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Initial CAPI questions for men women a. C More often to females males , and at least once to a male female. L More often to males females , and at least once to a female male. Sexual experience is any kind of contact with another person that you felt was. R Only with females males or a female male , never with a male female. Q More often with females males , and at least once with a male female. T About equally often with females males and with males females. B More often with males females , and at least once with a female male. Z Only with males females or a male female , never with a female male.

CASI questions for men women. Have you ever had any kind of sexual experience or sexual contact with a man woman? That is oral or anal oral sex or any other contact involving the genital area. Participants who reported having any sexual experience, or who refused to answer this question, were invited to complete the CASI, which included questions on same-sex sexual experience Box 1 , CASI questions. In addition, the CASI asked questions about the number of same-sex partners, including none, in different time periods ever and past 5 years [ 11 ].

We conducted analyses using the complex survey functions of Stata version 14 to incorporate weighting, clustering, and stratification of the Natsal-3 data. We present descriptive statistics by sex and age-group to examine variation in reporting of different dimensions of sexual orientation, and describe the extent to which they overlap. We apply our estimates to ONS census population estimates which coincide with midway through Natsal-3 fieldwork of men and women aged 16—74 years in Britain to quantify the size of sexual minority populations according to the different dimensions of sexual orientation.

All Natsal-3 participants were given an information leaflet to read prior to participation. In line with standard practice for UK surveys, and in response to evidence suggesting that signing a consent form might lead to a greater sense of obligation to complete the interview, we obtained verbal rather than written consent [ 12 ]. We ensured procedures for obtaining verbal informed consent via our interviewer training and protocols: interviewers were trained to make sure that participants had read the information leaflet and had the opportunity to discuss the study fully before the interview began; and at the beginning of each interview, interviewers were prompted on screen to remind participants that they could choose not to answer any question.

Interviewers had to confirm in the computer programme that respondents had read the information leaflet before commencing the interview. Lancet ;—94 due to error. Men and women who reported either never having felt sexually attracted to anyone or never having had sexual experience with anyone were excluded from the denominator. Among women, reporting of same-sex experience without any genital contact and same-sex sex ever and in the past 5 years declined with age. However, reporting of these experiences did not vary by age among men. Substantial incongruity exists between the three measures of sexual orientation at an individual level Fig 2 [ 13 ], particularly for women.

The size of the population in Britain who report lesbian, gay or bisexual identity is substantially smaller than the population reporting any same-sex attraction or sex Table 3. When the survey was completed in , there would have been an estimated , men who identified as gay or bisexual and this increases by , to 1,, reporting ever having had same-sex sex and then to 1,, for those reporting same-sex attraction. Similarly, , women are estimated to have identified as lesbian or bisexual and this increases by , to 1,, ever having had same-sex sex and then to 2,, for those reporting same-sex attraction.

Estimates of the size of the male population in Britain reporting same-sex sex in the past 5 years are similar to those reporting gay or bisexual. However, for women, the former population is larger. Larger population estimates are therefore obtained when applying the dimension of same-sex attraction or same-sex sex ever, while smaller numbers correspond to LGB identities and more recent same-sex sex.


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Natsal-3 is unique within Britain in collecting representative data on sexual identity, attraction and behaviour. As in other studies, we observed that the different dimensions of sexual orientation identify different groups of people[ 14 , 15 ]. We summarise the strengths and weaknesses of each measure in Box 2 to assist decision-making regarding the relative merits of each measure. More than a quarter of men and approximately half of women reporting same-sex sex in the past 5 years identified as heterosexual, which is why a focus on behaviour rather than identity or attraction is preferable in epidemiological studies of the transmission of sexually transmitted infections STI and HIV and for those concerned with sexual risk behaviours[ 16 , 17 ].

For example, sexual health services targeting gay men may be missed by men who have had recent same-sex sex but who identify as heterosexual or bisexual. Alternatively, organisations challenging discrimination and promoting rights may find sexual identity a more pertinent categorisation. Measure felt to be most closely related to discrimination and stigma. Will miss many people engaging in same-sex behaviour or reporting same-sex attraction.

