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Title: Attitudes to sexting amongst post-primary pupils in Northern Ireland : a liberal feminist approach
Author: York, Leanne
ISNI:       0000 0004 8504 2743
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2019
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The dominant discourse in the media is that we live in a post-feminist era, in which feminism is no longer needed as women have achieved equality (McRobbie, 2004), and are assertive, confident, dominant, and equal. However, in sexting research (Ringrose et al., 2013; 2012), girls and boys still inhabit contradictory positions on what it means to do femininity or masculinity. This study focuses on sexting amongst young people in Northern Ireland about which there is very little qualitative research. Interviews were conducted with four stakeholder organisations who assist schools in the delivery of Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE), and with pastoral care co-ordinators in three post-primary schools to ascertain how their school is currently responding to sexting issues. Focus group interviews were then conducted with seventeen (ten girls and seven boys) 14-17 year olds. Stakeholder organisations and schools view sexting behaviour in various ways: as child sexual abuse, bullying, selfish gratification, and a child protection issue. By contrast, young people see sexting as normal behaviour. The young people report that it is more likely to be boys pressurising girls for a picture, a common finding in sexting research. Unlike the literature, however, this study found that girls also instigate sexting and put pressure on boys to send pictures. Despite this, there is still an unequal relationship between girls and boys because of the objectification of girls (and, rarely, boys). The study concludes that young people should advise on the content of RSE lessons and resources, and that RSE should move away from telling young people not to sext but to help them explore appropriate relationship behaviours, including sexting. Teachers should have access to appropriate training to help them feel confident about teaching such material.
Supervisor: MacKenzie, Alison Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Sexting ; Equality ; Liberal Philosophical Feminism ; Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) ; Objectification