Midnight show to unmask sex

China, December 06, 2004 – China Daily

Producers of “The Mask” are hoping Chinese audiences are ready for some straight talk on a subject that’s usually greeted with bashful blushes. Set to debut on January 1, the half-hour TV talk show will explore sexual issues that arise in the daily lives of the Chinese people, with a group of experts sitting in to offer advice. The difference between this show and others is that “it will go directly to the point instead of beating around the bush,” said the Beijing Shixi Media Company, “The Mask”s producer. “Any question can be raised and explored in depth on the show so that concrete sexual problems can be resolved in a realistic way,” said Li Xichen, president of Shixi Media. “Our ultimate goal is to teach adults the right methods for handling their problems,” he said. A six-hour online survey by the China Youth Daily and sohu.com found that 93 percent of the respondents said they would watch the program. More than 88 percent said the program is appearing “at the right time,” when Chinese society has advanced to a relatively mature stage. And 56 percent said their main purpose for watching the show would be to find answers to their own problems. “I would like to be a guest on the show,” said Xiao Liang, a student at Beijing Normal University. “If normal channels for sexual knowledge are blocked, pornographic Websites will just take their place.” The show is called “The Mask” because guests will wear masks that cover most of their faces and hide their identities. The masks will be color-coded to signify the particular problem the guest is facing, producers said, without elaborating. “Since there is no law that prohibits people from chatting about sexual issues on a TV show, we want to be the first one to do it,” said Liu. “The rising incidence of AIDS and venereal diseases has forced the re-emergence of sexual health and ethics topics into the public view.” In his view, the central government’s approval of condom ads can be taken as a sign that the national policy on sex-related issues is becoming more liberal. “We have to make it clear that the show is designed as a sex education program for adults – not porn,” said Liu. Ms Hao, who works in a primary school in Beijing and was a respondent to the survey, said the program must be careful to avoid obscenity. “It’s really a great thing to promote such a program in China,” said Li Yinhe, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. “We hope it will spread not just correct sex knowledge, but also correct sex concepts.” Commented Mr Guo, a military officer in his 50s: “I’m not sure I will watch it, but I wouldn’t stop my college-age daughter from watching it.”

