Secondary students’ sexual health survey results

La Trobe University, 11th June 2019

The sixth National Survey of Australian Secondary Students and Sexual Health, conducted in 2018 and released today, found 47 per cent of Year 10-12 students taking the survey had engaged in sexual intercourse.  Of sexually active respondents, 76 per cent had sex at home; 65 per cent with a boyfriend or girlfriend; 62 percent often or always used a condom; and 86 per cent with somebody about the same age.

Lead researcher at La Trobe University’s Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society Dr Christopher Fisher said the survey asked 6327 Year 10-12 students in Government, Catholic and Independent schools from each state and territory, about their sexual behaviour and knowledge of sexually transmitted infections.

“Overall, young Australians have good knowledge of sexual health, are behaving responsibly and are actively seeking out trusted, reliable sources of information,” Dr Fisher said.

Let’s make it mandatory to teach respectful relationships in every Australian school

The Conversation, May 28, 2019 5.45am AEST

Media reports of findings from the latest National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey caused a stir in recent days, with some highlighting the importance of education programs to teach young people about gender-based violence.

Schools play a significant role in educating young people about gender-based violence and helping change the underlying attitudes that lead to it.

Findings from the latest National Community Attitudes Towards Violence against Women Survey (NCAS)

ANROWS, May 2019

Findings from the 2017 National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey are now live. The survey collects information through telephone interviews with over 17,500 Australians 16 years of age and over.

Key findings:

Encouraging results
• Most Australians have accurate knowledge of violence against women and do not endorse this violence.
• Most Australians support gender equality and are more likely to support gender equality in 2017 than they were in 2013 and 2009.
• Australians are more likely to understand that violence against women involves more than just physical violence in 2017 than they were in 2013 and 2009.
• Australians are less likely to hold attitudes supportive of violence against women in 2017 than they were in 2013 and 2009.
• There has been improvement in knowledge and attitudes related to 27 of the 36 questions asked in 2013 and again in 2017.
• There has been improvement in knowledge and attitudes related to all but two of the 11 questions asked in the 1995 NCAS and again in 2017.
• If confronted by a male friend verbally abusing his female partner, most respondents say they would be bothered (98%), would act (70%) and would feel they would have the support of all or most of their friends if they did act (69%).

Concerning results
• There continues to be a decline in the number of Australians who understand that men are more likely than women to perpetrate domestic violence.
• A concerning proportion of Australians believe that gender inequality is exaggerated or no longer a problem.
• Among attitudes condoning violence against women, the highest level of agreement was with the idea that women use claims of violence to gain tactical advantage in their relationships with men.
• 1 in 5 Australians would not be bothered if a male friend told a sexist joke about women.

 

 

 

We need a new definition of pornography – with consent at the centre

The Conversation, March 18, 2019 5.51am AEDT

We all think we know what pornography is, whether we oppose it, use it, or tolerate it. But are we all conjuring up the same images?

Before we began our research on the meaning of pornography in young women’s lives, we wanted to define it. Our review of the literature found no consistently used definition.

It was notable that there was no mention of consent in any of the definitions we reviewed.

National abortion data vital to safe, accessible services

MJA InSight+, Issue 10 / 18 March 2019

EXPERTS are in the dark about the extent to which abortion is contributing to Australia’s historically low teenage birth rate, prompting renewed calls for the collection of national abortion data.

In a Perspective published by the MJA, Professor Susan Sawyer, Chair of Adolescent Health at the University of Melbourne, and Dr Jennifer Marino, research fellow at the University of Melbourne, have called for the collection of abortion data in all states and territories, with national integration and analysis. They further called for publicly funded abortion clinics in all states and territories, with a feasible plan for access for people living in remote areas.

Special issue of Drugs and Alcohol Today: ChemSex – Apps, drugs and the right to pleasure

Emerald Publishing Limited, 2019

This special edition of Drugs and Alcohol Today, entitled “Chemsex – Apps, drugs and the right to pleasure”, acknowledges an aspect of drug taking that is often ignored in the discourse on the “scourge” of drug abuse – that drugs enhance pleasure.

Amidst the pleasure brought on by “chems”, there has been pain. Drug overdoses and deaths fuelled by a prohibition that supports an illicit market of unlabelled, often adulterated drugs and fear that calling an ambulance will implicate you in a crime

Chemsex is a unique phenomenon, requiring unique public health responses. The melding of smart phone apps, spatial data and real time “personal adverts requires a significant re-think and re-design when developing public health responses”.

This issue publishes work from experts that help gay communities to mobilise their own responses. It takes the onus off public health policy to respond, and respectfully recognises the agency and resilience within gay communities, to formulate culturally and contextually competent community responses to chemsex.

Free access to this special issue until March 31st