Intersex Peer Support Australia launches

Intersex Peer Support Australia (IPSA), 25th October 2019

On the eve of Intersex Awareness Day, an internationally observed awareness day designed to highlight human rights issues faced by intersex people, and observed on 26 October each year, one of the oldest intersex groups in the world is launching a new name, branding and website.

Intersex Peer Support Australia (IPSA) will carry on the important work of the 1985-founded Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome Support Group Australia (AISSGA), which for more than three decades has been dedicated to assisting people born with variations in sex characteristics and their families, providing Australia-wide peer support, information and advocacy.

Elise Nyhuis, President of IPSA said, “The new identity will make us more visible to government agencies and support funders, and is more inclusive of the more than 40 known intersex variations, our diverse community and their families.”

“Our organisation advocates for and provides peer support to its members and the wider intersex community, focusing on the lived experience of having intersex bodies that physically differ from stereotypical, medical notions of male and female.

“The intersex community in Australia is strong and growing as people come out of hiding to stand together in the face of continued challenges from medicalisation, stigma and discrimination, shame, mental health issues, social inclusion, access to affirmative healthcare, parenting and human rights protection from medically unnecessary medical interventions on intersex children.

“Beyond our core work of providing intersex peer support, IPSA advocates for intersex issues through educating service providers, liaising with medical professionals, conducting policy review and consulting with government and NGOs, as well as by building community through coordinating opportunities and events for people with intersex variations to meet and share knowledge and experiences.

“The updated IPSA website will be a great resource for the whole community to learn more about the ‘I’ in the LGBTIQ acronym, while our membership will have access to a range of online extras through password-secured access,” said Elise.

I looked at 100 best-selling picture books: female protagonists were largely invisible

Sarah Mokrzycki, The Conversation, June 3, 2019 6.08am AEST

In April 2019, I examined the 100 bestselling picture books at Australian book retailer Dymocks: an almost 50/50 mix of modern and classic stories (the majority being published in the past five years).

I discovered that despite the promising evolution of the rebel girl trend, the numbers tell us that picture books as a whole remain highly gendered and highly sexist. Worse – female protagonists remain largely invisible.

How we tackle gender in picture books is important, as they help inform children’s understanding of the world and themselves.

 

Media release from SHINE SA: Teen Pregnancy

SHINE SA, Issued: 25 May 2018

Following the release of the Australian Institute of Health and Wellbeing’s Report, that includes the latest figures on teen birth-rates, SHINE SA believes that a decrease in the teen birth-rate as indicated in the report, is a positive outcome from the study.

“A decrease may reflect better sexual health information for young people including education in schools, and better access to sexual health services”, said Dr Amy Moten, Coordinator, Medical Education at SHINE SA.

“Increased access to Long Acting reversible Contraception for young people, as promoted by Family Planning Alliance Australia, is also a significant factor in reducing teen pregnancy rates”, Dr Moten said.

Low socio-economic status can be a marker of poor health outcomes overall. This increases with remoteness from metropolitan areas and Indigenous status. This has been shown in previous studies and also is supported by national data regarding cervical screening that shows that low socio-economic and Indigenous status reduces the rate of screening compared to people from a higher socioeconomic areas.

Social determinants of health are linked to social and economic factors that influence health. Young people from a lower socioeconomic area are likely to have poorer health literacy, lower levels of education and poorer access to health services including contraception. These have all been shown to be linked to an increased birth rate over all ages. Barriers to access health and contraceptive services such as cost and availability of these services increase with distance from metropolitan areas.

“Generally, teen mums often face increased stigma about being a parent and should be supported in their decision to continue parenting”, Dr Moten said.

“At SHINE SA, we provide pregnancy testing, counselling and advice. When a young person is pregnant they can discuss their options and be referred to appropriate services. For a young person continuing to parent we would refer them to the Metropolitan Youth Health Service for example, which has a Young Parenting program”, Dr Moten said.

SHINE SA believes that young mums should be supported to continue their education as completing secondary school after pregnancy has been shown to improve long term outcomes in both mother and child.

Dr Amy Moten, Coordinator Medical Education, SHINE SA
Issued: 25 May 2018

 

Sexual & Reproductive Health Resource Kit for Aboriginal young people

Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council of New South Wales, 2018

The AH&MRC has developed a new vibrant Sexual and Reproductive Health Resource Kit for workers to use with Aboriginal young people named “DOIN ‘IT’ RIGHT!”.

DOIN IT RIGHT! provides workers who work with young Aboriginal people (including non-sexual health and non-Aboriginal workers) with step by step instructions on delivering sexual and reproductive health activities appropriately.

Although the statistics are sobering, ongoing education and health promotion will assist young Aboriginal people to make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health. Given the decreasing age of first sexual experience, high rates of STIs and teen pregnancy, it is important that age and culturally appropriate information and education is provided to young people from an early age.

