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 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 principle investigator (£300k, June 2022- June 2024). 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
Assessing Sibling Sexual Abuse: Pilot Project
Sophie is currently the holder of ESRC Impact Acceleration Account funding. Sophie is leading this project that will build on the research from the previous work she has carried out on sibling sexual abuse. This project will explore piloting an assessment/screening tool with a range of professional organisations who work directly with CYP and sibling sexual abuse. This will follow on from the work previously carried out by Sophie 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 Abuse Mapping Tool: Pilot Project - University of Birmingham
'We're in this together' Sexual harassment in schools: A boys voice
Sophie has received seed funding from the ESRC Impact Acceleration Account along with Dr. Daniel Vyleta from the Department of Film and Creative Writing to explore the importance of the voice of boys when considering sexual harrassment in schools. The aim of this is 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 intends to plan the next steps for producing a resource that can be used within an educational setting to change the dialogue across genders.
Youth Graffiti Project
Sophie has 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. This will highlight why participatory research with young people is key to co-designing positive interventions and support. This preliminary planning work will be carried out with graffiti artist Void One.
Managing Sensitive Topics in Teaching and Research
Sophie is Co-lead on this EUniwell funded project with Dr. Katherina Karcher (£25k, Sept 2022). 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 seeks 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 is in collaboration with The University of Florence, Linnaeus University and The University of Leiden.
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. 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.