Date of Award

Summer 8-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Forensic Psychology



First Advisor or Mentor

Elizabeth L. Jeglic

Second Reader

Corinne Ortega

Third Advisor

Zoe Berko


Within the transformative fandom community is an ideologically-affiliated group known as anti-shippers, whose rhetoric contends that fictional interests are an indication of those held in reality. Anti-shippers focus solely on fictional material perceived to be sexual in nature and make frequent references to pedophilia. This rhetoric is used to justify harassment against individuals who do not share in their beliefs. As this population primarily operates on social media, this study was designed to conduct an exploratory investigation into themes gleaned from posts authored by anti-shippers on Twitter. Utilizing latent content analysis, a total of 187 posts from 222 unique users were evaluated, resulting in the identification of 19 themes. Anti-shippers were found to operate from an antagonistic in-group versus out-group position. Several topical themes, such as incest, pedophilia, and sexual grooming were observed. Additionally, anti-shippers exhibited a number of behavioral themes, to include hypervigilance, harassment, and preoccupation, while themes regarding beliefs and values, particularly disgust and morality were also noted. Though further research is required, these themes indicate a troubling pattern, suggesting that anti-shippers present a risk to the transformative fandom community, its members, and themselves.



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