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Sexes, Volume 2, Issue 3 (September 2021) – 10 articles

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Article
The Trauma Recovery Actions Checklist: Applying Mixed Methods to a Holistic Gender-Based Violence Recovery Actions Measure
Sexes 2021, 2(3), 363-377; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sexes2030029 - 07 Sep 2021
Viewed by 316
Abstract
Gender-Based Violence (GBV) trauma recovery models have evolved in such a way that survivors are viewed as actively engaging in a multitude of strategies. In addition to seeking help and coping, survivors engage in diverse lifestyle, social, spiritual, and practical strategies to promote [...] Read more.
Gender-Based Violence (GBV) trauma recovery models have evolved in such a way that survivors are viewed as actively engaging in a multitude of strategies. In addition to seeking help and coping, survivors engage in diverse lifestyle, social, spiritual, and practical strategies to promote their health and wellbeing. This exploratory sequential mixed-methods study develops an instrument to measure the holistic recovery actions used by GBV survivors. The qualitative phase combined recovery action codes from interviews with 50 GBV survivors in three different survivor samples to create an initial six-concept 41-item Trauma Recovery Actions Checklist (TRAC). The quantitative psychometrics phase used data from 289 American GBV survivors. Results revealed a five-factor 35-item final version (sharing/connecting; building positive emotions; reflecting and creating healing spaces; establishing security; and planning the future). There were positive significant correlations between sharing/connecting and depression scores, and between sharing/connecting, reflecting, and building security with PTSD scores. No correlations were found between any recovery action type and the barriers to help-seeking subscales of Problem Management Beliefs, Discrimination, or Unavailability. However, there were significant negative correlations between Shame and Financial barriers and Sharing/Connecting, and between Feeling Frozen, Constraints, and Establishing Security. Implications for research, clinical practice and ways of understanding survivorship recovery are suggested. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sexual Relationships, Sexual Behaviors and Gender-Based Violence)
Review
Sex-Differentiated Attire’s Impact on Individual Action and Mate Selection
Sexes 2021, 2(3), 353-362; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sexes2030028 - 18 Aug 2021
Viewed by 309
Abstract
Various theories highlight the importance of using the actor/environment as the ideal unit for theoretical and experimental focus. Clothing, placed as it is as the intermediary between body and environment, is typically treated as a symbol rather than as either an integral part [...] Read more.
Various theories highlight the importance of using the actor/environment as the ideal unit for theoretical and experimental focus. Clothing, placed as it is as the intermediary between body and environment, is typically treated as a symbol rather than as either an integral part of either the body or the environment. When clothing is considered an extension of the body, the historical development of clothing reflects persistent differences in the physical capabilities of the human animal and operates as an instrument for solo action. In addition, it is argued that due to the ecological mechanisms connecting perception and action, differential clothing options for the sexes has led in no small part to differences in self-perception as well as the perception of others. However, when it comes to the very specific behavior of mate selection and procreation, clothing can be understood as a tether between two systemic units, offering a description of a system that allows for communication of potential social affordances and opportunities for joint action. Full article
Article
Premature Ejaculation Symptoms Are Associated with Sexual Excitability: Empirical Support for the Hyperarousability Model
Sexes 2021, 2(3), 345-352; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sexes2030027 - 02 Aug 2021
Viewed by 429
Abstract
Premature ejaculation (PE) is a common sexual complaint among men, but its etiology is poorly understood. Previous studies on the dual control model of sexuality has revealed that propensities for sexual excitation and inhibition can contribute to sexual dysfunctions, but few studies have [...] Read more.
Premature ejaculation (PE) is a common sexual complaint among men, but its etiology is poorly understood. Previous studies on the dual control model of sexuality has revealed that propensities for sexual excitation and inhibition can contribute to sexual dysfunctions, but few studies have included a measure of premature ejaculation. We sought to explore whether PE is associated with sexual excitation or inhibition. We applied structural equation models to data from a large population-based sample of Finnish adult men. The analyses supported a four-factor solution for the sexual inhibition/sexual excitation short-form scale. The clearest result was that increased symptoms of PE were associated with a greater propensity for sexual excitation (β = 151, p < 001, n = 2953). Importantly, this excitation was intrapersonal, as opposed to stemming from social activities. The results imply that men with PE may have stronger and more rapid reactions to sexual stimuli, which in turn may lead to ejaculating earlier than desired. Full article
Article
Perceived Changes in Sexuality during the COVID-19 Pandemic among Adults in the United States
Sexes 2021, 2(3), 331-344; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sexes2030026 - 11 Jul 2021
Viewed by 699
Abstract
In the United States, the COVID-19 pandemic has decreased partnered sexual behavior and increased the use of enhancement (e.g., toys). This has been partly attributed to reduced social interactions and stress. However, individuals’ perceptions of changes are missing in research. This study aims [...] Read more.
