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.”

Red Book: STI & BBV resources for sex workers by sex workers

Scarlet Alliance, 2018 online edition

This web resource is a community driven project, which has incorporated the efforts of sex workers, peer educators, sex worker organisations, community organisations and health professionals across Australia. It is made by sex workers, for sex workers.

Much of the content builds on The Scarlet Alliance STI Handbook: A Reference Guide for Sex Workers to Sexually Transmissible Infection [Red Book (2009)]. Red Book is a sex worker resource by and for sex workers that was first developed in 1998 with updates in 2003 and 2009. Many sex workers would be familiar with the pocket sized Red Book that sex worker organisations have been handing out on outreach to sex worker workplaces for many years.

Sex worker resources by and for sex workers is best practice in assisting sex workers in implementing harm reduction strategies in our workplaces. The STI and BBV information provided has been checked by medical professionals and all content has gone through various consultation processes with sex workers to ensure the content in Red Book is accurate, relevant and reflects our diverse experiences, identities, contexts and needs.

Contents: