The Canadian journal of human sexuality

Published by University of Toronto Press
Online ISSN: 1188-4517
Publications
Article
Regular monitoring of trends in sexual health and sexual behaviours among adolescents provides strong evidence to guide intervention programs and health policies. Using the province-wide, school-based British Columbia (BC) Adolescent Health Surveys of 1992, 1998, and 2003, this study documented the trends in sexual health and risk behaviours among adolescents in grades 7 to 12 in BC, and explored the associations between sexual behaviours and key risk and protective factors. From 1992 to 2003, the percentage of youth who had ever had sexual intercourse decreased for both males (33.9% to 23.3%) and females (28.6% to 24.3%) and the percentage who used a condom at last intercourse increased for both males (64.4% to 74.9%) and females (52.9% to 64.2%). Among students who had ever had sexual intercourse, the percentage who had first intercourse before age 14 decreased for both sexes. These encouraging results may be related in part to concurrent decreases in the prevalence of sexual abuse or forced intercourse among both male and female adolescents. Protective factors such as feeling connected to family or school were also associated with lower odds of having engaged in risky sexual behaviours. These findings emphasize the importance of including questions about adolescent sexual health behaviours, risk exposures, and protective factors on national and provincial youth health surveys, to monitor trends, inform sexual health promotion strategies and policies, and to document the effectiveness of population-level interventions to foster sexual health among Canadian adolescents.
 
Article
Purpose: Research on sexual-partner type focuses mostly on "main" and "casual" partner categories. The literature indicates that adolescent girls are less likely to use condoms with main partners, and more likely to use condoms with casual partners. Adolescent mothers may have different types of sexual partners than other adolescent girls. The purpose of this study was to explore and describe the range of male sexual partner types reported by Black adolescent mothers. Design and sample: This study was a qualitative description of the perspectives of Black, predominantly African-American, mothers (n=31). Data were generated using focus groups and interviews. The participants' ages ranged from 15-19 years. Measures: A semi-structured qualitative questioning guide was used to stimulate focused discussions. Transcribed data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Results: The range of sexual partner types of the women were reflected in three themes (1) All main partners are not created equal; (2) They're not casual partners because there are strings attached; (3) "Wham, bam, thank you ma'am:" No strings attached. Nine partner types were identified under these three themes, including a "baby daddy" partner. Conclusion: The partner-types of Black adolescent mothers are more robust than the "main" and "casual" partner categories typically referenced in the research literature. The range of sex partners includes the birth fathers of their children. Clinicians and researchers must consider how co-parenthood status is used in the construction of the "baby daddy" partner and what implications this unique sexual partner type may have on risk reduction behaviors such as condom use.
 
Article
This study used cluster analysis to compare the demographic, lifestyle, and sexual behaviour characteristics among virgin (n = 605) and non-virgin (n = 321) high-school students in grades 9 to 13. In a multiple logistic regression model (p = .0001), being in grade 9, 10, or 11, being female, doing 14 or more hours a week of homework, and starting ethnicity as Asian were significantly associated with being a virgin. Involvement in a serious relationship in the previous 12 months, masturbation of or by a partner, oral sex of or by a partner, heavy drinking, drinking and driving, daily smoking, and doing 5 or less hours of homework per week were significantly associated with being a non-virgin. Parent education, birthplace, religious attendance, TV/computer/phone use, physical activity, feelings of happiness, family functioning, and satisfaction with serious relationship were not significantly associated with virginity status. In addition, non-virgin students who had a serious relationship in the previous 12 months were significantly less likely to state that they were very likely to use condoms than those who had not been in a serious relationship. Nineteen percent of virgin students had engaged in either masturbation of or by a partner or oral sex of or by a partner. Among non-virgin students, 46% used condoms every time during the previous five times they had vaginal or anal intercourse. Among non-virgin students, 16% had experienced anal intercourse. The findings are discussed in relation to the sexual health education needs of adolescents.
 
Article
Traditionally, Russian women have relied on abortion as a primary means of fertility control. Although modern contraceptives are increasingly available, particularly in urban Russia, little is known about Russian women's knowledge and use of modern contraceptive methods. We surveyed 917 women attending women's health care clinics in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation. Among those women who were currently using birth control (74%), condoms, IUD, oral contraceptives, and withdrawal were the most popular methods. Use of multiple methods, reasons for not using birth control, reasons for choosing method, primary influence on choice of method, satisfaction with current method, shifts in contraceptive practice, perceived side effects of oral contraception, and attitudes towards condom use and sterilization are also reported.
 
