Thorburn, B., Gavey, N., Single, G., Wech, A., Calder-Dawe, O., & Benton-Greig, P. (2021). To send or not to send nudes: New Zealand girls critically discuss the contradictory gendered pressures of teenage sexting. Women’s Studies International Forum, 85. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wsif.2021.102448
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/14218
Drawing on principles of participatory action research, we conducted workshop interviews with New Zealand secondary school girls about the dynamics of sexting between girls and boys. We worked with seven small groups of girls (28 in total) aged 16 and 17 (each participating in a series of three workshops). Talk about the pressures associated with sexting was a key theme in the discussions. Girls identified pressures both to send nudes and to not send nudes. They described these pressures as operating on interpersonal as well as wider sociocultural levels, marked by the complicated intersection of traditional discourses of heterosexuality with permissive and postfeminist discourses of empowered female sexuality. The dynamic participatory methodology we used allowed us to move beyond simply capturing a snapshot of the gendered dynamics of pressure. It provided a space in which girls also shared reflexive critical observations of the gendered inequalities associated with this practice.
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