The Sexual Culture of Youth in the Context of Social Movements Functioning in the Contemporary Russia
Liliia Sergeevna Pankratova1* and Sergey Anatolevich Pankratov2
1Department of Sociology of Culture and Communication, Saint Petersburg State University, Russia Federation
2Department of Political Science, Volgograd State University, Russian Federation
- Corresponding Author:
- Pankratova LS
Assistant Lecturer, PhD Student in Sociology
Department of Sociology of Culture and Communication
Saint Petersburg State University
Universiteckaja nab. 7/9, Saint Petersburg
199034, Russian Federation
Tel: +7 812 328-20-00
Received date: March 02, 2016; Accepted date: March 21, 2016; Published date: April 05, 2016
Copyright: © 2016 Pankratova LS, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License,
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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This article analyzes the methods and technologies for civil society participation in the formation and reproduction of sexual culture of the modern Russian youth. As a part of the social and political discourse the sexual culture is treated in the system of sex (physiological) and gender (social-role) value orientations and behavior practices among the representatives of youth cohorts with a focus on the erotic and emotional and sociocultural components. Based on the results of empirical studies (content analysis of statutory and program documents, depth and expert interviews) the specificity of main directions (educative, ideological and political, socialized, disciplinary, monitoring, human rights, and anti-discriminating) for the activities of different social movements types in the Russian Federation (the RF) is defined.
Sexual culture; Youth; Social movements;
Russia; Sex discrimination; Gender socialization
The contemporary Russian society is characterized by the
contradictory transformational processes in the social and
economic, political and legal, and sociocultural spheres, which
is reflected both in the group and individual levels of citizens’
vital activity. The qualitative changes affect not only the
traditional public, but also the personal (private) space of
interaction between representatives of different social groups
and generational cohorts. As it was noted by I.S. Kon, the most
dynamically “the global process of changing and breaking the
traditional system of gender interrelations and gender
stratification occurs. The relationship between men and
women in all spheres of public and private life are becoming
more democratic and equal, and the stereotypes of
masculinity and femininity - less polar, than before. Such social
and structural and cultural shifts manifest themselves in the
sphere of sexual and erotic values” . Since the sexual revolution in the 1960s, the liberalization of sex, gender and
family and marriage relations already radically influenced the
emancipation of sexuality of different layers in the Soviet
society of the XX century. At the boundary of centuries the
problem of sexual culture was actively included in the agenda
of everyday life, mass media, legal and political rhetoric. At the
beginning of the XXI century the sexuality is presented in a
motley mosaic of cultural forms, lifestyles, traditions,
communities, practices, and discourses.
Changes in the sexual culture of the Russian society deeply
touched on the youth environment in which the new forms of
intimate relationship and the erotic and emotional behavior
occur and are appraised. The sexual culture differentiation of
the Russian youth is caused the social heterogeneity of such
social and demographic group, variety and polarization of
lifestyles, and subcultural variety, including in the sphere of
intimate and family and marriage relations. At the same time,
sexual culture formation and reproduction of youth is strongly
influenced by the different social movements, which are often
being at the stage of institutionalization in the conditions of
the Russian society modernization. The typological variety of
social organizations projects their ideological and axiological
and practical and functional differentiation on the orientation,
methods and technologies of influence on the representatives
of youth cohort, so that requires the scientific study and
Extent of the Problem Elaboration
The study of sexual culture formation of youth in the
contemporary Russian society is at the intersection of
different, but at the same time closely related sectoral
scientific discourses. In the Sociology the social and cultural
significance of sexual relations was first introduced by Kont ,
Durkheim , who paid attention to the norms and deviations
of sexual behavior. The mass sociological studies of sexual
behavior ("National surveys") were carried out in the USA
under the supervision of Kinsey . The variety of sexual
relations and behavior in the social and cultural context are
also analyzed in the social constructivism . In the social and
structuralist approach Foucaulty  the most important social
institutions (religion, economics, law, government, and family), which broadcast and form the sexuality, specific norms and
values, stand out. In the postmodernism Plummer and Wicks)
 the variability of sexual cultures norms and values, well as
the ability to select his own sexuality by the individual stands
out. In the concepts of late modernity Bauman and Giddens
[8,9] the emphasis is placed on the fluidity and
individualization of sexual relations nature, and love (liquid
The Russian thinkers have also repeatedly appealed to the
study of sexuality nature, expression of love as one of the most
important human feelings, specifics of national sexual culture
formation and reproduction Berdyaev, Bulgakov, et al. [10,11].
