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Culture, Health & Sexuality

Maria Augusta Carrasco, Clare Barrington, Caitlin Kennedy, Martha Perez, Yeycy Donastorg, Deanna Kerrigan
This study explores social cohesion as a strategy used by female sex workers to address layered HIV and sex work-related stigma. Data derive from a thematic analysis of 23 in-depth interviews and 2 focus groups with female sex workers living with HIV enrolled in a multi-level HIV/STI prevention, treatment and care intervention in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Drawing on Foucault's conceptualisation of modern power, discipline and resistance, we argue that social cohesion provides the psychosocial space (of trust, solidarity and mutual aid) to subvert oppressive societal norms, enabling the reconstruction of identity...
October 20, 2016: Culture, Health & Sexuality
Waltraud Maierhofer, Emanuella Israel
The Fifty Shades trilogy by E.L. James has taken the world by storm and become a cultural phenomenon. The lack of contraceptive use in the erotic fiction, first pointed out by bloggers, is analysed in this article and compared to medical information. James may be praised for sexualising condom use. However, her protagonist makes poor choices in terms of hormonal contraception and is negligent about its use, resulting in an unintended pregnancy and resolved in marital bliss and motherhood. What is of more interest here than a possible message about contraceptive use, is the outcome that the fiction's negligence in birth control and responsibility affirms an ideology in which female sexuality and sexual experimentation can only be tolerated within the context of procreation and affirmation of motherhood...
October 20, 2016: Culture, Health & Sexuality
Matthew Lee, Theo Sandfort, Kate Collier, Tim Lane, Vasu Reddy
This paper explores condom use and lubrication practices among Black men who have sex with men in South African townships. Results are from 81 in-depth individual interviews conducted among a purposive sample from four townships surrounding Pretoria as part of a larger qualitative study. Awareness that condoms should be used to have safer anal sex was ubiquitous. Fewer men reported that lubricants should be used to facilitate anal intercourse. Partner pressure and partner distrust were the most common barriers cited for not using condoms and lubricants...
October 14, 2016: Culture, Health & Sexuality
Kathryn R Klement, Ellen M Lee, James K Ambler, Sarah A Hanson, Evelyn Comber, David Wietting, Michael F Wagner, Valerie R Burns, Bert Cutler, Nadine Cutler, Elwood Reid, Brad J Sagarin
Participation in extreme rituals (e.g., fire-walking, body-piercing) has been documented throughout history. Motivations for such physically intense activities include religious devotion, sensation-seeking and social bonding. The present study aims to explore an extreme ritual within the context of bondage/discipline, dominance/submission and sadism/masochism (BDSM): the 'Dance of Souls', a 160-person ritual involving temporary piercings with weights or hooks attached and dancing to music provided by drummers...
October 14, 2016: Culture, Health & Sexuality
Paul Byron
This paper examines how young people's friendships influence safer sexual practices. Through a thematic discourse analysis, interviews with Sydney-based young people (aged 18-25 years) and Australian-based sexual health websites for young people are considered. Interview data illustrate how friendships can support young people's sexual experiences, concerns and safeties beyond the practice of 'safe sex' (condom use). This is evident in friends' practices of sex and relationship advice, open dialogue, trust and sharing experiential knowledge, as well as friend-based sex...
October 13, 2016: Culture, Health & Sexuality
Tycho Vandenburg, Virginia Braun
Vaginal steaming made global headlines in 2015 after its promotion by celebrity Gwyneth Paltrow. One of many female genital modification practices currently on offer in Anglo-Western nations - practices both heavily promoted and critiqued - vaginal steaming is claimed to offer benefits for fertility and overall reproductive, sexual or even general health and wellbeing. We analysed a selection of online accounts of vaginal steaming to determine the sociocultural assumptions and logics within such discourse, including ideas about women, women's bodies and women's engagement with such 'modificatory' practices...
