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A New Frontier in Sociological Research


What does it mean to be a 'melanotanner'? Very little is understood about individual experiences of Melanotan use in Australia, despite reports of its increasing popularity in the general population.


In the first study of its kind, researchers from the University of Queensland's (UQ) School of Social Science are launching Project Melanotan, a sociological investigation into individual accounts of using Melanotan I & II in Australia. PhD candidate, Stephanie Raymond, is leading the investigation as part of her doctoral research in Sociology.


In contrast to clinical research, Project Melanotan uses a sociological approach to directly engage with 'melanotanners' through digital and face-to-face interviews and focus group discussions, to speak with them about their experiences - from how individuals learned of Melanotan and their reasons for trying it, to experiences in administering Melanotan and opinions on its effectiveness, safety and results. 


By connecting with personal narratives in a judgement-free environment, Project Melanotan aims to bring sociological insight to scholarly discussions about tanning, and challenge the current risk logics associated with sun exposure, the tanned aesthetic and user-administered treatments (via subcutaneous injection). 


Complete confidentiality and privacy is assured. Participants are reimbursed for their time and can remain anonymous. 







(This project aims to address the limited scholarship in this area)



Evans-Brown, M., Dawson, R. T., Chandler, M., & McVeigh, J. (2009). Use of melanotan I and II in the general population. BMJ, 338.


Evans-Brown, M., McVeigh, J., Perkins, C., & Bellis, M. A. (2012). Human enhancement drugs: The emerging challenges to public health. Liverpool: North West Public Health Observatory.


Mahiques-Santos, L. (2012). Melanotan. Actas Dermo-Sifiliográficas (English Edition), 103(4), 257-259.


Van Hout, M. C. (2014). SMART: An Internet study of users experiences of synthetic tanning. Performance Enhancement & Health, 3(1), 3-14.


Van Hout, M. C., & Brennan, R. (2014). An in-depth case examination of an exotic dancer's experience of melanotan. International Journal of Drug Policy, 25(3), 444-450.



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