Article
Over the past decade, several large-scale school-based studies of adolescents in Canada and the U.S. have documented health disparities for lesbian, gay and bisexual teens compared to their heterosexual peers, such as higher rates of suicide attempts, homelessness, and substance use. Many of these disparities have been linked to "enacted stigma," or the higher rates of harassment, discrimination, and sexual or physical violence that sexual minority youth experience at home, at school, and in the community. An unexpected health disparity for lesbia n, gay and bisexual youth is their significantly higher risk of teen pregnancy involvement (between two and seven times the rate of their heterosexual peers), especially in light of declining trends in teen pregnancy across North America since the early 1990s. What is behind this higher risk? Is it getting better or worse? Using the province-wide cluster-stratified British Columbia Adolescent Health Surveys from 1992, 1998, and 2003, this paper explores the trends in pregnancy involvement, related sexual behaviours, and exposure to forms of enacted stigma that may help explain this particular health disparity for gay, lesbian and bisexual youth in Canada.
 
Article
One hundred repeat clients at the Family Planning Clinic of Calgary Health Services were surveyed to assess whether a free condom distribution program promoting 'dual protection' had increased the likelihood that clients who had chosen birth control pills for contraception also used condoms to prevent STDs. An age-matched, contraceptive pill-using sample from the Edmonton Birth Control Centre was surveyed for comparison. Both clinics used similar protocols with clients, but differed in that the Edmonton clinic did not have a free condom distribution program during the pre-survey period. Calgary clients were twice as likely to report having received condoms from the clinic (89% vs. 45%) and a high percentage (72%) had either used the free condoms themselves or given them to someone else to use. Thirty-nine percent (39%) of Calgary clinic respondents reported using both condom and pill at last intercourse compared to 29% of Edmonton respondents. This difference is not statistically significant (perhaps due to small sample size). However, given the importance of 'dual protection' for STD prevention among contraceptive pill users, our findings suggest that a larger and more rigorously controlled cost-benefit analysis of free condom distribution programs is warranted.
 
Article
This article presents information on the rape of women in the former Yugoslavia, focusing more on Muslim women in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and examines the evolutionary, sociological, psychological, and feminist theories of this form of sexual violence. Using a case study approach, through documentation from newspapers and other media accounts, this paper investigated the sexual violence that featured strongly in the campaign of ethnic cleansing or genocide of Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was noted that the variables of power, sex, and aggression in the context of war seem to be linked. This is particularly evident when authority legitimates sexual aggression. Without the backing of authority, some rape is expected, but not of such proportion or brutality. In terms of the theories, the evolutionary perspective appears to have limited applicability in explaining rape as an act of war. However, the feminist and macrosociological multivariate theories that focus on heterogeneity of the population, a cultural foundation of very traditional gender roles, and a historical tradition that legitimates sexual violence by armies in war-time, provide more persuasive insights.
 
