The Sex, Rights and Pleasure Lab

Tuesday 17 January 2017 - Friday 20 January 2017 09:00-17:00
Room 333, Arts C Building, University of Sussex

In the Sex, Rights and Pleasure Lab, teams of students will create new interventions to digitally-mediated gender-based and sexual violence, using a sexual health rights approach that highlights the importance of rights to sexual pleasure as well as freedom.

Working with a team of specially selected designers, researchers and marketing experts, you will develop interventions – technical or social or a combination - which will be pitched live to senior international gender research specialists.

Our expert team of journalists, activists and practitioners includes representatives from MTV and Durex. 

The interventions developed in the Lab will be shared via film online to a global audience. The best interventions will be selected to compete for the Sex, Rights and Pleasure Lab Public Award and a £200 cash prize.

Why addressing this issue is an important global development challenge

Gender based and sexual violence affects young people all over the world and students in the UK are no exception. How we understand gender and violence in the digital era is a critical and high priority issue for researchers, activists, health practitioners, parents and university students for a variety of personal and professional reasons.

At the same time, online spaces are increasingly dominated by the new ‘gatekeepers’ like Facebook, Google, Twitter and Youtube controlling online censorship on a wide scale, frequently relating nudity with pornography) and in a porn saturated environment widely censoring online sexual health information.  Online platforms are also sites of gender based abuse and sexual harassment where women, LGBT and people of colour are more regularly and consistently harassed on-line.

From a sexual health rights as well as a behavioural science perspective it is essential to also keep recognizing the positive and pleasurable effects of sexuality. This is also in line with the relevant global definitions, such as those from the World Association for Sexual Health and the World Health Organisation’s definition of sexual health. Having pleasurable consensual sex and being heard and taken serious in relationships –personal or educational- are important to students. For the development of effective responses to sexual and gender based violence for young it is important to work with them and their experiences, interests and skills as well as with other experts who can help them turn these into concrete responses. 

How can you benefit from the event?

  • Network and work with sexual rights activists, media professionals and researchers. 
  • Share your ideas widely with the help of a range of international organisations. 
  • Change people’s attitudes around sexual violence and sexual pleasure. 
  • Learn how to market and develop interventions.

Who is the event for?

The Lab welcomes a diverse range of undergraduate and postgraduate students - from social sciences, engineering, medical sciences, media studies, and computer science backgrounds. BA, MA and PhD candidates are all welcome. We are keen to bring people together who are interested in the technical as well as in the social sides of the topic. You do not need to be an expert or plan to be one in order to enjoy this event.

How do I register?

Places are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Please register for the Sex, Rights and Pleasure Lab on our EventBrite webpage by 12 noon GMT on Monday 16 January. Contact Alice Webb (A.Webb@ids.ac.uk) with any questions.


Room 333, Arts C Building, University of Sussex, Brighton, BN1 9RH