07 Jan The rise of new sexual and reproductive health issues
When considering sex education in school for the young do we truly understand the nature, form, frequency and dynamics of sexual violence the young are exposed to and have already started to live with each other?
What is young people’s own understanding of it and the impact on their wellbeing?
The constant bombardment and stream of porn has already proved to cause serious health issues, and we are facing new sexual and reproductive health conditions that are added on to the already existing and increasing ones such as STI’s, HIV, teenage pregnancies, unsafe abortions, etc.:
- Chronic pain and painful sexual conditions in young women due to engaging in sexual practices they are not aroused by that are abusive and often violent. Lots of unwanted and non-pleasurable sexual experiences are leading to these conditions as their bodies shut down and develop chronic pain
- Serious injuries in the genital area due to abusive and violent sexual practices. “Splitting”, “Rape style” sex, etc.
- Consented gender-based violence and sexual abuse. Self-objectification leads women to consent to harming and violent sexual practices. Self-objectification is massive in a world where women do not hold any value on themselves and therefore have no awareness for the lived abuse. What is consent in a world where women are pigeonholed as sex objects?
- Body shame and negative body images. Normalized sexual imagery that leads to a body image girls try to keep up with leading to many psychological and physical disorders. A massive misperception about what is normal for bodies. Expectations on appearance (being very thin, having large breasts or big muscles) or actions (viewing porn, tripping and touching up, performing blow jobs, sending images of own body parts). Teenage girls who are influenced by porn today have a normative expectation around what their pubic area is supposed to look like
- Complications from plastic surgery (Labiaplasty and Labia Minora Reduction, so-called ‘designer vaginas’, breasts augmentation, etc.) causing chronic pain due to nerve damage and loss of sensitivity, etc.
- Porn addiction, specifically in young men with health consequences such as erectile dysfunction, anxiety, depression, loneliness and the inability to relate to others leading to social isolation and physical and psychological disorders
- The social and psychological consequences of sexting, revenge porn, rape style sex, etc. Sexting – Sexually Explicit Internet Material (SEIM) – is often coercive and linked to harassment, bullying and violence. Sexting has become such a normalised practice that the self-objectification from young girls is so extreme that they even initiate the sexting, without the direct pressure from boys
- Threats from peers. For young people, the primary technology-related threat is not the ‘stranger danger’, but technology-mediated sexual pressure from their peers. This poses a challenge for school-based awareness strategies, as a class is likely to contain varieties of victims, abusers and bystanders simultaneously (Ringrose 2012)
- General Internet addiction – specifically addiction to violent and sexist video games, where women are humiliated, degraded and even killed for so-called pleasure (Rodenberg 2013)
See full article published on UnimedLiving