Article
Assessed the extent to which college students believe that knowing their partner well eliminates the need to practice safer sex, and measured the relationship between such beliefs and the performance of necessary safer sexual practices, such as using condoms during sexual intercourse. 157 male and 168 female undergraduate students were measured on AIDS risk reduction information, motivation, behavioral skills, and levels of AIDS risk behavior. Endorsement of beliefs that partner knowledge made safer sex unnecessary was common, and agreement with these beliefs correlated significantly and negatively with levels of AIDS preventive behaviors, especially among women. Ss who believed that partner knowledge was a sufficient condition for unprotected sex were less likely to use condoms. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Proposes a model for promoting HIV/AIDS risk reduction (RR) behavior change. The model emphasizes the need for interventions that are conceptually based; comprehensively focused on the provision of RR information, motivation, and behavioral skills; and targeted at empirically identified, group-specific needs in each of these areas. The information-motivation-behavioral skills model's theorized relationships and its implications for constructing, implementing, and delivering RR interventions have been tested in 3 initial studies. Preliminary results are encouraging, and long-term follow-up research is underway. Two videotapes are described that have been developed based on the proposed theoretical framework as educational tools to promote preventive behaviors. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Reviews the current clinical evidence supporting antiandrogen vs serotonergic pharmacotherapy for paraphilic sexual disorders and presents data on medication selection and compliance among outpatient sex offenders. Medical records on the 1st 100 consecutive cases followed for at least 1 yr in an outpatient sex offender clinic were retrospectively reviewed to determine patient compliance and efficacy of treatment according to a standardized protocol. 59 male Ss with active paraphilic disorder were given the choice of treatment with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) or psychotherapy alone. Ss choose SSRIs significantly more frequently than MPA or psychotherapy alone. It is suggested that clinicians should individually tailor treatments for patients based on their likely compliance, co-morbid conditions, and apparent efficacy of treatment. Using these criteria, it appears that SSRIs are the preferred initial pharmacologic treatment for paraphilic disorders. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Reviews literature supporting the development and implementation of effective HIV/STD interventions for different populations. Evaluation research indicating favourable behavioral outcomes for HIV/STD prevention interventions with adolescents, street youth, STD clinic patients, women, heterosexually active men, men who have sex with men, and communities is summarized. Research suggesting that HIV/STD prevention interventions can be cost-effective or result in cost-savings is also described. Based on the interventions reviewed, some common characteristics of behaviourally effective HIV/STD interventions are identified and discussed. These include: use of theoretical models; incorporation of behavioural skills training; emphasis on promoting condom use; helping clients create a personal sexual health plan; use of community/culturally appropriate strategies; use of peer educators and community opinion leaders; and appropriate intervention duration. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
The 2002 Canadian Contraception Study, a national survey of 1,582 women aged 15-44, reported that 55% of respondents had experienced one or more of three sexual concerns in the past year including lower sexual desire (40%), infrequent coital orgasm (23%), and pain during intercourse (14%). The present secondary analysis of these data explores the association of these three sexual concerns with other factors measured in the study including age, body weight, number of children, education level, marital status, sexual concerns experienced by a partner, and method of contraception. Each of these factors was shown to be associated with one or more of the three sexual health concerns. This study is the first to use a large national sample of Canadian women to identify the correlates of female sexual function concerns. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
A self-administered psychometric measure of the construct "sexual self-schema" (sexual self-concept) was used to predict sexual outcomes for 62 gynecologic cancer survivors (aged 23–75 yrs) 6 mo to 5 yrs posttreatment. Comparison Ss were 68 women seeking routine gynecologica care or college students. The sexual self-schema rating accounted for a sizeable portion (26% after controlling for other variables) of the variance in prediction of current sexual responsiveness (desire, excitement, orgasm, and/or resolution) of Ss. Since the measure identifies women with less positive views of their sexuality, the sexual self-schema construct may be useful in understanding and predicting risk for sexual problems following cancer treatment. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Rates of Chlamydia are highest among 15- to 24-year-old females. Often asymptomatic, untreated chlamydia can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) and result in infertility, ectopic pregnancy, chronic pelvic pain, and increased susceptibility to HIV infection. Screening at risk women for chlamydia and treating those who test positive reduces the incidence of PID. This article reviews key data and research related to Chlamydia screening of youth by primary care physicians. These issues include the prevalence of chlamydia, the cost-effectiveness of chlamydia screening programs, the need to test males for Chlamydia, the discrepancy between guidelines for screening and the reality of physician screening practices as well as research on factors associated with the likelihood of physician Chlamydia screening of youth aged 15-24 and factors associated with the likelihood of physicians conducting sexual health risk assessments with their patients. The data and research reviewed in this article highlight the need for increased primary care physician Chlamydia screening of youth and identify issues that need to be addressed in interventions designed to increase and improve physician Chlamydia screening practices. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
This study examines the content of four academic sexuality journals to detect paradigm changes in therapeutic approaches to female sexual dysfunctions (sexual arousal disorder, orgasm disorder). A content analysis of articles appearing in the Journal of Sex Education and Therapy, the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, The Journal of Sex Research, and the Archives of Sexual Behavior was conducted for the years 1967 to 2000 in relation to the use of medical, psychological and biopsychosocial paradigms in sex therapy. The categories employed in the analysis were: journal; Publication year; type of dysfunction; theoretical orientation; primary cause of dysfunction; and type of intervention. The results suggest that within the sexological literature, perspectives on the nature and treatment of female sexual dysfunction have shifted away from psychological explanations and more toward medical and biopsychosocial approaches. The implications for sex therapy are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Reviews literature relevant to gender differences in psychological response to infertility treatment. Several gender differences are evident. Women take greater personal responsibility, take a more active role in treatment, and are more troubled by treatment failure than are men. Men seem less directly affected, are more likely to engage in denial, and are more willing to consider treatment termination. The health care provider can reduce the stresses of infertility treatment for both women and men by providing treatment in a manner that recognizes these gender differences. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
The purpose of this investigation was to develop a useful conceptual model of optimal sexuality by identifying and describing its elements. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 64 key informants, i.e., 44 individuals who reported having experienced "great sex" and 20 sex therapists. Subsequently, phenomenologically-oriented content analysis was performed on interview transcripts. Eight major components were identified: being present, connection, deep sexual and erotic intimacy, extraordinary communication, interpersonal risk-taking and exploration, authenticity, vulnerability and transcendence. Clinical implications of these findings are considered, including the need for sex therapists to acquire and transmit new methods and skills. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Describes the 1998 Canadian Contraception Study, a mailed survey which asked women about contraceptive practices past, present, and future (including use of oral contraceptives, condoms, and sterilization); familiarity with and opinion about different contraception methods; and general sexual and reproductive health. The paper also examines 15-year Canadian contraception trends and clinical and educational implications of the 1998 study. (SM)
 
