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EROTICS: Sex, rights and the internet (An exploratory research study)

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, Ago 11 ((APC))

Carried out in Brazil, India, Lebanon, South Africa & USA the research looks at how the internet plays host to critical information about sex education, health, fighting sex discrimination and defining one’s own sexuality. It debunks the commonly-held view that sexuality online is just about pornography. It debunks the commonly-held view that sexuality online is just about pornography.

The EROTICS project took place between June 2008 and June 2011.

Each of the country teams engaged with diverse sections of society and communities, including young women (India), library users and particularly young people among them (US), transgender people (South Africa), lesbian women (Lebanon, India and Brazil), sexual rights advocates (Lebanon and Brazil), social networking users (all countries) and men who advocate for relationships with young people (Brazil).

The five EROTICS country reports map the current landscape of sexual and internet rights, and examine the value of the internet in the exercise of rights by people of diverse sexualities:

The South Africa report unpacks in detail how transgendered women and men converge at a popular transgender site to share their struggles in transitioning, including treatment options, unlearning dominant gender norms, celebration of achieved milestones and exchange of experiences in discrimination faced.

The Lebanon report highlights the registration of www.gaylebanon.com – also the only known website to face legal prosecution in the country – as being recognised to mark the beginning of an organised movement.

The Brazilia report documents the “Mega No” online campaign against a proposed law that could significantly hamper the free flow of information on sexuality and sexual health online demonstrates the potency of civil society engagement and mass mobilisation of support through the internet.

The India report uncovers ways in which young women are able to push the boundaries of cultural and social barriers that place intense scrutiny on their sexuality.

The US report showcases that young people under the age of seventeen are unable to access unfiltered content in publicly funded libraries. Added to the lack of comprehensive sex education in schools, this may place them at risk by denying them access to critical information.

Jump to sections of the report directly or download the full findings

Emerging threads and common gaps: A synthesis – page 6 Jac sm Kee

Brazil: Internet regulation and sexual politics in Brazil – page 19
Sonia Corrêa, Marina Maria and Jandira Queiroz (Sexuality Policy Watch)
and Bruno Dallacort Zilli and Horacio Federico Sívori (Latin American Center on Sexuality and Human Rights, CLAM)

India: Negotiating intimacy and harm: Female internet users in Mumbai – page 66
Manjima Bhattacharjya and Maya Indira Ganesh

Lebanon: Who’s afraid of the big bad internet? – page 109
Nadine Moawad and Tamara Qiblaw

South Africa: The internet and sexual identities: Exploring transgender and lesbian use of the internet in South Africa – page 135
Jeanne Prinsloo and Nicolene C. McLean (Rhodes University)
and Relebohile Moletsane (University of KwaZulu-Natal)

United States: Restricted access to information: Youth and sexuality – page 176
Kevicha Echols and Melissa Ditmore, Sex Work Awareness

FOR INTERVIEWS contact Karen Higgs khiggs@apc.org or on skype karen_apc

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