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Abstract

To describe social attitudes towards sex of Australian adults and correlates of a scale of sexual liberalism. Computer-assisted telephone interviews were completed by a representative sample of 10,173 men and 9,134 women aged 16-59 years. The overall response rate was 73.1% (69.4% men, 77.6% women). Respondents were asked about their agreement with nine attitude statements. Factor analysis and examination of internal consistency resulted in a six-item scale of liberalism. Correlates of attitude statements and the liberalism scale were examined. Most people agreed that premarital sex was acceptable, that oral sex was considered 'sex', that sex was important for a sense of well-being and that extramarital sex was unacceptable. Men were more likely (36.9%) to disapprove of sex between two men than women were to disapprove of sex between two women (25.1%). Higher levels of education were associated with increased liberalism for men and women, as was speaking English at home, identifying as homosexual or bisexual, vaginal intercourse before age 16, having had more than one sexual partner in the year before interview, having had heterosexual anal intercourse, having no religion or faith, smoking tobacco, and drinking more alcohol. Sexual attitudes of Australians largely support a heterosexual paradigm with no sex outside the relationship. High levels of approval of premarital sex are consistent with decreasing age of first intercourse in Australia. Higher levels of liberalism were associated with greater sexual adventurism and health risk taking.

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... As atitudes em relação à sexualidade e à moralidade sexual têm sido apontadas como fatores importantes para a normatividade e regulação do que é aceitável ou não como prática em cada país ou comunidade. [7][8][9][12][13][14] Ao mesmo tempo, compreender atitudes e valores tem se mostrado fundamental para planejar iniciativas no campo da prevenção e da promoção da saúde, interferindo também nas diretrizes e no desenho das políticas públicas no campo da educação, e nas iniciativas de proteção e promoção de direitos. 1,10 Políticas públicas que visem promover a saúde sexual e reprodutiva ou prevenir doenças sexualmente transmissíveis de forma efi caz e efi ciente dependem do diálogo permanente com os valores dos participantes dos programas -profi ssio-RESULTS: Most interviewees selected the "sex is evidence of love" option when describing the meaning of sex. ...
... 7,8,12,13,c Em geral, os indivíduos são classifi cados em grupos com atitudes conservadoras, tradicionais e libertárias, 7 ou ainda, mais ou menos permissivas. 8,12 Discute-se 8 a suposição de que a maior tolerância em relação ao sexo antes do casamento, sexo adolescente, sexo extraconjugal e entre pessoas do mesmo sexo seriam indicadores de dimensão única, que poderia explicar um conjunto de atitudes sexuais, como maior ou menor permissividade de indivíduos ou nações. No entanto, a análise de diferenças entre países industrializados revela que nações mais permissivas em relação ao sexo pré-marital não são permissivas em relação ao sexo extraconjugal. ...
... mais ou menos promíscua ou liberal, em oposição a conservadores) não se mostra uma opção adequada para compreender a variabilidade de padrões apresentados nas pesquisas brasileiras analisadas no presente estudo, corroborando estudos norte-americanos, australianos, europeus e asiáticos. [7][8]12 Não é possível consolidar as opiniões sobre monogamia, fi delidade conjugal, signifi cado do sexo e algumas práticas sexuais em uma dimensão única que explique as atitudes dos brasileiros em relação à regulação da vida sexual. ...
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To describe opinions and attitudes concerning sexuality of the Brazilian urban population. A population survey was carried out in 2005 on a representative sample of 5,040 interviewees. An analysis of the attitudes regarding sexual initiation and sexual education of teenagers, considering gender, age, schooling, income, marital status, color, geographic region and opinion on fidelity, homosexuality, and masturbation. The results were contrasted with a similar survey carried out in 1998, when possible. Most interviewees selected the "sex is evidence of love" option when describing the meaning of sex. As in 1998, the majority was in favor of sexual initiation after marriage (63.9% for women vs. 52.4% for men initiation); results differed among religions. School teenage education on the use of condoms was supported by 97% of the interviewees across all social groups. The proportion of Brazilians who agreed with having access to condoms in health services (95%) and at school (83.6%) was high. Fidelity remained an almost unanimous value and there was an increase, in 2005, in the proportion of those in favor of sexual initiation after marriage, and in the rate of acceptance of masturbation and homosexuality compared to the 1998 survey. The younger generations tend to be more tolerant and egalitarian. As observed in other countries, this study confirms the difficulty in establishing a single dimension that guides sexual life ("liberal" vs "conservative"). The study suggests that the normativity concerning sexual activity should be understood in the light of the local culture and social organization of sexuality, considered by the STD/Aids programs. Opinions in favor of free access to preservatives at school clash with the slower results obtained in fighting the stigma and discriminating against homosexual minorities. The design of laical policies on sexuality allow for the dialog across different perspectives.
... Antidiscrimination laws introduced by gay liberation activists in the 1970s and 1980s have had long-term effects on attitudes; even though Australians with less education, from non- English-speaking backgrounds, and people with a religion are less likely to be tolerant of homosexuality (Rissel et al., 2003a). The concentration of openly gay people in public service jobs and academe – where antidiscrimination is perhaps taken more seriously than in the private sector – has led to slow changes such as state health department funding for antiviolence projects to protect gay people and to the normalization of same-sex relationships within the de facto category. ...
... Although surveys in Australia have shown that Australians are more tolerant of abortion and homosexual sex than Britons and Americans (Michael et al., 1995; Scott, 1998; Johnson et al., 1994 ), they respond equally disapprovingly to questions about people in committed relationships having sex with someone else. For example, in ASHR, 78% of respondents agreed that " Having an affair when in a committed relationship is always wrong " (Rissel et al., 2003a), and in the 2009 Australian Survey of Social Attitudes, 89% agreed that " a married person having sexual relations with someone other than his or her husband or wife " was always or almost always wrong. This is largely matched by behavior. ...
... In ASHR, 37% of men agreed that sex between adult men was always wrong, reflecting a lesser taboo on same-sex acts between women but only 21% that sex between adult women was always wrong. Among women, about a quarter disapproved of same-sex acts, whether between men or women (Rissel et al., 2003a). Although not many same-sex-attracted people nowadays grow up imagining themselves to be the only one of their type, some (particularly in rural areas) may perceive that their only choices are either to join the flamboyant urban gay life of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (if they were accepted by the gay community) or to hide their feelings in order to be accepted by their peer groups. ...
Chapter
Australia is largely secular, with about 50% reporting a religion in surveys. Attitudes are tolerant, with a majority regarding homosexual acts and abortion as acceptable, and few disapproving of premarital sex. However, sex outside a committed relationship is widely disapproved of. Use of contraception is high. States differ in legislation and policing of the sex industry. Just over half of adolescents have sexual intercourse before they leave high school. Condom use at first intercourse is high, but many adults do not use condoms even with casual partners. Sex education is very patchy. HIV has remained largely concentrated among homosexually active men.
... Sexuality is an integral part of a person's adult life and often a part which is inaccessible or denied to adults with intellectual disability. Pervasive attitudes towards sexual expression by people with intellectual disability revolve around two assumptions-that the person is asexual or hypersexual OR if the person is sexual, then they are heterosexual, which is reported to be the dominant sexual identity in Australia [1]. ...
... The Australian Study of Health and Relationships found that 2.5% of men and 2.2% of women (16 years and over) identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual [1], which signifies that there are approximately 510, 540 LGB people in Australia. The prevalence of transgender people is more difficult to determine [2]. ...
... Whilst there are significant shifts in liberalism towards sexual expression in Australia, persistent rejection of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people as members of the community continues to be pervasive [1]. Similarly, people with intellectual disability continue to be viewed negatively by mainstream society regardless of culture [5]. ...
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This article arose from an Australian project designed to develop educational and training material in relation to lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) people with disability. The project was supported by the Queensland Association of Healthy Communities (QAHC) and the Queensland Centre for Intellectual and Developmental Disability (QCIDD). A resource was developed and its aim is to create greater awareness and understanding within the community that LGBT people with intellectual disability exist and to provide education and training to disability organizations. We aim to present the complexity of issues which prevent LGBT people with intellectual disability from living full lives and having opportunities for sexual expression. KeywordsLGBT–Intellectual disability–Sexuality–Lesbian–Gay–Bisexual–Transgender–Intergender–Queer–Australia
... Information was also collected regarding the religion or faith a respondent followed; due to previous findings showing more conservative attitudes among those who frequently attended religious services across a range of different religions=faiths (including Catholics, Protestants, and Muslims; de Visser et al., 2007), frequency of religious attendance was deemed to be an appropriate division. Due to previous cross-sectional findings of more liberal sexual attitudes among current smokers, drinkers, and individuals who had first sex before the age of 16 (Rissel, Richters, Grulich, de Visser, & Smith, 2003), information about current use of tobacco (yes or no) and alcohol (none=less often than weekly, weekly, or daily), and respondents' age at first intercourse (before 16 or after 16) were also included in this study. ...
... Attending religious services on a regular basis was associated with the development and reinforcement of disapproving attitudes toward homosexual behavior. Such links among religion (de Visser et al., 2007;Herek, 1988;Kelley, 2001;Petersen & Hyde, 2010;Rissel et al., 2003;Schulte & Battle, 2004;Scott, 1998;Takács & Szalma, 2011;Walch, Orlosky, Sinkkanen, & Stevens, 2010;Whitley, 2009), religious attendance (de Visser et al., 2007;Herek, 1988;Schulte & Battle, 2004;Takács & Szalma, 2011), and homophobia have consistently been reported in cross-sectional research. For a more thorough discussion of the association between sexual attitudes and religious attendance broken down by different types of religions in Australia, see de Visser et al. ...
... In addition, the overall proportions of women with a liberal attitude toward male and female homosexuality were similar. This suggests that the sample of women did not differentiate their attitudes toward male and female homosexual behavior in this study, similar to past findings (Herek, 2000;Rissel et al., 2003). Men were less tolerant in their attitudes, particularly toward male homosexual behavior. ...
Article
This study investigated demographic predictors of consistency and change in heterosexual people's attitudes toward homosexual behavior. A nationally representative sample of Australian men and women were recruited via random digit dialling in 2004 through 2005. Participants completed annual computer-assisted telephone interviews over the next five years. Questions about attitudes toward male and female homosexual behavior were assessed at Wave 1 (2004-2005) and Wave 3 (2006-2007) of the study. The majority of the sample reported tolerance of both male and female homosexual behavior (with women slightly more tolerant than men). Multivariate analyses showed that those who regularly attended religious services were more likely to consistently disapprove of homosexual behavior and more likely to change from tolerant to disapproving. Among those who were initially tolerant, younger respondents and those with higher educations were less likely to become homophobic. The results of this study show that individual attitudes toward homosexual behavior are open to change, particularly toward a more tolerant position. Religiosity appears to be consistently associated with the development and reinforcement of homophobic tendencies.