At the same time, the first sociological surveys on the topic of
sexual behavior began to be conducted, primarily, among
different youth groups Barash and Gelman [12,13]. The
scientific comprehension of sexual practices in the USSR refers
only to the 1960-1970-s, when the sociological surveys on the
study of sexual behavior of different population groups started
conducting on a regular basis Alekseeva and Golod [14,15]. At
present there are two main tendencies of sexuality study
within the sociological discourse in Russia: the sexual behavior
of representatives of different age cohorts, including youth
Gurko, Denisenko, et al. [16,17] the sociocultural aspects of
global and regional (national) sexual practices Zherebkina,
Zdravomyslova, et al. [18-22].
For this study the special importance have the works of
foreign and domestic scientists, directly devoted to the sexual
culture analysis: Abramson, Jackson, et al. [23-25]. The impact
of social institutions such as religion, family, law, government,
and media on the sexual socialization of different population
groups, including youth, was analyzed by Arthurs, A. Nikolos,
et al. [26,27]. The specifics of sexual culture of youth is studied
by foreign and domestic sociologists Irwin, Parker, et al.
[28,29]. The features of sexual behavior among the domestic
youth were revealed within the international comparative
sociological studies Dalla-Zouan, Specher, et al. [30,31]. The
intergenerational sexual culture analysis of representatives of
different age cohorts Zaitseva, Pichugina A, et al. [22,32]
allowed to reveal differences in views and values of the
Russian youth generations of the XX century and the turn of
the ХХ-XXI centuries.
The analysis of publications shows that despite the
significant amount of accumulated theoretical and empirical
material, the system sociological studies devoted to the
problems of influence of directly different social movements
on the Russian youth sexual culture formation and
reproduction in the contemporary Russia are presented
Study Objects and Hypotheses
The study object is the sexual culture of the Russian youth.
The subject is the factors and features of impact of different
social movements on the characteristic features and types of
youth sexual culture in the contemporary Russia. The article’s
purpose is to analyze the methods and technologies for civil
society participation in the formation and reproduction of sexual culture among the representatives of youth
generational cohort in the RF. Against the background of
traditionally declared common heterosexual culture of the
population, including youth, the main hypothesis of the study
is that in the contemporary Russian society the regime of
coexistence, confrontation and combination of different types
of sexual culture is formed. The additional hypothesis is that
the role of institutionalized sexual practices, education,
enlightenment of the population in general, and youth in
particular, the impact of social movements remains
insignificant, and the key role in the sexual cultures formation
of youth groups play the individual life path, personal
experience of romantic and erotic mutual relations,
interpersonal and family communication, and inclusiveness
into the information flows.
The theoretical and practical significance lies in the
development and improvement of youth sexual culture
concept in the conditions of sociocultural transformation of
the modern Russian society, well as the inconsistency of
institutional influence of social movements on the formation
and reproduction of its axiological and behavioral elements.
Findings of the study may be used to improve the work
effectiveness of state authorities, local government bodies,
institutions of civil society with different youth groups, and to
optimize the regional youth, demographic and gender policies.
