Skip to content

Special Interest Group

Sexualities and Gender

The Sexualities & Gender SIG provides a forum for educators and researchers with interest in sexualities in the context of education to discuss theory, policy and practice issues. Over the last ten to fifteen years, there has been a growing interest in issues of identity, including sexual identity, within educational research. This, coupled with increasing government interest in social inclusion, has led to the development of a stronger research voice for marginalised groups, including those marginalised by their sexuality. In addition, this growing field has incorporated research beyond issues of marginalisation and exclusion, developing specific strengths and perspectives which in turn contribute to the wider research community. Research into sexualities has added important work to earlier studies in gender and identity, and has brought new theoretical perspectives and research paradigms to the field.

The aims of the SIG are:

  • to support work with by scholars and practitioners in shaping theory, policy and practice in the field of sexualities research in education;
  • to bring together diverse voices from the research community, creating a forum for discussion and dissemination of research related to sexualities in the context of education;
  • to create opportunities for collaboration on research projects in this field;
  • to establish a point of contact with parallel groups internationally, and  contribute to opportunities for international collaboration and partnership;
  • to support the publication of research reports and discussion papers in academic journals with an interest in this field, such as Sex Education, Sexualities and Gender and Education in the UK, and the Journal of LGBT Youth in the United States;
  • to organise research events, such as conferences, seminars and lectures, focusing on sexualities;
  • to provide a channel for the dissemination of research in this field to the wider research community.

What we do 
The Sexualities SIG is interested in running events on sexualities and education theme to develop links between researchers, policymakers and practitioners. Recent SIG events include a seminar, in conjunction with the Youth Studies SIG, on ‘Sexualities, youth work and informal education’. Existing interests of current SIG members are broad ranging and include: Theory, policy and practice in Sex & Relationship education; LGBTQ issues in education; researching sexualities equalities in schools and higher education settings; challenging homophobia within school/youth work settings, policy and practice interventions around teenage pregnancy; feminist and queer pedagogies; exploring the production of sexualities and genders in educational settings; exploring heteronormativity in educational settings, social justice and sexuality in education.

SIG Convenors

Profile picture of Joshua Heyes
Joshua Heyes, Dr

Canterbury Christ Church University

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 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...

Content associated with this SIG

BERA Conference 2023

12 September 2023 to 14 September 2023Aston University/ Conference Aston

Welcome to the BERA Annual Conference 2023 Abstract submission now open! It is a great pleasure to extend a warm welcome to a BERA Annual Conference 2023. Many of you will have watched the...

Upcoming conference12 Sep 2023

BERA Conference 2023 – Call for Abstract Reviewers

6 Feb 2023 - 17 Feb 2023

Would you be willing to act as a reviewer for abstracts submitted to the BERA Annual Conference 2023? To be involved, you will need to: be a BERA Member be available to referee abstracts...

Upcoming event

LGBTQ+ Children and Young People in Education

Individual papers presented under the theme Sexualities and Gender Chair: Richard Harris IN THIS SESSION An examination of LGBTQ+ students’ lived experiences in secondary schools Prof...

Video7 Sep 2022