Contents:

Introduction
Introduction to Sexual and Reproductive Health ……………………………….. 6
Sexual and Reproductive Health in an Aboriginal Context …………………. 7
Aboriginal Cultural Considerations and the Worker’s Role in Sexual
and Reproductive Health Education …………………………………………………. 9
Working with Aboriginal Young People …………………………………………….. 11
Disclosure ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 13
Organisational Philosophy, Policies and Procedures ………………………… 14
How to Generate Conversations ……………………………………………………….. 15
How to use this Kit …………………………………………………………………………… 19
Welcome to Country and Acknowledgment of Country………………………. 21
Group Agreement …………………………………………………………………………….. 23
Opportunity for Anonymous Questions to be Asked Safely………………… 24

1 Looking After Me
Section Introduction ………………………………………………………………………… 27
Changes When Growing Up
Changing Bodies …………………………………………………………………….. 28
Knowing Your Reproductive System and How It All Works ………. 33

2 My Sexuality and How I Feel About Myself

Section Introduction………………………………………………………………………….. 47
Sexuality and me
Sexuality and Sexual Diversity. Step Forward, Step Back ………….. 48
Myths and Stereotypes about Sexuality ……………………………………. 63
Sexuality and Popular Culture ………………………………………………….. 67
Self Esteem
Self Esteem. I Like Me! …………………………………………………………….. 69

3 Sex, Pregnancy and Keeping Safe
Section Introduction …………………………………………………………………………. 76
Sexual Health – What’s Safe and What’s Not
Healthy Vs Unhealthy ………………………………………………………………. 77
High Risk, Low Risk, No Risk …………………………………………………… 87
Sexually Transmissible Infection Information Sheets ………………… 97
Safer Sex STI & Pregnancy Prevention
Contraception and Safer Sex. Methods and Myths ……………………. 113
Using a Condom – DOIN ‘IT’ RIGHT! …………………………………………. 118
Contraception and Safer Sex Information Sheets ……………………… 125

4 Coming to a Decision
Section Introduction …………………………………………………………………………. 142
Sexual and Other Important Decisions
What’s Most Important …………………………………………………………….. 143
Values and Decisions ………………………………………………………………. 152
Decision Tree and Me ………………………………………………………………. 155
I Can Say No!……………………………………………………………………………. 159
What’s Drugs Got To Do With It?
Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking? ………………………………………. 168
Sex, Drugs and Your Choices ………………………………………………….. 175

5 Evaluation
Section Introduction …………………………………………………………………………. 180
What is evaluation …………………………………………………………………… 181
Types of program evaluation …………………………………………………… 182
Planning your evaluation …………………………………………………………. 183
Data collection methods ………………………………………………………….. 185
Documenting activities ……………………………………………………………. 189
Participant feedback ………………………………………………………………… 191
Further evaluation resources …………………………………………………… 192

6 Additional Resources and Information Pages
Section Introduction ………………………………………………………………………… 194
Glossary of Terms ……………………………………………………………………………. 195
Resources and Organisation Contact Details ……………………………………. 202
Broad Sexual and Reproductive Health Information and
Resources……………………………………………………………………………….. 204
Information and Resources for Parents and Carers…………………… 208
Puberty Information and Resources …………………………………………. 209
Contraceptives Information and Resources ……………………………… 211
Pregnancy and Parenting Information and Resources……………….. 213
Sexually Transmissible Infections Information and Resources…… 215
Sexting Information and Resources…………………………………………… 219
Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Information and
Resources……………………………………………………………………………….. 220
Alcohol and Other Drugs Information and Resources ……………….. 221
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer (LGBTIQ)
and Same Sex Couples Information and Resources…………………… 224
Blood Borne Viruses: HIV and Hepatitis Information and
Resources……………………………………………………………………………….. 226
Social Emotional Wellbeing Health Information and Resources…. 229
Legal Information and Resources………………………………………………. 231
References ………………………………………………………………………………………. 233

 

Parents get new tools to challenge gender stereotypes

Our Watch, 07 March 2018

A digital campaign aimed at helping parents challenge limiting gender stereotypes and promote equality when interacting with their children has just been launched.

The #BecauseWhy campaign encourages parents to view stereotypes often expressed through language, activity choices and media portrayals from a child’s perspective and question why certain limitations are placed on boys and girls.

The campaign website offers a collection of videos and resources to help parents identify and counter rigid stereotypes in their children’s daily lives.

Discrimination, not same-sex parents, harms children: report

Children raised in same-sex families develop as their peers in families with heterosexual parents do, a group of senior pediatricians and adolescent health experts says.

And the group has called on the medical community to debunk “damaging misrepresentations” of the evidence being used by the “no” campaign in the postal vote on same-sex marriage, saying the real public health risk comes from discrimination.