Visiting Professor - Professor Simon Forrest (Durham University) to present on searching, finding, making and remaking young sexual identities

Start date and time

Wednesday 6 November 2019


Edinburgh Napier University (Sighthill Campus)

'Mostly I wanted to know about...': Searching, finding, making and remaking young sexual identities, the murky work of the Internet and young people's engagement with it.

The growth of online spaces creates new contexts in which young people can seek, find or indeed stumble upon information about gender, sexualities and sexual health. We know very little about the approaches that they take to accessing and using these spaces either as active searchers for or accidental consumers of information. We face challenging questions in research and practice about how to engage with these spaces and their use in relation to and as part of other interventions with them. We need to understand what sense young people make of what they seek and find and, critically, how the algorithms that lay behind these sources maybe generative of new ways of 'doing' sexualities and potentially new sexual scripts and narratives.

In this seminar, organised by Dr Sally Brown, Professor Simon Forrest will draw on his recent and ongoing work on the use of social media to promote 'natural, non-hormonal' contraception to young women and young people's use of online space and sources to find answers to questions about sex, sexualities and sexual health. Simon invites you to consider questions about the ways that new digital spaces are creating and constraining opportunities for young people to make and remake sexual identities and lives.

Simon Forrest is a Professor in Sociology and Principal of the College of St Hild and St Bede at Durham University. He has been researching and writing about gender, sexualities and sexual health for almost 30 years. He chairs the Board of Trustees of AVERT, an international HIV/Aids charity and chairs the Newcastle City 'Sexually Healthy City' Initiative.