Subject of the scientific analysis
The subject of study is characterized by the specificity of
factors, methods and the direction of impact of different social
movements on the formation of youth sexual culture in the
contemporary Russia. At the same time, the statutory
documents and practice of activities of both youth political
organizations (“Young Guard of United Russia”, “Nashi”, etc.)
and non-political public associations (“Russian Union of Youth”,
“Children and youth social initiatives – DIMSI”, etc.), Human
Rights organizations (“New Perspectives Foundation”, “Youth
Human Rights Group”, etc.), religious associations
(Interuniversity Association "Pokrov", etc.), LGBT organizations
(St. Petersburg LGBT organization "Coming Out", Russian LGBT
Sports Federation, etc.) were subjected to the study. As the
important characteristic of the subject acts a dynamic
uncertainty of institutional design of social movements’
inconsistency in the conditions of the RF political system
democratization, undeveloped civil society institutions.
Empirical base of the article
As the information sources served: statistical data of the
Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) for 2000-2015 yrs;
secondary data analysis of sociological studies, conducted by:
the Public Opinion Foundation - "Gay pride parades: prevent
or allow?", 2011 (a survey in 100 settlements, 43 territorial
entity of the RF, 1500 respondents); "On Youth Policy", 2009 (a
survey in 100 settlements, 44 territorial entity of the RF, 2000
respondents); "Generation-XXI: structure and "environments" of strategies for achievement", 2008 (a survey in 203
settlements, 63 territorial entity of the RF, 1500 respondents);
the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center - “Sexual
education of youth: should you talk to children "about this?"
2009 (a survey in 140 settlements, 42 regions, territories and
republics of Russia, 1600 respondents); the Study Group of the
European University in St. Petersburg and the Center for
Independent Social Research under the direction of A.A.
Temkina, N.A. Nartova “Sexual and reproductive practices in
Russia: freedom and responsibility (St. Petersburg, the
beginning of the XXI century.)” (2005-2006); Legislative Acts of
the Russian Federation; periodical press materials; and
Internet resources of social movements, RF state authorities
and local self-government bodies. We interpreted the results
obtained during the studies conducted with the direct
participation of authors: interviews with domestic and foreign
experts engaged in studies of modern youth sexuality
(Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences,
Saint Petersburg State University, National Research University
— Higher School of Economics, European University in St.
Petersburg, Center for Independent Social Research (St.
Petersburg), European University in Minsk, University of
Chicago (the USA), University of Sheffield (the UK)); depth
interviews with representatives of different groups of national
youth. The unit of selection is a youth stratum, which has a
relatively low intra-group dispersion (on the level of life
experience, personal financial welfare, education, nature of
activities); content analysis of social movements’ documents
(charter, regulations, mission, manifest, programs), selected
according to several criteria (sphere of activities, status/level,
Youth political organizations in the sexual
For the all studied youth political organizations the key field
of activity is the enlightening, socialized activity among the
youth. The traditional directions of their work are supporting
the development of labor, culture and education, patriotism,
confessional and ethnic tolerance, etc. In the statutory and
program documents of such organizations the issues of sexual
life (sex and/or gender relations), as well the respective tasks
and directions of activity are not directly articulated.
Meanwhile, for example, in the "Program" of “Youth Yabloko -
Young Democrats” organization (hereinafter “Yabloko”) one
outright point associated with gender issues is underlined. It
comes to purpose of the association to contribute to the fight
against sexual assaults of young women: “… to deal with
violence against women in public and private life, against all
forms of sexual assault” (Program of the Youth Association of
the political party "The Russian Democratic Party "Yabloko",
2014). No other specific provisions of the purposes, areas of
actions in respect of the formation of sex, gender or sexual
culture were declared. This can be explained by a high
sensitive of sexual problems for the Russian society, careful
and very conservative discourse of regulatory and official documents relating to the sexual culture, rather modest place
allocated to various problems of intimacy and eroticism in the
agenda of many political actors: state and municipal
authorities, parties, and movements.
In practice, however, some youth political organizations
show their activity aimed at the formation of certain aspects
of youth sexual culture. The declared by them objectives and
directions of work, in our opinion, outline the reference points
of sexual and gender education, but still are little involved in
the discussion and resolution of such problems. The support in
the family development and strengthening is spelled as one of
the main objectives in almost all program documents, and
manifestos discussed by the youth organizations. Traditionally,
the support of family is understood as a kind of material
(monetary payments, housing, etc.) subsidy. But the modern
family and marriage union is, first of all, the human
relationships, which are fairly easy contracted and dissolved.
