My principle research interests are in adolescence and health related risk taking with a focus on sexual health, pornography and alcohol. I am particularly interested in young men's health and how this intersects with both masculinities and social exclusion to provide a context within which health risk taking takes place. Seeking to understand risk taking in this way enables us to move away from models of individual behaviour change, to a more productive exploration of the social contexts and forces that need to be addressed to bring about large scale changes in health outcomes for young people.
Adolescent Health and Well-being
Pornography and Sexual Exploitation
Alcohol and alcohol related risk taking
College aged young people's understanding and experience of the intersections between alcohol, drugs and sexual risk taking (with Public Health Blackburn with Darwen).
Working class young men's conceptualisations of risk relating to alcohol use (funded by the School for Public Health Research project of PhD student Kath Hennell)
Barriers and enablers in the delivery of a complex sexual health programme: Early diagnosis of HIV (with Medfash and Greater Manchester Sexual Health Network)
The motivations, social context and patterns of young men’s on-line pornography use
The use of volunteers in maintaining smoking cessation after discharge from hospital (with Public Health Blackpool)
Reasons for the rise in abortions from women of South Asian heritage (project of PhD student Sue Capstick)
Risk and Rationalisation in Paradise: Cognisant Exposure to sexually Transmitted Infections amongst Male Sex Tourists in Thailand (project of PhD student Simon Bishop)
The nature of online peer support for fathers in the UK (project of PhD student Sean Mackay)
My research interests lie in investigating the ways in which masculinities and social exclusionary processes impact on young men's sexual health and wider health risk-taking. Research on working class masculinities has demonstrated the role that health plays in providing men with an opportunity to perform different masculinities through the rejection of health enhancing messages and a reluctance to access health services. Rather than seeing this as perverse and self-destructive these strategies can be seen as a coherent attempt to maintain masculinity status in the face of the decline in the key roles of breadwinner and patriarch. I am interested in applying some of this insight into the understanding the experience and behaviours of adolescent men, particularly in the sexual context where their eschewing of safer sex messages whilst seemingly reckless can actually be conceptualised as part of the construction of a distinct masculinity that is constructed not only in the rejection of femininity but also of what are seen to be lesser masculinities. My previous research has explored the strategies through which young men negotiate this sexualised masculinity through the labelling and denigration of women, through homophobia and through professed sexual expertise. This area of research has also explored the role of male peer groups as the arbiters of appropriate sexual behaviour and attitudes.
My current research interests is to explore masculinities and sexuality in relation to young men's use of pornography, particularly the ways in which heterosexual pornography reinforces many of the discourses which underlie what some young men see as appropriate sexual attitudes and behaviours and consequently to explore whether this means that these young men are particularly likely to be negatively influenced by their use of pornography.
My wider research interests lie in exploring adolescence as a time of transition and change and what impact this has on the health related and risk taking behaviours of young people. I am currently exploring this in relation to alcohol use both of working class young men and college aged young people. Schools and colleges play an important part in the lives of young people and I am currently working with two Public Health departments in the north west of England to explore these sites can be utilised as health enhancing spaces within and outside of the classroom.
In all my research I am seeking to move away from notions of health being a product of individual choices and actions towards a broader perspective that links to social structures and social determinants of health. Having spent most of my working life in health services and local authorities I am interested in ensuring that my research has impact on the development of good quality policy and practice.
DHR515: The Philosophy of Research
DHR521: Qualitative Data Analysis
BIOL143: Introduction to Epidemiology: Global Health and Disease
BIOL 143: Biomedicine and Society
Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings › Chapter
Research output: Book/Report/Proceedings › Commissioned report