From 'Love Actually' to 'Love Aptually': An Investigation Into The Impact of New Social Media Technology on Gender and Sexual Scripts.

Lead Research Organisation: Newcastle University
Department Name: Sch of Geog, Politics and Sociology


Drawing on Sexual Script Theory, this project explores the multi-layered
ways in which young people are using mobile dating applications and
how this is reconfiguring gender and sexual scripts. Sexual Script Theory
provides the conceptual apparatus to interpret how competing modern
cultural artifacts continually shape metaphorical sexual and gender
scripts. This research will build upon the existing body of work which
has used Sexual Script Theory, but will also employ insights from
Science and Technology Studies in order to also explore the impacts
technologies can have in the formation of the diverse meanings and uses
of the sexual.
Despite the proliferation of mobile dating applications, it is only recently
that literature has started to address mobile dating applications as a distinct
social phenomenon, and predominantly among gay male populations. This
project is interested in building on this newly emerging body of literature,
as to my knowledge little or no research has been conducted which
explicitly looks to understand the ways heterosexual users interact with
mobile dating applications to reconstruct or reconfigure gender and sexual
Using qualitative interviews with men and women from a variety of socioeconomic
and ethnic backgrounds, this research will gather experiences,
from adults, regarding their use of mobile dating applications, with the
intention of understanding further their impact on the socially and sexually
scripted nature of motivation of use, self-presentation strategies,
authenticity management and perceived risks of using mobile dating


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P000762/1 30/09/2017 29/09/2027
2066479 Studentship ES/P000762/1 30/09/2018 09/12/2021 Melissa Whitaker