Useful for e. Will depend on behaviours and time-frame considered. More recent same-sex behaviour will map more closely onto current sexual identity. Questions on sexual behavior may be perceived to be more sensitive any may therefore not always be appropriate. Would miss only a small number of people identifying as gay, lesbian or bisexual or engaging in same-sex behaviour. The ONS suggests that sexual identity is the component of sexual orientation most closely related to experiences of disadvantage and discrimination, and that collecting data on this aspect of sexual orientation will enable organisations to meet equality legislation[ 1 ].

It is perhaps for these reasons that a number of national surveys in Britain collect data on sexual identity using wording which is identical or very similar to the ONS question[ 18 ]. However, estimates varied substantially between surveys. It is important to consider the practical aspects of asking these questions, especially in terms of social acceptability. Lower non-response and higher reporting of sensitive sexual behaviours was also seen in Natsal-3 in a comparison of responses to sexual behaviour questions included in the Health Survey for England HSE , a nationally-representative general health survey[ 20 ].

Thus differences in the primary purpose of the surveys and therefore the context in which these sensitive questions are being asked, are likely partly responsible for variation in estimates. However, differences in sample composition and survey methodologies may also be responsible for variation, as we have demonstrated by comparing estimates from Natsal and web panels[ 21 ].

However, while these categories are widely used, sexual orientation does not always fit into such definable categories and may be better expressed on a continuum[ 22 — 24 ]. Furthermore, there is evidence that sexual orientation, or dimensions of it, is relatively labile and this may be especially true for women[ 25 — 27 ]. However, the questions on sexual attraction and experience asked in Natsal-3 go some way towards portraying the spectrum of attraction and behaviour experienced by participants to date rather than specifically at the time of the interview as both were worded in the past tense.

Same-sex experience may be regarded as a highly-sensitive behaviour, making people unwilling to respond to questions about it, even in a sexual health survey like Natsal. Including the sexual attraction and experience scales in the CASI section of the Natsal-3 questionnaire may have led to higher levels of reporting of same-sex attraction and experience since higher reporting of sexual behaviours has been seen with CASI[ 29 ].

However, only those reporting sexual experience were eligible to complete the CASI section, and therefore situating these scales in the CAPI section allowed us to calculate estimates of attraction and identity unrestricted by sexual activity. Minority groups are represented in small numbers, even in large surveys, which limits the extent to which survey data can be used to make inter-group comparisons. However, valid descriptive statistics can still be calculated. In common with other research[ 30 — 33 ], we demonstrate higher prevalences of LGB identities, same-sex attraction and same-sex sex in younger than older women and an increase in same-sex sex for women over time[ 10 ].

These changes were not seen for men. Research suggests that female sexuality is more fluid than male sexuality: both over the lifecourse, with experience of same-sex behaviour particularly likely when young[ 34 ]; and, particularly in the face of societal shifts[ 35 ]. Charles Rembar appealed a restraining order against it all the way to the U.

Supreme Court and won. In Memoirs v. By permitting the publication of Fanny Hill , the U. Only books primarily appealing to "prurient interest" could be banned. In a famous phrase, the court said that obscenity is "utterly without redeeming social importance"—meaning that, conversely, a work with any redeeming social importance or literary merit was arguably not obscene, even if it contained isolated passages that could "deprave and corrupt" some readers.

The court decisions that legalised the publication of Fanny Hill had an even more important effect: freed from fears of legal action, nonfiction works about sex and sexuality started to appear more often. These books were factual and in fact educational, made available in mainstream bookstores and mail-order book clubs to a mainstream readership, and their authors were guests on late-night talk shows.

Earlier books such as What Every Girl Should Know Margaret Sanger , and A Marriage Manual Hannah and Abraham Stone, had broken the silence and, by the s, in the United States it had become rare for women to go into their wedding nights not knowing what to expect. The open discussion of sex as pleasure, and descriptions of sexual practices and techniques, was revolutionary. There were practices which, perhaps, some had heard of. But many adults did not know for sure whether they were realities, or fantasies found only in pornographic books. The Kinsey report revealed that these practices were, at the very least, surprisingly frequent.

In Joan Garrity , identifying herself only as "J. The same year saw the appearance of Dr. Despite the dignity of Reuben's medical credentials, this book was light-hearted in tone. Though not an erotic treatise or sex manual, the book included frank descriptions of sexuality, and contained illustrations that could have caused legal problems just a few years earlier.