... Although surveys in Australia have shown that Australians are more tolerant of abortion and homosexual sex than Britons and Americans, [6][7][8] they respond conservatively to questions about people in committed relationships having sex with someone else. For example, in the Australian Study of Health and Relationships (ASHR), 78% of respondents agreed that 'having an affair when in a committed relationship is always wrong', 8 and in the 2009 Australian Survey of Social Attitudes, 89% agreed that 'a married person having sexual relations with someone other than his or her husband or wife' was always or almost always wrong. ...
... Although surveys in Australia have shown that Australians are more tolerant of abortion and homosexual sex than Britons and Americans, [6][7][8] they respond conservatively to questions about people in committed relationships having sex with someone else. For example, in the Australian Study of Health and Relationships (ASHR), 78% of respondents agreed that 'having an affair when in a committed relationship is always wrong', 8 and in the 2009 Australian Survey of Social Attitudes, 89% agreed that 'a married person having sexual relations with someone other than his or her husband or wife' was always or almost always wrong. 9 But is this attitudinal commitment borne out in behaviour? ...
Article
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Unlabelled: Background Concurrent relationships are a driver of generalised epidemics of sexually transmissible infections (STIs). In Australia, explicit negotiation of agreements about sex outside regular relationships has been recommended in health promotion for gay men but not for heterosexuals. Objective: To ascertain the annual incidence of concurrency among people in ongoing male-female relationships according to their reported expectations of exclusivity. Methods: In a national cohort recruited by household random digit dialling in 2004-05, people aged 16-64 years completed computer-assisted telephone interviews including questions about expectations of sexual exclusivity, discussion and agreements. A year later, those in ongoing sexual relationships (5323 people) were asked about sexual partner numbers in the past year. Results: The huge majority (96%) expected sexual exclusivity of themselves and their partner. However, only 48% of men and 64% of women had discussed the matter and explicitly agreed. Older respondents were less likely to report discussion. Only 1% reported mutually nonexclusive ('open') relationships. A year later, 93% of respondents were still in the same relationship, among whom 4% of men and 2% of women had had sex outside the relationship. Those with agreements that one or both partners could have sex with others were more likely to do so, but the majority of respondents who had sex with someone else were in relationships that were explicitly or implicitly expected to be exclusive. Conclusions: Sexual health promotion should stress the importance of STI testing and establishing agreements about exclusivity before condoms are abandoned in new relationships.
... 2. The prevalence and frequency of oral, vaginal, and anal sex in the past 12 months and past 30 days would exhibit a quadratic association with age, such that rates of sexual behavior would be highest in young (ages [25][26][27][28][29] and middle adulthood (ages [30][31][32][33][34][35][36][37][38][39][40][41][42][43][44][45][46][47][48][49], and lower in emerging (ages [18][19][20][21][22][23][24] and older adulthood (ages 50 and older) [12]. ...
... Similar trends were also observed for respondents that endorsed a mostly heterosexual or mostly homosexual orientation. Some prior work suggests that sexual minority groups have more liberal attitudes about sex compared to heterosexual people, that is, a greater acceptance of recreational sex, potentially contributing to an earlier age of sexual initiation and a higher frequency of sex [36,37]. ...
Article
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It remains unclear how the seemingly ubiquitous use of the internet impacts user’s offline personal relationships, particularly those that are romantic or sexual. Therefore, we conducted a national online survey to better understand the associations among internet use, sexual behavior, and adjustment called the Sexual Behaviors, Internet Use, and Psychological Adjustment Survey (SIPS). Here, we report patterns of sexual behavior in a sample of adults ( N = 1987; ages 18–70) in the United States to establish its representativeness and consistency with similar recent surveys. We found age- and sex-related trends in oral, vaginal, and anal sex in terms of prevalence, frequency, number of partners, and age of initiation consistent with prior studies. We also detected differences in sexual behaviors based on relationship status and sexual orientation, but small and relatively few significant differences across racial and ethnic groups. The results confirm and expand upon trends identified in prior national surveys of sexual behavior, establishing the representativeness of the SIPS sample for use in future research examining the links among sexual behaviors and romantic relationships, internet use, and adjustment.
... The celebrities in the articles and reactions are almost invariably heterosexual (96.1%-99.0%), rooting celebrities' sexual escapades firmly within the heterosexual paradigm that sex should only take place within a relationship and between a man and a woman (Rissel et al. 2007). This result reflects the lack of homo-or bisexual sexual relationships found in these magazines' sexual content (Ward 2003). ...
... With the exception of the 'ultimate sign of masculinity' frame, all frames implicitly or explicitly support monogamous marriages as a (sacred) institution. This seems reflective of society's dominant attitudes toward marriage, sexuality and adultery (Halman et al. 2008) and of the heterosexual paradigm (Rissel et al. 2007). While figures indicate that one third of Belgian, UK and US residents believe people should be able to enjoy sexual freedom without restrictions, this more liberal ideology is absent from our sample and only surfaces indirectly as an inevitable consequence of biological characteristics rather than social norms and values. ...
Article
For media and audiences fascinated with celebrities' private lives, insight into their sexual behaviour is the ultimate pleasure as it deals with the most intimate details, the ‘real’ behind the celebrity construct. A celebrity's sex life is not just food for gossip but may facilitate the articulation of moral, ethical and social views on sexual issues in contemporary society. This is analysed by means of a framing analysis of celebrity sex stories and audience reactions in a sample of three celebrity websites (Flemish HLN, British Heat, and American People). Results reveal that media and readers focus on only a few, highly ‘scandalous’ stories of married heterosexual men's adultery. While media in their framing of celebrity news refrain from explicit judgments, readers are eager to openly criticise celebrities' adulterous transgressions while taking the moral high ground. Focusing on adultery, seven frames relating to different views in society were found, presenting adultery in either sociological, biological, psychological or religious terms. Only the ‘women's fault’ frame supports the sexual double standard, claiming women are responsible for a man's adultery.1
... The research questions were: how do participants construct sex before marriage, what are their experiences and knowledge regarding contraceptives and what are their expectations regarding spouse selection? In the mainstream Australian population, sex before marriage is a normative option many individuals take up (Rissel et al. 2003). However, for minority ethnic women it can lead to exclusion from family and community events and feelings of shame, affecting their mental health and social well-being (Rissel et al. 2003;Ussher et al. 2012). ...
... In the mainstream Australian population, sex before marriage is a normative option many individuals take up (Rissel et al. 2003). However, for minority ethnic women it can lead to exclusion from family and community events and feelings of shame, affecting their mental health and social well-being (Rissel et al. 2003;Ussher et al. 2012). Contraceptive knowledge and use helps women negotiate protection with their partners, promotes healthy sexual behaviours and increases selfefficacy and autonomy (Gollub 2000;WHO 2013). ...
Article
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Minority ethnic immigrant women are frequently vulnerable to poor sexual health outcomes, due to poor use of sexual health services, lack of knowledge and social stigma associated with the discussion of sexuality. This paper explores the sexual health accounts provided by a group of young, unmarried heterosexual Muslim women immigrants residing and studying in Sydney, an under-researched group in the Australian context. Ten semi-structured interviews were conducted, focusing on sex before marriage, spouse selection and contraceptive use. Feminist discourse analysis identified 'purity versus corruption' as the primary construction of women's sexuality, where women positioned their sexual behaviour as that of purity and uninvolvement or corruption through unwedded participation. The subthemes 'maintaining ignorance and naivety', 'remaining virginal', 'sex segregation' and 'the fallen woman' capture women's personal sexuality-related experiences and values within the context of their religious and cultural communities. Additional research with this community is needed to examine the effects of negative social constructions of sex on young sexually active Muslim women, as well as further research on young women's sexual health within immigrant communities.
... Comparative analyses of trends from the 1988 and 1995 NSAM surveys found that there was a steady decline in acceptance or approval of abortion by adolescent men [25,27] and that this decline was driven especially among non-Hispanic white males [25]. There is also evidence of a growing conservative attitude to abortion amongst adolescents in Australia [20] but, by contrast, there is evidence of a growing liberal attitude to abortion in Ireland [18]. ...
... Adolescent pregnancy was considered a catastrophe, and abortion a moral dilemma Most agreed that the right to decide on abortion rests upon the female, but some were frustrated by not having any legal right to influence the decision Males perceived females as having a greater responsibility in avoiding pregnancy Understanding teenage sexuality in Ireland [5] Sampling strategy: Convenience sample of schools in Republic of Ireland stratified by type of school Data collection: 29 focus groups N ¼ 226 (124 males) Age: [14][15][16][17][18] Young females were more likely to have used sexual health services Contraceptive use was perceived as joint but young males were perceived as having greater responsibility for condoms Younger males said they would be particularly at a loss to know how to cope with an adolescent pregnancy Attitudes of young African American fathers toward early childbearing [61] Sampling strategy: Convenience sample of unmarried male partners of adolescent females who had become pregnant while participating in a HIV-prevention trial in Birmingham Alabama Data collection: Four focus groups; compensation: $45.00 N ¼ 26 African American males Age: [17][18][19][20][21][22][23] Most participants indicated that they did not intentionally impregnate their partner because of the responsibility associated with fatherhood. However, absent from the discussion were comments conveying a commitment to avoid this consequence Many believed females were more likely than males to desire a pregnancy. ...
Article
This review article reveals a long-standing gender bias in academic and policy research on adolescent pregnancy, which has led to the neglect of adolescent men's perspectives. The review summarizes the available literature on adolescent men's attitudes in relation to pregnancy occurrence and pregnancy outcomes in the context of addressing three questions: (1) What are adolescent men's attitudes to an adolescent pregnancy? (2) What are adolescent men's attitudes in relation to pregnancy outcomes? (3) What explanations are offered for the identified attitudes to adolescent pregnancy and resolution? The review establishes a foundation for future quantitative and qualitative research on adolescent men's perspectives. It emphasizes that a greater understanding of adolescent men's perspectives could lead to a re-framing of adolescent pregnancy away from being seen solely as a woman's issue. Furthermore, it is argued that the inclusion of adolescent men would lead to more effective adolescent pregnancy prevention and counseling programmes.
... 6 It has also been reported that sexual problems in women have a nonlinear relationship with age, and that distressing sexual problems are more common in middle-aged women than in younger or older women (>65 years). 2 A population-based study from Australia has also shown that the degree of sexual problems varies with age where younger women are more likely to report pain during intercourse and older women are more likely to report lack of interest in sex, inability to reach orgasm, and vaginal dryness. 33 Hayes et al 34 concluded a consistent pattern in previous studies showing that the most common sexual dysfunction in women is lack of sexual desire, followed by orgasm difficulties, arousal difficulties, and pain associated with sexual activity. In a large U.S. study including more than 30,000 women, among those younger than 40 years, about a third reported problems related to sexual desire and/or orgasm. 2 A longitudinal study from Australia (n ¼ 2252, age 20-64 years) showed similar results by reporting "lacking interest in having sex" in 26% of the women and "taking too long to orgasm" in 11% of the women. ...
