Sex Lives in Second Life

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Abstract:

Cyberspace has often been regarded as a place where gender and sexual identities can be reformed in liberatory ways. Unfortunately, there is a good deal of online sexual and gender play that objectifies women and marginalizes queer identities. Therefore, we argue for an alternative critical approach to the study of gender and sexuality in cyberspace, one that views the agency of interactive media from the perspective of docility. In this article, we critically examine gender and sex practices in the online virtual environment Second Life. We conclude that while sexual and gender norms may be resisted in cyberspace, these same norms can also be reproduced in ways that are retrograde.

Keywords: Gender; MMORPG; Queer; Second Life; Sexuality

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15295030902860260

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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