Kaitlynn Mendes, Professor in Gender, Media and Sociology, is an expert on issues around sexual violence relating to digital technologies, including how technology exacerbate the issues and how people creatively use it to fight back. With ever-increasing technological developments, and sexual violence rapidly taking on new forms, Professor Mendes’ research helps prepare young people for their digital futures. She works with a range of stakeholders to develop resources for schools to tackle this issue through relationship and sex education curriculum.
Gendered inequality is a pervasive problem that has been amplified by digital technologies. Harassment, grooming and non-consensual image sharing are common, alongside continually changing practices that stem from developments in technology and social media platforms. As adolescents increasingly access digital technologies from a young age, Professor Mendes believes it imperative to explore how digital technologies facilitate online harms; and to create more sophisticated, inclusive digital literacies for educators, children and their parents to prepare young people to navigate digital environments safely.
Professor Mendes carefully monitored the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and was awarded an AHRC Covid-19 rapid response grant to explore how gendered harms and risks changed under COVID-19 lockdowns.