... 6 With regard to dysfunction related to decreased desire or interest, prevalence rates have been reported to be somewhat higher; 20e22% in men aged 20-39 years. 33 Difficulties to achieve an orgasm, or delayed orgasm, has been reported by 8% of men aged 18-40 years in the United States. 8 In a global study of men older than 40 years, it was reported that the prevalence of orgasm dysfunction was 5e8% in most areas of the world, except in East and Southeast Asia where the prevalence was 10e15%. ...
Article
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Introduction: There is a lack of studies using validated instruments to investigate prevalence and predictors of sexual dysfunction among young adults. Aim: This population-based observational study aimed to determine the prevalence and predictors of sexual dysfunction in young adults in Sweden and to compare sexual function in women and men. Methods: A random sample of the general population aged 19-40 years, identified via the Swedish population registry, was approached with a postal survey. A total of 819 individuals participated, 493 women (51% response) and 326 men (34% response). Predictors of sexual dysfunction were identified by multivariable logistic binary regression analyses. Main outcome measure: Sexual function and satisfaction were assessed using the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System Sexual Function and Satisfaction measure, version 2.0. Results: Among the women, 53% reported at least one sexual dysfunction; the corresponding figure for men was 31%. The most common sexual dysfunction in women was low sexual interest (reported by 32%), whereas low satisfaction with sex life was the most common dysfunction in men (reported by 17%). Men reported a higher level of sexual interest and orgasm ability than women, whereas women reported a higher level of orgasm pleasure than men. Regression models showed that in both women and men, having a partner was related to lower risk of dysfunction in the domains satisfaction with sex life and orgasm pleasure. Having children was related to low interest in sex in women, whereas it was related to dissatisfaction with sex life in men. Being born outside of Sweden predicted sexual dysfunction in both women and men, as did experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression. Conclusion: Sexual dysfunction is common in young adults, particularly in women. Risk factors of sexual dysfunction include not having a partner, having children, being an immigrant, and reporting symptoms of anxiety and depression. Ljungman L, Lampic C, Wettergren L, et al. Sexual Dysfunction Among Young Adults in Sweden-A Population-Based Observational Study. J Sex Med 2020;XX:XXX-XXX.
... We suspect that the greater tendency of men to report casual partners is only partly related to the possibility that men actually have more casual encounters (a conclusion that would require the corresponding conclusion that in a closed heterosexual population the women with high partner numbers with whom the men have their "extra" encounters are undersampled). Australians' firm commitment to sexual exclusivity in regular relationships (Rissel, Richters, Grulich, de Visser, & Smith, 2003b, 2003c means that young men who wish to avoid breaking this rule while still pursuing sex with a number of women (as encouraged by the wider culture and often by their peer groups) are required to define some of their partners as "casual" in order to avoid cognitive dissonance or guilt. Presumably, the women interpret a few days of being pursued culminating in a single sexual encounter not as casual sex but as a regular relationship (or possible future regular relationship) gone wrong. ...
... Older respondents were much less likely to report this (12% of respondents in their 20s and 2% of those in their 50s). It is possible that the greater cultural salience of "loss of virginity" may have led older respondents to remember first intercourse and forget any oral sex that preceded it, even though older people are more likely to regard oral sex as constituting "sex" (Richters & Song, 1999;Rissel et al., 2003b). On the other hand, it may demonstrate that oral sex is enjoying greater legitimacy and acceptability in recent times among young people. ...
Article
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A questionnaire on sexual attitudes and behavior was administered to first-year students at Macquarie University in Sydney every year from 1990 to 1999 (N = 4295 aged 18-19; 72.5% female). Responses to questions about experience of different sexual practices (tongue kissing, oral sex, and vaginal intercourse) with regular and casual partners were analyzed for trends. Over half of the students each year (on average 64% of the men, 57% of the women) had experience of oral sex or vaginal intercourse. More male than female students reported experience of each practice, especially with casual partners. Rates for female students increased significantly over the 10-year period for all practices except tongue kissing with a regular partner and vaginal sex with a casual partner; rates for male students were apparently steady. Results are consistent with evidence from other sources of an increase in the acceptability of oral sex (both fellatio and cunnilingus) in recent decades and of increasing similarity between young men's and women's reports of sexual experience.
... Nevertheless, the majority of male prisoners disapproved of same-sex contact: 62% in the telephone survey agreed that sex between two adult men was "always wrong" (Richters et al., 2008), compared with 37% in the general community 5 years earlier (Rissel, Richters, Grulich, de Visser, & Smith, 2003). Attitudes of male prisoners toward transgendered people and men regarded From the evidence, we surmise that a confluence of historical events and policy changes from the mid-1990s contributed to the decline in sexual assaults in men's prisons in NSW. ...
Article
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Male prison rape and sexual assaults remains a serious and sensitive issue in many countries. Human rights groups claim that sexual assaults among male prisoners have reached pandemic proportions and need to be stopped. Researchers for many years have studied the causes of male sexual assault in prison and offered numerous recommendations on its prevention. Few, however, have presented evidence for a decline in male prisoner sexual assaults and investigated the reasons for the decline. This article provides evidence from population-based surveys of a steady decrease in male prisoner sexual assaults in New South Wales (NSW) between 1996 and 2009. The authors conducted in-depth interviews with former and current inmates, and using a "systems" approach they discuss the complexity of sexual assaults in prison, incorporating a multiplicity of perspectives. In particular, they bring together different sources of data and discuss this in relation to changes in power structures and control in a modern prison, the attitudes of older and younger prisoners, the concept of "duty of care," introduction of prison drug programs, and prisoner attitudes toward gender and sexuality. In anthropology, the term "system" is used widely for describing sociocultural phenomena of a given society in a holistic manner without reducing the complexity of a given community.
... This is slightly but significantly (p\.01) higher than in the general population, among whom 72% of men aged 16-59 agreed with this statement . Young people are far less likely to regard oral sex as''sex''than the over-40s (Richters & Song, 1999;Rissel et al., 2003). ...
Article
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Estimates of the incidence of sexual coercion in men's prisons are notoriously variable and fraught with conceptual and methodological problems. In 2006-2007, we conducted a computer-assisted telephone survey of a random sample of 2,018 male prisoners in New South Wales and Queensland. Of 2,626 eligible and available inmates, 76.8% consented and provided full responses. We asked about time in prison, sexual experience, attraction and (homo/bi/heterosexual) identity, attitudes, sexual contact with other inmates, reasons for having sex and practices engaged in, and about sexual coercion, including location and number of perpetrators. Most men (95.1%) identified as heterosexual. Of the total sample, 13.5% reported sexual contact with males in their lifetime: 7.8% only outside prison, 2.8% both inside and outside, and 2.7% only inside prison. Later in the interview, 144 men (7.1% of total sample) reported sexual contact with inmates in prison; the majority had few partners and no anal intercourse. Most did so for pleasure, but some for protection, i.e., to avoid assault by someone else. Before incarceration, 32.9% feared sexual assault in prison; 6.9% had been sexually threatened in prison and 2.6% had been sexually coerced ("forced or frightened into doing something sexually that [they] did not want"). Some of those coerced reported no same-sex contact. The majority of prisoners were intolerant of male-to-male sexual activity. The study achieved a high response rate and asked detailed questions to elicit reports of coercion and sex separately. Both consensual sex and sexual assault are less common than is generally believed.
... 3,4 In Australia, the first national survey of sexual behaviour was conducted in 2001-02, and provided information about the community's attitudes towards abortion, relationships and sexual behaviours. 5 However, marginalised groups such as the homeless, sex workers and injecting drug users were all under-represented and prisoners were excluded altogether. This is problematic, as prisoners are more likely than the community to engage in sexual risk behaviours and have higher rates of STI. ...
Article
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National population surveys of attitudes towards sexual issues typically exclude prisoners and little is known about their attitudes compared with the community. Using computer-assisted telephone interviews, we compared a representative sample of 2289 prisoners (men=1960, women=329), aged 18-59 years, from two Australian states against a national community sample of 6755 participants (men=3333, women=3421). Overall, prisoners were slightly more conservative in their attitudes towards sex than the community. They were more likely than the community to agree with the statement that abortion is wrong (men: adjusted odds ratio (AOR)=3.3, 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.8-3.9; women: AOR=1.7, 95% CI: 1.2-2.4) and that male homosexuality is wrong (men: AOR=2.6, 95% CI: 2.2-3.1; women: AOR=1.7, 95% CI: 1.2-2.3); these differences were more pronounced for men than women. The attitudes of prisoners and the community varied with age. Attitudinal differences between prisoners and the community tended to be larger than the differences between women and men (agree that abortion is wrong: prisoners, AOR=0.5, 95% CI: 0.4-0.7; community, AOR=0.8, 95% CI: 0.7-0.9; agree that male homosexuality is wrong: prisoners, AOR=0.4, 95% CI: 0.3-0.5; community, AOR=0.6, 95% CI: 0.5-0.7). Prisoners have either similar or less accepting attitudes towards sex than the general population. These attitudes contrast with the higher engagement in risk behaviours reported by prisoners.
... Moreover, recent research on Australians' offline sexual activity suggests that a substantial minority may condone some forms of infidelity. A 2003 telephone survey of sexual attitudes and behaviours in a representative sample of nearly 20,000 Australians showed, that while 78% agreed that it is wrong to have an affair while in a committed relationship, the remaining 22% either disagreed or gave neutral responses (Rissel et al. 2003a). The survey also showed that a substantial proportion of men (15.3% of those who lived with their partner, 12.8% who were partnered but did not live together) said they had paid for extramarital sex while in a relationship (Rissel et al. 2003b). ...
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A telephone survey of 1013 Australian adults revealed 78% had used the internet, 13% to form online social relationships. Those forming online relationships tended to be students, young, single, comfortable with new technology, likely to vote Green and unlikely to vote Liberal. When this group was broken down into those who formed online friendships (n = 82) or online romantic relationships (n = 22) close examination of the latter revealed an interesting profile. Those who experienced online romance spanned all age, gender, political and religious groups. Most met their cyberpartner face to face on many occasions and relationships tended to be lasting. Equal proportions of single and partnered individuals admitted they had experienced online romance, indicating that many cyberdaters may be cybercheaters. It appears that the internet is replacing traditional routes to friendship and romance, but further research is needed to clarify the nature and impact of online relationships.
