Session 26: Cross-cultural perspectives

Compensated dating in Hong Kong – a preliminary exploratory study
Cassini Chu

The presentation is about the phenomenon of Compensated Dating (CD), which generally refers to a teenage girl dating a man in exchange for financial or social benefits. Since sex is usually associated with CD, CD is regarded as simply a euphemism of teenage prostitution. To date, there is no scientific research on male clients of CD, so I focused on clients’ experiences and how they understand and practice CD. I addressed three questions: (1) what is the process of becoming a client? (2) What are the perceptual factors that initiate and sustain their CD involvement? (3) How do personal meanings of self, CD and CD providers affect clients’ sexual practices?

Based on Cassini’s cyber ethnography of a online CD form, formal interviews and informal conversations with CD participants, as well as participant observations, they have identified three stages in the process of becoming a client, namely exploration, actualization, and protection. They have also indicated how the high level of interactions amongst CD participants leads many clients to perceive that CD is not a form of commercial sex exchange, but a new form of social network. This kind of perception increases clients’ tendency to have unsafe sex with CD providers.

Sexual education and equal sexual rights in Slovenia or how can the government fail to educate its people and equalise their sexual rights

Nina Sirk

Nina derives her accounts on what is going on in Slovenia from an article by Maria Martha Collignon Goribar (2011) where she argues that Western sexuality has been (and still is) constructed around four main characteristics: monogamy, heteronormativity, marriage and reproduction. The problem arises when one of these aspects is missing and clear example of this are two very recent movements in Slovenian society.

The first one is the new progressive Family Code, publicly presented in September 2009, and the second one is the certificate of responsible sexuality that first graders of high schools (15-16 years of age) will be signing for the third time at the end of May. The new Family Code could be compared with some of the more liberal worldwide legislations in the field of the family, while the certificate conveys sexuality as heterosexual, reproductional, possibly marital and of course monogamous. We rejected the Code at the referendum in March this year, while the certificate is by many viewed as non discriminational and not problematic at all.

Nina can be contacted on nina.sirk1@gmail.com

Sex machine: technosocial networks
Cari Lee McKinney

Youth’s sexual culture and consumer society in contemporary Russia
Lili Pankratova

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