Welcome to my website. I’m a Reader in Psychology and Health at the University of Sheffield where I write about and create educational resources that promote understanding of sexuality and ageing for professionals and the public, and which ultimately support human relationships.
Using insight from psychology, my work addresses inequalities in healthcare and wider society, and tackles negative social stereotypes and harmful discrimination that individuals can face.
On this website you’ll find blog posts from my research, talks, and engagement projects (accessible via the ‘Tag Cloud’ on each page). I write for academic, practitioner, and public audiences and to date have written over 60 articles and reports, 11 book chapters,1 book, and dozens of social media articles and blogs. My work on ageing, gender, and sexuality has featured in over 100 media stories.
An incredibly rewarding part of my job is the opportunity to work collaboratively with external organisations and creative partners. Together we have developed innovative ways to promote and support healthy ageing and sexuality. I’m founder of various sexual rights initiatives including:
- Sexual Rights Charter for Older Adults, to raise awareness and support professional and community conversations about sexuality
- Age, Sex and You; the UK’s first public health website dedicated solely to ageing and sexual health/wellbeing
- #SexRightsAge; a campaign which fights for equal sexual rights for people as they get older
- Addressing the Sexual Rights of Older People; the first text to focus on this topic, which I co-edited with Dr Catherine Barrett (Director of Celebrate Ageing)
In 2021 I won a Public Engagement Award from the British Psychological Society for the promotion of psychology to the general public. Also in 2021 I was a finalist in the National Sexual Health Awards (established by the UK’s leading sexual health organisations Brook Charity and SH:24), which recognise excellence in sex-positive relationship education and information. Among other awards, I have been named as a distinguished doctoral supervisor for four consecutive years.
Other professional activities
- Director of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (Health Sciences School)
- Associate Fellow: British Psychological Society
- Committee member: Sheffield Sexual Health Network
- Member: Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health Task & Finish Group for the Menopause suite of educational materials
- Fellow: Higher Education Academy
- Member: White Rose Gender Equality College
My PhD and BSc (Hons) are in Psychology (Sheffield Hallam University), and my doctoral research formed one of the first studies to explore women’s perspectives and experiences of dance drug use in the 1990s. It provided data that challenged the gender stereotypes of women drug users. I am a first-generation academic from a working class background and attended University as a mature student.