Depending on the person, realities of health vary.
In 8th grade, I went on a school field trip to Washington D.C. with about 30 other students. We took an Amtrak and spent the ride playing cards and talking to one another. I remember at one point, some of the boys I was friends with started talking about one of them having porn pulled up on his iPod Touch.
At 14, my girlfriends and I were mortified. We never talked about porn or masturbation. Ever. For us, the topic made us giggle with discomfort. For the boys, it was a normal, light-hearted conversation.
It wasn’t until I was about 17 that I started to feel more comfortable and open about my sexuality. Growing up, I believed the stigma that masturbation and porn were for boys. Teenage girls are often sexualized, but told they are not supposed to want sex.
In some cases, creating a culture that leads young boys to believe that they are supposed to watch porn and want sex can cause them to have traits of toxic masculinity. This refers to the attitudes that describe the masculine gender role as violent, unemotional, or sexually aggressive.
In this digital edition, Ball Bearings explores sexuality and the health discrepancies that occur between women and men. We also look at how health differs for those who identify as transgender, and the extra steps those individuals must take to care for themselves.
Different groups of people have different experiences when it comes to health. This digital edition aims to shed light on some of these communities.