Sexual Health Shame in Irish Women is the topic The Irish Times‘ journalist Geraldine Walsh speaks about to healthcare experts. The stigma associated with sexual health and barriers to receiving healthcare in Ireland for women. This articles mentions our sexual health education outreach project ‘Debunking The Myths‘, and features the project’s own sexual health expert...
Sexual Health Shame in Irish Women is the topic The Irish Times‘ journalist Geraldine Walsh speaks about to healthcare experts. The stigma associated with sexual health and barriers to receiving healthcare in Ireland for women.
This articles mentions our sexual health education outreach project ‘Debunking The Myths‘, and features the project’s own sexual health expert Doctor Karen Flood of RCSI and The Rotunda Hospital. She speaks about the difference between men’s and women’s health and research, and importance of sexual health education in shifting attitudes.
Her quotes from the article include
“Women’s sexual health remains yet another understudied aspect of women’s health. “When it comes to medical research and innovation, sexuality, as part of women’s health and wellbeing, remains vastly underrepresented,” says Dr Karen Flood, consultant obstetrician gynaecologist and maternal foetal medicine specialist at the Rotunda Hospital and senior lecturer in RCSI Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. “The comparison between the progress and availability of treatments for male sexual health and performance compared with women’s is stark.”
“The question of whether women are still subjected to negative moral judgments when it comes to sexual lifestyles is culturally and socially specific, but Dr Flood feels there has been a significant shift in our attitudes to sexual choice and lifestyle as we are “more enlightened, better informed, and with somewhat more gender-neutral perspectives on this subject. The recent changes in legislation and the preceding debate contributed to the empowerment of women to openly discuss their sexuality, bodies and choice.”
“The stigma of sex and pleasure for women has been noted to significantly impact a woman’s sexual and reproductive health. Protection from sexually transmitted infections, contraception, mental health support, maternity care and safe abortion care are all important to ensure women can have and maintain a positive wellbeing and sexual life. The taboo and stigma surrounding women’s sexual health can create barriers to women’s sexual health.”
“My main concern here would be that women may be afraid to seek advice or treatment on matters of sexual and reproductive health because of concerns of stigmatisation,” says Dr Flood.
“With better education and our efforts to debunk myths and misconceptions about female and male genitalia, and other matters associated with sex, pleasure and reproductive health, stigma will become less of an issue in the future. Educating young people through outreach initiatives such as Debunking the Myths: The Science behind our Sexual Health, will no doubt reduce the stigma and in turn make them more proactive in seeking reassurance or help if problems arise.”
The article also features Orlagh Reid accredited psychotherapist specialising in clinical sexology and sexual health promotion, and Lesley Gilchrist, registered midwife and co-founder of My Expert Midwife.
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