Dr Sophie King-Hill

Dr Sophie King-Hill

Health Services Management Centre
Associate Professor

Contact details

Address
School of Social Policy, HSMC
Park House
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2RT, United Kingdom

Sophie is an Associate Professor in the Health Services Management Centre. She specialises in sexual behaviours and assessment in children and young people, sexual health, sibling sexual abuse, misogyny, relationships & sex education and the importance of youth voice. Much of her work is cross-sector, cross-disciplinary and centred around participatory and co-design approaches with young people. Sophie also has an interest in policy implementation, transfer and success frameworks and evaluation strategies. Previously she worked extensively in the third sector in the field of education and sexual health with many diverse groups such as teenage parents and young people with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. 

Qualifications

  • PhD (Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham)
  • M.Ed in Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties (School of Education, University of Birmingham)
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Advanced Research Methods and Skills (University of Birmingham)
  • Post Graduate Certificate Research Methods (University of Birmingham)
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (University of Worcester)
  • BA Honours Degree in Education Studies (University of Worcester)
  • Higher National Diploma in Antenatal Education (University of Bedford)
  • Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (University of Worcester)

Teaching

Sophie currently teaches on the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson programme which consists of the NHS Leadership Academy award in Senior Healthcare Leadership and the MSc in Healthcare Leadership.

Postgraduate supervision

PhD Supervision Interests

Sexual Health in children and young people
Sexual behaviours in children and young people
Evaluation of policy and programmes
Social, emotional and behavioural difficulties

Sophie is currently supervising:

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

Nikita Sowan: Stigma and prejudice amongst female South Asian survivors of sexual violence

Research

Sophie is an Associate Professor in the Health Services Management Centre. She specialises in sexual behaviours and assessment in children and young people, sexual health, sibling sexual abuse, misogyny, relationships and sex education and the importance of youth voice. Much of her work is cross-sector, cross-disciplinary and centred around participatory and co-design approaches with young people. Sophie also has an interest in policy implementation, transfer and success frameworks and evaluation strategies. Previously she worked extensively in the third sector in the field of education and sexual health with many diverse groups such as teenage parents and young people with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.

Previously, she was a Senior Lecturer in Education and Inclusion at the University of Worcester. Alongside this she was a regional tutor for the MEd in Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties with the School of Education at the University of Birmingham. Sophie has worked extensively in the third sector. She has taught sex and relationships in schools across the West Midlands  and was the National Impact Coordinator for a leading sexual health charity for children and young people. In her work with a local council she researched, implemented and evaluated an Independent Travel Training programme for children and young people with SEN, this programme is still currently in operation and is deemed as best practice in this sector. Within her career Sophie has worked with many diverse groups across education and health settings. Sophie developed an accredited programme for teenage parents across the West Midlands which ran for six years in conjunction with working as an antenatal teacher specialising in teaching diverse and low-socio economic groups.

Sophie’s research interests include sexual behaviours in children and young people, first point assessment for sexual behaviours in children and young people, sexual health, teenage parents, LGBTQ+ and gender issues. Sophie has an interest in both policy, evaluation and the impact of context.

Research projects:

ESRC NI: Research grant for project to assess sexual behaviours in children and young people aged 13-18 in the UK

Sophie currently holds an ESRC New Investigators Grant as principal investigator (£300k, June 2022- June 2025). This research intends to explore what constitutes normal, problematic, abusive and violent sexual behaviours in children and young people in the UK aged 13-18. This data will then be used to develop an assessment tool for professionals working with children and young people. This is in collaboration with Brook Charity and the Lucy Faithfull Foundation. This project has also featured in TES magazine Why sex education in schools is flawed | Tes

Project website: Understanding Sexual behaviours in Children and Young People in the UK - University of Birmingham

BRIDGE fund: From Shame to Celebration: Continuing to reframe the Global Culture of Menstruation and Sexual Health. Period Poverty in Sierra Leone.

Sophie is co-lead on both initiation and implementation BRIDGE fund grants (2023-2025) with Stretch Ledford from the University of Illinois (USA) on a project with Dr. Francis Sowa from Fourah Bay University and Dr. Fatmata Gegbe from Njala University (Sierra Leone). This project seeks to raises awareness of international issues relating to period poverty through documentary making with UIUC and Fourah Bay journalism students.

Institute for Advanced Studies: All Hands to the Pumps. Addressing barriers to an inclusive workplace where everyone can thrive. A focus on masculinity in the Fire and Rescue Service

This project (2023-2024) is led by Sophie and seeks to explore the barriers and enablers to inclusive working, with a specific focus upon masculinity, in the Fire and Rescue Service. This is a collaborative project working with Prof. Scott Taylor (UoB Business School), Dr Willem Stander (UoB School of Social Policy) and Dr Graham Donovan (UoB Dept of Film and Creative Writing)

Institute for Global Innovation: Understanding Incel behaviour to reduce extreme violence against women and girls

Sophie Leads this project (2023 – ongoing) that will examine how Involuntary Celibates (Incels) behave online, analysing the language they use to underpin front line practitioner work that aims to reduce extreme physical and sexual violence against women and girls. This project will combine research from five specialisms. It will encompass knowledge from social science, Modern Languages (Prof. Lisa Dowining and Sadie Edwards) Linguistics (Dr Graham Donovan) being supported by computer scientists (Dr Kamilla Kopec-Harding) and front line professionals (David Russell) working with the male violent and sex offender demographics.

