Category Archives: Research Results

Blog postings about outcomes of my PhD research examining young New Zealand women’s engagement with our current sexual culture.

Moral panics everywhere

One of the interesting things to come out of my research was the snapshot of the tone of moral panics in New Zealand pertaining to women’s sexuality, and how the media chooses to frame it (reflecting  political editorial agendas).

A pertinent example is the media coverage of Dr Albert Makaray, an Egyptian-Christian gynecologist who has had considerable airtime from the media.  His most classic description of young women analogises them to paddock-mating sheep.    In this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuVP9GW8Hlc) , he talks mostly about the problem of promiscuity and alcohol as related to female subjects – women are the most promiscuous, the most at risk.  What he doesn’t consider is the cultural discourse we have around teaching women that they have to protect themselves from being sexually assaulted, and not our young men about not sexually assaulting, and how New Zealand drinking cultural performances are particular to us as a country (and therefore not solely determined by chemistry and physiology).   What he is not referencing are the realities of the drink/sex culture, and how they are taken up by young people, beyond the ones he sees in his clinic.  Makary’s opinions are inaccurate and extreme fear-mongering: for example, he says that young people get drunk and have sex with whoever is beside them at the time.  If this was the case the the number of lifetime partners New Zealanders would have would far outstrip the 20 reported by Durex (whose survey may not necessarily represent a fair sampling of the nation).   And the young women I talked to would have had hundreds more sexual partners than they reported, as many were out drinking most weekends.

Beyond what he is saying, the fact is, he is quickly being picked up by the media and his voice disseminated through the social discourse as an attractor point of conversation.  A quick Google search of his name brings back over 100,000 results, highlighting the amount of media airtime he receives, and the number of those who are in some way engaged either in propagating his opinions (and using him as (what I consider to be) an ill-qualified expert (he is a practitioner, not a researcher)), or attempting to talk back to him/his proponents.

What also needs to be referenced is the use of his voice by the media and its moral/political agenda .  Media is a mechanism for shaping social discourses and they do so in a number of particular ways.  Because we as individuals often have no experience of the many of the events happening in the world we rely on stories from others and frequently use media sources to fill information gaps(1), often with an idea that there is a knowingness that presents information in a way superior to our own individual analyses – they are after all the experts/professionals, and we accept what they present as such.  What is, however, often washed out of the presentation of news events is the atypical nature of stories that make it to the headlines.  They are headlines because they are unusual, not common events. To make these suitable for inclusion in the drive to present more in less time, stories are cleaved of that very important point, along with other contextual information that would allow the judging/viewing public to make better assessments of the salience of stories, their reflections of the commonly lived experience, and their bearing on personal realities.

These issues are made more problematic when we consider how the media frames story-kinds.  Examination of, for example, how media frames stories of crime points to a predominance of punitive and individualist slants that place the cause of crime at the feet of the individual rather than examining its broader social issues (2). Framing of feminism and feminist activities also shows negative framing, away from the positive social impacts to a reduction of feminist agents/agency to harpies making mountains out of molehills.   These frames reflect political agendas – moral panics focus on risk towards political ends, and risk-focus always reflects a politics of social control and political investment.  When we hear about risk, we should ask ourselves, if we comply with risk-averse behaviour such as that being suggested, what does that mean in terms of broader social outcomes?

In this regard, what can we say about the over-representation of Makary in the media, especially in formal news sources, in comparison to those voices that would refute his claims, or argue differently regarding social issues?   The preference for sensationalising stories is obvious – headlines that describe young New Zealand women as mating in paddocks like sheep is bound to capture anyone’s attention.  Makary is aware of this – as a professional he does not use the language of his cohort, but chooses to use terms that will inflame and negatively frame in an attention-seeking way.  As do all of those with a cause.  His framing of young women reflects a highly vocal and powerful conservative politics in New Zealand that is very interested in maintaining a status quo of power differentials that locate efficacious social power and control primarily not in the hands of minority groups such as Maori, those with disabilities,  those in lower socio-economic bands, women, LGBTIQ,and so on, but in the hands of (most often) white, educated conservatives (usually men).  This political context provides significant privileges attached with not belonging to a minority, even if those that access those privileges are not active in enforcing them.

