Nicola GaveyNicola Gavey is a critical psychologist at the University of Auckland where she teaches courses on gender and sexuality. Much of her research has been concerned with developing a critical analysis of the gendered dynamics of rape and (hetero)sexual coercion, and the implications for sexual violence prevention. She is interested in the way that cultural norms shape the possibilities for behaviour and for how we see and understand ourselves. Her book Just sex? The cultural scaffolding of rape received a Distinguished Publication Award from the Association for Women in Psychology. From 2008-2013  she was editor of Feminism & Psychology (SAGE Publications, London), which in 2013 received a Distinguished Leadership Award from the American Psychological Association’s Committee on Women in Psychology.  She is the Principal Investigator for ‘Pornography in the Public Eye’, which is a research project funded by the New Zealand government’s Marsden Fund. This project aims to revitalize public conversations and critical responses to the sexism, misogyny, and racism within, and beyond, mainstream pornography.


Virginia BraunVirginia Braun is an Associate Professor in the School of Psychology at the University of Auckland. Over the course of her research career, she has explored a range of topics related to gender, bodies, and sexual practices and sexuality, including sexual health, female genital cosmetic surgery and pubic hair removal. She is driven to understand the ways sociocultural contexts and meanings – alongside scientific research and knowledge – influence the experiences, desires and practices of individuals, in ways which can be either beneficial, or harmful. She has an understanding that benefit and harm can operate at the level of the individual, and the level of the social, and that these are not necessarily congruous. Her research involves interrogating and disrupting some of the common-sense ideas that underpin the ways we think about gendered bodies and sexuality. Her interest in pornography stems from these same questions and frameworks, and wishing to raise complicated questions about what has become a somewhat take-for-granted part of our western contemporary contexts. From 2008-2013 Ginny was editor of Feminism & Psychology (SAGE Publications, London), which in 2013 received a Distinguished Leadership Award from the American Psychological Association’s Committee on Women in Psychology.


Linda TylerAssociate Professor Linda Tyler was appointed as the inaugural Director of the Centre for Art Studies at the University of Auckland in February 2006. In this role, she administers the Art Collection, manages programmes and exhibitions at the Gus Fisher Gallery, and also digital and on-site exhibitions under the auspices of the Window project. She teaches two courses in the General Education schedule under the auspices of the Elam School of Fine Arts; Understanding Contemporary Visual Art Practice and Understanding Contemporary Fashion Design.  A long-term feminist, she received a Women’s Suffrage Award in 1993 to curate an exhibition for Dunedin Public Art Gallery entitled ‘Women on Women: Art in Dunedin Since 1893’. She has worked in public galleries and directly with artists in commissioning art projects for public spaces for 25 years.


Paulette Benton-Greig is the ‘Pornography in the Public Eye’ project manager. She has a history of working in the area of gender and sexuality, including contributing to many social service organisations working on connected social issues. Most recently she contributed to a number of significant gender and justice projects such as the Taskforce for Action on Sexual Violence criminal justice working party, Ministry of Women’s Affairs research on effective sexual violence interventions, and the Law Commission inquiry into alternative justice responses to sexual offending. She is also a PhD candidate investigating the socio-cultural context and experiences, practices and meanings associated with online sex-seeking. This, her work with Project Restore – an internationally unique restorative justice service for sexual violence – and her role in the Pornography in the Public Eye project give life to her abiding interest in freedom and justice in gender and sexual relations.

Octavia Calder-Dawe is a PhD candidate in the School of PsychologyOctavia Photo (3) at the University of Auckland. Her research is guided by an interest in how social knowledge makes claims on us and shapes desires and practices. Her interests include theorising and doing social change and examining prevailing ideas about sexuality, gender and bodies through a critical feminist lens. Octavia’s doctoral research is part of the ‘Pornography in the Public Eye’ research project. Her thesis is structured around the design and praxis of social change-oriented workshops with young people addressing (hetero)sexism, gender inequality and socially constructed injustice. Octavia is committed to critical, participatory research and aims to put her work ‘to work’: disrupting oppressive knowledge and opening up alternative ways of thinking and being.


Rachel Jane LiebertOriginally from Aotearoa/New Zealand, Rachel Jane Liebert is currently a PhD candidate and Adjunct Professor at the City University of New York. She draws on critical race, feminist and security studies to examine practices and politics of arousal and surveillance, and to co-facilitate a number of creative, collaborative projects that protest the privatization and policing of our bodies/sexualities/psyches. In NYC, these have included guerrilla theatre performances on female genital cosmetic surgery and on ‘public’ education, a grassroots exhibition on the vulva, participatory installations on genital diversity, a spoof training video on the ‘cosmetogynecology’ industry, an indie book on radical mental health for the (un)Occupy movement and an activist blog documenting racism in the criminal ‘justice’ system. Overall, through her scholarship and activism, she aims to create spaces of dissent, imagination and connection. This is what has bought her back to Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland and ‘Pornography in The Public Eye’. Rachel is curating The Porn Project – a fringe art campaign to generate a public dialogue around porn that celebrates diverse desires while refusing misogyny and racism.