Show Me! Appreciated by many parents for its frank depiction of pre-adolescent sexual discovery and exploration, it scandalised others and was pulled from circulation in the United States and some other countries.

Sexual revolution

The book was followed in by Zeig Mal Mehr! In , Blue Movie , directed by Andy Warhol , was the first adult erotic film depicting explicit sex to receive wide theatrical release in the United States. In , Mona the Virgin Nymph became [ according to whom? The third, Deep Throat , despite being rudimentary by the standards of mainstream filmmaking, [ citation needed ] achieved major box office success, following mentions by Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show , and Bob Hope on television as well.

In , The Opening of Misty Beethoven based on the play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw was released theatrically and is considered by Toni Bentley the "crown jewel" of "the golden age of porn. By the mids and through the s, newly won sexual freedoms were being exploited by big businesses looking to capitalize on an increasingly permissive society, with the advent of public and hardcore pornography.

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This film, as well as Bergman's Sommaren med Monika The Summer with Monika , and Tystnaden The Silence , , caused an international uproar, not least in the United States, where the films were charged with violating standards of decency. Another of his films, , highlighted homosexuality. From these films the myth of "Swedish sin" licentiousness and seductive nudity arose. The image of "hot love and cold people" emerged, with sexual liberalism seen as part of the modernization process that, by breaking down traditional borders, would lead to the emancipation of natural forces and desires.

The films eventually progressed the public's attitude toward sex, especially in Sweden and other northern European countries, which today tend to be more sexually liberal than others. The somewhat more open and commercial circulation of pornography was a new phenomenon. Pornography operated as a form of "cultural critique" insofar as it transgresses societal conventions.

Manuel Castells claims that the online communities, which emerged from the s around early bulletin-board systems, originated from the ranks of those who had been part of the counterculture movements and alternative way of life emerging out of the sexual revolution. Lynn Hunt points out that early modern "pornography" 18th century is marked by a "preponderance of female narrators", that the women were portrayed as independent, determined, financially successful though not always socially successful and recognized and scornful of the new ideals of female virtue and domesticity, and not objectifications of women's bodies as many view pornography today.

The sexual revolution was not unprecedented in identifying sex as a site of political potential and social culture. It was suggested that the interchangeability of bodies within pornography had radical implications for gender differences and that they [ who? In Playboy stopped airbrushing pubic hair out of its centerfold picture spreads; this new addition caused the magazine to hit its all-time peak circulation of more than seven million copies in and men started having more choices when it came to magazines.

In Deep Throat became a popular movie for heterosexual couples. The movie played all over America and was the first porn movie to earn a gross of a million dollars. Pornography was less stigmatised by the end of the s, and more mainstream movies depicted sexual intercourse as entertainment.

Magazines depicting nudity, such as the popular Playboy and Penthouse magazines, won some acceptance as mainstream journals, in which public figures felt safe expressing their fantasies. Some figures in the feminist movement, such as Andrea Dworkin , challenged the depiction of women as objects in these pornographic or "urban men's" magazines. Other feminists such as Betty Dodson went on to found the pro-sex feminist movement in response to anti-pornography campaigns. In India, an organization named Indians For Sexual Liberties is advocating the legalization of the porn business in India.

The organization's founder, Laxman Singh, questioned the reasoning behind deeming as illegal the depiction of legal acts. The Industrial Revolution during the nineteenth century and the growth of science and technology , medicine and health care , resulted in better contraceptives being manufactured. Advances in the manufacture and production of rubber made possible the design and production of condoms that could be used by hundreds of millions of men and women to prevent pregnancy at little cost.

Advances in chemistry , pharmacology , and biology , and human physiology led to the discovery and perfection of the first oral contraceptives , popularly known as "the Pill. All these developments took place alongside and combined with an increase in world literacy and decline in religious observance. Old values such as the biblical notion of "be fruitful and multiply" were cast aside as people continued to feel alienated from the past and adopted the lifestyles of progressive modernizing cultures.