Article
The topic of sexual self-esteem has been widely addressed in the literature on female sexuality but few studies have addressed the factors that facilitate or hinder women's sense of sexual self-esteem. Based on previously reported definitions of sexual self-esteem, the present study employed semi-structured interviews with 17 women aged 24-39 years in long-term heterosexual relationships (5-20 years) to identify incidents and factors that had a negative or positive impact on their current levels of sexual self-esteem. Analysis of the interviews using Critical Incident Technique identified 301 incidents of which 131 facilitated and 170 hindered sexual self-esteem. The incidents were sorted into 31 categories (14 facilitating, 17 hindering) which in turn yielded six emergent themes that characterized sexual self-esteem in relation to: husbands, boyfriends, and other males; women's bodies; self- empowerment; damaging experiences and learning; interference of life stressors and sexual scripting; and the topic of sex and engagement in sexual activity. The findings indicate that women's sexual self- esteem is impacted by many bio-psychosocial factors that should be approached holistically in counselling, therapy and education. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]; Copyright of Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality is the property of Sex Information & Education Council of Canada and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)
 
Article
Available data suggest that there was an increase in HIV infections among men who have sex with men (MSM) in 1999-2000 compared to preceding years, at least in some parts of Canada. This finding is substantiated by data on ongoing sexual risk behaviour among MSM, as well as data showing increases in rectal gonorrhea or outbreaks of other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among MSM in several large urban centres across the country. Recent national studies have shown similar increases in rates of STIs in the general population as well. The Canadian situation in relation to MSM is discussed in the context of recent data that are emerging on the extent of HIV, STIs, and associated risk behaviours among MSM internationally. Increases in HIV incidence have been observed in San Francisco and Madrid. An upswing in HIV-associated risk behaviours and/or STIs has also been observed among MSM in major cities in the US, the Netherlands, England, and Australia. Possible explanations for these trends are discussed, and specific recommendations are made to revitalize HIV prevention efforts among MSM, to conduct more research on gay men's health and wellness, and to improve surveillance of HIV and sexual risk behaviours.
 
Article
This paper reviews literature examining the socio-economic consequences of teen pregnancy and childbearing as well as the birth intentions of teenage women who have become mothers. The literature indicates that women who become teen mothers, as compared to women who delay childbearing past the teen years, are more likely to be socio-economically disadvantaged. However, research increasingly suggests that, depending on the circumstances of the women in question, socio-economic disadvantage is correlated with but not necessarily a consequence of early childbearing. In addition, the literature suggests that a range of factors, including cultural norms and individual needs, can impact on the childrearing decisions of teenage women. It is concluded that policies and programs aimed at reducing teen pregnancy rates and eliminating the negative consequences experienced by teen mothers and their children are unlikely to be fully effective unless they realistically address the socio-economic inequities faced by many young women in Canada.
 
Article
This document uses peer-reviewed literature to provide research-based answers to questions often posed by educators, parents, administrators, governments, and journalists about the philosophy, methods, and impact of sexual health education in the schools. Answers to the following questions are provided: Do we need sexual health education programs taught in the schools?; What values are taught in school-based sexual health education?; Should sexual health education teach young people about sexual orientation?; Should sexual health education teach young people about abstinence?; Should sexual health education teach only about abstinence?; What types of sexual health education are the most effective at helping adolescents protect themselves against unwanted pregnancy and STD?; Does teaching adolescents about contraception/condoms lead to earlier or more frequent sexual activity?; What is the impact of making condoms available to teenagers?; What should we be telling young people about the effectiveness of condoms in preventing HIV/AIDS and other STDs? This document is regularly updated and is available on the SIECCAN web site at www.sieccan.org.
 
Article
Research and commentary on lesbian and gay youth indicates that this population is in particular need of social support, especially from peers, both lesbian and gay as well as heterosexual. Yet, very little is known about the friendship patterns of lesbian and gay youth. This study explores these friendship patterns in the expectation that such research will suggest new ways of assisting lesbian and gay youth in finding social support. Data were collected from 22 lesbian and gay youth and 29 heterosexual youth between the ages of 16 and 21 years. Results indicated that lesbian and gay youth lived further away from their friends and had not known their friends as long as their heterosexual counterparts. Gay males and heterosexual females talked more often on the phone with friends than did lesbians or heterosexual males. Gay males were more likely than anyone else to have friends of the opposite sex and least likely to have friends of the same sexual orientation. Lesbians were the most likely to have sexual contact with people they considered to be friends. The implications of these finding are explored.
 
