Young women in western countries are coming under increased pressure to have sex before they are ready, one expert has argued.
Anastasia Powell, a sociologist at La Trobe University in Australia, told the Sydney Morning Herald that sexualised imagery in the media and popular culture is partly to blame.
She said that although today’s young women are more informed about sexual health and contraception, there is still a perceived dichotomy between "being considered a slut or frigid".
"Some things have improved in terms of women’s equality but we’re still hanging on to a whole range of gender norms; ideas about men, women and sex that still place young women in situations when they experience pressured or unwanted sex," she remarked.
Her comments come as Lady Gaga is advocating celibacy, insisting it’s cooler to be strong and independent than to give into pressure.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, the Bad Romance singer said: "You don’t have to have sex to feel good about yourself."