October 10, 2016: Culture, Health & Sexuality
Wei Wei
Recent critical studies of men and masculinities have encouraged greater consideration of global, international and transnational perspectives and processes. Drawing on interview data from a larger research study of transnationalism and HIV risk through the experiences of recent male Chinese immigrants to Canada, this article examines the intersection of masculinity, sexual practice and the HIV risk in a transnational context. As a gendered strategy, transnational mobility is not only employed by men to cope with the challenges of masculinity enactment encountered in Canada, but also to facilitate sexual activities back in China...
October 10, 2016: Culture, Health & Sexuality
Jessica R Botfield, Christy E Newman, Anthony B Zwi
Young people from minority ethnic, migrant and refugee backgrounds are widely recognised as being under-served by mainstream sexual and reproductive healthcare in developed economy nations. This paper documents the views of professionals in Australia on the complexities of, and best practice approaches to, engaging members of this group with sexual and reproductive health promotion and care. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 23 purposively selected key informants (health service providers, policymakers, academics and community advocates)...
September 26, 2016: Culture, Health & Sexuality
Maria Gurevich, Usra Leedham, Amy Brown-Bowers, Nicole Cormier, Zara Mercer
Contemporary social theorists emphasise the cultural quest for authenticity under conditions of increasing artificiality. Within this context, the body is commonly treated as an 'unfinished' surface requiring ongoing transformation to fulfil identity obligations. In this paper, we examine one such identity authentication project in the form of marketing of men's sexuopharmaceuticals. We use online pharmaceutical advertising for four approved sexuopharmaceuticals (Viagra, Cialis, STAXYN and Stendra) to describe the ideal neoliberal consumer...
September 21, 2016: Culture, Health & Sexuality
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September 20, 2016: Culture, Health & Sexuality
Christian Grov, Juline Koken, Martez Smith, Jeffrey T Parsons
Much contemporary focus on male-for-male sex work has been with men who place advertisements on profile-based sex work websites. Less is known about men who sell sex via online bulletin boards. We compared two samples of men who were selling sex: a 2014-2015 survey of men on (n = 95) and a 2013 study of men on (n = 418). In multivariable modelling, compared to Rentboy, Craigslist participants had a significantly higher odds of being non-White (AOR = 5.32), gay identified (AOR = 2...
September 16, 2016: Culture, Health & Sexuality
C Thomas Farrell, Alexis Clyde, Madhuri Katta, John Bolland
In countries such as the USA, a substantial percentage of teenage pregnancies are intentional, and desire for pregnancy increases risk. Black US Americans have been found to be less accepting of homosexuality than their non-Black peers, which may result in minority ethnic teenagers demonstrating heterosexual orientation through attempting pregnancy. Young, socioeconomically disadvantaged African Americans were surveyed longitudinally regarding attitudes about their sexuality, pregnancy intentions and other psychosocial factors...
September 13, 2016: Culture, Health & Sexuality
Danya E Keene, Adam I Eldahan, Jaclyn M White Hughto, John E Pachankis
Recent research has examined how gay and bisexual men experience and navigate the variations in sexual minority stigma that exist across geographic contexts, with implications for their health. We extend this literature on stigma, mobility, and health by considering the unique and understudied setting of the small city. Drawing on semi-structured interviews (n = 29) conducted in two small US cities (New Haven and Hartford), we find that these small cities serve as both destinations and points of departure for gay and bisexual men in the context of stigma...
September 8, 2016: Culture, Health & Sexuality
Kate Winskell, Gaëlle Sabben, Kaitlyn L Pruitt, Kristi Allen, Trinity Findlay, Rob Stephenson
Sexual minorities are stigmatised in much of sub-Saharan Africa, restricting their access to sexual health services and undermining their mental health. Although public attitudes and social representations inform the experience of sexual stigma, little is known about how young Africans make sense of sexual diversity. We conducted a thematic analysis of 56 texts contributed by young people from 10 countries in response to a prompt in a scriptwriting competition inviting participants to 'tell a story about someone who is attracted to people of the same sex'...
