Digital technology is helping women to explore their sexuality

January 12, 2018

Women who consume Internet pornography are using technology to explore their sexuality and connect with others to discuss their sexual interests, according to research from the University of Waterloo.

The qualitative study involved in-depth discussions with 28 women across the spectrum of sexual identities who had consumed online erotic material. Through the interviews, researchers found that pornography encouraged women to embrace their sexuality and that digital technology has helped them to connect with others to discuss issues such as new sexual practices and the use of sexual aids.

"We know from existing research that women are one of the fastest growing groups of people consuming online pornography and this study helps us understand some of the reasons they are doing so," said Diana Parry, a professor of recreation and leisure studies at Waterloo. "It also seems clear that technology has enabled women to explore pornography on their own terms and to explore aspects of their sexuality that are new to them."

In conducting the study, researchers learned that the privacy offered by personal computers and smartphones made women more comfortable exploring erotic material that they may have felt less comfortable accessing in more traditional ways.

The study used a cyber-feminist theoretical lens, which looks at the interplay of gender and technology.

The research is part of a larger study conducted by Parry, Penny Light, a professor at Thompson Rivers University, and Janet McKeown, who did her PhD at Waterloo, that explored how digital technology facilitates women's consumption of explicit online material.

"It's important to understand that society still has a very traditional idea of women's sexuality, with views that are typically more accepting of men's needs and desires," said Parry. "Digital technology appears to have the ability to highlight women's sexuality in a way that we haven't seen before."
-end-
The research was recently published in the journal Sexuality and Culture.

University of Waterloo

Related Technology Articles from Brightsurf:

December issue SLAS Technology features 'advances in technology to address COVID-19'
The December issue of SLAS Technology is a special collection featuring the cover article, ''Advances in Technology to Address COVID-19'' by editors Edward Kai-Hua Chow, Ph.D., (National University of Singapore), Pak Kin Wong, Ph.D., (The Pennsylvania State University, PA, USA) and Xianting Ding, Ph.D., (Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China).

October issue SLAS Technology now available
The October issue of SLAS Technology features the cover article, 'Role of Digital Microfl-uidics in Enabling Access to Laboratory Automation and Making Biology Programmable' by Varun B.

Robot technology for everyone or only for the average person?
Robot technology is being used more and more in health rehabilitation and in working life.

Novel biomarker technology for cancer diagnostics
A new way of identifying cancer biomarkers has been developed by researchers at Lund University in Sweden.

Technology innovation for neurology
TU Graz researcher Francesco Greco has developed ultra-light tattoo electrodes that are hardly noticeable on the skin and make long-term measurements of brain activity cheaper and easier.

April's SLAS Technology is now available
April's Edition of SLAS Technology Features Cover Article, 'CURATE.AI: Optimizing Personalized Medicine with Artificial Intelligence'.

Technology in higher education: learning with it instead of from it
Technology has shifted the way that professors teach students in higher education.

Post-lithium technology
Next-generation batteries will probably see the replacement of lithium ions by more abundant and environmentally benign alkali metal or multivalent ions.

Rethinking the role of technology in the classroom
Introducing tablets and laptops to the classroom has certain educational virtues, according to Annahita Ball, an assistant professor in the University at Buffalo School of Social Work, but her research suggests that tech has its limitations as well.

The science and technology of FAST
The Five hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST), located in a radio quiet zone, with the targets (e.g., radio pulsars and neutron stars, galactic and extragalactic 21-cm HI emission).

Read More: Technology News and Technology Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.