Interrogating the possibilities and problems of YouTube sex edutainment content : an Actor-Network Theory approach

Garwood-Cross, LJ ORCID: 2022, Interrogating the possibilities and problems of YouTube sex edutainment content : an Actor-Network Theory approach , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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British Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) has gained public attention in recent years due to several reports highlighting gaps in provision and a change of statutory guidance for RSE in 2019. Historically RSE has linked sex with risk and shame, stifling communication and leaving gaps in RSE provision around pleasure, LGBTQ+ education, and other intersectional needs. This can lead to unfulfilled information needs that many young people try to fulfil by seeking information online. However, the rise of social media influencers has created micro-celebrities with influence on their followers. Some influencers specialise in talking openly about sex education topics. This research focuses on YouTube content created by these influencers, referred to as YouTube sex edutainment. Using an Actor-Network Theory approach, the research interrogates the possibilities and problems of this form of disseminating sex, relationships and sexual health information to understand if and how it can be utilised on a broader level to fill the gaps in provision for 13–24-year-olds. Using a three-phase mixed methods approach, this research focuses on each of the key actors in the YouTube sex edutainment assemblage: YouTube, Influencers and Young People. Phase one interrogates YouTube using Walkthrough analysis to observe opportunities and limitations of utilising YouTube for sexual health learning. Phase two develops a health influencer framework, before identifying the role of influencers within the assemblage through email interviews with YouTube sex edutainment influencers and analysis of public audience comments on their videos. The third phase uses online surveys with 13-24-year-olds to identify how British young people seek and share sex, relationships and sexual health information, and the role of digital media within this. The perspectives of each of these actors are then amalgamated to identify 3 key possibilities for YouTube sex edutainment: existing use, peer education potential, and accessibility; and 3 key problems: funding, misinformation, and platform governance; and how these could be addressed in future interventions.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Light, BA (Supervisor), Cooper-Ryan, AM (Supervisor) and Vasilica, CM (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Depositing User: Lisa Garwood-Cross
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2022 07:50
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2022 15:07

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