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Youth at the margins

The discursive context of Sexual & Reproductive Health in Aotearoa, New Zealand

2017 | Principal Investigator
Funding: Massey University Research Fund

Uplifted Youth

The research project responds to the call for a more contextualised understandings of and approaches to young people's sexual and reproductive health, especially in Aotearoa NZ. Our study attends to the socio-cultural context and how it enables or restricts young women's SRH decisions and practices. Sarah Herbert and I analysed 2 forms of public discussion: SRH policy and media reportage on contraception, abortion, and pregnancy. We considered how they understand youth sexuality, and position young women of diverse social locations, and what this means for their sexual and reproductive freedom and agency. Our aim was to help produce knowledge to address the "serious lack of attention to creating receptive social environments, including a failure to address and even reinforcing of harmful assumptions, such as stereotyping of young women" (Redstone & Conn).

Journal articles

Morison, T., & Herbert, S. (2020). Muted resistance: The deployment of youth voice in news coverage in Aotearoa New Zealand. Feminism & Psychology, 30(1), 80 – 99.

Morison, T. & Herbert, S. (2019). Rethinking ‘risk’ in sexual and reproductive health policy: The value of the reproductive justice framework. Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 16(4), 434-445.

Policy Brief

Morison, T., Herbert, S. & Eagar, D. (2018). Rethinking ‘risk’ in sexual and reproductive health policy: Implications for marginalised youth. Palmerston North: Massey University.


Morison, T. & Herbert, S. (2017). Youth on the margins: A discursive analysis of Aotearoa NZ Sexual & Reproductive Health (SRH) policy. Paper presented at the 6th New Zealand Discourse Conference, 6 – 9 December 2017, Auckland, New Zealand.

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