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Genders and Sexualities

gender and sexualities

Aims and Scope of the Programme

The Genders & Sexualities Programme of PsyCen is comprised of psychologists who have an interest in identities defined in terms of gender and/or sexuality and issues related to gender and sexuality. We are a diverse group in terms of the approaches that we employ, which include critical psychological and discursive approaches as well as more mainstream, quantitative work. Many members of the programme are also scholar-activists, seeking to conduct work that will tackle inequalities based on gender and/or sexuality.

Our programme primarily contributes to REF Unit 4: Psychology, Psychiatry & Neuroscience, but some members also contribute to REF units such as Unit 20: Social Work & Social Policy and Unit 23: Education.

Members of the Programme

The Genders and Sexualities programme is led by Dr Katy Day and Dr Tamara Turner-Moore.  There are approximately 10 staff members and a number of research students in the programme.  A few of our staff members are listed below

Examples of Recent and Current Projects

Stigmatised Sexualities and Sexual Harm (SSSH!)

The Stigmatised Sexualities and Sexual Harm (SSSH!) research group focuses on stigmatised sexualities and/or sexual harm.

Stigmatised sexualities encompass the wide variety of sexual desires, pleasures, practices, and identities that are stigmatised by individuals, groups and society. Examples of our work in this area include the sexual experiences of LGB+ people, non-monogamies, sex between young people, sexualised drug-taking, sexual ‘addicts’, and sexual thoughts and fantasies about BDSM, fetishes and kink.

Sexual harm encompasses all forms of sexual violence, coercion, abuse, harassment and bullying against adults, young people and children. Examples of our work in this area include sexual harassment, bullying about a person’s (perceived or actual) sexual or gender identity or expression, understandings of sexual consent in young people, drug-involved sexual assault, technology-facilitated sexual abuse of women and children, child sexual abuse images, sexual thoughts and fantasies in sexual offending men, and police management of men on the Sex Offenders’ Register.

The research group’s acronym, SSSH!, signifies the silence, secrecy and shame that so often surrounds both stigmatised sexualities and sexual harm. Our work aims to further understanding of these areas and inform policy and practice to improve the lives of people with stigmatised sexualities or who are affected by sexual harm, and to prevent further stigmatisation and harm in the future.

For updates on the SSSH! research group, follow us on twitter @SSSH_research, or for further details or enquiries, please contact Dr Tamara Turner-Moore, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, at t.turner-moore@leedsbeckett.ac.uk.  

Addressing Sexual Bullying Across Europe (ASBAE)

The Addressing Sexual Bullying Across Europe (ASBAE) project was a two-year EC Daphne-funded project, co-led by Dr Kate Milnes and Dr Tamara Turner-Moore, that took place from January 2013-2015. The Leeds Beckett team (Kate Milnes, Tamara Turner-Moore, Brendan Gough) worked in collaboration with five NGOs, including Demetra Association (Bulgaria), Institute for Enhancement and Development of Quality of Life (PAPILOT; Slovenia), Leap Confronting Conflict (UK), Pepita Societá Cooperativa Sociale onlus (Italy) and Resource Centre for Women (MARTA; Latvia).

PPCM Online

Dr Paula Singleton (Leeds Beckett University), Dr Christine Morton (Stanford University & California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative), Dr Rebecca Dekker (Nurse researcher and founder of Evidence Based Birth), Dr Audrey Lyndon (Nurse researcher for the University of California at San Francisco)

Paula is incredibly proud of her work on peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM), a rare pregnancy complication which can be fatal.  Dr Christine Morton, a research sociologist from Stanford University, approached Paula for her expertise in online data collection and analysis, and they collaborated to generate descriptions of women's harrowing PPCM experiences (see Dekker, Morton, Singleton & Lyndon (2016). These data were used to inform a clinician toolkit that will save women's lives.

Facilitating Communication on Sexual Topics in Education (F-COSTE)

Dr Kate Milnes, Dr Tamara Turner-Moore, Dr Kitrina Douglas, Professor David Carless, Dr Jon Tan, Dr Erika Laredo, Andrew Sandham (from five Schools across Leeds Beckett University)

This multidisciplinary team worked collaboratively with practitioners and young people to understand how to improve talking, teaching and learning about sexual topics in school at Key Stage 4.  They were particularly interested in improving relationships and sex education (RSE) on sexual harassment, bullying about sexuality, transphobic bullying, and pornography. The team undertook focus groups, interviews and workshops with school staff and young people aged 14-16 to gather their experiences of sexual bullying and pornography, their experiences of reporting and teaching on these topics, their ideas on how RSE could be improved, and to trial different creative methods that could be used in RSE. The team produced a number of films as part of the project:

The story of a research project (13.06 mins) takes you through the ideas and journey of the F-COSTE project.

Whirlpool (5.07 mins) is song and spoken word based on discussions with young people about their experiences of sexual bullying.

F-COSTE forum theatre workshop (10.43 mins) chronicles a workshop that the team ran at Leeds Beckett, in conjunction with East Leeds Youth Theatre, to explore the use of forum theatre in facilitating conversations about sexual bullying among young people.

Reverberations (4.01 mins) is a short film based on the research team’s reflections on their own experiences of bullying, prejudice and discrimination.

Meetings and Events

The Genders and Sexualities programme meets twice a semester; if you would like to join our meetings, please email either of the programme leads at k.day@leedsbeckett.ac.uk or t.turner-moore@leedsbeckett.ac.uk for details.

The programme also contributes internal and external speakers to the monthly PsyCen seminar series. For details on upcoming PsyCen seminars see here. Our members also contribute to local, national and international conferences, such as the Leeds Beckett Gender Research Conference.

We also hold a weekly writing session - “Shut up and Write!” - for members who are working on journal articles, books and theses. For more information, see this Facebook page.

Funding from the Genders and Sexualities Programme

The programme has a small annual budget that its members can apply for to support research and events that are relevant to the programme aims. To apply, please contact the programme leads for an application form.

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