Facebooking homophobia

Same sex attracted young people's experiences as members of Facebook groups set up to combat homophobia

My name is Marisa Monagle and I am a PhD Candidate studying at the Australian Research Centre in Sex Health and Society (ARCSHS) La Trobe University, under the joint supervision of Assoc. Prof. Lynne Hillier and Prof. Anne Mitchell.

Description of Project

Previous research has shown that the internet is a place where same sex attracted young people can find like minded people for providing a community, information and friendships. I am interested in finding out about the experiences and the impacts these groups may or may not have on same sex attracted young people who are members of Facebook groups set up to combat homophobia. This project has two phases, phase one occurred prior to placing the advertisement for participants and it involved me examining the group's site, looking at group member's postings and groups rules. This enabled me to get an understanding of what are the group's aims and rules, and what the group members are discussing. This in turn has helped me form the questions that I will be asking you should you proceed and participate. I am therefore currently recruiting for phase two and I am looking for same sex attracted young people 16-25 to participate in individual MSN interviews.

What is required to participate?

You qualify to participate in this research if you are:

  • Same sex attracted
  • Aged between 16-25
  • Are a member of an anti-homophobia group on Facebook
  • Living in Australia

Participation will involve a MSN interview with me that will last approximately 60mins. Interviews will be copied and saved. Interview times will be negotiated between you the participant and me. Participants will be offered a $30 I-Tunes voucher (not redeemable for cash) as a 'thankyou' for their time.

The interview questions will first ask about why you joined the groups and what was going on in your offline and online life at the time and since then. Secondly, the interview will explore the interaction that you have within the groups. And thirdly the interview will explore the impact joining these groups may or may not have had on the way you feel about your sexuality online and offline.

Negative emotions

The interview is not designed to upset you in any way however if at any time during your participation in this research you feel upset and should you wish to talk to someone about your feelings you can stop the interview and withdraw from the research. You can also contact –

Kidshelpline - Australia's only free, private and confidential, telephone and online counselling service specifically for young people. Ph: 1800551800 or go to www.kidshelpline.com.au/

Reachout - provides young people with the information, help, support, advice and connections they need to manage mental health difficulties. www.reachout.com.au

Lifeline - 24hr crisis support. Ph. 131144 or go to www.lifeline.org.au

How can I participate?

If you are interested in being interviewed or would like more information, please email me at mjmonagle@students.latrobe.edu.au .

If you would like to participate in an interview, I will email you a short questionnaire with some selection questions to answer, these will ask for some demographic information about you and your group membership. I am asking these to ensure that I have a diverse group of participants. You may or may not be accepted for participation. Once you are accepted I will send you an information sheet and a consent form to participate prior to interview.

Should you participate in this research you will have the right to withdraw from active participation from the project at anytime. There are no disadvantages, penalties or adverse consequences for not participating or withdrawing from the research.

Are you interested? Do you have you any questions?

If you would like to hear more about this study, please don't hesitate to contact me, Marisa Monagle by email on mjmonagle@students.latrobe.edu.au .

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