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Title page for ETD etd-07272017-145736

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Beeson-Lynch, Cathryn Elizabeth
Author's Email Address cathryn.e.beeson-lynch@vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-07272017-145736
Title When daddies and babies fight back: The processes of stigmatization and destigmatization in online news coverage of Sugar Dating
Degree Master of Arts
Department Sociology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Holly McCammon, Ph.D. Committee Chair
  • Internet
  • sexuality
  • gender
  • stigma
Date of Defense 2017-07-24
Availability restricted
Founded in 2006 by Brandon Wade, CEO, SeekingArrangement.com currently claims over five million active members. The website criticizes traditional relationships for being too one-sided, and it claims that arrangements offer a more direct form of dating that “allows people to easily define what they need and want in a relationship.” Although SeekingArrangement explicitly bans “using the Website as an escort, or using the Service to solicit clients for an escort service,” media discourses remain highly critical of the website.

With the exception of several studies conducted by legal and medical scholars, there is very little research on Sugar Dating as a social practice. This research project attempts to fill the gap in the literature by examining Sugar Dating utilizing theoretical perspectives on stigma. While research has demonstrated that women and men are stigmatized differently for a wide range of behaviors, hardly any attention has been paid to the ways in which gender mediates individuals’ responses to stigma. By situating this study of stigma and resistance within the domain of gender and sexuality, this paper furthers our understanding of how people may respond differently to discrimination on the basis of their gender identity.

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