• Thanks to modern technology, pornography has become more accessible and more normal than ever, and sex educator Maree Crabbe says it is a pervasive problem.
• Australian health authorities have decided against recommending routine monitoring for patients on new blood-thinning medications used to prevent or treat blood clots.
• An Afghanistan war veteran has been visiting Western Queensland to talk with drought-affected graziers about men’s mental health.
The Health news on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 5th June 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.
“Some boys or girls, they expect that sex is violent — [that] it is okay to use chains or whips, to hurt someone.”
These are the words of a teenage girl, and similar statements are leading experts to warn that internet pornography is fast becoming the primary way young people learn about, and understand, sex.
Thanks to modern technology, pornography has become more accessible and more normal than ever, and sex educator Maree Crabbe says it is a pervasive problem.
“They’re seeing a normalisation of sex acts that most people in the real world aren’t engaging in or are not keen on.”
Psychologist Russell Pratt said many young men believe the fantasy they see on the screen is real, and that the common porn script often includes violence or aggression towards women.
Author and women’s advocate Melinda Tankard-Reist said she could not keep up with the requests from schools to go and address students on the topic.
She said girls were struggling with terrible pressures and image problems in a highly-sexualised environment.
“I go to schools where 12- and 13-year-olds will show me on their mobile phones the number of requests they’ve had that day for sexual images [from] boys,” Ms Tankard-Reist said.
“They cannot develop healthy respectful relationships when pornography is their formative environment.
“They are looking at porn as a sex education handbook, which can only have damaging impacts.”
Australian health authorities have decided against recommending routine monitoring for patients on new blood-thinning medications used to prevent or treat blood clots.
The drugs in question are oral medications apixaban (Eliquis), dabigatran (Pradaxa) and rivaroxaban (Xarelto).
Figures obtained by the ABC last year revealed one of the new blood thinners, Pradaxa, had been associated with 280 deaths in Australia and 1,400 adverse drug reactions in the past five years, including abdominal bleeding, brain haemorrhages, strokes and heart attacks.
Medical experts say the side effects and death figures are disparate because Pradaxa is a new medication and there has been more reporting of adverse events from it compared to Warfarin.
Last year, a British Medical Journal investigation found the makers of Pradaxa withheld some of their internal analysis of the new “blockbuster” drug because they were worried it would affect sales.
The latest TGA review found there was no evidence to support a recommendation for routine blood monitoring to improve the safety of the new oral anticoagulants.
The health regulator said drug manufacturers had not undertaken dedicated studies to evaluate the effects of routine plasma monitoring on the safety profile of their medicines, so monitoring would not be helpful when determining a patient’s bleeding risk.
In 2013, the Therapeutic Goods Administration warned doctors of the need to carefully consider each patient’s risk factors for bleeding and observe the dosage recommendations, contraindications and precautions for use when prescribing the new blood-thinning drugs.
The makers of Pradaxa are trialling an antidote which could switch off the drug’s anticoagulant effects if patients suffer a serious bleeding episode.
An Afghanistan war veteran has been visiting Western Queensland to talk with drought-affected graziers about men’s mental health.
Tyson Murray was a Corporal in Afghanistan in 2010 when he was hit by a bomb blast and saw two of his comrades killed.
On his return home, he suffered a breakdown and post-traumatic stress disorder, but has overcome those to now complete numerous gruelling endurance challenges.
Mr Murray said while he was not a farmer, he wants to help remove some of the stigma around mental health.
Mr Murray is now supporting soldier rehabilitation agencies like Mates4Mates, Soldier On and Walking Wounded, and has been in central-western Queensland with the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).
“I am not a farmer and I don’t know what it is like to live through a drought, but I am a man who has lost his career, I have been in a position where I had no hope,” he said.
“What you are going through is temporary – and if you commit to it wholeheartedly you will get through this.
“Perspective and education are two enormous keys to beating the stigma attached with men’s [mental] health.”
Mr Murray said he was hospitalised when he hit “rock bottom” after his return from Afghanistan, but has worked hard to improve his health.
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