Article
The interface between religious upbringing and sexuality has been examined extensively in previous research, demonstrating that religious doctrine affects sexual behaviour and identity in a multitude of ways (Dahl & Galliher, 2012; Rostosky, Wilcox, Wright, & Randall, 2004). However, because most of the evidence comes from quantitative survey research, it has been difficult to understand how individuals perceive the links between religious influences and their sexual experiences and identities. The current study used semi-structured, qualitative interviews with 50 Canadian university students who had reported engaging in sexual experiences before the age of 16 to broadly assess these early experiences. A prominent theme emerged in 13 participants' interviews regarding how religious values were perceived to play a role in their understanding of their sexual experiences before age 16. These participants generally reported experiencing emotions, such as guilt and fear, as a result of discrepancies between religious values and their own sexual experiences. Our findings also illustrate how participants dealt with such discrepancies, namely by disengaging from their identified religions, incorporating certain teachings and rejecting others, or pursuing religion for support. Implications for how individuals should manage the interplay between religion and sexuality as well as for how professionals and caregivers should help address such discrepancies are discussed.
 
Article
Sex Sense, a service provided by Options for Sexual Health in Canada, offers a telephone and online informa tion service in which people can confidentially ask questions concerning sexual health. To analyze data over 16 years of the Sex Sense services (2000-2016) and to identify primary client concerns according to gender, age, and region and how the frequency of these concerns may have changed over time we analyzed the database where all data were stored. Descriptive analyses and Pearson's Chi-Square tests were performed. Among our sample, more women contacted the service, and most clients were aged 17-29. Contraception was the main reason for contact; however, the proportion of contacts about this decreased over the years. When genders were compared, women were more concerned about contraception, emergency contraceptive pills, and pregnancy, while men asked about sexually transmitted infections, general sexual health, and pleasure. Contraception was the main reason for contact among all age groups except for people over 40 years, who asked more about sexually transmitted infections. Some reasons differed with the region from where people were situated, and this may relate to services available in those regions that might eliminate the need to contact Sex Sense. These findings revealed some of the main concerns about sexual and reproductive health among the Sex Sense service users. Furthermore, analyses showed that concerns differed by gender, age, and region. The findings are important for informing health care professionals and policy makers, government leaders, and stakeholders on the provision of sexual information and services.
 
Article
Research on casual sexual relationships and experiences (CSREs) has increased in the last decade; however, there is no consensus about the scope and definition of CSREs. To describe the main forms of CSREs, a latent profile analysis was performed on single and sexually active men and women aged from 18 to 30 years old who described their last casual sexual experience. Five profiles were identified: 1) the one-time sexual encounter; 2) the ex-romantic partnership, in which one still has sexual contact after ending their romantic relationship; 3) the mostly about sex partnership, in which contacts are primarily sexual, whether or not a friendship exists; 4) the intimate and sexual partnership, a hybrid of friend and romantic partner with whom one has frequent sexual and social interactions without commitment or intent to form a couple; 5) the friendship first partnership, a friendship to which sex is added, where social activities and friendly interactions dominate. Participants across profiles differed according to the number of sexual partners in the past year, their intention of having other sexual contacts with the partner, being under the influence of alcohol or drugs during the most recent sexual encounter with their partner and their type of sexual exclusivity agreement. This research contributes to a better description and understanding of CSREs among young adults and to further specifying its area of investigation.
 
Article
We examined the perceived impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sexual health, sexual behaviour, well-being, and access to sexual health services among university students in Canada. Between December 2020 and January 2021, 1504 university students across Canada completed an online survey focused on overall sexual health, well-being, solitary sexual behaviours, partnered sexual interactions, and access to sexual health services. The survey was designed by the Sex Information & Education Council of Canada and administered by the Leger polling company. Reported levels of overall sexual health were high. Cisgender women reported significantly greater scores of COVID-19—related stress compared to cisgender men; LGBQ+ students had higher levels of stress compared to heterosexual participants. Overall, solitary sexual behaviours (i.e., masturbation, porn use, vibrator use) remained unchanged or were perceived to increase compared to the time before the pandemic. Cisgender men reported higher scores (i.e., greater perceived increases) on masturbation and porn use than cisgender women. Frequency of sex with casual partners was perceived as similar or lower than what was usual before the pandemic, and most participants did not engage in sex where the close personal contact put them or their partner at risk for COVID-19. Declines in access were reported for all sexual health care services surveyed, with cisgender women and students of colour more likely to report decreased access to services. Results highlight the need for targeted public health messaging regarding sexual behaviour, investment in sexual health services, and supports tailored to the needs of women, LGBTQ+ individuals, and people of colour.
 
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic drastically affected how people interact socially. Stay-at-home orders, travel restrictions, and closures of non-essential businesses caused disruptions to the development of intimate relationships. Individuals develop expectations about how relationships should progress based on romantic scripts (i.e., relationship guidelines based on social norms), and typically report feeling more satisfied when their relationships follow these scripts. The current study was designed to assess how individuals involved in, or pursuing, intimate relationships during the COVID-19 pandemic adapted to these significant shifts to the progression of intimate relationships. Data were collected from user-generated posts on a popular online forum site. Analysis of spontaneous online communications during the first calendar year of the pandemic (2020) revealed notable impacts on the romantic scripts of individuals in all relationship stages (i.e., single, dating, new relationship, non-cohabiting, cohabiting, long distance, and relationship dissolution). Content analysis yielded themes related to the dominant discourse, as well as similarities across and differences between relationship stages. Overall, people described notable changes to their intimate relationship scripts that they attributed to the pandemic and restrictions. The results contribute to the current understanding of the pandemic’s impact on our closest, intimate relationships and provide insights for use in policy and research around social change.
 
