Study Analyzes Sexual Risk-Taking for Women on Vacation

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Sexual health is a common issue which affects aging women.A new study published in Tourism Management assesses how tourism activities are conducive to sexual risk-taking amongst women.

Using an online survey, researchers Lisa Berdychevsky and Heather Gibson, from the Universities of Illinois and Florida, collected data from 853 American women with an average age of 23.

They analyzed 23 situations, including having unprotected sex, or having sex under the influence of alcohol. Researchers found that women who had previously engaged in past risky sexual practices while on vacation were less likely to see them as dangerous, compared to women who had not experienced it.

For the majority of participants, having unprotected sex was regarded as one of the highest risk factors while on vacation. Researchers also found that some women underestimated the risk of non-penetrative sexual practices and overestimated the protection of latex barriers.

Some women mentioned that the consumption of alcohol gave them a “psychological excuse” to stray away from their normal sexual boundaries and explore more exciting experiences that they had been curious about.

Study authors believe that in order to effectively develop sexual health campaigns, researchers need to evaluate the various facets of a tourist’s experience, along with the motivations that surround such activities.

Co-researcher Berdychevsky concludes, “The fact that women have tendencies to underestimate the risks involved in non-penetrative sexual activities, overestimate the protection of condoms and attribute sexual risk-taking to alcohol consumption are factors that sexual health information campaigns might want to address.”

Sources for Today’s Article:
Berdychevsky, L., et al., “Sex and risk in young women’s tourist experiences: context, likelihood, and consequences,”Tourism Management July 12, 2015; 51: 78–90, doi:10.1016/j.tourman.2015.04.009.
McIntosh, J., “New study looks at sexual risk-taking for women on vacation,” Medical News Today web site, July 23, 2015;