APS Refutes ‘Social Contagion’ Arguments

APS (The Australian Psychological Society), September 2019

The Australian Psychological Society (APS) today released the following statement in support of transgender people in Australia, and challenging the unfounded claim that social media influences the gender of young people specifically:

“Empirical evidence consistently refutes claims that a child’s or adolescent’s gender can be ‘directed’ by peer group pressure or media influence, as a form of ‘social contagion’,” APS Fellow Professor Damien Riggs said.

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

 

 

 

Landmark study to track gay and bisexual men’s attitudes on body image

ABC News Breakfast, 15/2/2019

Steroid use is on the rise as young men fuelled by social media lead a dangerous pursuit of muscle-bound perfection, researchers warn.  Now, for the first time, a global study run from Australia will look specifically at how gay and bisexual men are impacted and whether this could be leading to fatal outcomes.

Starting today, 3.5 million men on the Grindr app in Australia, Canada, the UK and the US will be invited to start the Gay Bodies Worldwide survey.

Responding to LGBT conversion therapy in Australia: report

GLHV@ARCSHS, La Trobe University & Human Rights Law Centre, 2018

This report highlights the nature, extent and impact of LGBT conversion therapies in Australia.

The report is designed to help government, support services and faith communities to better respond to those experiencing conflict between their gender identity or sexual orientation and their beliefs.

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).

Female genital mutilation in children presenting to Australian paediatricians

Arch Dis Child doi:10.1136/archdischild-2016-311540

Abstract

Objective The WHO reports that female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) is an ancient cultural practice prevalent in many countries. FGM/C has been reported among women resident in Australia. Our paper provides the first description of FGM/C in Australian children.

Design Cross-sectional survey conducted in April–June 2014.

Setting Paediatricians and other child health specialists recruited through the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit were asked to report children aged <18 years with FGM/C seen in the last 5 years, and to provide data for demographics, FGM/C type, complications and referral for each case.

Participants Of 1311 eligible paediatricians/child health specialists, 1003 (76.5%) responded.

Results Twenty-three (2.3%) respondents had seen 59 children with FGM/C and provided detailed data for 31. Most (89.7%) were identified during refugee screening and were born in Africa. Three (10.3%) were born in Australia: two had FGM/C in Australia and one in Indonesia. All parents were born overseas, mainly Africa (98.1%). Ten children had WHO FGM/C type I, five type II, five type III and six type IV. Complications in eight children included recurrent genitourinary infections, menstrual, sexual, fertility and psychological problems. Nineteen children (82.6%) were referred to obstetrics/gynaecology: 16 (69.9%) to social work and 13 (56.5%) to child protection.

Conclusions This study confirms that FGM/C is seen in paediatric clinical practice within Australia. Paediatricians need cultural awareness, education and resources to help them identify children with FGM/C and/or at risk of FGM/C, to enable appropriate referral and counselling of children, families and communities to assist in the prevention of this practice.

Access full text (open access) here