This study responds to significant issues related to the problematic nature of perceptions of sexuality in Australian society. It also explores the extent to which the students’ view of sexuality can be influenced through a sexuality education program delivered at tertiary level. An investigation of the literature, comprehensive interviews and feedback from students identified the factors which form the perceptions of sexuality that students have by the time they reach young adulthood and enter the sexology class. The study supports the considerable body of anecdotal evidence that has been gathered over thirty years in the award winning Department of Sexology at Curtin University.
The model shows the development of the students as they are immersed in the content of, and ‘sex positive’ approach to, sexuality education. The majority of students are able to discuss issues relating to their sexuality and emerge from the class as advocates for the sexual rights of others (Stage 6). This model incorporates a number of steps but not all students move from Stages 1 to Stage 6. Whilst the goal is to move students through the stages, for some participants moving just one or two levels is significant. Change will continue to happen long after the sexology class has ended. Even the students who came with open-minded attitudes, and seemingly no problems related to their sexuality, stated that they benefited enormously from the unit. Their confidence to speak about sexuality grew and others (family and friends) sought them out to discuss issues.
The rich body of information emerging from this study can be used to enhance the development of sexuality education programs in tertiary institutions and the wider community, including the approach, processes, key content and the possible learning outcomes. This study and the model make a significant contribution to an important issue that has thus far received scant attention in the literature on sexuality education at adult/tertiary level.
Sexual and reproductive health (S&RH) is a significant health issue for young people with concerns including unplanned pregnancies, rising rates of STIs, increasing incidence of unwanted sex and the impact of social media. Schools, as successful sites for health promotion in S&RH, is affirmed by international research. Evidence supports teachers being best placed to impact on the sexual health and wellbeing of young people when a comprehensive, whole-school approach is taken linking curriculum and learning within the school environment to the wider school community. Despite strong government direction and excellent curriculum materials many teachers in Victoria remain reluctant to teach in this area.
Sex work plays a crucial educative capacity. Sex workers share tips and information on safer sex, sex and gender diversity, negotiation, boundaries and consent. We share these skills with other workers, clients, and the wider Australian community on a daily basis. In a range of capacities, sex work – including escorting, stripping, BDSM and pornography – involves interaction, transference of expertise, and sharing our voices. Sex work gives clients access to an important diversity of bodies, abilities, sexual practices, gender identities and intimacies.
Gender variant individuals have often lived traumatic lives due to the attitudes and limited understanding of the people in their environment. Gender variant children have been institutionalised, subjected to aversion therapies and pressured to maintain secrecy and conform to society’s gendered expectations while dealing with bullying and harassment at school. Simultaneously their parents face societal bias and assumptions that allow their children to be marginalized. Understanding the needs of gender variant children and their parents is a necessary step towards the provision of suitable training and interventions for the support of gender variant children into adulthood.
Research indicates that the escalation of erectile dysfunction in youthful men can be attributed to excessive Internet pornography use. Usage through adolescence and early adulthood, when the brain is at its peak of neuroplasticity and Dopamine levels are at their highest, creates an environment of increased vulnerability to addiction. Excessive use rewires the brain and interferes with the circuits involved in natural satiation mechanisms, resulting in numbed pleasure responses. Some researchers claim that the Internet’s unending novelty gives pornography the potential to become more addictive than drugs, food and gambling.
Through the use of both quantitative and qualitative data from Australian and United States research, this paper explores polyamorous parenting in relation to schooling. In particular, this paper will focus on how polyparents negotiate the implications of heteronormative monogamy/coupledom as defined and upheld through the educational systems their children are attending. The research shows that polyparents are extremely reluctant to disclose their family structure to school officials, student welfare workers, teachers and other parents in school communities. There appear to be two major barriers to disclosure: a) the fear of legal/student welfare interventions, and b) social stigmatization and harassment of themselves and their children.
Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) is a qualitative research methodology which is concerned with understanding personal lived experience. According to Reid, Flowers and Larkin (2005), this methodology is particularly well suited to the field of sexual health and sexuality as it moves beyond disease and deficit focused approaches and complements the traditional biomedical discourse. For sexual health practitioners, the applied focus of this research methodology also lends itself to the development of sexual health resources and potential interventions.
A growing body of research about young people in friends-with-benefits relationships (FWBR) describes a largely college-based population enjoying casual sexual relationships that are an interim, convenient measure until they are ready for something more permanent. Little is known about the way baby boomers are adapting FWBR for their relationship needs in midlife. A FWBR is defined as one where people have repeated or ongoing sexual encounters, do not consider themselves to be a couple, but are friends.