“Some Things Just Won't Go Back”

Teen Girls’ Online Dating Relationships during COVID-19

in Girlhood Studies
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  • 1 Faculty of Environmental Studies and Urban Change, York University, Canada acgold@yorku.ca
  • 2 Community Based Participatory Research, York University, Canada flicker@yorku.ca
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Abstract

We conducted three online focus groups [n = 25] with teen girls in Canada in May and June 2020 to explore their dating and relationship experiences during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the strict public health measures limiting physical contact, participants reported connecting primarily online with possible dating partners and others. While facilitating platforms, like Snapchat, were already part of these teen girls’ dating and relationships repertoire, many participants reflected on the limitations and drawbacks of being able to connect only virtually. Results suggest the need to better attend to the impacts that COVID-19 restrictions are having on teen girls’ dating relationships, as well as to the larger impacts that the deterioration of these relationships might be having on their mental and emotional health.

Contributor Notes

Alanna Goldstein (ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7116-9581) is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Faculty of Environmental Studies and Urban Change at York University. Her work examines intersections between and among youth, sexuality, gender, media, and pedagogy with a focus on how young people draw on the media in the formation of their sexual and gendered subjectivities. Email: acgold@yorku.ca

Sarah Flicker (ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6202-5519) is a Full Professor and York Research Chair in Community Based Participatory Research at York University. For the last 20 years, she has been engaging youth and other allied actors in environmental, sexual, and reproductive health justice work. Email: flicker@yorku.ca

Girlhood Studies

An Interdisciplinary Journal

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