January 20, 2016

Al-Alosi on Young People as Creators of Sexually Explicit Online Fan Fiction and the Australian Legal Regime

Hadell Al-Alosi, University of New South Wales, Faculty of Law, has published Young People as Creators of Sexually Explicit Online Material: Fan Fiction and the Law in Australia as UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2015-74. Here is the abstract.
Debate concerning the role of traditional media in the sexualization of young people tends to view young people as a special group of consumers who require protection from some media content and its potential risks. However, with the advent of new media technologies, young people are no longer passive consumers of sexualized representations, but also generators of sexually explicit material that is created and shared among their peers. This challenge has raised concern among those adults who remain ambivalent, or perhaps in denial, about the possibility that young people are sexually curious. Accordingly, this essay seeks to challenge the view that young people are simply passive recipients of sexual messages in the media by highlighting the role that young people play as producers of media content, in particular through the production of fan fiction. This essay investigates the potential criminalization of young people whose online communications about sex can be classified as criminal acts under Australia’s child abuse material legislation. Interviews were conducted with five members of the judiciary to ascertain how this kind of communication might be viewed in a court of law. This was conducted as part of larger research project that seeks to analyze how Australia’s child abuse material legislation may impact on the sexual self-expression of young people themselves.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

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