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Sexualities & Gender

This research cluster brings together people interested and involved in research on sexuality and/or gender.

This research cluster brings together people interested and involved in research on sexuality and/or gender, primarily in the School of Social Sciences but including interested people from other schools and departments.

We come from a diverse range of disciplinary backgrounds and theoretical approaches and are working towards developing our inter-/cross-disciplinary understandings of gender, sexuality and the relationship between them.

We take sexuality as much more broadly understood than simply 'sex' or 'sexual relationships'. It is our premise that:

"Sexuality is not the property of an individual and is not a hormonally or biologically given, inherent quality. Rather sexual cultures and sexual meanings are constructed through a range of discursive practices across social institutions. ... Thus, when we talk about 'sexuality' we are talking about a whole assemblage of heterogeneous practices, techniques, habits, dispositions, forms of training and so on that govern things like dating and codes of dress in particular situations." (Debbie Epstein, Sarah O'Flynn and David Telford, 2003, Silenced Sexualities in Schools and Universities. Stoke-on-Trent: Trentham Books, page 3)

At one level, gender may seem much more susceptible to definition. It has traditionally been said that while sex is biological (one is male or female), gender is social and cultural. But recent theorists, following Judith Butler and including some of our members, see biological sex and gender as inextricably mixed and both, in some senses at least, culturally constructed and performative.

Some indeed question the usefulness of 'gender' as a category. Nevertheless, we do talk about 'gender' and are interested in the difference that gender makes in a variety of sites from the workplace and school to popular culture and literary texts.


We meet on the third Wednesday of every month during term time, from 12.45pm to 2pm, in room -1.79 Glamorgan Building.

At these meetings we discuss our work in progress, readings, develop research projects and so on.

The group is open to all staff and postgraduate research students in the School of Social Sciences and to those in other Faculties and Schools who share our interests.

However, as it is a working group, we would like members to make a commitment to coming on a fairly regular basis and to sharing their work.

For further details or to be added to the mailing list please contact either:


Staff and graduate students in the School are involved in research and scholarship in the following areas:

  • University of Wales
  • Welsh Assembly
  • Welsh Office of Research and Development
  • Research within the cluster includes work on:
  • Childhood sexualities
  • Embodiment
  • Femininities and masculinities
  • Feminist theory
  • Mainstreaming gender and sexuality policies
  • Gender and education
  • Gender and identity
  • Gender and social policy
  • Gender, sexuality and work
  • Queer theory
  • Sexuality, crime and criminal justice
  • Sexuality and education
  • Sexuality and gender in popular culture
  • Sexuality, gender and race/ethnicity
  • Sexualities, gender and violence, discrimination and harassment
  • Sexual identities

We are interested in hearing from potential doctoral students with interests in these areas.


This research was made possible through our close partnership with and support from:

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