Some big stigmas still exist around women’s sexual health
| Headline Health – What’s the difference between a “stigma” and the cold, hard truth?
It can often be a matter of perception.
Take sexually transmitted infections (STIs); the fact that they may be “stigmatized” is of little consequence compared with the fact that they are bad for you, and that some can actually kill you.
A recent story from the lifestyle site Bustle explores so-called stigmas surrounding women’s sexual health …
Bustle – For the fourth year in a row, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are at an all-time high in America, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Physicians only spend an average of 36 seconds talking about sexual health during checkups, and research shows that oftentimes STI shame prevents people from getting tested.
And, with a sex-negative culture continually telling us that women who enjoy sex are “sluts” and getting an STI means you’re reckless and “dirty,” it’s really no wonder the number of STI cases aren’t slowing down any time soon.
The stigma surrounding STIs is alive and well, and it’s preventing us from talking about — and prioritizing — our sexual health. And new data shows the silence around our sexual health is causing an imbalance in our relationships, too.
To get the conversation going, we asked survey participants to tell us the biggest stigma that still exists surrounding how we talk about women’s sexual health. In their own words, here’s what they said.
“There’s Still So Much Slut-Shaming”
“Having a lot of sex or sexual partners is still considered ‘slutty,’ so people are less likely to talk about the risks, because the blame falls on the women for being too sexually active.”
“Women are shamed about having sex because if they have sex, they’re sluts and if they don’t, they’re prudes.”
“We Don’t Talk About Women As Sexual Beings”
“The fact that women are sexual still blows people’s minds, which hurts our ability to feel comfortable asking necessary questions.”
“The Stigma Surrounding STIs Is High”
“Guys are always SO shocked when I ask them to get tested if they’ve never been. I don’t ask for their number! I get tested every year, but they make me feel guilty for asking the same of them.” Read more.
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