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LGBTQ+ identity development in an online setting and effects of gatekeeping phenomenon

Research project
Active research
Project period
2021 - 2024
Project owner
Department of social work

Short description

This doctoral thesis is aimed towards creating a knowledge base in the unexplored area of young people identifying as LGBTQ+ and their exploring of sexual and gender identity online. Research is struggling to keep up with the online activity of today's youth where studies show that sexual minorities sometimes only ever live their social and romantic lives in online communities. This project wants to explore the strengths and protective factors online interactions and community have for LGBTQ+ youth as well as the risks associated with sexual identity seeking online where research shows that the LGBTQ+ population is especially vulnerable.

More about the project

This project wants to explore the strengths and protective factors online interactions and community have for LGBTQ+ youth as well as the risks associated with sexual identity seeking online where research shows that the LGBTQ+ population is especially vulnerable. These include sexual risk taking, minority stress and negative health outcomes from gatekeeping phenomena where conflict appears between the more established LGBT population and newer identity labels, primarily queer and trans identified - excluded from the majority population as well as excluded from a minority community.

Method

The project has a multi-method internet-based design. Qualitative interviews through media of choice based on participant observation and a cross-platform approach including user profile analysis. Additionally, we aim to improve methods in measuring health in relation to exploring sexuality on the internet for clinicians within social work, e.g., youth guidance centers (Ungdomsmottagningar).

Theoretical framework

The theoretical framework has a social constructionist perspective with several possible entries. The thesis will be written in English, but results will also be accessible in Swedish for professionals within sexual health and social work.