... Consequently, variability in the sexual health status and behaviours of ethnic young people cannot be assessed. [2][3][4][5] Clearly, the sexual and reproductive development and health of young people are important global health concerns, 6 and although its importance is widely acknowledged in contemporary research, [6][7][8][9][10][11] research centres primarily on young people's sexual activity, 8,[12][13][14][15] unsafe sexual practices and the potential outcomes of risk-taking behaviour (such as STI and teenage pregnancies), 1,7,9 and sex education. 7 A biomedical perspective underpins this body of work to the exclusion of the relevance of prevailing social factors and processes, thus effectively denying the importance of socially informed inquiry. ...
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The present paper discusses the impact the traditional Vietnamese culture has on the uptake of mainstream health services for sexual health matters by Vietnamese Australian young women. It is part of a wider qualitative study that explored the factors that shaped the sexual behaviour of Vietnamese Australian young women living in Australia. A Grounded Theory methodology was used, involving in-depth interviews with 15 Vietnamese Australian young women aged 18 to 25 years who reside in Victoria, Australia. The findings demonstrated that the ethnicity of the general practitioner had a clear impact on the women utilising the health service. They perceived that a Vietnamese doctor would hold the traditional view of sex as held by their parents' generation. They rationalised that due to cultural mores, optimum sexual health care could only be achieved with a non-Vietnamese health professional. It is evident from the present study that cultural influences can impact on the sexual health of young people from culturally diverse backgrounds and in Australia's multicultural society, provision of sexual health services must acknowledge the specific needs of ethnically diverse young people.
... Prisoners' attitudes toward sexual matters were largely similar to those of the general population (Rissel et al., 2003b), with the exception that both men and women were more likely to disapprove of abortion, and the men were much less tolerant of male-to-male sexual activity (Table 2.29). ...
Article
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Objective: To describe prisoners' sexual experiences and sexual practices while in the community, sexual identities, and sexual health (e.g. self-reported exposure to sexually transmissible infections (STIs) and female reproductive outcomes) using data from the Sexual Health and Attitudes of Australian Prisoners (SHAAP) survey. Methods: This study used a computer-assisted telephone interview to screen randomly selected prisoners using a questionnaire based on the Australian Study of Health and Relationships survey. Results: 2351 men and women prisoners from New South Wales and Queensland took part in the survey. Most men identified as heterosexual (95.7%) and reported sexual attraction (91.0%) and sexual experiences (86.6%) only with the opposite sex, but 28.5% of women prisoners identified as bisexual. Sexual attraction correlated with sexual experience (men: r=0.63; women: r=0.84) more than with sexual identity (men: r=0.53; women: r=0.54). Male prisoners reported more lifetime opposite-sex partners than women prisoners (median 24 v. 10). Women prisoners were more likely than men to report a prior STI (35.1% v. 20.0%). Conclusions: Prisoners are a high-risk group with regard to sexual health. There is a need for a better understanding of the sexual health of this population group so that education campaigns and interventions specific to this population group can be developed.
... Prisoners' attitudes toward sexual matters were largely similar to those of the general population (Rissel et al., 2003b), with the exception that both men and women were more likely to disapprove of abortion, and the men were much less tolerant of male-to-male sexual activity (Table 2.29). ...
... Prisoners' attitudes toward sexual matters were remarkably similar to those of the general popul- ation ( Rissel et al., 2003b), with the exception that both men and women prisoners were more likely to disapprove of abortion, and the men in prison were much less tolerant of male-to-male sexual activity than men in the community (Table 46). ...
... Thus, previous studies which mostly excluded induced abortions could have overestimated the associations between these lifestyle characteristics and the risk of miscarriage. It is estimated that approximately half of pregnancies in Australia are unplanned, and that have of these unplanned pregnancies result in terminations [17]. ...
Article
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Background Previous studies of lifestyle characteristics and risk of miscarriage have mostly been retrospective and failed to account for induced abortions. We examine whether pre-pregnancy body-mass index, alcohol intake and smoking influence the risk of miscarriage after accounting for induced abortions. Methods We conducted a prospective cohort study of 9213 women with 26,594 pregnancies participating in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health. We examined whether body-mass index, smoking and alcohol intake prior to pregnancy was associated with miscarriage. We estimated adjusted relative risks (RR) using generalized estimating equations with an exchangeable correlation matrix. We explored the impact of accounting for induced abortion by first excluding all induced abortions, and secondly including 50% of induced abortions in the comparison group. Results Of the 26,592 pregnancies which occurred during the follow-up period, 19% ended in a miscarriage. We observed an increased risk of miscarriage according to pre-pregnancy obesity compared to normal weight (adjusted RR 1.13; 95% CI 1.05, 1.21), smoking between 10 and 19 cigarettes per day compared to not smoking (adjusted RR 1.13; 95% CI 1.02, 1.25), but not smoking 20 or more cigarettes per day (adjusted RR 1.07; 95% CI 0.94, 1.21) and risky drinking (≥2 units per day; adjusted RR 1.15; 95% CI 1.03, 1.28) compared to low risk drinking (< 2 units per day). The results for smoking (adjusted RR 1.09 for 10–19 cigarettes per day; 95% CI 0.98, 1.21) was attenuated after including 50% of induced abortions in the comparison group. Conclusions We observed a modest increased risk of miscarriage according to obesity and risky alcohol intake prior to pregnancy. There was no evidence of a dose-response relationship with smoking, and the association between smoking and risk of miscarriage was attenuated after accounting for induced abortions.
... 13 Sexual permissiveness was assessed via a six-item scale (Cronbach's α=0.74) comprising items such as 'Sex before marriage is acceptable' (strongly agree/ agree/neither/disagree/strongly disagree). 14 Respondents indicated whether they had ever taken an HIV antibody test, and whether they had ever been diagnosed with an STI. Respondents indicated whether they had ever had vaginal intercourse. ...
Article
Many studies of sexual behaviour and condom use are based on data collected from university students. The aim of this paper is to determine whether first-year university students and their same-age peers have different patterns of sexual behaviour. Computer-assisted telephone interviews were completed by a representative sample of 19,307 Australian men and women aged 16-59 years (response rate 73.1%), 920 of whom were aged 17-19 years. Comparisons were made between reports of sexual risk behaviours from first-year university students and reports of the same behaviours from their same-age peers. For female respondents, there were few differences in the sexual behaviour of first-year university students and their same-aged peers. For male respondents, there were some significant differences in the sexual behaviour of first-year university students and their same-aged peers and also different patterns of correlation between measures of sexual behaviour. Socio-demographic characteristics were related to whether 17-19 year-old respondents were first-year university students or engaged in other activities. The findings of studies of the sexual behaviour of university undergraduates should only be generalised to other groups with caution. The socio-demographic characteristics of the student population of a particular institution must be taken into account before generalisation to the broader population can safely be made from studies of single universities.
... Previous research has shown young people have various understandings of what constitutes "having sex" (Pitts & Rahman, 2001;Rissel, Richters, Grulich, de Visser, & Smith, 2003;Sanders & Reinisch, 1999;Sanders et al., 2010) and virginity (Bersamin, Fisher, Walker, Hill, & Grube, 2007). For the purpose of this study, sex was explicitly defined as the experience of vaginal or anal intercourse. ...
Article
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This study investigated feelings, reasons, pressures, and previous sexual experiences reported by students who have not had sexual intercourse and how these factors are associated with self-rated likelihood of having sex during the next year. Using data from the Fifth National Survey of Australian Secondary Students and Sexual Health (n = 783), this study found, in general, students had positive feelings about not having sex. Reasons for not having sex such as being proud to say no and not being ready were rated higher in importance than fear of potential outcomes or religious/cultural beliefs. Students reported limited pressure from parents and friends and, despite not having sexual intercourse, more than half of the sample had experienced some form of sexual activity. Stronger likelihoods of having sex during the next year were reported by students who had previously engaged in other sexual practices, reported more pressure from friends to have sex, and had negative feelings about not having sex. Sexuality educators can use these findings to guide approaches to sex education, emphasizing feelings, intentions, and reasoning over fear tactics. Discussion of a range of sexual practices will address more closely the experiences of young students as they begin their sexual lives.
... While early research found pre-marital sex was associated with poor relationship adjustment and instability it is unclear how relevant these findings are today as attitudes towards pre-marital sex and sexual behaviour have changed over the years. In 2002, a large cross-sectional telephone survey of over 20,000 Australians aged 16-59 years (The Australian Study of Health and Relationships) found that more than 80% of men and women believed that sex before marriage was acceptable, with the average age for first intercourse being 17 years for men and 18 years for women (Rissel, Richters, Grulich, de Visser, & Smith, 2003a;Rissel, Richters, Grulich, de Visser, & Smith, 2003b). This is consistent with the social trend in many Western countries in which people are more sexually active at a younger age while at the same time delaying marriage (Heaton, 2002). ...
... Additionally, this study did not examine differences in characteristics based on age. Past research has shown that younger individuals are more likely than older adults to be sexually liberal and adventurous (Rissel et al., 2003). This study did not explore motivation leading individuals to engage in CNM, which may influence relationship characteristics. ...
Article
The purpose of the present study was to examine associations between heterosexual consensually non-monogamous (CNM) and monogamous relationships and variables relating to relationship functioning and individual well-being. Participants (N = 555) were solicited online and asked to rate a number of items regarding their type of relationship, satisfaction, commitment, trust, conflict resolution style, and well-being. As compared to participants in monogamous relationships, people who participated in CNM reported more satisfaction, commitment, intimacy, passion, and love. Additionally, participants in CNM favoured positive problem-solving with their partners, while monogamous participants preferred withdrawal tactics. Lastly, CNM participants also reported higher psychological wellbeing. Collectively, the results support past findings of overall health and functionality of CNM relationships, which deviates from the mononormative assumptions of our society.
... For men, introducing children into the scenario reduced the acceptance of the family structure, suggesting a belief that the lack of gender roles within same-sex couples, regardless of gender, deems them inappropriate to parent (Pennington & Knight, 2011) and, consequently, unable to marry. One explanation could be that a female same-sex couples raising children challenges masculinity by negating the need for a man in the family, threatening male value in society (Davies, 2004;Rissel et al., 2003). Overall, the belief that same-sex couples cannot produce appropriate gendered role models for children could be influencing negative attitudes toward same-sex family rights. ...
Article
Australia is one of the last Western countries to legalize marriage between same-sex couples. Research suggests that the delay in marriage equality may be a consequence of societies’ conceptual connection between marriage and family being an ultimately heterosexual experience. The aim of this study was to investigate attitudes toward same-sex parenting within the marriage equality debate. Members of an Australian sample (n = 436) were randomly allocated to 1 of 9 conditions, where they received a vignette of either a heterosexual couple, a male same-sex couple, or female same-sex couple in 1 of 3 family structures (marriage/no children; marriage/children; no marriage/children). Participants rated their level of acceptance toward their allocated vignette, deciding whether the couple deserved the same rights as anyone else. Results demonstrated a significant division between acceptance of same-sex couples and heterosexual couples getting married and having children, with more negative attitudes toward same-sex couples present. Findings also highlighted a prejudice toward couples having children out of wedlock, regardless of sexual orientation of the couple. The implication for marriage equality advocates is challenging society attitudes toward marriage and family, by educating the community about same-sex parenting as well as parenting beyond marriage.