In the United States, the COVID-19 pandemic has decreased partnered sexual behavior and increased the use of enhancement (e.g., toys). This has been partly attributed to reduced social interactions and stress. However, individuals’ perceptions of changes are missing in research. This study aims to examine how adults perceive changes in their sexuality during the pandemic. We conducted a nationwide survey of US adults from April–June 2020 (N = 326). This qualitative study examines the open-ended responses using thematic analyses. The following themes emerged from the data: (1) changes in the purpose of sex; (2) changes in sexual identity; (3) decreases in sex drive and desire; (4) increases in sex drive and desire; (5) fluctuations in sex drive and desire; (6) increased sexual experimentation and reflection. The stress, changes in home responsibilities and living situations, and time spent with partners (more or less) has affected individuals by increasing or decreasing their sex drive and desire. Participants responded to changes with self-reflection and awareness, and incorporating new practices (e.g., technology, kink). The purpose of sex has shifted in order to gain intimacy or connect, or to pass time. These changes were perceived as both positive and negative, and more research is needed to determine the durability of these changes. Full article
Article
A Qualitative Study of Female Migrant Domestic Workers’ Experiences of and Responses to Work-Based Sexual Violence in Cyprus
Sexes 2021, 2(3), 315-330; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sexes2030025 - 07 Jul 2021
Viewed by 556
Abstract
Domestic workers face increased risk for sexual harassment and assault in the workplace but are often reluctant to disclose abuse or seek retribution. We report on a study looking at migrant domestic workers’ responses to sexual violence, reasons behind their responses, and factors [...] Read more.
Domestic workers face increased risk for sexual harassment and assault in the workplace but are often reluctant to disclose abuse or seek retribution. We report on a study looking at migrant domestic workers’ responses to sexual violence, reasons behind their responses, and factors enhancing or diminishing vulnerability to abuse. We carried out qualitative, in-depth, individual and group interviews with 15 female domestic workers from the Philippines and Sri Lanka working in the Republic of Cyprus. Descriptive thematic analysis was used to analyse data using QSR NVivo 10.0. Sexual violence against migrant domestic workers was reported to be rampant, particularly among women living with their employer. Perpetrators took advantage of women’s precarious legal, social, and economic circumstances to coerce women into a sexual relationship. All participants reported taking action to stop attacks despite the significant barriers they faced: racism and discrimination, social isolation, and hostile legal, labour, and immigration systems. Fear of losing their job, being deported, and facing racism and discrimination from the police were the biggest barriers to seeking retribution. Access to informational, e.g., legal, practical, and emotional support, facilitated positive outcomes following abuse, such as finding a new employer. Systemic racism, hostile labour and immigration systems, and lack of support increase risk of sexual violence and place barriers against accessing safe working spaces, protection, and justice. Women need to be informed of the risks involved in domestic work and empowered to identify abuse and access help and support when needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sexual and Reproductive Health of Female Migrants)
Article
Migrants’ Sexual Violence in the Mediterranean Region: A Regional Analysis
Sexes 2021, 2(3), 305-314; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sexes2030024 - 05 Jul 2021
Viewed by 502
Abstract
Migration in the Mediterranean region has increased greatly during the last years. Reports and studies reveal that violence and injuries among refugees and migrants is a common occurrence in the WHO Europe Region. Available literature indicates that sexual violence incidents take place: (a) [...] Read more.
Migration in the Mediterranean region has increased greatly during the last years. Reports and studies reveal that violence and injuries among refugees and migrants is a common occurrence in the WHO Europe Region. Available literature indicates that sexual violence incidents take place: (a) during the migratory journey to the host country, (b) while in detention centers, (c) once migrants have reached their destination, and (d) during the period in which a woman is subject of trafficking. This manuscript explores how sexual violence against refugee/immigrant women is presented in the international literature; a narrative review of the literature was conducted on the phenomenon of migration in the Mediterranean area, and specifically on sexual violence of migrant women. In order to face the challenges faced by migrant women victims of sexual violence, the following policies are suggested by international literature: (a) offer emergency medical and health care to sexual violence survivors, which is usually relatively limited, (b) offer mental health care and psychological support for sexual violence when planning services to provide clinical care, and (c) work towards the aim of transforming norms and values in order to promote gender equality and support non-violent behaviours. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sexual and Reproductive Health of Female Migrants)
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Article
Male Sexual Health and Sexual Behaviors during the First National COVID-19 Lockdown in a Western Country: A Real-Life, Web-Based Study
Sexes 2021, 2(3), 293-304; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sexes2030023 - 05 Jul 2021
Viewed by 739
Abstract
Restriction measures enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic had severe effects on male sexual and reproductive health. We aimed to investigate the real-life impact and perception of sexual function in 2020 in Italy, as the first Western country experiencing a national lockdown by measuring [...] Read more.
