Beyond the individual: Exploring approaches to supporting LGBT young people in the UK and Sweden

Dr Jo Woodiwiss is working with Dr Eleanor Formby (Sheffield Hallam University) and in collaboration with Hans Olsson, Riksförbundet För Sexuell Upplysning (the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education) on this British Academy/Leverhulme small grant-funded project worth £7,500 which runs between 2017 and 2019.

This project is being conducted at a time when increasing numbers of young people in the UK are diagnosed as having mental health issues, where the transition from childhood to adulthood is increasingly seen as fraught with 'dangers', and where young people’s access to (formal) support and information around sexuality and relationships is limited, particularly in relation to lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) identities. This is in comparison to more liberal attitudes towards sex and young people’s progression to adulthood found in Sweden.  This project aims to explore these different contexts with a particular focus on the needs of young LGBT people. We will use interviews, focus groups and vignettes in four case study sites (schools and youth work settings) to explore how young people and those who work with them understand the needs of young people who identity as LGBT in the UK and Sweden. 

Eleanor and Jo have already presented some of the initial findings from the UK fieldwork at two ESRC festival of Social Science events in November 2017 held in Sheffield and Huddersfield. They will also be running a workshop with practitioners in Sweden in February 2018. They have been invited to present their research at a seminar at Orebro University in Sweden in February 2018.