... As has been found previously, younger respondents were the most likely to report having sex with more than one partner in the recent past. 24 Bisexual respondents were more likely than heterosexual respondents to report multiple other-sex partners. Multiple partners were also more likely to be reported by men and women living in cities, those with lower incomes, and those with blue-collar occupations. ...
Article
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Unlabelled: Background Current information about numbers of other-sex partners, experiences of different heterosexual behaviours and the recent heterosexual experiences among a representative sample of Australian adults is needed. It is not known whether these practices have changed between 2001-02 and 2012-13. Methods: Computer-assisted telephone interviews were completed by a representative sample of 9963 men and 10131 women aged 16-69 years from all states and territories. The overall participation rate among eligible people was 66.2%. Results: Men reported more sexual partners than women, although the lifetime number of heterosexual partners reported by women increased significantly between 2001-02 and 2012-13. In 2012-13, 14.7% of men and 8.6% of women reported two or more sexual partners in the last year. Reporting multiple partners was significantly associated with being younger, being bisexual, living in major cities, having a lower income, having a blue-collar occupation and not being married. The proportion of respondents reporting ever having had oral sex or anal intercourse increased significantly since the last survey. At the last heterosexual encounter, 91.9% of men and 66.2% of women had an orgasm, oral sex was reported in only approximately one in four encounters and anal intercourse was uncommon. Conclusion: There were increases between 2001-02 and 2012-13 in partner numbers among women and in the lifetime experience of oral and anal sex. The patterns of heterosexual experience in Australia are similar to those found in studies of representative samples in other countries.
... Respondents used a five-point scale (Strongly agree/Agree/Neither/Disagree/Strongly disagree) to indicate the extent of their agreement with the statement: "Having an affair when in a committed relationship is always wrong" Rissel et al., 2003). For ease of interpretation, we collapsed responses into three categories: "agree," "neither," and "disagree." ...
Article
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Whereas sexually dimorphic evolutionary models argue for clear sex differences in responses to jealousy-evoking scenarios, social cognitive models emphasize the importance of other factors. This paper explores variables associated with responses to a commonly-used jealousy-evoking scenario in a population-representative sample. Data from 8,386 Australian men and women aged 16-69 were weighted to match the population. The results provided some support for evolutionary models among heterosexual respondents, but findings contrary to evolutionary models were found among non-heterosexual respondents. Support for social cognitive models was provided by the identification of six variables that had significant independent multivariate associations with jealousy: sex, age, education, lifetime number of partners, relationship status, and attitudes toward infidelity. The results suggest that although men and women may tend to respond differently to sexual or emotional infidelity scenarios, the anticipated experience of jealousy in each context is strongly influenced by biographical and cultural factors.
... Most attitudinal studies on abortion are quantitative surveys exploring attitudes towards the acceptability of abortion in general (Jones 2006;Rissel et al. 2003;Rosenwasser et al. 1987;Sarvela et al. 1992). Of the few studies examining the attitudes of men towards their involvement in unplanned pregnancy, one found that a majority of university students sampled in Texas believed the woman should consider the man's opinion in unplanned pregnancy but the final decision should be her own (Coleman and Nelson 1999). ...
Article
Estimates of abortion rates in Australia suggest that substantial numbers of men are party to an unplanned pregnancy. Although men have no formal legal rights in the decision to terminate a pregnancy, they may be liable to pay child support. The purpose of this 2011 study was to glean young men’s perspectives on their role in unplanned pregnancy. In semi-structured in-depth interviews, ten male university students aged 20–23 gave their views on their role in imaginary scenarios and real-life unplanned pregnancy situations ranging from a one-night stand to a two-year relationship. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and thematically analysed. Young men generally expected a higher level of involvement in decision making in longer relationships than in brief liaisons. Those with real-life experiences of abortion tended to think that men should have a greater role in decision-making. Young men felt that it was the woman’s right to make the decision on pregnancy outcome, but they still wanted some say if they were financially implicated. Nevertheless, men usually assumed that women were equally motivated to avoid pregnancy and left responsibility for contraception to the woman. Young men were centrally concerned with maintaining face—not being seen as ‘deadbeat dads’, abandoning mother and child. None expressed religious or moral concerns about abortion. Few men mentioned risk of sexually transmissible infections. Further research should explore the discrepancy between young men’s desire to be more involved in the abortion decision-making process and their ambivalence towards contraception responsibility. Sex education should attempt to make the risk of unintended fatherhood more real to male adolescents. Sex education should incorporate discussion of different relationship dilemmas to encourage greater ownership over sexual and reproductive health.
... Für Australien können die Daten der ersten "Australian Study of Health and Relationships" (ASHR1; Rissel et al. 2003) des Erhebungszeitraums 2001-2002 mit denen der zweiten Studien (ASHR2; de Visser et al. 2014) des Erhebungszeitraums 2012-2013 verglichen werden. In ASHR2 berichtete die Mehrzahl der Teilnehmer_innen eine akzeptierende Haltung gegenüber vorehelichem Sex (87 %), auch die Akzeptanz gegenüber einem Schwangerschaftsabbruch und gegenüber homosexuellem Verhalten war hoch ausgeprägt. ...
Article
Zusammenfassung Einleitung: Sexualpolitische Themen wie das Recht von Frauen auf Informationen zum Schwangerschaftsabbruch, sexuelle Vielfalt als Thema des Schulunterrichts und das Adoptionsrecht für homosexuelle Paare dominieren die öffentliche Debatte. Der sogenannte Wertekonflikt zwischen Liberalen versus Konservativen / Linken versus Rechten lässt sich besonders in der Erforschung von Einstellungen zu sexualitätsbezogenen Themen erkennen. Während die Mehrzahl der großen internationalen Survey-Untersuchungen zur Erfassung sexueller Verhaltensweisen Fragen zu sexualitätsbezogenen Einstellungen einbezog, existiert bisher keine systematische, repräsentative Studie zu sexualitätsbezogenen Einstellungen in Deutschland. Forschungsziele: Ziel des vorliegenden Beitrags ist es, Einstellungen in Deutschland zu ausgewählten sexualitätsbezogenen Themen darzustellen: Sex außerhalb der Ehe, gleichgeschlechtliche Sexualkontakte von Männern und Frauen, Sexarbeit, Schwangerschaftsabbruch sowie Promiskuität. Methoden: Die Daten wurden im Rahmen der Pilotstudie zur Erwachsenensexualität in Deutschland (vgl. Matthiesen et al. 2018, in diesem Heft) erhoben. Insgesamt wurden die sexualitätsbezogenen Einstellungen von 950 Männern und Frauen im Alter zwischen 18 und 75 Jahren ausgewertet. Ergebnisse: Durchschnittlich wurden die erhobenen Variablen eher akzeptierend beantwortet. Ausnahmen stellten die Einstellung zu Sex außerhalb der Ehe sowie zu einer hohen Anzahl wechselnder Sexualpartner_innen dar – diese stießen auf weniger Akzeptanz im Vergleich zu den anderen sexualitätsbezogenen Einstellungen. Schlussfolgerung: In Deutschland überwiegen gegenwärtig liberale Einstellungen gegenüber gleichgeschlechtlichen Sexualkontakten, Schwangerschaftsabbruch und Sexarbeit. Sex außerhalb der Ehe und ein promiskuitives Sexualverhalten stießen auf weniger Akzeptanz. Die Ergebnisse der Pilotstudie legen nahe, dass die sexuellen Einstellungen der Deutschen eine permissive, aber monogame Werteorientierung unterstützen.
... Together these results might relate to sexual minority cultural norms for sexual behavior. For example, gay, lesbian, and bisexual men and women have been found to have more liberal attitudes toward sexuality (e.g., openness toward recreational sex; Mustanski, et al., 2011;Rissel, Richters, Grulich, Visser, & Smith, 2003). Other sociocultural factors may contribute to these patterns, such as the media (e.g., dating apps) through which or the venues where young gay and bisexual men meet their partners for sexual contact (Bauermeister, Leslie-Santana, Johns, Pingel, & Eisenberg, 2011;Clatts et al., 2005). ...
Article
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Sexual minority adolescent sexual risk behavior studies often overlook young women, do not consider behavior- and identity-based sexual orientation indicators in combination, and focus mainly on condomless sex. We examined multiple risk behaviors in a large sample of adolescent young men and women using combined behavior- and identity-based indices. The 2015 Dane County Youth Assessment data included 4734 students in 22 high schools who had ever voluntarily engaged in sexual contact (51.7% male; 76.0% White, non-Hispanic). Items assessed having sex with unfamiliar partners, sex while using substances, using protection, and STI testing. Logistic regressions tested for disparities based on combined identity- and behavior-based sexual orientation indicators. For both young men and women, youth who reported heterosexual or questioning identities—but who had sex with same-sex partners—were at consistently greater risk than heterosexual youth with only different-sex partners. Also, for both young men and women, bisexuals with partners of both sexes more consistently reported higher risk than heterosexual youth than did bisexuals with only different-sex partners. Risk behavior for gay young men who had sex only with men mirrored those in extant literature. Risk levels differed for specific groups of sexual minority young women, thus deserving further attention. Findings underscore the need for sexual health research to consider sexual orientation in a more multidimensional manner.
Article
The popularity of tattooing has increased substantially in recent years, particularly among adolescents and young adults. Moreover, tattooed images are permanent unless the individual opts for expensive, time consuming, and painful removal procedures. Given the increasing popularity of tattooing, and the permanent nature of this action, it is of interest to know whether tattooed workers are more or less likely to be employed and, conditional on employment, if they receive wages that are different from the wages of their non-tattooed peers. To investigate these questions, we analyze two large data sets—from the United States and Australia—with measures of tattoo status, employment, earnings, and other pertinent variables. Regardless of country, gender, specific measures, or estimation technique, the results consistently show that having a tattoo is negatively and significantly related to employment and earnings in bivariate analyses, but the estimates become smaller and nonsignificant after controlling for human capital, occupation, behavioral choices, lifestyle factors, and other individual characteristics related to labor market outcomes. Various robustness checks confirm the stability of the core findings. These results suggest that, once differences in personal characteristics are taken into account, tattooed and non-tattooed workers are treated similarly in the labor market. We offer suggestions for improving future surveys to enable a better understanding of the relationships between tattooed workers and their labor market outcomes.
