Graduation Date

Spring 2018

Document Type



Master of Arts degree with a major in Sociology

Committee Chair Name

Dr. Meredith Williams

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Dr. Mary Virnoche

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories



The purpose of this research is to demonstrate how young adults come to understand their sexuality (from sexual and gender identities to sexual likes and dislikes) through reading and writing fanfiction. Previous studies show that fanfiction promotes non-heterosexual orientations, but little research has been done on how it contributes to overall sexual development. In conducting an online survey of fanfiction readers, I explore how fans use these works to generate an understanding of themselves as sexual beings. Explicit stories make up a sizable portion of the fanfiction available, and there is a wide range of sexual acts depicted in those stories; ones that readers may not have been introduced to otherwise. Fanfiction can also facilitate discussion of sexuality and gender identity, topics that may not be appropriate in other social spheres, which can assist further sexual development. This study looks at just how influential fanfiction, and the fanfiction community, can be on sexual development.

Citation Style