Illicit sex and risk-taking behaviours: a qualitative study of the public sexual practices of MSM in Newcastle upon Tyne

Parker, Katharine (2019) Illicit sex and risk-taking behaviours: a qualitative study of the public sexual practices of MSM in Newcastle upon Tyne. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

Text (Doctoral thesis)
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The purpose of this thesis is to examine the impact of the current legal framework in England and Wales governing public sexual practices upon the risk-taking behaviours of men who have sex with men (MSM) in public sex environments in Newcastle upon Tyne. Adopting a feminist methodological approach and drawing upon queer theory and edgework, this thesis critically examines the narratives of sixteen self-identified MSM as they discuss the ways in which they construct, negotiate and manage the socio-legal and physical risks associated with their public sexual activities. In doing so, this thesis makes an original contribution to knowledge by furthering queer understandings of the socio-legal landscape with emphasis placed upon identity, risk, and environment.

Geographically bound within the post-industrial city of Newcastle upon Tyne, this thesis qualitatively explores how the conceptions of risk held by the participants of this study as they contemplate and engage in public sexual practices can be fluid and can change in response to a variety of social relations. Drawing upon Lyng’s (1990) concept of edgework which emphasises the lived experiences of risk, this thesis takes a view of risk-taking as not always a pre-cursor to a negative event or experience, but rather as a means for exploring the liminal margins of everyday urban life.

The positioning of MSM within these liminal urban spaces poses significant challenges to law enforcement agencies and local and national service providers alike. As a demographic they are often considered hard to reach by traditional methods of service provision and as such are categorised as ‘high-risk’. It is anticipated that the data contained within this thesis could be utilised by local and national service providers as well as law enforcement agents to provide information and inform strategy regarding the service provision and harm reduction needs of MSM in their communities.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: public sex, men who have sex with men, same-sex intimacies
Subjects: L300 Sociology
M100 Law by area
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Northumbria Law School
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: Ay Okpokam
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2020 16:00
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2022 15:00

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