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"Protection on that erection?": Discourses of accountability & compromising participation in digital sexual health

Lookup NU author(s): Matthew Wood, Dr Andy Garbett, Dr Kellie Morrissey, Professor Peter Hopkins, Dr Madeline Balaam



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2018 Copyright is held by the owner/author(s). This paper analyses sexual health workers' 'talk' around their introduction of a digital platform to enhance a regionally managed condom distribution scheme for young people. In examining the discursive resources workers used in framing the sexual health service, their service users and digital technology, we argue that problematic ideologies around young people and sexuality were exercised and reproduced. Workers positioned themselves as the gatekeepers of young people's sexual health, who were in turn constructed as 'mischievous' and 'misguided', with technology having a corruptive role over what was considered to be 'healthy' and 'normal' sexual relationships. We suggest our findings indicate severe challenges in developing community-commissioned platforms alongside service providers, and questions how plausible user participation can be in attempting to conduct collaborative, participatory and engaged work in this context.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wood M, Garbett A, Morrissey K, Hopkins P, Balaam M

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: CHI '18: Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

Year of Conference: 2018

Pages: 664

Online publication date: 21/04/2018

Acceptance date: 21/04/2018

Date deposited: 28/06/2018

Publisher: ACM


DOI: 10.1145/3173574.3174238

Notes: Paper No.: 664

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781450356206