The sex lives of young women marked by frustration, stress, guilt and embarrassment

Monash University, 24 Feb 2020

Professor Susan Davis, a leading Monash University expert on women’s health, admits it was a highly ambitious project: minutely studying the sexual wellbeing of 7000 young Australian women with particular focus on complicated, intimate ideas such as desire, arousal, orgasm, responsiveness and self-esteem.

Now that it’s done (and published this week in the international journal Fertility and Sterility), she’s “very concerned.” The main finding is that half of the women studied experience personal “distress” related to sex. One in five has at least one sexual dysfunction. “Young” means aged 18 to 39. The concern, she says, is because “sexual wellbeing is recognised as a fundamental human right”.

“This is a wake-up call to the community,” she says. “This is what we [society] are doing to people. We expected to find that a meaningful number of young women had sexual issues, but we were not expecting to find half were distressed sexually.”

Landmark study to track gay and bisexual men’s attitudes on body image

ABC News Breakfast, 15/2/2019

Steroid use is on the rise as young men fuelled by social media lead a dangerous pursuit of muscle-bound perfection, researchers warn.  Now, for the first time, a global study run from Australia will look specifically at how gay and bisexual men are impacted and whether this could be leading to fatal outcomes.

Starting today, 3.5 million men on the Grindr app in Australia, Canada, the UK and the US will be invited to start the Gay Bodies Worldwide survey.

“I never realised they were so different”: understanding the impact of the labia library

Women’s Health Victoria, October 2018

Recognising that women are increasingly altering their genitalia through cosmetic surgery, WHV developed the Labia Library, a unique online resource that supports positive body image by informing women about the natural diversity in normal female genital appearance.

The Labia Library houses a gallery of 40 unaltered photographs of female genitalia.
This provides viewers with the opportunity to learn about the diversity of normal female
genitalia and make visual comparisons, in a safe and private way. The site also contains information about anatomy, female genital cosmetic surgery, hair removal, media literacy and pornography.

In order to gain an understanding of the effectiveness of the resource in improving
women’s health literacy, a survey with a free text option was promoted on the Labia
Library home page from September 2013 to July 2015

Overall, the vast majority of survey respondents indicated a positive perception
of the resource, often experiencing a significant reduction in anxiety and
reassurance of normality associated with genital appearance.

 

Labiaplasty surgery prompted by derogatory comments, research finds