Express Tribune – Health and sexuality: Keeping doctors away is not good for you

Express Tribune – Health and sexuality: Keeping doctors away is not good for you

by Saeed Rahman

Published: Express Tribune – January 9, 2011

Sexual orientation is mostly determined by genes and environmental factors.

LAHORE: Talking to health professionals is key to keeping yourself and others safe from disease, warned Dr Ali Jawaid.

The psychologist was speaking on Sexuality and Safe Sex Practices at an Institute on Peace and Secular Studies event.

He started off by saying the talk was not about sex, rather medical facts. He then proceeded to address issues like sexual orientation, conditions that affect performance and safety. The audience, made up mostly of young adults, seemed riveted, essentially on account of his remarkable candour. The animated questions session that followed reinforced the impression. Dr Jawaid said while people could be categorized as heterosexuals, homosexuals, bisexuals and asexuals, there were also innumerable shades of grey. He also said that sexual orientation was mostly determined by genes and environmental factors. He pointed out that efforts to change a person’s orientation don’t generally work. Dr Jawaid said sexual impotence, particularly among males, was mostly a matter of psychological barriers. Many of the ‘remedies’ he said were quite irrelevant. Some were even harmful. Where there was a physical basis to the condition, particularly among females, he said, several types of treatments were now available.

Dr Jawaid said while some of the sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) were easily identifiable, others could only be discovered by proper testing. Between partners not aware of each other’s sexual history, he recommended caution and condoms about which he spoke at length and answered a barrage of questions. He insisted that it was important to talk about sexuality and health with a health professional and obtain solid medical facts and concluded the talk with the advice: “know thyself”.

Moeen, a 22-year-old Punjab University student who participated in the session, said, “The talk was good and informative. People should talk about this topic with young people. We should know all of this otherwise, with all the misinformation around, we tend to go off in the wrong direction.”

Published in The Express Tribune, January 9th, 2011.