The specificity and strength of erotic and emotional ties
established between the partners and determined the success
and longevity of marriage are out of the question studied by
the youth political associations. Their participation is limited,
for example, by carrying out of celebratory city actions in
honor of "Day of Family, Love and Loyalty" (July 8), publishing
of news about the large families on their Internet resources.
That activity is caused by the demographic government policy
over the last decade – birth rate stimulation with material
means by the Government and giving a special status to large
families in the media and political discourse.
Another promising, but little used direction of activity for
the sexual education of youth is the promotion of healthy
lifestyles. “A sound mind in a sound body!”; “Healthy Nation -
strong Russia!” –the key formulas that reflect the essence of
postulated objectives. Physical education and sports activities
assume not only the physical development of young people,
but also rejection of bad habits by young people (tobacco
smoking, consumption of alcoholic beverages). For example,
the issues of sexual and reproductive health are actually
outside of interests of the youth movements, except for the
issue of HIV/AIDS. In different cities the action against HIV /
AIDS are held periodically, the information about the initiatives
and proposals on this issue is published by representatives of
the relevant parties in the legislative bodies. No systematic
outreach activities, sexual health programs are carried out by
the youth political organizations alone or in conjunction with
other noncommercial organizations specialized on these
Assistance in the protection of rights and freedoms of young
citizens, compliance with equality under the RF Constitution is
one of the key objectives declared in the program and
statutory documents of youth political organizations.
According to the liberal doctrine of modern developed
countries, the civic consciousness is constructed, including by
means of sexual rights and freedoms of their members
enshrined in the appropriate legal documents, realized with
the support of a number of social institutions. The scientific
revolution, well as the public discourse of many Western
countries uses the appropriate term "Sexual Citizenship" . Its relation to the Gender Citizenship is beyond doubt.
However, the Russian citizenship, as noted by researchers, is
constructed via the dominant heterosexual discourse. The
gender issue, for example, is included in the program
documents of only one of the organization under
consideration – the youth association "Yabloko". The liberal
ideology, in our opinion, has contributed to the nomination of
women's issues on the agenda of this organization. For
example, on its website "The discussion on equality of rights
and inequality of opportunity" of men and women was posted,
a campaign on sending parcels to female prisoners was
conducted. There is no information on activities in the given
directions on the websites of other studied organizations.
Ensuring of equal rights and freedoms assumes simultaneously
the protection of legal and institutionalized rights of all
citizens, well as promotion, upholding of interests and needs,
practices and values of other social groups (including sexual)
not either visible or previously recognized.
The success of liberal initiatives and projects on issues of
sex, gender and intimacy largely depends on the dominant
ideology in the society and government. The sharp debates on
the issue of tolerance can serve as an example of double
standards. While the fight against any kind of discrimination
(ethnic, religious, racial, etc.) is a common program point of
Liberals and Conservatives, and in respect of issues of sexual
orientations their opinions and actions are different and even
opposite. The headline in one of the publications of the
observer “Youth Guard of United Russia” reads: "Tolerance is
harmfully!". The reason of the author’s dissatisfaction is too
active, in his opinion, propaganda of sexual "deviations" by the
LGBT communities in Russia. The activists of this youth political
association within the project "MediaGvardiya" assist the
Prosecutor General's Office in the fight against Internet
content of LGBT communities (websites closing), especially
those ones, which is targeting the minors, due to the adopted
in 2013 in the RF Federal Law banning the gay propaganda
among children. Despite the liberal ideological precepts of
political party leaders supported by the youth movements, in
the Russian political environment the conservative views on
nonconventional sexual orientation dominate. Thus, in
February 2012 during the vote on the issue of law banning the
gay propaganda in St. Petersburg only 5 members of the
"Yabloko" faction made "against", and Grigory Yavlinsky, leader
of the faction, abstained, although later he expressed criticism.
