The politics of sex

13 November 2015

“For many, sexuality goes to the heart of who we are as human beings,” writes Alan Finlay, the editor of the latest Global information society watch (GISWatch) report and also the guest editor for this edition of GenderIT.org. The 2015 GISWatch brings stories on the politics of sex and sexual rights online from 52 countries worldwide. Through interviews with authors, and a selection of links to online reports, this GenderIT.org edition draws on and highlights the stories published in GISWatch, ranging from the challenges and possibilities that the internet offers to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LBGTQ) communities, to female genital mutilation, the right to legal abortions, to the rights of sex workers, criminalization of sexual expressions or sex education in schools.

EDITORIAL

The politics of sex and sexual rights online
By Alan Finlay

For many, sexuality goes to the heart of who we are as human beings. As these country reports show, it can be both an intensely private negotiation, and an issue of direct public and political expression. Both the vulnerability and resilience of sexual rights online are felt in these reports. They show that for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LBGTQ) communities, the internet offers a place of resistance, retreat and support, but is also a space for persecution both by authorities and hate groups.

INTERVIEWS

“Putting locks on our chastity belts…”
A number of reports in this year’s GISWatch focused on the everyday reality when it comes to sexuality that many teenagers face when using the internet. GenderIT.org’s writer Florencia Roveri and the co-author of Argentinian GISWatch report speaks to three other authors – Mariana Giorgetti Valente from InternetLab – Law and Technology Research Center in Brazil, Lin McDevittPugh from Netsheila in The Netherlands and Nieke Jahja from the Center for Civic Engagement and Studies in Indonesia, as they each approached this topic from different angles.

Restraining alternative sexual practices in Thailand
Thaweeporn Kummetha is an active journalist and blogger and works for the Thai Netizen Network. She wrote on cyber sexuality in Thailand, and the use of the internet in the sex trade in the country. Kummetha was interviewed by Lamia Kosovic on Thailand’s new Dangerous Behaviours bill which bans unconventional sexual practices.

RELATED RESOURCES

GISWatch 2015 – Sexual rights and the internet

Cyber sexuality in Thailand: the use of the internet in the sex trade

Dealing with sexting in schools in the Netherlands

Not revenge, not porn: analysing the exposure of teenage girls online in Brazil

Sexuality online: Addressing the information needs of teenagers in Indonesia

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