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Sexes, Volume 2, Issue 4 (December 2021) – 12 articles

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Article
Sexual Fantasies across Gender and Sexual Orientation in Young Adults: A Multiple Correspondence Analysis
Sexes 2021, 2(4), 523-533; https://doi.org/10.3390/sexes2040041 - 15 Dec 2021
Viewed by 1225
Abstract
Differences in the content of sexual fantasies across gender have been widely documented, while less attention was given to the role of sexual orientation. Previous studies focused on differences in the prevalence of broad themes consisting of sets of contents. The current study [...] Read more.
Differences in the content of sexual fantasies across gender have been widely documented, while less attention was given to the role of sexual orientation. Previous studies focused on differences in the prevalence of broad themes consisting of sets of contents. The current study aimed to increase the knowledge about sexual fantasies in heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual men and women. A descriptive approach that allows visualizing the patterns of fantasies reported by different groups using Multiple Correspondence Analysis (MCA) is presented. A sample of 3136 of young adults, 1754 women (Mage = 22.50, SD = 1.72, range 18–25) and 1382 men (Mage = 22.50, SD = 1.70, range 18–25), completed an online questionnaire assessing the presence of 29 different sexual fantasies. The prevalence of each fantasy among each group is shown. Also, relationships between fantasies and the distribution of groups along the two principal dimensions highlighted by MCA are represented. Heterosexuals women reported fewer fantasies and showed opposite patterns of response compared to heterosexual men. There was a substantial overlapping in the fantasies reported by gay and bisexual men, while responses of lesbian and bisexual women were more differentiated. These results indicate that the content of sexual fantasies varies according to both gender and sexual orientation. Full article
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Review
Exploring the Linkages between Substance Use, Natural Disasters, Pandemics, and Intimate Partner Violence against Women: A Rapid Review in the Context of COVID-19
Sexes 2021, 2(4), 509-522; https://doi.org/10.3390/sexes2040040 - 14 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1552
Abstract
Rates of intimate partner violence (IPV) and substance use have risen during the COVID-19 pandemic, with potentially enduring effects on women’s health. A rapid review was conducted on IPV and women’s substance use in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The rapid review [...] Read more.
Rates of intimate partner violence (IPV) and substance use have risen during the COVID-19 pandemic, with potentially enduring effects on women’s health. A rapid review was conducted on IPV and women’s substance use in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The rapid review explored two separate research questions with a view to integrate the literature related to: (1) containment, social isolation, pandemics, disasters, lockdowns, and IPV; and (2) the relationships between substance use and IPV. Two different searches for each question were conducted between May and October 2020 and n = 47 articles were included. Women experience multiple physical and mental health consequences related to IPV that can be exacerbated by public health crises such as pandemics and disasters. Perpetrators may use these events as a tactic to threaten, isolate, or use coercive control. Similar tactics are reported in the complex relationship between IPV and substance use, where substance use can accompany IPV and/or be used as a coping mechanism for survivors. The findings highlight long standing women’s health concerns made further visible during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional research is needed to identify actions required to reduce gender inequities and harms associated with IPV and substance use, and to adequately tailor and prepare effective responses in the context of future public health crises. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sexual Relationships, Sexual Behaviors and Gender-Based Violence)
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Article
The Role of Ambivalent Sexism, Punitiveness, and Ability to Recognize Violence in the Perception of Sex Offenders: A Gender-Perspective Analysis
Sexes 2021, 2(4), 495-508; https://doi.org/10.3390/sexes2040039 - 08 Dec 2021
Viewed by 917
Abstract
Sexual violence is a public health problem that affects not just the victim, but the offender and the surrounding communities. Research shows that public perceptions regarding the perpetrators of such offenses are of critical importance since citizens’ insights are a major force in [...] Read more.
Sexual violence is a public health problem that affects not just the victim, but the offender and the surrounding communities. Research shows that public perceptions regarding the perpetrators of such offenses are of critical importance since citizens’ insights are a major force in the creation and implementation of sex offender policies. This study aimed to analyze, from a gender perspective, public perceptions about sex offenders in an Italian population sample (N = 768; 62.0% women, M = 32.8 years old). To do so, the Perceptions of Sex Offenders Scale (PSO) (α = 0.82) was used. The explanatory variables included in the study were the General Punitiveness Scale (GPS), the short versions of the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory (ASI), and the Ambivalence toward Men Inventory (AMI), as well as awareness about subtle forms of violence. Results showed that women reported higher levels of sex offenders’ risk perception. At the same time, it was found that men outscored women on the endorsement of stereotypes toward such perpetrators. Finally, findings revealed similarities and differences between women and men regarding correlates of perceptions about sex offenders. Implications for research and public policy in this area are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sexual Relationships, Sexual Behaviors and Gender-Based Violence)
Article
Health and Lifestyle, Safety, Relationship and Personality Factors Influence Gender, Sex and Sexuality Issues among Youth—A Case Record Analysis from Youth Mental Health Promotion Clinics in Karnataka, India
Sexes 2021, 2(4), 483-494; https://doi.org/10.3390/sexes2040038 - 23 Nov 2021
Viewed by 892
Abstract
Promoting positive identity and seeking early support for gender, sex and sexuality (GSS) issues among youth is vital. Understanding and addressing factors associated withGSS among them is critical. We assessed four-year case records (January 2017–December 2020) of all first visit youth mental health [...] Read more.
