In the second phase of the groundbreaking EROTICS project, an exploratory research project into sexuality and the internet, the Association for Progressive Communications has launched a new website (http://erotics.apc.org) to reflect the project’s background, share knowledge and feature updates on the initiative.
EROTICS, developed by APC and partners from India, Brazil and Indonesia, aims to narrow the gap between political assumptions and an understanding of content and “harm” based on women’s real experience of sexuality online.
“Our government requested removal of sex education materials from our website, due to an anonymous report of ‘sexually explicit contents’.”
“We are often barred from sharing information on sexuality, as that is deemed as ‘bad manners’, hence we cannot discuss critical issues on abortion, rape, LGBTI rights and the right to contraception.”
These difficulties experienced by sexual rights activists while using the internet, shared by respondents to a survey carried out by EROTICS, clearly show that while the internet has become a space for online threats and restrictions of activists’ work, it is also an indispensable tool for feminist and LGBTQI advocacy.
The new website is built on a key premise: Sexuality online is not just about pornography. This is what inspired the two-phase EROTICS project.
During the first phase of the initiative, a breakthrough study was carried out in Brazil, India, Lebanon, South Africa and the United States from 2008 to 2010, to look at how the internet plays host to critical information about sex education, health, fighting sex discrimination and defining one’s own sexuality. All the groundbreaking findings of this cross-country research are available on the website (download EROTICS: Sex, rights and the internet or an executive summary).
What else is available on the EROTICS website?
Explore! Find out more about the EROTICS research and the global monitoring survey
Findings from the first phase of the EROTICS exploratory research project in 5 countries indicated that the the internet has become an important emerging public sphere for democratic deliberations where rights are contested and defended. At the same time, that revolutionary potential of the internet is being threatened and constrained through increasing regulation by state and non-state actors.
Some of the material available drawn from the EROTICS research:
- Youth, Sex and the Law – Content Regulation in US Publicly Funded Libraries
- Exploring Transgender and Lesbian Use of The Internet in South Africa
- Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Internet? Internet Regulation and the Queer Movement in Lebanon
- Female Internet Users in Mumbai Negotiate Intimacy and Harm
- Online Sexual Publics and the Debate on Internet Regulation in Brazil
- Emerging threads and common gaps: Executive Summary
- Sexual Rights Activism & the Internet: Infographic
- Survey on sexual activism, morality, and the internet
- Indonesia: Put sex on the internet!
- EROTICS: An Exploratory Research on Sexuality & The Internet – Literature Review
Check out the latest news about the project and related themes.
Go through the survey’s preliminary findings.
Take a look and share the creative visuals displayed on the website, such as the infographic based on the 2013 survey findings titled Sexual rights activism and the internet or the latest one titled Love in the times of the internet prepared for February 14.
This platform also provides useful tools and resources for internet and sexual rights activists:
- Global Information Society Watch 2013 on Women’s Rights, Gender and ICTs This edition of GISWatch explores women’s rights and gender through the lens of information and communications technologies. It includes a series of expert thematic reports on issues such as access to infrastructure, participation, online disobedience, and sexuality online, as well as 46 country reports on topics like the rights of domestic workers, trafficking in women, participation in governance, child brides, and the right to abortion.
- Be Safe! Take Back the Tech! APC’s Take Back the Tech! campaign offers tips and tricks to get to know technology and find out how you can take steps to make your online experience a safer one.
- Digital Security First-Aid Kit for Human Rights Defenders This kit, created for the Connect your Rights campaign of the Association for Progressive Communications, contains short guides for human rights defenders who find themselves in emergencies related to communication and digital security.
- Internet Rights are Human Rights training modules A series of training modules concerned with the relationship between human rights, ICTs and the internet. These modules are intended to help those who work on human rights and/or ICTs, and others with an interest in the issues, to understand ways in which the internet is affecting the enjoyment and protection of rights – now and in the future – and explore how these affect their work.
Join our networks
If you’re a scholar or an activist interested in the intersections of sexual rights and internet rights, join our global network by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Report a violation
The EROTICS project documents and studies internet-based violations of sexual rights and activism. If you have a story or a problem related to censorship or blocking of content, violations of privacy and security, online harassment or discrimination on the basis of sexuality, and policies or laws that hinder your work, please visit the website and report the violation. You can read more about our 2013 global monitoring survey results here.
Check out the website and get involved!
Send a message on Twitter using the hashtag #eroticsproject to let us know of additional tools and resources you would like to see featured on the website, and what you would find useful to improve your activism around the internet and sexual rights. We will collect that information and make it available in the Tools and Resources section of the website.
In a few weeks the EROTICS project will initiate the second round of a global survey for sexual rights activists that seeks to expose the difficulties such activists face in developing free and full access to the internet for their work as advocates. The first round of the survey, conducted in 2013, resulted in a wide range of significant findings, among them that 98% of sexual rights activists consider the internet as an important public sphere for the advancement of sexual rights, and that more than half of the respondents have received violent or threatening messages and experienced hacking, intimidation, technical damage, unwanted access to their private information, blocking and filtering, or censorship.
The preliminary findings of the first round of the survey are available here
About the project:
Meet the EROTICS partners
About the Association for Progressive Communications
The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) is an international network and non-profit organisation founded in 1990 that wants everyone to have access to a free and open internet to improve lives and create a more just world.
WRP Communications associate
Tel: + 55 02477 640312