Restriction measures enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic had severe effects on male sexual and reproductive health. We aimed to investigate the real-life impact and perception of sexual function in 2020 in Italy, as the first Western country experiencing a national lockdown by measuring relative search volume for keywords pertaining to sexual health and behaviors provided by Google Trends and sales data for pro-erectile treatments. No significant change was observed for erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. Interest towards most phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors decreased significantly during lockdown (e.g., sildenafil, p = 0.0002; tadalafil p = 0.0016), then reverted to pre-lockdown levels (e.g., sildenafil, p < 0.0001; tadalafil p < 0.0001), mirroring a concomitant sales decrement (p = 0.0292). A subsequent recovery to previous levels at the end of the social confinement was also found (e.g., after vs. before lockdown, sildenafil, p = 0.8459; tadalafil p = 0.1166). During lockdown, interest towards pornography significantly increased during restrictions (p = 0.0053) and remained high (after vs. before lockdown, p = 0.0004), whereas interest towards paid and casual sex declined (p = 0.0015 and p = 0.049, respectively), then reverted to previous levels (after vs. before lockdown, p = 0.3969 and 0.8373, respectively). During the first Italian lockdown, we observed a transient but measurable decrease of sexual health-seeking behaviors and changes in sexual behaviors, with unknown impact for sexual medicine and public health. Full article
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Article
Migrant Domestic Workers’ Experiences of Sexual Harassment: A Qualitative Study in Four EU Countries
Sexes 2021, 2(3), 272-292; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sexes2030022 - 01 Jul 2021
Viewed by 560
Abstract
Sexual harassment against female migrant domestic workers is a public health problem, which remains hidden and largely underreported. The current paper presents the results of a qualitative research study on sexually victimized migrant domestic workers in four European countries (Austria, Cyprus, Greece, and [...] Read more.
Sexual harassment against female migrant domestic workers is a public health problem, which remains hidden and largely underreported. The current paper presents the results of a qualitative research study on sexually victimized migrant domestic workers in four European countries (Austria, Cyprus, Greece, and Sweden). The study aimed at exploring the profile and experiences of victimised individuals. Data were gathered via 66 semi-structured interviews with victimised female migrant domestic workers. Key findings of the current study indicate that the victims: (a) were usually undocumented and had low local language skills; (b) identified domestic work as the only way into the labour market; (c) suffered primarily psychological, economic, and social consequences; (d) had poor social support networks; (e) were poorly connected to governmental support services. This is the first study to explore this hidden problem via direct contact with victims. Addressing barriers of migrants’ social integration seems important. Better regulation and monitoring of this low-skilled occupation could minimise risks for vulnerable employees. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sexual and Reproductive Health of Female Migrants)
Article
Trauma Recovery of Greek Women Who Have Experienced Gender-Based Violence: A Narrative Research
Sexes 2021, 2(3), 256-271; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sexes2030021 - 27 Jun 2021
Viewed by 436
Abstract
In a society where women still suffer from oppression and injustice, research on gender-based violence (GBV) and trauma recovery path is considered a priority. Specifically, it was to be researched how the social and cultural obstacles can affect the help-seeking behavior of Greek [...] Read more.
In a society where women still suffer from oppression and injustice, research on gender-based violence (GBV) and trauma recovery path is considered a priority. Specifically, it was to be researched how the social and cultural obstacles can affect the help-seeking behavior of Greek women who experienced GBV. The data of this qualitative research were collected through narrative interviews and the analysis was carried out with the thematic analysis. The significant findings of the research were that the feelings of the women changed through the violent relationship, with the feelings of betrayal, guilt, and shame dominating. Moreover, the relative network was not notably utilized, while it seems that the women who utilized their social network were helped to evolve. Additionally, the feelings of guilt and shame stood out as an obstacle to help-seeking behavior and the functionality of the women was reduced on multiple levels during the period in which they experienced gender-based violence. Finally, the physical symptoms of the women during that period, such as musculoskeletal pain, numbing, and gastrointestinal problems, evoke great interest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sexual and Reproductive Health of Female Migrants)
Article
Gendered Experiences of Living with HIV in Australia
Sexes 2021, 2(3), 244-255; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sexes2030020 - 24 Jun 2021
Viewed by 369
Abstract
Globally, women represent more than half the people living with HIV. This proportion varies by country, with an over-representation of HIV among men who have sex with men (MSM) in some regions. For example, in Australia, MSM account for over 60% of transmissions, [...] Read more.
Globally, women represent more than half the people living with HIV. This proportion varies by country, with an over-representation of HIV among men who have sex with men (MSM) in some regions. For example, in Australia, MSM account for over 60% of transmissions, with heterosexual sex accounting for almost a quarter of transmissions. Irrespective of geographic region, there is evidence that women can have a different lived experience of HIV due to their unequal social and economic status in society, while MSM can have a different lived experience depending on the laws and customs of their geographic location. Gender differences related to risk factors, stigma, access to services, mental health, health-related quality of life and economic consequences have been consistently reported globally. This paper explores the subjective lived experience of gender and sexuality disparities among three individuals living with HIV in Australia: a male who identified as gay, and a male and female who each identified as heterosexual. Analysis of themes from these three case reports indicated discernible differences by gender and sexuality in four areas: access to medical services, social support, stigma and mental health. It is argued that knowledge and understanding of potential gender and sexuality disparities must be factored into supportive interventions for people living with HIV in Australia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sexually Transmitted Infections/Diseases)
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