0 Introduction

People are worried about sexualization; about children becoming sexual at too young an age; about the ways in which women may be being defined by their sexuality; and about the availability and potential effects of online pornography, to name but a few of the often repeated concerns.

The word ‘sexualization’ has been used to mean many things and to refer to a wide range of issues. This report aims to summarize what is known – and not yet known – on each of the main areas of concern.

The report addresses the wide range of issues relating to sex, sexuality and sexual health and wellbeing that seem to underpin public anxieties that are now commonly expressed as concerns about ‘sexualization’. These include STIs, pregnancy, addiction, dysfunction, violence, abuse, sex work, sexual practices, different forms of sexuality, medicalization, commerce, media and popular culture.

Why did we write this report?

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