Article
This article summarizes and compares the most recent available data on ten-year teen birth/abortion rates in Canada, Sweden, U.S.A., and England/Wales. From 1996 to 2006, the teen birth/abortion rate declined by 36.9% in Canada, 25% in the U.S.A, and 4.75% in England/Wales, and increased 19.1% in Sweden. In 2006, the lowest teen birth/abortion rate per 1,000 women aged 15-19 was in Canada (27.9) followed by Sweden (31.4), England/Wales (60.3), and the U.S.A. (61.2). With respect to teen birth rates, in 2006, Sweden (6.0), and Canada (13.7) had rates substantially lower than in England/Wales (35.0) and the U.S.A. (41.9). Canadian interprovincial/territorial differences in teen pregnancy rates, and percentage declines from 1996 to 2006, as well as declines among women aged 15-19, 20-24, and 25-29 are examined. Potential factors contributing to trends in teen pregnancy rates are discussed.
 
Article
This study examined the level of emphasis (topic not taught, minimal, considerable, heavy) placed on 18 sexual health topics within family medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, and undergraduate medicine programs at Canadian medical schools. Forty-one of 51 programs contacted (80.4%) returned usable questionnaires. For the three disciplines combined, the topics most likely to receive considerable or heavy emphasis were information and skills for contraception (97.6%), information and skills for prevention of STIs (75.6%), sexual violence/assault (73.2%), and female sexual dysfunction (73.2%). The topics least likely to receive considerable or heavy emphasis across disciplines were childhood sexuality (17.1%), sexuality and disability (22.0%), sexuality and aging in males (24.4%), and social and cultural differences in sexual beliefs and customs (26.8%). Findings are presented specifically for each discipline. The current study was designed to replicate a 1996 survey of sexual health training in Canadian medical schools and direct comparisons of the 2011 and 1996 results are reported here.
 
Article
Fertility control is a fundamental aspect of women's health, and it is therefore important to have accurate and up-to-date information on the contraceptive knowledge, opinions and practices of women in Canada. The 1998 Canadian Contraception Study was conducted on a sample of women aged 15-44 from across Canada who were part of a panel of 60,000 households previously selected for survey research. Of 2893 surveys mailed out, 1599 responses were returned, a response rate of 55%. Responses were weighted to be representative by region and age within marital status, based on Canadian census data. The questionnaire asked about contraceptive practices, past, present, and future, as well as about respondents' familiarity with and opinion of different methods of contraception. The survey also included questions about general sexual and reproductive health, including experience of sexual dysfunctions.
 
Article
Trends in teen pregnancy rates are a key indicator of young women's sexual and reproductive health and overall well-being. Previously available published data on teen pregnancy rates for Canada included the years 1974 to 2006. The current study extends these data by calculating teen pregnancy rates at the provincial/territorial and national levels for the years 2007 to 2010. For analytical purposes, teen pregnancy rate trend data were generated for the periods 2001 to 2010, 2001 to 2005, and 2006 to 2010. From 2001 to 2010, the Canadian teen pregnancy rate declined by 20.3%. During the period 2006 to 2010, the national teen pregnancy rate increased by 1.1% and in four provinces the rate increased by 15.1% or more (New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Manitoba). Longer-term (1990 to 2010) trend data indicates that the teen pregnancy rate in Canada increased 4.9% from 1990 to 1994, then declined in each consecutive year to 2006, a decrease of 40.8%, and then increased slightly from 2006 to 2010. The overall teen pregnancy rate in Canada remains significantly lower than in the United States and in England and Wales where rates have also fallen since 2001. Abortion rate data for Canada are subject to a number of limitations. A particular limitation of this study is that teen pregnancy rate calculations were affected by the underreporting of abortions in some settings and the lack of precise age-related data on abortions conducted in some parts of Canada. For the current study, adjustments were made to the British Columbia clinic abortion data to compensate for underreporting. Imputation methods previously used to calculate teen pregnancy rates in Canada were employed when age data on clinic abortions were not available. The findings are discussed in relation to effective policies and programs to reduce unwanted teen pregnancy that include a focus on youth development and socioeconomic factors, access to effective contraception, and broadly-based sexual health education.
 
