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Meanings of Bodily and Sexual Expression in Youth Sexting Culture: Young Women’s Negotiation of Gendered Risks and Harms

Setty, Emily (2019) Meanings of Bodily and Sexual Expression in Youth Sexting Culture: Young Women’s Negotiation of Gendered Risks and Harms Sex Roles, 80 (9-10). pp. 586-606.

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Abstract

The present paper explores how young people construct gendered social meanings and cultural norms surrounding sexual and bodily expression in youth sexting culture. Previous research suggests youth sexting is a gendered phenomenon in which young men are able to seek social capital through sexting, whereas young women are subject to social shaming and harassment. Drawing upon findings from group and one-to-one interviews with 41 young people aged 14–18, I show how constructs of risk, shame, and responsibility operated along gendered lines. Young people attributed agency and legitimacy to young men’s sexual practices, whereas young women were disempowered, denied legitimacy, and tasked with managing gendered risks of harm in youth sexting culture. I discuss how young women negotiated and navigated risk and shame and, in some instances, made space for safe, pleasurable sexting experiences despite and within these narratives. The accounts of two young women, who shared experiences sexting and social shaming, are presented to show some of the ways young women make sense of social meanings and cultural norms on individual and interpersonal levels. I conclude that challenging gendered harm requires a (re)legitimisation of feminine sexuality and bodily expression away from narratives of risk and shame.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Sociology
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Setty, Emilyemily.setty@surrey.ac.uk
Date : May 2019
Funders : University of Surrey
DOI : 10.1007/s11199-018-0957-x
Copyright Disclaimer : © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018
Uncontrolled Keywords : Sexting; Young people; Gender; Sexism; Shame
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 28 May 2019 09:37
Last Modified : 01 Sep 2019 02:08
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/851893

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