Article
To describe selected characteristics of Australian adults' regular or ongoing sexual relationships. Computer-assisted telephone interviews were completed by a representative sample of 10,173 men and 9,134 women aged 16-59 years. The overall response rate was 73.1% (69.4% men, 77.6% women). Respondents indicated how often they had sex in the past four weeks, contraceptive use, their own and their partners' expectations about having sex with other people during their relationship, whether they had discussed these expectations with their partners and whether they had an explicit agreement about sex with other people. 85.3% of men and 89.5% of women were in a regular heterosexual relationship, among whom 81.4% of men and 89.3% of women reported contraceptive use. Men and women who had a regular partner for the past 12 months had had sex with their partners an average of 1.84 times per week in the four weeks before interview; younger people had sex more often. Most respondents expected themselves and their partners to not have sex with other people, although men were less likely than women to have discussed these expectations with their partner. Bisexually identified men and women were significantly less likely than heterosexually identified men and women to support having sex only with their regular partner. Only 4.9% of men and 2.9% of women in regular heterosexual relationships had concurrent sexual partners in the past 12 months. Australians' attitudes to not having sex with people while in a regular relationship are highly consistent with their behaviour.
Article
To review the content, method and process of the Australian Study of Health and Relationships (ASHR). ASHR achieved a large sample, a high response rate and documented the sexual life histories and current sexual health-related knowledge, attitudes and practices of the Australian population aged 16-59. Its cross-sectional nature limited our ability to partition observed variation between age and time despite clear evidence of both age-related and cohort-related changes in sexual practice. Similarly, its reliance on a sample of individuals reporting on their sexual experiences rather than a sample of sexual relationships or encounters and their participants limits our ability to understand the dynamics of those relationships and encounters. Finally, our understanding of sexuality in Australia could have been improved through qualitative studies with a subsample of ASHR participants. ASHR represents a significant contribution to our understanding of sexual health-related knowledge, attitudes and practices in Australia.
Article
Sexually transmissible infections (STIs) among young Australians increased dramatically between 1997 and 2007 with rates of chlamydia increasing by 528% and rates of gonorrhoea by 169% among 15-19 year olds. High notification rates of STIs and teenage pregnancy point to the need to investigate sexual health education (SHE) in Australian schools. This first quantitative study investigated the attitudes and experiences of parents to SHE in Australian schools. One hundred and seventeen (117) Australian parents were recruited through purposive sampling and snowballing methods to complete an online questionnaire in 2007. Most respondents (97.4%) support SHE in schools and 95.7% advocate schools and parents sharing responsibility. A majority (82.9%) believe SHE should begin in primary school with discrepancy as to when specific topics should be introduced. There is consensus for a comprehensive curriculum, including topics potentially seen as controversial such as 'masturbation'. 'Abstinence' was chosen by 15.4% of parents to not be included in SHE curricula. Most parents rate the SHE their children have received in school as 'fair' in quality, and want access to resources to help them educate their children, including workshops at schools, information about school SHE, literature, and trained sexual health educators. Parents generally support SHE in schools. They want programs to begin in primary school. They consider the current school programs to be 'fair' in quality. Parents also point out the need for a more comprehensive curriculum and they want to be involved with schools in the development and delivery of SHE.
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Drawing on the textual evidence of a number of referees’ reports, this article maps key differences between the humanities and social sciences approaches to the study of pornography, in order to facilitate better understanding and communication between the areas. 1. Social scientists avoid ‘vulgar’ language to describe sex. Humanities scholars need not do so. 2. Social scientists remain committed to the idea of ‘objectivity’ while humanities scholars reject the idea – although this may be a confusion in language, with the term in the social sciences used to mean something more like ‘falsifiability’. 3. Social science assumes that the primary effects of exposure to pornography must be negative. 4. More generally, social science resists paradigm changes, insisting that all new work agrees with research that has gone before. 5. Social science believes that casual sex and sadomasochism are negative; humanities research need not do so.
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This paper explores how a group of Vietnamese Australian young women acquire knowledge of sexual issues, and the impact the traditional Vietnamese culture has on the acquisition of this knowledge. It is based on a qualitative study that examined the factors which shape the sexual behaviour of Vietnamese Australian young women living in Australia. A Grounded Theory methodology was employed in this investigation, and involved in-depth interviews with 15 Vietnamese Australian young women aged 18-25 years, who reside in Victoria, Australia. The findings illustrated three key elements involved in the acquisition of knowledge of sexual issues: 'Accepting parental silence', 'Exploring sources of knowledge' and 'Needing culturally targeted information'. The young women desired discussion about sexual issues but accepted that cultural 'barriers' were formidable. Their desire conflicted with the traditional familial norm of 'silence' regarding sexual matters. Consequently, knowledge was sought outside the home, specifically from peers and the media. The importance of culturally appropriate and adequate sexual discussions for Vietnamese Australian young people was stressed, so that informed decisions could be made about their sexual lives. It is imperative for young people to have adequate and appropriate sexual education so that informed and safe sexual choices can be made. For young people from diverse cultural backgrounds, this education must be culturally appropriate and accessible, taking into consideration cultural mores regarding gender and sexual matters, as well as current beliefs in the 'mainstream' youth culture.
Article
Unlabelled: Background Individuals who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or queer (GLBTQ) suffer higher rates of illness and morbidity compared with the general population but may experience significant barriers to accessing primary health care. Method: We used an online questionnaire to explore GLBTQ adults' experiences of accessing primary health care in Australia. We developed the questionnaire in consultation with individuals who belonged to or worked closely with the GLBTQ community. Questions were open-ended and sought information about four topic areas: sexual identity and its meaning, utilisation of primary health care services, disclosure of sexual identity to primary care providers and experiences of accessing primary health care. Data were analysed by coding free-text responses into themes. Results: Ninety-nine valid responses were received. Participants were 18-60+ years old (modal age group: 20-29 years); 70% lived in cities. Of these, 49% identified as gay, 35% as lesbian, 13% as bisexual, 8% as queer and 3% as transgender. Some participants indicated more than one identity. GLBTQ-identifying adults often divided care, seeking different primary care services for different health concerns. Themes in relation to disclosure of sexual identity were: taking a rights-based position, experiences of homophobia and clinical context. Themes about access to primary health care were: diversity and heterogeneity, real or perceived discrimination, visual symbols and respect. Conclusion: Despite diversity, GLBTQ adults experience many barriers to accessing health care due to sexual identity. General practitioners and other primary health care providers have a role in ensuring equitable access to health care.
Article
Objective: To describe numbers of opposite-sex partners, experiences of different heterosexual behaviours, and recent heterosexual experiences among a representative sample of Australian adults. Methods: Computer-assisted telephone interviews were completed by a representative sample of 10,173 men and 9,134 women aged 16-59 years from all States and Territories. The response rate was 73.1% (69.4% among men and 77.6% among women). Results: Men reported more sexual partners than women over their lifetime, in the past five years and in the past year. 15.1% of men and 8.5% of women reported multiple sexual partners in the past year. Reporting multiple opposite-sex partners was significantly associated with being younger, identifying as bisexual, living in major cities, having a lower income, having a blue-collar occupation, and not being married. All but a handful of respondents' most recent heterosexual encounters involved vaginal intercourse and condoms were used in one-fifth of these sexual encounters. Anal intercourse was very uncommon during respondents' most recent heterosexual encounters. Conclusion: Patterns of heterosexual experience in Australia are similar to those found in studies of representative samples in other countries. Implications: There may be a need for interventions targeted at people with multiple sexual partners to promote safer sexual behaviour and to reduce the likelihood of transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
Article
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Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the cause of almost all cases of cervical cancer. The current UK government immunisation program includes free routine HPV vaccination of girls aged 12-13, with a catch-up vaccination program for 13-18-year-old girls. The aim of this study was to identify correlates of intended and actual uptake of catch-up HPV vaccination. An online questionnaire was completed by 591 young women aged 16-20. Of the 350 women who had been offered catch-up HPV vaccination, 90.6% had accepted. In multivariate analyses, vaccine uptake was significantly correlated with subjective norms more supportive of HPV vaccination, and greater uptake of other childhood vaccinations (χ²(3))=39.34, P<0.01; 91.1% correctly classified; Nagelkerke pseudo-r²=0.23). Among the 241 women aged 16-20 who had not been offered HPV vaccination, the average intention was 3.70 on a five-point scale. Multivariate analyses revealed four significant independent predictors of stronger intentions to accept vaccination: subjective norms more supportive of HPV vaccination, greater worry about sexually transmissible infections, greater support for young people's sexual health services and greater support for childhood vaccination (F((4,236))=18.67, P<0.01; adjusted r²=0.23). Young women rated television advertisements, educational programs and television soaps as the most effective ways to encourage uptake of HPV vaccination. Uptake of HPV vaccination may be increased if interventions use appropriate media to promote social norms supportive of HPV vaccination.
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Background: To counter the disproportionate impact of sexually transmissible infections (STIs) among young people and encourage higher levels of STI testing, it is necessary to identify the factors that influence STI testing. Methods: A mixed-methods study incorporating a cross-sectional quantitative survey and qualitative analysis of individual interviews was conducted in England. Some 275 university students aged 17-25 years completed an online questionnaire. Interviews were conducted with a purposively selected sample of eight men and women. Results: Multivariate analysis of quantitative data revealed that injunctive norms (i.e. a desire to comply with others' wishes for testing), descriptive norms (i.e. perceptions of others' behaviour) and shame related to STIs predicted past testing behaviour. Intention to undergo testing was predicted by greater perceived susceptibility, past testing, stronger injunctive norms and greater willingness to disclose sexual histories. Qualitative analysis of interview data confirmed the importance of perceived susceptibility, normative beliefs, stigma and shame, and perceived ease of testing. Conclusions: To increase STI testing among young people, there is a need to promote pro-testing norms, address low perceived susceptibility and make testing easier.
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'This refreshingly original work is an essential addition to the libraries of all defamation aficionados. Through empirical evidence, including interviews with judges and practitioners, and surveys of the general public, Dr Baker convincingly demonstrates the human propensity to overestimate the negative effect that defamatory imputations may have on other people ("the third person effect"). The conventional "ordinary reasonable person" test becomes in practice an "ordinary unreasonable person" test, regrettably lowering the defamation threshold and further curtailing freedom of communication.'
