Date of Degree

6-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Liberal Studies

Advisor

Patricia Ticineto Clough

Subject Categories

Communication | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Online and Distance Education | Sociology

Keywords

Social Media, YouTube, Sexual Health Education, Queer, Sex Positive, Third-wave Feminism

Abstract

The 1990s saw the rise of third wave feminism, queer theory and the digital age. This paper looks at how the three come together in YouTube video bloggers’ promotion of queer sex-positive ideology. Sex positivism is the belief that all safe, consensual sex is healthy, while queer theory emphasizes the diversity and instability of sex and gender identities. YouTube vloggers engaged in life-streaming profit from the entertainment value of revealing personal sexual information while framing their sexual revelations as healthy, shame-free sex positivism. In doing so, they also put their unique and sometimes changing sexualities on public display, in effect providing viewers with in-depth portraits of queer sexuality. Analyzing a select collection of feminist and queer vloggers who share their sexual information online, I argue that YouTube vlogging functions as a valuable and effective platform for sexual health education.

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