Promoting positive identity and seeking early support for gender, sex and sexuality (GSS) issues among youth is vital. Understanding and addressing factors associated withGSS among them is critical. We assessed four-year case records (January 2017–December 2020) of all first visit youth mental health promotion clinic (YMHPC) clients (15–35 years) for factors associated with GSS issues in Karnataka. Overall, prevalence of GSS issues was 1.8% (189/10,340). Increased risk of GSS issues was observed among clients reporting suicidality (AOR = 4.27, 95% CI = 2.70–6.74) and relationship issues (AOR = 3.63, 95% CI = 2.36–5.57), followed by issues of safety (AOR = 2.56, 95% CI = 1.72–3.81), personality (AOR = 2.48, 95% CI = 1.60–3.85), health and lifestyle (AOR = 2.27, 95% CI = 1.77–4.19), smokers (AOR = 2.30, 95% CI = 1.24–4.27), and those who felt depressed (AOR = 2.10, 95% CI = 1.43–3.09) and worthless (AOR = 2.08, 95% CI = 1.28–3.39). Clients aged 21–25 years (AOR = 1.80,95% CI = 1.27–2.54), male (AOR = 1.72, 95% CI = 1.20–2.46) and who had been married (AOR = 2.32, 95% CI = 1.51–3.57) had a higher risk of GSS issues than those aged 15–20 years and other counterparts, respectively. Clients who drank alcohol (AOR = 0.49, 95% CI = 0.30–0.81) had reduced risk of GSS issues. The findings re-iterate the importance of early recognition of factors (essential precursors) of GSS issues among youth. The study highlights the importance of promoting awareness and improving primordial prevention of possible GSS issues in later life. This study has important implications on youth mental health promotion programs, especially in countries like India. Full article
Article
Relationships between Coerced Sexting and Differentiation of Self: An Exploration of Protective Factors
Sexes 2021, 2(4), 468-482; https://doi.org/10.3390/sexes2040037 - 08 Nov 2021
Viewed by 972
Abstract
Pressure to send sexually explicit messages, or ‘sexting coercion’ is associated with adverse mental health outcomes and sexual risk behaviors. This study explores Differentiation of Self (DoS) as a potential protective factor to reduce susceptibility to sexting coercion. A convenience sample of 399 [...] Read more.
Pressure to send sexually explicit messages, or ‘sexting coercion’ is associated with adverse mental health outcomes and sexual risk behaviors. This study explores Differentiation of Self (DoS) as a potential protective factor to reduce susceptibility to sexting coercion. A convenience sample of 399 Australian participants, aged 18 to 21 years (Mage = 19.63; SD = 1.14, 68.2% women) completed an online survey measuring sexting behaviors and DoS. Women were four times more likely to send willing unwanted sexts, and seven times more likely to engage in coerced unwanted sexting than men. Participants with low DoS were four times more likely to engage in coerced unwanted sexting. DoS significantly mediated the relationship between gender and coerced unwanted sexting. Results support the proposal of a sexting coercion typology encompassing discrete sub-types of sexting coercion. Results also indicate DoS may operate as a protective factor for young people in Australia, reducing compliance with sexting when coerced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sexual Behavior and Attitudes)
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Article
The Perinatal Journey of a Refugee Woman in Greece: A Qualitative Study in the Context of the ORAMMA Project to Elucidate Current Challenges and Future Perspectives
Sexes 2021, 2(4), 452-467; https://doi.org/10.3390/sexes2040036 - 20 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1036
Abstract
Migrant and refugee women face specific health risks and challenges during the perinatal period, presenting with complex physical, psychological, and mental health issues. Compassionate antenatal and postnatal care is urgently required across Europe given how outcomes during this period determine the health wellbeing [...] Read more.
