Video: teaching Arabs to talk about sex

BBC news, 09 Jul 2019

Safa Tamish teaches Palestinians to talk about sex, a topic often seen as taboo in the Arab world.

She encourages workshop participants to speak frankly, for example not shying away from using proper names for body parts in Arabic.

A survey for BBC Arabic across the Middle East and North Africa has looked at attitudes on issues ranging from religion to homosexuality and migration.

Of 25,000 people interviewed by Arab Barometer, 44% said they had the right to freedom of expression, down from 64% in 2013.

Exploring HIV risks, testing and prevention among sub-Saharan African community members in Australia

International Journal for Equity in Health, 2018, 17:62

https://doi.org/10.1186/s12939-018-0772-6

Abstract

Background

Significant health disparities persist regarding new and late HIV diagnoses among sub-Saharan African (SSA) communities in Australia. Personal/cultural beliefs and practices influence HIV (risk, prevention, testing) within Australia and during visits to home countries.

Method

A community forum was conducted involving 23 male and female adult African community workers, members and leaders, and health workers; facilitated by cultural workers and an experienced clinician/researcher. The forum comprised small/large group discussions regarding HIV risk/prevention (responses transcribed verbatim; utilising thematic analysis).

Results

Stigma, denial, social norms, tradition and culture permeated perceptions/beliefs regarding HIV testing, prevention and transmission among African Australians, particularly regarding return travel to home countries.

Conclusions

International travel as a risk factor for HIV acquisition requires further examination, as does the role of the doctor in HIV testing and Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP). Further assessment of PrEP as an appropriate/feasible intervention is needed, with careful attention regarding negative community perceptions and potential impacts.

Breast cancer screening and cultural barriers: Why some women are missing early detection

ABC, Saturday 3 January, 2018

Some women say it’s fate. Others believe in “God’s will”. Then there are those who simply feel uncomfortable talking about their breasts. When it comes to breast cancer screening in culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CALD), there are varied and complex reasons that can hinder important messages about early detection.

A recent analysis of five studies involving more than 1,700 first-generation Chinese, African, Arabic, Korean and Indian-Australian women found just 19 per cent identified as “breast aware”, and only 27 per cent aged 40 or above had participated in annual clinical breast exams.

Lead researcher Dr Cannas Kwok, who’s been investigating the breast cancer beliefs and attitudes of migrant Australian women since 2005, says the results, published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, are concerning.

Shame, secrecy and silence hobble migrant women’s sexual health, new research suggests

Sydney Morning Herald, August 5th 2017

Shame, secrecy, silence and fear were keeping many new migrant women in the dark about their own sexual and reproductive health, found a recent study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.

Cultural and religious beliefs were major barriers to many women accessing health services, warned the researchers who held focus groups with 169 single, married, divorced and widowed women who arrived in Australia or Canada from Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, India and Latin America within the past six years.

‘Sex prescriptions’ may not be the answer but we must respect disabled people’s right to a sexual life

SBS, 19 Jan 2017 – 1:04PM

Sex for disabled people is an important aspect of their lives, as it is for most people. But there remains a taboo around sex and disabled people. Discrimination and marginalisation means disabled people often spend their lives denied the opportunity to explore their sexual identities.

Consequently, the Green Party in Germany recently proposed “sex prescriptions” for the disabled and the seriously ill, which would allow people to claim back the costs of paying for sex as they might do the cost of a medicine.

UK organisations such as the TLC Trust and SHADA helping to change the public’s perception of disabled people’s sexuality and to connect disabled people with sex workers who can help them.

Read more here 

 

Let’s talk about sex: why do we need good sex education? – podcast transcript

The Guardian, Wednesday 15 June 2016

There are 1.8 billion people aged 10 to 24 today, but how many of those are getting comprehensive sexuality education? And why, in 2016, are there still so many taboos around sex? Liz Ford discusses what young people should be taught, when sex education should start and asks, what does comprehensive sexuality education actually mean?

She visits the Women Deliver Conference in Denmark, where 5,000 delegates meet to discuss the reproductive health, rights and wellbeing of women and girls. There, she speaks to 18-year-old Dennis Glasgow, a peer educator from the Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association, who discusses the importance of diminishing the myths around sex by talking about it.

Doortje Braeken, senior adviser on adolescents and young people at the International Planned Parenthood Federation, reveals that 66% of girls don’t know what menstruation is when they have their first period.

Lucy Emmerson is coordinator of the UK’s Sex Education Forum. She says that, with good quality sex and relationship education from a trained educator, young people are less likely to start having sex at a young age, and less likely to become teenage parents. The Sex Education Forum has developed a curriculum framework that shows the kind of questions relevant to children at each stage of their development.

Remmy Shawa helps manage sex and reproductive health at Sonke Gender Justice in South Africa. He talks about the difficulties for parents in being open with children about sexuality when they can’t find the language to talk about it.

Anne Philpott, founder of The Pleasure Project, emphasises the need to convey in public health messages that sex is about enjoyment. She talks about the ease of young people’s access to pornography – essentially bad sex education, she says – and the need to discuss the stereotypes it presents, so that young people understand it’s not real life. And, Philpott says, with AIDS still the highest killer of adolescent girls in Africa, effectively spreading the message of safe sex is a top priority.

  • Read transcript here
  • Listen to podcast here