that advertisements position surgery as a means of boosting sex-esteem, and enhancing one’s sexual attractiveness, a pattern different from that of branded consumer products and services. Invasive procedures such as liposuction and breast augmentation are the top procedures advertised with sexual appeals and most advertisements feature nude or partially-nude white female models. The findings help expand knowledge about cosmetic surgery advertising, how sex is used to sell an ideal beauty standard attainable through invasive medical services, and the use of sexual content in a new context, that of medical-related advertising for cosmetic surgery. KeywordsSexual appeals–Cosmetic surgery–Plastic surgery–Body image–Content analysis–Advertising

Heterosexual Attendance at Gay Events: The 2002 Parada Livre Festival in Porto Alegre, Brazil

June 2008


78 Reads

This paper reports on a quantitative survey designed to characterize the public who attended Parada Livre 2002, a festival in Porto Alegre, Brazil organized around free sexual expression. Of particular interest was attendance at the event by heterosexual-identified individuals, a sub-population generally ignored in research to date on large-scale events of this sort. Questionnaires were completed by 176 Parada attendees. The questionnaires covered demographics, social movement participation, attitudes about HIV/AIDS and homosexuality, and motivations for attending the festival. Analysis gauged significant differences by gender and sexual orientation. Slightly more than half (52.1%) of the sample self-identified as heterosexual. Compared to attendees with non-normative sexual identities, heterosexuals were more likely to be women and less likely to be politically engaged in terms of social movement participation. Heterosexual attendees were slightly less gay-positive, but no less likely to know a lesbian, gay or travesti, or person with HIV/AIDS. Implications of study findings for scholarly understandings of cultural and political organization around sexual diversity in Brazil are discussed.

The Use of Protection for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and Unwanted Pregnancy among Norwegian Heterosexual Young Adults 2009

June 2011


222 Reads

This paper explores the use and none-use of condoms among young heterosexual adults in Norway. To what extent do young heterosexuals use condoms and other types of contraception, and in which context does the use take place? What are the motives underlying both use and non use of condoms? The results are based on a 2009 national web panel survey among 16–24year-olds in Norway (n=871). Most respondents reported having met their most recent sex partner via friends or family, and 62% referred to the sex partner as a sweetheart. One out of two claimed they had not used condoms during the first sexual intercourse with this partner. A factor analysis revealed 2-D of motivation for not using condoms, referred to here as ‘Fear of Suspicion’ and ‘Mutual Trust’. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed that, when controlled for gender, age, and number of sex partners in one’s life, ‘Mutual Trust’ had a statistically significant relationship to coital frequency and the number of years coitally active. None of the predictor variables had a statistically significant relationship with “Fear of Suspicion”. The most commonly reported motives for the most recent sexual intercourse were having been ‘sexually aroused’ and ‘in love’. A total of 56% reported using hormonal contraception, while 20% used condoms. The most important reasons for not using condoms were: ‘used other contraception’, ‘did not worry about STIs’, ‘more pleasurable without’, ‘had none available’, and ‘unprepared for intercourse’. The most important reasons for condom use were to ‘avoid pregnancy’, ‘avoid STIs’, and ‘avoid HIV’. KeywordsCondoms–STI protection–Motives–Adolescents–Norway

Coming out discourses of Asian American lesbians. Sexuality & Culture, 5(2), 57-79

January 2001


161 Reads

The authors examined the accounts of a small group of Asian American lesbians regarding their experiences forming their sexual identities. Discourse analysis and the social constructionist approach were applied to the subjects’ accounts of their coming out. Focus group subjects’ discussions were transcribed in order to depict the practices they employed to render their experiences meaningful to themselves and others. There was an internal dialectical process between the subjects’ subjective and objective reality, during which they came to terms with their subjective identity, or came out to themselves. There was also an external dialectical process between the subjects and society, during which they negotiated with their objective world for their subjective identity, or came out to the public in general and to their families in particular. The research suggests that in these dialectical processes, Asian cultural values and beliefs served as the means through which the conflict between the subjects’ interiority and their social networks was reconciled. The desire to reabsorb the subjects served to motivate the family members to work collaboratively to overcome cultural barriers to acceptance.