What is Makary supporting then?  He is not talking about a general adjustment of society – he is talking about a behavioural adjustment of one section of the population.  In his 2010 interview he noted that young women needed to return to their roles as sexual gatekeepers to keep a sexually uncontrolled male population in control. That promiscuity is the moral and social responsibility of women, in curbing their own sexual access and as a result curbing men’s.   To do this he stokes the moral panic that suggests young women have declining morals and self esteem, that they are promiscuous (doesn’t it take two people to have heterosex that results in unwanted pregnancy??).  Where in the past the moral panics around male sexuality and STIs put the onus on prostitutes as the source of the moral scourge, now Makary’s comments suggest that the problem of promiscuity is all about young women to the exclusion of young men – men now are less promiscuous – suggesting that instead of a few women servicing many men we now have a small number of men servicing many women.  Lucky chaps.  But more importantly, what this discourse suggests is a population of young women who are out of control.

We conceive of male sexuality as a biological drive that can be difficult for men to handle – it takes a strong and rational man not to succumb to his sexual urges, the dominant discourse goes.  But our discourse also places women as in control of a sexuality that is not as rampant and biologically driven – it is not obsessional or overwhelming and once it is turned on it it is not seen as a foregone conclusion that something must be done about it.  How then to account for these rampantly promiscuous women if they have no recourse to biology?  The evils of alcohol, lack of morality, low self-esteem, poor values system, lack of agency.  The list goes on.  Very few conversations come back to women wanting to have sex as rational agents.  Rather their many partners is a kind of moral or psychological pathology.  We don’t talk about those 20 partners as chosen, but only as the result of drunken one-night stands.   Needless to say, I didn’t talk to anyone who thought that their wanting to sleep with a variety of different men made them psychologically unwell, though many were aware that they may be judged that way.

What Makary is wanting is to curb the behaviour of young women and return us to a society where fewer people crossed his office threshold with STIs and unplanned pregnancies.  (Fair enough.)  And the way to do this is to reduce the number of people we sleep with.  I doubt the young woman who catches an STI from her first and only sexual partner would think that this strategy is of much help to her, however.  What Makary should be pushing for is a greater level of education about self-care and self-protection in sexual encounters.  And equally importantly he needs to push for education that teaches people how to care for and about those they are sleeping with.  When we consider that a large majority of negative complaints from young women regarding casual sex outcomes are to do with being poorly treated by either their casual sex partner, or their peer group (or fear of these things), it would suggest that how we treat people as experiencing ‘others’ is of primary importance.

Unfortunately care for the other directly contradicts moral panics and risk-culture propagation  where we are taught to consider the ‘other’ not as someone to be cared about but as someone who is a potential danger, a risk-vector of disproportionate negative consequences, that is it best to practice risk avoidance altogether than reap (disproportionately) negative outcomes.  So, don’t sleep with non-relationship partners, because he or she may have an STI, may not use protection, may sexually assault you, may negatively talk about you, may …. this is a very long list of cons.  The reality of course not so horrific.  Yes we do need to be mindful of our own safety, and that of others.  But to live in a culture of fear is to close down avenues of education and learning, of experience and enjoyment, of agency  action, response, evaluation, criticality, and common sense.  There is not room to care when fear is the disproportional emotional state.  And care, ethical self-care and care of the other, seems to me a much better solution to the problems inherent in contemporary western sexual culture than running around, drecying women who like to have sex with someone who isn’t a relationship partner.

Refs on request: Beale (2006);  (Green, 2009).

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Published

Well, finally, a return to the net.  You could be excused for thinking I’d run off somewhere to never return, but have no fear, I have only been suffering from a reasonably common academic malaise that I like to call ‘thesis aversion’.  Apparently many PhD writers go through this, where the idea of even looking at our research makes us run faster than a certain Mr Bolt in the other direction.  This is for no other reason than that we have been ‘eating’ intellectual cereal without milk for 4 or more years.  No matter how interesting it is to someone else, to us it is like reading Fifty Shades of Grey over, and over, and over ..

Never fear however, although many of us run, it is often  only in circles.  Thus we find ourselves back where we began …

Like all humble returns, this will be short and sweet, because I know I have to write something, but I just don’t know what that is.   So the easiest way to get out of doing anything substantive is just to go: Taadaaaaah! Here’s the link to the thesis if you want to take a look:  http://researcharchive.vuw.ac.nz//handle/10063/2366

Look at that! I’ve put up 100,000 words in the blink of an eye!  Now why couldn’t the writing process have been this easy?