Another contribution that helped bring about this modern revolution of sexual freedom were the writings of Herbert Marcuse and Wilhelm Reich , who took the philosophy of Karl Marx and similar philosophers. The women's movement redefined sexuality, not in terms of simply pleasing men but recognizing women's sexual satisfaction and sexual desire. Feminist Betty Friedan published the Feminine Mystique in , concerning the many frustrations women had with their lives and with separate spheres which established a pattern of inequality.

The Gay Rights Movement started when the Stonewall Riots of crystallized a broad grass-roots mobilization.


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New gay liberationist gave political meaning to "coming out" by extending the psychological-personal process into public life. They no longer had to sneak around and occasionally receive the sexual attention that they desire or force themselves into a heterosexual relationship in which they had no interest, and was full of lies. Brad Gooch wrote in the "Golden Age of Promiscuity" that the gay male community finally had reached a rich culture of "easy sex", sex without commitment, obligation or long-term relationships.

Coinciding with second-wave feminism and the women's liberation movement initiated in the early s, the sexual liberation movement was aided by feminist ideologues in their mutual struggle to challenge traditional ideas regarding female sexuality and queer sexuality. Elimination of undue favorable bias towards men and objectification of women as well as support for women's right to choose her sexual partners free of outside interference or judgement were three of the main goals associated with sexual liberation from the feminist perspective.

Since during the early stages of feminism, women's liberation was often equated with sexual liberation rather than associated with it. Many feminist thinkers believed that assertion of the primacy of sexuality would be a major step towards the ultimate goal of women's liberation, thus women were urged to initiate sexual advances, enjoy sex and experiment with new forms of sexuality.

The feminist movements insisted and focused on the sexual liberation for women, both physical and psychological. The pursuit of sexual pleasure for women was the core ideology, which subsequently was to set the foundation for female independence.

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Although whether or not sexual freedom should be a feminist issue is currently a much-debated topic, [37] the feminist movement overtly defines itself as the movement for social, political, and economic equality of men and women. The feminist movement has helped create a social climate in which LGBT people and women are increasingly able to be open and free with their sexuality, [40] which enabled a spiritual liberation of sorts with regards to sex. Rather than being forced to hide their sexual desires or feelings, women and LGBT people have gained and continue to gain increased freedom in this area.

Consequently, the feminist movement to end sexual oppression has and continues to directly contribute to the sexual liberation movement. Nevertheless, among many feminists, the view soon became widely held that, thus far, the sexual freedoms gained in the sexual revolution of the s, such as the decreasing emphasis on monogamy , had been largely gained by men at women's expense.

As birth control became widely accessible, men and women began to have more choice in the matter of having children than ever before. The invention of thin, disposable latex condoms for men led to widespread affordable condoms by the s; the demise of the Comstock laws in set the stage for promotion of available effective contraceptives such as the diaphragm and cervical cap ; the s introduction of the IUD and oral contraceptives for women gave a sense of freedom from barrier contraception.

The opposition of Churches e. Humanae vitae led to parallel movements of secularization and exile from religion. Beginning in San Francisco in the mids, a new culture of " free love " emerged, with thousands of young people becoming " hippies ", inspired by Indian culture, who preached the power of love and the beauty of sex as part of ordinary life. This is part of a counterculture that continues to exist. By the s, it was socially acceptable for colleges to permit co-ed housing.

Free love continued in different forms throughout the s and into the early s, but its more assertive manifestations ended abruptly or at least disappeared from public view in the mids when the public first became aware of AIDS , a deadly sexually-transmitted disease. Premarital sex , heavily stigmatised for some time, became more widely accepted. The increased availability of birth control and the legalisation of abortion in some places helped reduce the chance that pre-marital sex would result in unwanted children.

By the mids the majority of newly married American couples had experienced sex before marriage. Central to the change was the development of relationships between unmarried adults, which resulted in earlier sexual experimentation reinforced by a later age of marriage. On average, Americans were gaining sexual experience before entering into monogamous relationships. The increasing divorce rate and the decreasing stigma attached to divorce during this era also contributed to sexual experimentation. Americans were becoming less and less interested in getting married and settling down and as well less interested in monogamous relationships.

The idea of marriage being outdated came from the development of casual sex between Americans. With the development of the birth control pill and the legalization of abortion in , there was little threat of unwanted children out of wedlock. Also, during this time every known sexually transmitted disease was readily treatable. Swinger clubs were organizing in places ranging from the informal suburban home to disco-sized emporiums that offered a range of sexual possibilities with multiple partners.

