Sexualities and Genders Research

Diversities, Ethics and Education


Sexualities and Genders Research (SaGR) has a strong interdisciplinary research focus and is broadly inclusive of research that has sexuality, gender and the complex intersections of these categories with others such as ethnicity, race, class, age, and disability, across the lifespan at its core. Our interdisciplinary approach to sexuality and gender research spans sociology, cultural studies, education, critical psychology, criminology, social welfare, equity studies, queer studies, and uses innovative qualitative and quantitative research methods to contribute to the development of knowledge. Our aim is to advance interdisciplinary knowledge and theory in ways that reshape policy, improve professional practices and make a positive difference in the health and wellbeing of children, young people, adults, their families and communities in Greater Western Sydney and beyond. This is an epistemological, pedagogical and ethical project of both exploratory and engaged research in the fields of sexuality and gender to build new knowledge, address discrimination, and build ethical relationships in organisations and communities in an era of dramatic social, cultural, economic and political change.


In relation to sexuality and gender, our research is concerned with the social practices through which both knowledge and the dispositions of people are governed and shaped in different contexts, including schools and other education institutions, hospitals and medical services, community organisations, sporting organisations, families, and workplaces. We emphasise that these practices are not only modes of educating, but also of regulating and normalising, individual bodies and social relations. Our research on sexuality and gender seeks to both identify and describe the everyday practices through which individuals and communities are governed, and offer interventions that solve specific problems and open up possibilities for social conditions to be other than they are. We do this through the generation and dissemination of new knowledge through public health campaigns, policy recommendations, pedagogical programs, publications, social media, practical research-based interventions and consultancy.
SaGR currently has four main research foci. The research undertaken by members often relates to more than one of these strands.

Modernity, Urbanity and Technology

Strand Leader:

This research strand takes the contingent processes of modernisation, development, urban transition, global capitalism and technological change as modalities to think through sexuality and gender issues. We address the ways in which these processes have created new global, local and national climates that condition the flourishing and foreclosing of sexuality and gender identities and communities. The strand is interested in: building theoretical paradigms to understand the lived, embodied and intersected experiences of sexual and gendered subjects across time; using multidisciplinary perspectives to explore state, capital and technology mediated structures, practices and discourses governing sexualities and genders in the economy, in politics, in society and online; and examining the challenges and possibilities of establishing modes of sexuality and gender justice under contemporary conditions.

Violence and Power in context

Strand Leader:

This strand examines the diversity of lived experiences of violence and marginalisation in the context of pluralism and inequality. Our research addresses the personal, structural and symbolic aspects of violence, with a focus on the embeddedness of violence within a variety of contexts and discourses. We develop findings and recommendations attuned to the interpersonal, community and social dimensions of justice, with expertise across multiple strategies for the prevention of violence and the strengthening of responses for those impacted by it.

Governing education, health and well-being

Strand Leader: Dr Nida Denson

This research strand focuses on the social practices through which both knowledge and the dispositions of people are governed and shaped in different contexts, particularly in education, health and community organisations and the workplace. Within these contexts, we specifically address the impacts of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, and the intersections of these on identity, the health and wellbeing of people across the life span and on broader communities. We emphasise that these practices are not only modes of educating, but also of regulating and normalising, individual bodies and social relations. Identifying intervention strategies for improving individual and community health and wellbeing is key to this work.

Family, Intimacies and Transformations

Strand Leader: Professor Kerry Robinson

This strand focuses on examining the changing nature of family structures, family life, relationships and intimacies in contemporary times and the role that family plays in society and across different cultures. It explores the impact of social, cultural, political, and economic factors on experiences of living in families and what is considered to be a legitimate family more broadly. Within this context, discourses of motherhood, fatherhood and childhood and the relationships that exist across family members and the roles they have within families are examined.