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Accounting for Space, Place and Identity: GLBTIQ Young Adults’ Experiences and Understandings of Unwanted Sexual Attention in Clubs and Pubs

Critical Criminology

Published online on


This article considers the role of space, place and identity in influencing gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender/transsexual, intersex and queer (GLBTIQ) young adults’ experiences of unwanted sexual attention in licensed venues. It is argued in this article that the roles of space, place and identity are largely absent from theoretical understandings of sexual violence. Gender-based accounts of sexual violence, while important, are unable to fully account for sexual violence that is perpetrated within and against GLBTIQ communities. Drawing on data obtained through a mixed-methods study, in the first half of the article I establish the manner in which GLBTIQ young adults’ unique relationship with licensed venues appears to mediate the ways in which unwanted sexual attention occurring in these spaces is experienced and understood. The second half of this article is concerned with exploring the intersections between unwanted sexual attention and heterosexist violence and abuse in clubs and pubs. I conclude by considering the implications of these findings for theoretical understandings of sexual violence and unwanted sexual attention.