The sexual double standard (SDS) is a pattern of divergent expectations concerning sexuality that dictates sexual restraint for women and girls, whereas it dictates sexual prowess for men and boys. Research shows that endorsing the SDS is related to negative effects for sexual and mental health, which are particularly strong for women. This paper offers an overview of the findings of four studies, part of the dissertation of Emmerink (2017), that explore SDS endorsement among heterosexual youth in the Netherlands. Study 1 focused on the development of a new questionnaire for the measurement of the SDS, assessing opinions on appropriate sexual behaviour of young men and women (“Scale for the Assessment of Sexual Standards among Youth” (SASSY)). The instrument demonstrated good psychometric qualities. Study 2 compared SASSY questionnaire scores (which measures conscious attitudes) with those on an indirect measurement (which measures attitudes of which people are unaware). While boys showed attitudes in line with the SDS on both the SASSY questionnaire and the indirect measure, girls showed an attitude in line with the SDS on the SASSY questionnaire, but a converse attitude (associating their own sex with sexual activity, instead of passivity) on the indirect measure. The SDS therefore seems to be working at different cognitive levels. Study 3 examined the relationship between SDS endorsement (the SASSY questionnaire) and demographic and psychosexual correlates. Men and religious youth showed higher SDS endorsement. This was also the case for men and women that attached more importance to masculinity/femininity. Only among men was a stronger sense of entitlement to sexual pleasure provided by a partner associated with stronger SDS endorsement. In Study 4 the relationship between SDS endorsement and sexual emotions and cognitions was addressed. For women only, a significant relationship emerged between stronger SDS endorsement and the experience of more negative emotions, mediated through decreased sexual autonomy. The results of the four studies point towards the SDS not being an extremely dominant attitude among Dutch youth (mean scores were generally low), but that some groups endorse it to a greater extent than others. Continued attention towards the possible effects of the SDS on young people’s sexuality seems warranted. Moreover, the results of the studies serve as pointers for future research, which could focus on the influence processes that underlie personal sexual attitudes in line with the SDS and on the personal lived experiences of sexuality and sexual autonomy. This last factor seems particularly relevant to study among girls and women.
The scientific study of young people’s sexuality is, understandably, increasingly addressing the role of social media. Social media as well as the related research are rapidly evolving. Any final conclusion on these moving targets would be inappropriate. Nonetheless, it may be useful to keep score where we’re heading. This article considers the recent literature related to social media and young people’s sexuality. The research discussed relates, among others, to the role of social media in sexual development, to the extent of (self )sexualisation on social media, to the effects of social media on young people’s (sexual) behavior and cognitions and to the empowering effects of social media. It may be concluded that there definitely is progress in our understanding of (sexual) behavior on social media and its consequences. Questions related to determinants of differences among young people, in behavior and use of social media as well as effects and experience thereof, are an important area of future research.
Purpose: To provide an overview of the sexual problems and care needs of adolescents and young adults diagnosed with cancer between 15 and 39 years old (AYA’s).
Method: Databases Pubmed (1946-2017) and PsychINFO (1806-2017) were used in June 2017 to search articles. Relevant articles were selected.
Results: Results of 14 studies, 11 quantitative and 3 qualitative, indicate the negative impact of cancer on sexuality of AYA’s. The female AYA’s experience problems with sexual arousal and interest, relaxation and enjoy during sexual contact, reaching an orgasm, vaginal lubrication, and dyspareunia. Men experience problems with arousal, erection, and ejaculation. Feelings of physical attractiveness and a decrease of sexual activity were seen as problems for men and women. AYAs who experience unmet sexual needs, indicate that they miss practical help, information and/or counseling.
Conclusion: AYA’s can experience sexual problems caused by and/or maintained by physical, psychological and social factors and thereby they can experience unmet needs.
Implication: Despite the increase in AYA care initiatives, more attention should be paid to the sexual problems and needs of this group. Age-specific interventions should be developed.
Background: In the Netherlands the most prevalent types of cancer are prostate cancer (19.5% in men), breast cancer (28.1% in women), colon cancer (15.5% in men, 12.8% in women), and lung cancer (12.0% in men, 10.4% in women). The five-year survival rate has increased in recent year, underscoring the importance of taking long term consequences into account in the decision making process of treatment options. Cancer
(treatment) can affect quality of life in various ways, including the impact on intimacy and sexuality. The aim of the present review is to give an overview of the impact of breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer and lung cancer on intimacy and sexuality.
Methods: The electronic databases of PubMed (MEDLINE), Cinahl and Web of Science were systematically searched for studies describing the impact of cancer (i.e. breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer) on intimacy and sexuality. Domains of interest were sexual function, sexual identity and sexual relation.
Results: The search strategy resulted in 80 studies, of which 45 on breast cancer, 20 on prostate cancer, 5 on colon cancer and 10 on lung cancer. Most studies were focussed on the negative impact of cancer (treatment)
on sexual function. Conclusion: Breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer and lung cancer (treatment) impact all domains of sexual functioning (sexual function, sexual identity and sexual relation). Both patients and partners should be informed about the impact of cancer on intimacy and sexuality. Patients and partners expect that professionals initiate the conversation about this topic.
The aim of this research was to investigate the association of intimacy with sexual desire and sexual thought content in the daily life of heterosexual men and women, including the moderation of the association of intimacy and sexual functioning by factors such as gender, attachment orientation and relational dissatisfaction. The Experience Sampling Method (ESM) was used for data collection. Due to the hierarchical nature of the data, with beep observations nested within days and within persons, multilevel linear regression analyses were used to investigate both cross-sectional (data recorded at the same beep) and temporal associations using time-lag analyses of data on consecutive beeps.
Higher feelings of intimacy with the partner were cross-sectionally associated with higher sexual desire and more sexual thoughts. Based on the observed temporal association in women, a relationship may be assumed between feelings of intimacy with the partner followed by the emergence of sexual thoughts. In men, however, higher intimacy was followed by lower sexual desire. In individuals with avoidant attachment orientation higher intimacy was also associated with lower sexual desire. In individuals with high relational dissatisfaction, intimacy with the partner was followed by a decrease in sexual thoughts at the next beep.
The results from the present study demonstrate an association between feelings of intimacy for the partner, sexual desire and sexual thoughts. There are also indications that intimacy in women can lead to increased sexual thoughts. In addition, the results show that in men perceived intimacy and characteristics of the relationship can decrease sexual desire and sexual thoughts. Insecure attachment also plays a role in the examined associations. The present findings might add to the rationale for relationship-focused interventions in clinical practice. They make clear how sexual desire and thoughts are connected to intimacy and where the process can be disrupted.
The article discusses some trends that took place over the past decades in the research field of young people and sexuality. Thereby reference is made to four articles that have been published in the Tijdschrift voor Seksuologie (TvS) between 1984 and 1989. These articles deal with the following topics: framing sexual problems of young people from a development perspective, questions about relations and sexuality for which young people seek help, young people’s concerns about masturbation, and the link between sexual norms and sexual behavior among young people and young adults. Concretely, the article discusses three trends that took place since the publication of these articles, thereby making use of the national and international research literature. Firstly, becoming sexually active is increasingly considered a normative development task rather than an avoidable risk. Secondly, changes in sexual behavior of young people can be linked to changing sexual norms. Thirdly, the article discusses possible shifts in the needs of young people regarding their sexual development.