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Doctoral Contract Funding : Gender, Series And Sexual Health

The aim will be to study whether and how, in today’s France, TV series are effective, reliable and valid tools for the promotion of sexual health in a target audience composed a priori of 10 to 24 year old girls, boys and transgender persons.

Main affiliation of the phd student: faculté santé de université de Paris (medical faculty, université de Paris)

Phd adviser: Corinne Alberti

Laboratory: inserm umr1123 – eceve

Team: épidémiologie clinique et évaluation économique appliquées aux populations vulnérables (clinical epidemiology and economic evaluation applied to vulnerable populations)

Address : 10 avenue de Verdun – 75010 Paris, France

École doctorale Pierre Louis de santé publique a paris-épidémiologie et sciences de l’information biomédicale (ed 393)

Phd co-directed by: faculté sociales et humanités de l’université de Paris (faculty of humanities and social sciences)

Co-adviser : Ariane Hudelet

Team : Cité du genre (gender institute idex université de paris)

Laboratory : larca (umr 8225)

Place of work: eceve et cité du genre (université de Paris)

Type of contract : cdd doctorant.e / doctoral contract

– contract duration : 36 months

– phd starts on : october 1, 2020

–workload : full time

Financed by: cité du genre (anr-18-idex-0001)

Salary: around 1455 €/(net monthly pay)

Prerequisites :

Education: public health; social and human sciences; prevention/health promotion

Degree: ma

Languages: french and english (fluent: c1 level minimum). the phd candidate will need to use both languages and can write their dissertation either in english or french.

Application : 1 detailed cv + 1 project (4 pages + bibliography)

Deadline: aug. 28, 2020

Send to : Corinne Alberti et Ariane Hudelet


Presentation of the thesis topic

THE Cité du Genre, an interdisciplinary institute for research and training in gender studies (IdEx), wants to develop its partnerships with the health sector by financing a doctoral contract at Université de Paris.

This PhD will be co-directed by Dr. Corinne Alberti (PU-PH, ECEVE laboratory, Faculty of Health) and Dr. Ariane Hudelet (MCF-HDR, LARCA laboratory, Faculty of Societies and Humanities). This doctoral contract will be registered in ED 393 and will therefore be under the responsibility of the Faculty of Health. Emphasis will be placed on gender as an analytical tool, promoting interdisciplinary conversation between public health and Humanities.


The sexual health of adolescents and young people is a major public health concern in France as elsewhere. Thus, in France between 3 and 24% of women declare that their first sexual experience took place under duress (3) and 20% of young women declare that they had their first sexual intercourse when they “did not really want to” (6)(7). The incidence of STIs is increasing among young people (+10% among 15-24 year olds between 2012 and 2014) (4) and one third of pregnancies remain unplanned and result in abortions in 60% of cases (5).

The promotion of sexual health is essential to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with risky sexual behaviour, but also to understand sexuality in a holistic and positive way (8). It is important to intervene with young people by providing reliable information that is intended to assess or change behaviours, while taking into account general well-being (9), as a complement to educational strategies.

Within this framework, the national sexual health strategy, in its first axis, sets out “to invest in the promotion of sexual health, particularly for young people, in a comprehensive and positive approach” and “to improve sexual health information by using new communication tools”, particularly by

supporting new educational tools, especially digital ones (11).

Indeed, the Internet and online social media are widely embraced by adolescents and young people, especially for seeking health information (12)(13). Moreover, series available on online platforms, such as Netflix or Amazon Prime, have attractive formats and are widely consumed by 10-24 year olds.

Today, series programmers tackle many social issues and sometimes choose to incorporate sexual health prevention messages (14). These messages can be received by large numbers of young people without being perceived as moralising messages. This “youth culture” could then be better understood by those involved in prevention, particularly in order to design and evaluate attractive actions for target audiences.

However, there are still few experimental studies mobilizing these media for sexual health promotion. In order to consider such studies, research needs to examine when and for whom sexual health messages are most useful and important (14). Capturing and understanding “youth culture” would allow us to be as close as possible to online users, and to tailor health promotion actions. On this basis, social marketing makes it possible to develop effective educational programmes, mobilising scientific knowledge and good communication (15 ).

Thesis expectations

The research hypothesis is that series could prove to be effective, reliable and valid tools for promoting the sexual health of adolescents and youths – those aged 10-24 years (16) – to foster empowerment and health-promoting behaviours. However, these new communication tools may nonetheless have risks and limitations in terms of sexual health, and health in general, to be taken into account (e.g., reverse effect or non-perception of integrated messages, or risks related to compulsive watching).

The main objective of the thesis will be to study the value of series as tools to promote sexual health among 10-24 year olds and to design recommendations for their effective usage in this regard.

The thesis project needs to include :

a) a reflection on the target audience (gender, age, sexual orientation, social background, educational level…)

b) the corpus of selected series: which ones and why?

c) the questions raised by the topic, in particular the effectiveness of the sexual health prevention messages disseminated by the corpus, taking into account the logic and integrity of the series as a specific source.

(d) data compilation (data extracted from series, data from questionnaires/interviews, etc.)

(e) the methods for analysing the data collected

(f) the expected results including examples of initiatives (educational, scientific, playful…) that the thesis could promote (in public health, but also in education, associations…), and in particular by mobilizing digital resources.

(g) an indicative timetable

(h) a bibliography comprising between 30 and 40 titles (health and human / social sciences).