Making a difference


Heroes against Homophobia. British Academy (2017).  This project, conducted by Peter HegartySophie Russell and Sebastian Bartos examined whether positive emotions can block the prejudice that is prompted by the emotion of disgust.  You can read more about it on the British Academy blog 

Enabling Public Engagement with Intersex/DSD through Psychology and Mobile Technology. British Psychological Society (2017). This project conducted with Lois Donnelly aimed to inform efforts to increase public understandings of intersex/dsd, using a survey that was created with the input and involvement of diverse intersex stakeholders.

Intersex UK: A History for the Age of Consensus. Wellcome Trust (2015-2020) This project aims to map the history of intersex in the UK for the first time.  The primary research is being conducted by Dr. David Griffiths in the Department of Sociology, who is supervised by Peter Hegarty in SEER.  Two major articles form this project are available on open access:
Griffiths, D.A. (2018). Diagnosing sex: Intersex surgery and ‘sex change’ in Britain 1930-1955. Sexualities, 21,
Griffiths, D.A. (2018). Shifting syndromes; Sex chromosome variations and intersex classifications. Social Studies of Science, 48,

Peter Hegarty was a funded participant in COST Action IS 1205: Social Psychological Dynamics of Historical Representations in the Enlarged European Union (2012-2016). As a member of the working group on The Role of Social Cognitive Processes in Shaping Lay Representations of History, he and Olivier Klein  co-edited Vol 10, Issue 3 of Memory Studies on Historical Cognition: Recent Advances

Beyond ‘Straight Talking’: The Consequences of Vocal Cues to Sexual Identity for Modern Prejudice (H2020, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships - 2016-2108). This project conducted by Dr Fabio Fasoli under the supervision of Prof Peter Hegarty aimed to examine individuals’ beliefs about and experiences of vocal cues of sexual orientation on the one hand, and the social consequences of sounding gay/lesbian on the other hand.
EU portal,


Gay straight communication

Fabio Fasoli published the paper; Gay straight communication

Sexual orientation is a private matter that individuals can decide to disclose or conceal. Nevertheless, when interacting with others, people look for cues of sexual orientation. Hence, the person’s face, voice, or non-verbal behavior is taken as a cue revealing sexual orientation. As research on “gaydar” has shown, this detecting ability can sometimes be accurate or stereotype-based. Sometimes gay, lesbian, and bisexual people themselves intentionally communicate their sexual identity explicitly or through more subtle cues. Intentional or not, several cues are taken as communicating sexual orientation with the consequences of shaping interpersonal interactions.

Shades of sexualization: when sexualization becomes sexual objectification

Fabio Fasoli published the paper: Shades of sexualization: when sexualization becomes sexual objectification

Sexualization in mass media is a widespread phenomenon. Although sexualization and sexual objectification are often used as synonymous, they are two different concepts. Across two studies, we investigated how sexualization affects perceptions of women and men  as sexual objects.

Intersex after the Recognition of Human Rights conference

In September 2016, Peter Hegarty co-organized the conference Intersex after the recognition of human rights with David Griffiths (School of Sociology) and Kamilla Hawthorne, MBE (Associate Dean of Medicine) which was held at the University of Surrey.  The meeting was the third annual meeting of the EuroPsi - The European Network for Psychosocial Studies in Intersex/Diverse Sex Development. It was partially funded by grants from the Institute of Advanced Study and the Wellcome Trust.

Hybrid Human-Machine Computing (HHMC): From human computation to social computing and beyond conference

In September 2017, Patrice Rusconi was one of the co-organizers of the conference “From Human Computation to Social Computing and Beyond ”, organised by Shujun Li (Department of Computer Science and Surrey Centre for Cyber Security, University of Surrey) which was held at the University of Surrey. The workshop was funded by the Institute of Advanced Studies at the University of Surrey and partly by related EPSRC and EU research projects of the co-organisers.

View workshop details.

Stigma as framed on YouTube: Effects of personal experiences videos on students’ beliefs about medicalizing intersex

Peter Hegarty and Annette Smith co-authored a paper with Tadhg Bogan‐Carey (University of Limerick) "Stigma as framed on YouTube: Effects of personal experiences videos on students’ beliefs about medicalizing intersex"

Proponents and opponents of Intersex-medicalization use personal narrative videos on YouTube to frame intersex as a stigma best understood through a medical or social identity frame. Ninety‐nine psychology students watched either a medical or social identity framed video, or participated in a comparison group (no video). The social identity video increased participants’ sense that medicine was more harmful and less beneficial, and the medical video decreased participants’ sense that medicine was harmful. Neither video impacted stigmatizing beliefs about intersex people as a group. Rather, effects of the videos on beliefs about harms of medicalization were moderated by two stigma measures; social distance and gender binary beliefs. Medical intervention on intersex has been justified, in part, on grounds that stigma is inevitable. While intersex stigma has rarely been empirically examined, this study shows that people with less propensity to stigmatize see less benefit from medicalizing intersex traits and are more open to learning few framings from personal experience videos.

Public understanding of intersex in the UK and the USA

Peter Hegarty presented a paper “Public understanding of intersex in the UK and the USA” at the Intersex‐Kontroversen Symposium (November 2017) at the Sexology Clinic, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf , where he discussed this experiment done with placement students from University of Surrey (and other work).


Peter Hegarty and colleagues from Italy and Portugal will be hosting a 2-day RKTS workshop "Building An LGBT European Social Psychology" on June 21 -22, 2019, at the ISCTE-Lisbon University Institute, Portugal.

Application deadline: April 1, 2019.

This workshop intends to step toward more sustained social psychological research focused on LGBT lives in Europe and the reduction of societal prejudice. The workshop will:

  • Provide an updated review of LGBT social psychology research 
  • Discuss how interdisciplinarity informs LGBT research in social psychology 
  • Describe how to transfer knowledge from the laboratory to the field to create effective interventions 
  • Promote scientific exchange between senior scientists, junior researchers, and LGBT advocacy organisations 
  • Develop a network to sustain impactful science in Europe. 

The workshop is also open to junior and postgraduate students and researchers, social psychologists and OPP members (Ordem dos Psicólogos Portugueses), and LGBT associations (e.g., ILGA-Portugal). At least 50% (and likely more) of the workshop participants will be EASP members. The workshop is primarily aimed at researchers with fewer financial resources. Preference will be given to researchers residing in countries that have a less favourable legal and policy context for LGBTI people.

See the workshop event page for further details European.

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