I am a sociologist interested in understanding the effects of changing norms of gender and sexuality in Western cultures, particularly related to improving attitudes toward sexual minorities and liberalizing attitudes toward consensual sex. Empirically documenting the erosion of homophobia in educational and sporting settings, as well as in the wider culture, my research explores how this has resulted in an expansion of gendered behaviours for male youth and documents the improvement in life experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered youth. In 2014, I undertook a Visiting Professorship at Cornell University, researching ‘mostly gay’ and ‘mostly straight’ men with Professor Ritch Savin-Williams and am continuing to publish on the diverse experiences of men with non-exclusive sexual orientations. I have undertaken funded research for Durex examining issues related to dating and safe sex, which supported calls for a condom emoji to help enable young people discuss condom use.
I am an Associate Professor of Sociology at Durham University and Co-Director of the Centre for Sex, Gender and Sexualities, in the School of Applied Social Sciences. I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a Full Fellow of the International Academy of Sex Researchers. I have also lectured at Brunel University, after receiving my Ph.D. from the University of Bath. I am on the Editorial Boards of Sociology, British Journal of Sociology of Education, Journal of Men’s Studies, and Journal of LGBT Youth.
My research has garnered considerable media attention, and I have appeared on shows including The Surgery on BBC Radio 1, Woman’s Hour and Thinking Allowed on BBC Radio 4, Nightwaves on BBC Radio 3, The World Service, and Q with Jian Ghomeshi on CBC Radio 1. My research has been covered in newspapers including The Observer, The Sunday Times and The Daily Mail, as well as in multiple print and on-line magazines, including The Economist, New Internationalist, Playboy and The Huffington Post. I have also appeared on HuffPost Live to discuss the changing nature of homosexually themed language.
I welcome inquiries from the media and those interested in pursuing research in masculinities and sexualities.