#ChooseToChallenge

Hi Readers!

Monday 8 March 2021 is International Women’s Day! 

The 2021 campaign is focused on challenge and change, #ChooseToChallenge.

The premise is that a challenged world, is an alert world. 

As individuals, of all gender identities, we are responsible for our actions and thoughts. You have the power and the choice to challenge and speak up. It is when things are challenged, that there is a change. There is still a lot of work to be done to create a gender-equal world, but collectively we can make a change. 

So, I challenge you to take a photo of yourself in the #ChooseToChallenge pose.

#choosetochallenge

Will you actively call out gender bias, discrimination and stereotyping each time you see it? Will you choose to challenge? 

You can submit your #ChooseToChallenge pose on the IWD website and they will be sharing them on their platforms in the lead up to International Women’s Day on March 8th. 

All gender identities are welcome and encouraged. 

For teachers, tutors and educators the International Women’s Day downloadable resources can be found here.

Remember that when you #ChooseToChallenge it is not just on International Women’s Day or during the month of March. You #ChooseToChallenge for the year! 

Be kind to one another!

Julia, Sexologist

Julia, Sexologist Blog

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Cross-dressing

Hi Readers! 

This week’s article is about cross-dressing. This is a topic that society doesn’t tend to discuss about very often. This article is a response to a request from one of my readers. And since the aim of this website is education and discovery, why not discover cross-dressing and what it is. 

So, what is cross-dressing exactly? Does it mean a person is trans* if they cross-dress? Does it change your sexual orientation? Is it a fetish? Is it a disorder? So many questions!

If you haven’t read my articles about sexual orientation and gender identity, I suggest you do so before reading this article. The articles will allow you to get a better understanding of these terms before learning about cross-dressing. 

Cross-dressing is the act of wearing items of clothing that are not associated with the person’s gender. There is a history of cross-dressing; it was used as a disguise, for self-expression, comfort, etc. Back in the day, women authors would dress up as men so they could get their book published. Some women used to dress up as men just so that they could get an education. Cross-dressing exists in Greek, Norse and Hindu mythology. It is found in lots of literature and art. Ways that people choose to express gender may change over time, so some may notice that what they find in cross-dressing now may not apply to them in x months or years. 

Playing devil’s advocate here… I want you to think about something for a second. Society made the rules and created norms for each gender, what a “woman” is supposed to wear, what a “man” is suppose to wear. Yes, now fashion says it is sexy and in style for woman to wear an oversized jacket and heels or “boyfriend jeans”. But if a “man” decides to wear something feminine then it’s “not okay” or he is trans* and so on. 

Cross-dressers may experience social backlash as they are resisting social norms and expectations. 

Cross-dressing is more common in men than in woman. It is not a synonym of transgender. Most cross-dressers are heterosexual and no, cross-dressing does not change your sexual orientation. A person who cross-dresses can 100% identify with the sex and gender they are from birth but they have a want to dress-up with the opposite sex’s clothes because they like how it feels, how the fabric feels, how they look, etc. Cross-dressing often begins in childhood or adolescence. 

There are many different kinds of cross-dressing and different reasons why someone wants to cross-dress. Some cross-dress full time, some occasionally and some only cross-dress in private. 

Cross-dressing itself is NOT a disorder. To be diagnosed with transvestic disorder, according to the DSM-5, a person must experience persistent and intense sexual arousal from fantasising about, or acting on, urges to wear one or more pieces of clothing normally worn by the opposite gender. The fantasies and behaviours must have been present for at least 6 months and cause severe distress to the individual or dysfunction in social, professional or other significant areas of day-to-day life. The feelings of distress over cross-dressing that characterise transvestic disorder are separate and distinct from gender dysphoria. 

Since cross-dressing itself is not a disorder it does not generally require treatment. Cross-dressers may be brought to therapy by a third party (parent, partner, etc.). Some individuals who cross-dress seek therapy for themselves because of other issues that may come to the surface such as substance abuse, depression and distress. It is the distress and urges that impair day-to-day life that can be an issue for the individual not the act of cross-dressing. 

I hope this article has helped you to better understand cross-dressing. 