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Sexual and reproductive health among adolescents have become increasingly important and aroused international concerns. In this study, we investigate sexual knowledge, attitudes, sexual behaviors, the unwanted pregnancy and the abortion rate and to explore related determinants among college students in Beijing. This study is based on a cross-sectional survey of college students' knowledge, attitudes and behavior. Multistage cluster sampling was used to select subjects in Beijing. The self-questionnaire designed by our research group including general information, knowledge, attitude and behavior about sexuality was used to collect information. A total of 2003 questionnaires were collected from June to July 2010. The data showed that most of the college students lacked knowledge about reproductive health. Only 17.9% of the respondents knew the appropriate time of abortion. Data also showed that the respondents had high-risk attitude about sex, 58.7% could accept premarital sex, and 29.7% had negative attitude towards contraception. Moreover, sexual activity of the respondents was active. Data showed that 18.5% of the respondents had had sexual activities. Significantly more boys than girls had sex (χ(2) = 73.374, P < 0.001). Among the boys and girls who reported sexual history, 43.1% of the boys had impregnated girlfriend and 49.3% of the girls among those people who have sex had unwanted pregnancies. Logistic regression analysis showed that the variables the gender (OR = 3.12, 95%CI: 2.39 - 4.11), grade (OR = 1.78, 95%CI: 1.40 - 2.26), specialty (OR = 1.35, 95%CI: 1.12 - 1.74), family situation (OR = 1.66, 95%CI: 1.15 - 2.38), score of knowledge (OR = 0.74, 95%CI: 0.58 - 0.95) and attitude to sex activity (OR = 0.09, 95%CI: 0.04 - 0.22) had a significant effect on having sexual behavior. College students lack knowledge and methods to avoid risky sexual behaviors in Beijing. College students have high-risk sexual attitude and behaviors. Therefore, suitable and effective sex health measures to protect college students would be strongly recommended.
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In 2008, the Australian federal Senate held an Inquiry into the Sexualisation of Children in the Contemporary Media Environment. I made a submission to this Inquiry, noting that in public debate about this topic a number of quite distinct issues, with distinct aetiologies, were collapsed together. These included: child pornography; children being targeted by any form of marketing; young people becoming sexually active; sexual abuse of children; raunch culture; protecting children from any sexualised material in the media; and body image disorders. I suggested that commentators had collapsed these issues together because the image of the helpless child is a powerful one for critics to challenge undesirable aspects of contemporary culture. The result of many different ideological viewpoints all using the same argument - that the forms of culture they didn't like were damaging children - gives the impression that there is no element of culture today that isn't (somebody claims) causing harm to children: everything is child abuse. The danger of such discourses is that they draw attention away from the real harm that is being caused to children by sexual and other forms of maltreatment - which overwhelmingly occur within families, and for reasons ignored in these debates.
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Objective: To investigate gender differences in beliefs about condom use among young, sexually active, heterosexual Australian adults. Design: Cross-sectional survey of 1,113 adults aged 18–26 years. Setting: Higher education institutions across New South Wales and Victoria, Australia. Method: Participants were recruited during higher-education orientation activities and asked to complete an anonymous survey. The survey captured beliefs about condom use and demographic data. Results: Although males were more likely than females to agree that their partners endorsed the consistent use of condoms, they were less likely to agree that their friends would support consistent condom usage. Males were also more likely to believe that condoms reduce sexual pleasure and give the impression that they are sexually promiscuous. Conclusion: Normalizing the purchase of condoms, repositioning condoms as erotic stimuli, and creating a supportive peer environment using peer-to-peer communication tools may bring about more positive perceptions regarding consistent condom use. Gender-specific safe sex campaigns should also be developed to address the different pattern of condom beliefs held by males and females.
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In this article, I argue that the term “sexual orientation” serves as a mechanism for preserving heteronormative hegemony, with the proposed concept of “relational orientation” encouraging a richer theoretical analysis of the factors that shape identity. The relational orientation approach establishes a more holistic representation of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals by granting primacy to romantic partnering choices, as opposed to the traditional emphasis on sexual behavior alone that ultimately functions to derogate this community. Furthermore, the model invites exploration of how the dynamics of all social relationships are profoundly and divergently shaped by one's “orientation.” By promoting greater understanding, this discursive framework offers educators a valuable epistemological and pedagogical tool that has the potential to lead to significant personal and societal transformation.
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Unlabelled: Background Attitudes towards sex and relationships influence laws about what is and is not permissible and social sanctions against behaviours considered unacceptable. They are an important focus for research given their links to sexual behaviour. The aim of the present study was to describe attitudes towards sex and relationships, to identify correlates of scores on a scale of sexual liberalism and to examine responses to jealousy-evoking scenarios among Australian adults. Methods: Computer-assisted landline and mobile telephone interviews were completed by a population-representative sample of 20094 men and women aged 16-69 years. The overall participation rate among eligible people was 66.2%. Respondents expressed their agreement with 11 attitude statements, five of which formed a valid scale of liberalism, and also responded to a jealousy-evoking scenario. Results: There was general agreement that premarital sex was acceptable (87%), that sex was important for wellbeing (83%) and that sex outside a committed relationship was unacceptable (83%). Respondents were accepting of homosexual behaviour and abortion and few believed that sex education encouraged earlier sexual activity. More liberal attitudes were associated with: being female; speaking English at home; homosexual or bisexual identity; not being religious; greater education; and higher incomes. Respondents who expressed more liberal attitudes had more diverse patterns of sexual experience. Predicted sex differences were found in response to the jealousy-evoking scenario - men were more jealous of a partner having sex with someone else and women were more jealous of a partner forming an emotional attachment - but responses varied with age. Conclusion: Sexual attitudes of Australians largely support a permissive but monogamous paradigm. Since 2002, there has been a shift to less tolerance of sex outside a committed relationship, but greater acceptance of homosexual behaviour.
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Background: To counter the disproportionate impact of STIs among young people and encourage higher levels of STI testing, it is necessary identify factors that influence STI testing. Methods: A mixed methods study incorporating a cross-sectional quantitative survey and qualitative analysis of individual interviews was conducted in England. 275 university students aged 17-25 completed an online questionnaire. Interviews were conducted with a purposively-selected sample of 8 men and women. Results: Multivariate analysis of quantitative data revealed that injunctive norms (i.e., a desire to comply others' wishes for testing), descriptive norms (i.e., perceptions of others' behaviour), and shame related to STIs predicted past testing behaviour. Intention to undergo testing was predicted by greater perceived susceptibility, past testing, stronger injunctive norms, and greater willingness to disclose sexual histories. Qualitative analysis of interview data confirmed the importance of perceived susceptibility, normative beliefs, stigma/shame and perceived ease of testing. Conclusions: To increase STI testing among young people, there is a need to promote pro-testing norms, address low perceived susceptibility, and make testing easier.
Book
Consumption is a key social issue of our time. We explore how consumption is embedded in contemporary family life but also the prevalence of the discourse of family failure in public debate about childhood obesity, alcohol, media use and sexualisation. In this paper, we engage with crisis discourse of the family beset by consumption and peopled by narcissistic and unconnected individuals. In common stories of contemporary family life, families, and their members, have given into excess and consumption is out of control. Drawing on a number of recent empirical studies in which we have been involved, we argue by contrast that consumption is key to how we ‘do’ contemporary family life – and that the picture is complex but not all bad. Families consume together and relationships and life are sustained by consumption decisions and practices. We argue for an idea of relational consumption as a way to think about what families are doing. We then look particularly at two hot button topics: food and alcohol in family life to support our argument that family consumption needs to be rethought. We focus on re-casting the boarder social arguments rather than reviewing our empirical work in the area in detail as we hope to use these two areas to support our call for a new way to think about consuming in families.
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Meta-analytic techniques were used to compare men's and women's attitudes toward homosexual persons, homosexual behaviors, and gay people's civil rights. As expected, size of sex differences varied across these categories. Men were more negative than women toward homosexual persons and homosexual behavior, but the sexes viewed gay civil rights similarly. Men's attitudes toward homosexual persons were particularly negative when the person being rated was a gay man or of unspecified sex. Women and men evaluated lesbians similarly. Ratings of homosexual persons and homosexual behavior were least likely to differ by subject sex for samples of nonprofessional adults. In addition, sex role attitude mediated sex differences in attitudes toward homosexuality. Biases in the research literature and areas that deserve further attention, such as the confounding of sample with measurement strategy and the tendency to study gay men or targets of unspecified sex, are discussed.
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Theories of human sexuality have proposed that two factors reduce the double standard of sexuality and lead to a convergence of male and female sexual behavior: the degree of social benefits and amount of power women have in basic societal institutions and the extent to which a society accepts permissive sexual norms. As these factors increase, the strength of the double standard will decrease and the convergence between male and female behaviors will increase. Compared to the United States, Sweden has instituted more policies to promote gender equality and has been thought to accept more permissive premarital sexual attitudes. The focus of the research reported here is to examine country and gender differences in sexual attitudes and sexual behavior for a sample of university students in the United States (N = 407) and Sweden (N = 570). Results indicate that Swedish students endorsed more similar sexual standards for women and men and reported more accepting attitudes than did American students. For sexual behavior, American men reported the most sexual experience, Swedish men the least, with the women of both countries generally in the middle category. Notwithstanding this more permissive behavior on the part of American men, gender convergence with respect to sexual behavior is stronger in Sweden on several of the dimensions examined: age of first engaging in partner-related sexual activities for those who were sexually experienced, relationship with first partner, number of partners both in the last year and in their lifetime, and affective reactions to first coitus. Gender convergence, however, is weaker in Sweden than in the United States with respect to the incidence and frequency of various sexual activities and the degree of satisfaction with current sex life. Findings are discussed with respect to the questions they raise about the current theories that framed this research and the differential amount of sex education provided in the two countries.
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The relationship between sexual attitudes and number of heterosexual partners in a survey-based and nationally representative random sample of 551 British men aged 16-25 years was examined. The main predictor of the number of partners in the last 5 years was the time since the first sexual intercourse, whereas age, marital status, education, social class, smoking, and alcohol consumption contributed on a smaller but significant level. Sexual attitudes were summarized in terms of three underlying dimensions which could be described as permissiveness, attitudes toward sexual relations of same-sex partners, and importance of orgasm for sex. None of these was a significant predictor of the number of partners in the last 5 years. Both permissiveness and number of partners were associated with the age of first sexual intercourse and other background variables indicating opportunities for social contact. In conclusion, common factors of sexual attitudes and the number of sexual partners are not directly related but rather jointly predicted by a very similar set of background variables such as age, time since first sexual intercourse, social class, smoking, and alcohol consumption. Given the absence of a significant relationship between sexual attitudes and number of young men's partners, promoting safer sex may be a more sensible strategy than trying to change these attitudes.
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The aim of this study was to establish which behaviors were considered to constitute sexual relations and to compare a group of undergraduates in the UK with a group in the US. An opportunistic sample of 190 female and 124 male UK undergraduate university students was surveyed by questionnaire. The main outcome measure was percentage of responses to 11 different behaviors believed to constitute "having sex." The majority of respondents regarded having sex as involving penile-vaginal and penile-anal intercourse. One-third of respondents regarded oral-genital contact as having sex, around 17% regarded touching genitals, whilst 6% regarded oral or other touching of breasts and nipples as constituting having sex. There were significant gender- and age-related differences in responses. These findings broadly support the findings of an earlier US study. It is clear that British students hold divergent opinions about which behaviors do and do not constitute having sex. The age-related trends merit further exploration. Any studies of sex-related behaviors need to specify precisely which are encompassed by the terms used.
