Time really does fly, it has been over a month since I last blogged! A considerable chunk of the project has now been completed. We have had five group meetings, and interviews with each member of the group are underway. After the interviews, we have two more scheduled group meetings and then we will hold a final meeting later in the year to analyse our findings.
I have been learning a lot about women’s experiences of pornography but also the practicalities of doing research. Finding a reliable source of pizza for each group meeting and an appropriate room for our discussions has been a challenge! We have had some interesting discussions in our last few groups. In one group meeting we watched different music videos and talked about the representation of women within them. There was a real diversity in opinion on these videos, and often we interpreted things very differently from one another.
Since I last blogged, there have been some important policy developments in relation to pornography. The government has announced that age verification checks for pornography sites will soon be introduced, see here. You can read more about the government consultation that informed this here. Whatever your position on pornography, it is worth reading up on this new policy as it has wider implications relating to privacy, data collection and storage, and state regulation of the internet. This policy is something that I hope to discuss further with the women in the project.
On Friday the 30th of June, I attended the Healthy Sexual Development Symposium at the University of Westminster. You can look at some of the day’s events through the Twitter hashtag #HSD2017. It was a helpful event for me as I had the opportunity to meet practitioners and those involved in delivering sex and relationship education. I hope I can collaborate in some capacity with practitioners in the future. They offer an important perspective on sex and pornography, one that in my current role in academia, I am not directly privy to. It was really informative to hear their experiences. I was then able to use some of what I learned from the symposium as a basis for a group discussion which was really interesting.
I will blog again soon with further updates of the project. We are waiting to hear back about a funding application for the group to go on a field trip together. I will also be discussing with my supervisors about conducting further interviews for the project with women recruited outside of the group. If you have any questions or comments, please do get in touch!