Project Type

URC Presentation


Sociology Department

College or School


Class Year




Faculty Research Advisor

Catherine Moran

Second Faculty Research Advisor

Nena Stracuzzi


This presentation discusses the importance of studying and exploring concepts of consent in today’s culture, the current study and methodology, core key research questions, the ethics and responsibilities associated with the topic and sample, and reflections for future research. This content analysis looks at a fringe, non-normative, alternative sexuality community, the larger BDSM (bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, sadism and masochism) community, to better understand their conceptualizations of consent. Due to the nature of BDSM, the BDSM community highly prioritizes consent practices. Overall, the core research question is looking to understand how consent is defined and understood within the BDSM community, what can be learned from these understandings, and how this can be applied to other contexts. Unfortunately, this presentation does not discuss findings from the content analysis due to the ethics and responsibilities that come with studying a stigmatized community; one must consider the sensitive nature of the data and respect the terms of service of the website from which the data was gathered. This content analysis served as a pilot study and will be built upon in my senior honors thesis.