Dr Claire Meehan

PhD, MSSc Criminology, Post Graduate Certificate in Education, BSc (Hons) in Criminology and Criminal Justice


Dr Claire Meehan is a Lecturer in Criminology working on the relationship between young people, digital technology and their sexual lives. She is particularly interested in their understandings of pornography, and ‘sexting’ or sending nudes in relation to the broader issues of consent, age and gender and their perceived value of the education/ information they receive.

Claire’s PhD was an investigation into young people’s experiences of drug use, including their use of the internet to find information, to purchase ‘legal highs’ and to engage with those who use drugs. She was particularly interested in the evolving role of drug user as drug educator.

Claire has a mixed methods background but focuses on qualitative research. She has experience conducting research and teaching in Northern Ireland, London and New Zealand. Claire is a regular media commentator on topics including sharing intimate images, sex and sexuality education provision and pornography.

Claire has recently completed the following projects:

  • Young New Zealanders and their digital lives: youth attitudes towards sexting and pornography 
  • 'Sexy not Sexist': young people's exploration of pleasure and empowerment 
  • Incorporating social media into Higher Education pedagogy 

She is leading the following research:

  • The Nudie Project: perceptions of ‘sexting’, 'nudes' and ‘revenge porn’ in New Zealand 

Claire is currently on Research and Study Leave which she is spending as a visiting academic fellow at the London School of Economics, UK.

Research | Current

  • Young New Zealanders and their digital lives: youth attitudes towards sexting and pornography
  • Incorporating social media into Higher Education pedagogy
  • 'Sexy not Sexist': young people's exploration of pleasure and empowerment
  • The Nudie Project: perceptions of ‘sexting’, 'nudes' and ‘revenge porn’ in New Zealand

Teaching | Current

CRIM 204 Critical Studies in Policing

CRIM 205 Special Topic: Crime, Media and Society

CRIM 304 Key Issues in Restorative Justice

CRIM 710 Cybercrime

CRIM 204: Critical Studies in Policing

This paper explores policing in New Zealand and beyond, including its legal and theoretical underpinnings. We critically examine media representations of the police, policing and inequality; police culture, power and accountability; the effects of human rights claims on policing methods and emerging threats to policing both locally and globally.

CRIM 205 Special Topic: Crime, Media and Society

The relationship between crime and the media is complex and contradictory. This course investigates this relationship by encouraging students to develop an understanding of how the media help to influence the public views of crime and criminalisation. It does this by focusing on media portrayals of crime and criminal behaviour, media effects and theories of media and communication. 

CRIM 304: Key Issues in Restorative Justice

This paper provides a critical analysis of the restorative justice process as a response to offender behaviour, which aids understanding of its place within the wider criminal justice system. A variety of perspectives on restorative justice are considered, as well as the various practices associated with it, and its effectiveness according to different stakeholders.

CRIM 710 Cybercrime

This graduate paper provides an exploration of cybercrime and its economic and social impact. The course encourages critical thinking, exploring a range of key theoretical perspectives in criminal justice and their application to cybercrime. It analyses how the Internet may promote criminal behaviour and contribute to the globalisation of crime. In addition, it outlines the challenges of policing cybercrime, evaluating current approaches.

Postgraduate supervision

Current supervision


  • Emma Barker-Clarke '#useyourvoice: a youth narrative of the strategies young people use to perpetrate harm, cultivate safety and manage their experiences of victimisation'
  • Canan Ezel Sertkaya 'Construction and presentation of gender identity on social media'

Master of Arts

  • Christopher Mc Cormick 'The experiences of kin in online romance fcams'
  • Natalia Lu 'Perceptions of cyberstalking in New Zealand: who is watching and who cares?

Completed supervision

  • Dina Putinceva, MA in Criminology, ‘Should pornography be banned? censoring the censors’
  • Lachyn Miller, MA in Criminology, ‘Online romance scams and routine activity theory: discovering how online routine activities influence the chance of victimisation’

I welcome enquires from students interested in:

  • Pornography
  • Sexting/ sending nudes


2018 Visiting Academic Fellow, The London School of Economics

2017 Early Career Teaching Excellence Award

2016 Women in Leadership

Areas of expertise

  • Young people's drug use
  • Harm reduction
  • Drug education
  • Sexting
  • Pornography

Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • Netsafe, New Zealand
  • The Centre for Addiction Research, University of Auckland
  • Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology
  • International Harm Reduction Association
  • European Society for Social Drug Research

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Meehan, C. (2017). “It’s a proper site so you can trust it”: Students’ perceptions and use of online sources of information regarding recreational drugs. Journal of Applied Youth Studies, 2 (1), 31-42.
  • Meehan, C. (2017). Sexting and young people. AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALAND JOURNAL OF CRIMINOLOGY, 50 (1), 150-151. 10.1177/0004865816662479
  • Meehan, C. (2017). "Junkies, wasters and thieves": School-based drug education and the stigmatisation of people who use drugs. Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, 15 (1), 85-107.
  • Reeves, D., Knight Lenihan, S., Mannakkara, S., Underhill-Sem, Y., Friesen, W., Spoonley, P., ... Kiddle, R. (2016). A state of New Zealand report for UN Habitat III. Auckland, New Zealand: Urban Research Network, University of Auckland.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Yvonne Underhill-Sem, Ward Friesen, Janine Wiles, JC Gaillard, Sandeeka Mannakkara, Jennifer Salmond, David Grinlinton, Laurence Murphy, Zhi Dong, Manfredo Manfredini, Rosalind Archer, Stephen Knight-Lenihan
  • Mills, A., Thom, K., Maynard, A., Meehan, C., Kidd, J., Newcombe, D., & Widdowson, D. (2015). Meeting the housing needs of vulnerable populations in New Zealand. Auckland, New Zealand: Transforming Cities, University of Auckland.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/27386
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: David Newcombe, Alice Mills, Katey Thom, Jacquie Kidd, Deborah Widdowson
  • Meehan, C. (2015). Glenn W Muschert, Stuart Henry, Nicole L Bracy and Anthony A Peguero (eds), Responding to school violence: Confronting the Columbine effect [Book review]. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 48 (2), 293-295. 10.1177/0004865814554337
  • Meehan, C. (2015). Glenn W Muschert, Stuart Henry, Nicole L Bracy and Anthony A Peguero (eds), Responding to school violence: Confronting the Columbine effect. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 48 (2), 293-295. 10.1177/0004865814554337
  • Meehan, C. (2013). Using social media when investigating young people’s drug use. Paper presented at Social Research Association’s 3rd Annual Social Media in Social Research Conference, London, UK. 24 June - 24 June 2013. Related URL.


Contact details

Primary office location

HSB - EAST - Bldg 201E
Level 9, Room 930
New Zealand

Social links

Web links