Sexuality

In general, men and women perceive sexual relations as natural and healthy. However, talking about sex in intimate settings is generally taboo, and most parents do not discuss sexuality with their children. Sex education is very rare in schools. Youths learn about sex primarily from their peers, and premarital sex is common. Paradoxically, despite these prudish attitudes towards talking about sex, pornographic images of women abound in public spaces such as newspaper kiosks, the dashboards of taxis, and even on plastic shopping bags (Sperling, 2000).

The age of consent for sexual relations (heterosexual and homosexual) is 16 for both men and women. The problems, and indeed the very existence, of gays, lesbians, and bisexuals in Ukrainian society are largely ignored. There are no legislative acts protecting these groups from discrimination, although a few civic organizations are drawing attention to their concerns. Same-sex couples are not mentioned in Ukrainian legislation, and they possess no legal rights. Transgendered persons possess no legal rights, but they may legally change their documented sex and undergo a sex-change operation.

Modesty is expected of women as they get older, but teenage girls and young women are often valued for their pleasing appearance. For teen girls and young women, wearing revealing clothing is usually not criticized and is often expected. In rural settings, married women are traditionally expected to keep their hair covered with a scarf, a practice that is quickly going out of fashion. Certain religious groups require modest dress of women adherents, most notably Baptists, who often prohibit women from wearing trousers, skirts above the knee, jewelry, or make-up.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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