Final themes and frequency of articles. Note. NSE'sb=bnon-consensual sexual experiences; IPVb=binterpersonal violence.
Identifi ed Journals
Identifi ed themes Themes Number of articles, n a
Article
The focus and inclusion of gay men in academic literature has fluctuated throughout the years. The purpose of the present rapid review was to establish the predominant discourses and research gaps in the literature surrounding gay men’s sexual relationships within five high-impact sexuality journals. We included The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality to gain insight into the rhetoric of gay men’s sexual relationships from a Canadian context to determine if there were any differences compared to the larger five journals. The present analysis used a rapid review design, and search criteria based on Hirsh’s h-index. All articles in each of the six selected journals were examined over an eight-year period, from 2011–2018 with 336 articles identified and included in the thematic analysis. The results yielded the following key categories: a) sexual risk behaviours; b) need for interventions, harm/risk reduction, and prevention measures; c) minority stress; d) sexual scripts and masculinity; e) Internet use and online dating; f) mental health concerns; g) sexual satisfaction and sexual well-being; h) previous non-consensual sexual experiences/interpersonal violence; and i) sexual difficulties. These categories are further explored and areas for future research are discussed.
 
Descriptive Statistics, Trends and Odds Ratios for Oral Presentation Format for Abstract Year and First Author Characteristics 
Descriptive Statistics, Trends and Odds Ratios for Oral Presentation Format for Abstract Topic 
Article
The vision of the Canadian Sex Research Forum (CSRF) is to be Canada's leading organization dedicated to interdisciplinary, theoretical, and applied sexuality research. We sought to determine the composition of four previous CSRF Annual Conference (2013–2016) scientific programs. We double-coded 356 abstracts on first author region, discipline, and faculty status; presentation format (oral/poster); and several non-exclusive yes/no questions regarding study populations, topics, and methods. We calculated odds ratios (OR) to assess trends (per year) and likelihood of oral versus poster presentation. Most of authors were from psychology (86.5%), although this decreased over time (98.1% to 80.5%). Most abstracts used quantitative methods (82.9%) and there was a decrease over time in abstracts using qualitative (26.4% to 16.3%) and experimental (17.0% to 7.3%) methods. For study population and topic, there were increases over time in clinical population foci (7.6% to 23.6%) and decreases in race/ethnicity foci (3.8% to 0.8%) and methods topics (18.9% to 5.7%). Half of the abstracts were oral presentations (44.9%), which were more frequently awarded to faculty (81.1% vs. 38.6%), sexual practice topics (50.7% vs. 40.8%), relationship topics (52.3% vs. 40.7%), methodology topics (50.0% vs. 44.2%), and theory papers (71.4% vs. 43.3%). Oral presentations were less frequently awarded to single sex/gender populations (36.7% vs. 48.4%), student-only populations (35.3% vs. 51.2%), race/ethnicity foci (20.0% vs. 45.5%), and quantitative methods (43.4% vs. 52.5%). To achieve CSRF's vision of “interdisciplinary, theoretical, and applied research,” we must undertake intentional strategic action (e.g., more content from non-psychology disciplines, more qualitative methods).
 
Article
This paper reports on sexual activity, contraceptive choice, and sexual and reproductive health indicators among single Canadian women, aged 15-17, 18-24, and 25-29 who participated in the 1998 Canadian Contraception Study, and provides a more detailed description of these parameters than was available in the initial report of this research. Sexual experience was common in the 15-17 year old cohort of unmarried women and exceeded 80%-90% in the older age cohorts. Most sexually experienced single young women were currently sexually active and over half of them had two or more partners in the previous two years. Contraceptive use at first and last intercourse with current partner was common (about 80% in both cases) whereas consistency of contraceptive use across the last 6 months was reported less often (60% to 82% always used contraception). Condom use was high at first intercourse with current partner, less so at last intercourse, and discouragingly inconsistent over the preceding six-month time period. Sexual health concerns (such as coital pain and inhibited sexual desire) and insufficient attention to reproductive health issues (such as annual Pap smears and monthly breast self-examination) were also characteristic of this sample. The results are discussed in comparison with other Canadian research and in relation to the development of effective health education programs, public health policies, and clinical management strategies for the promotion of sexual and reproductive health among younger single women in Canada.
 
