The internet: new challenges and opportunities for youths’ sexual health

The internet: new challenges and opportunities for youths’ sexual health

2015-01-01 00:00:00 6m

An increasing number of youth use the Internet for Online Sexual Activities. This new sexual revolution has produced both positive and negative aspects, enriching sexual functioning but also providing other opportunities for criminal, negative and harmful sexual conducts, or Online Sexual Problems. In the last years, a strong double link has arisen between sexuality and this new medium: first, the Internet gave a new significance to a varied number of sexual practices yet existing; secondly, the Internet development has been increasingly suitable for users’ different sexual needs. 

Modern media, above all cell phones and the Internet, have in a very short period, become important sources of information with lot of that information, particularly regarding sexuality, being distorted, unbalanced, unrealistic and often degrading. The aim of this contribution is to discuss challenges and opportunities connected to the Internet for youth’s sexual health. The Author has consulted the main scientific search engines such as PubMed, Medline and PsychInfo, taking into account recent publications from 2004 to 2014. The WAS new Declaration of Sexual Health will be used as the core theoretical referral. Literature analysis and clinical experience underline that a new sexual health aim has emerged: the need to counteract and correct misleading information and images conveyed through the media.

However, new media can be also a great resource: sexual minorities can easily explore their own sexuality with fewer feelings of embarrassment. To meet online people with similar sexual identities and orientations may have a normalizing effect on own sexual identity. A deeper understanding of Internet sexuality is therefore important. New media can be viewed as new tools available for youths’ sexual health, with all the hazards and opportunities connected with the new expressions of sexuality in this arena.

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