Skeptics in the Pub: Petra Boynton

Sex in the Media

by Petra Boynton
When: Thu, Nov 18, 2010 8.00 – 11.00 PM
Where: The Vines (aka the Big House), 81 Lime Street, Liverpool

Due to unforeseen circumstances, this event has been postponed. Instead, we will be presenting How to Create Your Own Cult, the Scientology Way by Martin Poulter.


After family, friends, and school sex education the media is the main source of sex advice for most of us.

And the more personal the topic, the more likely it is that we will use the media to try and find answers to our sexual problems – or to increase our sexual pleasures.

Unfortunately this is an area where there is little or no regulation. Anyone can set themselves up as a ‘sexpert’ and the credentials of those offering adviceare rarely checked.

As a result the quality of sex information providedby the media is variable, and often tied up with commercial ventures. Moreover, many journalists covering sex-related stories have (like many of us) inadequatesex education and lack basic understanding of health/science/cultural issues – resulting in much sex coverage reinforcing misunderstandingsaround hormones, performance, technique and health. The aim of this session is to highlight where there are problems (using real life examples of good and bad sex advice), outline why these problems arise, and provide some ideas about what we may do about this. Given that the topic of sex/relationships is often not considered within science or skepticism, or treated more as a joke topic, this session invites you to have fun but also reflect on wider issues that might impact on your sex life.

Beginning with a review of the evidence base on media advice giving, and using case studies of good and bad media sex coverage this talk invites skeptics to consider ways they may address problems in media sex coverage and related issues.


Petra Boynton is a Social Psychologist based at UCL where she works as a lecturer in International Health Services Research. She applies her research through evidence based and critical teaching on sex education and health issues to practitioners, while working as an Agony Aunt in the media in the UK and internationally.

  1. No comments yet.
(will not be published)