*****

Risk of sex attack fills women with dread during Eid al-Fitr vacation

Egypt, May 5, 2016 – Egypt Independent

In their youth, many Egyptian girls will have looked forward to the Eid al-Fitr holiday each year, excited about wearing the new clothes, performing the Eid prayer, and visiting public gardens with their family. However, as they grow older, they increasingly find themselves viewing Eid as a nightmare, a time of stress and worry due to the dangers of sexual assault. The phenomenon of serious verbal and physical assault on women during Eid has been on the rise in recent years, say campaigners, a phenomenon that has ruined the happiness of many females across Egypt. While sexual assault is endemic in Egypt, it is particularly prominent during national holidays, with Eid al-Fitr among the most dangerous times for women to be in public places. In 2006, the problem gained international media attention when several women suffered a brutal sexual attack in downtown Cairo on the first day of Eid. “The girls were panicked and were running about everywhere with tears on their faces. They came to our clothes shop to shelter from the attackers,” a shop owner told journalists at the time. Nine years later, the problem was just as bad, if not worse, with 447 verbal and physical sex attacks reported during the 2015 Eid holiday, according to the “I Saw Harassment” initiative. Of those reported, two were attributed to members of the security forces. “I never go to a cinema or any crowded places because of sexual harassment,” says 24-year-old designer Heba Hashem. “But that does not mean we have to stay at home depressed and never go out due to our fear. I usually hang out with my family and friends, but in quiet places.” Heba urges the government to step up efforts to stop sexual harassment, making their presence felt in public spaces. Amira Selim, a 20-year-old medical student, is likewise cautious about her movements during Eid. “Every Eid I feel afraid to leave my home,” she says, “but that doesn’t mean I stay at home all through the vacation. I usually go to high-quality restaurants or quiet places where I won’t find the harassers you would come across on the street.” Selim says she usually avoids crowded places and tries to take a lift from her parents if she wants to go anywhere. Salma Emad, 22, who works in HR, says that she never goes out during the vacation. “Sometimes I feel very bored staying at home, but this feeling is much better than the scenes of sexual harassment I see in the streets every Eid,” she says. Houswife Hanan Mohamed, 40, says that she and her family avoid the city streets during Eid. “When we were young, we could not wait for Eid to wear the new clothes and to go on picnics with our families in the gardens,” she says. “But now the situation is horrible and unsafe. I never let any of daughters leave home alone during Eid due to the disgusting scenes we are used to seeing of sexual harassment in the streets. We either travel or stay indoors.” Nagwa Ahmed, meanwhile, says that the situation is worse for Cairo families on a low income, since they cannot afford to travel far, and the sorts of places they visit locally — such as public gardens, feluccas or the Nile Corniche — are swarming with harassers. This year, the government says it is making a special effort to reduce the level of harassment and sexual assault, deploying security forces on the streets and other public places in large nubmers. As well as the uniformed presence, the Interior Ministry says it is deploying security personnel in plain clothes to monitor the situation and respond to any incidents. The ministry’s efforts are being backed up this year by the National Council for Women (NCW), which has been urging proper precautions to prevent attacks. Maya Morsy, president of the NCW, said in a statement that the organization has worked with the ministry to set up a hotline to deal with complaints about harassment, allowing people to report incidents or dangerous situations. The NCW hotline number is: 15 115. Morsy says that a group of NCW lawyers will support women who wish to file a lawsuit alleging assault, as well as acting as go-betweens with the police. The NCW efforts are part of its “Emsek Motharesh” (Catch a Harasser) initiative this year, which aims to turn the tables on harassers, identifying them to police and seeking to prosecute them for their crimes. The same campaign has also issued advice to women with a view to helping them stay safe this Eid. In a press statement, the NCW listed various places that are plagued by harassers, including: the gardens of Asmak, Orman Fustat and Maryland, along with Giza Zoo and Al-Azhar Park. “During the Eid vacation most Egyptian gardens are transformed from a pleasant garden where people can enjoy the beauty of nature into a painful experience that terrifies any girl who wants to exercise her legitimate right to hang out with her friends or family. The verbal and physical assaults of harassers spoil her happiness and the experience remains engraved in her memory as a black event that happened during Eid,” says the campaign literature. The campaign also involves direct action to respond to incidents as they occur. About 200 volunteers will be deployed in key spots in Cairo, and 50 others in other cities, working in groups of 10. Male volunteers will physically intervene if they see women being attacked. The role of female volunteers is limited to the psychological rehabilitation of girls who were subjected to harassment, as well as publicizing the campaign hotline. Volunteers in Cairo will be focused in the downtown area, particularly in the areas around three cinemas: Miami, Rivoli and Metro. They will patrol Talaat Harb Street, 26 July Street, and the areas around Tahrir Square, Abdel Moneim Riad Square, and Kasr Al-Nil bridge. They will also be present along the Nile Corniche, on the river boats, in Haram Street and Gamet al-Doawl Street. Similar patrols will take palce the cities of Alexandria, Port Said and Ismailia. Women planning to go on picnics during Eid are also encouraged to save the Interior Ministry’s hotline numbers in their phones: 01126977222 and 01126977333. Two more numbers, both from the Emsek Motharesh initiative, should also be saved in case of emergency: 01280183137 and 01157015570. Morsy says that Egyptian law is very clear on the illegality of sexual harassment and such behaviour should not be tolerated. “The 2014 Constitution includes more than 20 articles protecting Egyptian women, most notably Article 11, which states that ‘the nation is committed to protecting women from all forms of violence,'” Morsy said. There is also the law against sexual harassment, added to the penal code in 2014, which criminalizes sexual harassment and sets the punishment at not less than six months in prison and a fine of between LE3,000 and LE5,000.

