Launch of the Historical Research on Sexuality Project
The University and the Guild of Students are committed to working together to explore more broadly the activities surrounding the historical practice of conversion therapy in our University. We are unequivocal that conversion therapy, where the aim is to change a person's sexual orientation or to suppress gender identity, is unethical, degrading, and harmful.
This is a very important piece of work and we are committed to carrying it out in a thorough and consultative way. We have therefore launched a Historical Research on Sexuality Project to improve and share our understanding of historical psychological research in this area. A project steering committee will identify key areas for literature review, important parties to engage with, and help shape recommendations on the review of historical research. This Committee includes representatives from the School of Psychology, the Institute of Applied Health Research, the Guild LGBTQ+ Students’ Officer, the LGBTQ+ Association, oSTEM, the Adviser on Student Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion, the staff Rainbow Network, and the Deputy-Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
To support the work of the Committee, the University has also funded a research fellow post to lead the initial research into the School of Psychology’s historical research on sexuality and conversion therapy. The University Executive Board lead for LGBT+ Equality will meet with the committee at intervals during and at the conclusion of this project to ensure that the findings of the report will inform future actions by the University. The research and subsequent report is expected to be completed and published in late 2021 and we will ensure that the findings are shared with our entire student and staff community.
Alongside this work, the University’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team will work in partnership with the Guild of Students, professional bodies, and community partners to raise awareness on the call to ban the practice of conversion therapy in the UK. The Guild of Students will also introduce a termly meeting between Guild Officers and the Deputy-Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and the University’s Adviser on Student Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
The information available on the research section of the University website has also been updated to reflect the processes we have in place to ensure that these historical practices could not happen today.
Tobiloba Adeyemi, Guild of Students, President
Professor Jo Duberley, Deputy-Pro-Vice-Chancellor Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
Sorcha Hughes, Guild of Students, LGBTQ+ Students' Officer
Professor Robin Mason Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International) and University Executive Board lead for LGBT+ equality Board lead for LGBT+ equality