September 8, 2016: Culture, Health & Sexuality
Elizabeth Manning, Vicky Bungay
A widespread rule of sex work is that payment occurs before service provision. Drawing on a subset of data collected as part of an ethnographic study conducted in metro Vancouver, Canada, this paper explores the temporal and gendered connections between payment and financial violence in a semi-criminalised indoor sex industry. A detailed examination of the timing of payment with 51 independent indoor sex workers reveals the gendered nature of the violence and its direct connection to anti-violence strategies indoor sex workers employ...
September 7, 2016: Culture, Health & Sexuality
Sherria Ayuandini
Hymenoplasty is surgery to alter the shape of the hymen membrane in the vaginal canal, commonly performed to minimise the aperture. This medical operation is often requested by women who expect that their virginity will be under scrutiny, particularly during their first sexual encounter on their wedding night. Despite increasing demand for the surgery all over the globe, there is no one standard of practice in performing hymenoplasty. In the Netherlands, the manner in which medical consultations concerning the procedure take place depends heavily on the consulting physician...
September 3, 2016: Culture, Health & Sexuality
Caitlyn K Bradburn, George Wanje, James Pfeiffer, Walter Jaoko, Ann E Kurth, R Scott McClelland
Limited research exists about condom failure as experienced by female sex workers. We conducted a qualitative study to examine how female sex workers in Mombasa, Kenya contextualise and explain the occurrence of condom failure. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with thirty female sex workers to ascertain their condom failure experiences. We qualitatively analysed interview transcripts to determine how the women mitigate risk and cope with condom failure. Condom failure was not uncommon, but women mitigated the risk by learning about correct use, and by supplying and applying condoms themselves...
September 1, 2016: Culture, Health & Sexuality
Rand Dadasovich, Coco Auerswald, Alexandra M Minnis, H Fisher Raymond, Willi McFarland, Erin C Wilson
Little research has explored the link between the behavioural effects of testosterone use among transmen and HIV risk. We conducted a mixed methods study to explore testosterone use among transmen and the behavioural effects on HIV risk. A sample of 122 transmen from San Francisco participated in a cross-sectional quantitative survey and 14 transmen participated in 2 focus group discussions. Most participants (81.9%) were currently taking hormones. Participants attributed testosterone use to new sexual behaviours among 69% of transmen, changes in sexual attraction (49%), and increased frequency of sexual activity (72%)...
August 24, 2016: Culture, Health & Sexuality
Stephanie S Miedema, Kathryn M Yount, Esnat Chirwa, Kristin Dunkle, Emma Fulu
Men's perpetration of gender-based violence remains a global public health issue. Violence prevention experts call for engagement of boys and men to change social norms around masculinity in order to prevent gender-based violence. Yet, men do not comprise a homogenous category. Drawing on probability estimates of men who report same-sex practices and preferences captured in a multi-country gender-based violence prevention survey in the Asia-Pacific region, we test the effects of sexuality-related factors on men's adverse life experiences...
August 24, 2016: Culture, Health & Sexuality
Marguerite Kelly, Kumiyo Inoue, Alexandra Barratt, Deborah Bateson, Alison Rutherford, Juliet Richters
Women's liberation and the sexual revolution have changed the social landscape for heterosexual women in the West over the past 50 years, but exploration of women's lived experiences of contraceptive use in the context of their sexual lives is comparatively recent. We conducted 94 in-depth open-ended interviews with women of reproductive age (16-49 years) living in New South Wales, Australia. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using an inductive thematic approach. Four major themes are explored here: (1) what women do and do not do: unspoken gendered assumptions; (2) focus on partner's pleasure; (3) juggling responsibilities: sex as a chore; and (4) women's sexual motivations...
August 23, 2016: Culture, Health & Sexuality
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