In the roll-call vote mode the representatives of Communist
Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF), Liberal Democratic
Party of Russia (LDPR), and party "Fair Russia" refused to
participate. The law was passed in the third reading with the
full support of deputies of "United Russia".
The youth political organizations that support the official
line of state authority conduct the offensive ideological work,
set themselves the tasks all-round education, development,
training of young people, increasing their political and legal
culture, "preserving and strengthening the ethic, moral
foundations of family and society, maintaining its traditional
cultural values" (Charter of the All-Russian Youth Public
Organization "Justice League", 2007) , including in the field
of sexuality, erotic and emotional relations. They demand the approval of official conservative discourse in respect of
traditional sexual culture. Unlike them the liberal-oriented
organizations adhere to the pluralism principle on issues of
The activities of all youth political organizations on the
issues of sexual and gender culture, sexuality education is very
limited. The paucity of events and active actions in this field, in
our opinion, is due to:
- Oriented focus and concentrating efforts on other issues.
The primary task of the said associations is to promote the
supported Parties and their members to the political victories
(in elections, etc.). Websites of a number of organizations, for
example, "Justice League" and "NASHI", actively operate only
during the election campaign, full of speeches of party leaders
("Time of the Young," "Justice League");
- Legal and regulatory restrictions of actions in the field of
sexuality education, adopted in the RF on issues of sexuality
education and propaganda of same-sex relationships among
minors, and state Youth Policy strategy. Peripherality of sexual
issues in the political agenda of the Russian government;
- Sensitive and sharp reaction of the Russian society on the
theme of sexuality.
No organization specifically deals with issues of sexuality
and sexuality education. The declared in official documents
directions of work of youth political organizations actually
include the issues of sexual, gender and erotic and emotional
relations, which only partially reflect the theme of sexual
culture formation. However, the youth political organizations
have the required capacity to participate in the
implementation of modern sexual politics among the youth.
This requires a new scientific understanding of sexual culture,
which includes a revision of prevailing traditional approaches
to the interpretation of sex, gender and sexuality, where to
date no clear boundaries between them were not conducted,
or their properties were mixed. The amorphousness of
theoretical concepts on sexuality, primarily as a manifestation
of sexual desire, leads to the poor agenda in the youth political
organizations’ work on the sexual culture formation.
Non-political Public Associations in
the Field of Sexual Culture Formation
According to our content analysis the domestic non-political
public associations that consolidate different social groups of
youth or work towards solving the problems of youth are also
trying to take part in the enlightenment of boys and girls. The
range of issues covered, working methods, and organized
events are largely determined by the purpose, objectives and
field of the organization activities: human rights activities,
patriotic and spiritual and religious education, support of
youth social and cultural initiatives, development of physical
health and sports, etc. However, the issues of gender,
sexuality, family and marriage relations, and gender are often
directly, purposefully, or indirectly, accidentally, touched
during the operation of public associations. Many
organizations, in our opinion, have the resources to participate in one degree or another in the sexual culture formation
among children, adolescents, and youth.
