What’s hot and what’s not? Perspectives on pornography in the digital age

Ms Samantha Keene1
1Victoria University Of Wellington, Melling, Lower Hutt, New Zealand

Feminist researchers and activists have long been concerned about the potential harms of pornography, particularly in relation to its influence on attitudes and sexual scripts. These concerns have formed the basis of the ‘sex wars’ whereby pornography has been theorised in a rather black and white, or good and bad dichotomy. More recently, pornography has been considered a public health issue, with substantive concern raised by policymakers, academics and educators about the role hardcore internet pornography may play as a primary sexuality educator for young people, especially adolescents, in their formative years. Concerns about pornography as an adolescent sexuality educator are valid, but what role, if any, does pornography play for adults who consume it? This paper suggests that for a sample of heterosexual New Zealander’s, pornography in the digital age is perceived and understood in markedly gendered ways. This paper discusses the ways that emerging adults understand pornography which contains elements that are simultaneously ‘hot’ and ‘not’, and how they come to understand what is ‘hot’ and what is ‘not’, especially in relation to aggression in sexually explicit media. This paper argues that we need to move away from dichotomous arguments about the harms or benefits of pornography, and that consideration should be given to the complex, nuanced way that pornography is experienced across gendered lines.


Samantha is a PhD Candidate at Victoria University of Wellington. Her qualitative PhD research explores the influence of pornography on the lives of heterosexual New Zealander’s in relation to sex, relationships, body-image and the self. She has an interest in gendered perspectives on pornography, violence against women and student populations.

The modest GPS as crime fighting tool in informal settlements

Dr Bernadine Benson1
1University Of South Africa, Rietfontein, South Africa

South Africa, similar to other developing countries, has a number of informal settlements. An “informal settlement” refers to the illegal and unplanned occupation of land by people who have constructed groups of housing units on the land (Barry & Ruther, 2005:43). These informal settlements pose a challenge for town planners and other municipal/borough managers. But more specifically they pose a challenge for law enforcement agencies and other providers of essential services. Within the South African context there is not a significant amount of discussions around geospatial intelligence to aid law enforcement in their duties. Despite this, the researcher is of the view that the geospatial technology which forms part of geospatial intelligence can be considered adequate to manage, investigate, and analyse crime.

This paper will discuss the value and use of geospatial technology, more specifically the GPS to accurate map and plot crime events in the informal settlement of KwaMashu in Kwa Zulu Natal and argue for its use to enhance comprehensive crime scene investigations. When coupled with the Theory of Delinquent places, it is a crime fighting tool that can serve law enforcement well when planning crime prevention and other mitigating operations.


Dr Benson joined Unisa in 2007 after a career of 19 years with the South African Police Service. She completed her D Litt et Phil in Police Science in 2013 and her area of specialisation was in Crimes against cultural heritage in South Africa. Dr Benson is the Chair of Department of the Department of Police Practice. She is the Editor-in-Chief for the South African Museums Association Bulletin (SAMAB) Journal also a sub-editor for the POLSA Journal. Her areas of research interest include police corruption, integrity testing, art crime, art theft, fakes and forgeries of art and other heritage items, looting of archaeological sites, social media, and teaching pedagogies for ODL environments. As an academic manager, Dr Benson is not directly involved in tuition this year; however she is still supervising both M and Phd students at the Department of Police Practice and interacts with students daily.

Dr Benson was the recipient of the Award for Excellence in Tuition: student support in 2016 for the College of Law.

Child protection or populist politics: Changes to legislation in the wake of the Bill Henson incident.

Ms Linda Wilken1
1Sydney Institute of Criminology, Sydney Law School, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

In May 2008, Australian artist Bill Henson attempted to and eventually did exhibit a series of photographs, which included images of a naked young girl. One image in particular, nude, untitled 2008, created controversy beyond the art world. Police removed the works from public view and the then Prime Minister called the photographs “revolting”. Henson’s art was labelled as child pornography. This incident had a bearing on the NSW Government Justice Department, Child Pornography Working Party Report, 10 January 2010, which resulted in changes to legislation in the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).