For those of you sensible enough not to click through to my swipe at academic credibility a.k.a. thesis, stay tuned, results discussions are coming  Thanks for your patience.

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Going by the numbers

Finally, something more about the research!

I’m currently reading some work from a wonderful researcher in my field, discussing the difficulties of recruitment.  For researchers in fields looking at what is called sensitive topic research, it can be a real dilemma to get enough people together to talk to you about what is going on for them in the topic area.  The irony about this is that getting people talking about sensitive topics is a big inroad into improving people’s lives in these kinds of areas.  For example, no one likes to talk about domestic violence, but talking about it makes it visible, assessable, and then a proper target for social interventions at whatever level to help reduce this social blight can be found.   Which is why so many researchers focus on sensitive topics – these are often at the core of social issues and problems that greatly affect individuals.

I certainly didn’t expect my recruitment process to be easy.  Other researchers in the area of sex and sexuality have discussed how difficult it can be to get participants to interview, and to keep participating throughout the research.  The rate of attrition of participants can be quite high.  And not uncommon.

What surprised me most about my own research was the overwhelming response I had to my own recruitment process.  My expectations were far exceeded with respect to how long it would take for me to get the number of survey responses I needed, and the number of young women who would want to participate further.   The question I guess comes down to why on earth I had an easier time of it than some other researchers I have come across.

Really I have no definitive answers to that, but I think perhaps some of it comes down to a culture of lack of space for women to talk about sex.  Now, I think some of you will shake your heads here, and tell me that young women are talking about sex a lot.  A participant related to me overhearing a group of high school girls talking about the taste of semen in a public area.  This would suggest that there is little issue about talking about sex for women these days.  But what I want to suggest here is whether that is actually talking about sex, or engaging in a public performance that places the speaker as sexually experienced, and therefore, in today’s parlance, as ‘cool’/fashionable/knowing/etc.   Today’s culture is big on the idea that being sexually active is part of being a well-rounded and mature individual – sex is a necessary part of a healthy life, an adventurous life, an uninhibited life, shows you as skilled and capable and so on.  No  one wants to be thought of as a prude!  So talking about the taste of cum, yip, that situates you as sexually experienced,  but does it mean that you are talking about sex?  I’m not so sure on that.

And I think this is where I managed to have some success in recruitment, because I recruited young women on the proviso that they could talk about anything they liked about sex, but most importantly I wanted to hear their opinions on today’s sexual culture (for their age group).   I wanted to hear their gripes and insecurities and problems, and truimphs. I wanted to hear about all the things that it is not really that acceptable for them to talk about in a group – their virginities, their getting drunk and being taken advantage of, their flashing in public, their frustration at their partner’s lack of reciprocity in sex, that they were not sure what they wanted in bed, weren’t comfortable asking for what they wanted, had lousy sex but didn’t know how to fix it, and so on.

In an area where we are all supposed to have our shit together, talking about these things with our peers can sometimes be problematic.  One of the biggest factors participants of my research talked about as a factor that inhibits their sexual expression and experience was the wide range of stigma they could experience – from sexual partners, friends, family, work mates, religious leaders, medical practitioners.  And themselves.  Talking about our faults and insecurities in such a judgemental social context can therefore be a really big thing.   Talking about sex then can reduce to just talking about successes, rather than issues that once discussed can be normalised and examined and addressed.  Because no one wants to be judged.  At least not in a bad way.

Oh, and if you think this is a woman’s problem (which btw it kind of is, as the spaces available for women to be anything sexual let alone chatty have been very small for a very long time), just take a moment and try to recall the last time you heard a guy talk about not being able to get aroused, that he had lousy sex because it just felt mechanical and uncaring, or that he didn’t want to have sex with the girl at the bar he pulled becuase he actually liked/didn’t like/[insert reason here] her.  None of us are outside the social rules about talking about sex.

So when someone gives you the opportunity to talk about your insecurities and worries, well, particularly if its anonymous, I’d bet a lot of you would jump at it (and did).  Of course, there are a lot of other reasons young women participated, but considering what many of you had to say in reply to some very general questions, I’m guessing that this might have been a really good reason.