Nowadays in Russia, in our opinion, the human rights
organizations are most active in the issues of sexual culture
development of different social groups of youth, focusing on
the rights of discriminated groups in the field of sexuality. Fight
against all forms of discrimination and promotion of ideas of
tolerance is one of the basic and priority tasks of human rights
movements. Countering the sexual discrimination, social
exclusion based on differences of preferences in sexual, erotic
and romantic relationships is reflected in the implementation
of such projects and events as: holding "A Week Against
Homophobia" in Russia (Report on the results of A Week
Against Homophobia in Russia, 2007) , "Rainbow
flashmob" organization (Balloons against hatred, 2010) ,
the implementation of "Monitoring of discrimination based on
the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in
Russia" (2008-2009 yrs.) (In Karelia they started the
registration of discrimination cases on grounds of sexual
orientation, 2008)  and other. The human rights defenders
establish contacts and cooperation with the LGBT groups on
the issues of education in human rights, fight against
xenophobia, homophobia, manifestations of hatred and
hostility towards sexual minorities, including among the youth,
provision and protection of activities of the LGBT communities
in a growing and tightening of political and legal limitations of
their activities. The representatives of human rights
movements avoid the excessive focus on some special rights of
sexual minorities as a completely separate category of people
and traditionally call to consider such kind of problem in the
overall context of human rights. Various activities, joint
training schools, and meetings are considered by their
participants as the possibility of exchanging points of view,
achieving a better understanding of the situation and studying
ways to work on interesting issues (“No need to revolutions,
riots, intergalactic gay pride parades…”. A participant’s
comment of the Second Summer School of Human Rights,
Information and analytical and educational materials on the
subject of sexual and gender-based discrimination, HIV/AIDS
situation, and children sexual abuse published by the human
rights associations in Russia often gratuitously distributed to
the representatives of major target audiences (from "victims"
to governmental structures) or freely available online. Many
publications are prepared by the human rights defenders
during the ongoing social, educational and monitoring
projects. For example, following the results of project for
combating various forms of national (anti-Semitism), religious
(Islamophobia) and sexual (homophobia) intolerance among
boys and girls "All Different - All Equal" of the Karelian branch
of "Youth Human Rights Group" a brochure "Islam and
Tolerance" was published (For the first time in the history of
Karelia a brochure against the homophobia was issued, 2008)
. Those publications received the opposite ratings and
comments. Their impact is purely informational and
educational and superficial. Those publications do not always
evoke an unequivocal response in the readers. It depends on the material quality, feasibility and objectivity degree of
opinions and conclusions.
The human rights associations, in our opinion, have an
important experience in studying the social position of people
with different sexual and gender identity in Russia, well as
other features of sexuality. Over the last decade they have
made a number of monitoring projects, such as: "Monitoring
discrimination based on the sexual orientation and gender
identity in Russia" (the Moscow Helsinki Group (MHG)  in
conjunction with a regional branch of "Youth Human Rights
Group" in Karelia (MPG) and Russian network of the LGBT
organizations) in 2008 , "Preventing the spread of HIV/
AIDS: monitoring the situation with observance of rights of
persons with HIV/AIDS " (the Moscow Helsinki Group) in 2004,
"Monitoring the situation of discrimination against women in
Russia" (the Moscow Helsinki Group) in 2002. Based on the
results of monitoring studies, for example, the following
reports have been published: "The situation with lesbians,
gays, bisexuals, transgender people in the Russian Federation
(the last quarter of 2011 – the first half of 2012) ", "Human
Rights in the Russian Federation. Collection of reports on the
events in 2011", (The situation with lesbians, gays, bisexuals,
and transgender people in the Russian Federation (the last
quarter of 2011 – the first half of 2012), 2012; Human Rights in
the Russian Federation: Collection of reports on the events in
2011, 2012). They provide an analysis of the Russian and
international laws on the issues of sexual orientation and
gender identity, and also discuss the facts of gender and sexual
discrimination. Despite the specificity, narrowcasting (fight for
the rights, fight against discrimination) of the existing human
rights discourse and its focus on a limited number of issues on
sexuality and gender, the materials provided to the wide public
range are an important and one of the few sources of
systematized and updated information on this issue.
The important and challenging task for the human rights
defenders is to change the legal bases regulating the sexual
culture in the contemporary Russian society. A number of the
RF modern laws is considered by the activists as discriminating
against some social groups, first of all, against people with
nonconventional sexual and gender identity. They call for the
abolition of laws banning the homosexual propaganda among
minors on the regional and federal level, as well as the federal
law banning the children adoption by the same-sex couples
(Draft Federal Law "On Introducing Amendments to the Code
of the Russian Federation on Administrative Offences", 2013;
Federal Law of the Russian Federation on July 2, 2013 [43,44]
No.167-FZ "On Introducing Amendments to Certain Legislative
Acts of the Russian Federation Russian Federation on the
issues of placement of orphans and children left without
parental care", 2013). The representatives of Karelian public
organization PGM proposed to complete the RF Constitution:
to prescribe in the second chapter the need for compliance
"the principles of equality and non-discrimination based on
sexual orientation and gender identity" (Amendments of the
Constitution, 2008). At the address of legislative bodies the
demands on the adoption of law for permission the same-sex
marriages and the introduction of legal liability for the
discrimination against homosexuals, lesbians, and transgender people put forward (The marriage must be reformulated from
the "union of a man and a woman" to "the union of two
people", 2008) .
