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

 

 

 

Exploring psychosocial predictors of STI testing in University students

BMC Public Health, 2018 18:664, Published: 29 May 2018

https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-018-5587-2

Abstract:

Background

To explore university students’ Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) testing knowledge, psychosocial and demographic predictors of past STI testing behaviour, intentions to have an STI test, and high risk sexual behaviour, to inform interventions promoting STI testing in this population.

Methods

A cross-sectional, quantitative online survey was conducted in March 2016, recruiting university students from North East Scotland via an all-student email. The anonymous questionnaire assessed student demographics (e.g. sex, ethnicity, age), STI testing behaviours, sexual risk behaviours, knowledge and five psychological constructs thought to be predictive of STI testing from theory and past research: attitudes, perceived susceptibility to STIs, social norms, social fear and self-efficacy.

Results

The sample contained 1294 sexually active students (response rate 10%) aged 18–63, mean age = 23.61 (SD 6.39), 888 (69%) were female. Amongst participants, knowledge of STIs and testing was relatively high, and students held generally favourable attitudes. 52% reported ever having an STI test, 13% intended to have one in the next month; 16% reported unprotected sex with more than one ‘casual’ partner in the last six months. Being female, older, a postgraduate, longer UK residence, STI knowledge, perceived susceptibility, subjective norms, attitudes and self-efficacy all positively predicted past STI testing behaviour (p < 0.01). Perceived susceptibility to STIs and social norms positively predicted intentions to have an STI test in the next month (p  < 0.05); perceived susceptibility also predicted past high-risk sexual behaviour (p < 0.01).

Conclusions

Several psychosocial predictors of past STI testing, of high-risk sexual behaviour and future STI intentions were identified. Health promotion STI testing interventions could focus on male students and target knowledge, attitude change, and increasing perceived susceptibility to STIs, social norms and self-efficacy towards STI-testing.

Serving up inequality: How sex and gender impact women’s relationship with food

Women’s Health Victoria, September 2017

This issues paper explores various aspects of women’s health relating to food. These include the impacts of nutritional deficiency, the links between nutrition and chronic disease and women’s food-related behaviours.

Gender itself is a key structural determinant of women’s health and inequality, playing out in women’s roles in relation to food, in psychosocial health and the socio-economic factors that impact on access to nutritious food.

Controversy exists in public health and health promotion about the approach and key messages that should be adopted in relation to food-related behaviours and body size to promote ‘health’ and prevent illness for women. This paper outlines various perspectives in this discourse and highlights principles and recommendations for designing health promotion programs and managing the risks of public health messages.

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).

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  

 

 

 

Responding to Female Genital Mutilation as a women’s health issue (forum)

SHine SA, January 2017

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons (WHO). It is also sometimes referred to as female genital cutting or female circumcision. There are 83,000 women and girls who have been affected by FGM in Australia. FGM has no health benefits but causes lifelong health consequences for women and girls.

Our ReFRESH forum will consist of a presentation on the topic and a personal experience of FGM. The aim is to provide participants with a better understanding of FGM. We will explore where, when, how and why FGM is practised, and how to care for survivors.

When: 9 February 2017

Where: SHine SA, 64c Woodville Road, Woodville

Time: 1.30 – 4.30 pm

Cost: $50 (Student Concession $45)

Light refreshments provided

FURTHER INFORMATION & ONLINE ENROLMENT here

Enquiries: Phone 8300 5320 / Email shinesacourses@shinesa.org.au

Download flyer here: FGM Forum