Friday, 1 August 2008

The meaning of SHAG?

When I was nine or ten I asked my brother what shagging was.  He was older than me so he knew apparently.  I am not sure he did know exactly what it was though.   We giggled when he told me his version of what sex was.  Inside I wondered why anyone would 'shag' (whatever it was it sounded weird).  At University I was involved in the SHAG group - we were the sexual health awareness group. 

SHAG has many meanings, but in a country where sex, sexuality and sexual health is still dogged with stigma, shame and prejudice it is not helpful for public health leaders to say SHAG is now an acronym for different sexually transmitted infections (I think it was syphillis, herpes, anal warts and gonorrhoea) as was reported in the press a couple of weeks ago.

Again, important for all of us to remember that most people want to, can be and are responsible about sex, sexual health and contraception.  Lets help them be, by encouraging people to be responsible and creating a positive culture about sex and sexuality.  The alternative is guilt and shame which we know doesn't change behaviour. 

1 comment:

Jake (of Facts and Friction) said...

That's blatantly one of those acronyms where the end result was fixed before the creator started to actually work out what the acronym would stand for...

I guess the intention was to catch peoples' eyes and so get more publicity, but you are right that associating STIs with a casual and bawdy word isn't a great way to encourage STI testing, communication and openness!