Is sexuality research ‘dirty work’?

Mark McCormack*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Is sexuality research ‘dirty work’ provides empirical evidence of the dangers of researching sexualities. It is an article that will resonate with many scholars. Some of these risks were, for example, addressed at the Generational Sexualities conference, held at Oxford University in 2011. This conference sought to develop a dialogue between different generations of sexualities scholars, and it illuminated the ways in which these different generations were linked by a feeling that their research was deemed ‘sensitive’, ‘other’, or what Irvine has so aptly called ‘dirty work’. The veteran scholars argued that no golden age of sexualities research ever existed in the UK – that Ken Plummer, Jeffrey Weeks, Mary McIntosh and others had to fight for institutional and intellectual recognition – while the younger generation emphasized the damage of Research Excellence Framework (REF), the problem of publishing in disciplinary journals and the fear of media misrepresentation – issues highlighted by Irvine’s research as well.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)674-676
Number of pages3
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2014


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