In July 2008, Art Monthly Australia published on the magazine’s cover, artist Polixeni Papapetrou’s nude photograph of her 5-year-old daughter Olympia in a deliberate effort to reignite the controversy over the Bill Henson incident. This time the Federal Government asked the Australia Council for the Arts to draw up a set of protocols on the representation of children in art.

Representation of children and young people in art has a long history in modernism, postmodernism and contemporary art, not to mention antiquity, and legal and artistic takes have varied substantially. However, the Henson incident sits at a time of unprecedented awareness of child abuse issues in Australia and amid calls for greater child protection.

This presentation will analyse legislative changes in the wake of the Bill Henson incident and reflect on the impact of these changes.


Linda Wilken is undertaking an interdisciplinary PhD in criminology, art and law at Sydney Law School, University of Sydney, under the supervision of Professor Murray Lee, Professor of Criminology. Her research supervisory team includes Professor Thomas Crofts, Professor of Criminal Law, and Dr Carolyn McKay, Lecturer in Law, Deputy Director, Sydney Institute of Criminology, University of Sydney Law School. Linda holds a Master of Fine Arts and Bachelor Visual Arts Honours 1st class, SCA, Sydney University. Her research area includes visual criminology, censorship in contemporary art, and the relationship between art, legislation and legal intervention. Linda is a member of Sydney Institute of Criminology.


‘Cyber rape’: Exploring Revenge Porn from a Psychological Perspective

Dr Tiffany Lavis1, Ms Tegan Starr2, Ms Tahlee Mckinlay3
1Flinders University, Bedford Park, Australia, 2University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia, 3University of New England, Armidale, Australia

Revenge porn, often referred to as ‘cyber rape’, is taking what we know about technology, and the sharing of images, and introducing a more sinister and permanent element. Victims of this emerging crime are experiencing many of the same psychological effects as victims of sexual assault, but the convenience of this crime has the potential to impact individuals on a much broader scale. Given the recency of a legislative response, revenge porn is an under explored research area, but one which requires considerable focus given the potential for harm. This presentation outlines two experiments which explore revenge porn in light of psychological theory, including the impact of differing levels of nudity in intimate images, and how factors such as the mode of sharing an image and individual differences might impact. Considering revenge porn from a victimisation viewpoint, this research outlines possible pathways for improving outcomes for victims of this crime.


Dr Tiffany Lavis is a registered psychologist with experience in the forensic field working with victims of crime, as well as work with sexual and other violent offenders. Dr Lavis has over 12 years of experience in academia where she has taught the topic Psychology, Crime and the Law as part of the Flinders Law School. Dr Lavis currently works as a consultant psychologist completing medico-legal psychological assessments for Victims of Crime Compensation.

Tegan Starr completed her Honours degree in psychology at Flinders University in 2017.  She is currently in her first year of studying a Masters of Health Psychology at the University of Adelaide. Tegan has experience volunteering and working in youth mental health, both in Australia and overseas.

Tahlee Mckinlay has a Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) degree from Flinders University and is currently undertaking her Masters at the University of New England. Tahlee has experience in an administrative role working with a private psychologist. She is interested in pursuing a career in the forensic psychology field.

Image Based Sexual Abuse in Singapore

Dr Laura Vitis1
1Queensland University Of Technology (qut), Brisbane, Australia

Image Based Sexual Abuse (IBSA) is readily becoming a key site of analysis for criminologists, particularly feminist scholars seeking to exploring the expanding modalities of violence against women and girls. However, much of the existing empirical scholarship focused on mapping IBSA has been produced within the US, UK, Canada and Australia and there is limited research on this phenomenon within South East Asia. To address this gap, this paper presents findings from an exploratory research project which examined whether IBSA was evident in the case summaries, legal session reports and case management notes collated by a Singaporean women’s, advocacy and support organisation focused on sexual assault support provision. Drawing from this data, this paper highlights Singaporean women’s experiences of IBSA and reports on the range of IBSA evident in these cases. Paying particular attention to: some of the key differences in the IBSA types and contexts presented these findings, as compared to those reported from data emerging in Western nations, and the role of the wider Singaporean socio-political landscape in shaping some of these IBSA modalities.

