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Parents can support young people to develop healthy, respectful and consensual sexual relationships. Ed Yourdon/Flickr

Let’s talk about sex: teaching teens to negotiate sexual intimacy

Talking about sex, intimacy and risk-taking with adolescents is not as easy as busting out a Salt-N-Pepa classic. Catchy lyrics aside, parents may be grappling with a number of questions: Is my adolescent…
Our culture tells women there’s something wrong with them if they don’t orgasm. Gustavo Gomes/Flickr

Female sexual dysfunction or not knowing how to ask for what feels good?

The recently published Italian study suggesting women can only have clitoral, rather than vaginal, orgasms raises important questions about the medicalisation of female sexuality and sexual dysfunction…
Studies that deliberately exclude older adults from their samples render older adults' sexuality invisible. shutterstock

Invisible sexuality: older adults missing in sexual health research

The Australian Study of Health and Relationships (ASHR), the latest findings of which were released recently, has much to commend it. Like its counterpart, the British National Survey of Sexual Attitudes…
Most women are just happy to have an orgasm, any old way. Ares Tavolazzi/Flickr

Health Check: clash of the orgasms, clitoral vs vaginal

Controversy over vaginal versus clitoral orgasm is nothing new; it’s a debate that has consumed sexologists and psychoanalysts for the last 100 years. Now, new research has added fresh fuel to the controversy…
When we talk about sexting, are we focusing on the real risks? Image of people texting from www.shutterstock.com

Everything you wanted to know about sexting, but were afraid to ask

Stories of teens taking and sending a naked picture of themselves with their phones have been all over the news media in recent years. The outcome? Shocking, according to reports which have suggested that…
Technology has done away with the need to insert swabs into the male urethra and speculums into the vagina. Instead, blood and urine are tested. In Tune/Shutterstock

Health Check: the STI check-up – warts and all

Sexuality is a means of pleasure, fulfilment and intimate connection with other humans. But it can also be a source of anguish. So it’s perhaps no surprise that of all the areas in health care, the “STI…
Would sex ed have changed anything? Teenage pregancy via Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

Compulsory sex education won’t reduce rates of teenage pregnancy

Proposals to force all schools to teach a compulsory sex education curriculum from primary level up and to restrict the right of parents to opt-out their children are back on the parliamentary agenda…
Believing sex to be important is the strongest predictor of embodied sexual desire in older women. Candida.Performa/Flickr

Getting on and getting it on: good sex isn’t just for the young

Research tells us that women’s sexual functioning declines after midlife, manifested by reductions in arousal and orgasm, and increases in sexual pain. This is linked to reports of reduced sexual activity…
Testosterone is important for the physical changes that happen during male puberty, and features typical of adult men, such as facial and body hair. Dave 77459/Flickr

Here’s what you need to know about testosterone

Testosterone is blamed for violence in males, implicated in sport scandals, linked to sexual prowess, desired by gym devotees, and promoted as a tonic for ageing. But how many of us really understand what…
Familiar methods. Banana and condom via bajinda/Shutterstock

How far are the British willing to go in sex education?

Britain is not unique when it comes to debating how it should educate children and young people about sex. But the country approaches the subject with a particularly British sense of embarrassment and…
More painful experience. Teens by Shutterstock

All too often, anal sex isn’t about young women’s desires

We often talk about educating young people about consent but what does this mean? Does it simply boil down to teaching young men not to rape? And, if this is the case, it’s a depressingly low bar. Instead…
In most developed countries, including Australia, gay and bisexual men dominate numbers of new HIV infections. Aleksandar Stojkovic/Flickr

Know the epidemic: responding to HIV in three key communities

The number of new HIV diagnoses in Australia remains the highest in 20 years, according to data released today by UNSW’s Kirby Institute. While rates have remained stable over the past two years, the number…
Tongue tied now, chat later. Kissing by Shutterstock

Teenage banter about sexual infections is not a #fail

A recent TV programme on “the secret life of students” followed a group of students in their first undergraduate year at Leicester University, including 18-year-old Aiden who was informed on screen that…
Would a syphilitic Joyce really change the way we read him? Shutterstock/Bepsy

Afflicted or not, James Joyce probed the politics of syphilis

According to Jacques Derrida, “nothing can be invented on the subject of Joyce”. Speaking in 1984, he had in mind the sheer comprehensive power of Joyce’s writing: from the capacity of Ulysses to draw…
Premature ejaculation is a distressing condition that men usually suffer in silence. Flickr:leahbeequilts

Premature ejaculation: experts arrive at a definition

Experts in sexual medicine from around the world have, for the first time, defined lifelong and acquired premature ejaculation…
If people are talking online, we need to be talking about HIV online too. Jayel Aheram

In the age of Grindr, HIV support needs to get online

Websites and apps such as Grindr and Scruff are booming as a new way for men to meet other men. But the people who seek to inform men about HIV and AIDS are finding they need to think on their feet to…
Today’s global HIV statistics reflect increasingly risky sexual practices. Shutterstock

To curb rising HIV rates, we must target our human flaws

One of the most perplexing risks to public health is human nature. No matter how diligently public health campaigns lay out the facts, we continue to make seemingly illogical decisions. Just look at the…

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