Which brings be to a larger point beyond how fortunate I was as a researcher to have so many wonderfully brave young women come forward to tell me about their experiences.  And that is the quality of conversations we as women have about our sex lives.  Now, you might think that as a researcher in the topic of sex I’d be a chatty Cathy about all things sexual.  And to be sure, that can be true, within particular contexts.  But that certainly wasn’t the case before I started my PhD.  It wasn’t until I was known as ‘the sex dr’ that my friends started talking to me about their sex lives in much more detail, and I started talking back.  Suddenly they (and I) had an excuse – asking me about the research presented opportunities for us to segue into their own sex lives.  It was great, and a good laugh, and comforting sometimes too.

These conversations are vitally important I think.  Sex is such a large part of our lives, in the contemporary context.  We are all beset by performance anxieties, pressures and fears, many of which could be reduced or removed if we sat and had a good conversation about things.  And not of the Cleo magazine kind – frankly talking about how to make ‘him’ cum does nothing for ‘your’ sex life.  We need to be having real conversations.  About things that really matter to us.  Because if the research is anything to go by, the issues are pretty homogeneous – we are all lamenting about the same stuff.  If we got talking, what we thought about ourselves that was worrisome of weird would probably turn out to be far more normal than we realise – giving us a chance to let ourselves off the hook, and move forward towards ways to resolve the issue for ourselves (which might go no further than simply realising that what you think is a problem isn’t one at all).

So here’s a little homework.  Have a ‘talk about sex’ night with friends – not one about how great Mr Y from Bar X was, but about all things real.  It may take a glass of wine to kick the conversation off, but I think it might be worth it.  And a lot less daunting that you think.  After all, sex is fun.  Talking about it, even the problematic, scary stuff, can be too.

 

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Its a Numbers Game… or what the results suggested pt 1

Before I get into the Sexual Risk Script, it’s worth taking a look at some of the results from the survey and the trends that popped up.

Considering that the survey is about sex I was somewhat surprised by the number of people that took it.  Sex is considered in research circles to be a sensitive topic, so as researchers we are cautioned to approach it carefully.  Participants jumped right on in however.  Which was great for me!  I had far more responses that I had ever anticipated, and it threw out some great information.  Young women certainly had something to say, and the results were full of surprises.

The first section of the survey dealt with definitions –what do young women consider hooking up to be, casual sex, fuck buddies, real sex, and so on.  These seem pretty commonsense terms, but nothing is ever that simple.

Real sex generally consisted of what we call PVI – penis/vagina intercourse (such a romantic term!)—for most participants.  Penetration was generally the benchmark activity for all sexual orientations—if piece A didn’t go in slot B, then it wasn’t sex.  Some also considered oral sex to be real sex.  Interestingly, only those who did not identify as heterosexual added things to the list of options that they considered to be real sex—they did things heterosexuals might do, but did not think to admit to.   Orgasm was also an important aspect—it was less likely to be real sex if there was no orgasm.  These two trends fit with two theories, or imperatives, that I will discuss later.

Hooking up was defined a wide range of activities.  Interestingly, despite what the media would suggest, for most participants hooking up didn’t often include PVI.  Usually it was kissing and fooling around—some groping, and maybe some genital touching, and just maybe oral sex.   Casual sex mirrored real sex, though oral sex was more likely to be part of casual sex than real sex—if that isn’t confusing…  What that difference means wasn’t really indicated, but I wonder if it has to do with reputational risk.  Casual sex wasn’t universally supported, and was often criticised, so in this regard it would make sense that casual sex would include more activities that would be negatively judged.  Oral sex with a stranger might earn a woman a bad rep, thus risky casual sex includes more socially risky behaviours… just speculating…

Anyway, what I ended up with was a nice little Venn diagram, showing the overlap of definitions participants presented:

Basically these definitions had lots of overlap, and the determining factors that influenced what degree of overlap there was for participants centred around age and sexual experience.  There seemed to be some consensus that the older you got the more your hook up experience should consist of—for example a hook up at 18 that is a bit of snogging is fine, but at 25 expectations might expand the hook up to some groping, perhaps oral sex and/or casual sex.   Analysing this, I’m inclined to read it as an example of social expectations—the older you are, the more experience you’re supposed to have had, the more sexual variety you are seeking with respect to activity.  This is all up for debate, but nevertheless, age and experience seemed to effect definitions and how much they overlapped.  This probably isn’t much of a surprise.

