‘Does anyone else have this?’ The role of emotion in forum discussions about medical conditions affecting sex characteristics
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionCulture, Health and Sexuality. 2021, 23 (1), 52-67. 10.1080/13691058.2019.1688867
When people experience rare medical conditions or variations, searching online may be the only way to find others with similar experiences. This study examines what happens when people do just that. The dataset for the research has been generated from online posts by people living with variations of sex characteristics, which some call intersex variations. Our analysis focuses on how emotion appears in online posts, how affect becomes embodied in digital contexts, and how norms are negotiated as people relate to one another about the variations that some of them experience. We offer an analysis grounded in digital affect theory to contribute to health research literature. We suggest how health researchers and healthcare providers might develop more nuanced understandings of the emotional realities of people living with variations of sex characteristics.