Some sexual health experts are concerned that entertainment media promote undesirable forms of sexual practice among young people – including promiscuity and premarital sex. Such concerns are problematic. It is wrong to insist that there is only a single ‘normal’ kind of sexual practice in which all people should engage. Such an approach is heteronormative, relying on a model of healthy sexuality that is vanilla, monogamous and loving. Models of sexuality that do not fit this model – including casual sex, kinky sex, anal sex, BDSM and group sex – are condemned as unhealthy.The Promoting Healthy Sexual Development research group at QUT developed a framework of sixteen domains of healthy sexual development. These are: freedom from unwanted activity; an understanding of consent; education about biological aspects of sexual aspects; understanding of safety; relationship skills; agency; lifelong learning; resilience; open communication; sexual development should not be ‘aggressive, coercive or joyless’; self-acceptance; acceptance that sex can be pleasurable; understanding of parental and societal values; awareness of public/private boundaries; and competence in mediated sexuality.
2011 Australasian Sexual Health Conference, 'Sex in the City', recorded in September 2011 Canberra, Australia.