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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Exploring transgender and non-binary university students' perceptions and experiences of sexual harm

Webster, William, Williams, Helen and Roberts, Nicola (2023) Exploring transgender and non-binary university students' perceptions and experiences of sexual harm. In: Proud / Loud / Heard... ? - exploring LGBT+ identity, being and experiences, Conference, 19 May 2023, Online. (Unpublished)

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


The normalisation of public sexual harassment is concerning and consequently this has led to the development of research exploring how specific environments support or challenge this behaviour as well as the safety work that women employ when navigating these spaces (Vera-Gray & Kelly, 2020). Research has demonstrated that sexual harassment on university campus is not only prevalent but that it is also gendered (Hackman et al., 2022; Roberts et al., 2022; Klein et al., 2020). Most research into sexual harm on-campus focuses on the experiences of heterosexual women, as such, there is a dearth of research exploring students within ‘broader systems of oppression’ experiences of sexual harm (Klein et al., 2020: unpaginated; see also Windust, 2021) such as transgender or non-binary students. Transgender students have been found to be more vulnerable to sexual victimisation than their cisgendered peers (Cantor et al., 2017; Edwards et al., 2015) and research has found that dominant norms of cisheteronormativity on campus can create and maintain additional barriers to help-seeking and access to services (Hackman et al., 2022; Murchison et al., 2019).

Our study addresses the gap in the literature by interviewing transgender and non-binary populations to explore their perceptions and experiences of sexual harm, including their perceptions of safety whilst being university students. The data is analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis to identify key themes. This paper presents preliminary findings from the research. It raises implications for tailoring relevant support for transgender and non-binary students.

Statement (50-words explaining the relationship between the paper and the theme and how it relates to LGBT+ issues/lives)

This study foregrounds the perceptions and lived experiences of transgender and non-binary students in relation to sexual harm whilst being students. It is important to listen to these perspectives in order to inform the development of inclusive support services, create safe campuses and to prevent gender-based sexual harm for students.

Full text not available from this repository.

More Information

Depositing User: Nicola Roberts


Item ID: 16135

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for William Webster: ORCID iD
ORCID for Helen Williams: ORCID iD
ORCID for Nicola Roberts: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 22 May 2023 11:35
Last Modified: 22 May 2023 11:35


Author: William Webster ORCID iD
Author: Helen Williams ORCID iD
Author: Nicola Roberts ORCID iD

University Divisions

Faculty of Education and Society > School of Social Sciences


Social Sciences > Criminology
Psychology > Psychology

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