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Last updated 23rd March 2023


Jo is currently a Reader in Sociology and Youth Studies and Director of the Centre for Citizenship, Conflict, Identity and Diversity. Combining her interests in childhood sexual abuse, childhood and young people's sexuality,  and LGBT+ young people Jo also leads the Gender and Sexualites Special Interest group. She joined the University of Huddersfield as a Senior Lecturer in Sociology in 2007 having previously taught Sociology at the University of York, the University of East Anglia and Leeds Trinity. Jo completed her PhD (funded by the ESRC) in the Centre for Women’s Studies at the Univeristy of York.

Jo’s PhD explored women’s engagement with narratives of childhood sexual abuse and she has since published widely on this subject including the book ‘Contesting Stories of Childhood Sexual Abuse’ published by PalgraveMacmillan. In addition she has presented her work at both National and International conferences, including many as invited / key note speaker.

Jo’s interests are broadly within the areas of self and identity, childhood sexuality, LGBT+ young people, (historic) childhood sexual abuse and interpersonal sexual violence, , narratives, and the intersections of these with gender and / or sexuality. She is currently undertaking a number of research projects exploring the experiences of LGBT+ young people with a colleague from Sheffield Hallam University and proefessional's understandings of childhood sexual abuse with a colleague from Durham University.

Jo is also an active member of the wider sociological community. She is a member of the British and European Sociological Associations and a board member of the ESA Sexualities network.  She is also a member of the editorial boards of Sociology (the flagshp journal of the BSA) and the Journal of Gender studies and is on the advisory board of Cultivate: The Feminist Journal of the Centre for Women's Studies.  She regularly reviews for these and other journals as well as book proposals for publishers and funding applications for Research councils.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Sexualities
  • Childhood Sexual Abuse
  • Exploitation
  • Gender Based Violence and Abuse
  • Narrative Research
  • LGBT+ young people
  • 'Historic' sexual abuse
  • children, young people and sexuality
  • Non normative gender and sexual identities
  • Representations of sexual abuse in the media
  • Childhood sexual abuse and gender based violence
  • Historic childhood sexual abuse
  • Narrative constructions of self/identity
  • Childhood sexual abuse and the media
  • Responses to abuse / Therapeutic and self-help cultures


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