AHRC IAA (Follow on Fund) and School of Social Policy (Impact Fund): 'We're in this Together' - perceptions of masculinity and boyhood: Resource Development  (Stage 3/3)

Sophie leads a project funded from both the AHRC IAA and the School of Social Policy Impact (2024-2025) to utilise the findings of stage one and two of the ‘We’re in This Together’ project to create a resource for educators in relation to working with young men and boys in the context of sexual harassment. This work will be carried out alongside co-investigators Dr Dan Vyleta and Dr. Graham Donovan (both from Department of Film and Creative Writing)

AHRC IAA: 'We're in this Together' - perceptions of masculinity and boyhood (Stage 2/3)

Sophie received funding from the AHRC IAA account to lead further the work on conceptualising boyhood in contemporary culture (2022-2023). This project captures the oral histories of young men and boys from various demographics to create a picture of how boyhood and masculinity is experienced in the UK context. This work will be carried out alongside co-investigators Abby Gilsenan (School of Social Policy) Dr Dan Vyleta and Dr. Graham Donovan (both from Department of Film and Creative Writing)

ESRC IAA: 'We're in this together' Sexual harassment in schools: A boys voice (Stage 1/3)

Sophie received seed funding from the ESRC Impact Acceleration Account along with Dr. Daniel Vyleta from the Department of Film and Creative Writing where they explored importance of the voice of boys when considering sexual harassment in schools (2022 - 2023). The aim of this was to help identify ways in which the voices of young men articulating their views of sex and sexuality, masculinity, gender and rape culture can be captured and represented in an effective manner that at the same time protects their safety/anonymity. This project led to the planning of the next steps in a three stage project for producing a resource that can be used within an educational setting to change the dialogue across genders.

ESRC IAA: Assessing Sibling Sexual Behaviour and Abuse - Developing a Mapping Tool for Professionals

ESRC Impact Acceleration Account funding (2022-2023). Sophie led this project that built on the research from the previous work she has carried out on sibling sexual abuse. This project piloted a mapping tool with a range of professional organisations who work directly with CYP and sibling sexual behaviour. This follows on from the work previously carried out by Sophie and Abby Gilsenan and will also bring together work by  Prof. Kieran McCartan at UWE - whose research explored adult survivors of SSA - and the work carried out by Allardyce and Yates (2021) for the Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse.

Project website: Sibling Sexual Behaviour: Mapping Tool and Project Website

#SiblingsToo Podcast: Sibling Sexual Behaviour Mapping Tool

ESRC IAA: Youth Graffiti Project 

Sophie received seed funding from the ESRC Impact Acceleration Account to work with young people to design a piece of graffiti that represents listening to young people and why this is vitally important when considering issues that surround them (2023). This highlighted why  participatory research with young people is key to co-designing positive interventions and support. This work was carried out with graffiti artist Void One.

Project web page:  Empowering youth voice through graffiti art

Euniwell: Managing Sensitive Topics in Teaching and Research

Sophie is Co-lead on this EUniwell funded project with Dr. Katharina Karcher working with Joanne McCuaig and Dr Manuela Nilsson (2022-2023). The project seeks to draw on the expertise and experience of researchers in a range of disciplines, and seeks to change how ‘sensitive’ topics are dealt with in academia. Although it is widely known that sensitive topics can cause distress, academics receive little training on how to deal with potentially distressing material. This project sought to change this by identifying and promoting measures to improve the wellbeing of researchers and students working on sensitive issues and to create tools and resources that can be used by academics to support work with these topics. This project was in collaboration with The University of Florence, Linnaeus University and  The University of Leiden. This project has produced a toolkit for academics and researchers working on subject areas they deem sensitive or distressing.

Project webpage: Managing sensitive topics in teaching and research confidently 

ESRC IAA: Relationships and Sex Education Resource Co-design with Young People

Sophie worked with 14 young people in 2023 (in year 10) from the University of Birmingham School to design a resource for those teaching relationships and sex education (RSE). This collaboration produced a top tips guide for school leadership teams and teachers titled ‘A students’ guide to what you don’t know’. This was then designed by local graffiti artist Void One under the guidance of the young people. This resource provides insight as to what young people need from their RSE sessions, from young people themselves. The young people involved in the project then presented their work and the project to academics at a showcase event at the University of Birmingham.