If you have any questions or would like to book a counselling session please contact me. 

Be kind to one another.

Julia, Sexologist

Julia, Sexologist Blog

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Resources for victims of domestic violence

Hi Readers! 

As part of domestic violence awareness month, I wanted to list some resources for victims of domestic violence. 

United Kingdom

Organisations for women

  • National Domestic Abuse helpline

The National Domestic Abuse Helpline is a freephone 24 hour helpline which provides advice and support to women and can refer them to emergency accommodation.The National Domestic Abuse Helpline is run by Refuge. (www.refuge.org.uk )www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk

  • Women’s Aid

The Women’s Aid website provides a wide range of resources to help women and young people. www.womensaid.org.uk

  • Rights of Women

Rights of Women offers confidential legal advice on domestic and sexual violence. www.rightsofwomen.org.uk

  • Finding Legal Options for Women Survivors (FLOWS)

FLOWS gives legal advice to women who are affected by domestic abuse – they also give advice to front line workers.https://www.rcjadvice.org.uk/family/flows-finding-legal-options-for-women-survivors/    

  • Southall Black Sisters

Southall Black Sisters provide advice for Black (Asian and African-Caribbean) women with issues including domestic abuse, forced marriage, immigration and homelessness.www.southallblacksisters.org.uk

Organisations for men

  • Respect – Men’s Advice Line

The Men’s Advice Line is a confidential helpline for all men experiencing domestic violence by a current or ex-partner. www.mensadviceline.org.uk

  • ManKind Initiative

Information and support on reporting incidents, police procedures, housing, benefits and injunctions. They can refer you to a refuge, local authority or other another support service if you need it. new.mankind.org.uk

  • SurvivorsUK

This is a helpline for men who have been victims of rape or sexual abuse www.survivorsuk.org

  • Everyman Project

National helpline which offers advice to anyone worried about their own, or someone else’s, violent or abusive behaviour. Website: www.everymanproject.co.uk.

Organisations for women and men

  • RCJ Advice Family Service

RCJ Advice Family Service can give legal advice to people who are affected by domestic abuse or need family law help – find out more on the RCJ Advice website.

  • Rape Crisis

The website has contact details for centres and gives basic information about rape and sexual violence for survivors, friends, family, students and professionals. Rape Crisis (England and Wales) also runs a freephone helpline. www.rapecrisis.org.uk

  • Honour Network Helpline

The Honour Network Helpline is a national helpline run by Karma Nirvana, a national charity which advises victims and survivors of forced marriage and honour-based abuse. www.karmanirvana.org.uk

  • Action on Elder Abuse

Action on Elder Abuse gives confidential advice and information to older people who are victims of violence or abuse. The helpline can be used in the case of older people who live at home, in a care home or who are in hospital. www.elderabuse.org.uk

  • National Stalking Helpline

The National Stalking Helpline can provide advice on how to deal with any type of stalking behaviour. www.stalkinghelpline.org

  • Respect Phoneline

Offers information and advice to partners, friends and family who want to stop someone’s violent behaviour. www.respectphoneline.org.uk

Organisations for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people

  • National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline

Galop provides support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people experiencing domestic violence.  www.galop.org.uk/domesticabuse/

Organisations for disabled people

  • SignHealth – Domestic Abuse Service

SignHealth provides a specialist domestic abuse service to help Deaf people find safety and security. You can find out how to contact them on their website. www.signhealth.org.uk/with-deaf-people/domestic-abuse/domestic-abuse-service/

  • Respond

Respond work with children and adults with learning disabilities who’ve either experienced abuse or abused other people. www.respond.org.uk

CANADIAN RESOURCES

For Canadian resources, please visit https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/cj-jp/victims-victimes/vsd-rsv/agencies-agences.aspx  There is an interactive map. There are hundreds of resources for the entire country. You can search by province and city. 

Please feel free to contact me if you would like more information on our counselling and workshop services.

Be kind to one another!

Julia, Sexologist

Julia, Sexologist Blog

We are here to help you grow. To improve, maintain and restore your sexual health. To help keep this blog going, any contribution will be helpful.

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