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Rising porn addiction in Indian youth worrying: Experts

India, June 10, 2015 – Deccan Herald

While young adults across several Western countries are feeling the ill-effects of excessive online porn, the sudden spurt in online access has also put Indian teenagers at such risk, warn behavioural experts. According to sex and behavioural sciences experts, sex is one of those abiding mysteries to which teenagers seek an answer. Today it’s much easier to reach out for answers through the social media or the general web. But often the answers come in the form of pornography, say experts. “I would blame the ignorance regarding sex more than on any other factor. People need to learn first what healthy love-making is all about. Porn is, however, a mixed bag,” Dr Sudhakar Krishnamurti, director of Andromeda Andrology Centre in Hyderabad, told IANS over phone. He is known to be the first Indian doctor to exclusively practise clinical andrology, the branch of medicine that deals with disorders of the male reproductive system. “An educated man or woman will treat porn not just as a tool for carnal pleasure but for enhancing the overall experience of being together. This is not the case with teenagers who watch it for fun and get trapped,” says Dr Krishnamurti. The fear is that easy online porn access may predispose many young people towards risky sexual behaviours, especially in a country which, at 356 million, has the world’s largest youth population. Excessive porn viewing may also lead to problems later in married life. Dr Samir Parikh, director of mental health and behavioural sciences at Fortis Hospital in New Delhi, is dealing with several young adults whose marriages have been affected by porn. One such case is of Sumit Agarwal (name changed). A 26-year old married man, he would watch pornography for three to seven hours every day. According to the doctor, initially, the couple felt intimate. But over time, Sumit began spending more time away from his wife watching porn alone. “Differences between his wife and him began to grow. Apart from the effect on their sexual relationship, his wife found an emotional distancing, resulting from a lack of intimacy and unrealistic expectations from the relationships,” Parikh said. According to India’s leading sexologist Dr Prakash Kothari, “porn addiction depends on an individual’s personality where the desire is uncontrollable; the need is unquenchable and the behaviour is compulsive”. When a young individual reaches this stage, immediate treatment is required because the basic pathology is present in the mind itself, he adds. Dr Sameer Malhotra, Director of the department of mental health and behavioural sciences at Max Super Speciality Hospital in New Delhi, agrees: “Excessive porn viewing could be reflective of compulsive trait/behaviour in an individual”. He recently treated a young couple where the husband had a compulsive need to watch porn clips for arousal, making his wife feel inferior. Consequently, the sex act, for her, was mechanical. “This led to significant marital conflict in their relationship. With treatment, the man has significantly improved and the marital bond has grown stronger,” Dr Malhotra told IANS. Of late, Dr Manish Jain, senior consultant (psychiatrist) at BLK Super Speciality Hospital in New Delhi, has also been witnessing many such cases. A young marketing professional visited him with complaints of violent obsessive behaviour and low energy levels. During a psychotherapy session for the couple, the wife revealed that he would try unnatural ways of sexual intercourse with her. He would force her to see and replicate what was being shown in pornographic movies. “Overall, the frequency of intercourse decreased to about once a month,” Dr Jain said. Experts believe that sex education for schoolgoing children may be an answer to avoid obsessive behaviour with porn later in life. “Children need to learn to critically evaluate whatever messages they receive, understand the motives and, most importantly, distinguish what is real from fiction,” stresses Dr Parikh. “Age appropriate and sensitively handled sex education can help in preventing risky behaviour, addressing myths associated with sexual issues,” Dr Malhotra emphasises. Parental guidance of age-appropriate surfing may also help, they say. Recently, a leading sexologist in Denmark called for pornography to be shown in the classroom. According to professor Christian Graugaard of Aalborg University, it can help teenagers become “conscientious and critical consumers” who are able to tell the difference between pornography and the reality of sexual relationships, the Guardian had reported. That may seem a bit extreme for Indian parents, but appropriate sex education may sift the myth of exaggerated ability that porn projects from healthy sex that everyone can enjoy.

