Frequently Asked Questions


who is doing this research?

This research is led by Dr. Fiona Vera-Gray, a researcher who is based at Durham Law School, with expertise in sexual violence and a background in feminist phenomenology which is a type of philosophy focused on describing lived experience. The project is joint funded by Durham Law School and the Leverhulme Trust through an Early Career Fellowship. Fiona has long term experience of providing support to survivors of rape and childhood sexual abuse through her work at Rape Crisis South London and has previously written critically about the pornography industry. This project is about asking questions on how we increase women's space for sexual action, and whether women see online pornography as a vehicle for increasing or constraining this space.


what about confidentiality?

Everything in the survey remains confidential and no identifiable information was collected. In the conversations, all identifiable information will be changed, and participants had the option to use a pseudonym, which many have taken up.  In the conversations however, if any information was brought forward that indicates an imminent threat of death or severe injury for an identifiable person or group of persons, the researcher may have been obliged either to pass that information on. 


are participants paid?

No participant is paid, however in acknowledgment of their time, a prize draw ran for both survey and conversation participation. For both, a random prize draw operated with 20 participants 'winning' £20 in gift vouchers. All winners of the survey prize draw have been notified. The winners of the conversation prize draw will be notified by the end of July, 2017.


What are the benefits for participation? 

From an initial review of the literature there is a substantial gap in women's voices about their pornography use or their pornography refusal. In particular there is very little on women and online pornography, especially mainstream sites. This project gave an opportunity for women to anonymously have their voices heard, as well as offering a chance for participants to think through how they feel about pornography in a boundaried, supported way. It can be hard to find somewhere to talk about pornography without feeling judged or pressured to feel a particular way, and we are rarely given the space to work out what we personally think and why. This project aimed to create that space.

The results of the survey and interviews will be disseminated in journal articles and presentations for academic and general audiences, as well as a book on the topic to be published in 2019. All participants will have the option to receive a full written summary of the project and its results. This website will also be regularly updated with findings, which you can access here.


What if there is a problem?

If you have a serious concern or problem to do with this research, you can speak to the lead researcher, who will do her best to help. If you have any questions related to the ethics of the research and would like to speak to someone you can contact the ethics committee lead at Durham Law School.