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Sex and science stuff – 15/06/09

June 15th, 2009

Dr Petra

Here are some of the sex/science stories doing the rounds currently.

Michael Goodyear has sent me details to a fantastic talk he and colleague Elizabeth Wood gave at the recent Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality conference in Florida. Called Bridging Communities in Sex Work Research it is well worth a look – particularly if you’re interested in doing research on sex work and want to know more about working ethically and respectfully participants involved in prostitution (or other areas of the sex industry).

Another Quickies favourite – Dossie Easton - will be hosting a Radical Ecstacy workshop in Dublin on 18th and 19th July. More information about the event (including how to book) here. If you’re interested in the spiritual/transcendental side to SM this workshop may appeal.

Website Mind Hacks tipped me off to this piece in the New York Times about Emirati sex therapist Wedad Lootah. While it is an interesting account of how one Muslim woman provides sex therapy, coverage like this always makes me a bit anxious. It’s always presented by Western journalists in a ooo-look-at-people-in-the-Muslim-world-some-of-them-are-learning-to-be-as-sexy-as-us. This might be a bit disengenuous but it is worth pointing out that for every occasional piece we see like this, that appears amazed someone might be giving sex therapy in a conservative country, this kind of coverage negates the efforts of sex therapists, educators, counsellors and health care providers working daily across the world. Folk who’re busy giving out messages on reproductive health, contraception and STIs. Some of whom are conservative Christians, Jews or Muslims – or operating in countries/states where the dominant religious focus is fairly fundementalist. I previously blogged about similar coverage of an Egyptian therapist, raising some important issues about sex therapy and how it’s delivered. We need to celebrate that sex therapy is available in different countries and support those providing it, but not allow misleading advice to be provided just because therapy in such settings is unusual.

Nursing Times
has a cautionary update about how the National Chlamydia Screening Programme is struggling – worth a read, along with the comment to the piece which is very revealing. Meanwhile in other Sexual Health news Wales is planning to improve its poor record on sexual health/teen pregnancy with the launch of a consultation on sex education. I’ll be checking this out and reporting back on it in a future blog. If you’re based in Wales you may wish to add your thoughts to the consultation.

One of my favourite bloggers Cory Silverberg has been writing some fantastic stuff recently, so here’s a roundup of some of the best of the best of his recent writing:
Legislating condoms into porn
Review of a new teen sex survey (essential reading this as it highlights what teens think sex is – and whether they think they’re doing it!).
Two great summaries of research on sex toys – one on injuries from sex toy use (mercifully low) and the other about the latest research on vibrator use (interestingly enough this is a very under researched area of sex science, although I’m sure there’s definitely room for improving on this area of study).

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