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The Gender, Sexuality and Law Research Interest Group

The Gender, Sexuality and Law Research group was launched in 2013 and is based in the School of Law at Northumbria.

The GSL group draws together established, early career academics, and postgraduate students from a range of disciplines across the University aligned with the core theme of gender, sexuality and law. Impact-focussed and bringing together dynamic and radical scholars in the field, the group acts as a key forum for Northumbria's growing activity and reputation in this area.

The group has attracted research funding from the Society of Legal Scholars, the Modern Law Review, Social & Legal Studies, the British and Irish Law Education and Technology Association, and the Legal Education Research Network. The group organises an annual research seminar and events programme and regular one day events which bring together academics, practitioners and policy makers. The group also organises practical workshops on a verity of topics including research funding and engagement beyond the academy.


Steering Group

Postgraduate Research Students

Alexander Maine

Alexander’s research, under the supervision of Professor Chris Ashford, seeks to investigate the ways in which the law interacts with and constructs sexuality. His doctoral study focusses on the impact of the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act 2013 and the ways in which it constructs sexual identity, specifically the ‘homonormative’, and ‘homoradical’ identities. Using queer theory, this research will seek to explain the workings of the ‘sexual hierarchy’ which pervades legal and social understandings of sexuality. His other research interests and publications involve sex and sexuality, HIV, and healthcare. Alongside his research, he has taught undergraduate courses, and attended conferences nationally, and internationally.

Katharine Parker

Katharine is in the final stages of her PhD study examining the risk-taking behaviours of men who have sex with men in public sex environments in Newcastle upon Tyne.  Katharine is particularly interested in the social construction of gender and sexuality and the interrelationship between identity and environment. More broadly Katharine is interested in social research methods specifically the positionality of the researcher in relation to the populations and individuals that they research.

Giuseppe Zago

I am a PhD student at Northumbria University, under the supervision of Prof. Chris Ashford. My current research focuses on the treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender prisoners in places of detention, critically investigating the international human rights legal framework and the ways it is enforced in national jurisdictions.

Prior to joining Northumbria University, I worked as a researcher on comparative sexual orientation law at Leiden Law School in the Netherlands, and contributed to the realisation of the LawsAndFamilies Database, by finalising the formulation of the questions and of the Guidance for experts, and reviewing and editing their answers.

My main academic interest is in the area of human rights law, sexual orientation law, gender and sexuality.



Rosie Hodsdon

My doctoral research is seeking to understand the experiences of workers in the BDSM pornography industry in the UK in the wake of a significant legal shift in recent years regarding content and business practice. It aims to prioritise the voices of those within the industry, exploring both their personal and professional responses to new legislation, particularly the Audiovisual Media Services Regulations (2014) and the Digital Economy Act (2017). My wider research interests include BDSM, polyamory and other non-normative sexualities, stigma and deviance, pornography, sex work and community-based participatory methods. I would be delighted to hear from anyone with similar interests.

Cameron Giles

Cameron's research focuses on the social and legal regulation of HIV related identities in online applications. Working under the supervision of Professor Chris Ashford, his thesis aims to consider how legal regulation of social networking application intended for men who have sex with men might affect the behaviour of application users, particularly in respect of HIV status disclosure. Cameron is aiming to approach these issues from the perspective of queer theory, as well as contributing to the broader debate on the law relating to HIV transmission.

Cameron is also interested in: jurisprudence and legal theory, legal history, and, criminal law and the philosophy of sentencing.


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