Navigating sex, sexuality, and Christian values. Sexuality & Culture, 4(3), 65-80

September 2000


94 Reads

This is an autobiographical essay that attempts to illuminate the cultural factors (e.g., race, religion, social class, gender, and sexuality) that shaped the author's efforts to embrace herself, including her non-conforming sexuality in a context that was quite rigid about most things. The reader is invited to experience some of the author’s grapplings about Christianity, growing up black and female in a changing America, and the constant longing to please others that many people from non-dominant positions express. This essay also hopes to provide at least one point of entry into an academic and/or personal exploration of culture and sexuality in America, including discussions about how morality, social class, race, and gender socialization may interact to shape choices and personal expressions of who one is.

Bare bodies, beaches, and boundaries: Abjected outsiders and rearticulation at the nude beach

December 2006


817 Reads

This ethnographic project considers the politics of public sexuality at a Canadian nude beach. This study explores the interaction of the naturist versus sexuality discourses that arise at the beach. On the surface the beach reads like a simple heteronormative space that is controlled and dominated by heterosexual men. Upon further investigation of the discursive field of sexuality at the beach, where different sexual scripts, postures, and identities are elaborated and inscribed, an amalgam of these discourses emerged that complicated the simple power relation of heterosexual males over females and gay men. Rather, as abjected outsiders, women’s and gay men’s bodies and pleasures emerge as a disruptive constitutive force in this contested space. What is at stake in this analysis are bodies and pleasures—not simple sex desire and domination. In the complex flow of sexuality discourse on the beach women and gay men disidentify with “proper” sexed and gendered norms and rearticulate the grounds on which their bodies come to matter.

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Table 1 Statewide 288 PC Arrests in California
Table 2
Young, unassimilated hispanic offenders: Absolutist vs. Relativist cultural assumptions

September 2005


196 Reads

California State Law §288(a) defines any sexual contact between a person 18 or older with someone under the age of 14 as illegal and punishable by incarceration. Data from the State Department of Justice shows that Young, Unassimilated Hispanic Offenders (YUHO) are arrested for these crimes at rates disproportionately greater than their numbers in the population. Through a review of the pertinent literature and clinical archives, we argue that YUHOs have been acculturated into a sexual morality that violates legally codified American sexual standards. While their sexual behavior is deemed morally deviant and illegal in the United States, this same behavior is not considered morally deviant or illegal within their internalized, home culture. This contrasts with the typical §288(a) offender who is motivated by a sexual perversion. Should the criminal justice system regard YUHOs differently from typical §288(a) offenders? “relativists” suggest that cultural considerations should be taken in the adjudication of these cases. Our preliminary work is to inform and articulate this debate at the crossroads of psychology, anthropology and criminal justice, without advocating either of the above perspectives. We suggest that legislatures did not anticipate the population of YUHO sexual offenders when these laws were written, and argue that YUHOs differ significantly from the typical pedophile for which these statutes were intended.

On the Iatrogenic Nature of the Child Sexual Abuse Discourse

June 2009


179 Reads

In the last decades of the twentieth century there was an unprecedented surge of anxieties and alarm over erotic experiences involving minors and adults, which has continued as a social and scientific discourse in which these relationships invariably are seen as abusive, harmful, and criminal. In this paper, the fundamental characteristics of this discourse, whose basis and pertinence are questioned, are analyzed for their possible iatrogenic effects; i.e., those induced by professional intervention, in four key areas of social reality: the erotic dimension of human beings, individual responsibility, the use of penal law as a mechanism of social control, and fostering better relations between the sexes and generations. Critical reflection on the social and professional handling of the problem includes the undesirable effects which such treatment may be producing.

The case against the routine provision of psychotherapy to children/adolescents labeled “sexually abused”

April 2002


255 Reads

Whether symptomatic or asymptomatic, children labeled sexually abused are routinely offered treatment at considerable financial cost. One result of this is that mental health professionals are being charged with exploiting the problem of child sexual abuse (CSA). Is the routine provision of psychotherapy for children and adolescents labeled sexually abused warranted? In this paper, it is argued that the evidence indicates it is not warranted. Further, its provision is not in the best interests of either the children or mental health professionals. A number of recommendations are given which follow from the evidence.