My research focuses on how technology is used to facilitate gendered, sexual and intimate partner violence. In addition, my work also examines the regulation of and resistance to technologically facilitated violence, youth sexting and the role of risk in the Sex Offender Register. My recent publications include the 2017 edited collection for Routledge entitled Gender, Technology and Violence (with Marie Segrave). I have recently moved to Queensland from Singapore, where I was teaching at the University of Liverpool in Singapore (ULiS)


The commodification of mobile phone surveillance: An analysis of the consumer spyware industry

Diarmaid Harkin1, Adam Molnar1
1Deakin University , Burwood, Australia

This presentation will report on the findings of an investigation into the consumer spyware industry. While consumers of ‘spyware’ have often been government and law enforcement, there is an increasing attempt to market, sell and commodify ‘spyware’ for use by wider audiences. ‘Spyware’ is now sold as a security-product aimed at businesses, parents, and intimate partners. This paper will report on an investigation into 9 prominent spyware vendors outlining their attempts to commodify their product. Spyware vendors face particularly fraught marketing challenges as the general deployment of spyware is (a) often utilised in forms of intimate partner abuse, (b) corrosive to many forms of social relations, and (c) has limited contexts where it could be deployed without violating surveillance laws. This paper compares the social meaning vendors attempt to give to spyware and contrasts this against the powers of surveillance provided by the product. Some notes from the technical and user-analysis of the spyware will also be provided.

Dr Diarmaid Harkin is an Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Deakin University. His current active research projects examine private security companies collaboratig with family violence services, the consumer spyware industry, and the challenges of cyber-policing.

Dr Adam Molnar is a lecturer in Criminology at Deakin University. His research is primarily interested in the intersections of technology, surveillance, privacy, policing and information security.

Digital Predictions: Putting Cybercrime Victimization Theories to the Test

Caitlyn McGeer1
1University Of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom

This study analyzes the validity of the leading theory explaining cyber victimization, Routine Activities Theory, as well as the two other theories gaining influence, the Big Five and E-Trust. The study seeks to develop upon prior research that tested the validity of these theories by assessing how they apply to cyber-victimization in the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom Home Office defines cybercrime as either cyber- dependent (those different than offline crime) and cyber-enabled (those which brought offline crime online). Based on this distinction, using the 2014-2015 Crime Survey of England and Wales, the author used statistical analyses to test the validity of Routine Activities Theory, the Big Five, and E-Trust in relation to cyber-dependent and cyber-enabled victimization. The study found that Routine Activities Theory has modest applicability to cyber-dependent victimization and that only the theory’s guardianship variables related to cyber-enabled victimization. The Big Five variables were not related to either type of cyber-victimization, and E-Trust variables were only associated with cyber-dependent victimization. The control variables age, gender, and having children under the age of 16 were associated with cyber-dependent victimization, but only age was correlated to cyber-enabled. The author concludes that distinct differences exist between offline crime and cybercrime and that theories created the explain offline crimes do not adequately extend to cybercrime.

Caitlyn’s professional background centers on capacity building premised on securing welfare and rights protections. She is a strategic development and impact assessment specialist. Caitlyn has worked extensively on both local, national, and transnational-level projects, including ones in the UK, Canada, Guatemala, Ghana, and Ecuador. She has held senior management and front-line roles for a variety of non-governmental, governmental, and United Nations entities. Caitlyn currently leads on developing and implementing public sector monitoring and evaluation frameworks for a UK-based research company. Caitlyn’s doctoral research focuses on analyzing policing responses to modern slavery, focusing on the influence of Internet technologies therewithin.


The society is devoted to promoting criminological study, research and practice in the region and bringing together persons engaged in all aspects of the field. The membership of the society reflects the diversity of persons involved in the field, including practitioners, academics, policy makers and students.

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