Amelia HitchcockAmelia has spent the past few years exploring ecological concerns in communication with scientists in Fresh Water Ecology and Geology.  Her focus has been on exploring the efficacy of utilising art as a catalyst of social change, the interaction between art and science, and designing projects which demonstrate tangible facts in a creative fashion. Her art practice is research based, socially engaged, and interdisciplinary and concept driven. Ideas dictate which medium she utilises, although digital photography, video and performance events have been prominent of late. She is based in Auckland, New Zealand and holds a Masters from Elam School of Fine Art. Amelia is a research fellow working on the ‘Pornography in the Public Eye’ project. Engagement in this project has signalled a shift back to exploring gender, sexuality and identity through an intersectional feminist lens. She is examining this field in depth, whilst exploring the links in the systems of social privilege and disadvantage back to climate change discourses.

rsz_alex_antveskaAlex Antevska is a Masters graduate from the University of Auckland. Her masters research within the Gender and Critical Psychology group looked at how men account for the appeal of pornography. The research aimed to examine the social and cultural resources available to men in Auckland to consider, consume and talk about pornography and generally concluded that consumption was mainly talked about as a normative part of masculinity but was not widely discussed among men with little critical language available to communicate concern. Alex also has an interest in research and activism surrounding pornography and considerations about the harm such easily accessible and so called normative consumption of pornography can pose to young people and sexuality.


Jade Le Grice is of Ngapuhi, Te Rarawa, Tarara, and Pakeha descent, with a strong association to Hokianga Nui a Kupe. She is a lecturer in the School of Psychology at the University of Auckland. Jade’s recently completed doctoral thesis examined Maori and reproduction, casting a net around the wider phenomenon to understand reproductive decisions, parenting, sexuality education, maternities and abortion, as spheres of mutual influence. She has recently been working at Whariki, Massey University on a project entitled ‘Wairua, Affect and National Days’, and with ‘Pornography in the Public Eye’ at the University of Auckland. Her research interests are broad but cohere around understanding patterns of human experience, anchored across intersections of identity such as gender, culture, ethnicity, sexuality, and age. Jade utilises Kaupapa Maori and critical psychological research approaches that question taken for granted privileges, validate marginalised knowledges and practices, and envision new possibilities.


Kris Taylor completed his honours degree in psychology at Victoria University of Wellington Kris Taylorbefore relocating to Auckland as a PhD candidate at the University of Auckland. His honours dissertation focused on the ways in which men who abstain from pornography perform masculinity online. His proposed PhD work seeks to turn a critical eye towards the idea of pornography addiction. Kris seeks to an investigate where the label has come from, how it is used by consumers, and what it means for contemporary understandings of gender and sexuality.


Gareth Terry is a Senior Research Officer in the Centre for Person Centred Research at TheGareth Terry cropped Auckland University of Technology (AUT). He comes from a background in critical health and critical social psychologies, and currently works in the field of critical rehabilitation studies. His work largely focuses around the ways bodies are made sense of, experienced, and produced at the intersection of the material and the social. He has research interests in masculinities, men’s health, disability and accessibility, living well with chronic health conditions, body image, and reproductive decision making (particularly the decision not to have children).


Sexual Politics Now had three undergraduate students working as project interns during second semester 2014:

Rosalie Liu is majoring in Psychology, Pharmacology and English at the University of Auckland. She has interests in queer issues surrounding identity and gender, and the misogyny and heteronormativity of geek culture.

Grace Single is working toward a BA, majoring in
Sociology and Psychology at the University of Auckland. She is a member of the Campus Feminist Collective and is currently a youth mentor with Great Potentials.She is passionate about helping young people overcome issues around gender and sexuality so that they might fully realise their potential in life.


Caitlyn Drinkwater is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Sociology, at the University of Auckland. She has previous experience working with Outline and Rainbow Youth in both peer support and advocacy roles.


In 2014 four psychology postgraduate students worked together on a research project investigating rape culture and social media. They are currently completing a paper on young people’s exposure and responses to rape culture on social media.

Sophie Sills is working towards a Master of Arts in Psychology at the University of Auckland. Sophie SillsShe specialises in Gender and Critical Psychology, and is currently studying queer and trans* athletes in women’s sports, and how they embody gender. She is also interested in social justice and feminist issues related to power and privilege.

Lloyd JonesLloyd Jones is an Honours graduate from the University of Auckland. He has interests in masculinity and rape culture, and currently works at Rape Prevention Education as an educator in high schools. He also volunteers with a rehabilitation programme for sex offenders in prison.


Chelsea Pickens is currently studying a Master of Arts in Psychology at the University of Auckland, Chelsea Pickensresearching the cultural expectations placed on single women in relation to their performance of femininity. She volunteers with a rehabilitation programme for sex offenders in prison.


Karishma BeachKarishma Beach is analysing the culture and masculinity of self-identifying male “nerds” in social media spaces, as part of her Master of Arts degree.  She volunteers with Youthline and Rape Prevention Education. Her wider research interests include social justice and feminist issues, and the impact of social media in these areas.