Dr David Andrew Griffiths

Wellcome Trust University Award Research Fellow
+44 (0)1483 682617
24 AD 04

Academic and research departments

Department of Sociology.


Areas of specialism

Queer Theory; Medical Humanities; Intersex

University roles and responsibilities

  • Chair of the University LGBTQI+ Staff Network


Research interests

Research projects

My teaching

My publications


Griffiths DA (2016) Queer Genes: Realism, Sexuality and Science, Journal of Critical Realism 15 (5) pp. 511-529 Taylor & Francis
What are ?gay genes? and are they real? This article looks at key research into these hypothesized gay genes, made possible, in part, by the Human Genome Project. I argue that the complexity of both genetics and human sexuality demands a truly critical approach: one that takes into account feminist epistemologies of science and queer approaches to the body, while putting into conversation resources from agential realism and critical realism. This approach is able to maintain the agential complexity of genetic materiality, while also critically challenging the seemingly stable relationships between sex, gender and sexuality.
Griffiths D (2018) Diagnosing sex: Intersex surgery and ?sex change? in Britain 1930?1955, Sexualities 21 (3) pp. 476-495 SAGE Publications
The medical ?management? of individuals with atypical sex characteristics, or intersex
variations, has been under scrutiny since the beginnings of intersex activism in the
1990s. This article explores a history of intersex surgeries in Britain and the interaction
with medical and popular discourses around ?sex-change? between 1930 and 1955.
A focus on this period in Britain helps to critically elaborate on debates in intersex
scholarship; provides historical context for the introduction of approaches and protocols
based on John Money and colleagues? work in the USA in the mid-century; and
analyses a long history of tension and intersection between trans and intersex experiences,
treatments, politics and popular representations that continue into the present.
Griffiths D (2018) Shifting syndromes: Sex chromosome variations and intersex classifications, Social Studies of Science 48 (1) pp. 125-148 SAGE Publications
The 2006 ?Consensus statement on management of intersex disorders? recommended moving to a new classification of intersex variations, framed in terms of ?disorders of sex development? or DSD. Part of the rationale for this change was to move away from associations with gender, and to increase clarity by grounding the classification system in genetics. While the medical community has largely accepted the move, some individuals from intersex activist communities have condemned it. In addition, people both inside and outside the medical community have disagreed about what should be covered by the classification system, in particular whether sex chromosome variations and the related diagnoses of Turner and Klinefelter?s syndromes should be included. This article explores initial descriptions of Turner and Klinefelter?s syndromes and their subsequent inclusion in intersex classifications, which were increasingly grounded in scientific understandings of sex chromosomes that emerged in the 1950s. The article questions the current drive to stabilize and ?sort out? intersex classifications through a grounding in genetics. Alternative social and historical definitions of intersex ? such as those proposed by the intersex activists ? have the potential to do more justice to the lived experience of those affected by such classifications and their consequences.
Griffiths David Andrew (2015) Becoming Wormy, Becoming Worldly: Parasitic Nematodes as Companion Species., In: Nagai K., Rooney C., Landry D., Mattfeld M., Sleigh C., Jones K. (eds.), Cosmopolitan Animals pp. 138-151 Palgrave Macmillan UK
Griffiths David (2015) Queer Theory for Lichens, UnderCurrents 19 (1) pp. 36-45 York University