Home  |  About Us  |  Contact Us  |  Subscribe
Search NSRC:      Advanced search  
Sexual Literacy Logo Sexual Literacy spacer American Sexuality Magazine Logo American Sexuality magazine spacer Sexual Research and Social Policy Logo Sexual Research and Social Policy spacer spacer spacer

Friday, December 12, 2008

Large Percentage of Young Adults Posting Nude Pictures

A new survey by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy has found that 22% of teen girls have posted nude or semi-nude pictures online. Most important findings from the survey are below.

Also check out research that was published in our own Sexuality Research and Social Policy Journal - Journalist or Panderer? Framing Underage Webcam Sites - which talks about new technologies changing social relationships and view of teen's sexuality.

Survey Findings:(Full survey summary is here).
  • One in five teen girls (22%)—and 11% of teen girls ages 13-16 years old—say they have electronically sent, or posted online, nude or semi-nude images of themselves.
  • One-third (33%) of teen boys and one-quarter (25%) of teen girls say they have had nude/semi-nude images—originally meant to be private—shared with them.
  • The survey of 1,280 teens and young adults indicates that 15% of teens who have sent sexually suggestive content such as text messages, email, photographs or video say they have done so with someone they only know online.
  • Teen girls are not the only ones sharing sexually explicit content. Almost one in five teen boys (18%) say they have sent or posted nude/semi nude images of themselves. One-third (33%) of young adults—36% of women and 31% of men ages 20-26—say they have sent or posted such images.
  • What teens and young adults are doing electronically seems to have an effect on what they do in real life: Nearly one-quarter of teens (22%) admit that technology makes them personally more forward and aggressive. More than one-third of teens (38%) say exchanging sexy content makes dating or hooking up with others more likely and nearly one-third of teens (29%) believe those exchanging sexy content are “expected” to date or hook up.
  • Sending sexually suggestive messages is even more prevalent than sending nude/semi-nude images. Nearly half of young people (49% total, 39% of teens, 59% of young adults) have sent sexually suggestive text messages or email messages to someone.
  • Even more have received sexually suggestive messages: 48% of teens and 64% of young adults (56% total). Fully one-third of young teen girls (ages 13-16) have received sexually suggestive messages.
  • Teen girls who have sent or posted sexually suggestive content provide a number of reasons why: Two-thirds (66%) say they did so to be “fun or flirtatious,” half (52%) did so as a “sexy present” for their boyfriend, and 40% as a “joke.”
  • Even though nearly three-quarters of young people (73% total, 75% of teens, 71% of young adults) say that sending sexually suggestive content “can have serious negative consequences,” nearly one-quarter (22% total, 19% of teens and 26% of young adults) say sending sexually suggestive content is “no big deal.”
For effects of this sexualization, especially on girls, please see the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls: http://www.apa.org/pi/wpo/sexualizationsum.html

Labels: , , , ,


Monday, December 08, 2008

Premature Ejaculation on SNL

From the creators of "Dick in a Box" comes another hit music video: "Jizz in my Pants". It might not be the most positive approach to premature ejaculation, but at least it gets people talking (or singing) about it.


Thursday, December 04, 2008

A bit too late but still funny: Prop 8 Musical


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

i'm having a sexual problem

I believe in sexual pleasure—yours and mine. From hawking sex toys to telling teens about the clitoris, I have spent my adult years proselytizing on the subject of pleasure. And no wonder; desire and pleasure--especially for women--are the stepping stones to sexual knowledge, rights and justice. For teen women, as Deb Tolman revealed in Dilemmas of Desire, knowing when you want to have sex is the pre-cursor to knowing when you don’t, and helps women assume self-protective behaviors. For adult women, desire and pleasure allow for a more equitable and satisfying relationship with self and others.

So let me say it again. I want you to get off, I encourage you to get off. In fact, go get off right now and get back to me.

Hi. Feels good, right? Which is why it might come as a surprise that I am so angry about a recent study looking at sexual dysfunction in women. Decreased libido=decreased pleasure=not so good, right? Sometimes, but that’s not where the real problem lies.