Migrant and refugee women face specific health risks and challenges during the perinatal period, presenting with complex physical, psychological, and mental health issues. Compassionate antenatal and postnatal care is urgently required across Europe given how outcomes during this period determine the health wellbeing throughout a person’s life. The current study aimed to describe the perinatal health care provided to refugee and migrant women in Greece, as well as to identify the barriers to delivering quality health care to these population groups. Data were gathered via qualitative research, and via document analysis, including grey literature research. Two focus groups were convened; one with five midwives in Athens (representing NGOs in refugee camps and public maternity hospitals) and another in Crete with twenty-six representatives of key stakeholder groups involved in the perinatal care of refugees and migrant women. Desk research was conducted with in a stepwise manner comprising two steps: (a) a mapping exercise to identify organizations/institutes of relevance across Greece, i.e., entities involved in perinatal healthcare provision for refugees and migrants; (b) an electronic search across institutional websites and the World Wide Web, for key documents on the perinatal care of refugee and migrant women that were published during the 10-year period prior to the research being conducted and referring to Greece. Analysis of the desk research followed the principles of content analysis, and the analysis of the focus group data followed the principles of an inductive thematic analysis utilizing the actual data to drive the structure analysis. Key findings of the current study indicate that the socioeconomic status, living and working conditions, the legal status in the host country, as well as providers’ cultural competence, attitudes and beliefs and communication challenges, all currently represent major barriers to the efficient and culturally appropriate provision of perinatal care. The low capacity of the healthcare system to meet the needs of women in these population groups in the context of maternal care in a country that has suffered years of austerity has been amply recorded and adds further contextual constraints. Policy reform is urgently required to achieve cultural competence, to improve transcultural care provision across maternity care settings, and to ensure improved maternal and children’s outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sexual and Reproductive Health of Female Migrants)
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Article
Factors Associated with Four Sexual Behaviors among Married/Partnered Women Ages 60 and Older in the United States
Sexes 2021, 2(4), 445-451; https://doi.org/10.3390/sexes2040035 - 18 Oct 2021
Viewed by 782
Abstract
Women ages 60 and older vary in sexual behaviors. This study examined the prevalence of vaginal intercourse, outercourse, and receipt and performance of oral sex reported among 461 married/partnered women age ≥ 60 years in the United States and factors associated with these [...] Read more.
Women ages 60 and older vary in sexual behaviors. This study examined the prevalence of vaginal intercourse, outercourse, and receipt and performance of oral sex reported among 461 married/partnered women age ≥ 60 years in the United States and factors associated with these four sexual behaviors. Using data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, associations between participants’ socio-demographics, health indicators, sexual perceptions, communication, and sexual behaviors were examined. In the past year, 53.6% reported having vaginal intercourse, 56.0% outercourse, and 21.7% receiving and 20.6% performing oral sex. Women with depressive symptomology were less likely to report intercourse and outercourse (p < 0.05). Women endorsing pleasurable sex as necessary to maintain relationships were more likely to report all four behaviors (p < 0.01). Women who communicated openly with partners were more likely to report intercourse (p = 0.002), outercourse (p = 0.001), and performing oral sex (p = 0.025). Findings may inform strategies about positive sex perceptions and strengthening partner communication. Full article
Article
Dream It, Do It? Associations between Pornography Use, Risky Sexual Behaviour, Sexual Preoccupation and Sexting Behaviours among Young Australian Adults
Sexes 2021, 2(4), 433-444; https://doi.org/10.3390/sexes2040034 - 16 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1399
Abstract
While sexting behaviours have attracted increasing research focus over the last decade as both normative and deviant forms of sexual activity, little attention has been paid to their potential associations with sexual preoccupation and heightened interest in sex. The current study sought to [...] Read more.
While sexting behaviours have attracted increasing research focus over the last decade as both normative and deviant forms of sexual activity, little attention has been paid to their potential associations with sexual preoccupation and heightened interest in sex. The current study sought to identify whether sexual preoccupation significantly predicts sending, receiving, and disseminating sexts, after controlling for pornography use and risky sexual behaviours. Young Australian adult participants (N = 654, 78.8% women) aged 18 to 34 (M = 19.78, SD = 1.66) completed an anonymous online self-report questionnaire regarding their engagement in sexting behaviours (sending, receiving, and dissemination), pornography use, risky sexual behaviours, and sexual preoccupation. Results showed that individuals with higher sexual preoccupation were more likely to engage in pornography use and risky sexual behaviours. Binary hierarchical logistic regressions revealed that sexual preoccupation predicted higher rates of sending and receiving sexts. However, sexual preoccupation did not significantly contribute to increased rates of sext dissemination. Our study illustrates the need to incorporate pornography viewing and sexting into the promotion of safe sexual behaviours in online and offline contexts, and the potential to utilise modern technology to negotiate safer sex practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sexual Behavior and Attitudes)
Commentary
Four Problems in Sexting Research and Their Solutions
Sexes 2021, 2(4), 415-432; https://doi.org/10.3390/sexes2040033 - 10 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1222
Abstract
Despite over 10 years of research, we still know very little about people’s sexting behaviours and experiences. Our limited and, at times, conflicting knowledge about sexting is due to re-searchers’ use of inconsistent conceptual definitions of sexting, dubious measurement practices, and atheoretical research [...] Read more.