Participants were asked if they hooked up, had casual sex, and had fuck buddy arrangements.  Patterns were again fairly clear.  Most had hooked up, some had had casual sex, and a few had had fuck buddies.   Rates of engagement—how often participants had hook ups etc—also followed a reducing pattern.  Hook ups were most frequent, casual sex less so, and fuck buddies not so common.

What these results revealed was a general set of rules about non-relationship behaviours.  Hooking up was fine, most people did it, it was ok for a certain age group, and was generally socially acceptable as long as it didn’t get too close to the casual sex definition.  Casual sex was less acceptable but still permissible, but came with a number of inherent dangers (that I’ll discuss soon) that made it less likely to be engaged in.  For Fuck buddy arrangements this was less common.   In other words, risk factors reduced the likelihood that participants had engaged in activities that were progressively more towards real sex in a non-relationship situation.

This might suggest that young New Zealand women are a bit more risk-averse than you would think.  This trend within responses certainly made me sit up and take notice, and it was the first hint of the risk-aware nature of the participant group.  None of my participants indicated that they were running around having sex like sheep mating in a paddock (as the esteemed Dr Albert Makara so infamously suggested earlier this year).  Instead they indicated they enjoyed a fun hook up, but were weary of how far those hook ups would go.

Next time I’ll talk some more about the survey results, principally about what I called public sexual behaviour—public kissing, dirty dancing, stripping and flashing, and everything on the real sex list.

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Sex and Risk – Its Fun but …

This is the first of a series of posts I’ll be writing about my research results.  A number of interesting results came out the survey and interviews and a web discussion group.  Many are too large to be dealt with in a single posting – TMI – so I’ll tackle them piece by piece.  Feel free to offer comments or email me about what you’ve read.

My first major research finding is something I call the Sexual Risk Script.  One of the theoretical frameworks I used in the thesis is called Script Theory –we learn a number of scripts about how to behaviour in various social situations and bring these out in various circumstances and use them as they are or adapt them to the context and/or who we are and what we believe.  It’s a useful framework for providing some explanatory and descriptive information about behaviour.

The Sexual Risk Script is based in the large number of conditional statements that participants gave during their interviews and within the survey.  “It’s fun to hook up as long as you …” or “It’s fine to have casual sex as long as you …”   There was such a predominance of these kinds of statements that I began to see a pattern in the kinds of conditions (the ‘as long as you do x’ part of the statement) that many participants adhered to.  The Script therefore ended up looking like a list of rules or guidelines that should be considered when thinking about flashing your boobs at a bar, hooking up with a new guy, having casual sex, or starting a fuck buddy relationship.  Predominantly these conditions were risk-avoidant advice snippets, centring on sexual health, emotional/mental safety, partner-related safety, reputational safety, and self-control.

On a personal note, this was a difficult Script for me to come to grips with.  When I was growing up the dialogue around sex for young women involved a lot of scare tactics.  I was coming of age as AIDS began to be part of the sexual lexicon, and a huge mythology was circulating about how you could catch it and what it would do to you.  Sex ed focused on pictures of oozing sores and herpes blisters, and the ‘evils’ of STDs.  The shame of becoming pregnant in your early teens was also a weighty dialogue.  Sex education for me was an effective program of terror, basically.  How any of us ever managed to have sex … ?

Coming to this research I presumed that this fear-focus in education and social dialogue would have changed.  Young women are apparently having more sex with more partners, with greater frequency.  Surely young women are less fearful or risk-averse than I felt at similar ages.  Of course, that’s a purely subjective assessment.  It’s not something I could really know for sure.  But the appearance of the Sexual Risk Script out of all the statements and conversations had with participants during my research suggested that risk-focus is still a major orientation for young women, one that is not off-set by a pleasure-based dialogue that paints sex as something beyond risk – namely as something that can be fun, enjoyable, esteem-building, and subjectively satisfying.   This was a disappointing realisation for me.  I had hoped that our sexual culture had become more balanced in its treatment of female sexuality, that ‘sex=risk’ had evolved into something more.   What movement beyond this I came across was driven by participants and their personal experiences, and their own self-discoveries, rather than our social context.   Society still seems to be pedalling the same old stories.

Thinking about sex as risk is of course important, and that so many young women focused on this aspect of their sex lives highlights the efficacy of sex education and social messages around being safe sexually and protecting yourself against disease and ‘dangerous’ partners.  The importance of these aspects should not be undercut.  However, that there are few opportunities for young women to engage in alternative conversations about sex and their own desires and pleasures appeared to tip the balance towards danger-thinking at the expense of many other pleasurable aspects.   The only chat in town that many participants suggested was OK to talk about with respect to sex, was risk-oriented, despite many wishing they could talk more honestly and openly about sex and their sex lives.

