Young Australians’ use of pornography and associations with sexual risk behaviours

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 2017, 41: 438–443. doi:10.1111/1753-6405.12678

Abstract

Objectives: Amid public health concern that rising pornography use may have a negative impact on young people’s health and wellbeing, we report prevalence of pornography viewing and explore factors associated with viewing frequency and age at first viewing.

Methods: Cross-sectional online survey in a convenience sample of Victorians aged 15 to 29 years recruited via social media.

Results: Ever viewing pornography was reported by 815 of 941 (87%) participants. The median age at first pornography viewing was 13 years for men and 16 years for women. More frequent pornography viewing was associated with male gender, younger age, higher education, non-heterosexual identity, ever having anal intercourse and recent mental health problems. Younger age at first pornography viewing was associated with male gender, younger current age, higher education, non-heterosexual identity, younger age at first sexual contact and recent mental health problems.

Conclusions: Pornography use is common and associated with some health and behavioural outcomes. Longitudinal research is needed to determine the causal impact of pornography on these factors.

Implications for public health: Viewing pornography is common and frequent among young people from a young age and this needs to be considered in sexuality education.

Knowing your labia (radio on demand)

Triple R radio,18.04.2017

What does a “normal” labia look like? What is driving the increased demand of labioplasty? These are some of the questions leading to the creation of The Labia Library, an initiative from Women’s Health Victoria.

It provides access to unaltered images of women’s labia, in order to dispel concerns and myths due to the rise of censored and altered images in pornography. Dr Amy Webster of Women’s Health Victoria joins the Breakfasters on Triple R radio to discuss this vital resource.

  • Listen here (please note this link does not work in all browsers: we had success with Explorer, but not with Chrome).

It’s not just the mechanics … children need lessons in life and love

The Guardian, Sunday 5 March 2017

The radical overhaul of sex and relationships education (SRE) announced by the [UK] government last week is very good news. Children will learn about healthy adult relationships from the age of four and sex education will become compulsory in all secondary schools. So, good news – but also long overdue, given the challenges faced by the young.

Read more here 

 

New digital resource on revenge po*rn & cyberbullying in SA

The Law Society, 2 November 2016

The Law Society and University of Adelaide have launched a new digital cyberbullying resource which deals with new revenge porn laws that came into force in SA on Friday.

A cyberbullying section has been added to the app Out of Bounds (previously called The Naked Truth), which also explains the laws surrounding unlawful sexual intercourse and sexting.

The new cyberbullying section provides a snapshot of South Australian and Federal laws that can apply to a range of cyberbullying activities, including revenge porn, trolling, and stalking. It also features a graphic novel style narrative about a school student who has been subject to cyber abuse, and the devastating ramifications for both the victim and the perpetrators involved.

The cyberbullying section is a natural extension of the app, said Law Society President David Caruso.

“As well as adding an extensive cyberbullying section, we’ve updated the sexting section of the app to reflect new laws which criminalise revenge porn,” Mr Caruso said.

“Sexting can quickly turn from digital flirting to bullying. Cyberbullying in all its forms is a particularly insidious and devastating form of victimisation. It is impossible to escape, it emboldens more people to demean others under the veil of anonymity, and the vitriol and humiliation can spread far wider and quicker than traditional ‘schoolyard’ bullying.”

“The South Australian Government ought to be commended for acknowledging this and strengthening laws against revenge porn. In saying this, we still see scope for further law reform that reduces the risk of teenagers facing child pornography charges for naïve but innocent behaviour, while maintaining a zero tolerance approach to sexual predators.

“Of course, laws can only do so much – the key is education.”

University of Adelaide law lecturer Dr Colette Langos, who collaborated with the Law Society on the app, said: “Many young people regard sexting as a common behaviour, so it is especially important to make sure they understand where ‘a bit of fun between friends’ crosses the line and becomes unlawful conduct.”

“Evidence-based research informs us that non-consensual behaviour in the form of cyberbullying or ‘revenge porn’ has the potential to harm a victim in a profound manner given the public humiliation which follows distribution of the image online. Law reform in this area may better protect victims.”

Dr Langos said the new law enables police to charge a person under the age of 17 years with a non-indictable offence of ‘distribution of an invasive image’ rather than charging a young person under the child pornography legislation. The new laws also make it an offence to threaten to distribute an invasive image.

“There is a big distinction between abhorrent, predatory conduct and conduct which frequently, and sometimes regrettably, occurs between young people without predatory intent,” Dr Langos said.

Mr Caruso said: “This app is not designed to scare young people into changing their behaviour. It aims to explain the law in a digestible and interactive way to help young people make informed decisions. Many teenagers, and older people for that matter, are not aware of the legal boundaries regarding sexual behaviour and online communication.”

– Download the Out of Bounds app on your Apple Device
– Download the Out of Bounds app on your Android device
– Visit the Out of Bounds webpage

Source

Respectful relationships education isn’t about activating a gender war

The Conversation, October 20, 2016 6.14am AEDT

It is possible to talk with children and young people about gender without activating a gender war.

There have been claims in the press that programs addressing gender-based violence present all men as “bad” and all women as “victims”.

These claims misrepresent the evidence-based prevention education program to which they refer.

Read more here 

Cutting Edge Issues in Sexuality and Relationships Education (Forum)

SHine SA, October 2016

You are warmly invited to an interactive forum which will be held as an adjunct to the Australasian Sexual Health Conference being held in Adelaide, November 2016.

Who is this for? Teachers, community educators, health promotion officers, registered nurses and midwives, doctors, counsellors and other interested people.

Forum Themes • Taking gender and sexual diversity seriously • Confidence in teaching about sexual violence • Student ‘voice’ in sexuality education: problems and possibilities • Pre-service teacher education: the hope for change in sexual and relationships education

Panel Members

Professor Peter Aggleton: Centre for Social Research in Health, UNSW Australia

• Dr Helen Calabretto: SHine SA

• Associate Professor Tiffany Jones: Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University

• Jane Flentje: Educational Consultant; former Coordinator Teacher Education, SHine SA

• James Castle: Schools Coordinator, Schools Education & Support, SHine SA; White Ribbon Ambassador

• Professor Bruce Johnson: School of Education, University of South Australia

• Natalie Terminelli: Teacher, Woodville High School

• Dr Debbie Ollis: School of Education, Deakin University

• Dr Deborah Bateson: Family Planning NSW; President, Australasian Sexual Health Alliance

When 16 November 2016: Registration: 3.00 – 3.20 pm; Forum: 3.20 – 6.00 pm

Where University of South Australia, City West Campus, BH 2.09 Lecture Theatre (Barbara Hanrahan Building)

Transport Public car parking is available in Hindley Street. Tram, bus and train transport are convenient to the City West Campus.

Cost $20 (includes refreshments).

Registration Click here to register by 5.00pm Monday 14 November. There will be limited places available at the door (cash only), but we would prefer pre-registration to assist us with catering.

Further information: Gemma Weedall (08) 8300 5394 or Helen Calabretto (08) 7099 5318

Download flyer here cutting-edge-issues-forum-flyer