Comic Survey

PARTICIPANT INFORMATION SHEET FOR FANS:

PROJECT TITLE:

Australian Criminal Law: Protecting Children from Harm or Harming those it seeks to Protect?

PURPOSE OF THE PROJECT:

You have been invited to participate in a PhD research project undertaken at the University of Wollongong.

• To analyse the development of Australia’s child abuse material legislation;
• To analyse the implications of including fictional depictions and descriptions of children in the definition of child pornography;
• To assess the impact the legislation has on young people who are interested comics and/or fan fiction; and
• To assess the impact the legislation has on young people’s self-expression via new communication devices.

Researcher and Supervisor Contact Details

Hadeel Al-Alosi (Researcher)
PhD Student in the Faculty of Law, Arts and Humanities
University of Wollongong
NSW 2522, Australia
Email: haa670@uowmail.edu.au

Professor Mark McLelland (Supervisor)
ARC Future Fellow
Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts
University of Wollongong
NSW 2522, Australia
Email: markmc@uow.edu.au

WHAT DOES THE STUDY INVOLVE?

This study is seeking people aged 18 to 25 who are interested in sexually explicit comics (including Japanese-style comics - “manga”) to complete a short survey online. The survey will ask you a few questions on your interest in comics and whether you are aware of Australian criminal laws that prohibit purely fictional representations of characters who appear to be a minor in a sexual context. Other questions that are asked in the survey include: How old were you when you first became interested in comics?; Are any of the comics you access sexually explicit?; Do you think there are certain comics that should be prohibited?

The survey should take approximately 40 minutes to complete.

The data collected may be published in the researcher’s final PhD thesis, academic publications, and conference presentations. Only the researcher and her supervisor will have access to your responses. Your identity will remain confidential and private in any future publications of the research. For example, any information you provide will be worded as follows: “one participant stated that…”.

In order to protect your identity, please do not provide details in the survey that may identify you or any individual.

Potential risks:

There are no identified risks associated with participating in the research. Please note that the research is concerned with FICTIONAL images and text and not real images of children.

Potential benefits:

You will benefit by being involved in a worthwhile project that will raise awareness about significant issues in the community. This is because many people are unaware about the broad scope of material prohibited under the current child abuse material laws and many inadvertently stumble on such material not knowing it is illegal. As comics and fan fiction may contain such depictions or descriptions of fictional children, it may be an issue directly affecting fan communities.

Please note:

• Participation in this project is voluntary. You can withdraw at any time by exiting the survey before submitting it.
• Your refusal to participate or your withdrawal of consent will not affect your relationship with the University of Wollongong or the investigator conducting this project.
• By answering and submitting your answers, you will be taken to have consented to participating in the survey.
• Your identity will not be revealed in any research outputs.
• The only exception to the principle of confidentiality is if you reveal illegal activity that must be disclosed by law.

If you have any questions about the study, you can contact me on haa670@uowmail.edu.au


ETHICS REVIEW AND COMPLAINTS
This study has been reviewed by the Social Sciences Human Research Ethics Committee of the University of Wollongong. If you have any concerns or complaints regarding the way the research about the conduct of this research, you can contact the Ethics Officer, on (02) 4221 3386 or email rso-ethics@uow.edu.au.


Thank you for your interest in this study.


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