This orientation towards sex – that risk-avoidance is central – was obvious in how participants talked about what they were OK with doing, what was OK for others to do, and what would happen if boundaries were crossed.  Basically, participants noted that young women could have a limited amount of fun.  There were certain things they could do safely without for example damaging their reputations, getting used, catching something, losing control and being slutty (or unfeminine), or being violated somehow.  Borderline behaviours could be done but carefully – be discrete, hide them away, tell people you were drunk or say it was only a hook up and hide it behind some ambiguity –caution and careful consideration was necessary.  Other behaviours were guaranteed to end in STIs and unwanted pregnancies, feelings of being used, getting coerced, being vulnerable to crazy guys, and being labelled a slut or a bitch or a skank.

Safe behaviours weren’t always guaranteed to be safe either.  Stigma and reputational damage were serious consequences for many participants, and due to the nature of judgemental observers, something as simple as making out with someone could have serious impacts, of which many participants were aware.   The Script’s cautionary nature therefore suggested that being sexual in any way outside of a relationship was a tricky undertaking.   The usefulness of the Sexual Risk Script was therefore obvious, as a way to help minimise negative consequences.    But it also had the not so great impact of significantly curtailing the kinds of things young women were able to do, narrowing the list of permitted behaviours to little more than kissing and erotic dancing.   Beyond, this, activities were potentially risky and could only be done within certain circumstances.

In my next post I’ll discuss the limits to behaviour more, and the kinds of conditional statements participants offered, that helped illustrate those limits.

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And so it begins …

Hi!

Well, after 3.75 years of research, I’ve finally submitted a thesis.  Yes, that’s 100,000 words about what young New Zealand women think about their sex lives, and the current sexual culture.  I have to say, it was some learning experience.  The young women I surveyed and interviewed had a lot to say about what they do and why, and the culture in which they do it in.  Some of it was surprising, some of it was not much different from my own early 20s (way back in the 90s), some of it was frustrating, but much of it was inspiring.

Over the next few months I’ll be writing about some of the things young women had to say, some of the big ideas that came out of a chorus of young women’s voices, and some of the theory I used to examine those ideas.  Hopefully it will be interesting, and if things go to plan, it might encourage a little deeper thought into how we think about women and sex.

The primary starting point of my research was to examine if much of the current hook up and party behaviour that is so often criticised and discussed in the media is, as some claim, empowering.  This is a pretty complicated question, for no other reason than trying to understand what empowerment actually is.  From this initial foundation the research evolved into something more interesting (at least in my mind) – namely a snap-shot look at how young women navigate the current sexual landscape. One apparently littered with judgement, stigma, stereotypes, STIs, potential rape and coercion,  exploitation, broken hearts and emotional vulnerabilities …  Participants certainly pointed out a lot of dangers and issues.  This risk awareness became a strong focus of my analysis, and I’ll discuss it in the next couple of posts.

A second area of interest that came out of the research was the ways in which young women are attempting to engage in sexual subjectivity development.  That is, how they go about being the subject of their own sexuality, rather than the object of someone else’s (think of all those girls we roll our eyes at who strip to get the guys’ attention).  As straight-forward as this sounds, there are a lot of social roadblocks that make this hard for women everywhere.  This was no less so for the women I talked to in the research.

A third area of note that rose to the surface during the research was how smart and critical many young women were, and how well they understood many critical analyses that have come out of academic research.  On the other hand, there were also some knowledge holes – ones I myself had, and wasn’t able to fill without doing a PhD.  And it got me wondering how young women would approach their sex lives if they knew some of the things that I have come to understand.  Maybe it wouldn’t change anything, maybe it would change something.   Either way, I figured a good way to address that question wasn’t so much to focus on publishing in academic journals that most people can’t access (why aren’t these things free?), but to write a book about sex, women, and the conjunction of the two.

I hope you keep abreast (no pun intended) of my postings.  I think my research was fascinating.  And at the very least it gives a bit of an insight into how some young women think and feel about their sex lives, how they approach it, and the consequences attached to it.   Things are not quite as the media would have you think.

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