"We're like the sex CPR dummies": Negotiating (hetero)sex in a university residential setting
Brown, J. (2016). ‘We’re like the sex CPR dummies’: Negotiating (hetero)sex in a university residential setting (Thesis, Master of Applied Psychology (MAppPsy)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/10982
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/10982
Moving from high school and the family home to living in a communal university residence can be a significant transition, especially in regard to sexual activity and knowledge. The influence of variable sexuality education programmes, family context, and personal experiences, means that young students come to university with a wide range of sexual knowledge and experiences. The purpose of thisthesis is to represent the current narratives about sexuality and heterosex that are both prevalent and important for university students living in the residential community setting.This research utilised a qualitative approach, with participants who were living in a University of Waikato Halls of Residence taking part in a men-only, or a women-only, focus group. Semi-structured group interviews were also conducted with key informants who work and live in residential halls. Multiple themes were explicated from the focus groups and group interviews, with some discourses overlapping groups (e.g. all groups discussed contraception) and some discourses being distinct to particular groups (e.g. women talked about sexual coercion).One key finding was the dominant narratives that impact young women’s sexual pleasure. Following on from this were the ramifications of the sexual double standard for young women when living in a community setting. An additional key point of attention was the prominence of problematic sexual narratives when transitioning to the ‘adulthood’ of living in university halls. While participants were primarily happy with residential halls, information was shared regardinghow residential staff can impact on student living and contentment. Above all, it seemed that the year in residential halls appeared to be a year of liminality, or transition between ‘youth’ and ‘adult’. The findings from this research suggest a need for further investigation into sexuality discourses that profoundly impact young women and men, as well as the novel experiences of residential living.
University of Waikato
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- Masters Degree Theses