Generation Y: re-writing the rules on sex, love and consent
AffiliationArts: Centre for Public Policy
Arts: Department of Criminology
Education: Youth Research Centre
School of Political Science, Criminology and Sociology
Document TypePhD thesis
CitationsPowell, A. (2007). Generation Y: re-writing the rules on sex, love and consent. PhD thesis, School of Political Science, Criminology and Sociology, The University of Melbourne.
Access StatusOpen Access
© 2007 Dr. Anastasia Powell
This thesis explores the love/sex relationships of 117 young people (aged 14 to 24) of diverse sexualities from rural and urban Victoria. Drawing significantly on the sociological theory of Pierre Bourdieu and engaging with postmodern feminist and gender theorists, young people’s negotiation of sexual consent is examined. In-depth interview and focus group data depict a world of unwritten and persistent, but not unchangeable, ‘rules’ regarding sex, love and consent. For the young people participating in this research, the negotiation of safe and consensual sex means navigating these multiple and sometimes contradictory meanings. Young people are simultaneously positioned within social structures and in relation to gendered discourse, resulting in varying opportunity for active reflection and communication of what they and a partner might want from a sexual encounter. This thesis argues for reform of policy and educative responses to youth sex and sexual violence, in order to reinforce young people’s ability to actively negotiate safe and consensual sex.
Keywordsyouth; sexuality; education; sexual violence; prevention
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