‘Submit to your husbands’: [Australian] women told to endure domestic violence in the name of God

ABC, 18/7/2017

When we speak of domestic violence, and the cultural factors that foment it, one crucial element missing from the discussion has been religion.

While it is generally agreed that inequality between the sexes can foster and cultivate environments where men seek to control or abuse women, in Australia there has been very little public debate about how this might impact people in male-led congregations and religious communities, especially those where women are told to be silent and submit to male authority.

In other countries, like the United States and United Kingdom, there has been extensive analysis. So why is Australia so behind on this issue?

 

AMA throws its weight behind same-sex marriage, declares it a health issue

The Age

The nation’s most powerful doctors’ group has thrown its weight behind same-sex marriage for the first time, declaring it a public health issue and calling on politicians to end the divisive debate.

In an unprecedented move, the president of the typically conservative group, Dr Michael Gannon, has written to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten urging bipartisanship.

  • Read more of article here
  • Read AMA press release here
  • Download position paper here 

 

 

Psychosexual Complications of FGM for Couples: A Comparative Study in Iran

wadi.org, 29.04.2017

Most research on the health and sexuality consequences of FGM has been limited to circumcised women, and prior to this study, no research was done on the effects of FGM in couples. With attention on psychosexual problems related to FGM and on increasing numbers of women who were circumcised in childhood and who have now reached the age of marriage or of being married, the sexual function, mental health and marital satisfaction of these women and their husbands is going to become an increasingly important issue.

Our study makes several contributions to what is known about the association between the relationship of mental health, marital satisfaction, and sexual function among couples who are victims of FGM. We found that FGM is strongly associated with marital dissatisfaction, sexual dysfunction, and psychiatric symptoms for both wife and husband victims of FGM. As we expected, in the field of fear, paranoid thoughts, psychotic thoughts, depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive tendencies, and feelings of inferiority, couples who were victims of FGM were in worse mental condition than normal couples Second, we found that marital satisfaction of couples who were victims of FGM was lower and worse condition than that of normal couples, specifically in the fields of personal issues, marital relationship, solving problems, and sexual relationship Finally, we found that sexual function of couples who were victims of FGM was lower, specifically in psychological arousal, physiologic arousal, ease of orgasm, and orgasm satisfaction, compared with normal couples.

  • Read more here
  • Access full text of journal article (PDF) here  

 

 

 

Three public health reasons why marriage equality is a great idea

Croakey, April 20, 2017

In the post below, republished with permission from his blog, Sydney epidemiologist Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz shows that, on health grounds alone, the government is obliged to act urgently:

Here are three reasons why marriage equality is a win for public health and society in general.

1. For the kids

The first go-to argument that any traditional marriage campaigner will rush to is that they aren’t really denying gay people the chance to marry for themselves; they’re doing it for the children.

 

New study shows Americans are having sex less often, especially young people

San Diego State University,  7 March 2017

According to a new study published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior today, Americans who were married or living together had sex 16 fewer times per year in 2010-2014 compared to 2000-2004.

A critical factor appears to be birth cohort, with later-born generations having sex less often than those born earlier in the 20th century.

  • Read more here
  • View study abstract here (see your librarian for full text)

Legalising same-sex marriage linked to drop in youth suicide

ABC Hack, Tue 21 Feb 2017, 1:29PM;  Updated Wed 22 Feb 2017, 11:25am

The legalisation of same-sex marriage in some US states has been linked with a drop in the number of gay, lesbian and bisexual teenagers who attempted suicide, according to new research published in JAMA Pediatrics (Journal of the American Medical Association).

  • Read more of article here
  • Access JAMA paper here