In New York City in , Larry Levenson opened Plato's Retreat , which eventually shut down in under regular close scrutiny by public health authorities. Fraenkel believes that the "sexual revolution" the West supposedly experienced in the late s is a misconception, and that sex is not actually enjoyed freely, rather observed in all the fields of culture, a taboo behavior called " repressive desublimation ". Allyn argues that the sexual optimism of the s waned with the economic crises of the s, the massive commercialization of sex, increasing reports of child exploitation, disillusionment with the counter-culture and the New Left, and a combined left-right backlash against sexual liberation as an ideal.

The discovery of herpes escalated anxieties rapidly and set the stage for the nation's panicked response to AIDS. Among radical feminists , the view soon became widely held that, thus far, the sexual freedoms gained in the sexual revolution of the s, such as the decreasing emphasis on monogamy , had been largely gained by men at women's expense.

Although the rate of teenage sexual activity is hard to record, the prevalence of teenage pregnancy in developed nations such as Canada and the UK have seen a steady decline since the s. By , this number had declined to Home Preventing abuse Keeping children safe Healthy sexual behaviour. Healthy sexual behaviour Your guide to keeping children safe, spotting warning signs and what to do if you're worried. The stages of normal sexual behaviour There are 4 phases of childhood sexual development. Infancy from 0 to 4 years. Even at this stage, sexual behaviour is beginning to emerge through actions like: kissing and hugging showing curiosity about private body parts talking about private body parts and using words like poo, willy and bum playing "house" or "doctors and nurses" type games with other children touching, rubbing or showing off their genitals or masturbating as a comforting habit.

Young children from 5 to 9 years. As children get a little older they become more aware of the need for privacy while also: kissing and hugging showing curiosity about private body parts but respecting privacy talking about private body parts and sometimes showing them off trying to shock by using words like poo, willy and bum using swear and sex words they've heard other people say playing "house" or "doctors and nurses" type games with other children touching, rubbing or showing others their private parts.

Pre-adolescents from 10 to 12 years. Adolescents from 13 to 16 years. As puberty kicks in, sexual behaviour becomes more private with: kissing, hugging, dating and forming longer-lasting relationships being interested in and asking questions about body parts, relationships and sexuality using sexual language and talking about sex with friends looking for sexual pictures or online porn masturbating in private and experimenting sexually with the same age group. How to react to sexualised behaviour Learning about sex and sexual behaviour is a normal part of a child's development.

The way you respond is important If you're too disapproving or imply that sex shouldn't be spoken about then your child may be less likely to come to you with any questions or worries they might have. Warning signs that something's not right Sexualised behaviour which is significantly more advanced than you'd normally expect for a child of a particular age or which shows a lack of inhibition, could be a cause for concern.

Other warning signs include: sexual interest in adults or children of very different ages to their own forceful or aggressive sexual behaviour compulsive habits reports from school that their behaviour is affecting their progress and achievement. Try these tips: Tell them that they can always talk to you about sex, and try to have ongoing conversations.

Look at what may have caused the behaviour.

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Is there a family member who may have been an influence? Have they been looking at unsuitable websites, music videos or computer games? Find out about online safety and what blocks or parental controls you can put on computers, tablets and phones. Talking about sex and consent Start talking early. You could try: having short, informal chats now and again using everyday situations to strike up the conversation, such as seeing a pregnant woman or discussing stories in the media using humour if it makes it easier. Safe sex. Consent and the law. Talking about difficult topics There are lots of ways to make it a bit less painful for you both when it comes time to talk about a 'difficult' subject.

Healthy and unhealthy relationships Lots of young people contact Childline about their relationships. More support and advice. Online porn It's normal for young people to be curious about sex and relationships. Sexting How to talk to children about the risks of sexting - and what you can do to protect them. Childline Childline is our free, confidential helpline for children and young people.

Donate now On average, a child contacts Childline every 25 seconds. Menu Menu Home What is child abuse? What we stand for Back Child protection in the UK Back Legal definitions of a child and their rights Parental mental health Parental substance misuse.