You can download the resource here: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/a-students-guide

Home Office: RCEW National Project on Sibling Sexual Abuse | SARSAS

Sophie was one of the leads for the National Rape Crisis England and Wales Sibling Sexual Abuse Project (2020-2022). In partnership with Purple Leaf and Somerset and Avon Rape and Sexual Abuse Support, the University of the West of England and West Mercia Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre. Sophie oversaw the research and work on the provision of suitable support services and pathways for children from the age of five who have carried out or survived sibling sexual abuse.  Funded by the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice.

 

 

 

Other activities

Sophie is on the Policy and Practice Committee for the National Organisation for the Treatment of Sexual Abuse.

Publications

Highlight publications

King-Hill, S 2021, Stop talking about the weather and start talking about sex.. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kzu6vWi5HQc&list=RDCMUCsT0YIqwnpJCM-mx7-gSA4Q&start_radio=1&t=1s>

King-Hill, S 2024, Working with boys and young men to reduce sexual and gender based violence, misogyny, and harmful sexual behaviours: Policy Brief.

King-Hill, S 2024, Young People's Voices: Relationships, Health and Sex Education.

King-Hill, S & McCartan, K 2024, Reducing Sibling Sexual Behaviour: Policy Brief.

King-Hill, S, McCartan, K, Gilsenan, A, Beavis, J & Adams, A 2023, Understanding and Responding to Sibling Sexual Abuse. 1 edn, Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-34010-9

Recent publications

Comment/debate

King-Hill, S & Hengstwerth, J 2024, 'Controversial RSHE Draft: Threatening LGBTQIA+ Education Amidst Election Turmoil', University of Birmingham Blog Service. <https://blog.bham.ac.uk/socialsciencesbirmingham/2024/05/24/controversial-rshe-draft-threatening-lgbtq-education-amidst-election-turmoil/>

King-Hill, S 2024, 'Proposed sex education guidance in England goes against evidence and may well lead to harm', The Conversation. <https://theconversation.com/proposed-sex-education-guidance-in-england-goes-against-evidence-and-may-well-lead-to-harm-207248?>

King-Hill, S & McCartan, K 2024, 'Relationships, Sex and Health Education policy for schools will inhibit preventative and early intervention work for child sexual abuse and harmful sexual behaviour.', NOTA News. <https://www.notaprevention.co.uk/2024/05/16/relationships-sex-and-health-education-policy-for-schools-will-inhibit-preventative-and-early-intervention-work-for-child-sexual-abuse-and-harmful-sexual-behaviour/>

Digital or Visual Products

King-Hill, S & McCartan, K, Has the government gone mad with banning Sex Education in schools?, 2024, Digital or Visual Products. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?si=ZhHEbTrPNh2Q1a7b&v=m7hahk_hQn8&feature=youtu.be>

King-Hill, S & McCartan, K, International Project: Canada 2024. Event by Thriving Survivors, 2024, Digital or Visual Products. <https://www.linkedin.com/events/7189353884551688193/comments/>

King-Hill, S, McCartan, K & Russell, D, International approaches to understanding and responding to sibling sexual behaviour, 2024, Digital or Visual Products, Centre international de criminologie comparée CICC. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2PKQiUKMBE&feature=youtu.be>

King-Hill, S, Radio Five Live: Interview on new RSHE draft guidance: Nick Grimshaw Programme, 2024, Digital or Visual Products.

Morris, N, Cotler, C, King-Hill, S, Serrano, S & Tarantini, D, Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) in the prevention and early detection of sibling sexual behaviour and abuse, 2024, Digital or Visual Products. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbTG4xdpxwg>

Other contribution

King-Hill, S & McCartan, K 2024, Education and understanding is vital when tackling rising reports of harmful sexual behaviour by children. The Conversation . <https://theconversation.com/education-and-understanding-is-vital-when-tackling-rising-reports-of-harmful-sexual-behaviour-by-children-220922>

King-Hill, S 2024, International Women’s Day: Trans women cannot be left behind. University of Birmingham. <https://blog.bham.ac.uk/socialsciencesbirmingham/2024/03/08/international-womens-day-trans-women-cannot-be-left-behind/>

King-Hill, S & McCartan, K 2024, Sibling Sexual Behaviour: how can services respond to the most common yet under-reported form of sexual abuse within the family?. University of Birmingham. <https://blog.bham.ac.uk/socialsciencesbirmingham/2024/02/09/sibling-sexual-behaviour-how-can-services-respond-to-the-most-common-yet-under-reported-form-of-sexual-abuse-within-the-family/>

Other report

King-Hill, S 2024, Executive Summary: Young People's Voices: Relationships, Sex and Health Education.

King-Hill, S 2024, NSPCC: Report on Problematic Sexual Behaviours in Children and Young People.

King-Hill, S 2024, NSPCC: Report on Problematic Sexual Behaviours in Children and Young People - Executive Summary.

Review article

McCartan, KF, King-Hill, S & Allardyce, S 2024, 'Reviewing the Evidence on Sibling Sexual Behaviour: Impact on Research, Policy and Practice', Current Psychiatry Reports, vol. 26, no. 3, pp. 37-44. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11920-024-01487-3

View all publications in research portal