The study, published in the November 2008 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology, aimed to examine self-reported sexual ‘problems,’ such as decreased desire, arousal and orgasm, in US women (nothing that in my house wouldn’t get fixed by SOMEONE finally taking their turn with the dishes). The results, as trumpeted by the Washington Post, “Almost half of women have sexual problems.” 40%, to be precise.

Sounds like a problem to me. But wait—only 12% of women actually reported having a problem with their problem. If an orgasm doesn’t fall in the forest and there’s no one around to not hear it, did it really not fall? As any budding psych student can tell you, self-reported distress is one of the key components to actually having a problem. And these women didn’t think they did. At least not yet. Wanna hear the questions they were asked?

Response of “never” or “rarely” to questions:

  • “How often do you desire to engage in sexual activity?”
  • “How often do you become sexually aroused?”
  • “Are you easily aroused?”
  • “Do you have adequate vaginal lubrication during sexual activity?”
  • “How often do you experience an orgasm?”
  • “Are you able to have an orgasm when you want to?”

And response of “no enjoyment or pleasure” or “little enjoyment or pleasure” to the question,

  • “How much pleasure do you get from your orgasms?

Who has the problem? 40% answered rarely or never to any of those questions—not being easily aroused, not lubricating enough—but they didn’t see it as an issue. I wouldn't mind having an orgasm right now...but I wouldn't say it's a problem that I'm not having one. And easily aroused? Compared to what--or whom? Those measures--in the sexual information vacuum in which virtually all of us exist--mean nothing without desperately needed context.

Meanwhile, the 12% who did report some concern over their ‘dysfunction’ were much more likely to be in poor health, exhibiting true problems such as depression, anxiety, irritable bowel system and urinary incontinence. Making not being able to lubricate seem like a drop in the bucket. I can imagine that, with a touch of urinary incontinence, I might not get a lot of pleasure from my orgasm—and I don’t think that it is the orgasm part that needs fixing. So who’s having the problem, again?

Maybe it’s their partners. Perhaps their partner—particularly if they’re all hopped up on Viagra—wants to hit it all night. But that isn’t any one person’s problem, per se—in sex therapy talk it’s called a desire discrepancy, and seen as a couple’s issue. Kind of like cinematic discrepancy, where he wants to watch Dark Knight and she wants to see The Notebook. You don’t blame anyone, you just work it out. Christ, no one wants to see The Notebook All Night Long.

If it’s not her, and it’s not her partner, who could it be? Surely not study author Dr. Jan Shifren—she’s an associate professor at Harvard Medical School (I’ve heard of it), so she’s gotta be objective. That’s good enough for me. But wait, what’s that fine print on the front page of the study?

“Dr. Shifren has received research support from Proctor & Gamble (Cincinnati, OH) and consulting fees from Proctor & Gamble, Boehringer Ingelheim (Ingelheim, Germany), and Eli Lilly & Co. (Indianapolis, IN).”

That would be P&G Pharmaceuticals. Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals. And yup, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals.

I don’t want to go out on a limb here, or some other appendage, but it makes me wonder just a little bit. Could it be possible that someone was looking for problems—even, creating them? After all, there are incredibly easy ways to deal with decreased lubrication. Babelube, a little more sex warm-up, even just some info about how vag lubrication fluctuates according to menstrual cycle and peri- and menopause transition. Could it be that big Pharma has a stake in turning normal sexual variation into a problem, just so they can create a little pill to fix it? Could it be that they are actually playing on the lack of sexual knowledge and resources that exist in order to create shame, embarrassment and perceived dysfunction just so they can get a little more bang for their buck?

The real problem I’m having is with how sexuality is increasingly being framed as problematic, and the people who are having—or not having—sex are being labeled as inadequate. The real solutions, those that build communication, intimacy, trust and pleasure, are being submerged behind a wave of medical interventions (women can boost their flagging libido with this testosterone patch, but oops, watch out for the breast cancer!) that are, at best, expensive and inadequate bandaids for the complexities of sexual expression.

I’m not buying it, and neither should you.

Labels: , , , ,