Media Psychology Group publishes in Current Opinion in Psychology

Research Overview on Digital Sexual Identities

People express their sexual identities offline and increasingly online, for example on social media platforms. These so-called digital sexual identities are accompanied by effects of empowerment (e.g. self-validation, social support, political activism), but also of disempowerment (e.g. devaluation, social exclusion, hate speech, algorithmic discrimination). This research review by the Research Group Media Psychology and Media Design at TU Ilmenau in the journal "Current Opinion in Psychology" (current impact factor 6.813) summarizes the current scientific literature and addresses different sexual identities, different social media and diverse national / cultural contexts. The work is based on a cooperation with renowned sexual researchers from South Africa (Deevia Bhana) and Australia (Kath Albury). One of the main findings is the ambivalence of the effects, whereas in the past it was rather assumed that sexual empowerment had predominantly positive effects. Moreover, the paper emphasizes the need to understand digital sexual identities as socio-technical phenomena.


Döring, N., Bhana, D., & Albury, K. (2022). Digital sexual identities: Between empowerment and disempowerment. Current Opinion in Psychology, 48, 101466.