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Why Burundi needs a sex scandal to be noticed

Kenya, June 22 2013 – The East African

If you were in Nairobi, Kampala, Dar-es-Salaam and I suspect Kigali by the afternoon of Friday, June 14, you would have read the details of the budgets of all the East African Community countries except one — Burundi. Indeed, The East African, which came out a day later, had extensive reports on the EAC budgets – except, again, Burundi’s. This conformed to a pattern that we have seen since Burundi and Rwanda joined the EAC in 2009. Burundi rarely gets any action. This Burundi isolation is puzzling. Some people argue that it is because its main foreign language is French, unlike the other four who speak English. However, Senegal, which is far away in West Africa, is French-speaking, and no one there can utter even a word of Kiswahili, which many Barundi speak, but it still gets more play in the East African media than Burundi. Okay, it is one of Africa’s smallest countries, yes, but it is bigger than Rwanda, which cannot complain of inadequate coverage. In fact, Rwanda gets too much press, although some of it, according to Kigali, is of the “wrong” kind. So size is not the issue. One could say that it uses a currency, the franc, which East Africans don’t understand. But then so does Rwanda. Burundi only appears when the regional media go the extra kilometre to cover it. So what can Burundi do to get East Africa’s attention? Well, to start with, it needs to host a big private sector event, not just government and state sector stuff. If I were President Pierre Nkurunziza, I would channel money through a civil society group or something not directly associated with the government, and hold a big East African Bloggers conference. True, that will bring a lot of badly dressed people to Bujumbura, but they are smart and would get Burundi’s story not just around East Africa, but the world. Second, Nkurunziza needs to ensure that a Burundi football club becomes the winningest team in the region. However, that alone wouldn’t do it. He needs to steal a leaf from his neighbour President Paul Kagame’s book, and set up the Nkurunziza Cup (with a handsome cash prize in dollars, not francs) for which East African teams compete. But it is really the youth market Burundi needs to break into. And music is the route. Nairobi-based but Burundi-born Kidum is the country’s most famous musician in the region. However, Kidum is too much of a gentleman. The country needs a colourful, controversial and wild musician like Uganda’s Chameleone, who seems to smoke and drink strange things, falls through his hotel room window, and is forever getting involved in car crashes.

***** Positive Trend in Young Men Attending Sex Workshops

Naimbia, September 27, 2006 – Newera

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Judge: Rape facilitates a natural society where  men are protectors

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By William J. Mbangula OSHAKATI There is a satisfying trend with regard to active participation by young men in meetings on adolescent and sexual reproductive health aimed at combating the spread of the HIV/Aids pandemic. The Manager of the People’s Health Project (PHP), Joseph Ashipala, in an interview with New Era expressed this view recently. The PHP is a youth-initiated project which conducts educational meetings with the youth on socio-economic development including health matters such as HIV/Aids, cleaning up of degraded environments, and others. On adolescent and sexual reproductive health, the PHP has so far conducted three workshops since 2004. Ashipala says the attendance rate shows a positive trend among young men’s participation. Unlike in the past, female adolescents mostly attended such meetings. “We normally call the youth together to share information on how to protect themselves against sexually-transmitted diseases, including HIV/Aids. It is therefore very important for men to attend because they have the power and influence when it comes to sexual activities,” said Ashipala. During the week-long (September 24-29) UNFPA-sponsored sensitization workshop at Oshiko outside Ongwediva, various issues were discussed by the youngsters, among these anatomy and physiology, male and female sexual organs, rape, self-esteem and decision-making, sexuality through lifestyles, child maintenance, domestic violence, love, sex and relationships, partner communication, conflict resolution, abstinence, faithfulness and condom use, how to use anti-retriviral drugs. Young people attended the workshop from various constituencies in Oshana region. It was addressed by, among others, representatives of the Ministry of Justice, Safety and Security, Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Yelula Project and Unam. Officially opening the workshop, the Councillor for Ongwediva constituency, Silverius Ekandjo, urged the youth to emulate the culture and traditions of their foreparents which considered sexual relationships taboo until marriage. “I should frankly state that the mushrooming of orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs) in our country is due to the immoral behaviour in irresponsible sexual intercourse. During this process, parents are dying from the HIV/Aids pandemic. As a result, the government is now spending a lot of money to sustain people living with the disease as well as to care for the OVCs,” Ekandjo noted.