An exploration of social media use among multiply minoritized LGBTQ youth
Alfie Leanna Lucero, The University of Texas at El Paso, United States
The University of Texas at El Paso . Awarded
This study responds to a need for research in a fast-growing and significant area of study, that of exploring, understanding, and documenting the numerous ways that multiply marginalized LGBTQ youth between the ages of 14 and 17 use social media. The primary research question examined whether social media provide safe spaces for multiply minoritized LGBTQ youth to express and explore issues of sexuality and gender. In addition, the study explores and categorizes multiple ways that the participants interact with social media and makes comparisons to prior work with more general populations. The study provides descriptions of the participants in terms of demographic information, accessibility to social media, frequency of activity within social media sites such as Facebook, their use of social media to learn about people and explore new relationships, their types and levels of commitment to social media, and their perception of being comfortable online to express and explore issues of sexuality and gender identity. The findings suggest that social media such as Facebook are an important aspect in most of the participants’ lives. The results suggest that social media have become a safer space for LGBTQ youth, specifically multiply minoritized LGBTQ youth. Because previous studies of this kind that focus on this population do not exist, this study provides a baseline for continued research in the intersection of Queer studies and the fast growing field of new media research.
Lucero, A.L. An exploration of social media use among multiply minoritized LGBTQ youth. Ph.D. thesis, The University of Texas at El Paso.
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