“Risky” Leisure Research on Sex and Violence: Innovation, Impact, and Impediments

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Controversial topics of sex and violence and their impacts on health and wellbeing have been virtually ignored in leisure scholarship. Leisure provides both risk and protective factors. Some leisure contexts offer opportunities for self-expression and experimentation and motivate involvement in sexually risky and violent behaviors. Conversely, recreation programs can serve as prevention and intervention tools for addressing risky practices. Several impediments complicate the investigation of these issues, including (1) perception of sex and violence as taboo topics, (2) methodological challenges, (3) fragmentation of knowledge on these matters caused by the silo mentality in leisure and tourism literature, and (4) placement of sex and violence in the category of “risky” research that is challenging to publish. Studying the links among leisure, sex, violence, health, and wellbeing connects leisure scholarship to public health and criminal justice. This could advance leisure studies and help overcome marginalization and isolation from other disciplines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-18
Number of pages10
JournalLeisure Sciences
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Feb 9 2018


  • deviant leisure
  • leisure research
  • risk taking
  • sex
  • violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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