Abby Gilsenan

Beyond ‘Good Catholic Girls’: Exploring the Role of Statutory RSE in Young Women’s Constructions of Sexual Agency in Catholic Schools.

Supervisors: Dr Shelley BudgeonDr Sarah Hall

Abby’s research explores the impact of statutory Relationships and Sex Education policy in Catholic secondary schools on young women. This builds on research conducted with sex education teachers at faith schools during her MRes. Specifically, she considered how the intersection of public policy and Catholic sexual morality shape and inform young women’s experiences and perceptions of sexuality and the self. 


Abby Gilsenan is a doctoral research student at the University of Birmingham, based in the School of Social Policy. She also holds a BA in Philosophy, Religion and Ethics and an MRes in Sexuality and Gender studies both from the University of Birmingham. Abby has volunteered within domestic violence support services and is a board director for a youth sexual health charity based in York. She is a member of the Gender and Feminist Theory reading group at the University of Birmingham and of the international Gender and Education Association.


  • BA (Hons) Philosophy, Religion and Ethics (University of Birmingham)
  • MRes Sexuality and Gender (University of Birmingham)

Research Interests

  • Youth studies
  • Sex education policy
  • (post) feminism
  • Faith schools
  • Sexual Subjectivity and agency
  • Teenage pregnancy
  • Girlhood studies

Contact Details


Twitter: @GilsenanAbby