Article
2SLGBTQ+ leisure spaces (e.g., 2SLGBTQ+ community centres and recreation groups) offer opportunities to form identities and augment 2SLGBTQ+ people’s overall well-being. These spaces are considered ‘safe’ for 2SLGBTQ+ people to escape heterosexism, while being able to openly express themselves and develop community. However, these might be sites of discrimination for 2SLGBTQ+ people with other minoritized identities (e.g., racialized people), given the whiteness of these spaces. Racialized 2SLGBTQ+ individuals’ experiences of discrimination, generally and within 2SLGBTQ+ leisure spaces, can threaten their well-being, thus highlighting the value of 2SLGBTQ+ spaces, but how do racialized 2SLGBTQ+ people negotiate these often-problematic spaces? This paper presents a conceptual framework that bridges theories and research across social work and leisure studies. The conceptual framework extends the minority stress theory with theories of intersectionality, whiteness, and resilience using a socioecological lens to interrogate experiences and outcomes along multiple dimensions of social identities created by racism and other oppressive systems (e.g., sexism, cisgenderism, classism, ableism) within queer leisure spaces. This paper also describes how the framework can be implemented as an analytic tool and can facilitate investigations of systems of oppression and resilience within queer leisure spaces from the perspective of racialized 2SLGBTQ+ people through critical examination of power relations, relationality, complexity, social justice, and whiteness. Understanding how discrimination occurs and the multi-level resilience-promoting factors that exist in 2SLGBTQ+ leisure spaces will provide an avenue to address the effects of discrimination and foster racialized 2SLGBTQ+ people’s social well-being and inclusion.
 
Article
This research explored whether women experience a "sexual peak" during their early 30s and, if so, whether such a peak might have an evolved function. In Study 1, results from a cross-sectional sample of college students from the United States (N = 803 women, 415 men) revealed that women between 30 and 34, relative to older and younger women, described themselves as more lustful, seductive, and sexually active. In contrast, men did not experience a sexual peak between 30 and 34. In a second study (N = 611 women, 329 men), findings of an early-30s peak in women were replicated among married and single individuals from Canada. Using new measures of human sexual strategies (Schmitt & Buss, 2000), the authors were able to test 2 hypotheses about the possible functions of an early-30s peak in female sexual desire. One hypothesis is that an early-30s peak increases reproduction in monogamous, long-term relationships. A second hypothesis is that women's early-30s peak in sexual desire increases reproduction through promiscuous or extra-pair copulations. Overall, the hypothesis that the peak is designed to increase womens reproduction in monogamous, long-term relationships received the most support. Discussion focuses on limitations and alternative explanations of the current findings and on areas for future investigation.
 
Article
Reported rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among midlife Canadians have increased. However, there is little data on the STI behavioural risk of this age group. The current study investigated the prevalence and correlates of condom use at last penile vaginal intercourse (PVI) among sexually active single (never married, separated/divorced) Canadians aged 40 to 59 (n 830). Men were more likely than women to report using a condom at last PVI (35.3% vs. 27.6%). Number of partners, dating status, partner type at last sex, and concern about STI were significant bivariate predictors of condom use among men and women. Age, marital status, and erectile difficulties were additional bivariate predictors for men. In multivariate analysis, marital status, number of partners, and partner type predicted condom among men. Divorced and separated men were 53% less likely to use a condom than single, never married men. Men who reported 2 or more partners over the past year were almost 2 times more likely to use a condom than men who had one partner over the past year. As partner type at last sex moved from casual to more committed, men were 26% less likely to report condom use at last PVI. Among women, partner type at last sex was the only significant multivariate predictor of condom use, as partner type moved from casual to more committed, condom use was 33% less likely. Condom use was not associated with decreased pleasure during PVI. Educational STI prevention interventions targeting single midlife Canadians are needed.
 
Article
Older adult use of sexually explicit material (SEM) is under-researched. The current exploratory, cross-sectional study explored SEM use among adults 65 years and older. Eighty-eight participants from Canada and the United States completed a survey through Amazon Mechanical Turk to address questions on SEM use, access and barriers to use, and preferences in SEM. Results indicated that participants were accessing SEM 10.73 ( SD = 10.13) times per month and spending about 27.20 ( SD = 23.09) minutes per session. Users, on average, were more likely to be men. Results also indicated participants preferred mature, amateur, and MILF genres, and primarily accessed SEM online. Top barriers to SEM use were related to disapproval and shame, indicating that stigma around older adult sexuality may be present. Study findings expand upon knowledge in the field and help provide further understanding of older adults’ sexuality and SEM use.
 
Article
Evidence suggests that Aborignal youth are at higher risk for sexual health problems, including HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STI), than are non-Aboriginal youth. Given that condom use is effective in preventing HIV/STI and that self-efficacy is predictive of condom use, it is noteworthy that there is so little research on self-efficacy to use condoms in Aboriginal youth. This study employed a community action research strategy to examine the relationship between a set of cognitive and demographic variables and self-efficacy to use condoms in a sample of vulnerable and marginalized Aboriginal youth (N = 68). We found that those individuals who reported having sex at a later age and who scored higher on a measure of assertive communication reported higher levels of self-efficacy to use condoms. Suggestions concerning how these results could be incorporated in education programs are discussed.
 
Top-cited authors
E. Sandra Byers
  • University of New Brunswick
William A Fisher
  • The University of Western Ontario
Angela Weaver
  • St. Francis Xavier University
Eleanor Maticka-Tyndale
  • University of Windsor
Elizabeth M Saewyc
  • University of British Columbia - Vancouver