Lifestyle

The Dangerous Rise of Sexual Health Myths on Social Media

Scrolling via TikTok one afternoon, I got here throughout an attention-grabbing video by @beaupinto. He made the declare that porn is the largest drug habit on the planet, as a result of “once you see a beautiful lady, your mind releases a neurotransmitter known as dopamine.” Wanting via a porn web site the place you’ll see many various ladies, he posits, permits the “alpha male a part of your mind” to launch much more dopamine, which he appears to imagine finally results in a porn habit. However, based on the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT), there is not enough proof to categorize intercourse habit or porn habit as a psychological well being dysfunction. So, believing this video to be satire, I turned to the feedback, solely to seek out scores of individuals agreeing with him and asking for therapy choices, although he’s not a medical skilled. (His bio notes he’s a “Creator Being, Skilled Social Networker, Media Affect Coach.” He posted another video two months later “for everybody who thinks it is advisable be a health care provider to be sensible.” )

Intrigued by what else is likely to be on the market, I made a decision to comply with the hashtag #sexualhealth that was getting used within the caption of his video. I shortly discovered that a number of parallel universes exist contained in the app with names like queertok, edutok, booktok, skincaretiktok and, of most curiosity for this story, healthtok. Individuals who comply with these hashtags are uncovered to a wide range of influencers and consultants (or “consultants”) of their respective fields.

Within the healthtok neighborhood, there are educators with a giant following who’re additionally board-certified medical doctors, like OB-GYNs Jennifer Gunter and Staci Tanouye, however there are additionally loads of people who aren’t medical professionals, claiming to be “ladies’s well being fans” as an alternative. Telling who’s who can get complicated, particularly if they do not present any data of their bio about their {qualifications}.

And sadly, the format of the app doesn’t permit for a lot clarification or follow-up on loads of data that’s shared. With a restrict of 150 character counts and as much as three minutes of video, it may be troublesome to share citations, hyperlinks, and assets with out directing viewers to go away the platform.

Misinformation Is Having a Second

In recent times, now we have seen an exponential rise in misinformation that spreads shortly and simply throughout social media websites. This has been highly effective sufficient to gas social phenomenons just like the antivax (most lately associated to the COVID-19 vaccine) and pro-life motion, and is usually related to older generations who’re served clickbait headlines on their newsfeeds.

https://www.attract.com/story/tiktok-sexual-health-myths | The Harmful Rise of Sexual Well being Myths on Social Media

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