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The 1990-1 British national probability sample survey of sexual attitudes and lifestyles (Natsal 1990) was repeated in 1999-2001 (Natsal 2000) to update population estimates of risk behaviours, and assess change over time. We examine whether changes in prevalence estimates may partly result from changes in measurement accuracy. Taking Natsal 2000 (11 161 respondents) and Natsal 1990 (13 765 respondents aged 16-44) we compared the response rate, sample representativeness, reporting of abortion last year (relative to official statistics), and selected attitudes. Among the common birth cohort eligible for both surveys (aged 16-34 Natsal 1990, 26-44 Natsal 2000), we compared reporting of experiences before 1990. The response rate (66.8% Natsal 1990, 65.4% Natsal 2000) and completeness of reporting abortion were unchanged (84% Natsal 1990, 86% Natsal 2000). Attitudes were significantly changed in Natsal 2000 relative to Natsal 1990--for example, increased tolerance of male homosexual sex, OR (95% CI) 2.10 (1.93-2.29) men and 2.95 (2.74 to 3.18) women. In the common birth cohort reporting of heterosexual intercourse before 16 (OR 1.15 (1.02 to 1.29) men, 1.49 (1.31 to 1.69) women), and homosexual experience (OR 1.80 (1.46 to 2.21) men, 2.00 (1.61 to 2.48) women) were significantly increased. The results are consistent with improved reporting accuracy for some sensitive behaviours in Natsal 2000, in line with greater social tolerance and improved survey methodology. However, the evidence is not conclusive, and may not be generalisable to all such behaviours. The increase found in the reported prevalence of STI risk behaviours between Natsal 1990 and Natsal 2000 is likely to be somewhat overstated.
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This article explores the question of whether and how heterosexuals' attitudes toward lesbians differ from their attitudes toward gay men. Data from a 1997 national survey are presented to show that heterosexual women generally hold similar attitudes toward gay men and lesbians, whereas heterosexual men are more likely to make distinctions according to gender. Moreover, men's attitudes toward lesbians are susceptible to situational manipulations. Nevertheless, the underlying unity of attitudes toward lesbians and gay men is demonstrated by the fact that they are highly correlated for both heterosexual men and women. It is suggested that heterosexuals' attitudes toward gay people are organized both in terms of minority group politics and personal sexual and gender identity and that attitudes toward lesbians are most likelyto be differentiated from attitudes toward gay men in the latter realm.
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The Social Organization of Sexuality reports the complete results of the nation's most comprehensive representative survey of sexual practices in the general adult population of the United States. This highly detailed portrait of sex in America and its social context and implications has established a new and original scientific orientation to the study of sexual behavior. "The most comprehensive U.S. sex survey ever." —USA Today "The findings from this survey, the first in decades to provide detailed insights about the sexual behavior of a representative sample of Americans, will have a profound impact on how policy makers tackle a number of pressing health problems." —Alison Bass, The Boston Globe "A fat, sophisticated, and sperm-freezingly serious volume. . . . This book is not in the business of giving us a good time. It is in the business of asking three thousand four hundred and thirty-two other people whether they had a good time, and exactly what they did to make it so good." —Anthony Lane, The New Yorker New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year
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This meta-analysis surveyed 177 usable sources that reported data on gender differences on 21 different measures of sexual attitudes and behaviors. The largest gender difference was in incidence of masturbation: Men had the greater incidence (d = .96). There was also a large gender difference in attitudes toward casual sex: Males had considerably more permissive attitudes (d = .81). There were no gender differences in attitudes toward homosexuality or in sexual satisfaction. Most other gender differences were in the small-to-moderate range. Gender differences narrowed from the 1960s to the 1980s for many variables. Chodorow's neoanalytic theory, sociobiology, social learning theory, social role theory, and script theory are discussed in relation to these findings.
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The study of the sexual permissiveness of young adults has been popular topic in sociology and social psychology, especially since the empirical and theoretical work of Reiss. We extended previous research on premarital sexual standards by examining the degree of sexual permissiveness and the endorsement of the traditional double standard in a large sample of young adults in the United States (N = 1043). In addition, comparative data were collected from young adults in two other countries: Russia (N = 401) and Japan (N = 223). American subjects expressed more acceptance of premarital sex than did the Russian and Japanese subjects. Men were more sexually permissive than women in the U.S. and in Russia but not in Japan. The degree to which the double standard was endorsed also depended on culture and gender. Russian subjects were more likely to endorse the double standard than Japanese and American subjects. However, American men were most likely to endorse the traditional double standard concerning sex early in the dating relationship.
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The current public debate regarding whether oral sex constitutes having "had sex" or sexual relations has reflected a lack of empirical data on how Americans as a population define these terms. To determine which interactions individuals would consider as having "had sex." A question was included in a survey conducted in 1991 that explored sexual behaviors and attitudes among a random stratified sample of 599 students representative of the undergraduate population of a state university in the Midwest. The participants originated from 29 states, including all 4 US Census Bureau geographic regions. Approximately 79% classified themselves as politically moderate to conservative. Percentage of respondents who believed the interaction described constituted having "had sex." Individual attitudes varied regarding behaviors defined as having "had sex": 59% (95% confidence interval, 54%-63%) of respondents indicated that oral-genital contact did not constitute having "had sex" with a partner. Nineteen percent responded similarly regarding penile-anal intercourse. The findings support the view that Americans hold widely divergent opinions about what behaviors do and do not constitute having "had sex."
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Editor—Since 1988 we have surveyed first year students in behavioural sciences at Macquarie University in Sydney on their attitudes to and knowledge of HIV and AIDS and relevant risk behaviours. In 1998 we asked 545 students aged 17 to 73 (median age 19; 62% under 20) which of the following activities count as “having sex with” someone: tongue kissing, touching or stroking sexual organs with the hand (mutual masturbation), oral sex (mouth on penis or vulva) with or without orgasm, and penetration of the vagina or anus by a penis with or without ejaculation. Only 7% (33/471) regarded tongue kissing as having sex, 30% (140/470) regarded touching or stroking, 54% (258/476) regarded oral sex without orgasm, and 58% (275/475) regarded oral sex with orgasm as having sex. Over 99% (491/494) agreed that penis-vagina sex with ejaculation was sex, and 97% (477/492) thought it was even if no ejaculation occurred. About 10% excluded anal sex from their definition of sex. Older students were far more likely to rate non-intercourse activities as sex: 3% (10/311) of those under 20 and 14% (22/156) of those over 20 counted tongue kissing as sex; 49% (152/309) of those under 20 and 74% (120/162) of those over 20 counted oral sex with orgasm. All of the 21 students over age 40 thought that oral sex with orgasm was sex. Men were somewhat more likely than women to count non-coital sex as having sex. The 5% (30/551) of respondents who were not heterosexual (that is, those who identified themselves as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, or did not answer the question) regarded more activities as sex, but the differences were not statistically significant. The exception was touching and stroking, which 50% (12/24) of non-heterosexuals but only 29% (128/446) of heterosexuals regarded as sex. These results are likely to be representative of Australian students in general. The sexual knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours of these university students have been shown to be little different from those of randomly selected students studying other subjects at other universities.1 Questionnaires were handed out by us, not by the teachers, in a large lecture theatre and completed anonymously. Very few (<1%) students refused the survey altogether; non-response for questions varied between 10% and 15%. Researchers should clarify their definitions if they want younger respondents to include non-coital sex in their reports of sexual activities and partners. It is possible that HIV prevention campaigns which emphasised the use of condoms over the past decade may have fostered the view that the only real sex is the sort you use a condom for. This will make it more difficult to promote non-coital sex as safe sex.
Article
To describe the characteristics of Australian adults' first vaginal intercourse and contraceptive use on that occasion, as well as first oral sex. Computer-assisted telephone interviews were completed by a representative sample of 10,173 men and 9,134 women aged 16-59 years. The overall response rate was 73.1% (69.4% men, 77.6% women). Respondents indicated their age at first vaginal intercourse (if ever), the partner's age, their relationship to their partner, the duration of the relationship before first intercourse, and what contraception (if any) was used. Respondents also indicated their age when they first had oral sex. For men, the median age at first intercourse declined from 18 among men aged 50-59 to 16 for men aged 16-19. For women the decline in median age was from 19 to 16. For women born between 1941 and 1950 the difference in median age at first vaginal intercourse and subsequent first oral sex was six years but for women born between 1981 and 1986 the difference in medians was one year. For men, a similar convergence was observed. Contraceptive use at first intercourse has increased significantly, from less than 30% of men and women in the 1950s to over 90% in the 2000s. For men, first intercourse before age 16 was significantly associated with greater numbers of lifetime and recent sexual partners, ever having paid for sex and having had a sexually transmitted infection (STI), and for women, with greater numbers of lifetime and recent sexual partners, ever having been paid for sex and ever having had an STI. Sex education should be given so that all young people have information about contraception and disease prevention before they begin their sexual careers.
Article
To describe the methods and process of the Australian Study of Health and Relationships. A computer-assisted telephone interview was developed and applied to a stratified sample of the Australian population. After initially weighting to reflect the study design, the sample was further weighted to reflect the location, age and sex distribution of the 2001 Census. Interviews were completed with 10,173 men and 9,134 women aged 16-59 years from all states and Territories. The overall response rate was 73.1% (69.4% among men and 77.6% among women). After accounting for the survey design and weighting to the 2001 Census, the sample appears broadly representative of the Australian population. The combination of methods and design in the Australian Study of Health and Relationships, coupled with the high response rate, strongly suggests that the results of the study are robust and broadly representative of the Australian population.
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The Australian Study of Health and Relationships (ASHR), a survey of 19,307 people aged 16-59 years which had a broad focus across many aspects of sexual and reproductive health. Our primary goal in presenting these data is to describe the overall prevalence of key outcomes and the ways in which they are patterned with respect to a range of sociodemographic factors. The socio-demographic factors used include age, gender, language spoken at home, highest level of education completed, region of residence, household income and occupational category. Where appropriate we also include stated sexual identity. Our choice of these factors reflects the fact that they are major elements in the structure of the Australian population and Australian society. For the purpose of reporting the initial results, we have grouped these outcomes into 18 papers. They are bracketed by an introductory methods paper which provides a detailed account of the design and execution of the study, and a concluding paper reflecting on the key themes emerging from the findings, the strengths and limitations of our approach and recommendations for future research.
Gender differences in Sexuality: a meta-analysis
  • Oliver