Research Interests

My main area of research interest is lesbian lifespan development, with a focus on the dynamics of lesbian and family of origin relationships over the course of people’s lives.  Key areas of research interest are lived outness and the family, and caregiving and lesbian personal relationships; in particular how outness may be lived differently in different contexts such as the home environment.

Specifically my PhD examines the lesbian/family of origin interaction with respect to help, caregiving and support for older family members.  In undertaking the research I have engaged with a Foucauldian genealogy of the informal carer, utilised focus groups and thematic analysis to examine the hopes and fears that young lesbians hold about their future out lives, explored how middle aged and older lesbians are involved with their families of origin and how taking on family responsibilities such as caring and supporting elderly parents impacts upon lesbian lives using a grounded theory methodology.  My final study tests several competing predictions about the allocation of elder care tasks to women on the basis of sexual identity and relationship status.

Moving beyond my PhD research, I am also interested in the history and philosophy of psychology, sociology of scientific knowledge, social representations, gender and sexuality, feminist research, and (last but certainly not least) the media representation of women – in particular representations of non-normative women.


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