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Let’s talk about Natsal

uclektm28 January 2014

If you were to sum up the results of the third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal), it would go something like this: gay marriage is fine, cheating is bad and sexual behaviours can be hindered by bad health.

Natsal infographic (http://www.natsal.ac.uk/)

Natsal infographic – number of partners
(Credit: http://www.natsal.ac.uk/)

You could also explain the results much more eloquently, as did Professor Dame Anne Johnson (UCL Infection & Population Health) in her Lunch Hour Lecture, ‘Studying sex comes of age.’

Statistics are tricky. In theory, they should confirm what we already know empirically, but often they still manage to surprise. In this regard, I found Professor Johnson’s talk a mixed bag of expectations met and surpassed. (more…)

Sex work today: myths, morals and health

James M Heather10 December 2012

World AIDS Day fell on 1 December, providing a fitting backdrop for the latest Lunch Hour Lecture, on the sex industry. Or perhaps it’s not that fitting, as UCL sociologist Professor Graham Scambler set out to dispel some common misconceptions about sex workers.

Professor Scambler has spent a number of years studying the health issues, sociological factors and stigmas attached to the world’s oldest profession, and in this talk presented data gathered largely in, or relating to, London.

Society holds a great many conceptions about sex workers, a large number of which are both offensive and – more importantly – incorrect, and this lecture started by debunking some of the most pervasive.

Starting with sexually transmitted infections (STIs), he revealed that sex workers are not always at higher risk, as research undertaken in London in 1993 revealed.

(more…)