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Examining the raunch culture thesis through young Australian women's interpretations of contradictory discourses
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-17, 12:27 authored by Bishop, EC
According to a series of recent accounts, the sex industry is now a key facet of youth culture and sexualised imagery has infiltrated both the public imagination and the most private of practices. Unsurprisingly, there is greater concern over the implications of this new 'raunch culture' for young women, than young men. Rather than resisting, it is argued that young women are conforming en mass to soft-porn imagery and practices and in doing so, have lost touch with their own desires. To highlight some of the problems with these accounts, in this paper I draw on interview data from research into young Australian men and women's interpretations of sex and sexual risk. However, to pursue my key argument I focus only on the young women's accounts. Findings show that rather than being saturated in raunch culture, young women are exposed to multiple, often contradictory cultural discourses relating to gender and sex, which they differently incorporate, transform and sometimes reject as they construct sexual narratives. I conclude that the raunch culture literature is couched in a series of damaging generalisations which ignore youth diversity and position women as agents of their own oppression but not of their own desire.
Publication titleJournal of Youth Studies
Department/SchoolSchool of Social Sciences
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
Rights statementCopyright 2012 Taylor & Francis