Project status: Completed

The first phase of the project used textual and discursive analysis of the work of Mat Fraser (UK), Back-to-Back Theatre , Marie Chouinard, Bill Shannon (USA), Aaron Williamson and Kathryn Araneillo (UK) and James Cunningham to develop a framework for interpreting the practices, and the positioning of spectators in the practices. In the second phase, the author will draw preliminary papers and publications together into a book. In the third phase, the author will pursue a publication contract for the book.

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Research leader
Organisational unit
Lead unit
Start date
1 January 2008
End date
1 November 2009
Research areas


An exegesis of referees' reports from social science journals points to a number of differences between social science and humanities research into pornography. Social scientists avoid 'vulgar' language such as 'titwank' to describe what happens in pornography; humanities scholars do not. Social scientists and humanities scholars differ about what constitutes 'objectivity' and how valuable this is. Social scientists assume that pornography must have primarily negative effects; humanities scholars have been open to possible positive effects. Social science treats previous paradigms as inviolate; humanities research tends to celebrate originality. Social science research tends to see casual sex and sadomasochism as negative; this is less the case in humanities research.

Publications and output

Paper accepted by the International Journal of Sexual Health: 'Healthy sexual development: a multidisciplinary framework for research'

Refereed paper presented at conference: Porn Cultures: Regulation, Political Economy, and Technology, Leeds, 2009: 'Does pornography damage young people'. To be published in conference proceedings

Article accepted for publication by the Australian Journal of Communication: 'Differences between journalistic and academic accounts of child sexual abuse in Australia'

Article submitted to Media International Australia: 'Everything is child abuse' Grant application for Department of Health and Ageing in preparation