Mary Robson

Mary Robson


I started my academic career as a mature student in 2009 when I joined the Social Science Foundation course at Leeds, continuing to complete my undergraduate degree in Sociology and Social Policy (first class honours).

In 2014, I was awarded ESRC 1 + 3 funding, which enabled me to complete the MA Gender Studies Research (distinction), where I focused upon young men’s constructions of masculinity and of their understandings of consent.

I have taught on the module Contemporary Children, Young People and Families at level 3. I have also delivered guest lectures at level 2 and 3.

In 2016 I received the Leeds Social Science Institute (LSSI) Impact Acceleration Award (2016) and completed my post-graduate research placement at Basis Sex Work Project.

Research interests

My research explores young men’s understandings, experiences and practices of everyday masculinities and heterosexuality on both subjective and relational levels.

I aim to move beyond sex-critical or ’sex as danger’ paradigms, which have historically paralleled heterosexuality with heteronormativity, whilst maintaining a strong commitment to feminist principles and research. In this sense, my work aims to diversify and expand understandings of young men’s gendered and sexual landscapes, giving particular focus to the ways in which young men resist and disrupt gender and sexual norms.

I am also interested in how constructions and negotiations of (non)normative hetero-masculinity intersects with different class positions and hence plays out in different classed contexts, particularly within the north of England.

Finally, my project looks at how understandings of hetero-masculinity are embedded within educational practice aimed specifically at young men, whereby focus is upon tackling gender inequality and opening up space for discussions around what it means to be a man.