Academic affairs

June 2002


19 Reads

While academic bureaucrats busied themselves throughout the 1990s with regulating both verbal and sexual interactions on campus, a number of iconoclastic novelists used the resources of fiction to create works that defy campus orthodoxies and expose their underpinnings to withering and often comic analyses. This essay examines six novels of campus life by four contemporary American writers: Philip Roth (The Human Stain; The Dying Animal; The Professor of Desire); Nicholas Delbanco (Old Scores); Francine Prose (Blue Angel); and Eric Tarloff (The Man Who Wrote the Book). Whether writing in a melancholy, a semi-tragic, or a satirical mode, these writers challenge the simplistic readings of "asymmetrical relationships" so prevalent in campus speech and behavior codes. Using imagination and wit, they have produced novels that go far beyond the pieties of the moment and, instead, attempt to do justice to the mental and physical drives and complex motives that characterize human relationships in the academy and out of it.

“I’m Just Trying to Find my Way Like Most Kids”: Bisexuality, Adolescence and the Drama of One Tree Hill

December 2009


453 Reads

This essay offers a narrative reading of the representation of bisexuality on One Tree Hill by examining the character Anna Tagaro. Grounding this reading in observations about bisexuality, media representation and adolescent identity formation processes, the essay exposes Anna’s representation as both a viable coming out story for an adolescent audience and a systematic erasure of bisexuality as a valid social identity. The displacement of political activism with friend and ally Peyton creates a representation that functions both as liberating and constraining simultaneously. Moreover, Anna’s inclusion as the only Latina character in an all white, all heterosexual cast offers an intersectional representation of race and sexual identity. This conflict between progress and constraint in the representation of youth identity choices offers scholars ample data for future studies in teen television and sexuality.

Local erotic songs and chants among rural Nigerian adolescent males

September 2005


273 Reads

This paper investigates local erotic songs and chants circulating among adolescent males in Nigeria. The purpose is to assess the critical themes which these erotic verses evoke and their potentials in the discursive construction of adolescent sexual identities and definition of the (erotic) spaces and meanings on the basis of which young Nigerian males constitute their sexual conducts. Data indicate high level of awareness and knowledge of local erotic songs and chants among adolescent males. The songs and chants were reportedly used to learn about gender and sex roles, the body, and sexuality, and for recreation. Themes in local boys’ erotic songs and chants are primarily male privileging and penis advantaging, and celebrate male sexual activity, desire, violence, ruthlessness, and risk-taking as well as male control and subordination of women and their body. The songs and chants depict feminity and female sexuality as inferior to masculinity and male sexuality and tend to objectify women’s body as a facility for male sexual pleasure. The paper argues that while erotic verses circulating among adolescent Nigerian males help relieve them of the difficulties caused by the cultural relegation of sex and sexuality to the realm of the unspoken, they contain very disturbing and potentially dangerous images that provide little space for male responsibility and respect for women. Local erotic verses circulating among adolescents present an under-explored resource in sexuality education and a critical entry point for current efforts to understand and help young people extricate themselves from the sea of half-truths, myths, and prejudices about sex and sexuality.

Freaks, Gold Diggers, Divas, and Dykes: The Sociohistorical Development of Adolescent African American Women's Sexual Scripts

April 2003


6,622 Reads

The development of a sexual self is based in an understanding of the messages and meanings an individual is given about sexual roles and behaviors. To understand how meanings become scripts unique to adolescent African American women’s experiences, it is important to look at how their images have been framed within a racialized and sexualized sociohistorical context. The remnants of the foundational Jezebel, Mammy, Matriarch, and Welfare. Mother images of African American womanhood remain today, as exemplified by similar, yet more sexually explicit scripts that include the Freak, Gold Digger, Diva, and Dyke. This paper explores the sociohistorical development of current sexual scripts for African American female adolescents through an interpretation of Hip Hop culture documents, and the available empirical research. The relevance of these current sexual scripts to sexual identity development, sexual risk-taking behaviors, and interpersonal relationship dynamics are also addressed.

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