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Blog Special Issues

Researching gender and sexuality

Gender and sexualities research carries unique sensitivities and challenges that can create a range of barriers for postgraduate and early career educational researchers. The event Researching Gender & Sexuality in Educational Settings aimed to support, sympathise with, and guide postgraduate and early career researchers working in this area. This BERA Blog special issue showcases the work of six postgraduate researchers who presented at the event, including their reflections on the barriers they are encountering in their work.

Both the event and the blog posts collected here are a clear illustration of the health and vibrancy of postgraduate educational research in gender and sexuality. It is evident that the community being built around the Sexualities and Gender special interest group (SIG) is growing, both numerically and in its positive impact in providing spaces for support, sympathy and advice for the unique challenges of this area of research.

The contributions to this special issue explore:

  • how creative methods continue to be subordinated to the dominance of the interview in qualitative research
  • five helpful tips for using arts-based approaches
  • the powerful potential of photo elicitation for engaging with LGBT+ teachers’ experiences of navigating their gender and sexuality identities at school
  • the growing body of work drawing on a feminist new materialist approach to gender and sexuality educational research
  • a pilot project working with the Museum of Wales to open up their fungi collection for youth engagement workshops with LGBTQ+ young people
  • the ethics of research with LGBTQ+ young people and questions around the boundaries and borders of inclusivity.


Profile picture of Joshua Heyes
Joshua Heyes, Dr

University of Lincoln

Before coming to the world of educational research, I completed undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the University of Nottingham, during which I worked on sexual ethics and philosophy of religion. I then took up an exciting opportunity to...

Profile picture of EJ Renold
EJ Renold, Professor

Professor of Childhood Studies at Cardiff University

EJ Renold is a professor of Childhood Studies at the School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University. They are the author of Girls, Boys and Junior Sexualities (2005), Children, Sexuality and Sexualisation (with Ringrose and Egan, 2015) and the...

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