Despite over 10 years of research, we still know very little about people’s sexting behaviours and experiences. Our limited and, at times, conflicting knowledge about sexting is due to re-searchers’ use of inconsistent conceptual definitions of sexting, dubious measurement practices, and atheoretical research designs. In this article, we provide an overview of the history of sex-ting research and describe how researchers have contributed to the ‘moral panic’ narrative that continues to surround popular media discourse about sexting. We identify four key problems that still plague sexting research today: (1) imprudent focus on the medium, (2) inconsistent conceptual definitions, (3) poor measurement practices, and (4) a lack of theoretical frameworks. We describe and expand on solutions to address each of these problems. In particular, we focus on the need to shift empirical attention away from sexting and towards the behavioural domain of technology-mediated sexual interaction. We believe that the implementation of these solu-tions will lead to valid and sustainable knowledge development on technology-mediated sexual interactions, including sexting. Full article
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Review
Does Bed Sharing with an Infant Influence Parents’ Sexual Life? A Scoping Review in Western Countries
Sexes 2021, 2(4), 406-414; https://doi.org/10.3390/sexes2040032 - 29 Sep 2021
Viewed by 1046
Abstract
Bed sharing—the sharing of a sleeping surface by parents and children—is a common, yet controversial, practice. While most research has focused on the public health aspect of this practice, much less is known regarding its effect on the marital relationship. The aim of [...] Read more.
Bed sharing—the sharing of a sleeping surface by parents and children—is a common, yet controversial, practice. While most research has focused on the public health aspect of this practice, much less is known regarding its effect on the marital relationship. The aim of the present study was to conduct a scoping review on the impact of parent–infant bed sharing sleeping practices on the sexual and marital relationship of couples. The qualitative synthesis of six studies on this topic suggests that overall, bed sharing does not exert a significant negative impact on family functioning; when it does, it appears to be related to incongruent parental beliefs and expectations, especially when bed sharing is not an intentional choice of sleep arrangement, and there are other confounding factors such as fatigue and psychological distress. Suggestions for future studies and clinical implications are discussed. Full article
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Review
Overview of Medical Management of Transgender Men: Perspectives from Sri Lanka
Sexes 2021, 2(4), 397-405; https://doi.org/10.3390/sexes2040031 - 28 Sep 2021
Viewed by 951
Abstract
Transgender medicine is an evolving field of medicine due to the rising awareness of individuals with a non-binary gender identity. Individuals with nonconforming gender identities have been on the rise in many societies and it is becoming an increasingly discussed issue. Their management [...] Read more.
Transgender medicine is an evolving field of medicine due to the rising awareness of individuals with a non-binary gender identity. Individuals with nonconforming gender identities have been on the rise in many societies and it is becoming an increasingly discussed issue. Their management is multidisciplinary, which includes mental health, endocrine therapy, and surgery. Although their general healthcare needs are similar to those of the general population, special considerations in primary and preventive care are also necessary in relation to the gender-affirming medical issues. Their quality of life is largely affected by psychological, social, and economic difficulties they face due to acceptance issues in the society and healthcare. This review explores the primary care, medical, and surgical management of transgender men with perspectives from Sri Lanka. Full article
Review
Understanding Sexual Agency. Implications for Sexual Health Programming
Sexes 2021, 2(4), 378-396; https://doi.org/10.3390/sexes2040030 - 23 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1859
Abstract
Debates on human agency, especially female and sexual agency, have permeated the social scientific literature and health educational practice for multiple decades now. This article provides a review of recent agency debates illustrating how criticisms of traditional conceptions of (sexual) agency have led [...] Read more.
Debates on human agency, especially female and sexual agency, have permeated the social scientific literature and health educational practice for multiple decades now. This article provides a review of recent agency debates illustrating how criticisms of traditional conceptions of (sexual) agency have led to a notable diversification of the concept. A comprehensive, inclusive description of sexual agency is proposed, focusing on the navigation of goals and desires in the wider structural context, and acknowledging the many forms sexual agency may take. We argue there is no simple relation between sexual agency and sexual health. Next, we describe the implications of such an understanding of sexual agency for Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) and for sexual health and rights (SHR) programming more generally. We put forward validation of agentic variety, gender transformative approaches, meaningful youth participation, and multicomponent strategies as essential in building young peoples’ sexual agency and their role as agents of wider societal change. We also show that these essential conditions, wherever they have been studied, are far from being realized. With this review and connected recommendations, we hope to set the stage for ongoing, well-focused research and development in the area. Full article
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