Crime or culture? Representations of chemsex in the British press and magazines aimed at GBTQ+ men

Heritage, Frazer and Baker, Paul (2021) Crime or culture? Representations of chemsex in the British press and magazines aimed at GBTQ+ men. Critical Discourse Studies. ISSN 1740-5904

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Abstract

Chemsex is a phenomenon in which typically gay, bisexual, trans, queer, and/or related communities of men (GBTQ+ men) take psychoactive drugs while having sex, often without a condom. The practice can lead to increased rates of HIV transmission, sexual assault, and in extreme cases murder. GBTQ+ men are already a stigmatised group so those who engage in chemsex face multiple stigmas. This study examines the ways that two types of media report on chemsex while negotiating these stigmas. We take a large data set of newspaper articles written for the general British public and a smaller data set of magazines aimed at GBTQ+ men to examine how chemsex is represented in the media. We find that the mainstream press focus on extreme criminal cases involving chemsex, while the media aimed at GBTQ+ men focus on counselling services and discuss chemsex in relation to gay culture. Chemsex is unlikely to go away, and so we address how information about it is conveyed in different media and call for more research in this area.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1080/17405904.2021.1910052
Date: 21 April 2021
Uncontrolled Keywords: Chemsex, sexual health, corpus linguistics, queer linguistics, media discourse
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Q100 Linguistics
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences > Dept. Psychology
Depositing User: Frazer Heritage
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2021 09:57
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2021 10:25
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12032

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