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.

Read details

Research leader
Organisational unit
Lead unit
Start date
1st January 2008
End date
1st 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