The significant support (financial, methodological,
ideological, organizational, and other), as we see it, to the
Russian human rights movement is provided by the
international and foreign organizations of various levels (for
example, the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security
and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Commission for Democracy
of the US Embassy in Moscow and others). The declared
purpose is the assistance in the human rights movement
development in Russia. We mentioned above the attention of
such supranational organizations, to the issues, including
sexual violence and exploitation of women and children
worldwide, and sexual rights. With their assistance to the
domestic noncommercial organizations a number of social
projects were implemented in the given direction. For
example, in 2007-2009 by the Regional Public Organization
"Stellit" the preventive project "Prevention of commercial
sexual exploitation and protection of child victims of
commercial sexual exploitation in Russia" supported by the
OSCE and the Principality of Monaco was implemented.
The international and domestic networks and associations,
which include the Russian human rights organizations, are
working intensively on the study and development of sexual
culture in the society, including among the youth. The
organizations considered herein are a part of human rights
networks as regional offices (MPG), members of the official
international human rights networks (MTD - "International
project - Youth Human Rights Movement"), and build their
own partner networks (MHG). This helps to consolidate the
efforts of many experts and activists with various work
experience for the implementation of joint activities, projects,
and programs; allows you to act based on the knowledge
about the peculiarities of local political and administrative,
cultural (religious, ethnic, etc.) situation, local problems in the
sexual sphere .
The main complexity of work of the human rights
organizations on the issue of sexuality we see as follows: many
of human rights defenders, including the young, have little
understanding of sexuality as a social phenomenon, its role
and importance in the social and political life; traditionally "a
narrow" understanding of the issues of sexuality prevails, in a
typical for the human rights defenders discourse of "human
rights and freedoms": fight against discrimination against
people with different sexual (sex) and gender identity,
countering to sexual exploitation and violence against women
and children. The sexual rights are recognized as secondary to
the general human rights.
Thus, the Russian human rights associations often try to
take an active part in the tolerant sexual culture formation in
Russia. The work is not systematic in the form of regular
educational and awareness activities, targeted and long-term
programs to overcome the social hatred based on the
differences in sexual preferences, but "single acts"
(participation in the flash mobs and "a week" against
homophobia) or short-term projects (monitoring, publication of studies and news on the Internet). In this regard, we have
no confidence in the effectiveness of participation of the
human rights movements in the development of sexual culture
of boys and girls at the present stage.
Further study prospects
Thus, over the last decade within the sociological discourse
the key trends, forming the sexual culture of the population,
related to the peculiarities of the Russian society
transformation are designated. It is noted that the sexual
perceptions and practices of modern Russian youth in many
respects correspond to the common perceptions and practices
among their western European peers. Based on the number of
foreign approaches and concepts the new aspects of intimate
life are brought under: homosexuality, masculinity and
femininity, transactional sex, etc. At the same time, the impact
of social movements and other civil society institutions on the
value orientation and behavioral practices of youth remains
minimal. Moreover, the sociological studies and the data
obtained are mostly occasional and fragmentary. Many
problems and facets of sexuality, well as various social groups
remained out the focus of studies conducted, opening up the
perspectives for further searches and works. An important task
is to study the discursive, institutional and everyday aspects of
sexuality in their interconnection with other spheres of social
life and within the overall socio-cultural context. It is therefore
necessary to further conduct both the theoretical and
empirical studies aimed at studying of general and specific
characteristics, forms, methods, technologies of social
movements influence on the sexual culture of various groups
of the Russian youth.
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