Turning a blind eye: How online pornography can shape young people's understandings of sexual consent, sex, sexuality, and/or gender

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dc.contributor.advisor McGlashan, Hayley
dc.contributor.advisor Powell, Darren
dc.contributor.author Parsons, Sam
dc.date.accessioned 2022-07-14T04:08:39Z
dc.date.available 2022-07-14T04:08:39Z
dc.date.issued 2022 en
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/2292/60431
dc.description.abstract This thesis examines the ways young people understand what they may have learned about sex, sexuality and/or gender from engaging with online pornography, as well as how pornography may have shaped their understanding of sexual consent. Based on an exploratory, narrative enquiry approach, this thesis illuminates the lived experiences of two young men in Aotearoa New Zealand – Sung-Ho and Billy – and how their engagement with online pornography shaped their understanding of sexual consent, sex, sexuality, and/or gender. Questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, and journal entries were used to collate rich empirical evidence. A queer sex-positive feminist theoretical framework was drawn on to examine how participants thought about and reflected on their learnings and understandings of sexual consent, sex, sexuality, and/or gender from online pornography. This framework was supported by two theoretical concepts: Gavey’s (2019) cultural scaffolding and Butler’s (1990) performativity. The convergence of queer and feminist frameworks and theoretical concepts enabled me to contextualise participants’ subjective experiences with greater attention to how they are influenced by, and attempt to resist, notions of hierarchy. My analysis of participants’ experiences and understanding of pornography revealed that they did not perceive to have learned ‘anything’ about sexual consent from their engagements with online pornography. However, participants reflected on how, as teenagers and young adults, they thought of sexual consent as not requiring conversation or communication before or during engaging in sexual acts with others. Because online pornography was where participants received the majority of their sex education, this suggests that its influence may have been that it reinforced and further normalised pre-existing notions of consent. In relation to how online pornography may have influenced their conceptualisations of sex and identity, my conversations with participants illuminated how they learned that sex was purely physical and that their sexual performance should reflect that of professional actors. Furthermore, participants situated their experiences with pornography as complex, nuanced, and gendered. I concluded that participants’ understandings of sexual consent, sex, sexuality, and gender seemed to be influenced by online pornography in ways that reinforced and further normalised already existing cisheteronormative discourses.
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/nz/
dc.title Turning a blind eye: How online pornography can shape young people's understandings of sexual consent, sex, sexuality, and/or gender
dc.type Thesis en
thesis.degree.discipline Health and physical education
thesis.degree.grantor The University of Auckland en
thesis.degree.level Masters en
dc.date.updated 2022-07-04T04:19:57Z
dc.rights.holder Copyright: the author en
dc.rights.accessrights http://purl.org/eprint/accessRights/OpenAccess en

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