Honors Theses

Author(s)

Emma Venetis

Advisor

Jamie Small, Ph.D.

Department

Sociology

Publication Date

4-2018

Document Type

Article

Abstract

The introduction of sexuality information to young people has been a point of tension in our society for decades as adults argue over how, when, or if young people should learn such information. However, with the rise of digital technology, the ability of adults to regulate young people’s access to information about sexuality has minimized significantly. Yet the curriculum in sexuality education classrooms continues to be debated while little research has been done examining the easily-accessible information that lives on the Internet. This thesis analyzes two popular sexuality education channels on YouTube, sexplanations and lacigreen, with subscriber counts ranging from nearly half a million to over 1.5 million. Data were collected through content analysis of approximately 27.5 hours of video. Findings indicate that sexuality education on YouTube takes a comprehensive, "sex positive" approach, covering a range of topics including anatomy, sexual orientation, consent, contraception, and sexual instruction. Video creators' values and identities, as well as the structure of YouTube itself, impact the information that is presented. This analysis is significant as it indicates that formally regulated sexuality education programs may no longer be relevant and usergenerated digital education is introducing new perspectives on sex and sexuality to young people.

Permission Statement

This item is protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code) and may only be used for noncommercial, educational, and scholarly purposes

Disciplines

Sociology


Included in

Sociology Commons

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