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Genders, sexualities, relationships, intimacies

Neon heart

This research area is a meeting point for critical interdisciplinary Social Policy and Criminology scholarship on gender, sexuality and intimacies in the contemporary world.

There are long-standing research interests around everyday nuances of intimacy and family life, including same-sex parent families and long-term relationships, alongside broader interests around sex, sexuality and sexual citizenship. Research interests also focus on how and why our intimate relationships, organisations and social institutions can become sites of gendered violence, abuse and harm. This complements a long-standing research area on domestic homicide and gender in policing as well as on the gendered relations of health and social welfare.

Research in this area also explores punitiveness at the intersection of criminal and social justice on particular gendered and sexual subjects.

This research area also sustains a critical focus on resistance, agency and activism of women, victim-survivors, non-binary and transgender individuals, as well as lesbian, bisexual and queer women to disrupt power and contest structural, harm and violence. This further encompasses concerns with ‘justice’, ‘survival’ ‘rights’ and ‘recovery’ in criminal justice approaches, support services, social movements and transformative justice.

Staff in this research area are members of the Harm and Evidence Research Collaborative (HERC) and Innovation, Knowledge and Development (IKD).

Image: Neon heart. Photo: Jiroe/Unsplash.

Qualifications available:

PhD or MPhil


For detailed information on current fees visit Fees and funding.

Entry requirements:

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent)

Current/recent research projects

  • Angela Charles: Black Women’s Experiences in Prison through an Intersectional Lens
  • Amy Dean: "Real or No Real" Young people’s understandings of pleasure, safe sex and healthy relationships
  • Olga Plakhotnik: Queer(Y)ing Kinship in Postsocialist World: Non-Heterosexual Families of the Intersection of Nationalism, (Post) Coloniality and Capitalism
  • Tom Whitney: Risk and Intimacy – A Qualitative Examination of the Impact of Pharmaceutical HIV Prevention Technologies on Serodiscordant Partnerships in the UK

Further information

If you have an enquiry specific to this research area please contact:

Professor Nicola Yeates
+44 (0)1908 654534

For general enquiries please contact the Research Degrees Team via the link under 'Your Questions' on the right of the page.